Stories from France, the United States, India, Sierra Leone, Phoenix (Arizona).

After an 86-year-old priest was executed by terrorists in a Catholic Church in a small town in Normandy on Tuesday (July 26), the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in France responded by expressing solidarity and sympathy with the people of the town and believers throughout the country. “Churches … are places of peace, of prayer, community and refuge,” the statement said, according to APD, the Adventist News Service in Europe. The Adventist leaders expressed concern about “this escalation of violence and the unspeakable crimes,” and reaffirmed the Adventist commitment to “work for peace, fight evil with good … in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It ask people, regardless of religion or citizenship to “respect the dignity of every human being.” There are about 15,000 Adventists in France in 122 congregations.

Wham slices and other favorite items from Worthington Foods will again be available on August 15 because Heritage Health Foods, a company owned by Adventist entrepreneur Don Otis, has purchased the Worthington Foods brand from the Kellogg Company. Heritage Foods will begin to manufacture again a number of products that Kellogg discontinued, while Kellogg continues to own and produce the Morning Star Farms brand and associated products. Heritage has also acquired the Cedar Lake food company. (From a news bulletin from the denomination’s North American Division, although the new company is not owned by or directly affiliated with the Adventist denomination.)

Spicer Adventist University received final notification of the approval of its new status as a full university this week from the State of Maharashtra, India. Dr. Noble P. Pilli, the vice chancellor of the university, told the governing body of the denomination’s Southern Asia Division that enrollment of students began on Tuesday (July 26). Additional information is available on the Web at https://www.spiceradventistuniversity.com.

The prevention of early deaths is a major goal for the Adventist Hospital in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, reports the Awoko newspaper in the west African nation. Life expectancy is low (just 58 years) and the country ranks near the bottom in global data on health. The reason for the growing numbers of heart attacks and strokes is a lack of medical checkups, said Joseph Fobbie, hospital administrator. Now that the Ebola challenge has been met in the country and the hospital has been fumigated and returned to regular use, it will focus on screening clinics for high blood pressure, Fobbie told the newspaper. It is also building a physical therapy unit because of the lack of treatment facilities for stroke patients in the country.

Adventist-Layman’s Services & Industries (ASI) will hold its annual international convention in Phoenix, Arizona, starting next Wednesday and continuing through the Sabbath (August 3-6). Speakers will include Pastor Dan Jackson, president of the denomination’s North American Division; Pastor Mark Finley, the well-known evangelist and a retired General Conference vice president; Pastor Anil Kanda from the Ceres (California) Adventist Church; Derek Morris, the editor of Ministry magazine who recently became president of the Hope Channel television network; John Bradshaw, director of the It Is Written television ministry; and Steve Dickman, president of ASI. This annual event typically draws thousands of Adventist owners of small businesses and representatives from independent ministries, as well as key denominational administrators.