Stories from Australia, Lake Union Conference, Jamaica, Loma Linda, New Zealand, and secular campuses around the globe …..    

ADRA Australia is responding to flooding along the Lachlan River in New South Wales from the greatest amount of spring rain on record in the country. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s Australian branch is working closely with local authorities and other nonprofit charitable organizations to provide temporary shelter and basic necessities for the hundreds who have fled their homes in Forbes and other towns where the river has run up to 7.2 meters depth (23.5 feet), reported ANN.

The second event in “a journey to healing and understanding” between racial and ethnic groups in the denomination’s Lake Union Conference was held Sabbath, October 1, in the Berrien Springs (Michigan) Village Seventh-day Adventist Church. The process began in June of last year when Pastor Don Livesay, union conference president, presented an apology on behalf of the union conference for racist behavior and attitudes that contributed to the formation of separate local conferences for African American congregations in 1944. Worship in the tradition of African American congregations and an open panel discussion that included Adventists of various ethnic background were part of the program.

Sir Patrick Allen, governor general of Jamaica and an Adventist minister, spoke for the Thanksgiving service on Sabbath (October 8) during National Heritage Week, an official holiday in the Caribbean nation. Also present was the Hon. Andrew Holness, prime minister and an Adventist, at the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church. Allen urged citizens to pass on the rich heritage of Jamaica to the next generation, “a heritage created out of oppression, struggle, resilience, triumph and overwhelming odds” he was quoted by the official news service of the government of Jamaica.

The pastors and teachers of the Southeastern California Conference participated in a health retreat on Tuesday (October 11) in a large tent on the campus of Loma Linda University. As Pastor Sandra Roberts made some introductory remarks, she acknowledged that “there’s a lot going on in our denomination.” A spontaneous standing ovation broke out with calls from the group of “we love you,” more than one eyewitness told Adventist Today. Roberts election as conference president has been officially ignored by the General Conference for several years because she is a woman.

The annual Week of Prayer for World Peace was held this week in New Zealand and the Adventist congregation in Gisborne participated, reported the Gisborne Herald. The observance began Tuesday evening in the Botanical Gardens, continued at 1 pm on Wednesday at Holy Trinity Church, Thursday evening at Saint Andrew’s Church and Friday evening at the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Today begins the weekend the Adventist denomination has set aside to promote secular campus ministry (October 14-16). The theme is “empathize, engage, empower.” Is there an Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) group on the public university or college campus near your local church? Is there a Public Campus Ministry event planned for your conference or union conference? If not, you can still participate and even bring a small group together to learn and discuss what might be done in your area. Starting this evening there will be around-the-clock live video programming from groups in various time zones available on the Web at pcm.adventist.org and it will continue through Sunday afternoon. Tens of thousands of Adventist young adults are enrolled as students at secular institutions of higher education and many of those who are successfully engaged in an effective fellowship and strategy bring other students into the faith.