Stories from Denver, New Guinea, Florida, Jamaica, Pacific Union College, Lesotho, Washington Adventist University, Andrews University ……..    

Many Adventist congregations will remember tomorrow (Sabbath, October 22) the “Great Disappointment,” the day 172 years ago when about one in ten Americans believed that Jesus would return as predicted by Baptist evangelist William Miller. The revival initiated by Miller, although based on a partly mistaken interpretation of Bible prophecy, provided the beginning of the modern Adventist movement.

Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver is one of the first to use germ-fighting robots to reduce the incidence of infections, a major problem in health care institutions around the world. The new technology uses a full-spectrum pulsed xenon UV disinfection system produced by Xenex Healthcare Services, reported the Denverite. Early testing found a 57 percent decrease in MRSA infections after 18 months in a North Carolina hospital and a 100 percent decrease in surgical site infections after one year of deployment in an Alabama hospital.

A third aircraft has been added to the fleet of Adventist Aviation Services (AAS) in Papua New Guinea, reported APD, the Adventist news service in Europe. It will be based in Goroka, in the highlands of New Guinea. The Pacific Aerospace Corporation 750 XSTOL was greeted a traditional dance and a prayer of dedication by the local Adventist pastor after a four-day flight by Jeff Downs, the director of AAS. The agency operates air ambulance services and transfers medical staff, pastors, teachers and other personnel among the 600 clinics, schools and mission stations in the country, utilizing some 500 bush airstrips.

More than 700 health care professionals came together recently for the Adventist Health System (AHS) Patient Experience Summit in Kissimmee, Florida. AHS is the largest Adventist health ministry in the United States and “the pioneers who started it 150 years ago were motivated by uncommon compassion,” Don Jernigan, the CEO, told the gathering. “I believe that uncommon compassion happens through God’s spirit moving in a person’s life.” AHS has 78,000 employees on 46 campuses in ten states in the U.S. south and Midwest. Gordon Hospital in Calhoun, Georgia, was recognized as the top overall performer in patient experience for 2016, according to the Calhoun Times. It was founded in 1935,

Carol Palmer, the second ranking official in the Ministry of Justice, appealed to Adventists in Jamaica to be advocates from the victims of domestic violence and abuse last week at a women’s convention in Montego Bay. “By breaking the silence, you can stop violence,” she told the large gathering from across the island nation. “We need to open our hearts in helping those who have suffered.” The Adventist denomination is one of the two largest religious organizations in the Caribbean country and the two top officials in the government are both Adventists; the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

Pacific Union College in northern California was ranked the most ethnically diverse liberal arts college in the United States in the 2016 “best colleges” edition of U.S. News & World Report. In previous years it was ranked second and third. “We are honored to be recognized as the most diverse college in the entire country,” said Dr. Heather Knight. “We are privileged to be part of a dynamic global church whose message is relevant and attractive to all kindreds, tongues and nations.” In the 2015-16 school year the student body was 28 percent Hispanic/Latino, 26 percent Caucasian (not Hispanic), 21 percent Asian and Pacific Islander, nine percent black and African-American and 16 percent multiethnic and other, according to a news release from the institution.

An Adventist health ministry is operating a mobile clinic for the 20,000 workers who staff the 22 garment factories that make up the Maputsoe industrial area in Lesotho. Four out of five workers are women and the need for the project became clear to Dr. Makhabisi Polane, director of the Maputsoe Adventist Health Facility, when she delivered a baby whose mother had not seen any health professional during her entire pregnancy. “There was no clinic, no baby clothes, nothing. The mother said at the factory where she worked, they were not allowed time off to get to a clinic.” So the mobile unit brings the clinic to the factories. It provides maternal and baby health services, HIV testing and treatment, and family planning counseling and contraceptives, and is open five days a week, free of charge. The project is funded by the United Nations Population Fund, the European Union and the governments of Sweden and Norway.

Sabbath (October 22) at 5:30 pm local time in the Atholton Adventist Church, Dr. Aleksandar Santrac, chairman of the religion department at Washington Adventist University, will speak about his new book. Entitled Witness to Life Worth Living: Reflections on Miroslav Volf’s Ethics of Embrace, the volume is being released at this event. Volf is the well-known professor of theology at Yale Divinity School and director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University who previously taught at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in his native Croatia and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, as well as a frequent commentator for mainstream media. Volf wrote the forward for the book. Santrac will tell the compelling story behind the book, about ethnic enemies who had to cling to their shared vision of Christian ethics in order to make the book possible. The church is located at 6520 Martin Road, Columbia, Maryland.

Next Tuesday (October 25) Dr. Andrea Luxton will be inaugurated as president of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the sixth person to serve as university president and the first woman appointed to that position at what is generally considered to be the leading institution of higher education affiliated with the Adventist faith. The ceremonies will begin at 10:30 am local time in Pioneer Memorial Church on campus.