News Briefs for March 18, 2016
Stories from Zambia, Washington Adventist University, Switzerland, New Jersey, Pakistan, India, Florida, Cayman Islands, Ghana and Pacific Press
Adventist pastors and teachers who promote candidates or political parties in Zambia will be fired, Pastor Samuel Sinyangwe, president of the denomination’s North Zambia Union Conference, told a gathering of more than 1,300 local church board members on Sunday (March 13), according to the Zambia Daily Mail. He stated that this was the policy of the Adventist denomination worldwide, citing the response of the General Conference to the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson for president of the United States. He also said that church members should vote in elections “because it is their civic duty as well as a human right which is supported by the Bible,” the newspaper quoted him. The union conference has more than 1,000 congregations and 517,000 church members.
The first time a new heart procedure was conducted in the North Bay region north of San Francisco (California) it was done by the Adventist Heart Institute at St. Helena Hospital near the denomination’s Pacific Union College and Elms Haven, the historic last home of cofounder Ellen White. The first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was done by Dr. Andreas Sakopoulos, Dr. Monica Divakaruni and Dr. Stewart Allen on patient William Hann earlier this month, reported the Napa newspaper. “This is a game-changing breakthrough for patients with severe arotic stenosis,” said Dr. Steven Herber, hospital president.
The men’s basketball team from Washington Adventist University (WAU) lost to Briar Cliff University (BCU) in the opening round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament last Thursday (March 10) in a game on the Briar Cliff campus in Sioux City, Iowa. The final score was 81 to 61. BCU is a Catholic school run by Franciscan priests and WAU is an Adventist institution run by the denomination’s Columbia Union Conference in the suburbs of the United States national capital. Although denominational policy discourages it, many Adventist schools at both the secondary and higher education levels participate in inter-campus athletics in the U.S. and other countries.
A total of $2,378 (2,300 Swiss francs) was raised on Sunday (March 13) for ADRA Switzerland through a book bazaar in central Zurich selling donated books, reported APD. The funds will go to an ADRA project in Lebanon, educating refugee children from Syria. In addition to used books, there were also refreshments for sale and live music performances adding to a festive occasion in the city’s central district.
Hackettstown Regional Medical Center was transferred from the ownership of Adventist Healthcare on Wednesday (March 16) to Atlantic Health System, the largest health care organization in northern New Jersey, reported Morristown Patch. After more than two years of processing the organizational change, Superior Court Judge Thomas Miller signed off on the transfer from one nonprofit to another. The other hospitals operated by Adventist Healthcare are all located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.
A teacher at an Adventist school in Maninagar, Pakistan, was accused on Monday (March 14) of pulling the hair and hitting students during Friday’s annual testing session. The Class IV students were talking during the exams and four young men were handled roughly. Another teacher treated one for bleeding, reported the Ahmedabad News. Angry parents lined up outside the school on Monday morning and a complaint was filed with the Khokhara police station. Inspector D. M. Chauhan told the newspaper he would be interviewing the teachers and school administration.
A fire broke out in the offices of the Adventist denomination’s North India Union Conference in Delhi over the weekend, reports Derald Bhengra, union conference treasurer, on his Facebook page. “There was a lot of damage in terms of property,” he wrote,” but no one was harmed. And the fire did not get into any of the individual offices or destroy any documents, do considerable damage to doors. Denominational employees who live on the campus immediately called the fire department. It required two fire engines to put out the blaze, reported Pastor Satish K. Sharma. (Thank you to Dennis Dean Tidwell for this information.)
Adventist Community Services (ACS) has opened a thrift store in Cape Coral, Florida, next door to its emergency food pantry, reported the Daily Breeze. The food program opened in 2013 and provides assistance to 600 to 800 people each month. The thrift store will stock donated clothing, household items, baby supplies and furniture both as a way to meet the needs of low-income families and generate some funds to support the community service activities. It is staffed by volunteers and open Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm. It is located at 1515 SE 47th Terrace in the Euro Plaza. ACS is the domestic humanitarian agency sponsored by the Adventist denomination in the United States, as well as Bermuda and some other countries around the world.
A con artist is going door to door in Grand Cayman telling residents that he is collecting donations on behalf of the Adventist Church, according to The Cayman Reporter on Tuesday (March 15). The man says his name is Harrison and that the donations will go to provide books and toys for children. The Adventist denomination does not collect funds door to door, a spokesman for the denomination told the newspaper. Eight to ten individuals have made donations and the activities have been reported to the Royal Caymen Islands Police Service, an extension of the United Kingdom police authorities.
Four young men were ordained as pastors by the Adventist denomination’s South-Central Ghana Conference last week, reported the Ghana News Association (GNA). The four were Pastor Kofi Kwarteng, Pastor Nathaniel Frimpong-Manso, Pastor Attah K. Amaniampong and Pastor Samuel K. Kesse. The ceremony was held at Amakom Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kumasi and the speaker was Pastor P. O. Mensah, chaplain for Valley View University.
Your local church can earn ten percent of what members purchase through the Adventist Book Center web site if it has an active “ambassador,” a volunteer who can help individuals find what they want, answer questions and distribute announcements of special discounts and new titles. And if it is located in the North American Division of the Adventist denomination. If you are interested in being such a volunteer for your local church, send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org with (1) your name and contact information, (2) which local church you attend, (3) what conference your church is affiliated with, and (4) your pastor’s name and Email address.