News Briefs for November 9, 2018
News reports from Columbia, Maryland; Silver Spring, Maryland; Australia; Hope Channel German; Breath of Life Television and Sweden
The Adventist Church in North America along with the Pacific Union Conference and the Southern California Conference has issued a statement on this Wednesday’s shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. It is included below:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America Issues Joint Statement on Thousand Oaks, California, Shooting
November 8, 2018 | Members of the Seventh-day Adventist church family mourn all loss of life, but especially cry out against mass violence such as took place last night in Thousand Oaks, California, very close to our headquarters for the western United States, the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Our hearts are shattered for those who lost family and friends last night and for those who will suffer greatly as a result of this senseless violence.
As a family of faith, we pray for healing for all who have been affected. But as much as our prayers go up and our hearts go out to those who have been devastated by this horrific event, we cannot stop there.
We call on our fellow communities of faith and the clergy who lead them to provide a comfortable, safe environment in which people can grieve and recover. We ask them to help facilitate the difficult conversations that can no longer be put off — conversations about why this is happening and how the violence that is wracking our country can be addressed.
As a faith community that convenes in public worship and service, we call on our national and local leaders to do better at keeping the rights of individuals secure by ending the threat that weapons of mass murder pose to all.
We believe that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). May this be true for all those grieving and saddened at this time of loss.
Daniel R. Jackson, president, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Ricardo B. Graham, president, Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Velino Salazar, president, Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Stephen Chavez, the assistant editor of the Adventist Review and Adventist World, has been elected a board member of the Associated Church Press (ACP). It is the professional association for staff members who work for magazines and newspapers published by religious denominations and independent media that specialize in coverage of faith communities. Chavez has been a member of ACP for nearly 25 years and the Adventist Review has won awards from the organization many times. “My association with peers from other denominations in the ACP has been one of the great pleasures of my professional life,” Chavez stated.
Seventh-day Adventists were among a group of Australian Christians calling for the release of children held in immigration detention on Nauru. High numbers of refugees and asylum seekers who desire access to Australia are being held there. The statement was made by participants at the Justice Conference at the Melbourne Town Hall on October 27.
“As Christians, we cannot in good faith be complicit in, or bystanders to acts of injustice,” said the statement. “When we see any of God’s children prevented from living life in all its fullness, we must speak out.
“That is why we are adding our voice to get kids off Nauru. The world refugee crisis is a complex problem—but locking up children is never the answer.”
The statement called on Australia’s political leaders to work together to find a solution that moves children and their families off Nauru. The 1500 conference participants included some 25 Adventist Church members and representatives of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia.
From APD, the official news service of the Adventist denomination covering parts of Europe: On November 3, Adventist-run Hope Channel German launched a new series: The series “vocabulary” deals with “treasures in the Bible.” In every show theologian Marjukka Ostrovljanovic leads viewers on a journey of discovery in the stories of the Bible, their wisdom, seals and sayings.
In the first episode, “Emmanuel,” Ostrovljanovic examines the birth of Jesus and a prophecy of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. All programs are available in the Hope Channel library:
Breath of Life television ministry taped a Christmas Special on October 27 that will be shown nationally in the United States on Christmas Day, December 25, on ABC Television and its affiliates. The taping took place in the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Breath of Life Speaker Carlton Byrd spoke during the special which featured music by Grammy award winning artist, Kirk Franklin, along with Sheléa and the Oakwood University Aeolians Concert Choir and Orchestra.
From TED News (the official news service of the Trans-European Division of the denomination): Adventist leaders joined other guests in rural Sweden for the opening of a new headquarters for LifeStyleTV, a supporting media ministry, and to celebrate the remarkable story of how its Adventist founder turned an opera singer’s mansion into a television studio to proclaim Jesus’ soon coming to Scandinavia. LifeStyleTV founder Claus Nybo described the new media center as a miracle from God in a stirring Sabbath morning presentation in a concert hall-turned-television studio in Brunskog, a Swedish town located about 110 miles (180 kilometres) east of Norway’s capital, Oslo. “God has done something that we couldn’t even imagine,” Nybo told about 300 gathered guests, including Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson, division and union leaders, Hope Channel and 3ABN executives, and donors. “We thought we would build a new studio where we were.” Instead, he said, LifeStyleTV received a mansion worth seven times more than its construction budget.