News reports from Adventist Community Services, Decolonizing The Black Mind (a virtual summit), the Columbia Union Conference, Washington Adventist University and ADRA in Serbia:

Offering – December 12, 2020 – Adventist Community Services (ACS) provides you with opportunities to serve communities in Christ’s name. Therefore, we must become leading servants as Christian disciples, who order their lives around missionary purpose and who believe they are responsible for fulfilling the Great Commission. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed overwhelming demand on food banks throughout the North American Division (NAD). Adventist Community Services Centers quickly adapted and are responding to meet the tremendous need. Over 1,300 ACS Centers across the NAD are providing millions of meals this year, demonstrating God’s love through service. Your financial gifts to the Adventist Community Services Offering on December 12, 2020, will make it possible for us to continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Give at your local church, marking “ACS Offering” on your tithe envelope, or give here online. We want to thank everyone for your dedicated ongoing support to Adventist Community Services, whether it is through sacrificial giving, volunteering, or prayers. May God richly bless you all. —NAD ACS Team

“Decolonizing The Black Mind,” a virtual summit was held November 19-21. The summit was aimed at providing concrete tools to help Black Seventh-day Adventists decolonize their thinking spiritually and socially. Hosted by thought leader Dr. Sydney Freeman Jr., the summit featured a number of presenters. The event was organized by the Liberation Movement. “Our vision is that Black people across the diaspora will gain equity, justice, and liberation through the power of Jesus Christ,” states the organization. Here are video links to the different nights.

Night 1 YouTube Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo8g4gm58tA

Night 2 YouTube Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9SpMAFedVI

Night 3 YouTube Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR73qXKj_Ds

The Columbia Union Conference executive committee on November 12 voted to adopt five goals outlined by the Task Force on Race, Equity and Inclusion, which was commissioned last June, following the wrongful death of George Floyd and other unarmed black citizens. The adopted goals, recommended by the union’s President’s Council, will further enhance and build upon grassroots initiatives and promote dialogue and education to facilitate change. The goals are: 1. Embrace, nurture, promote and portray a culture that values, represents and celebrates the union’s diverse heritage and the richness of its diverse membership. 2. Use a biblical, historical and prophetic perspective to educate members on the issues and impact of racism on mission and ministry. Promote God’s ideals and call for harmony, equality, unity in diversity and inclusion. 3. Facilitate increased collaboration between state and regional conferences, particularly in areas of geographical overlap. 4. Provide educational opportunities, greater understanding, an exchange of information and ideas, and a platform to nurture acceptance and understanding of the history, experiences and contributions of various cultures and faith traditions. 5. Create relationships within the communities where our organizations are located. By building relationships, we become trusted partners with leaders of community organizations, thereby increasing our effectiveness in addressing their relevant needs.

This year’s Annual Christmas Concert from Washington Adventist University will feature the New England Youth Ensemble, Columbia Collegiate Chorale, Pro Musica, and the Washington Concert Winds. Among the works presented will be Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and traditional sacred Christmas favorites. Friday, December 18, at 7 pm Eastern time https://media.sligochurch.org/ (opens in a new tab)

From ADRA: BELGRADE, SERBIA (edited for length) During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Serbia found multiple ways to serve the most vulnerable members of society. Adventist young adults, ages 18-26, with financial and logistical support from their local churches and ADRA, shopped for food and other supplies and then delivered much-needed parcels to church members who are elderly or disabled. Dragan Grujicic, president of the South-East European Union Conference, joined these young Adventists as they delivered food to people who could not leave their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown. But ADRA’s work went far beyond assisting church members. ADRA intensified its efforts to boost the physical and emotional well-being of key groups it was already serving. “Our three target groups became additionally vulnerable in this period: the homeless, children from the Roma community, and women and girls from the refugee and migrant communities,” says Igor Mitrović, country director for ADRA in Serbia. “ADRA adapted its ongoing programs to respond to the new needs in these communities—or, to put it more accurately, to the old needs made even more urgent.”

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