Pacific Union “All God’s People,” September 11, 2020 S4:E36
In this week's episode:
Brazilian LA Church Hosts Drive-Through Baby Shower—
Like most of our churches, the Brazilian L.A. church has been meeting virtually for nearly six months, and the congregation hasn’t met together since mid-March. But in May, that all changed, at least temporarily, when members gathered for a drive-through baby shower for Nayana Borghi and Ismael Sanches.
The couple was new to the area and had no family nearby, so the women’s ministry team planned a special, and safe, celebration to shower the couple with love as they prepared for the birth of their daughter, Antonella.
The special event took two weeks to organize. The women’s ministry team made calls to the entire congregation, created a list of items needed, and arranged for cards, balloons, and welcome signs. About 15 people participated, and others sent gifts and well wishes to avoid crowding.
Nayana Borghi was so grateful for this expression of friendship, especially during these times. "I was very moved, very happy, and felt welcomed by this church," she said. "When they arrived, singing with all that affection, I felt special." What a beautiful way to reach out to the new parents! You can read the whole story via the link below.
Read more: scc.adventist.org/stories/friends--family-gather-for-drive-through-baby-shower
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September 2020 Recorder—
The September Recorder is in your homes, and it’s also available online. What a blessing it is this month! The cover story is one we shared a few weeks ago in All God’s People—about Pastor Kevin Wilson of the Oceanside church in Southeastern California Conference and his unique TikTok ministry. You won’t want to miss the "Bible Quiz" with Elder Alexander Bryant, the new president of the North American Division. And of course, the news and inspirational stories from around the union are focused on the amazing things happening during the pandemic in our local churches, schools, and institutions. Visit the link below to read it online.
Fall 2020 Media Week
Next week, we start something new—our Fall 2020 Media Week Emphasis begins. What does that mean? Well, All God’s People and segments in Pacific Sunrise and social media posts will center around one particular conference or educational institution from right here in the Pacific Union. These special close-up looks at our shared ministry will air weekly, through the month of December. While we will still bring you important information and news as needed, the main focus will be on one entity. Next week, we look forward to Northern California Conference Week on All God’s People! We invite you to join us each week as we celebrate each entity and their unique history and ministry.
Where were you on 9/11? At 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time on an unforgettable Tuesday morning 19 years ago, a hijacked passenger jet crashed into the World Trade Center, the first of the four jets that would bring America face to face with unimaginable tragedy and unprecedented courage.
There were nearly 3,000 deaths in the attacks that morning – in New York, Washington D. C. and Pennsylvania. Fifty-five of those who died were military personnel killed in the attack on the Pentagon. All of the remaining deaths in the attacks were civilians. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center. The entire world was united in mourning the loss.
And it was exactly six months ago—on March 11, 2020, that the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus outbreak had reached pandemic levels. And once again, the attention of the entire globe became riveted on a single issue.
As the number of people impacted climbs into the tens of millions, and there is so much loss of life, the temptation is to become despondent, or angry, or fatalistic. As the pandemic continues to exact a toll on our daily lives—and on so much of what matters, truly matters, to us—the question that begins to form in our minds is "what should we do?"
It's not an easy question to answer, but we do find solace in the examples of three women of faith from the Scriptures. Faced with poverty and starvation, Ruth refused to be discouraged and went out to glean in the fields of Boaz. And God blessed her. Confronted by the cruel and murderous intentions of Haman, Esther took her life in her hands and appeared before the king, whose power was absolute. And God saved His people. Devastated by the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and yet motivated by love, Mary and the other women got up early on Sunday morning to attend to the details of burial. And they were met by the risen Lord!
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"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
– 1 Peter 5:7
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” August 21, 2020 S4:E33
Adventists in Northern California Work Together for Others—
In late March, as the impact of the pandemic was just beginning to be felt, we shared the story of Carmichael church in Northern California Conference and their drive-through food bank. Their work set a new standard for distributing food to those in need. Now, more than a dozen area churches, Adventist Health, and Northern California Conference have joined hands to provide quality produce and other food to thousands of people who need food assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Because of the shared synergies, together they are able to offer food bank services to their communities. A new video from Church Support Services, “Working Together for Others,” shows what can happen when everyone comes together to provide food security to their neighbors. Watch this powerful video via the link below: vimeo.com/444779193
Adobe Adventist Christian School's Above and Beyond Assignments During COVID-19—
As the school year wrapped up last spring, the students at Adobe Adventist Christian School in Mesa, Ariz., not only completed their school assignments, but took it a step further to enjoy educational opportunities with their families—including making bread with their grandmas! Students participated in the first NAD Week of Prayer, hiked in the mountains for PE, joined a Virtual School Spirit Week, celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a Zoom Taco Party, and supported first responders by writing messages on the sidewalk.
Students participating in these "above and beyond" opportunities experienced planting flowers and gardens, learning to cook, and sewing their own masks. They also kept their spirits up by having fun with "crazy hair day." It’s so inspiring to see how parents, students, and staff turned a difficult situation into a positive experience.
Learn more about Adobe Adventist Christian School: adobe22.adventistschoolconnect.org/
Local Prayer Group Gathers to Pray for Healthcare Workers at Adventist Health Bakersfield—
On Sunday evening, Aug. 2, the United We Stand prayer group gathered in the parking lot of Adventist Health Bakersfield to lift up healthcare workers in prayer. This community prayer group is dedicated to praying for healthcare workers and those affected by the coronavirus. Among those to join the prayer were individuals who had previously been hospitalized there for COVID-19 and have since recovered. Since April, the group has hosted eight socially distant prayer services. Adventist Health is on the frontlines of meeting the challenge of the pandemic every day. What a beautiful thing to do for healthcare workers!
Watch the 23ABC News Segment: turnto23.com/news/coronavirus/community-prayer-held-at-adventist-health-for-healthcare-workers
100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment—
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which grants and guarantees women the constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today. The passage of the amendment came after a protracted and difficult struggle. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women's suffrage amendment failed before passing the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4. It was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 states to ratify it. The Nineteenth Amendment's adoption was certified on August 26, 1920—the culmination of a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.
Next Wednesday, August 26, marks the Centennial—a time for us to pause, reflect, and realize that the struggle continues. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way that we’re able to commemorate the 2020 Centennial, but check out the links below for unique and creative ways to celebrate in these times. There’s a list of virtual events sponsored by the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative. And you can learn more about how you can still participate in Women’s Equality Day celebrations on the 26th.
2020 Centennial Celebrations: 2020centennial.org/centennial-celebrations
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“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
–Galatians 3:27-28 (ESV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” August 14, 2020 S4:E32
Back-to-School Special Edition
As the churches and schools across the five states of the Pacific Union have grappled with how best to respond to the rapidly changing circumstances that surround the coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of the Pacific Union Office of Education has been busy keeping informed about the vastly differing policies and executive orders impacting our various communities, supporting the local conference education departments, and providing counsel and direction for school leadership in whatever way they can. This has given them a firsthand look at how our schools are coping—as well as a glimpse of what may be on the horizon ahead.
Recently, the Office of Education worked with our Communication and All God’s People production team to produce a “back to school” video to share with our teachers—and also with you, our All God’s People viewers. It’s a special report for this week. We’ll be back next week with more stories of faith and providence.
Here’s our back to school video for the 2020-2021 school year! We hope you like it.
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“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”
–1 Peter 4:10
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 31, 2020 S4:E30
In this week's episode:
Sharing Masks to Prevent Spread of COVID—
We love the stories we’ve been sharing with you for the past 20 weeks – the ones about young people, like Charlotte Oh, who sews masks for medical professionals in her hometown, and stories like the one we shared last week about a large organization—Adventist Health Bakersfield—donating 500 masks for a homeless shelter. Members, local churches, hospitals, schools – everyone is pulling together to make sure masks are available to those who need them.
Couple Delivers Filipino Food to Elderly Sabbath School Members—
The level of food insecurity in our country, particularly now, is off the charts. People are hungry, and church members are stepping in to fill the gap. When we heard about Buddyboy Endok and his wife Dalia from the Central Valley church, it warmed our hearts. He told us that he and his wife were very concerned about the elderly members of their Sabbath School class when stay-at-home orders took effect. So he began cooking – Filipino noodles, and other food – and delivering it to them. Their “meals on wheels” ministry has grown, with help from other members, and they’re now making 20 deliveries twice a week, which takes 6 hours to complete. “The looks on their faces are priceless,” he said. Thank you, Buddyboy, Dalia, and your helpers from Central Valley church!
Orangewood Academy Teacher Named Among Esteemed Educators for 2020 by Mathspace—
Almost 350 teachers from across North America were recently named by Mathspace as Esteemed Educators for 2020. Mathspace recognizes educators for their vision and drive to innovate mathematics education. Included on the list is Herman Eugenio, junior high teacher at Orangewood Academy. "Thank you again for going above and beyond in all that you do for your students," shared the school on social media. The Esteemed Educator program started in 2018, and according to Mathspace, this year's winning teachers have shown exceptional determination and innovation in the face of adversity. Congratulations, Mr. Eugenio! Keep up the great work!
La Sierra University Selects New Provost—
La Sierra University recently announced the selection of one of its key leaders to fill the post of provost, a position previously held by current university president Joy Fehr. Dr. April Summitt, who has served as La Sierra’s College of Arts and Sciences dean since 2016, assumed the role of provost effective July 1. “I am excited about Dr. Summitt’s demonstrated commitment to La Sierra University and its mission to seek truth; to know God, ourselves, and the world; and to serve others,” Dr. Fehr said. Continued blessings to the leadership team at La Sierra University. Read the entire article via the link below.
News from Hawaii—
Although the Islands missed a landfall from Hurricane Douglas, the storm was close enough to bring strong surf, heavy rains, and gusty winds to the islands. NASA's Terra satellite imagery showed the storm's track as it moved just north of the islands this past weekend. Learn more via the link below. Let’s remember in our prayers all of our students, teachers, and staff in Hawaii as they are the first to open their schools next Monday, August 3, in compliance with state requirements.
Read more about Hurricane Douglas: phys.org/news/2020-07-nasa-hurricane-douglas-hawaii.html
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“But in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3, CSB)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 10, 2020 S4:E27
In this week's episode:
—Adventist Book Center Hosts Summer Sale Online—
For many Seventh-day Adventist families in our Union, enjoying camp meeting and attending the big Adventist Book Center sale is a summer tradition. This year, while camp meetings have been cancelled, Pacific Press is taking the Adventist Book Center sale online. Mark your calendar! For one week, July 12–19, you’ll have the opportunity to watch short videos and learn all about the summer sale’s featured books. Then, simply order your favorites at amazing discounts. Check out the link below—and visit daily starting on Sunday the 12th to catch all the one-day bonus deals, too. Spirit of Prophecy – Kid’s books – Storybooks – Bibles – Cookbooks and Health books. They’re all there, and each day there will be a special bonus deal. Be sure to check back each day through July 19.
From Adventist Book Center—The Earthy Canvas Vegan Cookbook
One exciting cookbook that Adventist Book Center currently offers is “The Earthy Canvas Vegan Cookbook.” Dr. Fay Kazzi finds inspiration for her delicious, healthy recipes from her Middle Eastern heritage, education, and career. Maximum flavor and nutrition via whole, plant-based foods are promised from each recipe.
—Books and More Available at Local ABC Stores—
Check your local ABC as well. We have 5 ABC stores in our Union—and they are operating and open, but check to see if their hours are different than before. They have summer sales and other discounted prices on books and resources, as well as your favorite veggie foods.
—July 2020 Recorder—
The July Recorder should be in your homes soon. This is an issue you won’t want to miss. Be sure to read Ricardo Graham’s editorial “Love in a Hard Spot” and “Justice is Elemental to Life” by Marc Woodson, as well as all the news and inspiration from around our Union.
And the Summer edition of the Spanish Recorder is online, too. You can read the latest issue, and past issues, of the Recorder in English and Spanish via the link below. Lots of great resources for your summer reading pleasure! Resources to encourage, inspire, and share with others.
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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” July 3, 2020 S4:E26
In this week's episode:
—VBS – Heroes Home Edition—
Kids love heroes, and this summer, instead of talking about superheroes from the comics or movies, this new VBS from the Seventh-day Adventist Church will teach kids about heroes from the Bible. Heroes Home Edition will be available online or as a free download at HeroesHomeEdition.org on July 6, 2020. It will include a practical guide for using technology and hands-on learning to experience Heroes VBS at home! Learn more or watch the promo videos via the links below.
—Stories from Adventist Health—
In Bakersfield, Adventist Health partnered up with City Serve to distribute soup packets last month for families and others in need. According to the Vice President of Partnership for Adventist Health, Kiyoshi Tomono, their work does not stop until people in their community are no longer hungry. Read the entire article from kget.com news via the link below.
Also, from Adventist Health
Mendocino Coast District Hospital and Adventist Health signed a management agreement in May. The hospital will draw on Adventist Health’s extensive experience, as well as its vast network and resources in Mendocino County, where Adventist Health operates two additional hospitals, Adventist Health Howard Memorial in Willits and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. Read the press release from Adventist Health below.
Learn more: adventisthealth.org/mendocino-county/
—Marielis George Aids COVID Patients as EMT in NYC—
When La Sierra transitioned to online classes in March, Marielis George, a senior pre-med student, decided to go home and continue her studies from there – and home for her was Yonkers – 20 miles outside of New York City. While her father wanted her to stay safely sheltered in their home, Marielis had other plans. A certified emergency medical technician, she felt called to serve on the front lines of the pandemic. In spite of the dangers and her own fears, she signed up to work as an EMT with an ambulance company in her hometown. “COVID isn’t going to stop me from trying to make a positive impact on those who cross my path," Marielis said. Read her story via the link below.
—Juneteenth Prayer March in Northern California—
On June 19, members of the Vallejo Central church in Northern California held a prayer march, walking about half a mile from their church to the steps of the Vallejo Police Department. They chose June 19, known as Juneteenth, because it’s the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Nearly 30 people prayed on the steps of the building, and several police officers came out to thank them and talk with them. What an awesome way to commemorate this significant date in history.
See photos of the march: facebook.com/vcsdachurch/posts/3211262858922118?__xts__=68.ARAMXp5T4gBSbRE5DTP8DpQeOZanJSIvRT2xd6eXbT-3HOTHtoMYxaQgOlkh5JPzRIR6vDokdNdSSr6u5O2ndC4RGOWlb5I7TeQhum-Dl_vh0g5KnSaUyPs714Zbi7MvpkIaZ0X2DtN9l4wGa27c-qI5ZEJkQ3FDi07RRxpSScKPSdb0OaGyWm0UEmKSAvv70dPfm3Yoxs7Fb97V8U2KUU1UMKmyOEC7EvrSBs4sjOcj0kf129SLFAxtp97ioBElHCaD1Qx1om5i11v6iN90IK3QFHSkBT6ogBaraBsyMRVdxbD4xaNK_E9E35LOJDkcJ9nt-trsVjyi_EVWmNohLIBaHQ&__tn__=-R
—Independence Day 2020—
Tomorrow is Sabbath and the Fourth of July. Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. These are unusual times to be participating in the traditional celebrations – as the coronavirus restrictions will prevent fireworks, parades, and public gatherings in much of our Pacific Union and as events of recent weeks have been heavy on our hearts and minds. But the Fourth of July offers a wonderful opportunity for us to continue conversations we’ve been having—even during a difficult time. We are truly thankful for our country. We can count among our blessings our families, our faith, and God’s grace towards us.
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“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” –1 Peter 2:16