News Briefs for June 23, 2017
Stories from Virginia, London, Hollywood, Papua New Guinea, Takoma Park (Maryland), Romania, Dayton, India and resources for you ……
Adventists from a local church joined other faiths in Alexandria, Virginia, for a prayer service the evening after the shooting of members of the United States Congress last week at a baseball practice. Community Praise Center, an 1,100-member congregation affiliated with the Adventist denomination’s Potomac Conference, is led by Pastor L. Roo McKenzie and located at 1400 Russell Road. There are seven other Adventist congregations in the Virginia suburb of Washington DC, five of which operate in the Spanish language and one is largely made up of immigrants from Ghana. A video of the Adventists participating in the community event can be seen here.
When a massive fire tore through Grenfell Tower in London last week, among the charities on site that day was the Community Service Department of the South England Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. “We were here by lunch time distributing food,” reported Malika Bediako, department director. They continued distributing food and other emergency items to the families made homeless by the disaster through the week. The United Kingdom branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency immediately released emergency funding for the project. More than 70 residents lost their lives in this tragedy.
A Telly Award was given to Jesus 101, an Adventist television ministry, at the 38th annual People’s Choice awards in Hollywood. The award was for a program entitled “Chosen: The Marginalized Woman” about the story of the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s robe seeking healing from 12 years of a bleeding problem in Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8. The episode featured a discussion with Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, director of Jesus 101, and Pastor Mike Tucker, director of Faith for Today. The broadcast teaches that even if a person thinks they are too small and insignificant for God to notice, He does notice them, loves them and wants to heal and empower them. The program can be seen at www.Jesus101.tv on the Web.
The government of Papua New Guinea changed the schedule of its national elections over the next two weeks after the Adventist leader in that Pacific nation objected to elections on both Sabbath and Sunday. The elections were scheduled from tomorrow through July 8, including three Sabbaths and Pastor Kepsie Elodo, union conference president for the Adventist denomination, pointed out that both Sabbath-keepers and Christians who worship on Sunday would be excluded in those towns where Saturday and Sunday elections were scheduled, while the cities have an election holiday scheduled for next Tuesday (June 27). As a result, the Election Commission ordered that no voting be scheduled on weekends. (From APD, the Adventist News Service in Europe)
Two historic Adventist elementary schools in Takoma Park, Maryland, will merge this summer. John N. Andrews School began in 1907 when the denomination first established a national headquarters in the Maryland town just outside the United States capital district. Sligo School was started about a mile away in 1917 next door to Takoma Academy (TA), the Adventist high school serving the community. The two schools will begin to operate as Takoma Academy Prep School in August under the leadership of Carla Thrower, the current principal of TA. Enrollment has declined over recent decades as the Adventist community, once concentrated in Takoma Park, has spread throughout the Washington metropolitan area and a number of new schools were started. The Review and Herald Publishing House moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, in the 1980s and has more recently gone out of business. The General Conference offices moved in 1989 six miles north to Silver Spring and the North American Division headquarters are moving another six miles north to Columbia. Washington Adventist Hospital is building a new facility about five miles away, although it will retain a portion of campus it shares with Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park.
The Romanian branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was awarded first prize at national event assembly of volunteer organizations last week. More than 700 representatives of the voluntary sector gathered for the Civil Society Gala in Bucharest which was addressed by the nation’s President Klaus Johannis. ADRA Romania won top recognition for its services to refugees. It was founded in 1990 and is one of 130 national branches of the Adventist humanitarian agency. (From APD)
Five of the eight Adventist hospitals in the Kettering Health Network (KHN) were among the 823 hospitals across the United States who won a Grade A safety score from The Leapfrog Group this spring. KHN is the Adventist health ministry in the Dayton (Ohio) metropolitan area. Fort Hamilton Hospital, Grandview Hospital, Greene Memorial Hospital, Southview Hospital and Sycamore Medical Center each won the Grade A rating.
The Hope Channel has opened a new Web site in India. The network’s HDTV programs can be accessed on the site, as well as a video on demand library, schedules for programs on cable television and YouTube, study materials made available by the various programs, links to social media associated with the Hope Channel and a way to ask questions or seek assistance from the Hope Channel staff in India. The site is at www.hopetvindia.org on the Web. This is a significant step forward in the largest nation on Earth.
A conference on “Mission in an Era of Migrants and Refugees” is scheduled for September 13-16 on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. It is designed for interested church members as well as pastors, multicultural ministries directors and denominational administrators. The event begins on Wednesday evening (September 13) and continues all day Thursday, Friday and Sabbath. For more information about speakers and a completed schedule, go to this Web page at AdventSource.
There is some nice Asian flavor in a new book by Thailand missionary kid David B. Smith, says Dennis D. Tidwell. The Saga of Farmer Jesus explores Christ’s parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. It uses illustrations from his family’s years in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Last year Smith and his three brothers returned to their childhood home for a mission trip to several local churches in the northern part of Thailand. The book is available from Amazon in both paperback and eBook editions.