News reports from the North American Division (NAD); the Municipal Administration of Samambaia, Brazil; Loma Linda University Health; the Brazilian state of São Paulo; Bulgaria; Avondale College and Loma Linda Academy:

Fun fact about newly-elected North American Division president, Alexander Bryant: He is the first NAD president to hold a doctorate. In 2011, Bryant earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical seminary in Pasadena, California.

From the South American Division via an English translation on Adventist News Network (ANN) – A partnership between the Adventist Development and Assistance Resources Agency (ADRA), the Municipal Administration of Samambaia, the Uber transport company, and Mesa Brasil Sesc (Brazil Table of the Social Service of Commerce) served more than 900 people in Samambaia, the administrative region of the Federal District in Brazil. The distribution was on the morning of July 1, at the city’s ADRA center. The families were duly registered, and all COVID-19 safety measures were taken in the distribution.

From Loma Linda University Health – Loma Linda University Health has been awarded a federal grant of $3.5 million to train additional physicians who help patients in the Inland Empire recover from addictions.

The grant, to be awarded over five years, will create a pipeline of addiction medicine specialists trained in treating addictions as part of the federal Addiction Medicine Fellowship program, which helps patients regardless of their socioeconomic status. These fellows will treat patients and train at Loma Linda University Health, SAC Health System, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center – Loma Linda.

The grant is issued from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant was secured with help from Congressman Pete Aguilar, U.S. representative for the congressional district.

From the South American Division via an English translation on ANN – In June, Adventist state deputy Damaris Moura passed an amendment that guarantees religious conscientious objection to students and civil servants in the Brazilian state of São Paulo.

The text is part of Bill 350/2020, which establishes emergency measures for the period of public calamity caused by the new coronavirus, voted in an extraordinary virtual session by members of the São Paulo Legislative Assembly (Alesp). The amendment helps Seventh-day Adventists in the state of São Paulo.

The legislation guides and authorizes schools to replace classes lost during COVID-19 on Saturdays, during the state of public calamity. Such a requirement would harm thousands of young Adventists in secular institutions as well as members of the Jewish community in São Paulo state.

From APD – In June 2020, 17-year-old Yoana Sashova won second place in the “The Voice of Bulgaria” competition with the song “The Heavens Declare You.”

She wrote the lyrics to the melody of a well-known song by pop singer Billie Eilish, reports the news department of the sub-continental church leadership of the Seventh-day Adventists in Western and Southern Europe.

Saschowa convinced three out of four jurors with the first performance. Then she was asked to sing a second song, which made her a star. A judge commented on her song “The Heavens Declare You”: “In these times when virtues and values ​​are somehow outdated, you appeared like a bright beam of light and you are the absolute opposite of the reality that surrounds us. You are a symbol of humanity, purity and sincerity, a great gift from God. For me you are a glimmer of hope!” The song has now been viewed over three million times on YouTube.

Sashova won the children’s competition for Bulgarian folk songs in 2019. Sashova’s texts often address her love and devotion to God. The 17-year-old introduced herself from the beginning as a believing Christian. Despite being asked several times by journalists not to speak about her belief, Sashova persisted: “I can’t help it! I owe him everything!” At the finale, she turned to the audience and said:“ God is great! God loves you! I’m so grateful that he made it possible for me to be here. ”

Avondale College, Cooranbong, Australia (from a news release) – A faculty re-structure and the introduction of a research fellowship are the first two markers on Avondale University College’s road map for sustainable transformation.

The re-structure will reduce the number of faculties from two—Education, Business and Science and Arts, Nursing and Theology—to one. And the fellowship, offered at different levels, will see staff members apply for rather than receive a loading for research.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Kevin Petrie announced the decisions in the second of a series of documents for consultation—the first explained the objectives of the process: to develop a viable operating model and return to a balanced budget within two years. Feedback from staff members and an external report on governance structure informed decision making.

The re-structure will mean:

A stronger role for schools in academic governance;
A reduction in administrative roles; and
A reduction in the number of policy development and approval “layers,” particularly within learning and teaching—all schools will report to a single Learning and Teaching Committee, which will continue to serve as a sub-committee of Academic Board.
The re-structure will be completed by the beginning of the academic year in 2021.

Loma Linda Academy (LLA) has repurposed their classroom 3-D printers to print masks and other supplies for medical workers and others. Three 3-D printers operated by current and former staff and students joined the fight against COVID-19 by producing 130 face shields for those who needed them. The printers, normally used in LLA’s STEM and Maker Space classrooms, worked around the clock to build essential supplies for front-line medical workers and others.

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