Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 2, 2021 S5:E12
Easter Weekend 2021
Christians around the world are celebrating Holy Week—the final week in the ministry of Jesus Christ that includes the two pivotal moments in His life so significant to the Christian faith: His death and resurrection. As Adventists, we understand this extraordinary moment in the context of the great controversy—and the unfailing love and commitment God has made to the human race.
The resurrection is God’s answer to sin, disease, adversity, conflict, and all those things that break our hearts. We serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today. He lives! Christ Jesus lives!
Easter is the story of our greatest hopes and aspirations for the future, rooted in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our prayer today is that All God’s People may be blessed as we contemplate God’s grace and unwavering love for our world during this special time.
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The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
– Matthew 28:5-7 (NIV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 26, 2021 S5:E11
The Templeton Hills Community Farm
What started as a simple idea 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 lockdowns, 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. Several news outlets have covered this story, and on April 18 the farm will celebrate its one-year anniversary! Templeton Hills Community Farm is a place to gather, learn, nourish the land, and be nourished by its bounty! Many thanks to Pastor Zac Page, Matt Giese, and the Templeton Hills church for this wonderful community outreach!
Paso Robles Press: pasoroblespress.com/news/templeton-hills-community-farm-impacting-their-community-one-seed-at-a-time/
New Times: newtimesslo.com/sanluisobispo/templeton-hills-community-farm-is-a-place-to-gather-learn-nourish-the-land-and-be-nourished-by-its-bounty/Content?oid=10502266
Atascadero News: atascaderonews.com/news/templeton-hills-community-farm-impacting-their-community-one-seed-at-a-time/
Facebook Farm Tour: facebook.com/watch/?v=184525893140563
Orangevale School's Spelling Bee
There’s nothing like a great spelling bee, and Orangevale SDA School in Northern California held a socially distanced one recently. Each classroom held its own preliminary contest, and one winner from each grade participated in the final event. Beginning with words at first-grade level, the spelling bee got progressively more challenging. 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.
Orangevale School: ovschool.org/
Safety Sabbath and Cybercrime
Safety Sabbath is March 27, 2021. This year the focus is on helping churches protect against cybercrime, avoiding liabilities from streaming services online, and adapting child protection policies to an online environment. Sign up today to receive a valuable resource kit to help you protect your congregation. You can participate in Safety Sabbath whether you are meeting in person or virtually.
Learn More: adventistrisk.org/en-us/safety-resources/safety-sabbath
Kathleen Diaz Named SCC Treasurer/CFO
In a virtual meeting on the evening of March 16, the Executive Committee of the Southern California Conference voted Kathleen Diaz as the new Treasurer/CFO of the SCC, effective March 17, 2021.
“I am very honored to be able to continue using my skills and capabilities in the advancement of preaching the gospel to the whole world,” Diaz said. “This calling comes at a time our world is in crisis, but if we put ourselves in the hands of the Lord, He will provide for us.”
Diaz is the first female to serve as SCC Treasurer/CFO and the first female to serve as one of the conference executive officers. Welcome, Kathleen Diaz. Three of our seven conferences now have women Treasurers.
Read More: scc.adventist.org/stories/kathleen-diaz-named-scc-treasurer
Southern Calif. Conference: scc.adventist.org/
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“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
– 1 Peter 5:10, ESV
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 19, 2021 S5:E10
National Disabilities Awareness Month
March is National Disabilities Awareness Month. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March "Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month." The deinstitutionalization movement of the seventies and early eighties had laid the foundation for significant social change, and the presidential proclamation called upon Americans to provide the "encouragement and opportunities" necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.
Special Needs Alliance
My Friends House, A Children's Ministry
How does a church provide special-needs children with a place to feel safe and to grow? The Santa Clarita church has found the answer in a unique children’s ministry called My Friend’s House. In 2018, special-needs teacher Delmy Calderon was hired by the church to teach every Sabbath morning and during VBS week. Calderon is a well-known educator in the Santa Clarita Valley who has been described by parents as a "gift from God and so committed to the individual needs of each child."
But how have they continued the ministry during the pandemic? Not a problem for Delmy. Brett Perry, coordinator of My Friend’s House for the church, reports that Delmy has done a wonderful job keeping things as routine as possible, even though some of the tactile learning has stalled. Santa Clarita church kids have continued to have Sabbath School classes via FaceTime, Zoom, Google Meets, Messenger, or whatever the family needs. They’ve done drive-by birthday celebrations for the children’s birthdays throughout the year, as well. A baptismal class is being planned for when the church can meet in person again.
Sabbath, March 20, is Disabilities Awareness Sabbath.
If you’re interested in starting a special-needs ministry in your local church, the North American Division has resources available.
Disabilities Ministries Handbook
Santa Clarita Church
Read More from the SCC
Capitol City Church Serves as Warming Center and Safe Parking Lot for Unhoused Community Members
Capitol City church in Sacramento is now serving as a warming center and safe parking lot for unhoused community members. Every night of the week, the church hosts up to 35 people, inside and socially distanced, and up to 15 cars in the parking lot.
Carol Herbert, the church’s mission council leader, Senior Pastor Damian Chandler, and Sacramento Councilman Eric Guerra participated in a news conference about the warming center. Four local television stations featured the story, as did a local publication.
Subscribe to NCC Northern Lights
Shining Lights at Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus
Students at Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus in Kailua, Hawaii, are given opportunities to reach out to their community in multiple ways. After going through their closets in an early "spring cleaning," they brought bags and boxes full of clothing to school, which were later delivered to a homeless community. Other students have spent afternoons loading food into vehicles for those in need. HMA Windward Campus strives to be a shining light in their community, whether they are making encouraging cards for emergency workers, donating to Toys 4 Tots, or lending a helping hand to classmates.
HMA Windward Campus
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"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?"
– Matthew 25:34-38, ESV
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 12, 2021 S5:E09
Sustainable Farming at Holbrook Indian School
Holbrook Indian School has a robust agriculture program, complete with a farm—established with the focus of holistic education through sustainable farming. Garden to Plate is a part of the farm initiative in which students help to grow, harvest, and prepare organic, nutrient-dense produce. The food is used in the cafeteria to make delicious, healthy meals for the students and staff. The produce is also sold to staff members and more than 100 families in three local communities, which helps sustain the program.
Agricultural director Daniel Nicholls doesn’t have a classroom per se. He has a room that he occasionally uses if it’s too cold or too wet outside, or when he has to present traditional instruction. For the past few months, however, he’s been working hard in planning a dedicated space that can combine teaching and practice for the students. The new 20- by 50-foot greenhouse will be a place for the students to learn more about gardening—and the students are also helping to build it, adding to the experience. Great hands-on learning for Holbrook students!
Holbrook's Garden Lab: holbrookindianschool.org/gardenlab
Holbrook's Farm: holbrookindianschool.org/farm
One-Year Later; A Look at the Pandemic
This week we arrived at a milestone in the pandemic—the one-year anniversary of what we call “lockdown.” The five states that make up the Pacific Union have had varying restrictions, but March 12 marks, for many of us, one year since our last day of in-person work or in-person education—the last day we freely went about our normal activities. For one year, we have marveled at how everyone—our pastors, educators, administrators, staff, lay people, volunteers, healthcare workers—has stepped up to make it all work. On All God’s People, we have brought you over 150 stories in the past year about how teachers have taught, pastors have preached, church members have fed the hungry, students have reached out to their communities, and everyone has pulled together to Love, Serve, and Lead.
All God's People Archives: adventistfaith.com/category/media/all-gods-people/
An Interview with Darriel Hoy
We spoke with Pastor Darriel Hoy of the Nevada-Utah Conference by Zoom just a few days ago. She shared what she has learned about ministry and about herself during the past year. Darriel Hoy works as the director of children, youth, & young adult ministries in her conference. Tune into this week's episode to her her thoughts on life and ministry during the pandemic.
Nevada-Utah Conference: nucsda.com/
"City Kids" at Glendale City Church
We continue to be amazed at the creative ways in which children are being engaged during the pandemic. Local churches have provided programming for Sabbath School classes and other kids’ shows on YouTube and Facebook. Each week, Glendale City church in Southern California Conference produces an 8- to 12-minute video called “City Kids.” Each episode includes Story Time with Teacher Anji—she captures the children’s interest with story themes like “Jesus the Teacher,” “Jesus Heals,” and “Jesus Feeds Five Thousand.” There are memory verses and crafts that fit the theme of each story. Each episode ends with a sing-a-long with Pastor Mike. It’s a fun, inspirational, and educational way to keep your children engaged in short, easy-to-understand segments—not just for Sabbath but anytime your kids or grandkids need some fun online activities! City Kids episodes can be viewed on Glendale City church Facebook or YouTube.
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
– Isaiah 54:13
Peace for our children. Peace for our grandchildren. What greater legacy can we pass on to them? Even a year and counting into these stressful pandemic times, we can be assured of peace—God’s peace.
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 5, 2021 S5:E08
Happy March and Happy Women’s History Month – a time for prayer and celebrating Women!
Sabbath, March 6, has been designated as Women’s Day of Prayer by the North American Division. The Women's Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for women to learn about each other and pray for one another. It’s a time to reunite with God and one another to strengthen spiritual bonds. Prayers for women everywhere create a spiritual network of empathy and understanding. The theme this year is “I Will Go.”
NAD Day of Prayer: nadwm.org/day-of-prayer
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality. The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021 is 'Choose To Challenge'. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day 2021.
International Women's Day: internationalwomensday.com/About
Women's History Month: womenshistorymonth.gov/
National Women's History Alliance: nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/
Card Connexion Uses Artists' Talents to Send Encouragement via Mail
Dan Oliver loves to paint! He took to watercolor as he was growing up, but once he got into medical school, he quit. Dan is a retired physician and longtime St. Helena church member.
A few years ago, he and fellow church member and artist David Miller, started Watercolor & Worship – a group of people who met weekly in the church fellowship hall for worship, prayer, and painting. The men were joined by church member and artist Sherrie Wimberley as well as others from the church and wider community. The ministry stopped meeting for a time last year during the pandemic, but took a new form in November when Sherri Wimberley suggested that art could help the isolated church members who were lonely and discouraged.
Card Connexion was born and now church members, artists or not, can join the Zoom class one evening a week to learn to paint cards and send them off to other members. In the past two months Card Connexion has mailed over 200 cards of encouragement. What a wonderful way to use your artistic skills through communication and connection! The Tuesday night Zoom class is open to all.
The Tuesday Card Connexion Zoom gathering is for anyone who would like to create paintings (usually watercolor). The focus is to make them card-sized and send them to someone for encouragement. For beginners through professionals -- come join the fun at 7 p.m. each Tuesday. The Zoom link is provided below.
Join the Zoom: zoom.us/j/99971488691?pwd=WUZRVjZna3kxcVdVZUtzYktiajZEQT09#success
Central California Conference Korean Pastors Sing “Because He Lives”
Today we share a very special musical treat from the Central California Conference Korean pastors. “Because He Lives” is one of our all-time favorite hymns, and it is especially beautiful sung in the Korean language. Thank you, Central California Conference Korean churches for sharing this with All God’s People!
Watch on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=ZC357pAXDWc
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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
– 1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” February 26, 2021 S5:E07
10-Year-Old Making a Difference
London Loree Johnson is a 10-year-old fifth-grader at South Bay Jr. Academy in Torrance, Calif. Last year London completed a huge goal—she read 1,000 books in one year! On Jan. 7, 2020, she read her 1,000th book aloud – live on Facebook – and it happened to be her first authored book, called London and the 1000 Books. We brought you that story one year ago on All God’s People. She’s been busy this past year, not only with remote learning, but also finding ways to continue volunteering during the pandemic. Parts of London’s story have been told in news articles in Business Insider and the Washington Post. CNN is releasing an article soon which includes London’s views on remote learning and what she’s learned during the pandemic. London and her classmates returned to in-classroom learning at South Bay Jr. Academy on Monday, Feb. 22.
Watch Last Year's AGP Highlight: adventistfaith.com/media/all-gods-people/2020/02/10/pacific-union-all-gods-people-february-14-2020-s4e6/
London’s Readathon: londonsreadathon.org/
Business Insider: insider.com/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-the-us-presidential-election-2020-10
Washington Post: washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/volunteer-opportunities-kids-family-covid/2020/11/13/1df6d42e-244b-11eb-952e-0c475972cfc0_story.html
South Bay Jr. Academy: sbja.com/
Personal Ministries at San Marcos Church
Our church has a longstanding and firm biblical foundation to feed the hungry, and the San Marcos church in San Diego County has taken up this call. Church member Doug Rosendahl began a personal ministry to help feed hungry veterans and others in the San Marcos, Calif., area. Pastor Jim Park, Pacific Union personal ministries coordinator, joined with him to begin a weekly food distribution to the community starting in January 2019. Within four months, nearly 100 people were coming to their Manna Mesa food bank on a weekly basis. Every week new aspects were added to the ministry. Volunteers started to help, wearing aprons printed with the logo. With over 1,000 names from the community in their database, the church is now planning on how to best follow up the positive response to their feeding program. There are plans to hand out Discover Bible lessons to those who are interested—beginning with the 20 non-Adventist volunteers who come and help on a weekly basis and then expanding to those who visit the food bank.
Prescott Students Partner with Community for Career Days, Service Days, and More
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and not being able to participate in their normal activities this school year, the students at Arizona’s Prescott Adventist Christian School were still able to partner with small business owners, professionals, and members in their local community. Each Friday, K-8 students participate in clubs, career days, or service days. Career days allow for visits with a professional to learn about different jobs. Service days provide opportunities for students to serve the elderly or needy in their community. These partnerships expose the community to the presence of the school and allow the school to advertise and support community members. A win-win for everyone—and a wonderful opportunity for the students!
Read More: adventistfaith.com/featured/2021/02/09/prescott-students-partner-with-community-for-career-days-service-days-and-more/
Prescott Adventist Christian School: prescottsdaschool.com/
Adventist Book Center Black History Month Sale
In celebration of Black History Month, all books and music by African American writers and musicians are 20% off at your local ABC or at adventistbookcenter.com during the month of February. Be sure to check out the 94 items listed on their website before the end of February.
Adventist Book Center: adventistbookcenter.com/featured/black-history-month.html
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"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right."
– Acts 10:34-35 NIV