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ALBERTAADVENTIST.CA/AAN

A Year of

DECEMBER 2020 EDITION

Power in the Cradle Forgiveness and Healing: There is a Balm in Gilead Successful Mistakes A New Song A Celebration of Hope


Highlights

To be like Jesus:

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Discipleship and Biblical Spirituality in the 21st Century Forgiveness and Healing: There is a Balm in Gilead

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atan used deceit to divide and rule a portion of the angels. Later he used it against Adam and Eve and thereby gained rulership of this world. By sowing mistrust, he caused a once unified and peaceful couple to turn upon themselves when confronted by their sin. He continues to effectively use this tactic against God's kingdom through his people today. This article explores God's solution to this challenge that Christians still face today.

Alberta Adventist News is a print and digital media publication of the Alberta Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Communication Director/Editor Eric Ollila; Co Communication unless otherwise noted. Submission Guidelines: albertaadventist.ca/aan; Submissions: aan@albertaadventist.ca

ELECTED OFFICIALS: President Gary Hodder; Secretary/VP for Administration Wayne Williams; Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Keith Richter; Board Members/EXCOM: Gary Ho Hetland, Curtis Letniak, Lara Melashenko, Japheth Ndhlovu, Terri Proud, Melanie Semchuk, Middin Galve-Sumiller, Deborah Silva, Sheldon Trenchuk, Griffin Webster. Departmental Clausen; Human Resources Officer Jennifer Williams; Education Superintendent Ronda Ziakris; Planned Giving & Trust Services/Philanthropy Director Lynn Mc Dowell; Foothill Project Development Director Llew Werner. ALBERTA CONFERENCE OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH: Address: 5816 Highway 2A, Lacombe, AB, T4L2G5. Office Hour MEDIA Twitter: ABAdventist, Facebook: ABAdventist, Instagram: ABAdventist, Website: albertaadventist.ca


DECEMBER 2020 EDITION 04 Message from the President 08 From the Editor 12 Devotionals

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16 Holiday Reflection 26 Department News 41 Education News 44 Church News 48 Announcements

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49 In Memory 50 Means & Meaning

16 A Year of Jubilee! I have heard it said that

with the uncanny chain of events that has taken place throughout 2020, we should cancel this year and move on to 2021. However, could it be that this disruption has been for our divine deliverance? What is God trying to tell us? What is the message in this perceived mess?

42 A Walk in the Park.

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. Although it seems we have been living in a dark, gloomy world, we cannot allow it to define us. Remembering our humanity is essential during COVID-19.

o-Editors Nanette Quines & John Simon; Graphic Design Mishell Raedeke/omnidesign.ca; Photo attribution: Alberta Adventist

odder—chair, Wayne Williams, Keith Richter, Benjamin Arias, Miguel Brown, Norman Ewing, Massiel Davila-Ferrer, Vicky Ford, Rayette Directors/Ministerial & Evangelism Director George Ali; Sabbath School, Children's and Personal Ministries Director Olaf ls Camp Director Troy McQueen; Youth Director Lyle Notice; Communication/IT/Media Director Eric Ollila; Risk Management/ rs: Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone: (403) 342-5044, Fax: (403) 775-4482 Email: info@ albertaadventist. ca SOCIAL


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Power in the Cradle

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n the year 1809, the whole world was looking at the campaigns of Napoleon. He had been on a mission to conquer the then-known world. He was having great success. He was winning one battle after another. Everywhere, the newspapers were reporting his marches, invasions, and victorious battles. The newspapers were headlining, “Destiny of the world being decided on the battlefields of Europe.” Most people could not give

you the details of those battles anymore. All that people remember is Napoleon's great loss at the Battle of Waterloo. The real history was being rocked in the cradles of the nations at that time. In 1809, several children were

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go for Me to be ruler in Israel. His origins are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” being rocked in those cradles, whose ideas and lives would markedly change the world. In that year, a young physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert. Everyone knows and

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has an opinion about this baby’s ideas that would start a revolution in thinking. In that same year, another child was born by the name of Edgar Allan Poe. His eventful, albeit tragic, life would be studied in schools throughout

the generations to come. Yet another figure of national pride was born in a log cabin in Kentucky by the name of Abraham Lincoln. His life would matter to an entire nation. Yes, on the surface, it seemed the exploits on the battlefield were the essential things of 1809, but the truly great things were being shaped in the cradles of the times.


The same could be said about the times when Jesus was born. The whole world was focused on what was happening in Rome and its consequences on Israel. Rome ruled the world, and that is where history was being made… or was it really? The emperor of the land was a person by the name of Caesar Augustus. He has just declared a census would be taken, and everyone would have to return to their home city to be registered and taxed. No one was thinking about a little baby soon to be born in Bethlehem. The Scriptures kept things in their proper light as the

prophet Micah recorded these words: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go for Me to be ruler in Israel. His origins are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (5:2). As we approach this Christmas season, let us not confuse the truly important with the season's trappings. We often get lost in thinking history is being made at the cash register, wondering which Christmas toy will be the most sought after, which home will be the best decorated, or what would

make the best Christmas gift. Let us remember Jesus is the reason for the season. He came as God's greatest gift for you and all mankind. Let us be wise enough to see the genuinely significant among the insignificance this Christmas.

Gary Hodder

President Alberta Conference

DECEMBER 2020

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DECEMBER 2020


FROM THE EDITOR

Lessons for Gospel Ministry from a Researcher at the Molson Coors Beverage Company

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little over ten years ago, on a plane ride in the U.S., I sat next to a middle-aged woman who worked for a large multinational beer company. I love meeting new people when I fly. It's something I always look for, hoping for an engaging encounter. On this particular day, I got my wish. My seatmate was friendly and inviting. We conversed with each other almost the entire two-hour flight. Considering the contrast in our occupations, it was surprising we had so much to say to each other. And in my history books, it was one of the most memorable conversations I've had on a plane ride. It went something like this: “Wow! A beer company! What company do you work for, if you don’t mind me asking?” “Molson Coors,” she replied as she proudly straightened her posture in her seat. “What do you do for them?” I asked. She had already asked what I did for a living. Given I was pastoring at the time, it may have been why she responded with a massive grin on her face, “Well, you may find this funny, but I sit in bars all day and talk to people.” I laughed! “Well, that sounds interesting — a 8

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DECEMBER 2020

job that could either be depressing or fun,” I quipped. “Oh, I love my work, and I have a lot of fun,” she quickly clarified. “Tell me,” I said, “why on earth would anybody pay you to sit in a bar and talk to people?” She laughed. “I’m a researcher,” she replied. After pressing her a bit further about specifics of her job, she confessed, “I study beer and people.” Both of us were laughing audibly now. This was going to make for an exciting conversation. “What do you do with your research results or findings?” I inquired. “Oh, wow,” she said. “That's a huge question. My research, and that of the team I’m on, goes toward all kinds of things.” “Oh yeah, like what,” I replied? She said, “Okay, well, here’s an exciting one that my team and I contributed toward. We discovered that there is a specific temperature the majority of our customers prefer to drink their beer.” I laughed, “Okay…go on.” “Yeah, right…” she said with a smile. “Most people think that all the customer needs is a cold beer. But what we discovered is that 'cold' isn’t always adequate. We learned that there is a specific level of coldness that is desirable and measurable.


Do I take people and spreading the gospel as seriously as Molson Coors takes marketing and distributing beer to their customers? As I reflected on this question, I became convicted in my heart. The witness and testimony of this lady, and perhaps the Holy Spirit using her, convicted me that my ministry was barely scratching the surface of what God wanted from me.

Often, when a beer drinker opens the fridge or cooler to reach for a beer, they see all these bottles or cans. They touch one. It seems cold to the touch. They grab it, thinking it is going to be delicious. But when they open it, perhaps it's still room temperature. It hadn't been in the fridge long enough. Or maybe it's too cold. It sat near the back, where it's freezing, so it's starting to turn slushy. Either way, it's a bad experience for them. And what is worse is that negative experience is associated with our brand. And sometimes, it may even spell a wasted beer. Worst case, they might not drink our beer and instead reach for another beer that happens not to be our brand." “So what did you do with this research,” I gently prodded. She went on. “The research data we collected was taken and used in marketing. In particular, marketing developed a label and a can with ink that changes colour when the beer reaches that ideal temperature. So, now on some of our bottles, like Coors Light, you have labels where the mountains change colour when the beer is ready to drink. And we've found that our customers like this feature. So, that DECEMBER 2020

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FROM THE EDITOR

was an exciting result we have seen come from our research,� she concluded. As I listened to and watched her explain about the work in which she engaged, I was impressed with the enthusiasm, energy and passion she had. I couldn't help but reflect on my ministry in the Church. I couldn't help reflect on ministry in general within the Church. Wow! I thought. This lady is so excited about her research and a label that changes colour when a beer is cold!

convicted me that my ministry was barely scratching the surface of what God wanted from me. With scientific accuracy, did I know as much about people and their susceptibility to receiving the gospel as this beer company did about its customers who drink beer? Did I see what subtle challenges or dilemmas they face? Did I know

“

Molson Coors did with its customers and beer. For the last 10+ years, I have been on a quest to become that kind of minister. I want to be a scientific

We need businessmen and women, sociologists, psychologists, and marketing professionals studying people and how best to take the gospel to the millions of niche markets that exist in the world today. We need doctors and scientists who look into the effects of the gospel in their field and successfully convert those studies' findings into actionable data." Do I take people and spreading the gospel as seriously as Molson Coors takes marketing and distributing beer to their customers? As I reflected on this question, I became convicted in my heart. The witness and testimony of this lady, and perhaps the Holy Spirit using her, 10

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how to help people have a positive experience with the gospel instead of a frozen or lukewarm one? I couldn't help but feel the weight of this thought. I knew that not one of the churches or ministries I worked with approached ministry with the same intensity and rigour as

DECEMBER 2020

worker and a seasoned expert at communicating, marketing, researching and spreading the gospel. And to my encouragement, I have since met several individuals, professionals, businesses, institutions, and ministries with a similar


conviction. They are pursuing gospel ministry in a more scientific, organized and systematic way. The major challenge I have discovered is God's collective Church is decades (conservatively) behind the times in harnessing technological, scientific, and general leadership principles that would enable us to collectively understand the people we are trying to reach, at an advanced level, and be able to translate that data into actionable information for pastors and ministry leaders, in a short time. Don't get me wrong. There are modern-day exceptions to

this critique. But, as a collective Church, we need a lot more than what is currently happening. We need businessmen and women, sociologists, psychologists, and marketing professionals studying people and how best to take the gospel to the millions of niche markets that exist in the world today. We need doctors and scientists who look into the effects of the gospel in their field and successfully convert those studies' findings into actionable data. Data that decisionmakers and ministry leaders can use on a day-to-day and operational basis. To apply this story to our context. When our customer or prospect (the believer or potential believer in Jesus) is standing at the cooler or fridge (i.e. facing the world) and is presented with multiple competing options (i.e. the various bottles of competing interests with Jesus), how do we help make the right choice easier (i.e. lower the obstacles to choosing Jesus) every time? What can we use as a Church to help them know which option is the right

choice? What's our colourchanging ink and packaging? And what are we doing to research these people so that we can understand the kinds of options and obstacles they face on a day-to-day basis? What types of temperatures are they confronted within their lives? These are just a few of the questions that flooded my mind while talking with that lady. And the lesson? Well, I'll leave that up for you to decide. For me, the takeaway was clear: I need to pursue ministry with a radically more advanced and scientific approach. I am thankful I met her–the lady who sat in bars all day and talked to people. I learned a lot from her and the company she worked for–the Molson Coors Beverage Company. I wish my Church would pursue Gospel Ministry as seriously as Molson Coors Beverage Company does the business of selling beer.

Eric Ollila

Communication/IT/Media Director Alberta Conference

DECEMBER 2020

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A NEW DEVOTIONAL

“Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has done wonderful deeds. He has won a mighty victory by His power and holiness.” Psalm 98:1

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n January 2, 2003, my family and I moved to Ontario, Canada. It was an extreme change for the whole family, especially for me, due to two primary reasons: 1) the winter season and 2) the language. The day of installation was January 5. On that day, I had the privilege of meeting Genevieve Lee-Loy, a retired teacher and wife of the first elder for one of our churches, Brother Sam Lee-Loy. One day, Sister Lee-Loy asked me if I was interested in taking English classes. She was willing to be the teacher. We met once per week, and during the learning process, we laughed a lot about anything. I treasure, even more today, the good times we spent together. Time passed by, but we kept in contact. With the years, her health was getting poor, and the passing of

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her husband was tough. In one of our conversations over the phone, I shared with her a devotional she really enjoyed: “A New Song,” by J. Briscoe: “Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has done wonderful deeds. He has won a mighty victory by His power and holiness.” (Psalm 98:1). Who needs a new song? Do you ever get tired of the old tune? I do! A new song! Spiritually, many of us need a new song to sing. Some of us are sung out, tired of singing solo or of being lost in a big choir where no one notices our contribution! God can give us a new song to sing. It will start when we meet with God and tune in to the vibrations of heaven. Songs you’ve never sung before have a fresh, sweet, winsome sound that alert those around you to the state of your soul. God gave

DECEMBER 2020


W SONG “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb…”

me a new song when my children got married, when my husband had to be away a lot, and when I got sick and had to have a scary operation. They were new songs because I’d never been in those situations, and new situations require new songs. They were not always happy songs, but who says all songs are happy ones? A minor key can be just as pretty as a major one. The important thing is to sing a song—a new song of faith and hope, of selfdiscovery or God-discovery, at every turn of the road, every station, every resting place. Just today I asked Him to help me find something to sing about as I washed up a pile of dirty dishes. He helped me compose a new song over the kitchen sink. God is never stuck for a tune. New songs are the Spirit’s business — ask Him to give you one.

Sister Lee-Loy got so excited with the reading and asked me to read it for her again. Throughout our conversation the next time I called her, I noticed something was not quite right. She started forgetting things, names, and eventually people. On March 17, 2019, Sister Lee-Loy died unexpectedly. On “that day,” when Jesus returns, she will sing a song with all the redeemers, according to Revelations 15:3: "And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” Are you excited about singing this “new song”?

Alexandra Hichez-Alvir Church Auditor, Alberta Conference

DECEMBER 2020

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DEVOTIONAL

Successful Mistakes

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Proverbs 24:16

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player who reached him first right. I realized I had a choice. n important football and patted him on the back, I could sit in my misery, or I event happened in 1964 consoling the player as he began could do something about it.” when Jim Marshall, a to realize what he had just done. In the second half of the game, legendary defensive end for the The players recall there was he forced a fumble that conMinnesota Vikings, ran the foota buzzing in the stadium for tributed to his team’s victory. ball the wrong way for a safety the rest of the game that would “For though the righteous fall (two points for the other team). not go away. It was the sound seven times, they rise again, but It has been voted by NFL Films of people talking and laughing the wicked stumble when calamas one of the worst follies in ity strikes” (Proverbs 24:16). National Football League history. about the baffling play they had just seen. And when the game Mistakes are going to happen. The play began when Billy was over, Jim had to deal with Take the pressure off. What Kilmer, a San Francisco 49er, the press, who began calling him matters is getting back up. This caught a pass but was hit and “Wrong Way Marshall.” It was a is called “learning.” This is fumbled the ball. Just then, devastating, very public failure. called “growth.” This is called Marshall, who was trailing the In an interview with NFL “life.” The alternative is having play, came up, scooped the ball, your life defined by one missed and began running in the wrong Films, Marshall said, “It took a lot of guts” to go back out step. The Scriptures say the direction. His teammates from onto the field. “I had made way of righteousness will be the sideline were yelling, “You're the biggest mistake you can full of falls and failures, but going the wrong way,” but Marprobably make.… If you make the good stuff is found right shall ran 66 yards to the wrong a mistake, you’ve got to make it after you get up. Therefore, as end zone. It was an opposing we navigate our lives through these uncertain times, mistakes will be made, but we continue to learn, rise again, and walk into a bold new future.

Moises Ruiz

Youth Pastor, Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church and Pastor at Epic Church

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DECEMBER 2020


CHRISTMAS

STORY

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7


HOLIDAY REFLECTION

A Celebrati

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What we are celebrating is not just the

he Christmas season brings up many warm feelings and memories. It is the time of year the Christian world has chosen to celebrate the birth of Christ. That story in itself has produced countless books, inspiring music, art, plays, and pageantry of all kinds as people try to portray that wondrous event. The season brings families and friends together in ways that have no parallel at any other time of the year. Communities become festive, lights and decorations abound, and the atmosphere is

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filled with good wishes and a generous spirit. When we stop to look behind the story and think about what it is really all about, the story of the birth of Christ is not just a sweet story of a young boy, an angel, a hasty trip to Bethlehem, and a makeshift birthing studio in a manger. It is much, much more profound. What we are celebrating is not just the birth of a baby, but the birth of hope. The baby was not only a male child. He was God mysteriously transformed into a male child. And why would He do that? To

DECEMBER 2020

establish hope in a world where there was no hope. Adam and Eve were created in an atmosphere where hope was not needed. They were constantly in the presence of God. They needed nothing more. Then an enemy offered them a new hope where they would not just be in the presence of God, but they could be “like God� (Genesis 3:5). And they accepted it, for themselves and all generations to follow. It was a false and hopeless proposition. Humanity found itself in a place of no hope of a future that could be purchased, earned, or devised.


ion of Hope

e birth of a baby, but the birth of hope.

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1,2

However, God, in His love and wisdom, promised a solution for humanity. Until the male child arrived in Bethlehem, it was a promise based on God's word. When He came, He established the promise as a reality. Paul summarized it in this way: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through

whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1–2, NKJV). The real reason to celebrate this season is the hope that has been established and guaranteed because of the birth of The Child.

Pastor Bill Spangler Retired pastor at the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventist

DECEMBER 2020

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FEATURE

PART

III

TO BE LIKE

Discipleship and Biblical Spiritualit

In this five-part series, we will be exploring the meaning and method of disciple in ancient times and ask ourselves how we might live better lives as modern dis

Forgiveness and Healing: There is a Balm in Gilead

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n our modern discourse, the concept of divide and conquer is commonplace and widely practiced. Consequently, anti-monopoly laws are pervasive in Western nations because we all know what happens when too much power accrues to one entity, be it a person or organization. When businesses get too powerful, governments force

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them to divide into smaller, independent units to allow for a fairer playing field. Militarily, if a force can be divided, it can more easily be overcome by one division at a time. This strategy has come to be known as “divide and conquer” after the ancient Roman tactic of divide et impera (“divide and rule”). Taken in a biblical context, this word

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“rule” clarifies and amplifies what Adventists understand to be the great controversy between Christ and Satan: a battle for universal rulership. As Bible students, we can trace the source of this battle to the Garden of Eden. In the same way Satan had so successfully planted strains of discord in one-third of the angelic host (see Rev.


E JESUS:

ty in the 21st Century

eship and biblical spirituality sciples of Jesus. By Olaf Clausen

Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries Director

12:3–4), so too did he use deceit to divide and rule Adam and Eve and thereby gain rulership of this world (see Eph. 2:13; Matt. 4:8–9; John 12:31, 14:30). By sowing mistrust, he caused a onceunified and peaceful couple to turn upon themselves when confronted by their sin (see Gen. 3:12–13). He continues to effectively use this tactic

against God's kingdom through his people today. In large part, I would suggest Satan accomplishes this manipulation when Christians consciously or unconsciously refuse to reconcile their personal relationships. When we refuse to humble ourselves, either by confessing our sins to one another or practicing

When we refuse to humble ourselves, either by confessing our sins to one another or practicing forgiveness with those who have sinned against us, we open entering wedges by which Satan can initiate division and impose his rule. Consequently, we rob God's people of the peace, the shalom, of the unity of the Kingdom." forgiveness with those who have sinned against us, we open entering wedges by which Satan can initiate division and impose his rule. Consequently, we rob God's people of the peace (shalom) of the unity of the kingdom. This was the case in the time of Jeremiah the prophet just before the destruction of the temple and the Jewish

DECEMBER 2020

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FEATURE

people's captivity. In chapter 8, Jeremiah laments the backsliding (see v. 2) and lack of repentance (see v. 6) of the nation, noting that deceitful prophets and priests only superficially dress the wounds of the people by assuring them there was indeed peace (shalom) in the nation (see v. 11) when there was none. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when looking to the future. He prophesied, “They will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4, NKJV). Consequently, Jeremiah asked a metaphorical question: “Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why 20

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Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then, is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jer 8:22 NKJV) then, is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jer. 8:22, NKJV). Gilead, the ancestral home of Elijah the prophet (see 1 Kings 17:1) and the location from which the Ishmaelite traders had come before enslaving Joseph, who, like Elijah, was a herald of the Messiah (see Gen. 37:25), was renowned for its healing balm. However, Jeremiah was not calling for a physical balm for physical ailments. He was calling for a spiritual balm for very serious spiritual ailments: wickedness, unrepentance, shamelessness, and, finally, deceitfully proclaiming peace when there was no peace. One Jewish commentary

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frames Jeremiah's lament thusly: “Are there no merits or acts of righteousness that can advocate favorably on behalf of my people?” 1 Another says, “Are there no prophets and righteous men among them to heal their spiritual sickness?” 2 Ultimately, in order for there to be enduring kingdom peace among God's people, there must first be a true spirit of repentance and forgiveness. Given our fallen human nature, the only way that can happen is to accept the Holy Spirit's healing, spiritual balm, which comes through believing in the one, righteous Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. It is


through this empowerment that we can overcome our natural tendency toward self-righteousness and discord and freely practice repentance, forgiveness, and healing: Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace [Hebrew equivalent, shalom] of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:12–16, NKJV) Remarkably, in one of Jesus' 1 2

final petitions to God, He prays that His disciples’ unity would be a witness of His Messiahship: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21, NKJV). Beloved, Satan knows divisions among us diminish our witness to the world. Therefore, as disciples of the Master, we must fervently pray for the Spirit of unity, that Jesus may be lifted up in the world. This is one attribute of true discipleship: our willingness to let God humble us and make us peacemakers in an increasingly conflicted and divided world. Today, amid the turmoil of our world, let us pray for unity and peace as a witness to the power

Artscroll Series Stone Edition Tanach, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, NY, p. 1092. J.H. Hertz, Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Soncino Press, London, UK, p. 1039.

of the Holy Spirit to bring forgiveness and healing — a spiritual balm of Gilead. Join me next time for Part 4 of our exploration of biblical discipleship entitled Prayer and Fasting: Petition and Intercession. Pr. Olaf Clausen, MA is the Alberta Conference Director of Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries. He is a specialist in Judeo-Christianity for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada and North American Division Jewish Ministries.

Olaf Clausen

Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries Director

DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

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FEATURE

A Year of Wow, what a year! Who would have thought? Who would have guessed? A global pandemic that has disrupted and impacted the world like never before in history. As a matter of fact, we are still being impacted by COVID-19.

I

sometimes wonder, ‘Will life ever be the same? Will the church ever be the same? Will there ever be a sense of normalcy? What exactly will normal look like?’ Although it has been with us for several months now, it would seem as if the world has changed overnight. While there are troubling questions that are constantly looming on the horizon, with seemingly no concrete answers in sight, a series of questions is on the forefront of my mind: Is COVID-19 a year of rest? A year of renewal? A year of rejuvenation? A year of rehabilitation? A year of restoration? A year of reconsecration? A year of revival? Perhaps a year of reset? Maybe, from a biblical perspective, a type of jubilee? Have you ever heard of the word “jubilee”? I remember coming across the word in

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my undergraduate years at CUC. At first, I didn’t know the exact meaning, but I figured it had something to do with feelings of joy and celebration. What Is the Year of Jubilee? In the Leviticus 25:1–13, there was something called “the year of jubilee”; it happened every 50th year. The word “jubilee” comes from the Hebrew word yobel, which means “trumpet.” The trumpet would be blown to signal what is called “the year of the Lord.” This was a specific time in biblical history that impacted the Israelite nation. Ultimately, this was a time of forgiveness. People would be released from debts, slaves were freed from their owners, property was returned, there was no planting or harvesting, people were to return to their families and loved ones, and the year was dedicated to the Lord.

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Jesus and Jubilee When Jesus began his ministry, the Bible says in Luke 4:16–19 that He entered the temple, stood up, and read Scripture. Jesus shared his mission statement, saying at the end, “to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” He was quoting from Isaiah 61:1–2. Interestingly, Jesus starts His ministry by proclaiming “jubilee” for the people to whom He was about to minister. His ministry was all about freedom and liberty. In fact, Jesus was preaching liberation theology, liberating those in bondage physically, mentally, and spiritually. Is Jubilee Possible in Modern Society? Of course, this would not be like the exact, literal jubilee, the year of celebration. However, there is still a meaningful and practical application that


could be utilized in the specific areas of our personal lives. Family Because of the global pandemic, we have been encouraged to practice social distancing and, in some cases, isolation and mandatory lockdowns. We have had to change how we do life. The government and health officials ask Canadians to stay home as far as possible and only go out for the necessities. This has given us a unique opportunity to be at home and spend more quality time with family. Never has there been a time like this where globally, families have had to shelter in place. I see this is a type of jubilee blessing because we have almost been mandated to stay at home. Over several decades, work and productivity have taken first place in many people’s lives. This has helped lead to the breakdown of families. Some households work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Although the full economic impact is still yet to be seen, I believe the time with families could be seen as a positive thing.

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FEATURE Restored Community In Acts 2:36–43 and 4:32–37, there are beautiful pictures of the disciples practicing intentional community. They are selling property and land, sharing wealth, and eating food together in this shared community. It is a brilliant picture of what biblical community looks like. The community has been challenging to create and maintain. With this isolated time that COVID-19 has given us, we must find new ways to build, develop, and support the community. Yes, this is hard to do physically due to restrictions and health concerns, but perhaps technology can still provide a sense of restored community. Equality The year of jubilee was especially important for those who were in poverty. This was a time where redistribution and upliftment were possible. The disparity between those who had and those who didn't was leveled. Those plagued by extreme poverty levels were allowed to gain back all that was lost and restart at an equitable place. Could it be that God is inviting us to help play a pivotal role in providing equality for those who have been disenfranchised? Forgiveness Jubilee was all about forgiveness. Those who had unpaid debts would be offered loan forgiveness. The 24

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Jubilee can be seen as a metaphor for rest. In our everyday life, think about the areas where the jubilee principle can be applied? responsibility was placed on the debtor and the person who offered the loan: the creditor. It was not only applied to economic debt cancelation, but also spiritual debts. It is said that many people suffer adverse health effects due to unforgiveness. Forgiveness has the power to give freedom and healing by releasing past hurt and pain and allow for spiritual healing to take place.

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God When it comes to dedicating the year to God as the ancient Israelites did, perhaps we should dedicate this coming year to God by focusing on health, healing, rest, and rehabilitation. Jubilee was a constant reminder of His faithfulness and mercy to His people, even when it was not deserved. This ultimately signified coming back into a right relationship with God. What Can Jubilee Mean for Me Today? Jubilee can be seen as a metaphor for rest. In our everyday life, think about the areas where the jubilee principle can be applied. Are there people you need to forgive? Is there someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness? Is there a community that needs to be repaired? Are their relationships that need to be restored? How can you implement intentional rest into your life? How can you spend quality time with your family? How can you dedicate this year to God?


A Year of Jubilee for Everyone "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants� (Leviticus 25:10, KJV). There is this idea that many people were to benefit from this jubilee. From a biblical perspective, jubilee was not only for the benefit of the Israelites; it was a model for all nations throughout the world. Could it be that God wants all people globally to experience the powerful impact of spiritual and physical jubilee? A sense of rest and peace from labor? Forgiveness unto one another? A sense of freedom from worry? A sense of restored community?

Conclusion I have heard it said that with the uncanny chain of events that has taken place throughout 2020, we should cancel this year and move on to 2021. However, could it be that this disruption has been for our divine deliverance? What is God trying to tell us? What is the message in this perceived mess? I would like to think God is allowing the world to reset. One example is that we have been spending time indoors. The environment is experiencing a type of rest never seen in decades due to humanity's overuse and overconsumption. As people, land, and property were released, we are also

released from our debts that could not be adequately paid. We were once captive to sin, but through the grace of God and the blessings of His divine jubilee, we can experience equality, forgiveness, freedom, liberty, and rest from God, our loving, heavenly Father. I praise God for this type of modern-day year of jubilee.

Dr. Lyle Notice

Youth Director Alberta Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist

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DECEMBER 2020

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DEPARTMENT

NEWS

Dory Quines making tuna sandwiches. Evelyn Vasquez packaging sandwiches. Brad Boehner and Daniel Mbewa buttering bread.

Ongoing Ministry of the Red Deer Soup Kitchen T

he days are getting shorter, and our line-ups for food packages at the door are getting longer. We average about 170 meals each time we serve. Every group from the various churches has their own menu plan and assembly line techniques. A round of applause is sent out to you co-ordinators and volunteers for the amazing meals you prepare. Thank you! Thank You! And to those who send food of all kinds and financial support to help us, we thank you and praise the Lord for all of your generosity. Our outreach vision continues to evolve.

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Since we no longer serve meals in the dining area, much of our supplies and resources are at hand on the main floor, including winter wear, jeans, shoes, and boots, as well as ever-needed socks, underwear, and simple toiletries to hand out. Half our dining room space has been cordoned off to create a drop-in meeting place on Sabbath morning, not for a meal, but for a hot drink and an opportunity to share life, pray, encourage one another, and speak of the goodness of the Lord. Darby Nielsen, our outreach co-ordinator,


DEPARTMENT NEWS

Martha Boehner mixing up egg salad for sandwiches. Brooke Boehner on salad prep. Dennis Rondael and Elena Vasquez filling containers with salad.

Rolly Pelletier stirring and watching the soup pots. Rodney Caponpon — General Manager. Ron Quines — expert dish washer.

Socrates and Jennifer Somigao on quality control, Janelle Garciano preparing cutlery kits, Wanda Pelletier manning packages, Medi Caponpon and Nemia Barnedo — Supervisors extraordinaire.

continues to do his walkabout in which to invite the street population. We pray those who come will find not only a warm welcome but an encounter with the God who loves them. Please continue to support these

efforts to minister to body, mind, and spirit. Help us reach our goal of creating Christian community in the heart of Red Deer.— Submitted by Jane Holmes Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church DECEMBER 2020

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

Master Guide Ministry Hosts Forum on Social Justice O n June 28, the Master Guide ministry within the Youth Department, led by the Executive Coordinator Samantha Tshuma, facilitated an online panel that addressed systemic inequality and social justice. The panel featured guest presenters such as the Honorable Justice Donald McLeod, Pastor Patrick Jacques, Pastor Matthew Feeley, Nwamiko Madden, Cheri Notice, Constable Jacqui Buchanan, and Lacombe’s own social activist, Dieulita

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Datus of Ubuntu — Mobilizing Central Alberta. The purpose of this online forum was to engage in meaningful dialogue as an education tool. This past summer, a series of social and political events occurred within the United States, the primary one being the death of George Floyd, which sparked revolutionary response to racial and social injustice around the world. There were multiracial marches, demonstrations, and rallies staged globally. It was thought that with the

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conversations young people were having at the time, it would be good to gather expert voices and practitioners to engage in dialogue on the important subject matter. The more we talk about race and justice constructively, the further along we push the conversation that will hopefully spark a love revolution that will lead to more justice, racial harmony, and unity. — Submitted by Submitted by Dr. Lyle Notice, Youth Director, Alberta Conference


DEPARTMENT NEWS

Pathfinders Celebrate Over 70 Years of Ministry

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n September 19, 2020, the Alberta Conference celebrated a wonderful and momentous occasion. It was the celebration of 70 years of Pathfinding ministry around the world. “Pathfinder ministry may be the most effective evangelistic initiative in the Seventh-day Adventist Church today,” says Gary Blanchard, youth director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC). “Like ‘arrows in the hands of a warrior,’ God is sending Pathfinders young and old into churches, campuses, cities, and unreached countries of the world with the three angels message. [sic]” The Pathfinder ministry was voted into existence by the world church in 1950. Pathfinders is for youth from the ages of 10–15. It was created to help youth learn about practical life skills, biblical knowledge, service to others, and how to be a follower of Christ. To date, there are over 2 million pathfinders in over 60,000 countries in the world! World Pathfinder Day has been a tradition since 1957; this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Pathfinder program which started in 1950. We had a great time with both a morning program at 11:30 a.m. and an afternoon program at 4:00 p.m. We invited Pastor Brian Walh,

Union Youth Director and British Columbia Youth Director, to be our guest speaker over a Zoom call to help celebrate. It was a powerful experience. Pathfinders shared live special music and videos, and pictures displayed Pathfinder clubs out and about in the community helping to bag customers’ groceries. There were also Pathfinders reading and reciting biblical passages, and there was even one Pathfinder who demonstrated how to make up her bed. It was great to see that even though COVID-19 is here, pathfinders are still active and engaged in Pathfinder ministry! Pastor Brian shared about how we are to remain faithful even in difficult circumstances. He pointed out that as much as we are to remain steadfast in trying and unforeseen circumstances, more importantly, God remains faithful to us even when we are not faithful. The celebration was one to remember. Seventy years have come, and by God’s grace, there will be many more to come. All in all, we know, global pandemic or not, God will remain faithful and is coming back to take home those who love Him, so we must remain faithful, even in these unprecedented times! — Submitted by Dr. Lyle Notice, Youth Director, Alberta Conference DECEMBER 2020

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Bubbles W DEPARTMENT NEWS

hen you think of bubbles, especially when they are blown, it makes you smile. When I was younger, I used to enjoy playing with bubbles. I have happy memories of playing with them. It was fun to blow them in the air and watch them, and they moved freely, gracefully, and transparently. Bubbles have this protective quality about them; it protects and preserves what's inside yet prevents things from the outside. Interestingly enough, a bubble consists of three layers. A bubble always attempts to form a sphere because surface tension pulls liquid inward. When light hits the different layers, there is interference causing it to appear colorful. In a global pandemic, when the world is partially closed, we cannot gather in the ways we used to do so. Our lives have changed; the world has turned upside down. Some major questions young people are asking are: • What does the future of church look like? • How do we stay connected to God? • How do we still maintain a sense of community? • How do we stay missional?

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To remain relevant and meaningful, we have to develop new and innovative ways to reach people. Perhaps the tension on the surface is pulling us inward, closer together in the form of bubbles. Perhaps the light of Christ, as it hits the layers of people, will cause us to become more colorful and multicultural in our bubbles. Maybe the Answer Is Bubbles? We have come up with a concept called “Bubbles,” which is a small-group initiative that helps the youth/young adults stay safe and provide resources to them amid COVID-19. Why Bubbles? The government has asked us to spend time in our social bubbles, which is a group of five-to-ten people with whom we spend most of our personal time, limiting the spread and transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

How Do We Make Bubbles Work? We need a facilitator or leader who will help guide the smallgroup bubble. The facilitator will commit to helping lead out in spiritual and social activities online, through Zoom,

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or in-person, while safely practicing social distancing. There can also be two coleaders who are available in case the primary leader is not.

How Frequently Do Bubbles Meet? Bubble groups will meet at least once a week via Zoom. You may also opt to meet for a missional project by practicing social distancing safely. What Helps Make Bubbles Grow and Flow? There are main directions that help Bubble Small Groups grow and flow: UP For bubbles to move up in a direction towards God and spiritual/heavenly things, there are activities the group can do. These activities will help keep the small group spiritually connected to God and empowered. In a global pandemic, there are so many things that help keep the youth distracted from God, seeing how we cannot freely worship at church because of the risk and spread of the virus. Counters to this include: • Devotionals for the social bubble gathering • Times of prayer • Creating prayer partners • Watching inspirational


DEPARTMENT NEWS

• • • • • •

messages, sermons, and video content together online Online-creative prayer event Having online worship gatherings Meeting while social distancing to pray and encourage one another Zoom discipleship meetings Instagram Live Q&A sessions on spiritual/ current trending topics Utilizing YouTube to create messages, videos, skits, and worship material Daily “devo” time for the group and online community

IN This global pandemic has been challenging for many people to socialize. We have been asked to stay inside and not meet in large-group settings. This has caused many people to feel socially isolated. People have felt trapped in a bubble. For Bubble members to feel and stay connected, here are several examples: • Regular Zoom calls • Houseparty app • WhatsApp group chats • Facebook parties • Provide online support groups • Nerf challenges with social distancing • Online dinner parties • Use TikTok to do oneminute devotionals • Use Kahoot to stay engaged as a

• •

social bubble Use Twitch to engage with youth Host Netflix parties

OUT Many have been asking, “How do we do ministry in a global pandemic? How do we still participate in active community outreach safely while practicing social distancing?” • Collect and distribute sanitary kits (facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towel, cleaning products, gloves, diapers, toiletries, feminine products) • Schedule a day to sanitize door handles of businesses • Create pop-up sacred spaces in your community for small groups of people • Deliver inspirational letters to mailboxes • Neighborhood mini-concert • Outside obstacle course for children • Virtual flash mob with positive messages • Outside exercise/ fitness classes • Online babysitting

• •

through Zoom Create positive video content for online viewership Create a podcast that helps youth/young adults stay engaged and connected to the church Use Snapchat and Instagram to create engaging content for youth

We are inviting all churches to participate in creating missional small groups that form social bubbles. The hope is that these social bubbles help reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission while drawing people closer to God and each other and continuing to inspire and encourage a missional spirit in the midst of a global pandemic.

Dr. Lyle Notice

Youth Director Alberta Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

DECEMBER 2020

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

“Unbreakable”

A Special Message from a General Conference Youth Director

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hat do you get when you have a powerful preaching ministry, a love for youth, and a global calling? You get someone like Pastor Pako Mokgwane. In 2015, while speaking for the South African Union Pathfinder Camporee in Dundee, South Africa, I met Pastor Pako at breakfast one day. It was a powerful experience. You could tell the young man had a purpose and calling. At the time, he was the youth director of the Botswana Union. He was filled with energy, passion, and love for life! It was several months later that he was elected the associate youth director of the General Conference. On October 10, Pastor Pako shared a powerful and spirit-filled message with the youth and young adults of the Alberta Conference. He spoke on the subject of the apostle Paul and the earthen vessel. We are earthen vessels. God made us all different, but when we submit to Him, He can use us to do powerful things, even amid challenges and unforeseen circumstances! Pastor Pako Pastor Pako emphasized Mokgwane it's not the vessel that matters; it's the content of the ship. Paul had something powerful in his boat: the grace of

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God. Paul chose to become a victim of grace, sharing the message of love, forgiveness, and grace with the world around him. Through this powerful, inspirational, and empowering message, Pastor Pako shared that while sometimes we encounter experiences that make us feel broken, we can have Christ, who is unbreakable. — Submitted by Dr. Lyle Notice, Youth Director ALBERTA CONFERENCE YOUTH EMPOWERMENT WEEKEND

OCTOBER 10, 2020 TIME: 11:30 AM | QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: 4:00 PM

Speaker:

Pako Mokgwane

General Conference Associate Youth Director Pastor Pako is passionate about Youth Evangelism through the various forms of media. Media and physical opportunities prompt each young person do their part to expedite the coming of the Lord, contributing to TOTAL MEMBER INVOLVEMENT and more intentionally TOTAL YOUTH INVOLVEMENT. He recently served as the Youth, Stewardship, and Communications Director for the Botswana Union Conference after first serving as a frontline pastor in both North Botswana and South Botswana Conferences.

More information: Dr. Lyle Notice

Youth Director The Alberta Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

5816 Hwy 2A, Lacombe, AB T4L 2G5 Phone: (403) 342-5044 ext 227 freshalbertayouth.ca/ lnotice@albertaadventist.ca


ALBERTA CONFERENCE YOUTH DEPARTMENT SMALL GROUPS INITIATIVE

Bubbles We have come up with a concept called “Bubbles” which is a small group initiative that helps youth/young adults to stay safe and provide resources amid the global pandemic “COVID-19.”

More information: Dr. Lyle Notice Youth Director The Alberta Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church freshalbertayouth.ca


DEPARTMENT NEWS

New Women's Ministry Leader:

Nicole Paradis-Sydenham We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul - not the grim strength of gritting your teeth, but the glory strength God gives.

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Colossians 1:11 MSG

icole Paradis-Sydenham was the first Canadian Conference Women’s Ministries Director to be appointed by a conference in Canada in 1990, and has served for over 20 years in three different conferences: Quebec, Manitoba, and, for 12 of those years, Alberta. She has been a speaker at women’s retreats in Canada, the US, and various camp meetings. Nicole has been an elder at the College Heights Church since 2001. Nicole likes to tell stories, make people laugh, but most of all, help others have a personal

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connection with Jesus. Her passion is to encourage others and share Bible truths relevant to what they are going through in their lives. Nicole recently retired as the Admissions Officer at Burman University, where she worked for over 20 years. She enjoys traveling with her husband, Ron, to Kenya and Rwanda on humanitarian projects with A Better World. She loves cooking a meal and getting together with their four children, their spouses, and 11 grandkids. A Note from the Women’s Ministries Leader — Nicole Paradis-Sydenham I am back as Women’s Ministries Leader after being away for several years. During these next few months, I will do my best, as the Women's Ministries Leader, with God's help, to serve the Alberta Conference's women. A great quote from Arthur Ashe reads, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” It is undoubtedly good advice at this time of history. This pandemic has taken a significant toll on our daily lives, both physically and mentally. Each day, new rules are started, as are new beginnings. So many of you who are Women’s Ministries Leaders for your local church volunteer for things that are close to your heart, noticing the needs of others. You are heroes! Thank you! We are in this together. We are not alone on this journey. Let us “Start, Begin, Do!” … and adapt. I am looking forward to connecting with you once again. God's blessings on each one. — Submitted by Nicole Paradis-Sydenham


DEPARTMENT NEWS

Up Close and Personal Vital information, ideas, activities, and important spiritual lessons specially for you and your family

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hen was the last time you read a book or substantial magazine article? Have you ever read an amazing write-up lately? Have you encountered an engaging composition? If you’d ask me, I’d say, “Yes, not too long ago.” If you’re one of those people who don’t make time to read Alberta Adventist News magazine and weekly eNews, you are missing out! Amazingly enough, I didn’t know about the weekly eNews and Alberta Adventist News magazine until I started working at the Alberta Conference. I realized how much I was missing out on tremendous programs, ideas, activities, pieces of information, spiritual lessons, and even opportunities. As I started reading the weekly eNews and browsing every page of the Alberta Adventist News magazine issues this year, I immersed myself in every fine detail of each issue. I basked in the contents of the features and related to some of the published testimonies and stories.

London, Ritchie, Chloe and Nanette enjoying the Alberta Adventist News publications at their daily family gathering.

Indeed, they are worth reading — something you wouldn’t want to miss. There is also an opportunity to collaborate with the articles if you have a testimony you want to share with the community. Also, there are cool things about eNews. If you subscribe, you'll experience the famous line, "Up Close and Personal." That is a proven hypothesis when I convinced my husband to subscribe. He noticed that eNews is sent on a personalized basis, using his first name, Ritchie. Even our kids, London and

Chloe, are now aware of these publications. They are thrilled to see the entries; they also find the compositions interesting. London and Chloe are fascinated with the colourful graphic design. We share with them the publication any time we receive one, and they started collecting them. Get your Alberta Adventist News magazine and subscribe to the weekly eNews. You’ll be surprised at how much more delighted you are about reading the next one. — Submitted by Nanette Bathan-Quines

DECEMBER 2020

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

Orange Shirt Day:

Creative Use of Cree Engages Learners

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By Lynn McDowell and Myken McDowell

range Shirt Day* has special meaning on reserves. It’s not usually a happy celebration; so many who suffered abuse in residential schools would rather forget the humiliation and pain that speaking Cree or any other First Nations language would incur. Only recently have many of the descendants of these survivors discovered that their grandparents suffered, so especially on that day, MANS teachers try to fill in some of the history gaps and go above and beyond their usual day-today incorporation of Cree language and culture. This fall, as Grade 5 teacher Suzann Self thought about Orange Shirt Day, she got an idea that’s become part of every day. This fall, after reading I Am Not a Number, a short book,

with her class, Suzann proposed an experiment: the class would simulate the banning experience on a small scale for an extended time. Few of Suzann’s students spoke any Cree; what if they banned two English words a week and “forced” everyone to use the Cree words? The students were enthusiastic, and Suzann began researching Cree words to substitute. It was the beginning of rewarding journey. Suzann discovered perspectives on the world she’d not realized until she investigated the Cree language. “The language has so much depth,” says Suzann. “In Cree, the word for ‘child’ translates as ‘On loan from the Creator.’ Isn’t that beautiful? And so meaningful!”

Visible support—Teachers sport orange shirts on September 30 (Suzann Self, second from right, front row).

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

Incorporating Cree language and culture a daily affair—Warm fall weather provided a chance for students to get a hands-on Cree grammar lesson: trees are animate nouns but leaves are inanimate nouns—a distinction important in Cree thought.

Not only did students want to know more of their language, they became teachers themselves, correcting each other and Suzann when slips were made. As the tables turned and roles switched, Suzann was kindly corrected when she mispronounced a Cree word or slipped in an English word that had been banned. The language of her students came alive for all as they shared its meaning and the cultural ideas behind it. On spelling tests, the bonus point words are the Cree words — a motivator to write as well as speak their language. By being open to the experience of her students and their culture, both Suzann and her students are learning more in so many areas, including the priceless value of each child as a gift belonging to the Creator. *September 30 is Orange Shirt Day — an event inspired by the story of residential school

survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad, who as a six-year-old girl was gifted an orange shirt by her grandmother before being taken away to a BC residential school. On the first day of class the orange shirt was confiscated and destroyed by her teacher. Orange Shirt Day acknowledges Phyllis story as well as the colonial assimilation goals of residential schools and their lasting impact on Indigenous communities nationwide. Established in 2013, the date was selected because it was the time of year when children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and “because it sets the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.” It is an opportunity for communities to come together, to listen, and remember those that did not make it home. 1 “About Us.” Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, 2013, orangeshirtday.org/about-us.html.

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

Interview with Kern Forgach

By Ina Martin

Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

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ecently, I had the privilege of interviewing Ken Forgach, someone I have known for a long time and founder of The Hummingbirds, a group that has been very active in the local Edmonton area for many years. I have also had the opportunity to observe and work with this amazing group of individuals from diverse backgrounds and am extremely overwhelmed by their empathy and compassion every time. Ina: Please tell me about the community outreach programs you are involved with here in Edmonton. Ken: Sure! There are five basic aspects to out ministry: family support, street ministry, via street kitchen, prison ministry, and overseas development. We have been quite active in all the above areas for years, but unfortunately, the recent pandemic has limited our efforts… except for street ministry. We’re still very active on the street, and in many ways, we’re actually busier now than we were before the pandemic started. Ina: Very Interesting. Perhaps we should focus on street ministry then, but first, let’s begin with a basic question: What does ministry mean to you? What are you trying to achieve? Ken: Good question. And the answer can be found in our mission statement: Sharing God’s love with a broken world, “As the Master himself went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). {Like} wherever [Jesus] went, we also seek to address the countless needs of our local community, whether those needs be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Our goal is simple: to help our brothers and sisters get through their struggles, whoever they are and wherever they may be. By taking hold upon His strength through prayer and faith, we aim

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to feed the hungry, clothe the impoverished, and comfort the afflicted and forgotten ones within our reach. Step by step, little by little, we hope to draw hearts and minds heavenward to God Himself. Prior to the pandemic, much of this work was done through soup kitchens, hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons, locally and elsewhere, as well as in parks and on streets. Hopefully, coronavirus will go away soon, and we will be able to resume our previous activities, including our signature event, a monthly BBQ series we call “Burgers, Bananas, & Blessings.” For now, though, as I have mentioned, we’ve been focusing mostly on street ministry. Ina: Okay, let’s talk about street ministry then. Tell us about street ministry? What is that? Ken: Every Sabbath afternoon, we pack the van filled with clothing, footwear, toiletries, blankets, backpacks, foods, and water bottles and head to downtown Edmonton. We then find ourselves a suitable corner and create an enclosure using several portable tables. From this enclosure, our “street kitchen,” we dole out these goodies to our street friends who have already lined up by the time we have brought the out tables. Ina: You mentioned coronavirus earlier. How do you deal with that threat?


DEPARTMENT NEWS

Helping out with the annual St. Albert Food Drive.

At Burgers, Bananas & Blessings! Singing a few tunes with a street buddy.

Ken: As best as we can. We follow all the social distancing and safety criteria. We start by picking a fairly quiet corner; we use gloves and masks; we remain within the enclosure and make liberal use of sanitizer. It has been challenging, but with this approach, we have managed to continue our weekly street ministry safely and effectively, even during the pandemic. We praise God for His protectiveness and mercies. Ina: Tell us what is unique about your ministry. Ken: There are many other interest groups and agencies that do what we do on the street, and that’s great, but they tend to take a more-or-less “hit-and-run” approach where they simply hand out food and drive off. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Good folks doing good things. God bless them for their kindness! However, we are a bit different. We like to linger for a couple hours, chat with the folks, share a little spirituality with the folks, something most other groups don’t do. Ina: Spirituality? How do you do that? Ken: In several ways. The simplest way is by prayer. Often enough, we get approached by street folks requesting prayer for a

On the street handing out “Blessing Bags"

wide variety of reasons. One of the most common requests is for strength to overcome addictions. A good number are addicted to alcohol, crystal meth, opioids, or other things. Crystal meth, a cousin of amphetamine, is probably the drug most commonly used and abused in Edmonton. And when it comes to addiction, it’s important to understand that addiction is much like a beast with hunger that can never be satisfied, and once it grabs hold of its victims, it refuses to let go. They are powerless to overcome it on their own. Even if they want to be clean, and many do, it’s virtually impossible for them to simply walk away. They need help, and so we gladly oblige with prayer when they ask for it. Ina: Are there any other approaches or skills that you and your team have used to get them to think about spiritual things? Ken: Yes, something we affectionately call, “Blessing Pops.” These are regular cans of pop you would get at the store, except we carefully labelled each one with an encouraging or inspirational message. We easily give away 200–300 cans each week. It might seem like a trivial thing to give away labelled pop, but when you consider the context, it isn't. Many of our street friends have DECEMBER 2020

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DEPARTMENT NEWS

a strong aversion to religion or anything remotely related to it. You probably won't see them walking into a church anytime soon because they might have had some negative experience, and that’s how they are: street-hardened and tough to reach. However, while they’d refuse an invitation to hear a sermon at church, they will be happy to grab a pop can from us, each with a mini sermon on it. Some will ignore it, of course, but some won’t. Our hope is that they will read the message. We are simply planting a little seed and leaving the rest to the Master Gardener. We also bring spirituality to our street friends through related material like tracks and booklets. We simple display the books in an open box on our table. Our approach seems to be working because we gave away over 300 Bibles and a large number of other materials as well over the last six-to-eight months. Ina: That’s exciting to hear! Your ministry seems to be making a tremendous impact in the community. Can you tell us how it all started and what is it that inspired you and keeps you going to become so affectionately involved in this kind of work? Ken: It all started many years ago when I took my Sabbath School class Christmas caroling around town. We saw how much people appreciated it, so we decided to continue throughout the year, but not with carols or traditional hymns. That’s when we dubbed ourselves “The Hummingbirds” or birds that hum. However, there were other significant factors as well: namely, all the brokenness I saw. Let me explain. I worked as a pharmacist in a major hospital just north of the downtown core, and in my practice, I saw a wide variety of medical problems, everything from diabetic ketoacidosis to septic shock. People were critically ill and medically broken. However, many of our patients had more than just broken

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Alberta Adventist News

DECEMBER 2020

bodies. They had broken everything. Brokenness. I came to this conclusion years ago because I noticed a good number of our admissions involved alcohol or drug abuse, either directly or indirectly. Why was this so? Why so prevalent? And why the high recidivism rate? Brokenness, that’s why. Anger, frustration, hopelessness, all of it. And it didn’t matter how much antibiotics or medications we tossed around or how many bones we mended; these deeper problems remained and still do. What do these people really need? What are they looking for, often desperately, but just as often in all the wrong places? The same thing we all need and look for: friendship, connection, relationship, and genuine care. Can I, as an individual member of the community in which I live, solve all of society's ills? Likely not. However, what hinders me from trying? My job is to enter their world and reach out to them exactly where they are. When you share a journey with someone, you get connected and can help that person. Maybe through that connection, I can help and show that person a better path, a Christ-centered path, one that will lead from brokenness to wholesomeness. Ina: You mentioned that you are a pharmacist by profession. Can you tell me how is it possible or what other factors made it possible for you to be so engaged over the years? Can you tell me who is a part of your group? Ken: I have been blessed with some amazing volunteers over the years who have worked unselfishly to make this project an ongoing success. Some of our volunteers are nonAdventists, but they show kindness and compassion for their fellow humans, and that’s what this ministry is all about. Ina: Thank you, Ken, for allowing me this interview.


EDUCATION NEWS

Grounded in the Almighty

I

t is hard to believe we've almost reached the halfway point of this school year. Even with all the chaos in the world around us, we are still finding ways to have fun at school while being safe. Here's a bit of what we've been up to since September at SSCS. Indoors, we are keeping our distance while covering curriculum, boom whacking, bell ringing, painting with leaves, learning American Sign Language, making cards for those with special needs, completing crafts, participating in school-wide theme days

Twin Day awareness activity.

Super Hero Day.

within our cohorts, and having fun exploring our STEAM lab. We have also been able to enjoy the outdoors. In the warmer weather, we did our very own Terry Fox Run in our field. Students ran 40 laps, classroom cohorts did their own 40 activities, and we raised money for the Terry Fox Foundation. The grade 4–6 class explored ecosystems in science, using the outdoors as their teacher. Now that winter has arrived, we're enjoying getting bundled up for recess to sled down the hill and make snow angels.

While this year has been full of changes being thrown at all of us, we are reminded of our God who never changes. "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Revelation 1:8, ESV). Until the day He returns, at SSCS, we continue to educate our kids for eternity and encourage them to cling to the God who remains constant, even in the continuously changing world. — Submitted by Martha Boehner, Head Teacher, Southside Christian School

STEAM lab fun.

Leaf painting.

Learning how to build fire. DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

41


EDUCATION NEWS

A WALK IN THE PARK The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.

“A

walk in the park” is a phrase we have heard regarding situations or when dealing with issues. To me, it meant it was something easy to get through. This pandemic in which we currently exist assuredly does not seem like it has been “a walk in the park.” Our schools have reopened, and students are learning despite being faced with the “new normal.” Our teachers and principals have been challenged to deal with this situation. They certainly have done their best to step up to the plate, and that they have. Every person involved has had to dig deep for the courage to move forward. As Christians, not only can we have courage, but we can hold onto our faith in

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Alberta Adventist News

Jesus, who is our strength and mighty fortress. With Him by our side, it will be a more pleasurable “walk in the park.” Leviticus 26:12 says, “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (ESV). It is satisfying to know God walks among us because we are His people. He indeed is a Saviour and cares deeply for His children, no matter where they are. Although it seems we have been living in a dark, gloomy world, we cannot allow it to define us. Remembering our humanity is essential during COVID-19. Brené Brown stated, “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” Let us

DECEMBER 2020

not fear what is happening in this world today, but instead refocus our attention on God, where joy and safety can be found. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NKJV). Our children need to see we are still willing to do good works for our heavenly Father, whether in school, home, or church. These three combined will help our children have a better “walk in the park.” We need to continue demonstrating to them that we can let our light shine before humanity, even in a pandemic, and one day, we will all be able to take a walk in the park without fear. Let us remember we


EDUCATION NEWS

can choose the path to walk or ask God to direct our way. His direction will always be the right choice, for “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3). Our teachers and principals intentionally encourage students to choose the path that God has laid out for them. Academics are important, but choosing God is second to none. Today, support our children in our schools, homes, and churches as they navigate this stressful world. “When students feel that an adult cares deeply about them and has their best interests in mind, they are better able to mitigate the stress associated with daily school life” (Crouch, Keys, & McMahon, 2014). Remind them they do Brent van Rensburg belong and walk Education Associate Director, Alberta Conference beside them.


CHURCH NEWS

Pastor Enock Dominick delivering one of his Holy Spirit-filled messages.

Farewell to Pastor Enock Dominick Okwaro

A

fter three years of ministering at Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church as our associate pastor, Enock Okwaro has accepted a call to ministry at Edmonton West Seventh-day Adventist Church. Without any hesitation, I can truly say his presence will be greatly missed by our members. Pastor Okwaro has demonstrated a positive and respectful relationship with members and took an active role in soul-winning, and as a result, many had accepted Jesus by baptism. His high-spirited and warm personality was an asset to our church body.

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Alberta Adventist News

Last Words Pastor Enock Okwaro begins his sermon by vividly describing his grandmother and her relationship with God. He remembered how she had been passionate about her personal time with God; she was so consistent about her personal prayer time that she would discontinue whatever chores she was doing to pray at the top of every hour of the day. Okwaro remembers her last words to him were, “Son, I want you to listen to your mother, and God will bless you.” In a timely manner, Pastor Enock emphasized the last

DECEMBER 2020

words of the men who were crucified with Jesus. It was noted in the beginning that both men insulted and mocked Jesus (see Matt. 27:44). The very same people for whom He was dying — the religious leaders, scribes, and those who have watched Him performed miracles — did not provide any support for the Saviour, and their last words to Him were, “You saved others, Save Yourself!” In Luke 23:39, one of the criminals said to Jesus, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” Pastor Okwaro took the time to emphasize the importance and turning point


CHURCH NEWS

of this marvelous, amazing grace that reaches down to mankind, even the criminal on the cross, the one who took notice of the Savior's compassion and humility, and those who were humiliating Him. Jesus's response was kind and forgiving. The other criminal rebuked his fellow convict, recognizing and admitting that Jesus is the Son of God (see Luke 23:42). This thief heard the last words of Jesus. He heard Jesus praying to His Father and asking Him to forgive those who mocked Him. It was not the disciples of Jesus who brought gleams of hope to the Saviour at this time; it was the thief on the cross who gave Jesus strength with these words: “Remember me when you come in your kingdom.” The Saviour felt as if He was going to be separated from His Father for eternity. “[He] could not see through the portals of the tomb” (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753). The thief reminded the Saviour that He will be in His kingdom. This theif never attended church or knew Jesus. In closing, Pastor Enock expressed his thanks to God and desire to see that thief who brought comfort to the Saviour with these words: “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.” — Submitted by Ina Martin Children’s Sabbath School Department Edmonton Central Seventhday Adventist Church

We Were Blessed Indeed W

e have experienced quite an active transition in our pastoral leadership positions at Edmonton Central Seventhday Adventist Church during 2019 to 2020 It has been almost a year ago since we welcomed Pastor Dennis Braun and his wife Diane to our church family, and indeed it was a warm reception. As we got more acquainted with him, we realized one of his ministry passions was to visit those who were unable to attend church. It was not concerning to him that some of these visits might mean traveling out of the city. He was always ready and willing to go. His humble, spirited demeanor was an asset to our church meetings. This helps to run things smoothly and in an effective and timely manner.

Encouraging Words from Pastor Dennis Braun's Final Message We were encouraged and reminded of the things God has in store for His people: a new name in Revelation 21:7, a new song in 5:7, and a new heaven in 21:1–2. However, before we get to this new heaven and

new earth, God has also promised new people, new bodies, new minds, and beauty that will not give way to age (see 21:3, 5). We were reminded that God will make all things new. In closing, we were encouraged to look forward to that which is new, and one day, we'll rejoice over a happy reunion with our heavenly Father. I want to thank Pastor Braun for this sobering reality that someday, when we

nis and Pastor Den e Braun nn ia D e wif

get to heaven, there will be no more sorrow, separation, or pain because God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. We will miss the Brauns' enthusiastic spirit and willingness to share God's love.

— Submitted by Ina Martin Children's Sabbath School Department, Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

45


CHURCH NEWS

WELCOME W

e have been privileged and extremely blessed in having two pastors and their families join us at Edmonton Central Church: Pastor Roberson and Thaksheela Dorelus and Pastor David and Heidi Hamstra, and their children Antonin, Titus, Taleja, and Galen. Pastor Dorelus has accepted the position as an associate pastor. and Pastor Hamstra is our senior pastor. On behalf of all our members at Edmonton Central Church, we welcome you into the family of God. As we journey together, we pray our spiritual and social growth will develop into a lasting relationship with God and each other. We Have Something Better It was a rousing song service that set the stage for the timely message presented by Pastor Dorelus. He began by expressing thanks and appreciation to church officials at Edmonton Central Church who have contributed to making his transition accommodating and pleasant. After an official greeting to members and guests, God’s presence was invited in by prayer. In his sermon, titled “We Have Something Better,” Pastor Dorelus focused his audience’s attention on Acts 3:1–8 and related the story of this man who was crippled and lame from his birth. He never asked for healing; he never asked for a better life. Of all the things for which he could have asked, he asked for money. He wanted to be supported in his condition and nothing more. The speaker illustrated this remarkable story and made it relatable and relevant. This man had been crippled for so long, his issue became his identity, and survival from day to day was a challenge, but the unexpected took place. Thank God the disciples offered

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Alberta Adventist News

DECEMBER 2020

him something better. In closing, the questions were asked, “When God does something big, do we give him the credit? There are people all around us that are broken, looking for something better. Are we available?” These are the closing thoughts and admonitions: 1. Keep it Simple: minister in our daily activity 2. Open our eyes and hearts: sometimes, we are so busy, we never look 3. Jesus is the best solution — Presented by Ina Martin, Children's Sabbath school Department of Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

Pastor Rob and Thaksheela Dorelus


CHURCH NEWS

Pastor David Hamstra and his family.

REWIND TO THE FUTURE T

here was an atmosphere of joyful fellowship! After months of speculating and waiting for our new pastor, David Hamstra and his family finally arrived at the Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pastor David Hamstra began by thanking the Alberta Conference Evangelism Coordinator, Pastor George Ali, for his kind words and building up his expectations. In his address to the congregation, Pastor David took the time to articulately welcome well-wishers, members from his previous church in Fort McMurray, and all attendees. Before delivering his sermon, Pastor David made a profound statement. He said, “When I leave here, I don't want you to talk about all the great things that I did while I was your pastor here. I want you to be talking about all the great things that you did while I was here. The church is a team, and I am here to help you to do what God has called you to do.” The pastor stated that this philosophy is one that he has carried throughout his ministry. As I listened to Pastor David Hamstra's thought-provoking sermon, titled ''Rewind to the Future,'' he illustrated an example of playing video games with his children and how pressing the rewind button to the video games allowed him to undo mistakes and gave the feeling of almost having God-like power. We were taken back to Genesis 1:27–31,

where God created this world, and it was very good. There was peace, contentment, and harmony in all aspects of life. It was shalom. That was where we started the race, with the option to grow, expand, and flourish. However, in 3:9–10, the race took a wrong turn when Eve became distracted. It was not shalom anymore; all relationship was broken. God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that was based on loving trust. They were in the best possible environment. They were given the freedom to eat of all the trees in Eden, but there was a boundary line, and when those rules were broken, God had to press the rewind button. He gave His life to save you and me. The Bible tells us the deceiver, Satan, is in the business of imitating God. His goal is to be like the Most High. As we were led through the promises from God's words, from Genesis to Revelation, we were reminded and reassured by Pastor David that restoring shalom is God asking us to trust in Him because He gave His life in order to press the rewind button and bring us back to Eden one day. As I sat in my seat and tried to put it all into perspective, I took away from the sermon that we are not left helpless because God has made restoration possible for you and me. — Submitted by Ina Martin, Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, Children's Sabbath School Department DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

47


ANNOUNCEMENTS 50th Wedding Anniversary

A

Avelina Aguilar Caponpon.

Belen with her children, grand children and great grandchildren.

Nearly a Century of Blessings

A

velina “Belen” Aguilar Caponpon recently celebrated her 92nd birthday. She was born in Quipot, San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, on November 2, 1928. She was married to Francisco Caponpon (deceased) on December 29, 1960. Her husband was a successful farmer, and together they were blessed in rearing four children in the fear of the Lord: Rodney (Medilyn), Marjorie (Sam), Imelda, and Bong (Joy Mellicent). Belen is further blessed with amazing grandchildren: Franz (Linda), Shae Lynn, and Breanna (deceased). However, more than that, she was gifted with two marvelous great-grandchildren: Eliana and Oliver. Belen is the eldest of ten. Her five brothers and four sisters all emigrated to the USA while Belen chose Canada, and in 1997, she joined her sons and their families. As a seamstress from her late teens on, Belen also worked as a colporteur for the South Central Luzon Conference, Philippines,

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Alberta Adventist News

displaying a remarkable knack for selling books. As one of the pioneer pupils of the Quipot Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School, she was instrumental in the reopening of that school when it closed. She also served as the treasurer of that school. Belen has a superb ability to reach people and touch their lives in a deep and positive way. She likes to cook, and in her spare time, she enjoys hosting small-group gatherings. Avelina is a member of the Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church. She supported and involved herself in various church and community services. She was also an adviser and treasurer of the Red Deer Fil-Can Group. She is a very well-respected leader and considered a matriarch. She is passionately called “Inay (eenigh) Belen” (“Mommy Belen”). —Submitted by Marjorie Caponpon Santos

DECEMBER 2020

rni and Elvine Skoretz celebrated their 50th anniversary in Banff and Lake Louise on August 30. They met at Andrews University (1969) and were married on August 30, 1970, in Vegreville, AB. Over the past 50 years, they have made friends and were active in church families across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and California. They have three children: Justin, Orlando, FL; Kimberly, Los Angeles, CA; and Rachelle, Los Angeles, CA., and five grandchildren: Nate Skoretz, Sara Skoretz, Gabe Skoretz, Sidney Innes, and Isabel Innes. Arni earned his master's degree in social work from Wilfred Laurier University (1984) and retired from Alberta Social Services in 1996. He taught social work at Canadian Union College (CUC) from 1986 –2018, now named Burman University, and serves on the School's Board of Directors (1990-Present). Arni also created the Canadian Accreditation Council — world accreditation of children and adult services. Elvine graduated from CUC in 1971 and was a financial advisor and president of their financial, insurance, and real estate business, Achieve Excellence Investments, Inc., established in 1986. The couple currently lives in Red Deer, AB, where they have resided since 1984.


IN MEMORY Samuel Steinke

November 12, 1921 – October 23, 2020

S

amuel Steinke was born to

to farm and be resourceful in

Gustav and Martha Steinke

making things work. In 1949, he

would

married Mabel Schafer. They had

expect,

on November 12, 1921 at home

As one

near Beiseker, Alberta. In total,

three children: Judy, Terry, and

fifteen

twelve children comprised the

Doyle.

great-grandchildren provided

infants or very young children.

Sam operated a small dairy for

children were also loved along

Life was often difficult.

many years while farming the

the way.

family—four of them dying as

much joy. Numerous foster

land and driving a school bus for In 1930, when Sam was nine

42 years to Pipestone School and

Sam was respected in the

years old, the family of seven

Pigeon Lake Regional School. As

community and loved by many.

moved to Millet, where they

time went on, they welcomed

Late in the evening of October

farmed and drilled wells. As

a son-in-law, Reg, and two

23, Sam closed his eyes in rest.

Sam grew, he spent much time

daughters-in-law, Linda and Jody.

He was predeceased by his wife,

working with his father. learning

Next came eight grandchildren.

Mabel, in December 2013.

Catherine Anne Kohut October 11, 2020

O

n October 11, 2020, Catherine Anne Kohut, of Red Deer, passed away peacefully (with family by her side) at the Red Deer Hospital, at the age of 73.

Catherine Anne will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Walter Kohut; her son, Curtis Irish; her sisters, Lynda (Darrel) Krenzler and Mary Whitworth; her brother, Victor (Joy) Oickle; as well as many nieces and nephews. Catherine Anne was predeceased by her father, Reginald Oickle; her mother, Jennie Sands; her brother, Peter Oickle; and her brother-in-law, Dick Whitworth.

Alex Trenchuk

September 11, 1922 – November 1, 2020

A

lex Trenchuk was born in Myrnam, Alberta on September 11, 1922, and died November 1, 2020, at his home in Red Deer, Alberta, with his children by his side. Rose, his wife of 73 years, preceded him in death on September 29, 2017. A graveside memorial is planned when the pandemic permits travel. His faith in God was unwavering, and his dedicated service to local churches was an integral part of his life. He was an excellent, innovative grain and cattle farmer at Mannville, Alberta, retiring at age 85. He was devoted to his family. In passing, he leaves four children: Gloria Boyne (James, deceased), Rachel Marsh (Glyn), Elvine Skoretz (Arni), and Dwayne Trenchuk (Amy). He leaves a legacy of seven grandchildren: Lauri Larson, Glyn Marsh, Jr., Nicolas Marsh, Justin Skoretz, Kimberly Skoretz, Rachelle Skoretz, Stephanie Ewertt (deceased), and Vianna Trenchuk (deceased). Alex is also survived by 11 great-great-grandchildren.

—Submitted by Elvine Skoretz

DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

49


MEANS & MEANING

BIG DEAL THE

B

eing a teenager in Grade 9, living off the Maskwacis reserve, separated from people she loved — sometimes the drama of her life made Eileen want to quit. But someone noticed. Vice Principal Mike Willing also saw Eileen’s potential. After a week-long welding “camp” held at MANS after school in March 2018, Mike invited Eileen to join the high school welding class. Eileen was a different girl on September 26, 2020. Confident and joyful about the future, Eileen, along with co-welder/artist Tessa Potts (MANS Class of 2020), and Mike unveiled Miweyihtowin, their welded sculpture commissioned by the City of Lacombe as part of its public art collection (permanently installed at the intersection of College Avenue and Edmonton-Calgary Trail). Now in Grade 11, Eileen’s determined to graduate from MANS and make a career of welding. What if a lack of funding had caused MANS to turn Eileen away? Every year, MANS does have to turn students away. Not because they are undesirable, but

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Alberta Adventist News

DECEMBER 2020

Being a teenager is a high stakes game when there’s no room for you in school BY LYNN McDOWELL

because the federal government, which is responsible for the education of First Nations children, does not pay the per student allowance that covers only 2/3 of the cost of their education at MANS if they don’t live on a reserve. We’re exploring a new source of funds for next year, but at this time, there is no tuition support for off-reserve students at MANS. We currently have 13 students enrolled who are “unfunded.” More want to come. What if we’d let Eileen go because no one paid for kids like her? Government doesn’t see what Mike saw. They don’t see what you can see at mans1.ca in the videos Eileen’s Gift and Miweyihtowin: The Unveiling. What governments see is statistics: Nationally, a First Nations child is more likely to spend time in prison than to graduate high school.* Of those who do go on to high school, only 35% graduate. At MANS, we’re turning that grim future around for Eileen and others even during COVID-19. COVID-19 measures are adding to the cost, but MANS and the people there mean so much to Eileen and


MEANS & MEANING DID YOU KNOW? The Class of 2020 — MANS’ biggest class ever—had a 100% graduation rate and two members are now at Burman U. Since opening the new high school in September 2018, 57% of graduates have gone on to university or trade school or are in the admissions process. How to ensure a 2020 Tax Receipt: Gifts received or post marked by December 31 will be receipted and deductible for the year 2020. Your gift can be made in person at the office (5816 Hwy 2A, Lacombe, AB T4L 2G5), by mail, online at albertaadventist.ca, or by phoning in your credit card information (403 342 5044 - office closed Dec. 24-Jan. 3).

DOUBLE YOUR GIFT MATCHING OFFER AVAILABLE THROUGH DECEMBER 31 Eileen Firingstoney, Grade 11, is determined to graduate and be a welder.

Tessa that they donated part of their commission earnings to help MANS cover unforeseen COVID-19 costs. Your gift to keep kids like Eileen in school and keep them safe from COVID-19 will be matched by a generous donor—doubled! Please consider making a life- changing, “doubled” gift today. It’s challenging, but hanging on to students pays: two members of the MANS Class of 2020 who lived off reserve for a time are now freshmen at Burman University. Believe it: You can change the course of a young life. *Chiefs’ Council on Education

Lynn McDowell, JD, CSPG

Director of Planned Giving | Philanthropy Alberta Conference (403) 342-5044, ext. 233

DECEMBER 2020

Alberta Adventist News

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A DREAM COMES TRUE “I want to go to Burman University for a biology major so I can pursue a medical degree.” Jade Rabbit, MANS Valedictorian 2020 Freshman at Burman University

People who believe in you make you believe in yourself. When students like Jade read about the Schafer Family and the scholarship they recently established at MANS to help graduates attend Burman, a seed is planted. They can see themselves in the story  and at Burman — and a life they never thought possible.

Year End Match Gift & MANS Scholarships You can Make a Difference Too

MAMAWI ATOSKETAN NATIVE SCHOOL mans1.ca

Watch Jade and Shaneek’s interview, “The Valedictorians: Two Best Friends Speak” at mans1.ca. To donate to MANS' Year End Matching Gift Challenge or Scholarships, contact Lynn McDowell (403) 342-5044 x 233 lmcdowell@albertaadventist.ca Alberta Conference 5816 Hwy 2A, Lacombe, AB T4L 2G5

DOUBLE YOUR YEAR END GIFT. DONATE BY DECEMBER 31.

Profile for Alberta Adventist Conference

Alberta Adventist News December Edition 2020