Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Reviewing the Pacific Union Recorder

January, 2008

GENERAL COMMENTS: In this review I will only comment of essays, news reports, and editorials that are not just “more of the same old stuff”. Ricardo and Jim, attention please! The following CCC report is especially for you.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA RE-ELECTS OFFICERS. First the facts. Between 2003 and 2007 this conference raised over $5,000,000 in annual offerings. This allowed the conference to hold 222 “full-scale public evangelistic meetings, [to support] 52 Bible workers, 105 New Work projects, 30 church plants, two full-time evangelistic teams and 13 new evangelistic initiatives”. The conference sponsored a “student literature evangelism program which trains youth for leadership, Bible work and outreach. . . During the last three years, 242 students visited 840,000 homes, distributed 317,000 Bible study interest cards, placed 153,000 books in people’s homes and personally visited 1,648 people for Bible studies. The students distributed $1.2 million worth of literature. . .Tithe has increased steadily for over 10 years, reaching over $25 million in 2006. Conference reserves stand at 112 percent of the amount recommended by the GC.”

Now for the payoff. “5,753 members were added to the CCC in the last three years through baptism, profession of faith and transfers. Membership at the end of 2006 stood at 32,701, up from 31,054 in 2003. In other words, membership increased by 1,647. Why only 1,647? Why did 4,106 people leave the church between 2003 and 2006? (No number is given for membership deaths, so none is assumed.) This number assumes only that transfers in and out of the conference balance out, and that the new members “evangelized” include children attending Adventist schools in the conference.

When one considers the outcome of the CCC's efforts, the Adventist Church’s traditional methods of evangelism must be considered pointless and a huge waste of money and time. Two questions are immediately obvious. Why did 12% of the 2003 membership "leave" the church? "Why are Adventist evangelistic efforts so ineffectual? These questions need to be addressed by North American, union, conference and local leadership, ASAP!

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Richard H. Utt’s comment entitled, “Errors and Orchids”, is an apt description of the readers’ comments.


CAMP WAWONA APPROVED FOR REDEVELOPMENT This camp is in Yosemite National Park and the approval has been earned after a twenty-year struggle with local and national bureaucracy. Way to go folks! Perseverance is an underrated virtue.

OUTDOOR EVANGELISM DRAWS CROWDS in Ventura, California, and the West Jordan Church in Utah. While this “full-sized replica of the Old Testament tabernacle” draws crowds and raises money, it promotes an Old Testament view of God. Christ isn’t a scary being sitting on the lid of the ark or hovering between the wings of golden cherubim.

The words “Messiah’s Mansion” “prayer retreat” and “Paul Harvey, news legend”, “tofu steaks”, “the edge of eternity”, and “non-taxable IRA Transfers” have just been included in my list of Adventist oxymorons. In just eleven pages!

When FALLBROOK MEMBERS ASSIST FIREFIGHTERS, I cheer! Unfortunately, the names of those thirteen wonderful adults and kids are not identified by name. Reporters and editors, work a little harder.


REDDING ADVENTIST ACADEMY CROSS-COUNTRY COACH WINS AWARD is an amazing story of what kids in a school with only fifty-six students can do. The six boys who ran so well that their coach was named “2007 Northern Section Cross-Country Coach of the Year Award” (for both public and private schools) are pictured but not named! Unforgivable!

NUTS TO YOU by Dynnette Kenneth Hart is informative and motivating. Great job!

Alan J. Reinach, Esq. is very persuasive when he writes, “Learning to live together in peace, despite our religious differences, is among the most important things we can do for national security and world peace.” RELIGIOUS LIBERTY BUILDS BRIDGES.

LOVE MOTIVATES SAVANNAH EDWARDS TO RAISE FUNDS IN MEMORY OF COUSIN, Stephen Dysinger, 13, who died of a rare form of cancer that attacks muscle cells and connective tissues, called Rhabdomyosarcoma. Savannah, eleven, says that Jesus’ special gift to her is “acts of love and service for others.”

ASSEMBLYMAN NAKANISHI VISITS PUC. As a PUC ’63 alum myself, I’m proud that his life of service to others as a physician and elected official of the Tenth Assembly District began on Howell Mountain where my mother, Pauline Sturges, arrived in a stagecoach in 1918.

ADVENTIST RODDERS CLUB CELEBRATES 10 YEARS. Jim White, a member of the Camelback Church plans to use his “newly purchased classic car. . .as a witnessing tool”. Jim, is that the story you told your wife?

When the UNION PROVIDES FREE WEB MINISTRY HELP, they aren’t kidding. Check out Click on the Internet Ministries link.

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