Pacific Union “All God’s People,” October 9, 2020 S4:E40
In this week's episode, join us for a historical profile of the Southeastern California Conference. From Los Angeles County, out to San Bernardino, and all the way to San Diego, learn about the ministries and mission taking place in the SECC. Today, the Southeastern California Conference is the largest conference in the Pacific Union, as well as the largest in the entire North American Division.
SECC online: secc.adventistfaith.org/
Also in this episode:
Southeastern Office of Education Taskforce Teams Help Schools Adapt—
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Southeastern is committed to delivering quality instruction in a safe environment, and the Office of Education took intentional steps to meet that commitment. Seven taskforces were formed and met together based on areas they felt were important to consider. The goal was to have each Adventist school in the conference open for in-person instruction this fall, with blended and remote learning options. This was made possible because of the conference’s commitment to provide every single classroom within its territory with Swivl technology—essentially, a robot on a stand with an iPad attached, which uses a remote sensor to follow the teacher’s movements in the classroom. This helps students at home connect with their classroom, interacting with their teacher in real time. Over the summer, teachers were also given additional training on digital instruction methods and student engagement.
Learn more about—
School Health & Safety: vimeo.com/441144757
Blended Learning: vimeo.com/444719489
Church Leaders Utilize Digital Tools to Inspire and Connect Community—
Pastors in Southeastern’s churches have worked tirelessly to keep their communities alive and connected during the pandemic. In the first weeks of the crisis last spring, the conference provided online worship services so that smaller churches could get adjusted to the new normal, and since that time, conference president Sandra Roberts has recorded a weekly update video to share what’s happening across the conference. Southeastern’s Youth Department did an amazing job in creating video children’s Sabbath School for 24 Sabbaths. Children and youth ministries pastors partnered with the Loma Linda University Church media team to create weekly videos that any of their churches could use.
SECC on Vimeo: vimeo.com/seccadventist
SECC Young Adults: seccyouth.com/
Southeastern California Conference Statement Against Racial Injustice—
In response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in June, Southeastern California Conference officers shared a statement against racial injustice. The full statement is available via the link below.
SECC Hosts Annual Youth Leadership Convention—
In mid-September, the Southeastern California Conference held its first-ever Virtual Youth Leadership Convention. The online event hosted nearly 500 Pathfinder, Adventurer, youth, and young adult leaders from across the conference. Workshop topics included club organization, friend choices and spiritual development, how kids learn, conflict management, youth culture, racial reconciliation and privilege, mental health and COVID-19, and many more. Over the course of the weekend, nearly 19,000 interactions took place on community boards, indicating that attendees were engaged with the convention and enjoyed connecting with and learning from each other, as they strive to become even better leaders serving our young people.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/SECCYouth
A Testimony of Second Chances—
Deborah Pardede, member of the Loma Linda Indonesian church, was one of the first COVID-19 patients in the Inland Empire.
Watch this Testimony: vimeo.com/447362788
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“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
– Romans 12:10
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” October 2, 2020 S4:E39
In this week's episode:
Learn about the history of the Hawaii Conference, including the founding of Hawaiian Mission Academy, as well as Ellen White's visit to Honolulu and the work of missionaries such as Abram La Rue and Henry Scott.
The work in Hawaii has continued to grow. As of August 2020, the membership of the Hawaii Conference is: 6,311 with 34 congregations! Praise God for the work of literature evangelists LaRue and Scott nearly 140 years ago.
Hawaiian Mission Academy Students Back on Campus—
Hawaiian Mission Academy is back to in-classroom instruction. They had adjusted to online learning from March 13 to the close of the last school year, but over the summer months, it was decided that classes could resume, earlier than normal. Students and staff have transitioned beautifully to the new guidelines and school started on Aug. 3. Every morning, students are required to come into the school office and get their temperature checked by a thermal camera, nicknamed “TERK” by the students. When they arrive in the classroom, desks are spread out according to CDC guidelines. The staff sprays the desks with disinfectant, while students wipe down their own desks with the cloths they received that morning. Chapels are currently still being conducted virtually through Zoom, with each class remaining in their homeroom. Even though school events, such as vespers, socials, and sports are not yet approved by the city and county, students are happy that most of their school routine has been approved. Let’s continue to pray for all our educators throughout Hawaii and the Union as they find new ways to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/HMA1920/
Hawaii Church Pastor's Technology Lessons Keep Members Connected—
How does a pastor teach older members how to use technology, like Zoom and Google Suite? Pastor Jean Clouzet of the Waimanalo and Wahiawa churches knew the challenge of reaching the Kapuna (or older members) would be high. When the churches were still meeting, he set aside Sabbath afternoons for technology lessons. “We wanted to focus on learning,” Pastor Clouzet said, “but also we wanted to stay organized.” So along with the video platforms, he taught Google suite so the members could have a hub to work together on church functions. Because of his determination and passion for connection, he has been able to get his church leadership all online and over a dozen ministries and church functions are meeting regularly. Members can access all of these meetings through a vast network of texting trees, shared church Google calendar appointment links via webpages, Facebook pages, and email newsletters. As an unexpected bonus of this online pivot, the churches have reached new visitors.
Wahiawa Church: wahiawahi.adventistchurch.org/
“Talk-o Tuesdays” Bring Hawaii Youth and Young Adults Together—
The Oahu Youth and Young Adults were able to gather online without skipping a beat. Although it was different, the technology and practice of using Zoom and other online platforms wasn’t new. Together, they coped with the swift changes and isolation — through prayer, Bible study, and bonding online. They decided to gather online every Tuesday to check in with each other, calling it “Talk-o Tuesdays.” When the restrictions were lifted, they were so grateful to gather, both virtually and face-to-face, staying within state guidelines. They began to gather outdoors in safer spaces and were able to sing, pray, and barbecue while visiting different beaches and parks around the island. When the beaches closed again, they were able to gather in church parking lots and participate in tailgate worship. As of now, they are holding tailgate worship in the parking lot of the Honolulu Central church. Although they are members of different churches, they are still one church body, one Ohana, in Hawaii. The young people report it is exciting to be a part of a thriving ministry that is Holy Spirit-driven. Blessings to all the young people of Hawaii!
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“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
– Acts 1:8
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” September 25, 2020 S4:E38
In this week's episode:
Learn about the history of La Sierra University—and about how they're operating campus online during the pandemic. La Sierra University’s faculty and staff have been on a mission to better connect with and serve La Sierra’s students.
During summer break, university departments drew upon all they had learned during spring quarter in preparation for teaching students this fall. Classes began online Sept. 21, with a few labs on campus, including biology’s virus research lab.
Faculty, who are normally on vacation during the summer, participated in more than 100 training sessions. Several in the College of Arts & Sciences developed their own video series on best technologies and practices.
La Sierra University:
See Historical Photos: lasierra.edu/cas/history-of-the-college/photo-gallery/
La Sierra's Chapel Podcast—
La Sierra's spiritual life department has created a number of avenues for virtual pastoral care and worship. Chapel is held Tuesday mornings on YouTube, Friday evening worship is hosted on Instagram, and virtual connections with the spiritual life team are held via Zoom.
Chapel Podcast: youtube.com/channel/UCRdWumSE6PN34Sa9uDiHq8A
Follow on Instagram: instagram.com/firstservice/
Wall Street Journal Again Ranks La Sierra No. 1 in Nation for Diversity—
For the third time in five years, La Sierra University is ranked No. 1 in the nation for its diverse environment by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education annual college ranking. La Sierra topped the “Environment” category for the 2021 college ranking released Sept. 17. The category, one of four, considers the diversity of the faculty and students, numbers of international students, and students supported by the federal Pell Grant. The Wall Street Journal ranked 797 colleges and universities for its 2021 college guide. La Sierra also ranked first in this category in 2017 and 2018, and second for diversity in the Journal’s 2019 and 2020 rankings.
Read the WSJ Article: wsj.com/articles/which-u-s-colleges-are-the-most-diverse-11600384325
La Sierra University Students Support La Sierra Food Pantry +
For the past six months, La Sierra University biomedical science majors Meagan Lopez and Shannon Grewal have been helping about 600 Riverside families a week receive the food they need by volunteering with the La Sierra Food Pantry, a ministry of the La Sierra University church. They didn’t anticipate the impact this experience would have on them.
The students packed boxes of food and provided them to community members, who drove up in their vehicles to the students’ distribution table in the church parking lot. Each box feeds about four people and is filled with canned goods, pasta, milk, bread, and fresh produce.
Meagan said, “To be a small part of bringing comfort in such an uncertain time has truly been a blessing.”
Shannon, who was baptized last spring, said, “Community outreach has been something that has allowed me to develop a stronger connection with God. I think this opportunity has not only allowed me to change the lives of others, but also my own.”
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/lasierrafoodpantryplus
The Mission of La Sierra University—
“As members of the diverse La Sierra University community, we are committed to inquiry, learning, and service. Our community is rooted in the Christian gospel and Seventh-day Adventist values and ideals.”
That is the mission statement of La Sierra University. Being ranked No. 1 in the nation for diversity is an incredible honor, but it is the hearts and lives that are being transformed every single day that make La Sierra such a special, unique institution of higher education right here in the Pacific Union. Blessings to you, La Sierra University, as you continue to Love. Serve. and Lead. in these challenging times.
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“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:12
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