News reports from the Office of the President of the Seychelles, California’s Central Valley, Oakwood University, Jamaica, Kettering Adventist Church, Mexico and ADRA International:

From the Office of the President of the Seychelles:
20 July 2020 | Religion

President Danny Faure welcomed a delegation from the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Seychelles at State House this afternoon.

The delegation led by Pastor Solofo Georges Jean Mesmert thanked the President for making the time to receive them at State House and conveyed the appreciation of the church for the continuous support from government and the consultative approach that exists between the church and government.

The meeting was an opportunity for the delegation to share the work of the church and some of the community-based activities currently in place dedicated as outreach for those at risk, including future plans to expand their outreach programme ‘Light House’ involving rehabilitation and counselling support.

During discussions, President Faure reaffirmed government’s commitment to maintaining strong relations with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and thanked them on behalf of the people of Seychelles for their work targeted at communities in need and empowering citizens.

Other members of the delegation included Pastor Norris Barra, Mr. Hugh Watts, Mrs. Natalie Edmond.

According to the Hanford Sentinel, Adventist Health (AH) in California’s Central Valley is teaming up with Battelle Memorial Institute and Cardinal Health to recycle N95 respirator masks for reuse in the four regional AH hospitals and dental offices. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Battelle Critical Care to decontaminate N95 or N95 equivalent filtering face piece respirators as long as they are not made of cellulose or activated carbon and do not have exhalation valves.

“The decontamination process is safe and effective,” said Jon Cartlidge, Battelle CCDS representative. “Extensive testing showed that 100 percent of COVID pathogens were killed during the cleaning.”

A recent survey of students who were enrolled last school year at Oakwood University found 80 percent are interested in returning in the fall for face-to-face classes. In addition, 63 percent are dealing with financial hardship due to COVID-19. As students are thinking about returning to campus this Fall, they identified a strong desire for information on health and safety, academics, and residential life as the top areas where they need more information. The Adventist university in Huntsville, Alabama, has developed and distributed a Reopening Plan which can be downloaded here.

Responding to the economic challenges facing many people, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica has assisted hundreds of families in need among its members and community residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 400 families have benefited from over US $215,000 provided by the Jamaica Union, each of its five conferences, the Adventist-Layperson Service and Industry (ASI), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Jamaica, and local congregations through April and May.

We’re encouraging a small-group, house church model to deal with the COVID epidemic, says an announcement from the Kettering Adventist Church, a congregation of more than 2,000 members, which last year had a typical Sabbath attendance of more than 1,200 at two worship services. We are encouraging gatherings in very small groups, perhaps at a home or park, to safely watch the service online and then discuss the teaching of the week. This will be our model of church until we’re finally able to gather together again safely as one faith community. The Sabbath sermons currently are focusing on working through the New Testament book of Galatians. The church shares a campus with Kettering Medical Center and Kettering College, both Adventist institutions, in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio.

From Inter-American Division News

As coronavirus numbers spike throughout Mexico, Adventists in the State of Chiapas are feeling the pain of losing hundreds of church members in recent weeks. Church leaders have counted 275 deaths among membership due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the deceased were two church employees and a retired pastor.

From APD | With the “Every child. Everywhere. In school.” campaign, The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) and the Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant church, have collected over 1.1 million signatures globally for more than a year for the worldwide access of all children to school education.

The signatures are intended to call on heads of state and government in all countries to give every child the right to education – regardless of race, nationality, gender, religion or origin.

“We at ADRA do not accept the fact that 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries cannot go to school. We do not accept that refugee children are five times more likely to be unable to go to school than their peers who have not had to flee. We do not accept that 25 million primary school children never went to school,” writes Michael Kruger, President of ADRA International, in the current ADRA Europe newsletter.

More information about the campaign is available here.

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