Thursday, February 7, 2008

Reviewing the Pacific Union Recorder

February, 2008

Anyone who believes Adventists are not out there evangelizing should read this month's Recorder.

In Southern California the Central Filipino Church celebrated fifty years of "the congregation's involvement with evangelism", in Malibu, an evangelistic series was held despite fires, the Lincoln Heights Spanish Church's half century celebration emphasized "sharing in the community", San Gabriel Academy's "Journey to Bethlehem" event drew 1500 visitors, and pastors honed their evangelism skills in Simi Valley.

In Southeastern California, the Palm Springs SDA church's Christmas Float won a second place trophy in the non-profit organization category, and a "Go Fish" Conference provided "the most current research and information on the 21st century child".

In the Central California Conference, a former priest is preaching the “Three Angeles Messages” in Fresno, a "Prayer Conference Overflows with Teens", the Oakdale SDA Church hosted a six-week “Decoding Prophecy” seminar, and Steve Wohlberg, speaker/director of White Horse Media, in Fresno, California, presented "America in Prophecy" to 100 Pentagon personnel.

There was a Creation Conference sponsored by the Auburn Church in Northern California, and a church was planted in Granite Bay. In Hawaii the first Hispanic Congress was held at Camp Waianae.

The Pacific Union leadership and Adventist church members need to address the following questions: Why don't these energetic evangelistic efforts produce a significant growth in church membership? Could money and energy be better directed? An editorial and other news articles in this addition of the Recorder suggest a possible answer to these questions.

The editorial by Ricardo Graham, Pacific Union Conference President, is an admonition to individual church members to shape up, to get our vision priorities "into alignment" with God's. The focus here is not service to some greater community but inward introspection. Ricardo, acceptance of the twenty-eight doctrines of the Adventist Church is ephemeral even for you when it comes to aligning your vision properly. “I have found that I must repeatedly seek the Lord throughout my day. Not because He moves from me, but because I move from Him. I pray repeatedly, not because he doesn't hear me the first time, but because I don't hear Him the first time.”

Could it be that it is service to others that produces the Christian "vision priorities" so central to effectively sharing our faith? What would happen if the money and effort spent on purely evangelistic efforts were spent in support of service ministries like those reported in this issue?

Karen Hanson Kotoske reveals that in 1980 "the Lord found me through service". KOTOSKE HONORED FOR PHILANTHROPIC EXCELLENCE is an amazing account of what one woman has accomplished. She has established Amistad International, a nonprofit charity that funds projects in twelve countries. She raises $500,000 annually and claims, "It is incredibly exciting! It's been an incredible walk with God." For more information about Kotoske’s ministry, go to

ANTIOCH AND CARSON CHURCHES WORK IN GUATEMALA is an inspiring story of a gospel ministry that included basic medical care and a plan to establish a permanent medical clinic. In Provo, Utah, the Adventist Church is building a new youth center. For information about GRAFFITI LEADS TO NEW YOUTH CENTER call Linda Walton, 801-362-0330.

In Phoenix, Arizona, the Community Service Center ministers to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of 200 people each week. The Center also "recently 'adopted' Career Success High School, which provides education for single mothers with children and for teens who have had trouble in other schools". Last year the Center provided toys for over 250 needy children. For information about COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED call 602-258-9951.

GLENDALE ADVENTIST HELPS SOUTH AMERICAN HOSPITAL by shipping an entire catheterization lab to Asuncion, Paraguay," including windows, cabinets and even countertops . . . [to be] installed in a new room built specifically to house this cath lab. The lab will open as early as spring of 2008”.

Yami Bazan is La Sierra University’s new VP for Student Life. Loma Linda University dedicates the Jerry L Pettis papers. Ashley Riviera is a graduate of Pacific Union College and Harvard Law School and a recipient of the "Women to Watch" award given to young women who use their positions of leadership to aid the cause of women's rights. Alan J. Reinach, Esq. offers advice about religion and politics in an election year. And Mark F. Carr, Ph.D., argues that two principles should be most relevant in our thinking about making a living in 2008: "One is the principle of sacrifice, the other that of justice or fairness.”

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