News Briefs for September 30, 2016
Stories from Kenya, North Carolina, Germany, Barbados, Kazakhstan, Ohio, Malawi,Washington State ………
Judge David Maraga, a jurist who has been open about his Adventist faith, will be the new chief justice of the top court in Kenya. Last Friday he was officially nominated to the central African nation’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, by the Judicial Service Commission, according to the Kisii News. The news started a firestorm of comment on Facebook, much of it by Adventists who rejoiced at the nomination. Maraga had made headlines a few weeks ago by telling the commission during their hearing on his possible candidacy that he would not work on Sabbaths, as Adventist Today reported at the time.
The North Carolina company that fired an Adventist employee who refused to work on Sabbath has settled with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), instituting a new policy to protect Sabbath rights and paying the man $42,500. Michael Cole was a truck driver for Greenville Ready Mix Concrete and when he joined the Adventist Church in February 2014, he told his supervisor that he could not work from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday due to his faith. When he was scheduled on March 22 that year, he refused to work and was fired. The EEOC decided that the company was required to make an accommodation for Cole under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and announced the settlement with the company on Wednesday (September 28), according to the News & Observer.
Adventist young people across Germany are gathering today in Kassel for a four-day national youth congress. More than one thousand are expected to participate, focusing on the theme “You did it unto me.” This is a quote from Christ in Matthew 25 in which He asked His followers as they looked forward to the Second Coming to feed the hungry, care for the poor, minister to the sick, welcome immigrants and reach out to prisoners. The practical goal is to help young adults get involved in ministries of humanitarian service. Key speakers will be Pastor Gilbert Cangy, director of youth ministries for the denomination’s General Conference, and Pastor Sam Leonor, campus chaplain at La Sierra University, the Adventist institution in southern California. More than 40 practical workshops will also be taught, reports APD.
Adventists will celebrate 125 years of the faith in Barbados on Sunday (October 2), reported Nation News. A caravan will form at Daldeith at 2:30 pm local time, move down Beckles Road, through parts of Bridgetown and into Queen’s Park for a massive rally that will include drama and music, as well as booths selling various kinds of food and other commodities. According to the Caribbean nation’s 2010 census, the Adventist denomination is the second largest in the country, surpassed only by the Anglican Church.
Adventist theologians and administrators from the former Soviet Union countries have been involved in an International Bible Conference this week in Almaty, Kazakhstan. About 100 individuals from the denomination’s Euro-Asia Division, including some seminary students, convened to study doctrines “from the Sanctuary and the Day of Judgement, to the Trinity and the Spirit of Prophecy,” reported ANN. Time was also spent on effective ways to reach the region where there is a large population and relatively few Christians. It was chaired by Dr. Artur Stele, the General Conference vice president who directs the Biblical Research Institute.
Enrollment a Kettering College, the Adventist institution in Dayton, Ohio, is a total of 759 for the new 2016-17 school year, reported The Visitor. That is an increase of four percent over last year. The school specializes in health-related programs such as nursing, medical technology, etc. The majority of its students are not Adventist Church members.
The HIV-AIDS initiative of the Adventist Church in Malawi is collaborating with local governments and nongovernmental organizations to prevent maternal and neonatal deaths in the northern region of the country, reported Capital FM radio news on Monday (September 26). Church leaders joined with the Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) in commending traditional authorities in the Karonga district for efforts to protect youths from early and pre-arranged marriages which are the source of many medical problems and affect education and economic development.
Dr. Robert Holm, a faculty member at Walla Walla University, was appointed to the local public school board this week, according to the Union-Bulletin daily newspaper. The College Place School Board voted to appoint him to fill a vacancy and in his remarks he acknowledged his ties to the Adventist faith. “I am born and raised Seventh-day Adventist,” he said. “We have a tendency to stick to ourselves [and] I don’t really like that perception. … I would like to … be a really big part of this community” College Place is a suburb of the City of Walla Walla, Washington, with a population if less than 9,000. In addition to the Adventist university in the town there are three Adventist congregations: the University Church with 2,466 members; the Village Church with 1,637 members; and a Spanish-language congregation with 347 members.