Alberta Adventist News September Issue

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What's Your Brand?


The Fig Tree Remember The Power of Now Is your heart in the right place? Adventist Education — A Way of Life


More Than a Label



hat is with all these questions about branding? Isn’t that a business and marketing thing? It sounds like a cheap gimmick at a used car lot, where they try to sell you the world and get you to buy anything and everything.

Believe it or not, we are all a brand. Even our church is a brand. Yes, that’s right, the Adventist Church has its own brand. Not only do we shop for and connect and interact with different brands during our daily lives— whether that’s Nike, Starbucks, Walmart, Beyond Meat, Honda, or Postum—we are all our own, personal, living brand.

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:; Submissions:

ELECTED OFFICIALS: President Gary Hodder; Secretary/VP for Administration Wayne Williams; Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Keith Richter; Board Members/EXCOM: Gar Rayette Hetland, Curtis Letniak, Proscovia Nabafu, Tyler Rosengren, Melanie Semchuk, Deborah Silva, Middin Galve-Sumiller, Sheldon Trenchuk, Griffin Webster, Jennifer Williams. De Superintendent Gail R. Wilton; Planned Giving & Trust Services/Philanthropy Director Lynn Mc Dowell; Foothills Camp Director Troy McQueen; Youth Director Lyle Notic CONFERENCE OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH: Address: 5816 Highway 2A, Lacombe, AB, T4L2G5. Office Hours: Monday-ThurSeventh-day Adventisty: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p ABAdventist, Instagram: ABAdventist, LinkedIn: ABAdventist, Website:

SEPTEMBER 2021 EDITION 04 Message from the President 06 From the Editor 09 Devotionals


19 Meditation 20 Department News 24 Church News 36 Education News 42 In Memory 43 Announcements


44 Means & Meaning 48 Philanthropy News

16 Heaven’s Rejoicing in Celebration It was evident

that the people who attended the session left the place recharged and refreshed with burning desires to sustain the momentum, spearhead more church growth, and eagerly look forward to another grand celebration of worship in the next quinquennium session.

34 Adventist Education — A Way of Life As Gail Wilton takes on this new role in education, she realizes how important is to have a connection to Adventist education. Being fortunate enough to have had the experience of attending an Adventist school from kindergarten through grade twelve, her morals and values were guided and directed by her family, church, and school.

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

ry Hodder—chair, Wayne Williams, Keith Richter, Benjamin Arias, Miguel Brown, Isaac Darko, Massiel Davila-Ferrer, Bruce Fillier, epartmental Directors/Ministerial & Evangelism Director George Ali; Human Resources Officer Jennifer Williams; Education ce; Communication/IT/Media Director Eric Ollila; Risk Management/Project Development Director Llew Werner. ALBERTA p.m. Phone: (403) 342-5044, Fax: (403) 775-4482 Email: info@ albertaadventist. ca SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter: ABAdventist, Facebook:


The Fig Tree T

his morning, for our conference worship time, we considered and discussed the parable of the condemned fig tree, found in Mark 11:12–14, which reads as follows: “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.

Then he said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard him say it” (NIV). My first reaction to this passage was perhaps Jesus was a little harsh toward the fig tree. After all, maybe it would produce figs at another time. Upon further reflection and consideration of the context of the passage, I began to realize He was taking the opportunity to turn this into an object lesson.

Jesus continues His journey to the temple, and His first act is to drive out those who were carrying on business within the confines of the temple. He states this was to be a place of prayer, not profit. The Jewish people held the temple in great esteem. It was a place of national pride. However, God intended it be a place of prayer; a place where holiness was sought; a place where His character could be seen in its worshippers. Just like the fig tree that advertised it was full of fruit by the abundance of leaves, so the temple, by its beautiful façade, was promoting itself as a place of prayer where God could be found. As the fig tree was devoid of fruit, so, too, was the temple devoid of His presence by the actions of those found there.

As the fig tree was devoid of fruit, so, too, was the temple devoid of His presence by the actions of those found there.


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This parable has caused me to reflect deeply on its meaning as a church and personally as a Christian. By calling ourselves Christian, we as a church are advertising we are carrying out the will of Jesus in our everyday lives. This means we will be found doing the things Jesus asks us to do. In addition to being a place of prayer, this includes our acts of service, such as visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc. This parable extends beyond the things we do to the way we relate to each other. We are asked to be kind to each other, show love toward each other, and live our Christianity seven days a week, not restrict it only to times when we come together for church functions.

Many years ago, while a student at Andrews University, I took a job with a local manufacturing business. I discovered one of the foremen was a deacon at the local church I recently attended. I had observed him the previous week carrying out his duties. He was welldressed and carried himself with a demeanor appropriate for the occasion. During my time working for this company, I was disappointed to find he behaved like a very different person. He shouted at and belittled employees and used foul language with reckless abandon. I remember this incident when I reflect upon this passage about the barren fig tree. This passage demands of me that I must be a Christian in all my dealings with others. It means my

Christianity must extend to seven days a week. It means I am expected to represent Jesus in the workplace and at the board meeting. It means I must show compassion and kindness to those less fortunate. It means I must give of my time and resources to lessen the burdens of others. As I spend time with Jesus, may I be transformed into all He wants me to be. I hope this will be your experience, as well.

Gary Hodder

President Alberta Conference


The Arnold Schwarzenegger birthplace in Thal bei Graz, Austria, with museum and statue commemorating his achievements in bodybuilding. "Mr. Everything," as some refer to him in fun, holds titles as Mr. Olympia Junior, Mr. International, Mr. World, Mr. Universe, and Mr. Olympia. He still has the record for being the youngest person to win the Mr. Olympia title at age 23.

Do You Know Who You Want to Be And Where You Are Going?



uring a graduation commencement address to the class of 2020, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the legendary bodybuilder, actor, producer, and 38th governor of California, shared a growing concern he has for young people. (You can watch it here: bit. ly/3zxOSAb Commencement Address for the Class of 2020 | Politics & Issues — Arnold


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Schwarzenegger). During the address, he recounts an experience he had a few years ago when he had attended another graduation celebration and given their commencement address. While visiting with and enjoying the company of the new graduates, he asked them about their plans for the future: What was on the horizon for them now that they had just


graduated from college? To his astonishment, the majority of the young people to whom he spoke had no substantive answer. It was as if they had no direction or vision in their lives. When asked what he wanted to do with his life, one young man appeared to be like a "deer in the headlights," said Schwarzenegger. Still, others responded with answers like, "Well, I'm hoping that

I can get some sort of a job." Nothing in particular, just "some sort of a job." After referencing a poll that revealed 70% of people surveyed in North America don't like the current job they work, Schwarzenegger poignantly stated, "This is a tragedy." The five-time Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia title holder, worldrenowned actor, and former governor of California shared several personal stories on the importance of having a clear vision for one's life. Having an idea of who you want to be, not just what you want to be, is critical for the journey to success. For Schwarzenegger, when he was a young man, he wanted to be Mr. Universe. It was his vision of who he wanted to become. And it was crystal clear in his mind. He explained that people would often ask him, "Arnold, why are you always so happy working out?" He said it was because of his vision. In his mind, every exercise, every curl, every deadlift, every gruelling daily routine became the steppingstones to that destination of who he was becoming: Mr. Universe. At the age of 74, the former Mr. Universe has many other stories of accomplishments and experiences—in acting, government and politics, environmental activism, education, and even a recent challenge with a leaking heart valve. He explained he had achieved all these accomplishments by

After referencing a poll that revealed 70% of people surveyed in North America don't like the current job they work, Schwarzenegger poignantly stated, "This is a tragedy." consistently applying those core principles that helped him in bodybuilding: namely, having a vision—always clearly defining who he wanted to be and where he wanted to go, then constantly keeping that vision before his mind. Without A Vision, People Perish The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he" (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). "Where there is no vision" means these people do not have a clear picture of who they want to be. When people don't have a clear vision of who they want to be, they perish. "But he that keepeth the law, happy is he" means that this person is clear about who he/she wants to become and is aiming for that ultimate destination within the moral framework God has designed: namely, the law. In other words, the person knows who he or she wants to be and takes the appropriate steps to become that person within the framework and

harmony with God's law. Think of that in the context of young people graduating from school with no vision or aspiration of who they want to be and where they want to go—drifting, aimless, without direction—happenstance. The Bible says they are perishing. Now think of this in the context of not only your life but also your family, business, or church. If your family, business, or church doesn't have a clear vision of "who" it wants to be—if its members don't know who they aspire to become or are not pursuing that aim within the context of God's moral framework—you can be sure they perish. Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Isaiah 32:8 But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands. Proverbs 19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.


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FROM THE EDITOR Who are you? With all that said, who are you? Who do you want to be? How about your family? business? church? God is calling you to be moral and glorify Him in all your endeavours—to glorify Him in "whatsoever your hand finds to do" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). However, He is waiting for you to figure out the context in which that plays out. "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the

God is calling you to be moral and glorify Him in all your endeavours — to glorify Him in "whatsoever your hand finds to do" (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun" (Psalm 37:3–6).


Integrated Microsoft Office 365 and Zoom licenses are available for a special discount for all Alberta Conference Churches. Contact us today for more information and pricing: OFFICE 365 + ZOOM


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When you become clear on who you want to be and pursue that vision within the framework of doing so morally and to the glory of God, you can be sure you are on the path to life. God will help you achieve your desire and establish you, and you will be happy.


Eric Ollila

Communication/IT/Media Director Alberta Conference




hroughout the our needs. Remember the Bible, the idea of God who fights for us. remembering is huge. Psalms is a revelation of God remembers His intimate connection with God people, both as individuals in the good times and tough and as a nation, and supplies times. Much of this intimate their needs. He remembers connection with God involves His covenant of love and “remembering the deeds of treats us, not as we sinful the LORD, miracles of long beings deserve, but with ago” (77:11) and that He “is grace in keeping with our Rock … our Redeemer” the covenant of love. (78:35). Read the Psalms, look We are called to remember for the word "remember," and God. Over and over again, see what it is on which you we are called to remember are being invited to focus. His mighty saving acts. In the New Testament, Throughout the Old Paul, in his final letter, calls Testament, the major saving Timothy to "Remember Jesus act was the Exodus: Christ, raised from the dead, God rescuing His descended from David. This people from slavery is my gospel" (2 Timothy to set them free and establish them as a nation—His chosen people. We are called to remember God's fulfillment of His promises. He promised rest and delivered Israel to the Promised Land. Remember the God who supplies

2:8). God's mighty saving act in the New Testament is the death and resurrection of Jesus. Remember this, and all other things will be kept in perspective. We can also remember how God has led us in the past to develop our denomination so we can be encouraged that He is with us still, even to the end of the age. We can remember how He has led in our lives and be encouraged that He is with us and for us. Tell your personal God story to anyone who will listen. Spend time every day remembering His leading in the past to be confident in His presence now and guidance in the future.

Honey Todd

Nurture Pastor, College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church


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“Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now.” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NLT)


ow," this very moment, is God’s gift to us. That’s why we call now “the present.” It is God’s gift to constantly shift the trajectory of our lives towards the center of His glory. I know someone reading this might be thinking to oneself, ‘Wait a minute! You have no idea what I’m going through NOW. My NOW looks more like a curse than a blessing! All I can see in my NOW is brokenness and weakness.’ Well, my friend, let me assure you I can certainly identify with your sentiments.


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If you give me a moment, I will show you how, regardless of the nature of your now, God can work it out for your blessing (see Romans 8:28). Time, as we know it, is composed of three segments: past, present, and future. Throughout human history, we have allowed these three segments of time to play an intense game with each other, causing them to be continuously interrelated, many times to our demise. Allow me to explain: •


The past always seeks to interfere

with affairs about the present and future. The present sometimes seems to be hindered by the past and threatened by the future. The future continually reflects the total of the past and present.

I would like to briefly reflect on how we can become empowered to collaboratively work in our favor to have these segments of time. Let us begin with the past. Recognize the past is history and its purpose should be

primarily for our instruction/ edification to make the present and future better. Now, let us consider the present. Realize that though the present is the shortest of the three segments of time, it is pivotal in realizing the transition from the regrets of the past to the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the future. What about the future? In considering the future, understand it always stands wide awake on the brink of the present and will naturally reproduce the past unless the present continually sets a new standard. The “present” or “now” (as I will refer to it in this reflection) is the shortest of the three segments of time, yet it is the most powerful, accurate, and consequential. I dare say now is the only real and “present” component of time for humanity. The past does not exist, and the future does not exist. The past can only live in the present if you, through your thoughts in the present, permit it to be present. The future can only exist in the present if you become God because God is the only one who truly knows the future due to His eternal nature. From a human perspective, both the past and future are concepts. They do NOT exist! The past once existed when it was called “now," and the future will exist when it becomes “now." That’s why I say the past and future don’t exist. The past and future are conceptualizations of one’s thoughts.


tionship to the now. The future is an imaginary concept that The past is is influenced by the decisions extinct, and and reality of now. The thought the future is I’d like to leave you with is “Now” is the only real, relevant, nonexistent. The and relatable component of past and future time. The past is extinct, and derive their the future is nonexistent. The meaning, power, past and future derive their and influence meaning, power, and influence from now. Therefore, what from now. you do now is all that matters. Therefore, what The most futile endeavor you do now is all of humanity is to live in the that matters." past or future. It is a worthless endeavor because the past and future do not exist. ConseThe ability of the past to quently, to live one’s life in the negatively impact you is past or future is to take up based on your permission residence in a place of non-exin the “now." The past can istence. What a distressing only have access to the future and unfulfilling place to be!. by passing over the bridge Today, God is calling you to called “now." Your current be liberated from the prison of thought patterns are responthe past. Today, He is calling sible for your present reality you to be elevated from the and future destiny. What is apprehension of the future. impacting you now is not the Today, He is calling you into past because the past no longer the present reality of His presexists. The past is no longer ence NOW. It is His gift to you, real. What is moving you now wrapped up in this present moare your current thoughts ment. Indeed, the “right time” of the past. If your current is still NOW! Will you step thoughts about the past were away from the past, dismiss to change, you would have a the worries of the future, and totally different reality now. embrace the power of now? Hence what truly impacts you is not the past but the now. I mentioned earlier that the future doesn’t exist now. Have you ever heard of anyone who can do anything in the future? I haven’t. The only time you can do anything is now. That doesn't mean the future is not Lawel Natufe essential. The future is importPastor, Christ The Way Church ant only because of its relaand Abundant Life Church SEPTEMBER 2021

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What is your branding? What is your “Brand Identity”? What’s your brand strategy? Do you have brand recognition? Do you have brand trust?

More Than a



hat is with all these questions about branding? Isn’t that a business and marketing thing? It sounds like a cheap gimmick at a used car lot, where they try to sell you the world and get you to buy anything and everything. Believe it or not, we are all a brand. Even our church is a brand. Yes, that’s right, the Adventist Church has its own brand. Not only do we shop for and connect and interact with different brands during our daily lives— whether that’s Nike, Starbucks, Walmart, Beyond Meat, Honda, or Postum—we are all our own, personal, living brand. 12

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Before we jump in any comes to our church, right? further, what is a brand? Now, I know we are a church According to Allie Decker, “A organization and we do not brand is a feature or set of have customers, per se, because features that distinguish one we are not selling products organization from another. A for profit, but we are an brand is typically comprised organization that has members, of a name, tagline, logo or and we provide services and symbol, design, brand voice, spiritual experiences. That in and more. It also refers to the itself warrants us to understand overall experience a customer more about what connects and undergoes when interacting resonates with and impacts with a business—as a shopper, members and the people we are customer, social media follower, trying to reach in the secular or mere passerby.” world. If, ultimately, the overall Decker goes on to say, experience a customer “Branding is the process of undergoes when interacting researching, developing, and with a business is so crucial, we applying a distinctive feature should probably look a little or set of features to your more into branding when it organization so that consumers


can begin to associate your brand with your products or services. Branding is an iterative process and requires getting in touch with the heart of your customers and your business." That makes sense, right? If "our brand" is one of our organization's most important assets because it describes our identity, then we need to put more effort into understanding, assessing and analyzing our Seventh-day Adventist branding. Just think about it for a second: For what are Adventists known? For what do we want to be known? Better yet, for what do we think we are known? How do people perceive us? Trust me, if our brand is off, people will not want to interact with us or come to our churches. Did you ever see a brand in a store

about which you heard about? Maybe it wasn’t good. What do you do? You say “Next” and keep moving to the next brand that has good reviews and with which you have had a good connection or experience. Even on a personal level, whether you believe it or not, you are your own brand. The way people interact with, experience, and see you—your personal brand influences others. You are either drawing people to you or repelling them away from you. If you are drawing people to you, that is a perfect opportunity for people to see Christ in your personal brand and meet Him through you. For far too long, people have recognized the Seventh-day Adventist brand as people who only go to church on Sabbath and don’t eat pork. I think it’s time we change our branding

and allow people to truly see us for what we really are: Jesus-loving people who want to invite other people into that warm Christian community. What are some things we can do to help ourselves redefine and rediscover our brand as Seventh-day Adventists? •

Holy Ghost branding: Ask God to guide you in building brand that will make a positive impact on people.

Take ownership: Take control of your brand; if your brand is outdated, fix it!

Be authentic and keep it real: If you don’t believe, no one else will.


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Figure out for what you want to be known: Don’t just assume; be intentional

Strive to keep your brand warm: If your brand is cold, no one will enjoy it.

Communicate the brand effectively: It’s 2021! Pay for a graphic designer and put out good media content, whether it is video, social media, radio, or print.

Figure out what people really need or what: We are often selling things for which people don’t care. Is there a felt need the church meets?

If no one wants what you're "selling," then maybe your branding is outdated and out

The reality is Branding is more than just a label. We are more than just a label. Being known as Seventhday Adventist is more than just a label. As Adventist that is our mission yet, but our identity is found in Christ. Christ is our identity not adventism. of touch: If no one is showing up to your events, check your marketing, advertising, and branding. It could be outdated and irrelevant. Your branding needs to be appealing and connect with people. The reality is branding is

Dr. Lyle Notice

Reference List


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more than just a label. We are more than just a label. Being known as Seventh-day Adventist is more than just a label. Being Adventists is our mission, yet our identity is found in Christ. Christ is our identity; Adventism is not. We should be known for more than just eating veggie meat and being “holier than thou.” As someone correctly put it, “Sometimes, we want to be more known as Adventist than Christian.” Are we more in love with the Adventist brand and label than we are with Christ? Our brand should be rooted in the values of Christ and who He is: an all-loving God who invites us into an everlasting, loving relationship.


Youth Director Alberta Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist



Heaven’s Rejoicin


y family had first attended the General Conference Session in 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. It was a moving experience to witness and participate in the celebratory aspect of the significant event, aside from attending the daily business meetings done on the floor as one of the delegates. As the official guests and members of the world church gathered together to celebrate the exponential growth reports presented and the impact of this growth, everyone felt a sense of belonging to a great movement that is so dynamic and progressive, believing the Spirit of God corporately leads it. The hallmark of the session was the manifestation of God’s presence through the heartwarming messages, touching reports, and numerous songs of


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geographical locations, and thanksgiving offered joyfully miraculous experiences in by the diverse singers and acknowledging God’s leading chorales from around the world. It was evident that "to prepare the people for His the people who attended soon return.” If we take a the session left the place closer look, there is a common recharged and refreshed with ground that connects each burning desires to sustain the member on the importance of momentum, spearhead more celebrating all these occasions, church growth, and eagerly and they’re centered on look forward to another grand offering true worship to God. The life of celebration celebration of worship in the throughout the Bible was next quinquennium session. central to all spiritual journeys, The Seventh-day Adventist and it is the essential aspect Church is a diverse community of a Christian’s spiritual of believers, and over time, path. I am highlighting it has developed its unique three biblical celebrations ways of celebrating special that may strengthen our occasions and historical faith in walking with God landmarks. These practices and experiencing the lifeare the direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s working transforming journey. as He gifts unity to the True worship and body of Christ amid the celebration honoring the Lord. diverse background, cultures, Nehemiah 12:1–13:3 depicted the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem to God, where godly leaders like Levites, the


ng in Celebration priests, Nehemiah, Ezra, and a search. In the parable of who are intimately searching singers from around the region the lost sheep, the sheep for the lost one. The willful of Jerusalem were sought out knows it is lost. On the other and intentional search for to celebrate joyfully with songs hand, in the parable of the the lost exemplifies a great of thanksgiving. Different lost coin, the lost coin knows demonstration and affirmation musical instruments were nothing. Yet, the lost sheep of God’s amazing love for played to grace the occasion, and the lost coin both need a sinners. When the lost is and the sound of rejoicing “search-and-rescue mission.” found, there is great rejoicing! could be heard in outlying Here, we see the genuine, Not only that, “And when he areas. The momentous effect intrinsic value of love for comes home, he calls together of the worship celebration the lost ones. Here, we are his friends and his neighbors, impacted others and the rest of compelled to move into saying to them, ‘Rejoice Israel, which prompted them action as we catch with me, for I have to give generously and read sight of the owners found my sheep that the Word, encouraging others to be faithful to the Lord. Lost-and-found celebraWhen members passionately engage tion. Luke 15:1–10 depicts themselves in seeking the lost sheep to God’s invitation to a joyful bring them back to the fold—and sincerely celebration based on the two parables signifying something search for the lost coin, maybe just right had been lost. The parables are within our households—then there will quite different from each other, be more joyful celebrations in heaven." though they both suggest something is lost and requires


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It would be a dangerous condition to see members in God’s household refuse to associate with sinners and forget to rejoice when one returns to Him.

was lost’” (Luke 15:6, ESV). When members passionately engage themselves in seeking the lost sheep to bring them back to the fold—and sincerely search for the lost coin, maybe just right within our households—then there will be more joyful celebrations in heaven. Does your church love to hold more celebrations for the lost that have been found? If not, it would be a sad reality when we are no longer capable of rejoicing when a brother or sister returns home! Full restoration celebration. In Luke 15:11–32, Jesus shares the parable with His disciples and others in response to the Pharisees’ complaint that He welcomes sinners and eats with them. It portrays the story of a younger son who asks for a portion of the family estate, promptly sets off on a long journey, and begins to squander his fortune on wild living. When his provision dries out and the country hits a severe famine, he grasps onto a job feeding pigs. He eventually becomes dead broke and desperately yearns to eat the food given to the pigs. He finally remembers his gracious father, then recognizes his wrongdoings and decides to return to him to ask for forgiveness and mercy. Ever since the son has left, the father has been watching and waiting 18

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for his return. When he sees his son coming back, he runs to receive him with open arms of compassion. The father has fully restored his sonship status. He immediately turns to his servants and asks them to prepare a huge banquet to celebrate his son's return. However, when the older son hears and discovers the party with music and dancing, he is enraged and begins questioning his father’s graciousness. The father tries to mitigate him and begs, “Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” (Luke 15:31, 32, NLT). It would be a dangerous condition to see members in God’s household refuse to associate with sinners and forget to rejoice when one returns to Him. They may be likened to the lost coin in the house, not realizing their lost condition and in need of God’s oil of purification to be renewed and invited to the feast and celebration. May we prayerfully consider the following reflection and, in humility, ask God to search our hearts where we stand: Am I the rebellious child, lost and far from home? Am I likened to


a Pharisee, no longer capable of rejoicing when a brother or sister returns home? Am I a lost child seeking forgiveness and longing for the Father’s love? Am I standing to the side, watching and wondering how the Father could ever forgive that person? Am I one of the servants in the household, rejoicing with the father when his lost son finds his way home? Maybe we’ve hit rock-bottom. Let’s come to our senses and resolve to run to God’s open arms of compassion and mercy. Friends, let's come to our generous Father and embrace His gracious love and mercy, that we may be His instruments in welcoming back those who have returned and come back home. Let’s join with the search-and-rescue mission of seeking the lost. Would you and I respond to God’s bidding and be His instruments? “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7, NIV).

Solomon Agdon

Associate Treasurer, Alberta Conference


Is your heart in the right place?


s it possible to be too helpful? Can our helpfulness make life more difficult for others? Yes, if we are being bothersome, intrusive, smothering, manipulative, or controlling. If the help we are giving is driven only by our anxiety, we may just be trying to help ourselves. How can we know if our hearts and service actions are truly reflective of God's unconditional love? How can we love from pure motives? (see Proverbs 16:2; 21:2; 1 Corinthians 4: 5) If my experience with God is only about me—only about getting my needs met—then

I have genuinely missed what Jesus and His teachings are all about and created nothing more than a counterfeit gospel. If the church is just about me, getting what I want, having everything done the way I want, the music I want, the type of worship service I want, then I have missed the whole point of the teaching of Jesus. I have become nothing more than a narcissistic “Christian.” Each day, as we follow Jesus, we are faced with choices that will affect the lives of others, so when we choose a course of action, whether to help someone or offer advice, we should ask ourselves, ‘Does

my action reflect Christ's concern for others? Do I long to see others grow in grace and find success?’ Let us demonstrate this kind of sensitivity to others—not just for those who sit next to us in church, but for all of God's children (see Philippians 2:1–4). How different life would be in our committees, churches, and homes if we lived by this—if we looked at the other person as more important than we are! Jesus says, "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (John 13:17, NKJV). —Submitted by Ina Martin Edmonton Central Seventhday Adventist Church


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NEWS Uniform Ministries Leadership Team


he Alberta Conference Youth Department is excited to announce the Uniform Ministries Team for the 2021– 2024 period. We praise God for their willingness to serve, support, and encourage the growth and development of the young children in our church. We ask for your prayers as they minister during these unprecedent times. — Submitted by Janeth Vasquez Uniformed Ministries Coordinator


Samantha Tshuma Master Guides Executive Coord.

Marieann Hussell Adventurers Executive Coord.

Bobby George Adventurers Northern Area Coord.

Elaine Bellamy Adventurers Southern Area Coord.

Sophie Sibanda Pathfinders Executive Coord.

Rasheed Tomilson Pathfinders Central Area Coord.

Leisa Afflick Pathfinders Southern Area Coord.

Alberta Adventist News



Adventurers and Pathfinders singing.

Brent Wilson.

Melissa Ohlmann, Pathfinder Director participating in the Investiture Service; below Sophia Matheus taking the oath.

Mateo Melgar.

Pathfinders and Adventurers Investiture Service


his year, all our regular meetings took place by Zoom. It gave us some challenges but, at the same time, allowed us to work on some fun honors that were easier by Zoom than in person. The Alberta Conference organized a virtual week of prayer and a virtual Camporee with the theme “Fearless: God is in Control.”

The speakers for these events were Pathfinders from all around the province. Their talents blessed us. We earned some honors taught by different experts. This year ended with our Investiture. Unfortunately, we could not have it in person, but we had a virtual program that was a blessing to all our churches and even some people worldwide. This

year, we invested thirtytwo Pathfinders and ten Pathfinder staff. We worked on a few different honors, such as Bully Prevention I, Rural Development, Climate Science, Cacti, House Plants, Housekeeping, Laundering, Serving Communities, Family Life, Cultural Diversity Appreciation, Cooking, Christian Grooming and Manners, Red Alert, Basic


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Garcia Family.

Sophia and Aiyla singing.

Cherie Wilson, Adventurers Director.

Silva family with Pastor Rudy Alvir on screen.

Rescue, First Aid Basic I, Heart and Circulation, Kites, Stars, Birds, Animal Tracking, Stewardship, Spiders, and Bubbles. Thanks to all our staff members who worked so hard to make this year fun and a blessing for all our Pathfinders. —Melissa Ohlmann Pathfinder Director Mountain View Seventh- day Adventist Church


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Mountaine Master Gui Outdoors W

ith COVID-19, our MGO club had most of our weekly meetings by Zoom. As restrictions on outdoor activities were eased, we were able to meet in person for a bonfire and backpacking training event on June 19. We welcomed new members to our club during this event and provided training for an expedition into the Cline River Wilderness area, which took place July 9–11, 2021. Everyone was very excited to get together, meet in person, and enjoy God's wonderful creation. Members of the club hiked about 40 km over three days, camping two nights along the Cline River and doing a day hike out to Lake of the Falls. We look forward to another incredible year of fellowship and activities, connecting with God and each other through nature. —Submitted by Chris Ohlmann, Master Guide Deputy Director, Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church This page: All set for outdoor adventure. Next page clockwise: Chris Ohlmann, Master Guide Deputy Director;

the group enjoying the bonfire; Masterguides resting after the hike; gearing up, ready for the hike; conquering natures and rocks.


eers ide


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Stagger Where You Sit


pon entering the train, I couldn’t help but notice a bold, colorful sign. It was distinct from all the other ads and posters near it. More than just the appearance, it was the first four words on that sign that got my full attention: “Stagger where you sit.” Below these words was a paragraph and image to explain that passengers had to sit with empty seats between them to allow for physical distancing.

The sign stopped me in my tracks as I envisioned the choices before me: Which seat should I take? or, should I walk back out through those doors and abandon my plans? No one could have predicted how quickly COVID-19 would disrupt and transform everyday life. The usual way of life to which we were accustomed is gone. As we navigate through these difficult times of uncertainty, we may experience some feelings of anxiety and fear. There’s no doubt this pandemic has drastically altered our lives. Sometimes, the stress of life can feel like an ominous cloud over us; it may even feel like more than we can handle. We may be tempted to give up or give in. However, as believers in God, we can have peace amid uncertainties. As we look ahead, you and I can have the assurance that our heavenly Father will care for our needs (see Matt. 6:25–34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness. Our peace comes from the confidence we can have that the Lord loves us and is in control. He provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax amid changes and challenges.


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Job is a case study in worst-case scenarios, yet he wisely assessed God’s role in his trying circumstances of loss and poor health: “He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, NKJV). We can learn two valuable lessons from Job’s statement: The first is what we dread most can test our characters and make us stronger. The second is God will provide the strength and comfort to see us through. Maybe you are overwhelmed by feelings of discouragement and your Christian journey that has been full of challenges. Despite all the uncertainties we encounter, I am confident, by looking ahead, we will triumph victoriously! —Submitted by Ina Martin, Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

Baptism at Edmonton Central The candidates pose for a picture outside the church with their mothers, the pastors, and Chifuka Chundu, who studied with them. From Left to Right Top Row: Pastor Roberson Dorelus, Pastor David Hamstra, Chifuka Chundu. Middle Row: Drocelle Uwiringiymana, Josiane Bella Ingabire. Bottom Row: Enzo Mugwiza, Chloe Mugwiza, and Renny-Yorgi Ingabire.

When our churches have witnessed historical changes due to the pandemic, I must say for myself and the Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church members that the event of April 17, 2021, has made our hearts rejoice even in a time when uncertainty is the norm. It was an atmosphere of confidence and, at the same time, an emotional day as church members, families, and friends observed as three individuals, RennyYorgi Ingabire, Enzo Primin Mugwiza, and Enza Chloe Mugwiza, made their commitment to follow Jesus by baptism. Special music was provided by the mothers of the candidates,

Just as a wedding celebrates the fusion of two hearts, baptism marks the union of sinners giving their hearts to God. Josiane Bella Ingabire and Drocelle Uwiringiymana. Baptism is a sacred vow from the believer who decides to follow Christ. Just as a wedding celebrates the fusion of two hearts, baptism marks the union of sinners giving their hearts to God. The bride and groom do not understand

all the implications of the wedding; they do not know every challenge or threat they will face; but they know they love each other and vow to be faithful to the end. When someone enters the water of baptism, that person does not see every temptation or challenge one might face, but he or she knows the love of God and is responding to His love. We give thanks to God for His amazing love as we navigate through the final months of 2021. We give Him the praise and glory for these three young people who have surrendered their lives to Him by baptism. —Submitted by Ina Martin Edmonton Central Seventh- day Adventist Church


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Clockwise: Elder Luther Salvan, with his wife, Sister Shiela Salvan (center) and Sister Marjorie Manuel (ACS department head),

buying food and groceries to be packed for distribution; packed food, fruits, and groceries ready for delivery; sister Shiela Salvan, busy packing items to be delivered the following day; elder Luther Salvan and wife, Sister Shiela Salvan, going house to house for delivery; grocery supplies.

Calgary M.E.T.R.O. Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church — Response to Pandemic


e are in uncharted waters. COVID-19 is present everywhere, and our community is no exception. Times are hard, but there are still reasons for which to be thankful. This pandemic has brought opportunities to the Calgary M.E.T.R.O. Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church members who have come together to reach out to families affected by these unprecedented circumstances. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyday life, we will continue to serve our community as best as possible with the


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help and guidance of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Calgary M.E.T.R.O. has been supporting affected families within Calgary proper and nearby towns under the “Do Unto Others Ministry” since early December 2020. Extending help is in the form of distributing food, groceries, basic necessities, and hygiene kits throughout the quarantine period. Members of the church take turns delivering these items, and we are blessed to be given the privilege to serve others. Happy and grateful for the support of


the Alberta Conference, which has partnered with us in this timely response to the pandemic, we look forward to working with them in the church's future outreach program. Indeed, God is in our midst, guiding and helping us reach others and become members of His family. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). — Submitted by Mona G. Manalang


Rudy Alvir

Romy Daquila

Gesklin Etienne

Ian Hartley

Jane Holmes

Rupa Manukonda

Sudhan Muthiah

Moises Ruiz

Diversity in Jesus

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9, NIV)


he world lives in Red Deer. For those of you in the Central Alberta area, you could have come to church each night and would have heard a new international speaker from a different walk of life with a unique story to tell. You would have heard topics from the heart, including “Sin and Salvation,” “Salvation and Abundant Living,” and “My Family and My Extended Family,” to name a few. After a year and a half of a pandemic that has changed the world, it is uplifting and transformational to hear these messages of hope. From June 26–July 3, the Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church had an evangelistic series with the theme of “Jesus, the Centre of My Life.” Members were encouraged to invite

friends and family to attend either in person or online. Although an evangelistic series will sometimes use the services of a professional evangelist, this time of pandemic promoted great creativity, and the church relied on its local preachers. The preachers included Pastor Moises Ruiz, Sudhan Muthiah, Pastor Ian Hartley, Rupa Manukonda, Gesklin Etienne, Pastor Romy Daquila, Jane Holmes, and Pastor Rudy Alvir. As the series carried on, we were astounded at the diversity amongst the preachers. We had speakers from Haiti, Nicaragua, South Africa, India, the Philippines, and Canada. It would take a considerable amount of money to fly in all those speakers from their native countries! We had men and women with

varied careers, including homemakers, teachers, pastors, and businesspeople. What does all this diversity mean for the gospel and the church? It means we come together through the person of Jesus, finding unity in our shared vision, demonstrating how the gospel is accessible to all, and providing a glimpse into the diverse family of God in heaven. Revelation 7:9 describes a scene where God's family comprises every nation and tribe, all worshipping the Saviour. When we lean on our diversity and rely on the gifts God has given His church, we can become that city on a hill right here in Central Alberta.—Submitted by Moises Ruiz, Pastor, Epic Church Red Deer and Asst. Pastor, Red Deer Adventist Church


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Interview With Anjie Fraser Not very long ago, I had the opportunity to interview Anjie Fraser with permission from her parents, Andy and Jijie Fraser.


t's a ritual she performed Sabbath after Sabbath. She is reliable. You can depend on her to be there. Even on short notice, she would cover for someone. It would be impossible not to notice the petite young teenager as she sits at the piano, turning the pages of the hymnal and completely immersing herself as she provides music for our Sabbath School morning worships. It's just about nine years ago that I became acquainted with Anjie and her family. I was privileged to be one of her teachers in primary and junior Sabbath School classes. As I observed her over the years, I realized she is musically talented, and again it was impossible not to observe how committed and focused Anjie has become, especially when it comes to serving God with her talents. She finds time to participate in various activities, including providing music for the senior residents in retirement homes since she was eight years old. She is also presently one of the youngest members of our senior choir at Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ina: There are some things that I have noticed and admired about you. You seemed to have exceptional talent and a love for music. I have also observed that on Sabbath mornings, you are here on schedule before Sabbath School begins. Can you tell me how do you get here that early? Anjie: My family usually gets up early on Sabbath mornings, especially when my father is scheduled to help set up the PA system for the morning. I like to be here and be available if needed. Ina: Do you remember how old you were when you sat down to play the piano for the first time? Anjie: Yes, I officially started piano lessons at the age of six, but beforehand my mother taught me basic piano skills from home. Ina: So, tell me, how long have you been playing, and do you play any other musical instruments?


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Anjie: I have been playing the piano for fifteen years and the violin for ten years. I was six years old when I started playing the piano for church programs. Ina: Can you tell me where and in what capacity have you played regularly? Anjie: I have always enjoyed playing special music for the seniors in retirement homes and care centers. I love to see the smiles on their faces. As a member of my school choir, I play the violin. I also played the piano at school and as often as needed at my home church, Edmonton Central. Ina: Where did you attend music school? Anjie: I was a student at Northgate School for ten years. I had an additional private piano teacher as well. I continue lessons with my private teacher.

CHURCH NEWS Ina: May I ask what or who inspires or persuades you to study music. Anjie: I would say, most definitely, my private teacher, Mrs. Berg, has been a very kind and compassionate teacher over the years. She has taught me so much, and I appreciate her tolerance as she never gave up on me. Ina: Do you have any future plans to explore or develop your skills in music? Anjie: I plan to continue with my music classes until I have completed all the levels associated with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and then I will go from there. Ina: You must have learned and played many songs during your musical training. Do you have a favorite song and why? Anjie: My favorite song is called "Different Heaven Alone." This song was written by my former teacher, Clear Liu. This song is extraordinary because it resonates with one of my favorite memories at Coralwood Adventist Academy. I played this song at my school for a spring concert, and I remember feeling overjoyed at the fact that everyone gave a standing ovation. In addition, this was also when I realized that the beauty of one's music has the power to bring people together.

Anjie Graduation with her family.

Ina: You mentioned Coralwood Adventist Academy. How many years were you at Coralwood Adventist Academy? Anjie: I attended Coralwood Adventist Academy for 13 years. Ina: I understand that you recently graduated from Coralwood Adventist Academy. What were your achievements from Coralwood, and where do you go from here? Anjie: I was awarded the title of Valedictorian and received scholarships such as the Caring Hearts Award, Leadership Award, and a music scholarship. In terms of my plans for the future, I desire to attend Burman University. Ina: Earlier in our interview, you mentioned your family. Tell me about your family. Anjie: My Brother Jierdy and I have been attending Edmonton Central Church since we were born, whereas our parents have attended since 1992. Both of my parents are very dedicated and active members of our church. In addition, my parents supported and believed in Christian education. As a result of their efforts and God's help, my brother and I attended Coralwood Adventist Academy. I am incredibly proud and blessed to have such parents. —Submitted by Ina Martin, Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

Anjie current photo; insert: Playing Piano at age 8. SEPTEMBER 2021

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Mountain View Church Family Rejoices as Seven Young People and Adults are Baptized


t Chinook Winds Adventist Academy, Pastor Paul Antunes gave Bible studies to several students, and many made decisions to express their commitment to the Lord through baptism. Three from our Mountain View Church family were baptized at the school on the evening of June 18. This baptism was viewed by a number of people over Zoom, including family members from as far away as South Korea. We rejoice with Mountain View Church members Brian Kim, Hannah Paethke, and Cole Paethke. Paul Antunes, Brent Wilson, and Ghena Girleanu, respectively, officiated in these baptisms.

Chris Street and Roberto Grageda with Pastor Honey Todd after baptism. Seven young people giving their lives to Jesus.


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CHURCH NEWS On July 10, another baptism was held at Airdrie Seventh- day Adventist Church conducted by Honey Todd. Both Chris Street and Roberto Grageda have been part of the Mountain View Church family for quite a while. It brought such joy to see them make their commitment through baptism. Desi and Plam Paskalev and Terri Waller led congregational singing; Don Corkum led in voting Chris and Roberto into church membership; and the congregation offered their congratulations and support at the close of the service. Many gathered at Nose Creek Park in Airdrie following the service for a "bring your own" supper picnic. It was a gorgeous day! At the same time, at Wedge Pond in Kananaskis, another baptism took place. Antunes baptized Emanuel "Manu" Queiroz. Many of her Brazilian friends from

Mountain View and other Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Calgary area joined in celebrating the baptism at the pond. Manu gave her testimony at church on July 24. Again, on July 31, yet another baptism was held at the Airdrie Church when Mike Tokarev publicly expressed his commitment to the Lord in baptism. Todd officiated, and Corkum led in having the congregation vote Mike into membership. Rachel Miranda led us in singing during the service. Both baptisms conducted by Todd were a celebration with balloons and joyous expressions of praise. Because it was such a beautiful day, we were glad to gather at Nose Creek Park for another picnic supper. Mountain View rejoices and welcomes each of these friends into membership and fellowship. —Submitted by Phyllis Corkum

Emanuel Queiroz baptism by Pastor Paul Antunes.

Mike Tokarev baptism by Pastor Honey Todd.

Yellowknife Seventhday Adventist Church


n the weekend of July 17, Pastor Jonathan Geraci was able to visit Inuvik, Northwest Territories. He led worship and communion and visit members. Willard Hagen joined by baptism, and Karin Lange joined through profession of faith. May the Lord continue to guide us as we spread the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people throughout the Northwest Territories.— Submitted by Pastor Jonathan Geraci, Yellowknife Seventh-day Adventist Church

Karin Lange, Pastor Jonathan and Willard Hagen.


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CHURCH NEWS Acceptance of Adventist beliefs by the candidates.

Marilou Luna baptized by Pastor Jinwook Lee.

Lemuel Beltran baptized by Pastor Jinwook Lee.

Okotoks children and adults, rejoicing after baptism.

Okotoks Church Camping a Outback Family Farm in Pin O

n July 3, 2021, the Okotoks Seventh- day Adventist Church family could finally be together again after one-and-a-half years of seeing each other on Zoom. Zoom did work well for the church services and meetings, thanks to a dedicated, busy young woman, Shara Padilla. However, we did miss our hugs and handshakes. It was a joy to be together again on this beautiful Sabbath out in the country, at Outback Family Farm in Pincher Creek, close to the Waterton River. The Sabbath School program, main service,


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and youth program were filled with inspiration and encouragement. It was a wonderful day because three people desired to be baptized. Marilou Luna testified that her husband, Jobert Luna, whom she met in Taiwan, was an instrument for her to know the truth. Eleonor and Lemuel Beltran were members of the Baptist Church. Last year, Eleonor watched Pastor John Lomacang’s sermon regarding the Sabbath. Both Eleonor and Lemuel asked God to help them find an Adventist church. The Holy Spirit guided them through their family physician,

The Beltrans with the Okotoks brethren in Waterton River.

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and Baptism at ncher Creek Dr. Lady Jane Padilla, who introduced them to Nimrod Loriezo, Pastor Romy Daquila, and Pastor Jinwook Lee for Bible study. Our hearts were filled with thankfulness to our great God, who performs these great miracles of heart changes. Luna was baptized in a pool, but the Beltrans were baptized in the Waterton River. Pastor Lee baptized all three. There were tears of joy, gladness, and thankfulness for what our great God had done. Praise the Lord for saving souls! —Submitted by Ria Schurig, Communication Director for Okotoks Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Adventist Education

A Way of Life


s I take on this new role in education and reflect on my life, I realize I have had a connection to Adventist education for as long as I can remember. From the very beginning, as early as kindergarten Sabbath School classes, Adventist education was reflected in everything that was me. Being fortunate enough to have had the experience of attending an Adventist school from kindergarten through grade


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twelve, my morals and values were guided and directed by my family, church, and school. Together, those three pillars of support have been instrumental in helping shape my worldview and creating in me a passion for education—a passion that encompasses all aspects of my life. When I was entering the ninth grade, I was curious to explore life outside of Adventist education. My mother was a strong woman and firmly believed in


practical child guidance. However, although she was a great supporter of Adventist education, she agreed, after much pleading, to allow me to attend the local public school. It was a beautiful school! I could take any classes I wanted, be on the sports team of my choice, and have access to all the extracurricular activities one could imagine. The sports field and gymnasium were some of the best in the community. I lived just a few

short blocks away, as opposed to the forty-minute bus ride to the Adventist school. What a life! I had it made! Three days… it took only three days for me to feel alone and disconnected from everything I knew and was. It was then I realized this was not just about changing schools. This was about changing life. I found myself longing for the lunch hour Bible studies with friends, many of whom had other beliefs, the planning and practicing for Sabbath activities, teachers laughing and praying with me, and hanging out on the school steps with the friends who also sang around the piano with me on many Sabbath afternoons. I remembered the school janitor who was always busy working on some project around the school but was never too busy for an encouraging word or uplifting smile. I was disconnected from my "family." I wanted my life back. None of the other things mattered.

As I look forward to the future, it is my heartfelt prayer for our students to have the opportunity to experience education as a way of life, not simply a segment on the timeline of their youth. We are educating for eternity. Upon returning to the Adventist school, my “school life” changed. It was no longer just an attitude of school requirements, although they still mattered. Life was restored—I was reconnected. As I reflect on the years beyond my ninth-grade adventure, I have come to realize I was in a safe environment in which to learn, experience heartache and healing, grow, and feel the love of Christ.

I believe the Lord utilized my family, teachers, and friends to guide and support me as I developed a passion for learning and a desire for a lifelong journey of service in Adventist education. As I look forward to the future, it is my heartfelt prayer for our students to have the opportunity to experience education as a way of life, not simply a segment on the timeline of their youth. We are educating for eternity. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Gail Wilton

Education Director/Superintendent Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


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Sculpture by MANS Students One of Two Student Works Featured in International Welded Art Show BY LYNN McDOWELL


he two young welding artists who got their start at Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) and unveiled their commission from the City of Lacombe this past fall were featured in an international show of welded art this July. Miweyihtowin is one of only two student works featured in the 2021 International Institute of Welding Welded Art Photographic Exhibition. The exhibition, which includes professional artists and select artists in other categories, can be viewed and downloaded at

“I have tried to show the true benefits and value of welded art using the messages


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at the beginning of each section in the Collection,” wrote Chris Smallbone, exhibit organizer, in correspondence with Lynn McDowell, who assisted in the collection of material for Tessa Potts and Eileen Firingstoney’s submission. “Eileen’s and Tessa’s contributions, and your assistance in helping me link to them, has truly helped us achieve this objective.” If you would like to comment on the MANS student contribution or other pieces in the show, please write #welding and #iiw2021 on their text and mention the International Institute of Welding and Aristea.


The show is also viewable at these outlets: Facebook /AristeaGroup/posts/347156207005853 LinkedIn /feed/update/urn:li:activity:6822832821028085760/ Twitter


Following Jesus


n June 18, 2021, Chinook Winds Adventist Academy celebrated its annual baptismal service in its gym, with seven young people giving their lives to Jesus. Pastor Paul Antunes gave Bible studies to over 40 students, of which 16 made a decision for baptism. The other nine will be getting baptized at later dates. Pastor Bryan Saint-Louis, Pastor Brent Wilson, Pastor Ghena Girleanu, and Pastor Paul Antunes were all part of baptizing these young people. Congratulations to our young people for their decisions to follow Jesus. —Submitted by Pastor Paul Antunes, Chaplain, Chinook Winds Adventist Academy SEPTEMBER 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Pastor Tsholo blends his enthusiasm and love of people into innovative ministry in Maskwacis, even in the toughest of COVID times. Within days of Alberta lifting its social restrictions in July, the Botswana-born Maskwacis Church pastor and MANS chaplain was running his fifth annual summer soccer camp for youth of the Maskwacis reserves.

New MANS Chaplain and Maskwacis Church Pastor Jumpstarts July Soccer Camp in Town



sholofelo Sebetlela—perhaps better known as Pastor Tsholo—is a busy man. As the chaplain at Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) and pastor of the Maskwacis Seventh-day Adventist Church, he balances a dual role, guiding both high school students and members of the wider Maskwacis community. With COVID restrictions being lifted July1, Pastor Tsholo wasted no time in setting up his fifth annual Maskwacis community soccer camp the following week. Although his job comes with a lot of responsibility, to Pastor Tsholo, it is a blessing. Arriving in September 2020 38

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from his prior assignment in and raised in Botswana. His Lloydminster, he is thankful name, Tsholofelo, means for the relationships he “hope.” In 2008, he flew to has been able to form with Toronto for what he thought students and Maskwacis was a visit. However, four community members over months in, he fell in love with the past year, despite the a woman named Nadine. They pandemic curveballs. He was met at church. He decided to overjoyed when he could run stay. Nadine and Tsholofelo his first truly social event for got married and had three the Maskwacis community children before they eventuin July, enlisting members ally decided to leave Toronto of his church congregation, so he could pursue theology like Jimmy Potts, to assist as studies at Burman University. coaches (see “after camp” video Curiously, before their move interview clip in The Tsholo to Alberta, Nadine brought Report at albertaadventist/ up the idea of him focusing maskwa-movies). on Native ministry specificalPastor Tsholo did not ly. At first, Pastor Tsholo was always see himself working not so sure. “In my mind,” he in Maskwacis. He was born explains, “the gospel needs to


EDUCATION NEWS go to everybody. Why narrow been a way to visit for five yourself and your potenminutes, socially distanced.” tial?” His first church service Another major community in Maskwacis changed his building tool for him is soccer. thinking. “That,” he says, “was Of his decision to combine an eye-opening experience ministry and sports, Pastor for me… I thought of CanaTsholo explains, between da as a first-world country. I laughs, “I wasn’t a good thought that meant everybasketball player. Soccer, I’m one had a house with lights okay. I realized there’s no point and high rises around them. in trying to reinvent myself. Being in Maskwacis remindSoccer is something that I love. ed me of being back home.” I should use what I know.” Though the pastor describes He soon channeled his life back home in Botswana his love for soccer into a as “challenging,” on the other community soccer camp. hand, he says, “Home is always Pastor Tsholo considers this home.” He has not been back one of the highlights of his since he emigrated in 2008. involvement in Maskwacis. He misses it. True to his name, he is hopeful for an eventual A Community return, but in the meantime, Partnership his background has given him “What I love about the soccer unique tools and perspeccamp,” Pastor Tsholo says, tives for ministering through “is the collaboration that the COVID-19 pandemic. we have, the partnership One of those tools is food that we have. We had delivery. “I connect with kôhkoms— grandmothers — people by doing stuff with making food for the kids them… [Delivering food] has every day—you can imagine,

five days a week! These women made sure that the children were fed. We also had volunteers from the community. And on Fridays, we would have family gettogethers where parents get to play with their children. It’s so heartwarming to get to see them joking and playing together.” Growing Together What should people outside the Maskwacis community understand about the First Nations community in which he is involved? “Human beings are not for you to judge on the outside,” he says. “We need to get to a place where we can be interested in each other’s stories. Let me get to know you before I can say, ‘I know you.’ Let me hear your story, and then we can grow together.” Myken McDowell is a communications specialist and master printmaker living in Edmonton.


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Changing of the Guard:

New Principal for MANS BY MYKEN McDOWELL


ail Wilton began teaching at Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) in 2004, becoming principal in 2010. For 17 years, she fostered a supportive, family-like learning environment and came to love the dedicated, collegial, and compassionate school staff. She initiated the addition of high school classes and accreditation with the NAD and oversaw the opening of the new high school buildings. What may particularly stand out for MANS students, however, is Gail’s passion for service and education, which made her go out of her way to get to know the kids. When she talks about the students she got to see grow and mature into adulthood, her smile is wide. That part of the job, she notes, as particularly rewarding. When congratulated on her new position as education superintendent at the Alberta Conference, Gail acknowledges that the moment is bittersweet. “It has been a fantastic 17 years,” she says, “I have really, thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to moving into this next phase of service—where I can continue to work with Mamawi and all the other Adventist schools. It is a change that is exciting and a little intimidating at times, but I know I have 40

Alberta Adventist News

Gail Wilton, M.Ed., graduated from La Sierra University’s Master of Education program earlier this year, prior to accepting the position of Director of Education with the Alberta Conference and becoming superintendent of the church’s K-12 schools in Alberta.

Mike Willing, MANS’ new principal, is pursuing a master’s degree in education policy. Mike moved from vice principal of MANS’ high school, a position he’s held since 2015, to the principalship of MANS on August 1.

a great team at the Alberta Conference office to work with and a great group of educators.” Gail emphasizes, “I am not saying goodbye… I am going to spend as much time as I possibly can in all the schools.”

sion, and challenges. There are some areas of growth that are both exciting and challenging.” One of the areas for growth is the Industrial Arts/CVS program, which will be headed by MANS veteran teacher Arden Kay. The Construction class is wildly popular with students; it filled up quickly this spring, attracting as many girls as it did guys. “We have staff and students here that have a lot of enthusiasm for it,” Mike explains. “We also have ten acres of some of the most fertile land in Alberta. We should do something with it. A greenhouse, garden, goats,

The Coming Year Though Gail will always be a part of the MANS community, Mike Willing, who’s acted as vice-principal of the high school since 2015, is now principal. His title changed on August 1, but his first day as principal felt, he says, “exactly the same as being vice-principal. We have the same staff, vi-


EDUCATION NEWS To hear an interview with Gail and Mike about the recent role changes and footage of MANS’ Industrial Arts/CTS program, go to the July 10 video under the 2021 Virtual Camp Meeting tab at (fourth interview in the “Sabbath Morning Live” Sabbath School program). cows, something! We were excited to explore those opportunities through learning.” “My world revolves around building and making things,” Mike laughs. “We began a garden last year; we still need a garden shed. That fits great into our construction program. We have a lot of students who are excited to contribute to a small building on campus that fulfills our needs.” When asked about his plans, Mike emphasizes the importance of working together to maintain the school’s reputation for being a warm, welcoming, and safe place for learning. “I want to offer an opportunity to build trust and confidence with our MANS families and our staff. Though I have been at MANS for some time, I am in a new role, so that [trust building] will take time. I will be building on what Gail established and not make a lot of new demands or changes.” Myken McDowell is a communications specialist and master printmaker living in Edmonton.

Grade 5 students building friendship and working cooperatively.

Gardening is fun!

Grade-five Students Plant Garden in Calgary


ith a lot of hard work and undying support from parents, including generous financial contributions, the grade-five class garden has, for the most part, been completed. With an eight-foot fence to keep deer and rabbits out, the raspberries, blackberries, haskap berries, and saskatoons are coming up nicely. There has also been one Evans cherry and one Brookgold plum tree planted. Once finished, students held a prayer of dedication in the garden, asking God to protect it and make it a blessing in the community where people can connect with Him and appreciate the wonders of His creation. What a precious opportunity this garden has been for strengthening relationships, working cooperatively, and learning more about growing food sustainably! The Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church family members are students in this grade-five class, including Lucy Miranda, Hannah Paethke, and Valentina Silva. — Submitted by Phyllis Corkum SEPTEMBER 2021

Alberta Adventist News


IN MEMORY Marion Elizabeth (Gill) Reimche



April 24, 2021


(587) 802-2016

Digital Newsletter

ENEWS Alberta Adventist News




Alberta Adventist News


arion Elizabeth (Gill) Reimche passed away suddenly and peacefully at her residence in Lacombe, AB, on April 24, 2021. Marion leaves to mourn her husband of 60 years, Edward Reimche; her children, Carolyn O’Neill (and Terry), David Reimche (and Angela), Laura Mezei (and Jamie), and Ron Reimche (and Natasha); children of her heart, Lily Matthews (and Brian), Rosalie Case (and George), April Kirby (and Brad), and Corey Scott; her grandchildren, Teena Matthews-Burley (and Chris), Tasha O'Neill (and Jason), Justin O'Neill (and Christa), Julia Case (and Cam), Kristina, Tanis, and Kimmi Fuller, Aliya and Liam Pridham, and Everly Reimche; as well as great-grandchildren, Islay, Eloise, and Oliver O'Neill, and Soren Chase; her only brother, Victor Gill (and Nettie); sisters-in-law, Sue Flint and Darlene Reimche; brothers-in-law, Herb Stickle (and Sandra), John Blake (and Ngaere), Ralph Clarke, Dennis Burr, and Leo Reimche (and Lisette). She also leaves to mourn nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends. Marion is predeceased by her mother, Muriel Gill, father, Ford Gill, and stepmother, Isabelle Gill; sistersin-law, Rose Stickle, Alberta Blake, Zella Clark, and Edna Burr, and brother-in-law, Raleigh Flint; grandson, Tim Matthews, foster grandson, James Hillier, and other uncles, aunts, and cousins. Donations can be made in memory of Marion Reimche to ADRA Canada at adra. ca. —Submitted by Carolyn Oneill

ANNOUNCEMENTS Happy 90th Birthday, Leo!


eonardo Mendoza Quines was born on August 29, 1931 in Ilocos Sur Province, Philippines. At the age of 12, he was fully orphaned yet raised by his older sister and her own family, who kept him safe during the Japanese occupation of World War II. With his beloved wife, Rosita Capiendo Quines, he brought forth four children in the Philippines. After working as Adventist colporteurs for several years, Leo and Rosita decided to immigrate to Canada for a better life for

themselves and their children. They landed in 1971. Throughout the many years of his married life, Leonardo was devoted to Rosita— always by her side; always helpful and loving. Rosita was his true love, and he was dedicated to her. They were best friends and good role models for their children. Rosita passed to rest in April 2020 in Red Deer Extendicare. Leonardo's family spent many happy years in Prince George, BC, as members of

the church while the children were attending church school. They moved to Alberta in 1980 with the plan that the younger children would attend the church school in Lacombe. Leonardo worked a successful career as a custodian for Red Deer Hospital, ending his career of ten years without a single sick day. He received a special plaque from the administration for this achievement. His progeny has expanded from his own four children (Ronard, Leslie, Marly, Arlyn) to include five grandchildren (Ritchie, Michael, Christopher, Catherine, Lisa) and ten great-grandchildren, all of whom he is very proud. Throughout his life, Leonardo has been a kind, loving person—friendly and helpful to all and unfailingly cheerful and confident in the Lord's care. He has been a loving father to his children and others who have needed his guidance — a generous man to his family and those less fortunate than he is. To this day, Leonardo continues to provide support to his relatives and others in the Philippines who have not had the advantages he has had. Leo has led a long life, all while holding the Lord as his guiding light and keeping his family as the centerpiece of this life.— Submitted by Marly Barsh


Alberta Adventist News



Donors point the way in 2021 “Level the Playing Field” Year End Appeal A June Memorial Gift jump starts a deferred pillar of Adventist Education at MANS—an outdoor playing field BY LYNN McDOWELL


know my job—like your job —i s a gift from God. But some days I feel like I’ve just heard God’s speaking as I sit at my desk, as clearly as I’ve ever heard it in any church sermon. The TueSeventh-day Adventisty before Canada Day was one of those times. Going through my mail, I found a hand-addressed card with just my name on it. Of course I opened it first! On the cover of the card inside was a beautiful sunset with comforting words — words intended for all the suffering Indigenous families with beloved children in unmarked graves, I thought. But on closer reading, this Adventist couple wanted to reach


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out to Indigenous families by increasing the healing impact of Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS). “This gift of love is in memory of the precious Indigenous children’s lives,” began the hand-written note inside, “who were taken in such sadness and injustice. These terrible tragedies remind us of the sinful world we live in and why Jesus came to save all mankind. “May this gift help to bring healing as you share Jesus’ love to MANS.” The signature line — “With our love” — transported me to and Paul’s famous Love Chapter (I Cor.13) and its preface: “I show you


This gift of love is in memory of the precious Indigenous children’s lives, who were taken in such sadness and injustice. These terrible tragedies remind us of the sinful world we live in and why Jesus came to save all mankind. Photo by Patti Reasor


a more excellent way.” Canada Day 2021 was like no other. Many celebrated freedom from COVID masks; others wore orange shirts, sometimes in combination with red and white, to remember the recent discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at Indian residential schools where children died alone, many without their parents’ knowledge. This

Adventist family had found a third, More Excellent Way to respond to tragedy and blessing: a gift of cash that will help provide a basic outdoor activity field at MANS, in accordance with Adventist education philosophy.

Why a Basic Athletic Field? Most of our schools have an outdoor area where soccer

Burman U’s Women’s Soccer Club got the athletic field ball rolling by establishing the Athletic Field Fund with their fundraising efforts in the 2019 soccer season. Club members Stephanie Ferguson and Elsy Fernandez presented SA president Jade Rabbit with a cheque in Dec. 2019.

Give to the Level the Playing Field Appeal before December 31 to ensure a charitable donation receipt for the 2021 tax year. Donations through regular offering channels should be clearly marked “MANS Playing Field” or be made online at Appeal Goal:



Alberta Adventist News



DID YOU KNOW? “In Memory” (Memorial) Gifts can be designated for a specific ministry or project, and can be publicly acknowledged (ex.: on a donor wall or published story) or they can be private and anonymous. A gift for a ministry without other restrictions, such as the Canada Day gift, allows the donation to be paired with other gifts that compliment the donor’s general wish (ex.: to advance MANS’ work) for greater impact. In the instance of the Canada Day gift for MANS, the donors were happy to help facilitate a much-needed outdoor playing field, which will increase the impact of a gift from businessman Richard Bird: Bird arranged for equipment and professional instruction in cross-country skiing at MANS this coming winter with Spirit North, the non-profit established by Albert cross-country skiing athlete and Olympic gold medalist Becky Scott to engage Indigenous youth in outdoor activity.


Alberta Adventist News

and other games of physical skill can be held, because outdoor exercise is a pillar of Adventist education. Sadly, this is missing at MANS. As the school evolved, other pressing needs took precedence. But now, as I looked at the unexpected Canada Day gift, I began to wonder: Was it just coincidence that recently, a different donor (see Did You Know) had made a major, unsolicited financial investment in getting MANS onto the schedule of Spirit North—an organization that provides instruction and equipment to engage Indigenous youth in outdoor activities? All MANS needs to provide are kids and a level outdoor area for instruction and activity — a small athletic field.

A Gentle Nudge

With these two wonderful and unexpected gifts, it seems God is giving us the nudge that it’s time to provide for a pillar of Adventist education that’s been on the back burner since the Burman U Women’s Soccer Club established the Athletic Field Fund in 2019. Along with developing mental, spiritual and social skills, we need to provide on-site instruction and opportunities to develop skills in and a love of healthy outdoor activity. An athletic activity field is a clear necessity.


Along with developing mental, spiritual and social skills, we need to provide on-site instruction and opportunities to develop skills in and a love of healthy outdoor activity. The 2021 Year End Appeal for MANS will fund a basic athletic field — a level area for games, running, and learning to cross-country ski and snowshoe. It won’t be fancy, but it’s rooted firmly in Adventist education principles and will launch many into a positive lifestyle and direction for their lives. Let’s enable MANS to more completely share a more excellent way to live.

Lynn McDowell, JD, CSPG

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


TSHOLO? From the moment he wakes up, every day in Pastor Tsholo’s Maskwacis ministry is an adventure. Sometimes he’s a soccer camp organizer at Ermineskin Arena with kokums cheering on their grandkids and making lunch on the sidelines. Sometimes he’s learning the ukulele alongside elementary kids at MANS. Whatever it is, this pastor isn’t flying “solo” — even if that’s how you say his name. Always engaging with kids and community, catch the adventures of Tsholo and his Maskwacis Congregation friends in weekly minute-or-less videos from the Res next door.




Saruk Centre for Leader Development Established for University Students BY JOHN AND LYNN McDOWELL


his summer a group of philanthropic individuals who deeply care about young people and the multiple challenges they face came together. As recognized leaders themselves, they’re also are concerned about the dire need for a new generation of ethically and spiritually grounded leaders. The result: The Saruk Centre for Leader Development, which is launching from becoming remarkable leaders the campus of Burman for their local community, University this September. their country, and the world.” The Centre’s no-cost The Saruk Centre founders co- curricular program is observed that while a open to any university student. bachelor’s degree used to The three-year program is be the ticket to success — a intentional, sequential, and secure job and a life well developmental, designed lived — t hings have changed. to “Create leaders who A BA or BSc degree has positively impact the world become a steppingstone to and give graduates a leg up professional or graduate in the competition for jobs.” school. Employers and “We are at a time when even graduate schools the world is in dire need are asking, “What have of new leaders,” says Elvin you done beyond getting Saruk, chair of the board of your academic degree?” directors, “leaders of moral Consequently, more and integrity, sound purpose, more colleges and universities and clear vision. The Centre are keeping record of what invests in the next generation students do outside of the of those who are capable of classroom — from involvement 48

Alberta Adventist News


in on-campus activities such as student government and club leadership to off-campus activities such a service and volunteer work. Such activities are recorded in what is called a Co-Curricular Record (CCR) that graduating students can show to prospective employers and professional and graduate schools along with their academic transcript. The program is free to students, however, those interested must apply and be accepted. Getting Started

1. Students should

apply for admission to the Saruk Centre through its website youthleadersca. before Sept. 5 (Burman students may apply through their student portal). Students who miss the deadline can apply for the 2021- 2022 academic year.

2. A practical approach: The first session will

PHILANTHROPY NEWS introduce students to the program and what it takes to be a success in an ever-increasingly competitive job market, and how to emerge and thrive as an ethical leader. Fundamental to the program is a self-assessment exercises to determine personal strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities to hear from the founding members of their journeys and experiences with leadership. An important part of the program will be opportunities for students to jobshadow and to develop

mentor relationships. Spiritual strength is an important part of the sequence of weekend sessions that form part of the core requirements.

3. Guest Speakers: The

first session, where Centre founders will speak, will focus on understanding one’s emotional intelligence and how that relates to leadership. The second session on November 7 will highlight an external consultant, Dr. Sharon McDowell-Larsen who, besides being a tri-athlete, has years of executive training

experience working for the Center For Creative Leadership (CCL) in the US. Her workshops, drawn from her published research, will focus on the relationship between health and leadership and how best to deal with stress.

4. The winter term

sessions will include developing other practical skills such as resume writing and job interview skills. Community outreach and service are also key components.

The first cohort will begin the program on Sept. 12.

Sharon McDowell-Larson will be presenting seminars at the Saruk Centre’s November 7 session. McDowell-Larson has trained many high-level leaders in her 20 years at the Centre for Creative Leadership, based in Colorado, including Pfizer, the US Navy and General Motors, and her research on executive fitness and stress management has been quoted in many publications, including Forbes magazine. She has numerous age-group national and world championship podiums in mountain biking, IRONMAN triathlon, off-road triathlon and cross country skiing.


Alberta Adventist News





Joshua and Dakotah, who have played in the Native World Series many times, met playing for one of the top teams in North America, Extreme Kaos. Kiya is in Grade 2 at MANS, and Zuya, at nine months, is already wielding a baseball glove.


Alberta Adventist News



oshua Saddleback believes in dreams. As a 10-year old walking MANS’ halls, like most boys on the Maskwacis reserve, the son of now Chief Vernon Saddleback, Samson Cree Nation, dreamed of competing as a high level athlete. MANS had no athletic field or program. But Joshua had dreams: dreams of graduating from MANS (then terminating at Grade 9); dreams of excelling in high school and at athletics, and going on to university. The Second Generation at MANS When Joshua walked into MANS in January 2021 with his six-year old daughter Kiya after he graduated from university, he was realizing another dream: enrolling Kiya in the same caring academic environment he experienced — a place

PHILANTHROPY NEWS where he knew Kiya would be valued, protected and challenged. A Healthy Family Pursuit Now with two young daughters and a partner, Dakotah, who’s his match as an athlete, Joshua sees athletics as a way of life and a positive lifestyle choice. It’s a way to help his kids and others on the Res to keep dreaming. Kiya’s already dreaming. Dinner talk about the Indigenous slow pitch team her parents play in year round fuels her imagination; Joshua, Dakotah and Extreme Kaos have returned from the Native World Series, held in the US, as champions of the last four out of five Series. Then there’s Warhorse — a new competitive league team composed of Kiya’s extended family—that's

Ready and Willing to Help: “Thank you for this opportunity to help Mamawi develop their athletics,” wrote Joshua when asked whether he and his family would share their story and allow photos of the family to be taken on the planned field site at MANS. Field photos by Dean Ward Highview Photo. Studio photo by Nwamiko Madden.

in the discussion stage. She’s got a good throwing arm. Her mom, Dakotah, started playing on a boy’s fastball team at the age of eight; maybe Kiya will someday pitch a World Cup game for Warhorse. Moving Kids Forward Kiya’s future; Warhorse; a whole generation of MANS kids loving outdoor activity and team discipline —i t’s just a dream right now. But standing on the uneven field where Joshua once tossed a football, the family sees a place to introduce kids to the highly accessible and inclusive sport of softball and other outdoor activities. A field where MANS can help kids build skills, character, and a healthy, brighter future. A field of foundational, attainable dreams.

Watch Joshua’s July 2021 video interview about his experience at MANS and why he wants his daughters there: SEPTEMBER 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Photo by Dean Ward Highview Photo

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD Joshua’s always had dreams. As a 10-year old walking MANS’ halls, the son of now Chief Vernon Saddleback, Samson Cree Nation, he dreamed of graduating from MANS (then terminating at Grade 9). He dreamed of excelling in high school and at athletics, and going on to university—which he did.

Help MANS kids build skills, character, and a healthy, brighter future. Support the MANS 2021 “Level the Playing Field” Year End Appeal to build an athletic field.

Now he wants to help the next generation get a healthy start in life.

Three convenient ways to donate:

Joshua wants his girls and other Res kids to have the special MANS classroom experience. But he wants it to include something he didn’t have: Outdoor Athletics.

2. Call: The Alberta Conference: (403) 342-5044 x 226

Because a level playing field isn’t just a luxury dream. It’s a way to change the course of a life.

1. Online: 3. Mail: The Alberta Conference 5816 Hwy 2A, Lacombe, AB T4L 2G5 Donate before December 31 to ensure a tax receipt for the 2021 tax year.