Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 23, 2021 S5:E27
Elder Jorge Soria, Vice President of the Pacific Union Conference, is retiring after 47 years of ministry. Elder Soria has been such a wonderful friend and colleague of all of us in the Pacific Union!
Jorge was 14 years old when his mother and stepfather moved their family from Mexico to Central California and eventually settled in Hayward. It was at the Hayward Spanish church that the man we know as Pastor Soria was baptized.
After completing his studies at Montemorelos and Pacific Union College, Jorge and his wife Lina began their ministry in Southeastern California at the La Sierra Spanish church in 1974.
In 1982, Jorge accepted the invitation of the General Conference to serve as a missionary, and their young family moved to Brazil for mission service.
By 1991, Jorge was serving as the Spanish coordinator in Southeastern California when he accepted a call to the Pacific Union to serve as Hispanic ministries coordinator for the Pacific Union. Jorge served in this position for 27 years, before becoming vice president in 2018.
One need only speak to Jorge for a few minutes to discover his two great passions in ministry: Evangelism and engaging believers in sharing their faith. And young people—and bringing them into full lives of service and discipleship.
As vice president, Jorge has worked closely with the volunteer-led ministries of the Pacific Union, supporting the unique portfolio of activities and ministries that each endeavor represents.
Pastor Jorge has anchored his life and ministry in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and if you ask him to share his favorite text, he will immediately answer, "For God so loved the world," John 3:16. (Although he may say it in Spanish!)
Thank you, Pastor Soria, for your ministry, your leadership, and your friendship. We know we speak for All God’s People in expressing our appreciation for how you have so faithfully served the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Pacific Southwest. May God bless you and your family as your ministry continues in your retirement.
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 16, 2021 S5:E26
Five Teen Farms Featured on Good Day Sacramento
Students from Lodi Academy were recently featured in Good Day Sacramento for a garden project called Five Teen Farms, which they launched to raise money for their school study tours. Thanks to their garden, these five teens were able to pay for their sophomore year biology trip to the Mendocino Coast. This year, the students are raising money for their East Coast history tour by growing zucchini, beets, several varieties of tomatoes, and Armenian cucumbers. Their operation also includes making homemade pickles—and they even use reclaimed wood to make decorative signs, yard art, and games.
Watch the Interview: gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/5759748-five-teen-farms/
Pacific Union Webinar Discusses Engaging Media and Community Leadership Post-Pandemic
In late June, communication professionals, principals, schoolteachers, and church members tuned in for a discussion on how media outlets are reporting on the re-opening of houses of worship and religious institutions. To equip local leadership with the tools to engage both the community and local media, the Department of Communication and Community Engagement for the Pacific Union Conference hosted the webinar with strategic communications firm Kurth Lampe Worldwide. Presenters Kevin Lampe and Greg Dunn discussed the types of stories media outlets will be looking for in the weeks to come—and how churches or schools can benefit from renewed interest in how faith groups are meeting the needs of their communities. If you missed this timely, informative webinar, you can watch it in its entirety.
Watch on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=WMzfGkGupXQ&list=PLGL3IXqOMWcvGrhBpV0lQZslUZubk3VeU
Interview with Karen Martell
Karen Martell is the Prayer Ministries coordinator for the Pacific Union. Recently, Connie Jeffery talked with her about the upcoming Constituency Meeting in August and the plans for a United Prayer Call just prior to this important meeting.
Interview with Karen Martell: vimeo.com/574990606
The July Recorder is in your mailbox this week, and it includes a wonderful article from Pastor John Brunt entitled, “Incredible Reality, Infinite Love.” These two sentences from Pastor Brunt sum up the article: “As Jesus gave Himself for us, we as His disciples give ourselves for others. We never do it perfectly as He did, but the more we grasp His grace, the more gracious we become.” The Recorder in English and Spanish is available online.
Read Online: adventistfaith.com/media/recorder-archive/
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"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
– Matthew 18:20 (KJV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 2, 2021 S5:E24
2021 Graduation Special Edition
What a rollercoaster school year this has been! With graduation ceremonies postponed, virtual, or “drive by” last year due to the pandemic—it was such a blessing that our 2021 graduates have been able to participate in more traditional ceremonies.
A few interesting statistics:
Out of our 116 schools, we had 685 Kindergarten graduates; 818 eighth-grade graduates; and 693 12th-grade graduates.
Enjoy this montage of some of our graduations from Hawaii to Arizona, California to Nevada, and Utah. Congratulations to the class of 2021! We are SO proud of you!
2021 Graduation Photos:
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“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
– Galatians 5:13
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” June 18, 2021 S5:E22
Welcome Summer Celebrations
From weddings to graduations to Father’s Day to the beginning of summer—this June is already beginning to feel different from last June! There are more in-person gatherings, in-person worship services, and restrictions lifting all over our union as more and more people are getting vaccinated and feeling a sense of normalcy returning to their lives.
And, of course, there’s the June Recorder! If you haven’t read it cover to cover yet, take a Sabbath afternoon to do so. The cover features Pastor Andrea Trusty King as she sets an example of leading in the age of COVID. Elder Brad Newton’s editorial, "The Ransom of Greatness," is a must-read as well as Part 1 of the historical piece on Merritt Gardner Kellogg by Jim Wibberding. Part 2 will be featured next month. And the news from our conferences continues to inspire me each month. The Recorder in English and Spanish is always available on our website at adventistfaith.com if you prefer to read it online.
Refugee Sabbath, June 19
Tomorrow, June 19, is Refugee Sabbath. Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries invites churches across North America to remember the 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, including more than 3 million refugees who have come right here to North America.
Some religious denominations choose to focus on refugee awareness around the time of World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations and celebrated annually on June 20. The North American Division and the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church designate a special day each year during June for Refugee Sabbath to raise awareness of the needs of the unprecedented numbers of refugees who have fled their homes due to war and persecution.
Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries (ARIM) was created to inspire, coordinate, facilitate, and expand Adventist ministries to and by refugees, immigrants, and visitors to North America, especially among the least established and least reached people groups. For more information, visit the links below.
The UN Refugee Agency
Tomorrow is Juneteenth—also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day—a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
Even though the Emancipation Proclamation had been enacted by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, many enslaved persons in the Confederate states had no way of learning of this change in the laws of the United States. On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, in one of the first actions of his command, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order Number 3, announcing that the Emancipation Proclamation was the law, and that enslaved African Americans in the Texas District were free. The day became known as Juneteenth—a second independence day! The celebration of Juneteenth has grown tremendously over the years, and is now recognized by 47 states and the District of Columbia. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate for All God’s People!
Father's Day, June 20
This coming Sunday, June 20, is Father’s Day—a time to honor and celebrate those amazing men in our lives: our fathers, stepfathers, and grandfathers. There’s a wonderful new book from Pacific Press called Fathers: The Meaning of Being a Father in Today’s Society. It’s a collection of insights, scientific findings, and powerful stories about the meaning of being a father. See the links below to learn more. And a very happy Father’s Day to all the dads!
Adventist Book Center
Father's Day Video
A Word from President Ricardo Graham
From Dads to Grads—graduations in our union from kindergarten through college have taken place in recent weeks. We close today’s episode with a very special graduation message from the president of the Pacific Union Conference, Elder Ricardo Graham. Click the link below to watch Elder Graham's message on Vimeo.
Watch on Vimeo
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"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
– Deuteronomy 31:6
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” June 11, 2021 S5:E21
Seeds For Life Garden Grows in Page, Arizona
It’s amazing how a community garden can change a church and provide evangelistic opportunities as well as great food and fun for children. Several years ago at the Page All Nations church, one young member felt inspired to apply for a $500 grant to start a little community garden at the church. When an individual in the community found out about the interest in starting a garden—and that the grant had been awarded to one of the other many applicants—they stepped forward to supply the funds to start the Seeds For Life Garden. The project has expanded every year and now includes a greenhouse, extensive gardens, gardening classes, and even a mini-farm enjoyed by children and adults alike. Thank you for being a witness in your community, Seeds for Life and Page church!
Watch the Video: facebook.com/pageallnations/videos/280795997123915/
Capitol City Church Operates as Summer Cooling Center for Sacramento's Homeless Residents
As part of their ongoing partnership with city and county agencies, Capitol City church in Sacramento opened as a cooling center once again last week to help combat the triple digit heat for the homeless community. Cooling centers are opened when forecast daytime temperatures reach over 105 degrees for three days. If the evening forecast is 75 degrees or higher, the facilities remain open at night. Thank you, Capitol City church, for your engagement in community health and wellness.
Southern California Church Member Answers God’s Call at 93 Years Old
"It’s never too late to make a decision for Christ" is a sentiment that rings true for Margie Armstead, who at 93 years of age was baptized by profession of faith at Normandie Avenue church in March. Margie first became acquainted with Normandie church in 1999 through their Golden Ages seniors’ group. Soon, Armstead began serving as a pianist for Sabbath School and in other ministries that didn’t require membership. She faithfully served for more than 20 years before making a decision for baptism. Margie has a heart full of gratitude for being a part of Normandie for 21 years and being accepted so wholeheartedly by the congregation. Blessings to you, dear Margie! What an inspiration you are to All God’s People.
Women's Ministries Emphasis Day – June 12
Women's Ministries Emphasis Day is an annual event on the church's Calendar of Days and Events.
COVID didn’t slow down ministry; it just moved it online. Local, conference, union, and division women’s ministries offered online and live webinars, retreats, seminars, and get-togethers. Zoom became a place where members and community gathered to talk, encourage, study, discuss books, and pray together. Tomorrow, Sabbath, June 12, is Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day and the annual offering appeal for Women’s Ministries. This year the theme is “Come See the Savior.”
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
– Luke 1:45
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” June 4, 2021 S5:E20
Today, we’ve reached a milestone – our 200th episode of All God’s People!
Little did we dream on May 17, 2017—when we began sharing our weekly video round up of news and inspiration from across the Pacific Union—that we’d be here 200 episodes later…with more incredible stories from our schools and churches and institutions and members than ever! One source for the stories we share is Pacific Sunrise, a twice-weekly email newsletter.
Subscribe to Pacific Sunrise: adventistfaith.com/get-involved/subscribe/
During the pandemic, Summit Christian Academy’s 3rd- and 4th-graders got to see firsthand why washing your hands matters! Using lotion mixed with glitter, students were able to observe how “germs” transfer after shaking hands—and how a thorough hand-washing with soap and water removed the glitter. What a great lesson at this time, when the importance of good hand hygiene matters so much!
Read More: adventistfaith.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=371bce7dc83817b7893bcdeed13799b5.414&s=8d70b4b2985452d40506e32155e29723
Recently, the education department of the Arizona Conference started a new "camp" for their 7th- and 8th-graders called "GRIP." The acronym is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:21: "Test everything. Hold on to everything that is good." Each letter represents lessons for holding onto what is good when making decisions and helps introduce young people to using the Bible.
People often think life in Hawaii must mean living in paradise; however, underlying difficulties with the education of young people can make it less of a paradise. Many high school graduates in Hawaii do not pursue higher education due to financial constraints, family responsibilities, or fear of living outside of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Mission Academy is seeking to bring career pathways to its students that will encourage them and bring hope. The school is currently piloting a Medical Assistant program, which started at the beginning of the semester.
Northern California Conference
There’s nothing like a great spelling bee, and Orangevale SDA School in Northern California recently held a socially distanced one. Each classroom held its own preliminary contest, and one winner from each grade participated in the final event. It took 19 rounds to declare a winner. Sixth-grader Liann Wagner won by correctly spelling yeoman. Her name will be included on a plaque in the school office, which displays all the spelling bee winners since 1994.
Central California Conference
What started as a simple idea in Central California has grown into a flourishing community farm that is building strong relationships! You would never know it from the street, but between the Templeton Hills church and school, a little farm sits on what used to be a soccer field. With the help of a grant from the Pacific Union Conference, the farm started with one hoop house, a small greenhouse, and some outdoor row crops. A month before the farm was ready to open to the public, the pandemic shutdowns began. But amid the lockdown, the Templeton Hills Farm became a place of peace for so many people. Since the farm opened it has gained another hoop house, and more plans for expansion are in the works. On April 18 this year, the farm celebrated its one-year anniversary!
Southern California Conference
Mrs. Negrete and her Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students have been learning about the butterfly life cycle in recent weeks. Mrs. Negrete was kind enough to invite all the classes at White Memorial Adventist School to come and watch the release of her students’ butterflies. And it was captured for the enjoyment of all on Facebook Watch! What a great lesson in transformation!
Southeastern California Conference
At Loma Linda Academy in the Southeastern California Conference, the mission for all students is to: Grow in God’s Grace; Thrive Intellectually; Develop True Friendships; and Embrace Healthful Living. Recently, the students made this video to say “Thank You” to their teachers.
Watch Video: youtube.com/watch?v=_h2AAfI62CU