Pacific Union “All God’s People,” January 22, 2021 S5:E02
An Inauguration, Constituency Sessions, and more...
On Wednesday, January 20, we were all inspired and encouraged as we witnessed a peaceful transition of power in Washington, D.C.
Despite the unrest of recent weeks, the peaceful transition from one administration to another went forward in our American government this last Wednesday. There have been so many prayers ascending, asking for God’s blessing on the affairs of our nation. As we continue to express thankfulness and gratitude for God’s grace, let us also continue to pray for our leaders, that they will be led by God and will govern with integrity, compassion, and justice.
There is news this week that impacts our church as well. For the second time in 10 months, members of the Executive Committee of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church have voted to postpone the quinquennial session of the denomination, originally scheduled for late June of 2020, due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The General Conference session is now scheduled for June 6-11, 2022, in Indianapolis. Read the Adventist Review article via the link below.
The Pacific Union Conference Constituency meeting is scheduled to take place August 15-16, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona. More information and details about the meeting will be coming in the weeks ahead.
News from Adventist Health
Adventist Health serves more than 80 communities in the West Coast and Hawaii. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies, and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities.
Their compassionate and talented team of 35,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals, and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness, and hope. Their efforts in caring for COVID-19 patients, distributing vaccines, and providing for their workers have been highlighted in the media these past months.
Adventist Health White Memorial hospital, a facility that's been besieged by the COVID-19 virus and inundated with patients, is getting some help now from the California National Guard, the state, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Read more from NBC Los Angeles news via the link below.
Hospitals have been offering the first vaccinations against COVID-19 in their communities. Just as crucial as properly storing the vaccine or administering shots is the health education that accompanies them. One of those on the frontlines of health education is Dr. Ronald Reynoso, chief medical officer at Adventist Health Bakersfield and Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. Read the informative Q & A with Dr. Reynoso about how the vaccine works via the link below.
And from Hawaii—Adventist Health Castle begins vaccinations for seniors over 75 who live or work in Windward Oahu. See link to this story below.
Religious Liberty Focus, Jan. 23
Every year on the third Sabbath in January, Seventh-day Adventists around the world take time to remember the God-given gift of religious freedom.
On Religious Liberty Sabbath, we take time to reflect on the precious gift of religious freedom and we pray for the many millions of men, women, and children who continue to suffer harassment, discrimination, and even imprisonment or physical harm because they choose faithfulness to God, no matter what.
Religious Liberty Sabbath in North America will be commemorated tomorrow, on January 23. Through our prayers, we can support our brothers and sisters around the world, and we can express our support for freedom for all people, no matter what their faith.
In the January Recorder, we have a special four-page insert on Religious Liberty that you can download from our website. These four pages are a great way to share Religious Liberty with your family and friends.
Special Religious Liberty Insert
Religious Liberty Sabbath
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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
– John 8:36
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 18, 2020 S4:E50
Nothing stops Christmas! It’s Christmastime—even though the plans we made had to be canceled. It’s a season of celebration—even under new restrictions. Joy is the currency of Christmas—and it is the birth of Christ our Savior that is the reason for the season and brings joy to our lives!
In this episode of All God's People, join us as Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham talks about some of his favorite things about Christmas.
Additionally, we have a huge Christmas treat from Hawaii! A big thanks to Matt Webster and Miki Akeo-Nelson from the Hawaii Conference office for making this happen. And a shout out of appreciation to these outstanding teachers:
From Adventist Malama Elementary School - Cathie Workman, Joann Talitonu, and Shannon Kaneshiro.
From Hawaiian Mission Academy - Zoviel Charles and from Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus, America McColley.
From Kohala Adventist School - Jackie Millar.
Joy to the World and Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii to All God’s People.
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Stay tuned! We'll be back in 2021 with Season 5 of All God's People. Happy Holidays!
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 11, 2020 S4:E49
Messages from our Pastors at Christmas
The holiday lights are everywhere as people try to capture the joy and festive spirit of the Christmas season, in spite of the times we are living in. One giant blessing this year has been the way our pastors all over the Pacific Union have responded to the pandemic. They have kept us connected, engaged, and inspired—all while going through the same challenges we are all facing. Today we feature two of our wonderful pastors.
Todd Leonard is the senior pastor of Glendale City church in Glendale, California. He is an amazing pastor, one who is willing to share openly and honestly about his own personal mental health journey while staying connected to his congregation and inspiring them with dynamic messages. Firmly believing that robust spirituality develops when a broad diversity of people come together in community, Pastor Leonard and Glendale City church continue to live their mission of revealing the love of Christ in all its tenderness and grandeur to the community in which they live. He joined us by Zoom recently to talk about mental health, especially during the holidays.
Glendale City Church
Glendale City Sermon Archive
Chanda Nunes this summer after searching for more than a year for the right candidate. Pastor Nunes has served the Northern California Conference since 2015, most recently at the Capitol City church in Sacramento, California. She is the first Black woman pastor to serve within the conference, where she was ordained in June 2018. We close our program today with her Christmas devotional.
Watch More from PUC
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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 27, 2020 S4:E47
How can we think about gratitude in 2020? In the midst of a pandemic, social unrest, and great political divides, we are truly grateful for not only the small things but also the great big blessings. We're thankful to be Seventh-day Adventists living in the Pacific Union, right now, during these times. Why?
Because of the kindness of co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Because of family and their support and love. Because of the way pastors and teachers, students and members, all over our union, have gone above and beyond in extraordinary ways.
For this Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to share a short video demonstrating the ways our churches, schools, and members have reached out to others like never before. We are grateful for YOU—for your generosity and continued faithfulness. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 20, 2020 S4:E46
Historical Profile of Holbrook Indian School
Holbrook Indian School is a first- through twelfth-grade boarding academy that has provided Native American children and youth a safe place to live, learn, and grow for nearly 75 years. It also manages a first- through eighth-grade day school on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Arizona.
The school’s history began in 1916 with Elder Orno Follett and his wife doing mission work among the Navajos. A school was built in New Mexico in 1918, but it was closed in 1937 due to the Great Depression and a shortage of funds.
In 1941 the Arizona Conference became concerned about doing something for the growing tribes within the conference borders. A full-time evangelist, Marvin Walter, was hired for the job. Learn more about Walter's work at HIS in this week's episode.
Holbrook Indian School is operated by the Pacific Union Conference. Its important mission is also funded through donations from individuals who have a heart for Native American youth and Christian education.
Holbrook Indian School History:
HIS Alumni Break the Cycle of Poverty and Abuse; Become Difference Makers for Future Generations—
Four alumni of Holbrook Indian School are dedicating their time and talents to give back to their alma mater. Seeing the students rise above the challenges of their backgrounds, breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse—well, this is the reason Holbrook Indian School was founded.
Learn more about Shanel Draper, Adrain Wiles, Terell Bahe, Mr. Fred Bruce, and Jerena Hunter in this week's episode, or read more of their story online!
Life at Holbrook; Classes During COVID—
The year 2020 has been one of challenges for Holbrook. The pandemic forced the small boarding school in the desert to make some tough decisions. In doing their part to curb the spread of the virus, students were unable to return to the HIS campus to finish out the 2019-2020 school year. After leaving for spring break, they remained home, many of them living on the Navajo reservation.
The conditions for many of the students were dire. The Navajo Nation had the highest transmission levels of coronavirus in the country. This is largely due to lack of clean water, access to healthy foods, and adequate medical care, along with overcrowded homes. Lack of internet also posed a considerable obstacle to distance learning. Under the leadership of Holbrook principal Pedro Ojeda, the staff worked diligently to keep in contact with the students. Once the state mandates were lifted, they found a way to have them safely return to school as soon as possible.
When the students were allowed to return to campus on August 17, the school had a detailed plan to keep everyone as safe as possible. The year started with 65 students enrolled. From the one-building mission school that opened its doors in 1946 as “SDA Mission School,” Holbrook Indian School has grown into a modern, fully accredited facility that has kept pace with today’s technology and educational standards.
We are blessed by its ministry of faith, hope, and love, and we feel privileged that it is a part of the Pacific Union Conference. Please continue to pray for the students and staff. For more information, visit their website via the link below.
Holbrook Indian School
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“But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'”
– Matthew 19:14
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 6, 2020 S4:E44
The first steps in the creation of Pacific Union College began in 1882, when Sidney Brownsberger started a school at Healdsburg with 28 students. This became Healdsburg College in 1899. Before long, expansion was needed and a new location had to be found. Ellen White was very much involved in this search, and she advised on the suitability of various options. When a resort property in Angwin was found, Ellen White was taken there to review it. Learn more about how this resort property became Pacific Union College in this week's episode episode of All God's People.
Read more about the history of Pacific Union College via the link below!
PUC Sees Enrollment Growth in Fall 2020
In 2020, PUC began classes this fall quarter with an increase in enrollment, breaking the nationwide trend of enrollment decreases. The college saw a 4% increase in overall headcount, while higher education institutions across the country saw an average 3.8% decrease. The census date headcount for fall 2020 stands at 966, compared to 929 last year, and this is the first enrollment increase that PUC has seen in six years. This is especially notable because of the global COVID-19 pandemic that is putting a strain on schools. Although the causes of the increase are due to many factors, some of the more notable contributions to PUC’s increase can be tied to an increase in transfer students, nursing students, students from the local area, and former students who had taken a break but have now re-enrolled.
Read More: puc.edu/news/archives/2020/puc-sees-enrollment-growth-in-fall-2020
Pacific Union College Offers Free Introductory Online Classes—
As part of PUC’s enrollment increase this fall, the college welcomed 24 high school students who joined the college through an offer for a free online class. This online program was a success in the spring, when most high school students were taking their classes via remote learning from home. The free classes were fully accredited, so the students earned college credit, and the available courses covered a wide range of introductory classes that provided a great opportunity for the students to get started on their college career. Around 65% of these first-time students enrolled full-time as regular students at PUC for fall 2020.
PUC Church Welcomes Lead Pastor Chanda Nunes—
The Pacific Union College church welcomed new Lead Pastor Chanda Nunes this summer after more than a year-long search for the right candidate. Pastor Nunes was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and is a graduate of Burman University. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University. Her pastoral ministry began in August 2003 at the College Heights church, on the campus of Burman. From 2008-2015, Pastor Nunes was hired by the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. She was the first Black pastor to serve in the Conference, as well as the first Black woman pastor to serve in the Mid-American Union. She was commissioned in 2011. Pastor Nunes has served the Northern California Conference since 2015, most recently at the Capitol City church in Sacramento, CA. She is the first Black woman pastor to serve within the conference, where she was ordained in June 2018.
Pacific Union College Students Assist with Post-Fire Food Distribution—
PUC was evacuated twice this fall due to wildfires in Napa County. The campus is safe and was not damaged by the fires, and many of the school’s students and employees used the time to give back to their hurting community. During the evacuation time, PUC students, including the women’s volleyball team, volunteered at a local COVID-19 testing site. In addition to assisting the testing site personnel, the athletes and others distributed food, toiletries, and personal health items for families in need. When the local evacuation orders were lifted and the PUC family was allowed to return home, the school partnered with Adventist Health and ADRA to provide warm meals, hygiene items, and 5-gallon jugs of water for hundreds of their Angwin neighbors, who were also returning from evacuation. The delicious food was prepared by local Napa Valley restaurants and Bon Appetit, who runs PUC’s cafeteria, and it was well received by the community, whose power had not yet been restored. What a wonderful way to meet the needs of the community! Learn more about PUC via the link below.
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“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11