Pacific Union Recorder—May 2024

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Pacific Union College offers students of excellent character, strong academic achievement, and financial need a four-year full-tuition scholarship. We are dedicated to providing an outstanding Christian education to all students, including those with high financial need. This promise means you don’t have to worry about your college tuition!

Our unwavering commitment to our students and the Adventist community makes PUC truly accessible to all.

Visit for eligibility requirements.

Promise Scholarship

The Pathfinder ministry that began in Southern California has prospered and grown and now is established in the Adventist Church around the world. The great majority of the churches in the Pacific Union have Pathfinder Clubs that collectively provide personal growth and guidance for thousands of children and young people on a weekly basis. Charles Mills, a freelance writer from West Virginia and a regular contributor to our magazine, researched and conducted interviews to write the articles about Pathfinders in this issue of the Recorder. On the cover: a Master Guide member of the Central Spanish church in Southern California Conference.

What’s inside

4 “Lest We Forget”

8 Birth of a Mission

13 Foundation for Service


Those Who Lead

22 Leaders Under Construction

27 Safety Standards Create Happy Kids

32 Fundamental Belief Number 3: The Father

34 “When Mother Tucked Me In”

36 An Idea Whose Time Had Come

40 Beginnings: At the Forefront of Change

44 Newsdesk

48 Arizona Conference

50 Central California Conference

54 Hawaii Conference

56 Holbrook Indian School

58 Adventist Health

59 La Sierra University

60 Loma Linda University Health

61 Pacific Union College

62 Nevada-Utah Conference

64 Northern California Conference

68 Southeastern California Conference

72 Southern California Conference

76 Community & Marketplace


81 Sunset Calendars

Seventh-day Adventist homes in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Our mission is to inform, educate, and inspire our readers to action in all areas of ministry.

Publisher Ray Tetz

Editor Alberto Valenzuela

Assistant Editor Connie Jeffery


Stephanie Leal • Alberto Valenzuela

Printing Pacific Press Publishing Association

Adventist Health 916-742-0429

Kim Strobel


480-991-6777 ext 139

Jeff Rogers

Central California 559-347-3034

Justin Kim

Hawaii 808-595-7591

Caleb Schaber

Holbrook Indian School 928-524-6845 x143

Kimberly Cruz

La Sierra University 951-785-2000

Darla Tucker

Loma Linda 909-651-5925

Ansel Oliver

Nevada-Utah 775-322-6929

Michelle Ward

Northern California 916-886-5600

Laurie Trujillo

Editorial Correspondents

Pacific Union College 951-809-6777

Gene Edelbach

Southeastern California 951-509-2256

Andrea King

Southern California 818-546-8400

Lauren Lacson

Postal Regs: The Pacific Union Recorder (ISSN 0744-6381), Volume 124, Number 5, is the official journal of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is published monthly. Editorial office is at 2686 Townsgate Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91361: 805-497-9457. Periodical postage paid at Thousand Oaks, CA, and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: No charge to Pacific Union Adventist church members; $16 per year in U.S.; $20 foreign (U.S. funds); single copy, $2. POSTMASTER : Send address changes to: Circulation Department, Pacific Union Recorder, Box 5005, Westlake Village, CA 91359.

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Recorder is a monthly publication reaching approximately 76,000

“Lest We Forget”

Do you remember the time when…” That’s the preamble to most family stories—often recounting something embarrassing or surprising. My father was a great one for telling tales of growing up in the tiny town of Carterville in Southern Illinois. As a child, chasing the family’s pet chicken. Playing basketball with the high school team that went on to the regional finals. His mother making cornbread and beans for many meals because that’s what working poor people could afford. We heard how dad joined the Navy in World War II, was stationed on Guam, would go to college on the GI Bill and be the first one in family history to complete a four-year college degree (UCLA), and go on to marry the woman he sat next to in class. Like most families, these stories and so many more created the narrative of our identity as Newtons. Funny, sad, mundane, inspiring. It was all there.

Ellen White penned, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, p. 204). Perhaps with me you have heard this quoted from pulpits, in board meetings, or in Adventist

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periodicals. This is a powerful promise written by the Lord’s messenger, one of the tested pioneers of this church. I note that it is a conditional promise though: “except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.” The threat facing us today is that we shall indeed forget. It’s not so much an intentional rejection as it is consistently choosing to displace and dispel our origin stories for the urgency of today’s problems. The irony is that this default takes us away from some of the very help we need for today.

Presidents of the United States since Ronald Reagan have periodically met with historians to find potential parallels in history to the challenges of the hour. In their loneliest hours while making agonizing decisions, they have sought guidance in reflecting upon what past American presidents did in crisis moments. In the spiritual realm, Moses commanded Israel to keep the story of their faith alive through retelling past experiences with the Lord. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20, NIV). Both adults and children benefited from a consistent reminder of

God’s working in their community.

How can you and I find strength and courage when facing the tests and uncertainties of life’s complexities? When you come up against decisions that can profoundly shape your future, is there help from God? Along with seeking the Lord in prayer for guidance and reading the timeless wisdom of Scripture, He has also provided practical means to speak to us from the past experiences of others. The book of Hebrews encourages us in this task, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV). Scripture teaches a relationship between the “cloud of witnesses” (those who have come before us) and our increased capacity to live with greater integrity and hope today.

We have the opportunity today to very easily access the inspiring and instructive lives and experiences of people of faith who have journeyed before us. Solomon observed, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). As I read the sources available to us today, I am reminded that what I think is unique and special about my challenges in 2024 have been faced by others. Our own Seventh-day Adventist story and the people

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Attendees of the Self Supporting Convention, 1928. Josephine Gotzian seated in front center.

Josephine Schirmer Gotzian

who lived it are fascinating, inspiring, challenging, and instructive for us now.

One of those stories is of Josephine Gotzian. She was first introduced to the Adventist message in the early 1880s, and soon she and her husband, a shoe and book manufacturer, were members of the St. Paul Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her husband, Adam, died when they were in a train crash in 1883, and after she recovered from a broken back, she found herself in possession of a sizable fortune. The rest of her life, she dedicated her resources to supporting creative ways to fund new ministry ventures for God’s work. This included providing loans to the denomination at crucial times when it needed money to keep the operations going. In modern parlance, she would be a venture capital source. The difference is that she wasn’t seeking to make money but rather to invest her assets for Jesus. She was a confidant of Ellen White, and she helped finance the establishing of Paradise Valley Sanitarium, St. Helena Sanitarium, and White Memorial Hospital (along with two other women), to name a few of her ventures.

Her amazing story in greater detail is readily available through the online Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Here are hundreds of stories, events, and people that make up the “cloud of witnesses.” Quite often on Friday evening, I will go there to discover yet another new story that inspires and informs me of how God has been at work in our church and the people that He has used. But there are many other sources as well. Pacific Press has so many wonderful books in their Adventist history collection. Our own Pacific Union’s Oak and Acorn is publishing many great books that tell the story of our Church’s development. As important as these are, we can also be reminded of God’s work in our own personal faith history. Many find that keeping a journal of answered prayers can be the reference point for future times when they face trials and setbacks and may feel discouraged. When you read what the Lord has done for you in the past, it will give you courage for what lies ahead. Taken together with our own Church’s story, we can move forward with confidence that the same Jesus who was with us before will take us through our current circumstances with love and grace.

Bradford C. Newton is the president of the Pacific Union Conference.

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Gotzian Hall, Madison College.
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Birth of a Mission

Say the word “Pathfinders” to an adult Seventh-day Adventist and an interesting thing might happen to their face. A faraway look captures the eyes as a gentle smile lifts the corners of the mouth.

What you won’t see are the memories flooding that person’s mind: visions of busy club meetings filled with young, happy faces; camping adventures in the great and mysterious out of doors; exciting learning experiences as new skills are introduced; and the sight and feel of carefully pressed uniforms adorned with sashes, buttons, and patches. You also won’t hear the echoes of special songs being sung and eager voices reciting Spirit-based laws and pledges: words that helped form the very foundation of generations of lives.

While it may seem impossible to imagine today, there was a time when the Pathfinder Club ministry didn’t exist within Adventism. There were no songs to sing, laws and pledges to recite, honors to earn, busy meetings to attend, camping adventures to enjoy, or uniforms to press.

Pathfinder Aim

The Advent Message to all the world in my generation.

What type of individual looked around and decided that such an outreach needed to be created? As is often the case, such a realization took root in the minds of young people themselves, like the boy who faced an angry bully carrying a whip.

John was ten years old when he first started studying the Bible in earnest. He and his family joined the growing movement of “Millerites”—those who followed the teachings of reluctant evangelist William Miller. Small groups of such believers would often gather each Wednesday evening in their community to study their Bibles. John eagerly attended such activities and was thrilled by what he heard from God’s Word.

One evening, after a hard day of work on the family farm, John was walking with an older gentleman, a Mr. Davis, to just such a meeting when they came to a small bridge spanning a rushing stream. Suddenly, a group of men appeared, their leader

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Pathfinder Pledge

By the grace of God, I will be pure and kind and true. I will keep the Pathfinder Law. I will be a servant of God and a friend to man.

carrying a long, thick bull whip. He announced that he was going to “whip some sense” into Mr. Davis because of his crazy Millerite beliefs.

When John saw what was happening, he immediately stepped forward, positioning himself between the would-be attacker and his Biblebelieving companion. “If you’re going to hurt Mr. Davis,” he said, “you’ll have to hurt me first.”

The bully, too ashamed to injure a young boy, relented and allowed the two to continue their journey.

John Nevins Andrews grew up carrying that fire for God in his heart, serving the church in many ways and in many places, becoming a missionary to Europe, where he died from tuberculosis in 1883 at the age of 54. All during his life, he had a special burden for young people and worked tirelessly to meet their needs within the fledgling Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Youthful fervor

This type of youthful fervor—this brand of dedication—also made itself known in the heart of 14-year-old Luther Warren. So passionate was he on the subject of youth involvement that in 1879 he helped organize the very first society in the Adventist Church dedicated solely to reaching the spiritual needs of his peers. He then spent his entire life working on behalf of that particular age group. He never forgot what it was like to be in their shoes—to face what they faced, needing to know that there was something more to life than the survival-of-the-fittest mentality that drove most of the people, young and old, in this world.

Both Luther and John also realized that the next generation of Adventist boys and girls desperately needed such guidance and encouragement. Their

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Pathfinder Motto
love of Christ compels us.

efforts laid the foundation for organizations to come, such as Missionary Volunteer Societies (MV), and church-created magazines like Our Little Friend, Junior Guide, Primary Treasure, and The Youth’s Instructor Generations of Seventh-day Adventist children and teens have benefited greatly from their vision.

Starting in 1901, juniors and early teens played an integral part in the actual development and function of many Adventist youth programs. But it wasn’t always an easy task. They faced widespread apathy within the church. “Youth are to be seen and not heard” they were told again and again. “You can’t trust the young. They’re too wild to be in charge of anything.” But in their hearts they carried the same flame of commitment to the cause of God as did Luther Warren and John Andrews. That same year, the General Conference put skin in the game by providing official recognition to the youth movement, and ministry to the young became an integral part of the Adventist organization.

California connection

By the late 1920s, many clubs and organizations for young people had been formed across the country, but there was no single ministry of likeminded individuals existing. All of that began to change when, in 1927, John McKim and Willa Steen of Anaheim, California, formed a club with the exciting name “Pathfinders.” This was followed, in 1930, by an additional club in nearby Santa Ana. There’s record of another such club in Loma Linda in 1937, as well as one in Glendale.

Then, in 1946, John H. Hancock, youth director for the Southeastern California Conference, launched a Pathfinder Club in Riverside. He created the Pathfinder triangle emblem and assigned a ministerial student, Francis Hunt, to keep things going while he and his wife, Helen, taught honors classes.

The following years were busy ones in the Pacific Union, with its Missionary Volunteer Council— made up of all the youth directors of the union conferences—holding leadership conventions and

brainstorming Christ-centered activities for young people. Henry T. Bergh, in the Central California Conference, launched 23 clubs in his territory!

In 1950, the General Conference took note of the success of the Pacific Union’s Missionary Volunteer director and his conference directors, and the GC adopted their program, officially naming it “Pathfinder Club.” It became a worldwide organization of the Adventist Church. The rest, as they say, is history.

Pathfinders is now a global ministry, impacting the lives of thousands each year. Church history reveals that young people prove their greatest value when they are both seen and heard.

Find a need and fill it

Which begs the question, “Do we still need something as time- and resource-consuming as Pathfinder Clubs in our church today?” Many would argue that such social gatherings may have lost their luster in this age of YouTube, Instagram, and distance learning. If a young person wants to know the difference between a granny knot and a square knot, there’s probably a YouTube channel dedicated solely to that subject.

But other voices are sounding a welcoming call as well as a warning. Here’s what the leaders of the General Conference Adventist Youth Ministries say on their website concerning the philosophy of Pathfinders today:

While the Pathfinder Club exists primarily for youth, one of its basic purposes is to also bring together parents and church members through active involvement with the club and its members. Here the socalled generation gap disappears as young and old worship, work, and play together in a bond of common experience. Meaningful relationships are forged as leaders and counselors join with Pathfinders in sharing, building confidence, and working together.

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The whole philosophy of Pathfindering is built on the premise that ‘children learn best by example, rather than precept.’ As they see leaders and parents model spiritual and social values, they too will aspire to develop high moral principles, loving and caring attitudes, and determination to excel in all their various pursuits.

Young people learn most effectively in a positive, happy, and secure atmosphere. The attitude of the club leaders is therefore a vital ingredient in guaranteeing the success and effectiveness of this ministry to youth. A failure to listen to and understand the needs of the young people will only erect barriers to real spiritual growth and development and may prove to be a contributing factor in making the church and its mission unattractive to the youth.1

Personal insights

If you’ll allow this writer a moment of faraway gazing and memory flooding, my own journey through life includes many a Tuesday evening in the old James Street Adventist church in Syracuse, New York, a lifetime ago. There, cloistered with children my own age, I learned that church, school, and home can be bound together with timeless ties that transcend the world and its allures. I discovered that I was part of something valuable— something that could help me gain skills in subjects as diverse as rock collecting, radio building, bird

The Pathfinder Law

The Pathfinder Law is for me to:

1. Keep the morning watch.

2. Do my honest part.

3. Care for my body.

4. Keep a level eye.

5. Be courteous and obedient.

6. Walk softy in the sanctuary.

7. Keep a song in my heart.

8. Go on God’s errands.

identification, bread making, photography, and, yes, knot tying—all the while coming face to face with adults who reflected God’s love in word and deed.

Our camping trips demonstrated to me in ways no YouTube or Instagram video could that God is best seen in nature and in the caring attitude of church volunteers who made all the fun and learning possible.

Yes, I happily recited the Pathfinder motto, aim, pledge, and laws. Yes, those words echo in my mind to this day. Yes, I owe more than I can say to the people in my church who had the foresight and the sacrificial willingness to quietly slip into my life and offer guidance that I didn’t realize I needed until years later.

Pathfinders isn’t just about earning honors, learning skills, and socializing. It’s about helping to prepare generations of young people for the harsh reality that will come into their lives. It’s about allowing children to see that Pathfinder pledge and motto being lived out in the lives of those in charge of their club and their church organization.

Yes, the children in your church need a Pathfinder Club. So do the adults.

1“Philosophy & Objectives,” Adventist Youth Ministries, https://www.

Additional sources of information: pathfinder-story-pdf-download-35207

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Foundation for Service

Pathfindering—like any ministry aimed at children—begins with a basic premise: Kids need Jesus. This is immediately followed by another insightful truth: Kids want to be involved. When a church family combines those two objectives in an outreach to their young people, the end result can be summed up in one word: service.

Here’s how the General Conference Adventist Youth Ministries website explains it: The Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to understanding young people and training its youth for leadership and service to humanity. The Pathfinder Club is a church-centered spiritual-recreationalactivity program designed for young people 10 to 15 years of age. Pathfindering appeals to this age group because its program features activities that meet their needs and interests. It is filled with action, adventure, challenge, group activities, and provides opportunities for the development of new attitudes and skills that produce personal growth, team or community spirit and a sense of loyalty and respect for God, His Creation, and His church.

Expanding on that commitment, the North American Division also offers Teen Leadership Training Programs (TLT) designed for young people in fifth through 10th grades, as well as older Pathfinders who are academy age (ninth through 12th grade). Each program trains young, growing minds for leadership roles in their church and community.

Level of activity

Visit any Pathfinder Club during one of its meetings and notice the level of activity taking place. Members might be busy preparing for a community outreach project, practicing to take part in a church function in the coming weeks, or attempting to earn one (or more) of the 400-plus established Pathfinder honors available. It’s all about action. It’s all about learning. It’s all about service.

Pathfinder honors provide both structure and motivation to club members. Each was designed with three specific goals in mind:

• Be a course of study that introduces a subject.

• Have practical value and enhance the lifestyle of the person pursuing it.

• Assist the person in his/her development as a well-

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Dixie Plata’s Give-and-Take List for Pathfinder Clubs and the Churches That Support Them

• Pathfinders help by keeping the church yard clean.

• Church members make friends of the young people and call them by name.

• Pathfinders in uniform help by taking up the offering.

• Church members make sure there is a spot for a Pathfinder bulletin board.

• Church members invite the club director to be a part of the church board meetings.

• Pathfinders in uniform carry umbrellas on stormy days to help people get from their cars to the church.

• Church members give a liberal offering for their Pathfinder Club.

• Pathfinders learn respect for God’s house.

• Church members pray for individual youth.

• Pathfinders show God’s love by helping disabled members.

• Church members provide something to take on campouts—cookies, oranges, etc.

• Pathfinders do the whole Sabbath service on Pathfinder Day.

• Church members personally thank staff and Pathfinders for their service.

• Pathfinders visit church shut-ins and take get-well cards they have made.

• Church members offer to be involved—teaching an honor, being a counselor, etc.

• Pathfinders volunteer to help in Cradle Roll or Kindergarten Sabbath Schools.

• Church members mentor youth.

• Pathfinder teens do secret acts of kindness, such as:

- Mow the lawn of a member who has a broken arm.

- Rake leaves for a busy single mother.

- Paint a fence for an elderly member.

• Church members respect the youth and forgive their missteps.

• Church members remember that the most disruptive/active young person may one day become their pastor.

rounded Christian by directly affecting the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of life. Honors are divided into categories that include arts/crafts/hobbies, health and science, household arts, nature, outdoor industries, recreation, spiritual growth, and vocational skills. Earning and displaying the patch that comes with completing the requirements for a particular honor leaves a lasting impact on young lives. It helps build selfesteem and potentially opens yet another door for service to the world.

But honors are only one tool in the hands of Pathfinder leaders who are determined to meet the following nine objectives of the ministry—a list that should bring joy to the heart of every parent of a Pathfinder-age child in your church.

1. Help young people understand that God and His church love them, care for them, and appreciate them.

2. Encourage Pathfinders to discover their own Godgiven potential and use their gifts and abilities as part of the great plan of salvation.

3. Inspire young people to give personal expression of their love for God through various outreach activities.

4. Make the number one priority of Pathfinder Clubs the personal salvation of every member.

5. Build a healthy appreciation and love for God’s creation.

6. Teach specific skills and hobbies that will make lives meaningful.

7. Encourage members to keep physically fit.

8. Give opportunity for leadership development.

9. Foster growth in physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual life.

When such objectives are at the core of any activity or ministry, good things are bound to happen.

How to support Pathfindering

Pathfinder Clubs succeed best when they enjoy the enthusiastic support of their sponsoring church family.

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I recently talked with Dixie Plata, who, along with her husband, Arnold, serves as a Pathfinder historian for the North American Division. Dixie was also a Pathfinder leader in the Pacific Union Conference (Loma Linda area) for many years before her retirement. Her answers to my questions reflect a lifetime of experience working with and for the youth of our church.

Once a Pathfinder Club is up and running, how can a church family best support the ministry, making sure that the young within their fold enjoy all the amazing opportunities that this global organization provides? I think it’s a matter of give and take between the church and the club. [See sidebar for Dixie’s Give-and-Take List.] When working together, church members can make friends with the young people and learn to call them by name. My dad was famous for knowing kids’ names, and it didn’t matter how they dressed or if they showed up with purple hair. He knew them by name, and I think that’s an important thing for our church members to do individually in support of kids.

What changes in the heart of children when someone “knows their name” and they see church members getting involved in their lives?

There are statistics that show that the percentage of young people who are called by name by the church members stay in the church longer or, if they leave, come back sooner because of their good relationship with others. It’s important to interact with them on a personal level as much as possible. How do church members fit themselves into the actual Pathfinder program? Usually, Pathfinder volunteers are asked to be involved. They can be club secretaries, they can teach honors, or they can be counselors. Even shut-ins who would like to help can be picked up by church members and brought to the meetings. When we were in Redlands, we had a woman who taught knitting to the kids. There were as many boys as

there were girls in the class. That woman was in a wheelchair. Someone picked her up and then took her back home for each meeting.

What changes in a child’s attitude about God when they see Him represented by a Pathfinder organization? If you have good, Christian, Seventhday Adventist leaders, the change is huge. Why? Because the child wants to have that same peace as the leaders have and be an active part of the ministry. We were coordinators after we retired here to Oregon, and I taught team leadership programs for a number of years. Those young people who attended are now married and often tell me, “What a difference it made that somebody paid attention to me and cared enough to talk to me.” We have pastors and youth leaders in our division who were once our Pathfinders.

What about the adults who are involved in the church’s Pathfinder Club? What changes in them? I think when Pathfinder Clubs are active and not just a place for babysitting young people, the adults who are involved—plus the adults who see them in action—realize how important their example is. I think it helps them stay on the straight and narrow, be more active, study more so they can share their time and talents with young people. You see a change in their level of loving and caring as they work with the kids. In the past, when nonchurch members saw our young Pathfinders and church members working together on community projects, they were astonished that there were no

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cross words and everyone was just having a great time sharing and caring for and helping each other. They told us they’d never seen anything quite like that.

What do you say to a church whose members insist, “We can’t operate a Pathfinder Club. We don’t have a lot of talent in our church. We don’t have a lot of professionals in our church. We don’t have a lot of money in our church! How can we have a Pathfinder Club?” Well, I would say, if you have one child, you can start a Pathfinder Club. And that child can invite a non-Adventist to join. Then you have an outreach Pathfinder Club. Yes, it takes money and time. By the way, if you announce your needs from the front of the church, you probably won’t get too many responses. But if you talk to church members one on one—"Hey, I saw that beautiful afghan you made. Would you teach crocheting to our Pathfinders?”—the results will be much better. We’ve worked in small and large clubs and discovered that God is there no matter the size. It doesn’t take lots of money. It doesn’t take lots of education. But it does take committed, Christ-centered people who want to help young

people be in heaven. At some small churches, people in surrounding communities show an interest in having their children be a part of the Pathfinder Club. Such clubs grow because God is behind it.

How has being involved with Pathfinders and the training of teens—and all of the other things that you and your husband have been doing for the youth of our church for decades—changed you and your attitude about God? We’re more aware of the needs of our youth. I think it helps us keep stronger in the faith because in order to work with young people, you need to study and pray. If you’re not praying, it’s not going to happen. I think this work is something God has given us the heart, strength, and passion to do all these years. He can do that for anyone.

God does not call us to a service unless it benefits both the giver and receiver. Pathfinder Clubs are a prime example of that. In such oneon-one interactions, hearts are changed as Christian love becomes even more deeply rooted in everyone involved.

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Those Who Lead

Ajourney on any public conveyance requires the presence of one particular person. He or she can be found in the cockpit of an aircraft, the bridge of a ship, behind the steering wheel of an automobile or bus, or in the engine cab of a train. Without this person, the journey would be impossible.

A church is no different. The role of captain, driver, or engineer/conductor mainly falls on the shoulders of one individual: the pastor. He or she has been given that job because those along for the ride feel that the skills this person possesses will make their spiritual journey more meaningful and productive.

Pathfinder Clubs need captains, too. While the church pastor provides the vital overarching support and guidance for the ministry, the club’s director sees to its day-to-day operation. He or she is on the front lines, making sure the journey for each boy and girl is as joyful as possible. Then, when the church pastor and club director work together for the good of the children, wonderful things happen.

Insights and suggestions

To better understand the all-important role of the pastor in the Pathfinder ministry, I contacted Randy Hill, vice president for youth and young adult ministries for the Pacific Union Conference. His insights and suggestions for pastors—born from years of experience—can help bring about the best

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possible outcome for everyone involved.

Here’s what he had to say:

dA significant portion of a pastor’s church family may be involved in the Pathfinder ministry. It’s almost entirely lay-person led, so the influence of the pastor is sorely needed.

As one of the official functions of the church, a club can serve as an evangelistic outreach as well as a guiding light for church members and their children. It’s both an outreach and an in-reach ministry.

The pastor needs to be part of the team that helps organize the club as well as an avid supporter of each and every activity. Pathfinders is a ministry built with time, friendship, and a shared wonder at the world in which children find themselves. When pastors engage with kids at the level of, “Hey, let’s

marvel at God’s creation together,” the bonds that are formed can be everlasting.

Contrary to what some believe, ministry to children is not all that complicated. Boys and girls love to play! This provides one of the best avenues for engagement with children—to enter into their world at their level. And when a pastor takes part in the play activities of the kids, the boys and girls are much more receptive to the gospel he or she is hoping to present.

Significant learning

Pathfinder play is tied directly to significant learning. As the pastor teaches, joins in the play, and tells exciting stories, a powerful and positive ministry takes place.

When children see an up-front leader of the church—someone they admire—taking time to be with them, they feel valued.

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Besides sharing the gospel through play, telling stories, or simply showing up to be a part of the play/learning experience, any hobby or activity about which a pastor is passionate can open the door to additional interaction within the club. When an adult is enthusiastic about something, children tend to gravitate toward it.

So, if they see an adult excited about one of the honors—like model railroading, kite building, photography, music, bread baking, or model rockets—if the adult is enthusiastic, they will be, too.

A pastor can look at the curriculum that Pathfinders provides and check out the large selection of honors. Finding something that fits his or her talents and interest can throw open the door to service. It’s a win/win situation.

But that interaction between pastor and child goes far beyond the enjoyment of working to earn honors. Pathfinders is a time in a kid’s life when his or her character is being built. They’re all trying to figure out who they are. To have a pastor—somebody they look up to—walk with them through experiences both good and bad is of extreme value. They learn that they’re not alone; there’s someone there to help them grow in Jesus.

I know of many examples of when kids got into trouble and it was a pastor who advocated for them and worked with them—who put a hand on their shoulder and said, “Come. Let’s walk through this together.”

Sometimes churches try to do too much, too soon. The full-blown Pathfinder program can

be daunting. Members should start at whatever level they’re able to maintain on a regular and persistent basis. This is far more effective than trying to do it all, all at once. They can let the ministry grow. If the pastor starts it, and shows that he or she cares about kids, other adults in the church family will likely respond and step up to help. Waiting for somebody else to take the lead is fruitless.

“Hey kids, once a month we are going to go on a Sabbath afternoon hike!” If that’s how you need to start a Pathfinder Club at your church, go for it!

Three-legged stool

We Adventist Christians have always taught that reaching children for Jesus takes a three-legged stool: school, home, and church working together. Pathfindering is a combination of all three. Activities are discussed at home, meetings are usually held at the church or school, and the school is often involved in club functions. Teachers can even assign less homework on “Pathfinder Nights,” demonstrating solidarity with the program.

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The perception of some that the ministry is still stuck in the 1950s is gradually changing. Pathfinders is morphing into a modern organization, and the pastor can be—and should be—an integral part of that wonderful and ongoing transformation.

—Randy Hill, vice president for youth and young adult ministries for the Pacific Union Conference

Skills and abilities

What’s it take to be a Pathfinder director? What skills and abilities are needed to stand before a roomful of energetic young people and engage both their minds and hearts on behalf of their Creator?

Let’s ask an active leader for suggestions. Rachelle Ellis has probably seen and heard it all and, with God’s help, has prayerfully discovered solutions for keeping the club on track. Here’s what she says:

Being a Pathfinder leader requires a unique blend of qualities and skills. First and foremost, a genuine love for working with young people is crucial. Patience, understanding, and the ability to connect with youth on a personal level are essential

to fostering a supportive and encouraging environment.

It also helps if you can get the parents to engage. This creates the best outcome for the child.

Leadership skills play a pivotal role. These skills include the ability to organize activities, delegate tasks, and guide the club effectively. Flexibility is key, as each Pathfinder is unique. Adapting to diverse personalities ensures a positive experience for everyone involved.

There’s never a dull moment when well-laid plans go awry. The kids aren’t the only ones who learn in a Pathfinder club.

Spiritual depth

Spiritual depth is fundamental. A Pathfinder leader should embody strong moral values, a growing faith, and a commitment to nurturing the spiritual health of the youth. Pathfindering is not just about conveying information. It’s also about inspiring a personal connection with Jesus. You can’t share what you don’t know.

In my experience as a Pathfinder leader, what works best is creating a sense of community within the club. Building relationships with each Pathfinder and fostering teamwork instills a sense of belonging. Incorporating a variety of engaging activities—both recreational and spiritual—keeps the club dynamic and appealing. To do this, you must know your kids—their likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.

To encourage someone to become a Pathfinder leader, I would emphasize the transformative impact it has on both the leaders and the youth. It's

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an opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of young people, helping them develop lifelong skills, solid friendships, and a strong foundation for their faith. And the blessing one receives—to know that you’ve been able to be a part of that child's spiritual growth—is beyond words.

Ellis, director of Wind Valley Arrows Pathfinder Club, Ellensburg and Cle Elum, WA d

Just how long do the memories of being in a Pathfinder Club last? The answer isn’t measured in months or years. According to many older adults, it’s measured in lifetimes.

“I loved Pathfinders. I have great memories of getting my tree honor! My mom passed away when I was 11 years old, and I remember her helping me find leaves from different trees on a Sabbath hike. Silver maples always make me think of her.”

—Lisa Emerson-Anderson, Minnesota

“Pathfinders was a great experience for me. I loved the camping outings, and most important to me was someone who taught us how to knit! I liked learning knot-tying too, and later used some of those knots doing macramé. I thought it was a wonderful way to share good times with

church and school friends. To this day I appreciate those who were dedicated to what it took to keep Pathfinders going. I have a photo of playing music with a group from our church at a camporee in Florida. On that stage with me is the man I am now married to! Our families were both at that event about 35 years ago.”

—Barbara King Gleaves, North Carolina

“I started the first Pathfinder Club in the Upper Columbia Conference around 1953. When I pastored the church in Wenatchee, Washington, I recruited the National Guard to train the Pathfinders how to march. The club won the marching contest at the North Pacific Union Conference Camporee.”

—Curtis Miller, Washington

My own memories of my Pathfinder days in Syracuse, New York, center on the volunteers who lent their time and talents to our club. We learned so much from them. Our church pastor taught the photography honor. Another member showed us how to build working radios that received local stations. Photography and radio show hosting/ production has been at the core of my career for over 50 years, but those skills and passions took root sitting at the feet of those who cared enough to share their talents and interests with a bunch of kids. I own them a deep debt of gratitude.

Which begs the question: Are you ready to change lives for God? Are you ready to make memories that will last a lifetime? Launching or taking part in a Pathfinder Club will help you do just that. God can take your loaves and fishes and multiply them to help feed young people and prepare them for a life of service.

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Leaders Under Construction

What can happen to a normal, everyday Seventh-day Adventist Christian who accepts the challenge of becoming a Pathfinder leader? Cindy Johnson, Pathfinder director in Othello, Washington, learned a thing or two about kids, God, and constructing leaders. This is her story in her own words.


Why am I in Pathfinders? The answer is simple: God asked me to join His ministry to young people. At first I resisted—even politely refused. But then I prayerfully stepped out in faith, and here I am, 35 years later, still working on His projects, still doing my best for Him.

Did I know it all in the beginning? Absolutely not! I was a newly baptized Seventh-day Adventist. However, I learned much and grew in faith along the way, asking for God’s guidance constantly. He has blessed both me and my efforts, and I continue to rely on Him each and every day. I discovered that Pathfindering builds faith in kids and the staff who guide them.

We are the “Othello Outreacher” Pathfinder Club. It’s an “outreacher” club in more ways than one. Most of our club members go to public school. Most are non-Adventist or attend no church at all. Many are the kids of the kids who attended Pathfinder meetings decades ago and

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were later baptized as adults.

I’m here to tell you that my greatest joy is to hear a Pathfinder’s first prayer and then have the opportunity to nurture that boy or girl as they grow in Christ.

Evangelists through example

Each of our club staff members serve as evangelists through example! We know we’re being watched very carefully. That may be why, when we baptize a Pathfinder, members of his or her family are often baptized right along with them. They’ve seen Christ’s love demonstrated. Our church members repeatedly insist that Pathfinders—along with its younger cousin Adventurers—are our church’s most effective evangelistic tools, with high retention rates.

Imagine giving a Bible study to a certain Pathfinder while, unknown to that child, the pastor begins Bible studies with her mom at the same time. Then, imagine the surprise on the girl’s face when her mom steps into the baptismal tank with her. Not to be left behind, her brother is baptized less than a year later.

Family baptisms happen frequently at our church.

What it takes

So, what does it take to be a Pathfinder leader? It takes total trust in God. None of us have all the skills, insights, and energy necessary to effectively work with young people and the challenges they face. But God does, and He willingly leads the way.

We have a lot of high school teens in our club. They’re navigating through life, questioning all the “whys,” and trying to determine just how they fit in. They ask, “Who is God? Can He really help me?” To participate in that arena is a real privilege. But it requires patience, understanding, and constant communication with God.

Sometimes those precious teens fail. They make bad choices or leave the church. But many come back and become pastors, teachers, lay

Every Church Needs a Pathfinder Club Because…

“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and sooncoming Savior might be carried to the whole world!” (Ellen White, Education, p. 271).

I remember walking the streets of our community at Christmas time with our Pathfinder Club doing food collection. Our kids would run from house to house, sharing with our neighbors who we were and what we were doing. Others in the group sang carols from the sidewalk.

We came up to a house with a fence that had a “No Soliciting” sign hanging on it. When the owner heard our singers, he came out to enquire what was going on. That was the moment our kids needed to give him our message of hope and love.

As a church, we have one mission—to reach others with God’s endless love. There’s no better group of people to deliver that message than our precious Pathfinders.

—Mario and Patty Hernandez, county coordinators for San Bernardino County

church workers, and parents who want their kids in Pathfinders. You hear them share their stories or testimonies around the campfire or in sermons from the pulpit. We praise God for every victory.

At his request, I visited a former Pathfinder in prison. He said he remembered his Pathfinder experiences his first night in his cell. Those memories kept him company as he began his frightening, lonely time behind bars.

Years ago, I was told by concerned church members to kick a certain Pathfinder out of the club because he was hopeless. But I couldn’t do it. If I did, who would help him? Not his parents, not his school, not society! The club was his only hope.

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Today, he’s an active member of our church. Many Pathfinders stay faithful and continue their journey through Teen Leadership, Master Guide, church leadership, and lay ministries. They become church workers, missionaries, Pathfinder leaders, and godly parents. Our Pathfinder Club helped build their Christian foundation.

With all my heart

I love these kids with all my heart. I pray for and with each one, spend time with them, encourage them, cry with them, and challenge them to serve God. And, in order to build relationships, I visit their families in their homes no matter what faith they belong to. I attend their school functions and text pictures of our Pathfinder activities to them and their parents.

Every Child Needs a Pathfinder Club Because…

Our children are in God's thoughts. The Pathfinder ministry is designed with the child's growth and development at heart. Right along with our basic needs such as shelter, clothing, and food, we need to belong. In a world where children struggle to fit in and find their true identity and purpose, Pathfinder boys and girls hear, learn, and experience a sense of belonging, identity, and purpose. They discover God's love through a combination of caring community and Holy Spirit-guided exploration.

The Psalmist puts it this way: “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God” (Psalm 139:17, NLT).

We see some of those godly thoughts materializing in Pathfinder Clubs where kids enjoy a safe place to grow in “wisdom and stature.”

—Mario and Patty Hernandez, county coordinators for San Bernardino County

Then, I continue keeping in touch long after they’ve “graduated” from Pathfinders. I’ve been to their baptisms and weddings, and I’ve held their newborn babies. It’s exciting to be a part of God’s family.

Yes, Pathfinders builds rich church relationships. And there are unique perks! You get to do all the fun kid stuff like camp in a tipi at 16 degrees F., go hiking, attend Camporees, play crazy group games, study the stars, sing around the campfire, backpack the Grand Canyon, watch geysers at Yellowstone, visit other countries (like the South Pacific Division Camporee or a mission trip to Mexico or Belize), and—one of my favorites—attend the Pathfinder Bible Experience “Bible Bowl” event sponsored by the North American Division.

Studying, learning, and constructing leaders with Pathfinders! I love it. I love it all!

—Cindy Johnson, director “Othello Outreachers” Pathfinder Club, Othello, Washington d

How does attending meetings, earning honors, taking part in nature outings, and interacting with others your own age help construct men and women who willingly and enthusiastically give back to society? How do those many Pathfinder activities guide young people right into a life of service?

Eddie Heinrich, youth director of the Northern California Conference, shares some insights for how this amazing transformation takes place.

dOne of the youth programs we have here in the Northern California Conference is called “Leaders in Training.”

What we’ve noticed over the years is that, instead of just doing things for young people, if you say to them, “Hey, here’s a task. I’d like you to do it,” and then you walk with them and help them accomplish their goals, they’ll amaze you with their skill and dedication. That’s the kind of modeling that worked for me when I was a teenager.

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When I showed up at a summer camp long ago, the youth director said to me, “Here’s the manual for learning how to drive the school bus. On Friday, you’re going to go down and take the test for your bus driver’s license so you can drive campers around all summer.” So, I carefully studied the manual, took lessons from a staff member who was a professional driver, passed the test, and have spent the last 30 years driving school buses at summer camps.

Often, we don’t give young people enough credit. We don’t think they have the skills to do certain tasks or accomplish certain goals. But, if you have high expectations of a kid, and you give them the tools to do the job, most will rise to the occasion.

Some church members might say, “Kids today. They’re spoiled. They’ve got their noses buried in their phones, in social media. How can we teach them anything?” My question to them is, “Have you asked them to do something—something hard, something out of the ordinary? Have you tried to engage them?”

Yes, kids are distracted by technology and social

connectedness. Most of the time, it’s because we adults are not providing clear expectations of what we want them to do or challenging them with difficult tasks. So, by default, they go with what’s easy.

Willing to be taught

I recently held a weeklong seminar here in the Northern California Conference where we had 400 kids, including 65 juniors and seniors from high school, in attendance. We spent three days teaching them how to give Bible studies and how to build group dynamics. Then they spent the rest of the week leading small groups as they accomplished various goals. If we hadn’t invited them to attend and learn, they would’ve stayed home and played on social media. But because they were willing, and so were we, they learned new social and leadership skills—abilities that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

The speaker at our program was a freshman in college. She taught and preached. A local church could do that: pick a couple of kids and tell them, “We want you to preach a sermon. Here’s your topic.” Then you let them wrestle with the subject matter. You guide them and mentor them. This way, they can take part in both Sabbath School and the church service.

Too often, those of us in leadership don’t want to give kids the opportunity to lead or to teach. Why? Because we want to do it ourselves or we feel that kids won’t do it exactly the way we want it done. But here’s a fact I’ve discovered: Kids learn best from kids.

Teaching aids

Leadership is all about confidence. If you say to an older kid, “I want you to teach this honor to the younger boys and girls,” and then you give them the tools they need to do the job, you’ll find they’re very good at it.

Yes, they’re going to make mistakes. But who doesn’t? How are you going to learn from your

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mistakes if you’re not allowed to make any?

What would I say to a church member who doubts the ability of a kid to accomplish a worthy goal? First, have grace. Know up front that kids are not going to do things the way you might do them. Second, different doesn’t mean wrong. Third, provide a safe environment where failure won’t be devastating. This would be a good time to remind the Pathfinders that Thomas Edison didn’t get the light bulb right the first time either.

If we don’t give our kids opportunities to try something and fail in a safe environment, the

world is more than happy to provide an unsafe environment in which they can fail.

The last time I checked, the church is supposed to be a safe environment where members, young and old, can ask questions, learn and grow, and figure out what they believe. There was a time when all of us didn’t know what we know today.

If you provide mentoring and that safe environment where kids know they have someone who’ll give them opportunities to learn, teach, and share their faith through service, that beautiful Christian growth will take place and leaders are born.

I have a Pathfinder leader who, after I ask him to do something, I’ll look over and he’ll have three kids doing what I asked him to do. Could he have done it himself? Sure! Could he have done it quicker and better? Probably. But those kids would not have learned new skills.

—Eddie Heinrich, youth director of the Northern California Conference d

That’s what leaders under construction looks like.

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Safety Standards Create Happy Kids

There’s absolutely nothing more important to the heart of a Pathfinder director and his/her staff than the safety and health of those in their charge. That’s vitally important because protecting energetic, creative, and fun-loving boys and girls can sometimes be a challenge.

Child safety comes down to two main tasks: 1) minimizing potential incidents and 2) being prepared for emergencies.

Adventist Risk Management (ARM), the health and safety organization established by the Seventhday Adventist Church, offers detailed guidance and powerful tools for assuring that Pathfinders remain safe and happy while enjoying their many adventures. This includes camping trips and special events, as well as regular meetings.

Each Pathfinder Club follows stringent guidelines established at the local, conference, or union levels based on the ARM standards. When a child joins a club, he or she is stepping into an environment protected by careful planning and commonsense regulations, each designed to keep parents and guardians informed and their precious children

out of harm’s way. These guidelines have been established in four major categories as presented at

Activity planning

For any travels beyond the church property, permission must be obtained from the parents or guardians of each club member. The permission slips include allowing the child to receive medical care if needed. Also, parents sign a release if the club plans to take pictures of the fun and distribute them either online or in print.

Travel issues

Children are taught to follow “prevention tactics” and abide by the rules and regulations of the journey. Vehicles used must have been recently serviced with no outstanding recalls in place. When cars or vans are rented, they must come from reputable companies where the vehicles have been professionally maintained.

Travel insurance is always secured before any trip. ARM can provide the right policies for various travel plans.

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Every Church Needs a Pathfinder Club


If camping, social events, and food is all we think about when we hear the word “Pathfinders,” then we are missing something important. Pathfinder Club ministry is more than just corralling youth for camping trips to give parents a little break. Being a Pathfinder is walking with God and learning the skills that will shape who that boy or girl will become and how they prioritize their life in order to keep God first.

As adult church members, we tend to put kids in the background in order to receive our spiritual feeding. But church is for everyone, including children and youth. They need direct, relevant information for addressing the issues they’re dealing with, including sex, drugs, peer pressure, spirituality, suicide, the future, grades, being a Christian, etc.

Every church needs a Pathfinder Club ministry to help guide the children and youth in the right direction as they navigate the awkward stages of adolescence. Pathfinders teaches that the Christian way of life can be both fun and relevant. It provides an atmosphere for parents to talk to their teens concerning critical issues. It’s also a ministry to others. A child can share his or her experiences in the club with friends, who then share that information with their parents. It’s a connection that grows and grows.

—HP and Diana Kang, leaders of the Loma Linda Korean Pathfinder Club

Keeping kids protected

Sometimes, in this sinful world, boys and girls need to be sheltered from the potential dangers of human interaction. If the local church doesn’t have a Child Protection Plan in place, one can be created using the carefully prepared guidelines provided by ARM. The needed information and forms are all available at Due diligence in this area is critical and goes a long way toward keeping kids safe and protected.

Health and safety guidelines

ARM encourages Pathfinder Club leaders to participate in basic lifesaving training in the event of a medical emergency. First aid, CPR certification, concussion awareness and prevention, and the use of automatic external defibrillation units and other health and safety equipment are strongly suggested. If club members participate in sports games and activities, leaders must know what to do if an injury occurs, how to treat minor mishaps such as sprains and pulled muscles, and when to seek medical attention. Of course, the children are constantly trained in ways to prevent such injuries in the first place.

So, what does all the protection and planning listed above look like? I asked Manny Cruz, director of youth and children’s ministries for the Arizona Conference to share some insights into how the Pathfinders in his area stay safe in our decidedly dangerous world.


How do your Pathfinder


help protect the safety and health of their members? In Arizona, we’ve been very blessed to have a conference treasurer who is also our risk manager. Every Pathfinder Club and every

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Adventurer Club has to have a Certificate of Operation (COO) if they’re going to participate in any club activity. One of the requirements for receiving a COO is to have all club volunteers go through a careful screening process that includes an extensive background check.

The Certificate of Operation is a North American Division requirement, so all of the conferences in the division must issue a COO for a local club to operate. It’s an important step for keeping our kids safe.

As you know, you get a bunch of kids together and they’re going to be bouncing off the walls. How to you protect children in a children’s environment? There’s potential for accidents, for disagreements, etc. How do you control all of that? Some of these situations are going to happen any time you have activities that involve kids. That’s just part of it. However, our objective is to minimize the risks.

The way we do it here in Arizona—and I know other conferences do it as well—is to offer leadership training every year. We do one session

Every Child Needs a Pathfinder Club Because… We need a manual.

Have you ever put IKEA® furniture together? I have to use the assembly manual. Those step-by-step instructions make the process much easier.

Pathfinder Club ministry is the manual we all need to help kids put their lives together. Yes, every child is different. That’s why the program offers more than 400 different honors using various skill levels and topics. Those skills are what our children will need to navigate through adulthood.

Learning about one’s self through outreach to the local community, in-reach to develop a stronger bond between peers, or reflecting God’s image by walking the walk and talking the talk is all part of being a Pathfinder.

—HP and Diana Kang, leaders of the Loma Linda Korean Pathfinder Club

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in October, one in January, and one in August. At every training program, we invite Adventist Rick Management to come and do a seminar on safety. Some presentations cover the basics like don’t play with fire, knives, etc. Others are more in-depth and address such subjects as protecting children from any type of abuse, be it emotional, physical, or sexual.

Even during the pandemic, we had our training programs via Zoom. Through the years, we’ve had a great response from our volunteers and leaders.

Any time we do a conference or event that includes kids, we always include security measures, especially if it’s an overnight trip. One of our volunteers works for the Sheriff’s Department, and it’s pretty nice to see him at the camp. It gives an extra sense of security to everyone who is there.

Part of the training that Adventist Risk Management offers is how to deal with active shooters. Unfortunately, this is part of modern reality and knowing what to do is essential.

Also, at any off-site function, we have volunteer

medical personnel with us. It may be a parent or church member who wants to serve.

And we’re very strict when it comes to transportation. Several years ago, Adventist Rick Management began to discourage the use of 15-passenger vans. So, we use only sevenpassenger vans, or we’ll borrow our academy microbus. It’s a larger vehicle with more stability. The health and safety of our kids is always on our minds.

When a church faces the launching of a Pathfinder Club and all of the safety and organizational hoops that need to be jumped through, is it worth it? Does the end justify the means? Oh, it’s definitely worth it! One of the things that I believe—and I mention this all the time—is that, when it comes to children and young people, rarely will they remember a sermon when they get older. What they do remember are experiences. Most adults who were raised in the church remember summer camps, a Pathfinder Camporee, a Pathfinder Fair, or a Youth Week of Prayer. We try to promote experiences. The Pathfinder Club

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ministry is, in my opinion, the best ministry that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has to offer. I can’t think of another organization that is as structured and effective as the Pathfinder Club ministry.

Pathfinder people are very committed. There’s a saying: “Once a Pathfinder, always a Pathfinder.” This is so true. Some people I know have been involved in the ministry for 50 or 60 years!

It’s a wonderful ministry for the children because of the experiences and mentoring that happens naturally and organically. When you have a counselor that’s responsible for a group of kids, they will do everything together. When he or she is there to help each child fulfill all of the requirements for a new honor patch or learn how to set up a tent or cook over an open fire, that builds long-lasting relationships.

I’m 54 years old, and I can tell you that when, in my imagination, I go back to the Glendale Spanish church and my Pathfinder days there, I remember experiences like the snow trip that we made one winter into the Angeles National Forest. Those are the memories that the Holy Spirit will use as young people grow and mature—memories that remind them of the love of God. The Pathfinder program introduced me to God in a way that changed my heart. I’m a Seventh-day Adventist because of those experiences.

You can’t spend eight hours in a van with other kids and staff members and then spend a weekend in a tent and not develop relationships. Pathfinders provides such opportunities over and over again.


How they were treated, how they were part of a group or community, and all the other things that Pathfinder Clubs offer will be remembered by a boy or girl forever.

Is your church family ready to start creating lifelong memories for your boys and girls— memories that the Holy Spirit can use to construct a deeper understanding of God’s love in their hearts both now and in the years to come?

If you’re ready for Pathfinders, Pathfinders is ready for you! You’ll find all you need to know about launching a club in your home church at https://

Here you’ll discover detailed descriptions of all the different and exciting aspects of Pathfindering, such as “How to Organize a Club,” “Club Membership Requirements,” “Achievement Classes,” and those important “Pathfinder Honors.”

Next, contact your local conference youth director to get the ball rolling. Check this out and be inspired: recorder/pathfinders-october-2022.

May God bless you as you start building experiences and tomorrow’s leaders, today.

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Fundamental Belief Number 3: The Father

Throughout my adult life, whenever I needed a prayer breakthrough, I called my parents. My wife and I are convinced that my father has a direct link to the throne of God and that God hears and answers his prayers. When my dad prays, godly things happen.

I have attempted to model, though often imperfectly, to our sons and now our grandchildren the impact of a father’s prayer. We have been given a perfect Father to emulate. The Bible calls Him God the Father.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official fundamental belief regarding our understanding of God the Father is just three short sentences long. Of course, the Bible texts cited and the Bible itself offer considerably more information regarding God the Father.

The Old Testament does not provide much information that differentiates the persons of the Trinity. In fact, the emphasis is on “one God,” in contrast to the many gods of the heathen nations. (See Deuteronomy 6:4.)

So to find information specifically about the Father, we need to turn to the New Testament. The perspective is still on one God—but seen in different persons. For example, “for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6, NIV).

It’s here that we find the most extensive information about the Father. The most significant statement about the Father is when Jesus replies to


Philip’s request to see the Father: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9, NLT). There is clearly an identity between the Father and the Son—in nature, message, and mission. When the Jewish leaders confront Jesus, demanding to know if He is the Messiah, Jesus tells them, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30, KJV).

In His prayer to His Father, Jesus clearly says, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world” (John 17:6, NIV). He concludes His prayer with these words, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26, NIV). This is how Jesus defines His mission—to reveal the Father’s love.

By His life and ministry, Jesus sought to teach us in every way possible about the Father’s great love for all mankind.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). Jesus demonstrated the Father’s love for us through His care for all those around Him, His words, and His miracles of healing. “Because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19, NIV). Think of everything Jesus said and did and remind yourself that the Father’s love for us demonstrates itself in exactly the same way.

“For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants” (John 5:21, NLT). The Father gives us life, as does the Son. What does the Father want? “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40, NIV).

It is the Father who makes it possible for us to come to Jesus. (See John 6:65.) The Father honors those who follow Jesus. (See John 12:26.) The Father is the one who sends the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. (See John 14:16, 26.) In case we might be fearful of

the Father as the Judge, Jesus says explicitly, “The Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge” (John 5:22, NLT).

In terms of His nature, Jesus explains, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24, NIV).

So if you want to know the Father, look at Jesus. The New Testament writers consistently express such a perspective and expand on the gifts given by the Father. For example, the disciple John writes, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NIV). Jesus is full of grace and truth, just as the Father is.

As I write this, I am reminded of how much my earthly father loves me. Now that my mother is passed, life is not the same for my dad. His pristine memory is now fading, and he has to depend on us for constant love and care. Yet, I am convinced that his prayers still reach the throne room of God. Now, however, it is my turn to pray for my father and to model for him and our entire family the love and care he has always given to all of us.

Our current circumstances remind me of the following text. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it does not know him” (1 John 3:1, NIV).

Instead of a doctrinal statement detailing this “Father God,” we are told to call Him “Abba, Father”—describing the close, intimate, family relationship with one who loves us. He is the “God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all” (Ephesians 4:6, NLT). However, we have the privilege of knowing this Father, the God of the universe, as our own personal friend.

Leon Brown is the executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference.

May 2024 33

“When Mother Tucked Me In”

Every year during the month of May, I find myself wishing for one more visit with my mother. It has been 22-plus years since she fell asleep in Jesus, and yet I miss my mom on Mother’s Day more than on her December 19 birthday or the anniversary of her death. Mother’s Day was always special—more so when I became a mom and understood that fierce mom-love she always had—because I saw her in the way I “mothered” and felt her near long after she was gone. She never met my granddaughters, but she would have loved them so very much. She was my confidante, best friend, and biggest fan when I was growing up. She was the one who stayed home and raised my three brothers and me while our dad was traveling, doing evangelistic campaigns, starting a television ministry, and doing all those things associated with the “Lord’s Work.”

“girl” mom for the tomboy daughter they would have in 1956. I was the girl that they waited nearly 16 years for, born the same year It Is Written, the ministry Dad founded, was born. I loved hearing the story of how the young Nellie Johnson from Beloit, Wisconsin, went to Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) in 1936 and met the handsome, aspiring preacher, George Vandeman. The story of how he proposed while she was ironing shirts was always a favorite of mine. Their early years in ministry, raising three sons, traveling to England for two years of evangelism from 1951-1953, returning to America, my dad being the youngest ministerial secretary of the General Conference at age 33—all these stories formed the rich fabric of my childhood.

Often the “Work” with a capital W was blamed for taking him away from us so much. (At the end of his life, he gathered all of his children together to apologize for being gone so much during our early years, and it was a healing experience for us all.)

But Mom was always there, being the mom, dad, and chief cook and bottle washer. She was the outdoorsy “boy” mom who would also be the perfect

Being the youngest child and only girl, some may say I was spoiled. Let’s just say I knew I was loved and cherished. I knew I was the apple of my daddy’s eye. My brothers were grown and gone by the time I was eight years old, and it was often just Mom and me—going on road trips together, talking and laughing, playing outside, being best pals.

But always, every night, we had bedtime prayers and she tucked me in. Do we ever get too old to be “tucked in?” I don’t think so.

As Mom would later suffer from Alzheimer’s

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disease and spend several years either at home with caregivers or in a memory care facility near my home, it became my honor and privilege to spend time with her in the evenings, talking, trying to spark memories of the past, and singing to her. Strumming my guitar and singing the old hymns awakened total recall for her. Her eyes would lose their vacant look and she would brighten up and start singing with me—on every single familiar hymn. And if it was bedtime, I would tuck her in.

At her funeral in July of 2001, Elder Morrie Venden read this poem by H.M.S. Richards Sr. I long for that day when her mind will be made new and there will be no more night, no more tears, no more pain or death. Until then, I’ll always remember those special times when mother tucked me in.

Connie Vandeman Jeffery is associate director of communication and community engagement of the Pacific Union Conference.

When Mother Tucked Me In

How the changing years have borne me

Far away from days of home! Now no mother bends above me When the time for sleep has come. But it gives my poor heart comfort, And it brings me rest within, Just to dream that I am little And my mother tucks me in.

As I kneel there with my brother By the bed above the stairs, And I hear my gentle mother Whisper, “Boys, remember prayers!” Then she comes and prays beside us, “Father, keep them from all sin,”

Oh! her kiss is tender, loving, When my mother tucks me in.

When at last the evening finds me And life’s busy day is done, All the bands of earth that bind me Shall be broken one by one.

Then, O Lord, be Thou my comfort, Calm my soul, Thy peace to win; Let me fall asleep as gently

As when Mother tucked me in.

—H.M.S. Richards Sr.

May 2024 35


newly arrived in Southern California, May 1980,

An Idea Whose Time Had Come


hat do Sandra Roberts, executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference; Tony Anobile, vice president for church ministries of the Southwestern Union, and Ray Tetz, director of communication and community engagement for the Pacific Union Conference, have in common? They were all Taskforce volunteers!

Begun in 1973 as a North American Division program assigning Adventist youth to mission posts within the United States and Canada, and initiated at the Pacific Union College campus, the Taskforce program soon proved to be an idea whose time had come, and it quickly spread to other North American college and university campuses, serving Adventist churches and schools across the continent.

South, Midwest, and Northwest

During the ’76-’77 school year, Roger Bothwell, senior pastor of the Des Moines First Adventist Church in Iowa, contacted John McVay, a student at Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University). Pastor Bothwell encouraged McVay to consider spending a year as a Taskforce youth pastor with the Des Moines congregation. McVay accepted the invitation.

Valenzuela (on the right) with his cousin Bert Acuña, a student at Walla Walla College.
36 Pacific Union Recorder

In a recent phone conversation, McVay recalled, “That year in Des Moines gave me a sense of the craft of pastoring. I came back with a much more settled sense that this was what I wanted to do when I grew up.” McVay subsequently served as a church pastor in Georgia, then as a religion professor at Pacific Union College (PUC) from 1985 to 1998, and as professor of New Testament and dean of the Andrews University Theological Seminary from 1998 to 2006; he has served as president of Walla Walla University since 2006.

Greg King followed McVay as youth pastor in the Des Moines First church during the ’78’79 school year. “The year helped to confirm my calling to ministry,” King recalled during a recent phone conversation. “I had opportunity to preach, developing a deeper knowledge of the Word of God. I was organizing the Youth Sabbath School and many other youth activities. Learning that the Lord could use me—sometimes in spite of myself—was an inspiration. To invite young people to walk more closely with the Lord, to encourage them that Jesus loved them, was such a privilege.”

Completing college and then seminary, King pastored in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, then moved to teaching at PUC from 1987-2004. He then moved to Southern Adventist University, where he has served as professor of biblical studies and is currently dean of the school of religion.

“I’m glad now to be able to encourage my current students to consider taking a year away from college classes to participate in ministry,” King said. “I’ll always be grateful to those who pioneered the Taskforce program. That year did a work of grace in my own heart.”

Alberto Valenzuela grew up in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, and for his early college education attended Universidad de Montemorelos in Nuevo León, Mexico. It was here that he met his future wife, Denise León, who was attending Montemorelos to learn Spanish. They married in August of 1978 and moved to Southern Missionary College the following month.

After completing a degree in theology but not immediately receiving a call to ministry, Valenzuela worked in various jobs and then as a Taskforce volunteer in the Southern California Conference from May to December of 1980. “I was a new Adventist, and I didn’t really know a lot of what it meant to be an Adventist in the U.S.,” Valenzuela said sheepishly. “That summer of 1980 I was put in charge of a Vacation Bible School/day camp at Lynwood church for the entire summer! Keep in mind that I had no idea what a Vacation Bible School was or a day camp! Now that I think about it, I’m sure I didn’t question that assignment because I was so young; I perhaps would have said no thanks if I had been older. But it was a success! At the end, five inner city kids were baptized and Elder Fell had a great Sabbath celebration at the end of the program.” The Taskforce position transitioned to a full-time pastor position in the conference in 1981. Valenzuela served in Southern California until 1988. He then worked with ADRA International, the General Conference, and Takoma Academy in Maryland. Following a stint in the Arkansas-Louisiana

May 2024 37
David Iwassa and Kathy Overbaugh at the Boys Club Luau banquet that took place in the fall of ’85.

Conference, he has served as associate director of communication and editor of the Pacific Union Recorder since 2017.

Full stride in the 1980s

As the 1980s progressed, the numbers of Taskforce volunteers continued to grow.

Ross Winkle was a theology and biblical languages major at Walla Walla College. Following graduation in 1983, he took a position as a Taskforce chaplain at Portland Adventist Medical Center.

“I went around with the head chaplain for a few days,” Winkle recalled, “and then I was on my own.” As the months progressed, Winkle was involved in crisis ministry and was challenged to lead funerals with families representing a wide range of religious beliefs, along with other chaplain duties. “I learned a lot,” said Winkle, “that later applied to pastoral ministry.”

In 1984, he was hired by the Oregon Conference and was sent to Andrews University to complete an M.Div. degree. He graduated in December 1986 and served as a church pastor in Oregon until 1999, when he moved back to the seminary to work on a doctorate. He was hired by PUC in 2005 and completed the Ph.D. in 2012. He is now in his 19th year as professor of New Testament at PUC.

Adventist boarding academies were eager adopters of the Taskforce vision, with a growing number of dormitories utilizing Taskforce assistant deans.

David Iwassa attended Gem State Adventist Academy in Idaho from ‘81 to ’84. Then, as a student at Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) in 1986, he began to consider a year of volunteer service.

“I knew I wanted to do something,” Iwassa recalled during our recent conversation, “and I thought going back to Gem State as a Taskforce dean would be a good thing because there were Taskforce deans there when I was a student.”

Kathy Overbaugh was also considering a Taskforce year, and she also settled on Gem State Academy. Iwassa and Overbaugh became assistant dormitory deans for the ‘86-‘87 school year.

“It was definitely a year of maturing for me,” Kathy recalled. “I came back to Walla Walla and changed my major to business education.”

“I learned a lot about taking responsibility that year,” David recalled, “and I also formed lasting friendships.”

One of those lasting friendships was with Kathy. As they headed back to Walla Walla the following school year, the romance blossomed—and they were married in 1990. David completed a degree in business. Kathy completed a degree in business education.

Since college graduation, David has worked as the treasurer at Thunderbird Academy in Arizona, as director of an assisted living facility, as dean of boys back at Gem State Academy, as associate dean of men at Andrews University, then back to Walla Walla as vice president for student life; he is now in his second year as associate dean of men at Loma Linda University.

Kathy taught business education in Adventist academies for 27 years, worked as registrar at Griggs University, the correspondence school on the campus of Andrews University, then as director of student financial services at Walla Walla; now she serves as registrar at Redlands Adventist Academy.

“Learning that the Lord could use me—sometimes in spite of myself—was an inspiration. To invite young people to walk more closely with the Lord, to encourage them that Jesus loved them, was such a privilege.”
- Greg King
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And in the ’90s

During the 1995-96 school year, Armand Devoir served as a Taskforce volunteer at Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) in Washington state. He worked in the PE department and as the school’s primary driver. “I had been kind of a ship without a compass,” Devoir recalled during a recent phone conversation. “Spending that year at UCA cemented a desire for service, for volunteer opportunities.” Now working in business in Lansing, Michigan, Devoir values working for a company that offers the opportunity to volunteer in literacy programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and a local food bank.

Gena Philpott served as assistant girls’ dean at UCA during that same ’95-’96 school year. At the end of her year at UCA, Principal Larry Marsh encouraged Philpott to apply for the head girls’ dean position at Gem State Academy. She got the job and continued at Gem State from 1996 to 2004. From there she joined the team of residence hall deans at PUC, where she now serves as director of residential life.

And Upper Columbia Academy continues to welcome Taskforce volunteers, with five serving on the staff during the 2023-24 school year. They work in the school’s equestrian program and as assistant dormitory deans.

James Wibberding, a student at Southern Adventist University, took a Taskforce position during the 1998-99 school year, serving as

David Iwassa stands with some seniors from the class of ’86.

assistant pastor in the Shelton and Elma churches in the Washington Conference.

During that same year Laura Ochs took a Taskforce call to be the youth pastor in the Lacey church, about a 20-minute drive from where Wibberding was working. Laura and James were in a growing relationship at the time.

“The Taskforce year was a profound experience for both Laura and me,” Wibberding recalled as we chatted in his PUC office. “When I got my own district, and would face a challenging ministry situation, I would realize that my senior pastor during that Taskforce year had poured a whole lot of wisdom into me that I hadn’t really realized at the time.” James and Laura married in 1999.

Following graduation at Southern Adventist University, James served as a pastor for 17 years in Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Washington. In 2017, Laura having completed a master’s degree and James a D.Min. at the seminary, the couple joined the faculty at PUC. Laura now serves as assistant professor of theology, history, and social work. James is professor of applied theology and biblical studies.

Who would have thought that such a simple idea would impact so many lives? To be a Taskforce volunteer didn’t just mean to set a year of your life to a task you weren’t sure you were meant for; it meant a transforming commitment for the volunteer and for those touched by their ministry.

Bert Williams, who is now retired, served the Adventist Church in Canada, East Africa, and several regions of the United States. He worked, at various times, as a church pastor, academy teacher, and editor. He and his wife live in San Mateo and are members of the Palo Alto church.

May 2024 39

Beginnings: At the Adventist

Even before the first Adventist evangelists stepped ashore in California, there were to be changes in outreach and church methods. It might have been expected that those from the East would use the same techniques in the West, and it certainly seemed as if that was to have been the approach.

But then Ellen White stepped in. Even as evangelists J.N. Loughborough and D.T. Bourdeau were on their way to California, Ellen White sent them instructions that they were not to work in the same way as they had back East. Though she had never been west of the Missouri River, she outlined instructions she had received from God that they should operate in a liberal way that would meet the expectations of the people there.

This even came down to the practical issue of selling literature. Instead of selling, they gave books and pamphlets away—and they were surprised at the donations they received. The “liberality of spirit” that characterized Californian society influenced the whole thinking of their outreach.

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Pioneers in the West

the Forefront of Change

But let Loughborough describe what happened as he addressed his experience to the General Conference in Session:

As I went to California with Elder Bourdeau, via Central America, in 1868, the Lord gave Sister White instruction concerning our work, which being sent overland we received on arriving at San Francisco. This gave us instructions concerning the habits of the people, how to labor to reach them, holding it up in contrast with the New England field in which I had been laboring more or less, showing that what might be called economy in New England would be considered penny-wise dealing in California, “that the people must be met with the liberal spirit they possessed, yet not in a spendthrift manner.”

We saw the result of heeding this admonition in our very first meeting. When the people were questioning how we would sell penny tracts and five cent books when there was no change made in the country less

than a ten cent piece we were led to make calculations, and so commenced on this liberal plan, and gave them away by scores. The people shortly met us by saying, “This isn't like the preachers that have been coming across the plains to this country.” They rushed up to buy our books, and favored us in every way they could, and in that one tent-meeting the people bought over three hundred dollars' worth of books, and a lumberman, who before we commenced the meeting, refused to trust us with a dollar’s worth of lumber on the ground that he had no confidence whatever in preachers, said, “Sir, I will lend you 36,000 feet of lumber, if you want it, without any security whatever.” If Sister White had lived in that country five years, she could not have given better counsel than was given in that testimony, which was simply the result of what the Lord had shown her in vision.”1

This led to great success in their evangelism, with the generosity and openness of the preachers being

“As I now look back over the last thirty-seven years since the work was first started in California . . . I can say that our cause advanced more . . . ‘in the work of the ministry’ by the instruction received through the gift of prophecy.”


matched by their audiences. While the term “liberal” may have some negative overtones today, as used by Ellen White and Loughborough it was a positive concept that spoke well of an open-minded, tolerant, and accepting perspective that characterized Western society. The openness to new methods and ideas meant that Adventist beliefs were not met with so much prejudice as in the East since they were part of the varied mix of ideas that were current in California at the time. This also meant that there was more latitude in the methods the evangelists could use to present biblical truths, as is also reflected in later Adventist history in the West.

In his book on Adventist history, Loughborough recalls the tremendous impact of Ellen White’s call for change, and he credits her with providing the insights necessary for success in the West.

Shortly after our arrival in California we received a letter from Mrs. White, in which she related a vision given her in Battle Creek on the Friday evening of June 12,–a day that we had spent at Lancaster, N. Y., before starting for California. She had never been in California, and had no personal knowledge of the habits of the people. In fact, at that time she had never been west of the Missouri River. Any knowledge she possessed concerning things there was derived from what the Lord was pleased to reveal to her.

In the instruction in her letter, she delineated the liberal ways of the people

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of California, and what would be the effect of labor among them on a close, “pennywise” plan. In preaching to the people of California, they must be approached in something of the liberal spirit in which they work, and yet not in a spendthrift manner.

As I now look back over the last thirty-seven years since the work was first started in California, and take in the situation then, with the condition of the people, and the manner in which we would have conducted our work but for the testimony received, and as I witness the results of following the instruction given, I can say that our cause advanced more in three months than it would have done in one year had we not been helped “in the work of the ministry” by the instruction received through the gift of prophecy.2

In this way not only did Adventist evangelism in the West prove very successful, but the attitude and methods used at the forefront of change also impacted the way in which the Adventist church developed and changed, with new and innovative ideas—not only in ecclesiology but also in healthrelated programs and in educational techniques. Later Adventist developments reveal the ongoing results of being at the forefront of change that has led to where we are today.

1. J.N. Loughborough, General Conference Daily Bulletin, vol. 5, Jan. 31, 1893, p. 81.

2. J.N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 385.

May 2024 43
“One of the

Great Ones”: Ivan Blazen Remembered

Ivan Blazen was known to many as a great scholar of the New Testament, but those who had the privilege of getting to know him intimately knew he was so much more than that. He was a splendid conversationalist, an approachable professor, a wise colleague, a thoughtful mentor—and even a snappy dresser, said Gerald Winslow, research professor of religion at Loma Linda University and longtime friend and former colleague of Blazen.

Ivan was in the room,” Winslow said. “He provided good sense. He was a peacemaker. He would always find ways to share his own carefully worded, well-examined position on things, and he had a gift for bringing peaceable solutions to sometimes difficult issues.” Blazen’s legacy within the church as a whole will always be that he was probably the most preeminent Adventist scholar on the apostle Paul.

“Ivan was an elegant man,” Winslow commented. “He took seriously the idea that one should show up properly representing the dignity of one’s profession. The beauty of this characteristic of Ivan’s was that he prepared just as carefully intellectually and spiritually for his classes as he did sartorially.”

Blazen’s thoughtful nature covered all areas of his life, from engaging colleagues in debate to class discussions with his students to conversations with a fellow conference attendee over lunch. He was widely known for his wise counsel and meaningful discourse.

“Any meeting I was chairing felt better when

“Paul is a very challenging subject for the Adventist church,” commented Jon Paulien, former dean of the faculty of religion at Loma Linda University. “Paul was a radical—a very disturbing figure within the early church, and many didn’t like him. So for Ivan to understand that whole milieu was his greatest contribution to the Adventist church—to know Paul and integrate him into the Adventist context.”

Paulien knew Blazen in many ways—as a professor, neighbor, colleague, and boss—and he said no one was Blazen’s equal when it came to the study of Paul. Unlike many other church scholars, Blazen was not a prolific author. Though he did write

NEWSDESK 44 Pacific Union Recorder I Newsdesk

a few articles, he published only two books over the course of his career, choosing the classroom over a closed-door study.

“His main way of communicating his scholarship was in the classroom,” Winslow said. “I think he would say his highest achievement was the work he did with students.”

He added that Blazen was much-loved by his students at every college and university where he taught—Pacific Union College, Andrews University, and Loma Linda University.

“He was a gifted communicator and made the text come alive,” Winslow explained. “He was so obviously enthused by the study of Scripture, and he was committed to helping it make a difference in people’s lives. Students rather quickly detected that authenticity in him, and they gravitated toward him because of it.”

Blazen cared deeply for the wellbeing of his students and could often be found wrapped up in hallway conversations with them or deep in discussion in his office.

“He saw teaching as a kind of pastoral ministry,” said Winslow. “More than just a scholar, he was a minister to the souls of his students.”

Teaching was perhaps his greatest joy, but also one of his greatest challenges, especially when it came to teaching religion courses at Loma Linda University. Whereas students at the Adventist seminary on the campus of Andrews University, where Blazen first taught, were eager to study the Bible and biblical concepts, students at Loma Linda were different.

“They were there to study intensively whatever medical discipline they’d chosen—be it dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, medicine, or any of the numerous other options—and for the most part they were only in the religion course because it was required,” Winslow explained. “Ivan understood this— he somehow knew how to take heavenly subjects and bring them alive for people whose day-today life and learning was focused very much on the practical realities of being caregivers. And he excelled at that.”

Even if they never sat in his classroom, many of Blazen’s contemporaries felt as though they, too,

Newsdesk I May 2024 45

had been his students, as they were continually learning from him.

then pursued further education, earning a master’s degree from Andrews University in 1958, a Master of Divinity from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary on the campus of Andrews University in 1963, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1979. In addition, he studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and Drew University in New Jersey.

“I used one of Ivan’s approaches in a dialogue with the leaders of the Lutheran church once,” Paulien recalled. “Their leading New Testament scholar was presenting on the same topics I’d heard Blazen speak on many times. He prepared me well to talk with other scholars, even without perhaps meaning to.”

Young professors in particular benefitted from Blazen’s mentorship, as he had a special place in his heart for them.

“Ivan was very good at nurturing younger faculty members and bringing them along,” Winslow remembered. “He started his own teaching career rather early in life, and he had special concern for new teachers—that they flourish and grow and reach their full potential.”

Though he didn’t write many books (just two—a commentary each on Paul’s letters to the Corinthians), Blazen was constantly reading those written by others. He stayed up to date on the literature in his field, and then he read beyond that into many other subjects. One subject in particular he found fascinating was the intersection of science and Christian faith. Occasionally when he was particularly moved by a book, he would gift it to a friend, inviting them to be inspired, as well.

Blazen received several degrees, beginning with his bachelor’s in 1957 from Andrews University. He

Winslow commented that it was surprising how popular Blazen was on the camp meeting circuit.

“There aren’t very many people who can be successful at university level and earn the degrees Ivan did and also hold an audience at the typical Adventist camp meeting!” he said with a chuckle. “Ivan could because he had a way of making truths incarnational—bringing them down to earth where people could sense them personally. I always marveled at his incredible speaking skills; he could inspire and engage any audience he stood in front of.”

During the 1960s, Blazen taught at Andrews University, following that with 18 years teaching in the seminary, eight of which he spent as chair of the Department of New Testament.

From 1990 to 1993, he taught religion at Pacific Union College, sandwiching that with several years as professor of biblical interpretation and theology at

NEWSDESK 46 Pacific Union Recorder I Newsdesk

Loma Linda University School of Religion from 19881990 and again from 1993 until his retirement in 2010.

Despite these notable achievements, Winslow said, Blazen’s greatest pride was in his three adult daughters, Lynelle, Yvonne, and Jean.

Blazen passed away at age 89 on Dec. 4, 2023, in Loma Linda.

“You don’t often get to write about a person who was truly great,” Winslow said. “Most of us— myself included—are pretty ordinary, but Ivan was one of the great ones. He was charismatic in clarity and cleverness, and he had a special gift for communicating. So many scholars, theologians, professors, and pastors today studied with Ivan; I wish I could have been one of them. His legacy lives on in academic circles, and I’m proud to have been able to call him both colleague and friend.”

NEWSDESK Newsdesk I May 2024 47

James Boundey Ordination

On Sabbath, April 6, Pastor James Boundey was ordained to the ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. With his wife, Beth, and seven children by his side, Boundey received his official ordination commissioning from the administrators of the Arizona Conference.

“The greatest testimony that can be given is to show unquestionably that God leads people to serve Him,” said Boundey. “Answering ‘Yes’ to God’s calling

has allowed us to see His intervention in the simple outline of our history.”

It is not hard to see where this commitment to service might originate: Boundey’s father was an Adventist pastor and his mother was a teacher. He met his wife at Southern Adventist University and, after a time exploring various career options, they felt the call to ministry.

A graduate of the theological seminary at Andrews University, Boundey would have ministry stops in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Kokomo, Indiana, before moving to Arizona.

Pastoring in the northwestern district of Arizona—comprised of the Parker, Bull Head City, and Lake Havasu churches— the Boundeys feel blessed to serve alongside individuals and leaders who are driving God’s church forward. But the greatest blessing they feel is their children.

“Raising our children has been the greatest, most wonderful blessing of all,” Boundey said. “Spending time with them and raising them to love and serve the Lord has been an amazing and precious privilege.”

Hispanic Ministries Evangelism Exchange

During the month of March, the Arizona Conference

Hispanic Ministries Department participated in an evangelistic exchange with pastors from the Southeastern California Conference (SECC). Seven pastors from SECC came to seven of the Arizona

Pastor Joel Armenta (right) of the Nogales Spanish church stands with several of the candidates for baptism.

48 Pacific Union Recorder Arizona Conference

churches to hold one-week evangelistic meetings. In addition to those seven events, other evangelistic meetings took place in Hispanic churches led by Arizona Conference personnel, including President Ed Keyes.

The partnership between churches and pastors resulted in over 90 baptisms at the conclusion of the

LEFT: Pastor Jose Jimenez of the Tucson Central Spanish church prepares to baptize one of several attendees to the evangelistic meetings that took place at his church. RIGHT: Pastor Joshua Lopez of the Blythe Central Spanish church in SECC presents a message in Phoenix Deer Valley Spanish church as part of the evangelism exchange program.

2024 Arizona Conference Camp Meeting

The 2024 Arizona Conference Camp Meeting will take place June 7-15 at Camp Yavapines in Prescott, Arizona. John C. Brunt is the featured speaker for the first weekend, and James L. Stevens is the second weekend guest speaker. Michael Campbell is the main speaker for the evening programs Sunday through Thursday, June 9-13. The guest musician for June 7 and 8 is Gale Jones Murphy and for June 14 and 15 is Arizona’s very own Cyzia Music Ministry.

Throughout the week, Arizona Conference Health Ministry Director Ugonna Woods will present a series of health seminars each morning. Ben Maxson, who is the author of an upcoming book on stewardship, will present a seminar each morning on stewardship. Later in the afternoon, Grant Agadjanian will present a family life seminar.

The theme for the 2024 Camp Meeting is “Lest We Forget,” with a focus on how members should look to the future without forgetting history.

meetings. With subsequent Bible studies and followup events with church lay members and pastors, the number of baptisms resulting from this collaborative event will continue to rise. To complete the “exchange,” Arizona Conference Hispanic Ministries pastors will travel to SECC in October to conduct one-week evangelistic meetings in churches there.

Arizona Conference May 2024 49
Arizona Conference President Ed Keyes (left) preaches at the Tucson Esperanza Spanish church as part of the ongoing Hispanic Ministries evangelism program.

Unexpected Realizations From the 2024 CCC Women’s Retreat

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Isaiah 2:3, ESV).

Renew” was the emphasis of the presentations, music, and activities at this year’s women’s retreat, which took place at the Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park. The theme text, Romans 12:2, brought home to us how often we succumb to the temptation for conformity to the world, revealing our desperate need to come to the Lord to be transformed. Our goal at the retreat was to return home with a new perspective and a new heart.

“ portrayed in Psalm 139. Early morning prayer sessions, shared experiences of the presentations, and God’s written word compelled us to glorify Him.

Prayer impacted every part of the weekend. Those of us attending were thirsty and hungry for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our greeting, meeting, eating, and sleeping fell under this spiritual covering. Without prayer, we are only informed; with it we can be truly transformed.

Waiting to greet us on the mountain were our presenters: Leah Page, Kendra Miranda, and Tara Vang. Through their personal walks with Jesus, each shared a much-needed piece of wisdom that we could incorporate into our lives. And there was music—Flora Flint, Debbie Pierce, and Jenny Darrow brought us to our feet to sing to the Lord.

Unlike the common idea that anticipations are greater than realizations, the spiritual harmony of these leaders brought us realizations well beyond our expectations. The speakers emphasized how much God desires that we grow into our full potential, as is

The anointing service on Saturday night, under Sharlyn Wenberg and her assisting ordained elders, proved an integral part of the healing process for those desiring renewed hope and pure hearts. We are a people who suffer from brokenness in our families and weakening of our faith and hope. Those who came to be anointed with prayer and oil were nurtured and cherished as the symbolic oil of the Holy Spirit was applied.

Leaders who came to give and guests who came to receive became one in the Spirit. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, this unity allowed each of us to catch the vision of a transformed life— one with a new mind and a new heart.

The 2024 women’s retreat celebrated the close-knit Women’s Ministries team under Joyce Mulligan, women’s/prayer

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conference director, and Pat Curtis, women’s/prayer conference secretary. They are leaders we’ve come to know and love over the 26 years they’ve been involved in the women’s retreats and prayer conferences. As they both retire from these ministries, we look forward to how God will use their spiritual gifts in the future.

God has faithfully provided Mulligan and Curtis the means of staying calm in the midst of troubled waters. They have continually brought comfort to those who need assurance that all will be well. Through the power of prayer and their own walk with the Lord, they’ve been able to handle the constant changes in a multitude of details required to house and feed the thousands who have participated in women’s retreats and prayer conferences over the past quarter of a century. They both deserve God’s blessing of “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Our hearts overflow with thankfulness for the sponsorship of many who would not have been able to attend the women’s retreat without financial assistance. Some participants were recently baptized, and many come from other “folds.” The future will show how wise it is to invest in these special ladies.

The challenge of being renewed remains a daily one, and we solicit your ongoing prayers for all who went home with the goal to keep growing in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for a conference where women from all walks of life received a spiritual realization far beyond their original expectations.

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Ministerial Retreat Unites Pastors, Elders, and Executive Committee Members

This year began with a ministerial retreat designed to bring together the conference churches and create a vision for 2024. Over 400 pastors, elders, executive committee members—and even their families—were able to meet at Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz mountains February 9-11 and learn about finding a balance between self-care and the church mission: evangelism. The last two retreats have expanded the meaning of a ministerial retreat. “The previous ministerial retreats were only for pastors,” explained Ricardo Viloria, ministerial and church planting director for the Central California Conference (CCC), who organized the event. “Last year we did something different. We included elders. This year we did a couple of things differently— we also included executive committee members and a food program for the pastors’ kids.”

This event focused on the conference’s mission while also highlighting the importance of self-care. Viloria invited Pastor Tyler Long, evangelism coordinator for the Washington Conference, to be the featured speaker at this event. The task was to find a balance between self-care for the pastor and the mission: evangelism. “He did such a great job,” said Viloria. “The first topic he touched on was self-care for the pastor; then he went on to focus on the mission. That balance between mission and self-care was a high point for the retreat.”

Viloria continued, “Tyler Long talked about evangelism, revitalization, growing churches, but also self-care for the pastor—making sure the pastors are taking care of themselves. We have many challenges with emotional, physical, and spiritual health. He addressed that and also the need to press forward with the mission.” Long’s emphasis included the fact that healthy pastors are more able to lead healthy churches, and healthy pastors are more focused on the church’s mission.

This event also included adding more for the children who attended the event. “In the past we had daycare for the pastors’ kids. This time we decided to go ahead and have a food program for the kids as well,” said Viloria. “They loved it! They had a food program and a pizza night. We heard great comments from the pastors’ kids. As pastors, we go through so many challenges, but sometimes we forget about spouses and children. They are also facing challenges.” They decided to do something to show that pastors’ families are supported and cared for in the church.

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Mobilize people, start new groups, and baptize

The diversity of the Central California Conference is an important piece of the conference’s mission, and every night of the event this diversity was emphasized. People shared music from many different ethnic backgrounds, including African American, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific, and even a Ukrainian group from a Ukrainian church that was planted last August by the Campbell church in the Bay Area.

The ministerial retreat concluded with CCC President Dan Serns addressing the conference’s message of creating new churches by spreading God’s message, casting the vision for 2024. Serns stated that the conference is emphasizing three key things: mobilize people, start new groups, and baptize.

In September 2024, these three goals will culminate with a large evangelistic event that includes a message from General Conference President Ted Wilson. “All the churches in the conference will be involved in this event,” explained Viloria. “We are hoping to get people involved in different ministries before, during, and after the September event. We are aiming to start new groups and church plants.”

One of the messages conference leaders want to emphasize is the fact that this mission cannot be accomplished by pastors alone. Viloria explained, “As pastors, we need to work together with elders, leaders, and church members. We cannot do this alone. We’re going to need the members and leaders and elders involved in the mission. We also acknowledge that it is important to address the emotional challenges our leaders face. It is important to push the message forward, but it is also important to take care of our health.”

The next ministerial retreat event is scheduled for January 2025, but there are many other events coming soon. The Soquel camp meeting will take place in July, and a conference-wide evangelistic event will take place in September. Learn more about these and other upcoming events at

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Global Youth Day Celebrations in Hawaii

On March 16, Seventh-day Adventist churches around the world celebrated Global Youth Day. The theme for this year was “Show Up in the Cities.” Youth and young adults were encouraged to go into their communities and share the good news of the gospel with everyone they could.

In an article announcing this year’s theme, Adventist Youth Ministries gave a call to action for churches to “make big plans and share them with the world.” The churches of the Hawaii conference answered that call with a number of powerful ministries that each showed aloha to their community in a special way.

The Waipahu church celebrated by cooking dozens of warm meals, which were then packaged alongside toiletry items and distributed to those in need around the area. Youth from Waianae gave joy to those in their congregation who aren’t able to attend church in person anymore by bringing the church to them in the form of songs and worship. This celebration followed a wonderful week of prayer at the Waianae church. Another group of talented singers from the Kapolei Samoa-Tonga church attended one of the larger events before going out to their own community and blessing the elderly with their music.

One of the largest events was a multi-church collaboration that resulted in the making of over 250 leis. The event was put together largely by pastor JR Bonilla and the members of the Aiea church, but people from Honolulu Central, Kapolei Samoa-Tonga,

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“I am so grateful for everyone who participated in Global Youth Day this year.”

Honolulu Japanese Manoa, and Honolulu Fil-Am churches came out to support and celebrate. Each lei that was made had a card of encouragement attached that included a QR code that people could scan to send in their prayer requests. After all of the leis were made, people went out in groups to give them to anyone they could find, telling them that they are loved and appreciated.

“I am so grateful for everyone who participated in Global Youth Day this year,” said Hawaii Conference President Erik VanDenburgh, “It was really nice to see the aunties, uncles, and youth from our churches come together to celebrate and show love to their communities.”

We are so happy to have participated in Global Youth Day this year by “showing up in the cities” here in Hawaii. It's always a blessing to everyone involved to show God to our community, and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

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A Seventh-day Adventist Boarding Academy Serving Native American Youth Since 1946

Looking Ahead to Summer Experience

Do you remember the excitement you felt as the school year came to an end? Like most children, you were probably filled with anticipation for all the fun you were going to have during the long summer break. Or maybe you had plans to work, which kept you busy and out of trouble. Imagine thinking about the arrival of summer with a sense of dread. Imagine being afraid of what might happen to you over the break, not having enough food in the house, or being in an unsafe environment.

Many of our students have suffered trauma, which is why we strive to offer opportunities to those who may not get a chance to experience many of the fun activities that other children have the privilege to engage in. It’s also an opportunity for them to maintain the momentum they have established during the school year.

Thanks to the support of many generous friends of HIS, we are able to offer several options to HIS students who choose to engage with Summer Experience. Activities include water parks, recreational trips to Flagstaff, baseball games, swimming at the local pool, attending camp meeting, various summer camps, and horseback riding. We also offer the option of staying on campus and the opportunity to participate in our student work program. Campus work includes caring for our horses and working on the grounds, in the development and business offices, and on the farm.

For the students who choose to stay home, another feature of Summer Experience is for several staff members to visit them regularly, help them run necessary errands, keep in contact with them via phone calls, and send care packages with items and/ or supplies tailored to the students’ interests. The goal is to make sure the students are safe and let

56 Pacific Union Recorder Holbrook Indian School
Keanu and Joaquin receive a home visit from Mr. Cadavid, Mr. Wiles, and Mara.

Students arrive at teen camp for a week of fun and adventure.

them know that they are on our minds even though they are not at school.

One of the most exciting moments during Summer Experience was Dalariyn’s decision to be baptized at camp meeting. This is what she had to say:

“We left school, and for two weeks, I was home. While I was at home, I actually kind of gave up on everything. I grew up without parents. I was always on my own and actually kind of raised my four younger siblings. Things got worse. I questioned, Why? If God was real, why is this happening to me? Why am I feeling like this? Really, being at home wasn’t good, so I decided to come back [to HIS] for the summer. Everything was good.… I went to camp meeting. It was my first time…but during the time there, what they were saying was very meaningful. It actually made sense. Their worship team was really good.… Melissa was talking about love and God’s love.… It was very reasonable and understandable when [she] and Pastor Manny were talking.… That night it felt like a

Holbrook Indian School (HIS) is a first- through twelfth-grade boarding academy operated by the Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. HIS also manages a firstthrough eighth-grade day school on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Arizona. Eighty-seven percent of funding comes from individuals who have a desire to support Native American ministries and Christian education. Your generosity makes a difference in the lives of our students, their families, and the communities they serve.

Thank you for your support.


P.O. Box 910 • Holbrook, Arizona 86025-0910 (928) 524-6845 (Ext. 109) •

lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders. That’s when I decided I wanted to get baptized and wanted to give my life to God.”

Summer Experience begins on June 9 and runs through July 26. It is open to all of our students, grades one through 12. We are grateful for the support we continue to receive that helps provide this opportunity to experience a summer filled with fun activities the students may not have experienced before in a safe, nurturing environment.

To learn more and to watch Dalariyn’s full testimony video, visit: summer-experience.

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Slade learns a new skill for groundskeeping. Julius helps Mr. Wagner maintain the farm fields.

Volunteers Build Lasting Relationships During Mission Trips to Mexico

By day Bora Ra is an ICU nurse at Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles, but during a recent Adventist Health mission trip to Loreto, Mexico, she transformed into a medical brigade superhero—part logistics expert, part nurse, and part mission matchmaker.

Bora coordinated clinical services, matching the team of volunteers to mission needs based on medical and language skills, strengths, and interests. She also tracked patient flow, stepping in to ease brigade bottlenecks in order to serve as many patients as possible.

Mission clinic locations in Mexico vary and can be less than optimal. “Based on the availability of electrical power, running water, tables, private rooms, temperature, etc., I plan the workflow of the medical brigade,” said Bora. She assigns spaces for patient registration, vital signs, laboratory services, medical care, dental care, spiritual care, diabetes education, supply storage, pharmacy, restrooms, and of course space for the kids to play.

The 27 volunteers provided clinical care for 252 patients and spiritual care for 95 patients. Adventist

Roberto Vizcaino (left), senior chaplain and CPE supervisor at Adventist Health White Memorial, provides emotional and spiritual care for a patient.

Health chaplains also provided Clinical Pastoral Education for 20 local chaplains who work with the Red de Clinicas Adventista clinic system.

Each year, Adventist Health White Memorial travels to Loreto, Valle de la Trinidad, and Montemorelos, Mexico, to provide healthcare services and complete projects in the community for people experiencing difficulties.

Bora has been on four mission trips to Mexico and will put her superhero powers to work there again in the future. She said, “Returning to these towns delivers another level of purpose as you get to build on the relationships made with not only the local doctors, pastors, government officials, and volunteers but also members of the community! Each mission trip is special; the group energy is lovely and there is a great sense of teamwork.”

Heinrich Elected Chair of the CHA Board

Kerry L. Heinrich, president and CEO of Adventist Health, was elected 2024 chair of the California Hospital Association (CHA) Board of Trustees. The CHA represents more than 400 hospitals throughout California, advocating for better, more accessible healthcare for all Californians and ensuring that hospitals can continue to provide exceptional care for patients and comprehensive health services to communities.

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Bora Ra (left), ICU nurse at Adventist Health White Memorial, organized workflow and other logistics during the recent mission trip to Loreto, Mexico.

49th Weniger Meeting Honors La Sierra Music Prof, Former School Dean

The news came as a shock to Kimo Smith, longtime La Sierra University music professor and organist for the Loma Linda University church—he was to be a recipient of the prestigious Charles E. Weniger Society for Excellence awards, which honor those who have impacted Seventh-day Adventist education, its institutions, and their communities.

“Having been the organist here [Loma Linda University church] for almost 45 years, I remember the yearly announcements of the Weniger awards coming up. Never ever did I expect that I would be on that list of recipients,” Smith said to the audience during the ceremony on Feb. 17.

The awards event held at the Loma Linda church recognized Smith and five others, including Ginger Ketting-Weller, president of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines and former dean of the La Sierra University School of Education; John McVay, president of Walla Walla University; Lowell Cooper, former vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; and Merikay McLeod, writer and former communication professor, along with Lorna Tobler, retired paralegal. The duo pursued legal action during the 1970s against Pacific Press Publishing Association for wage discrimination.

Richard Osborn, president of the Weniger Society executive committee and interim president at La Sierra University, noted in his opening remarks that the Weniger awards program, established in 1974, has honored 197 individuals thus far. “I like to call these the Oscars of the Adventist church,” he said.

In her award acceptance response, Ketting-Weller described influencers and mentors who impacted her and her family, including McLeod and Tobler. The women’s legal pursuit of equal pay for female denominational employees impressed Ketting-Weller’s missionary doctor parents when Ketting-Weller was a teenager, she said.

“I am convinced of this,” she said. “Living as a Christian means being a missionary. There is no other option in the kingdom of Christ.”

Smith described God’s miraculous intervention

during his teenage years when he was hospitalized with a severe medical condition. His father offered a prayer to God and promised that he and Smith’s mother would encourage Smith toward a life of service if God would provide healing.

“Johann Sebastian Bach wrote, ‘All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment,’” Smith said. “This is my desire as well. It is a sacred obligation that we as musicians have to God and to those whom we serve in our music.”

Randy Roberts, left, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University church (LLUC), with Weniger awardee, Kimo Smith, LLUC organist and music professor at La Sierra University.

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To read more, go to

American College of Sport Medicine Recognizes LLU for ‘Exercise is Medicine–On Campus’ in Healthcare

Loma Linda University has received the “Exercise is Medicine–On Campus” initiative’s gold-level recognition from the American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM’s highest level distinction, affirming the university is at the forefront of using exercise as a form of treatment and improving lifestyle.

The EIM–OC initiative promotes the use of more exercise methods to treat disease.

“This recognition demonstrates that Loma Linda University is a leader in physical activity assessment and promotion on campus,” said Kimberly Knowlton, DrPH, MSPT, director of LLUH’s Drayson Center health, wellness, and recreation facility. “We are so proud that we’re a part of this movement to make exercise a standard in improving the health and lifestyle of our students, faculty, and staff at Loma Linda University.”

Knowlton and her team are committed to monitoring progress and attaining ACSM’s gold level of recognition every year. Several members of the Drayson Center team will be present for the awards ceremony in Boston on May 29 at the ACSM annual conference.

Knowlton said Drayson Center staff members are developing new events and activities that promote healthy lifestyles, including new classes, sports competitions, and offering more lifestyle and nutrition consultations.

See the latest news and Health & Wellness stories from Loma Linda University Health at

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PUC Gains Approval to Expand Nursing Program to Sonora

Pacific Union College recently received state approval for a new nursing training partnership with Adventist Health Sonora. The PUC education center will further the college's goals of growing its nursing program and helping to meet the rising need for highly qualified healthcare professionals in the Tuolumne County area.

The Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) program— taught by professors from the Angwin campus—will be open to local Adventist Health employees and prospective students looking to move into the nursing field. Pre-nursing classes began in April, with the ADN program commencing in September.

While California will need the most nurses in the nation by 2030 due to limited clinical space in hospitals, the California Board of Registered Nurses and the Education Licensing Committee generally challenge nursing programs in receiving permission to admit more students. However, PUC’s nursing program received approval to add 18 students to the Sonora site. This hardwon achievement results from a two-year collaborative effort by PUC and Adventist Health to establish a new nursing education center in an underserved area.

Kimberly Dunker, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at PUC, said the Department of Nursing and Adventist Health have a longstanding, historic relationship dedicated to both organizations’ respective goals and visions, with examples like the Hanford, Ukiah, and Travis Airforce Base campus sites.

PUC Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing & Communication Gene Edelbach also said the partnership

has been rewarding.

“It's been exciting to partner with Adventist Health over the last few years in developing new educational products that truly meet the needs of our underserved communities,” he said.

Tyler Newton, operations executive at Adventist Health Sonora, said the program provides a muchneeded opportunity for local, driven, and talented people to advance their healthcare careers while serving the community they love. “We see this program as a winwin—win for us, for our students, and for the Mother Lode,” he said.

With the new program, students have a clear path from becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to receiving a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) while remaining close to their families and communities. For example, students can achieve their CNA through California Preparatory College, get their ADN at the Adventist Health Sonora site, and earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing through PUC’s online programs.

In 2021, PUC embarked on a vision plan for the future, focusing on four main pillars—including adding online programs and education centers. The Angwin campus is the heart of PUC, while the vision plan states that education centers are the “arms and the legs that put us in motion in communities where we are most needed.”

The Sonora site is the second educational center launched by PUC. Several open houses in the area will provide more details to those interested.

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Adventist Health Sonora

LEFT: Mia-Alani has discovered that seniors have an abundance of wisdom that all youth can benefit from, and she encourages youth to devote time to sharing with others. RIGHT: A smile and an open heart go a long way to break down barriers and create an atmosphere of trust when working with those in memory care.

Forget Me Never

Mia-Alani Matsubara can be defined as an aspiring world changer with one goal: to contribute to the eventual cure of Alzheimer's disease. From a young age, Mia-Alani has been intensely fascinated with the unknowns of the natural world, from the secrets that lay inside the Bermuda Triangle to the mysteries behind the disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke to the true composition of dark matter. She has always had a natural tendency to become fixated on a topic with the utmost confidence that she would discover the missing pieces to puzzles that have long perplexed others.

However, when she least expected it, God bestowed upon her a new mystery to focus on, along with the strength to initiate a positive change. Despite her surface-level lack of expertise or experience, she decided to no longer let age define or confine her from achieving greatness in the name of the Lord. After conducting research at Georgia State University last summer on the staggering statistics on Alzheimer's and its disproportionate effect on minority women, and witnessing its impact firsthand among her own family, she decided that something must be done.

One way in which Mia-Alani decided to catalyze change was by founding a ministerial nonprofit called Forget Me Never Foundation, which seeks to empower high school students in Las Vegas, Nevada, to build connections with those in memory care facilities who

experience Alzheimer's disease, as well as to educate others about this condition. Each week, she and student volunteers visit Heritage Springs, an assisted living and memory care facility, where they play mind-stimulating games, participate in crafts, and have impactful conversations with the residents.

These seniors welcome Mia-Alani and her volunteers with open arms, their eyes lighting up when the young people arrive.

Not only has this nonprofit benefited the seniors and staff of Heritage Springs, it has also touched the hearts of the volunteers, who experience immense gratification doing God's work by contributing to the happiness and improved cognition of those who came before us.

Delberth Castillo, Nevada-Utah Conference interim youth director, has been very impressed with the work of Mia-Alani and her team, saying, “Never underestimate the power of a few committed young people to change the world. The passion and excitement when young people are living out the ways of Jesus is inspiring. Mia-Alani is an example of just that, changing the world through her passion and love for others.”

For information on how you can volunteer, visit

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Young People Show Up for Global Youth Day

On March 16, 2024, over 600 freshly prepared burritos were distributed on the streets of downtown Reno in celebration of Global Youth Day 2024. This remarkable endeavor saw churches from across the Northern Nevada area—spanning from Susanville, Quincy, and Bishop, California, to Fallon, Sparks, Carson City, and Reno, Nevada—join forces in a powerful demonstration of solidarity and service to their community.

Before embarking on this altruistic mission, Nemaia Faletogo, the weekend’s guest speaker, delivered an inspiring message, reminding the participants that the church cannot be reduced to brick and mortar but is a diversity of people who make up the body of Christ.

This initiative goes along with the current year's Global Youth Day theme, "Show Up in the City," while remaining faithful to the #bethesermon tagline. Across the globe, young people have heeded the call to step out of the confines of church spaces on Sabbath and emulate Jesus' example by ministering to their surrounding communities.

Mako Chenyika, one of the participants, shared, “A lot of people were saying, ‘God bless you,’ and we were the ones who were trying to bless them with the burrito. It’s exciting to be able to help, even if it’s just one burrito. Some people were asking if there were more, and we gave them two.”

In addition to the community service, three young people responded to the call to give their lives to Christ

through baptism.

Delberth Castillo, Nevada-Utah Conference (NUC) interim youth director, added, “Global Youth Day produces passion in our young people. Their enthusiasm ignites faith. Thank you to the NUC leadership team, to all the pastors, the parents, local youth leaders, and of course the young people for a great Global Youth Day. There will be other opportunities to minister together and make a difference in the community.”

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LEFT: GYD 2024 participants enjoy the short, inspiring message before preparing food to take to the local streets. RIGHT: Nemaia Faletogo, Global Youth Day guest speaker, gives a moving call to those desiring baptism. One line for building burritos, another line for the rollers and wrappers. All participants enjoy the preparation process.

Women’s Ministries Director Selected

The Northern California Conference is pleased to introduce Lisa Marsh as the new NCC women's ministries director.

As a distinguished speaker and graduate of Loma Linda University, Lisa has over 25 years of experience as a California Public Child Welfare System social worker. For over a decade, she has secured "forever homes" for hundreds of foster children throughout California.

In 2015, Lisa joined the faculty in the Division of Social Work at California State UniversitySacramento, where she teaches and trains future social workers. She is currently the director of field education. She truly enjoys preparing, guiding, and coaching individuals as they transition from social work students to competent and ethical social work professionals.

In addition to her professional career, Lisa is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, particularly with women in various seasons of life. Expressing her enthusiasm for her new role, Marsh emphasized her heartfelt desire for women to recognize and embrace God's intentional love for them. She firmly believes that God sees, redeems, restores, and loves each woman as His daughter—young or seasoned, married or single, working or stay-at-home, broken or victorious. Her goal is to encourage and equip women

Marc Woodson, NCC president, expressed his delight in Marsh's selection, affirming her as a valuable addition to the NCC team. With her extensive experience and commitment to women's empowerment, Marsh is poised to impact the ministry's initiatives and outreach efforts significantly.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Marsh finds fulfillment in her family life. She shares a loving bond with her husband of 26 years, Gerald, and they cherish the joys of raising their children, Hannah, Noah, and Paige.

As Marsh steps into her new role, her dedication to serving women with compassion and understanding will inspire and uplift countless lives. She looks forward to making connections for a cross-cultural ministry and exploring the differences and similarities within the NCC community and beyond.

Building Churches for Today: A Dual Approach

NCC Evangelism and Church Growth Director

Kevin Robert is leading a transformative movement to revitalize existing churches and plant new ones. Several NCC churches, including LIFE church of Berkeley, Sacramento Fijian, and Lodi English Oaks, recently completed the first module of a church revitalization training program.

“This course, spanning six modules, empowers churches to become contextualized within their communities,” explained Robert. Through intentional interactions, collaborative connections with community leaders, and initiatives to improve their cities, churches serve and share Christ in the context of community to overcome shame, self-doubt, and fear and live their lives to the fullest potential of their God-appointed roles with courage and confidence through Jesus Christ.

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need—basically becoming community-relevant.”

The NCC approach emphasizes developing effective disciplemaking pathways and investing in members rather than relying solely on traditional outreach methods like programs and flyers. Ron Pickell, pastor of LIFE Berkeley, shares his optimism, noting tangible signs of growth and unity within his congregation.

“Revitalization is beginning to have an effect,” he said.

The training also incorporates NCC's organizational health model techniques to enhance leadership teams. Sacramento

Fijian’s decision to host a revitalization weekend at Leoni Meadows reflects the enthusiasm and commitment inspired by this approach.

Reflecting on the impact of the first module, Robert expressed his excitement: “People commented that they saw hope for their church for the first time in years. This is a very encouraging outcome for this module and the future of church health in the NCC.”

In parallel, NCC is planting new churches, utilizing the ACTS (Assessment, Coaching, Training, and Sending) method. This approach focuses on establishing churches in homes and serving neighbors. “Church plants start with trained individuals creating a church in their homes,

inviting and serving neighbors within their sphere of influence,” Robert explained, “These churches are intentional and created to mold and adapt to the local environment.”

With six church plants already established—four locally and two out of state—the NCC is committed to building vibrant communities of faith that reflect the ethos of the early Christian church as depicted in the book of Acts. Through both revitalization efforts and innovative church planting methods, the NCC is shaping the future of church growth and engagement.

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Serving the Least of These

Embracing its commitment to being communityelevating, the Oakland Market Street church hosted an impactful Prison Ministries Sabbath featuring Anthony Lewis, a pastor from Florida. Lewis shared his journey from his role as an Adventist conference literature leader to a decade-long prison term. During his incarceration, Lewis underwent a transformative shift. Mundane Sabbath School lessons became precious moments of spiritual connection, and he longed for religious services and interaction. This was a great contrast to his former indifference. His testimony underscores the importance of extending outreach to marginalized communities like those within the prison system.

The NCC Prison Ministries Department seeks individuals who are passionate about serving this overlooked community. It

offers opportunities for involvement, such as letter writing, supporting local families, and ministering within correctional facilities.

The NCC Prison Ministries Department is looking for dedicated team members to share Jesus. Contact the team by visiting

Engaging Young Adults

Northern California Conference Young Adult Ministries hosted IgniTED, a weekend evangelism event for adults ages 18-35. This was the second annual event conceived to unite young adults and build a passion for ministry. The program is presented in short 15- to 20-minute segments, then followed by discussion, which focuses on short presentations followed by discussion, breakout sessions, and application.

Eddie Heinrich, youth and young adult director, said, “AdvanTED in 2022 was themed to explore core beliefs, and this year’s IgniTED tackled relationships.

As a young adult ministries team, we evaluate and plan each year’s program to be seeker-friendly, incorporating programming and ministry style that strategically fills

spiritual voids common at this age.”

Daniel Garza, district pastor of Woodland and Vacaville churches, stated, "These events have been very successful in creating a passion for Jesus and steering young adults to connect with the Adventist mission in a modern way. Our goal is that these young people will take that passion and joy back to their home churches and become involved leaders.”

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On the Precipice of Eternity

The Northern California Conference, in collaboration with the Pacific Union's Church State Council, sponsored a religious liberty summit at Pacific Union College. Distinguished speaker Dwight Nelson delivered a powerful message: "We live on the precipice of eternity and must not sleep through these critical times." Throughout the two-day summit, Nelson underscored the growing trend of political and religious leaders attempting to combine church and state power.

Religious liberty has been a focal point of the NCC, which has co-sponsored similar events for several years. Jose Marin, NCC executive secretary, said,

"I was encouraged to see collegiates participate in this religious liberty summit. They are engaged in understanding the times we live in and how we can be agents of love and freedom to our community."

Throughout the weekend, Nelson outlined essential goals for navigating this challenging trend. He urged attendees to stay focused on Jesus, extend grace, radiate joy, offer assistance to the unhoused, embrace migrants, and stay relevant in society—all cornerstone practices for leading people to an abundant life in Jesus Christ.

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Loma Linda Korean Church Embarks on Mission Trip to Belize

In February, 25 individuals from the Loma Linda Korean church embarked on a mission trip to Belize. The group was comprised of diverse professions, including four physicians, five dentists, a dental hygienist, and two pharmacists. Some of the attendees brought their families and children, with the youngest being a one-year-old. The team made many sacrifices to get to Belize, including closing practices and using limited vacation time, but from their perspective, the blessings of service superseded anything that may have been lost.

"Mission trips start with prayer and end with prayer," said Richard Lee, lead pastor of Loma Linda Korean church, as he recounted the miracles of the trip to his congregation. For this mission trip, the team constantly sought God's guidance and practiced active trust in Him. While in Belize, the team spent the first few days visiting rural churches and working with the members, including planting bamboo trees and installing an automatic irrigation system. They saw over 300 patients at their medical and dental clinics and worked with a local orphanage run by an Adventist pastor. The team also helped with the renovation of the labor and delivery room in La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital. Prior to visiting Belize, the church raised $30,000 to help the hospital buy a new computed tomography (CT) machine.

Ministry is interwoven into the heart of the Loma Linda Korean church. The motto of the church is "Loma Linda and beyond," said Lee. One of their main objectives as a congregation is to reach the world

around them for God. They do so by connecting with former members or ministry partners who are actively living and serving in different parts of the world. The church has visited other locations, including Cambodia and Haiti. For their trip to Zambia, they raised $20,000 for 50 cataract surgeries. Loma Linda Korean church plans to return to Belize in December. They also have a ministry partner who recently moved to Togo, and they plan to visit that location in the next few years.

68 Pacific Union Recorder Southeastern California Conference
The dentistry team enjoys their appointments with children. Volunteers tear down a wall for the labor and delivery room renovation at La Loma Luz.

More Than 400 Gather for SECC’s Annual Young Adult Night

On a Saturday evening in late February, Southeastern California Conference (SECC) hosted the second annual Young Adult Night at the Crosswalk church in Redlands, California. The “Wonder”-themed evening drew more than 400 attendees, ages 18 to 39, from over 100 churches throughout SECC.

The event started outdoors with free food, a coffee bar, a photo booth, live music, and a DJ.

“We weren’t selling them on anything,” said Aren Rennacker, director of SECC youth ministries. “We wanted to create a space to connect with our young adults without pretense. It’s simple: We love them and want them to know it.”

Halfway through the evening, attendees were invited inside for worship, led by Laia and Jo Amaya. The pair organized a young adult orchestra and choir with over 30 participants. Attendees shared testimonies, followed by a short message delivered by Rennacker.

Recognizing a gap in engagement and a need for a shared space where young adults could connect, worship, and be inspired, the night aimed to serve as a catalyst for reigniting, launching, or relaunching young adult ministries in local churches.

Attendees laugh and mingle outside.

“Part of my message focused on how we all come from somewhere—our local churches,” Rennacker explained. “The message was that when you return, pour into your church and grow young adult ministries there too.”

“I feel honored to be part of a movement within SECC to reimagine effective ways to make our young people feel valued by the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” said Rennacker.

“Our goal, both this year and last year, was to provide a space specifically catered to the wants and needs of young adults. We want our young adults to know that they’re a priority and that they’re seen and heard. We’re already excited about next year.”

For more information, visit and follow their Instagram page @SECCYouth.

Southeastern California Conference May 2024 69
The praise team worships in song.

Giselle Imperio and Klenth Sasil host the first episode.



A New YA Podcast by Moreno Hills Church

Moreno Hills church is stirring up conversations with its new podcast, “Tofu Soup,” hosted by Klenth Sasil, associate pastor, and Giselle Imperio, church member. The podcast releases episodes monthly and is available now on YouTube and Spotify.

Born from young adult vespers, the show aims to capture the humorous, wisdom-filled discussions that happen twice a month in small groups at the homes of church members.

The show’s creators recognized the need for a more

accessible platform. They wanted “Tofu Soup” to engage a wider audience by having conversations that simmer and engage. The name “Tofu Soup” reflects the desire to encourage community and dialogue as well as the surrounding environment.

“Soup is something people gather around to savor and enjoy over some good conversation,” said Imperio. “That’s the goal of this podcast. We wanted to create a space for young adults to share their thoughts about a wide range of topics.”

The podcast aims to be a genuine space for young adults to explore life's challenges and joys together. It emphasizes authenticity and openness to help foster spiritual growth and a stronger church community.

“‘Tofu Soup’ is a space for young adults to navigate life together,” said Sasil. “Being authentic and genuine is vital in our spiritual growth and church culture.”

Though tailored for young adults and young professionals, “Tofu Soup” welcomes listeners from all walks of life. The team behind the podcast is excited about its potential to positively impact their community.

“God is the guiding force behind our podcast,” said Imperio. “Ultimately, God is the MVP—our producer, director, and inspiration for every show—and we’re just along for the ride!”

The first episode is available now on the Moreno Hills Church Music YouTube channel and on Spotify. You can follow the team on Instagram at @morenohillssda or visit their website at

70 Pacific Union Recorder Southeastern California Conference
Neil Hernandez (center) works as media producer with the co-hosts.

Oceanside Teacher Honored

LEFT: Perez tackles math with his students.

BELOW: Perez humbly accepts gifts and the plaque with his family.

In March, Matthew Perez, grades 3-4 teacher at Oceanside Adventist Elementary (OAE), was selected as one of 12 out of 24,000 teachers in San Diego County to receive recognition for his work in the classroom through Tribute to Teachers, an annual program presented by local radio station KYXY 96.5 and American Assets Trusts.

“I was completely shocked,” Perez admitted. Representatives presented Perez with a plaque and gift card, noting his fun style of teaching, the familylike atmosphere in his classroom, and contributions he’s made to his students, both academically and spiritually.

“This honor is well-deserved,” commented Brooke Lemmon, OAE principal, who has received much positive feedback from parents about Perez. “I see his incredible contributions every day.”

One parent shared their child’s reflection on how blessed they were to be in a class that is “like a big family.” Another posted on Facebook an encouraging note Perez had sent them in the mail.

“It is most important to me that my students feel safe, welcome, and loved,” Perez said. “These needs must be met before academics can be applied.”

“The more seasoned I get, the more I see relationship-building with my students as a puzzle,” he said. “Each year it’s a different group of students with different personalities and needs, and I have to figure it out. It takes time, but I really enjoy it.”

Perez approaches the school year, and education, as a marathon, and he helps his students view it that way, too—long, sometimes grueling, with lots of peaks and valleys throughout, and a chance for them to learn how to pace themselves.

“It’s important to savor the moments at the peaks and learn from the times of struggle in the valleys,” he said.

Lemmon says Perez’s approach clearly works. “Mr. Perez is all in for OAE and for God,” she said. “He has a positive and professional attitude and enjoys openly sharing his faith with his students.”

Perez said he is incredibly grateful to the person who nominated him for the award and added, “It is a wonderful feeling to be honored for the work I do— even when I already absolutely love it.”

Southeastern California Conference May 2024 71

Valley United Korean Church Celebrates 40 Years of Ministry

Valley United Korean church held its 40th anniversary service on March 16th. Under the theme “Reunion,” former pastors and members reunited to express gratitude, share past and present blessings, and prepare for a new journey of faith.

In the fall of 1980, Pastor Jo Jung-wan, serving at Faith for Today School of Evangelism in Newbury Park, resolved to deliver the gospel to the densely populated San Fernando Valley. He visited Adventist believers and encouraged them to start youth meetings at the Northridge church youth hall. In 1984, four groups—North Hollywood, New Burbank, Valley, and Valley Fortress—obtained approval from the Southern California Conference (SCC) to establish Valley United Korean church.

During the formative years, worship services



Please take notice that the 66th regular Constituency Session of the Southern California Conference of Seventhday Adventists is called to convene as follows:

Place: White Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church 401 North State Street, Los Angeles, California

Date: Sunday, September 29, 2024

Time: 7:55 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., or until business is completed

The purpose of this session is to receive reports; to elect conference officers, the Vice President for Education, the Executive Committee, and the Bylaws Committee; and to transact any other business that may properly come before the delegates in session.

Delegates are invited to join with the SCC Prayer Team for prayer from 7:00 – 7:50 a.m.

Velino A. Salazar, President

John H. Cress, Executive Secretary

were held in various rented spaces throughout the San Fernando Valley. In 2013, the church building in Granada Hills was acquired, and a year later, all debts were paid off.

Velino A. Salazar, SCC president; John H. Cress, SCC executive secretary; and Kathleen V. Diaz, SCC treasurer/CFO, shared messages of congratulations and hope at the anniversary celebration.

“When you started this journey, you didn’t imagine how the Lord was going to bless you,” Salazar shared. “Today is the perfect moment for you to recount the blessings you have received during these four decades. The Lord has been good to you, and you have been receptive to His influence in order to proclaim the gospel in the San Fernando Valley community.”

“We had a time of thanksgiving service where we looked back on the past 40 years,” said Hyun Ouk John, senior pastor, “and pledged to continue the newly begun second chapter of our faith journey all the way to heaven.”

Visit to watch the livestreamed anniversary service.

PHOTOS: HYUN OUK JOHN 72 Pacific Union Recorder Southern California Conference
Church leaders who have served Valley United Korean congregation are in attendance.

Week of Spiritual Encouragement 2024: To

Be One

That they may be one.” Those words of Jesus served as a springboard for the theme of the 2024 Southern California Conference (SCC) week of spiritual encouragement this March. It was the fourth time this virtual conference-wide event had aired, the first time being at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

This year’s event was themed “To Be One,” inspired by the prayer Jesus prayed for unity in John 17:20-23. Each of the eight nights was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and featured a brief message followed by a panel discussion. The nightly messages were given by SCC pastors. Topics included: Unity in Christ, Unity in the Home, Unity in Conflict, Disunity, Unity in Love, and more.

Setting the tone for the week, Pastor Apirak Detwinya of the L.A. Thai church opened with a message entitled “What Is Unity.” “In our broken society today, our hearts are desiring for a perfect God who can unify us from the inside out,” he began.

“Broken people like you and I need a perfect God who is able to patch all our pieces together.”

a blessing for us to have people come together to pray and hear the Word.”

After the message and panel for each night, a special prayer room was open on Zoom that allowed viewers to meet with the SCC prayer team to receive prayer for their personal requests.

“I’m encouraged that we have this event,” shared James G. Lee, SCC executive vice president. “There are so many things happening in the world, in our city, and in our conference that we really need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct us and to help us. Even though we started this about four years ago, I believe it’s still

“As a panel participant, the biggest takeaway was a reminder of the importance of unity in the body of Christ and understanding what it means and looks like and what it isn’t,” said Stacy Moss, member at Valley Crossroads church. “As the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit operate as one, the Trinity should be our example. When the body of Christ operates in disunity, we do a disservice to the character of God and misrepresent who God is to the world. I am so grateful for the work SCC is doing to unite our community of believers while expanding our reach beyond denominational borders.”

Previous events focused on the words of Christ, themed “The Red Letters of Jesus,” and characteristics of Christ, themed “To Be Like Jesus.” Watch at https://scc.

SCC church members participated in the panel, discussing practical ways to apply the night’s message in their own lives.
PHOTOS: MICHELLE NOLAND Southern California Conference May 2024 73 “

RIGHT: Attendees enjoyed a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, such as Mexican and Mediterranean fusion, farm-direct coffee, boba, Vietnamese cuisine, and specialty pizzas. FAR RIGHT: Artist displays included a design shop; a video game designer; a pottery shop; jewelry shops; a YouTube channel that shares Bible stories through building blocks; a clothing company; and many others.

One House Arts and Music Festival

Brings Christian Creatives Together

Hundreds of people gathered this spring for a creative showcase for the third Southern California Conference (SCC) One House arts and music festival at the Temple City church. “Our goal for this event is simply to allow a safe space for young adult creatives to display their gifts and talents,” shared Geoff Sewell, SCC senior youth and young adult ministries director.

An unexpected rainstorm threatened to derail the event an hour before it was set to begin, but teamwork brought plan B to life. “The whole team flew into action with the help of some of the event attendees,” Sewell recalled. “What took hours to set up, they tore down and reset inside the fellowship hall.” Sewell also recognized Temple City church pastor Brett Poynter and church member Teddy Raffijandi, who were instrumental in helping move everything indoors and reset the entire venue.

Inside the fellowship hall, attendees and participants enjoyed good food, uplifting music, and creative art.

The event highlighted many local small businesses, musicians, and artists, offering Christian creatives an opportunity to showcase their God-given talents.

Jesús Noland, a video game designer who hosted a booth where attendees could play a game he created, expressed his gratefulness for the event. “I think it’s awesome that I got the opportunity to show what I create in the Adventist Christian space,” he shared. “Having an event like this means a lot, it really does. It goes a long way to keep me connected to this

community, and it definitely allows me to show a different side of myself than what I usually show as myself on a Sabbath. That’s very powerful and very helpful for me to continue to stay connected to the church.”

“These types of creatives usually keep their talents to themselves because the ‘church’ doesn't really know what to do with these things,” Sewell noted. “But God does! The arts and music festival gives a platform for them to be seen. We are truly blessed by a God whose first act with humanity is creation!”

Musicians sang originals and covers, ranging from indie to folk to contemporary Christian to gospel music. Nicholas Miller, the evening’s headliner, closed the night with a moving worship experience.

PHOTOS: ARAYA MOSS 74 Pacific Union Recorder Southern California Conference

Adventist Robotics League Tournament Celebrates Creativity in STEM Education

The Adventist Robotics tournament returned to Glendale Adventist Academy this year for the 17th competition in the Southern California Conference (SCC).

Since its inception in 2002, Adventist Robotics has recognized the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in Adventist schools. Bob Dennis, interim associate superintendent at SCC, spearheaded the first robotics event in SCC in 2005 and is committed to the program.

Adventist Robotics in Southern California has grown since, and this year’s competition welcomed 13 teams from SCC, Southeastern California Conference, and Pacific Union Conference’s Holbrook Indian School in Arizona.

Volunteers stepped up to fill crucial roles as judges and referees, solidifying their commitment to supporting STEM education. “We’re drawing people who are not part of the robotics world, but they see the value in what we’re trying to do,” said James P. Willis, SCC vice president for education. “So many of the volunteers are pastors and office personnel. It’s not just an education department event; it’s an event that represents the conference as a whole.”

Nuris Barriga, SCC youth ministries and senior youth and young adult ministries assistant, was excited to volunteer as a judge for the second time this year.

For the judging portion, each team researched a problem and presented their solution to the judges, who evaluated teams based on three areas: innovation project, robot design, and core values.

“I enjoyed learning about their different inventions and how they come up with ideas on how to improve the world,” Barriga said. “One of the questions I always


ask the teams is, ‘What happens if you don’t succeed— if you’re at the table ready to go and your device doesn’t work?’ And they all shared backup plans they had in place.”

The creative problem-solving skills students demonstrated in their presentations were on display at the competition table after the judging portion. Each team worked together to compete in three rounds to determine their high score.

“It’s important for schools that are interested to have a robotics team,” said Willis. “It engages their ability to be creative, to work as a team on a project, and it gives them a product they can be proud of. If you want to highlight what’s special at your school, robotics can serve that purpose.”

Three teams are advancing to the Adventist Robotics Championship in Apopka, Florida: Robo Falcons, Antelope Valley Atoms, and The One Piece.

FAR LEFT: Members from Antelope Valley Atoms, Antelope Valley Adventist School’s robotics team, await results calculated during the competition. LEFT: Teammates from Team Gold from Ridgecrest Adventist Elementary encourage each other before their next round begins.

Southern California Conference May 2024 75 PHOTOS: ARAYA MOSS
The Robo Falcons from Linda Vista Adventist Elementary celebrate winning the champion’s



Sierra University

Graduation 2024. La Sierra University’s commencement weekend will be held June 14-16 on the university


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campus, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, CA 92505. Information and an event schedule are at https://

Art+Design Student Exhibits. The La Sierra University Art+Design department will present three exhibits of student and senior work in Brandstater Gallery through June 13. For info and an exhibit schedule, visit https:// or email

“Into the Woods” Musical. The La Sierra University Music Department will present a staged performance of the Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” on May 11, 16, and 18 at 8 p.m., and May 19 at 3 p.m. at Hole Memorial Auditorium. Ticketed event. For tickets and further info: 951-785-2036,, or

Faculty Recital Series. The La Sierra University Department of Music will present a faculty recital with violinist Ken Aiso and pianist Valeria Morgovskaya on Thurs., May 23 at 7 p.m. in Hole Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free. For info: 951-785-2036 or music@

Student Music Recitals. The music department will present student recitals on Sat., May 25 at 8 p.m., Sun., May 26 at 7 p.m. and Mon., May 27 at 3 p.m. in Hole Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free. For info: 951785-2036, or visit

The La Sierra Report. Stay in the know and sign up to receive The La Sierra Report, an e-newsletter of the university’s interesting news and events. To subscribe, send your email address and subscription request to

Pacific Union College

Pacific Union College Chorale & Vox Pro Musica Concert (June 1). Directed by Ronnie Zanella, PUC Chorale and the select choir, Vox Pro Musica, present a joint spring concert on Sat., June 1 at 8 p.m. in Paulin Recital Hall on the campus of Pacific Union College. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Paulin Center for the Arts End-of-Year Recitals (June 2). Hear what our PCA students have learned over the year as they present pieces on a variety of instruments in a variety of styles: guitar, voice, piano, cello, percussion, violin, horn, trumpet. Two opportunities to enjoy their performances: Sunday, June 2 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Both recitals take place in Paulin Recital Hall on the campus of Pacific Union College. Admission is free and open to all.

Graduation Weekend (June 14-16). Pacific Union College is pleased to invite family and friends to graduation weekend for the class of 2024. Consecration,

76 Pacific Union Recorder I Community & Marketplace

baccalaureate, and other events will happen throughout the weekend. The commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 16 at 9 a.m. at the Maxwell Commons. Guests should arrive at least an hour early to find parking and seats before the procession.

PacificQuest (June 23-28). PUC will host a weeklong college early summer program held on the campus for students who are interested in STEM, aviation, film, and music. These four camps give students the opportunity to explore college and careers early. Students who complete the program earn one unit of college credit.

PQ Rise (June 30 - July 5). A weeklong college early summer program held at Albion Field Station for students who want to explore marine science and art while experiencing college and careers early. Students will participate in daily academic programming, recreational opportunities, and evening activities. Students who complete the program earn one unit of college credit.

Birding Bonanza at Albion Field Station (August 22-25). Come spend time with fellow bird lovers and alumni to relive your favorite college memories and add to your life bird list. You will learn what PUC’s biology department has been up to and interact with current students and faculty through worship and outings focused on coastal birds and biology. Visit birding for registration and more information.

Connect Ministries is a group of Pacific Union College students passionate about Jesus and sharing through music and worship. The bilingual team leads worship services, retreats, youth events, and any programs where they can inspire other young people to become worship leaders. Any school or church interested in having them visit, please email connectministries@puc. edu.

Support Adventist education and add PUC news in your church bulletin. With so many updates to share at Pacific Union College, we designed a printable bulletin insert for churches to use. Just print the PDF double-sided and cut in half, then include as a bulletin insert. Download at

Subscribe to the PUC Now Newsletter. Stay up to date with Pacific Union College by subscribing to their monthly newsletter at From campus stories and alumni features to student interviews, you’ll be in the know with PUC Now.

Southeastern California Conference

AAPCA Retreat. David Newman is keynote speaker at Camp Cedar Falls on June 7-9, 2024. His topic is “How to be an effective witness of the gospel.” Dr. Newman served as associate ministerial director at the General Conference and is former editor of Ministry and Adventist

Today magazines. This event is the annual spiritual retreat of the Alumni Association of Pasay City Academy (AAPCA) and is open to everyone and not just alumni. Many members of AAPCA reside in Southern California and are professionals in ministry, health, education, and other fields. Weekend rates (2 nights and 5 meals) start at $99 per person, depending on space available. For day rates, reservations, and other information, call or text Elvie Roa at 909-534-0309.

Southern California Conference

Glendale Adventist Academy Alumni Weekend (May 4-5). Saturday events include church service, band/ chorale alumni concert, and an alumni vs. varsity basketball game. Sunday activity is the May Festival and Classic Car Show. Glendale Adventist Academy, 700 Kimlin Drive, Glendale, CA 91206.



Holbrook Indian School is currently in need of a Maintenance Associate, an Assistant Girls' Dean, Music Teacher, and Industrial / Vocational Arts Teacher. These are paid positions. In addition, there is an opening for a volunteer married couple with mental health training and experience to fill the role of House Deans in an offcampus housing capacity at the Eagle's Nest. If you or someone you know are mission-minded and would like to serve Native American children, please see or share our jobs page at

Pacific Union College is seeking faculty positions in the area of History. Major duties include the responsibilities of assessment, planning, development, and implementation of classroom experiences and course objectives. We desire those who will be committed to a collaborative working environment, as well as those who possess dedication in furthering the goals of excellence in student success and critical thinking skills. Most importantly, we desire those interested in bringing students closer to Christ by nurturing the whole person and embracing concepts for lifelong learning. If you are interested, please contact Human Resources at HR@ or call 707-965-6231.

Located in the Napa Valley, Pacific Union College is one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States, with views of mountains, vast forests, sunshine, and temperate summers and winters. The college's mission is to learn with purpose, rise in faith, and serve with love. Employees work in a tight-knit and faith-centered community that supports and encourages one another. If you enjoy working in a collaborative and caring atmosphere, you belong at PUC. We offer generous employee benefits, including tuition subsidies, housing assistance, medical, dental, vision, moving expenses, and retirement contributions.

Community & Marketplace I May 2024 77

Room/Work Exchange offer in SoCal for female. Busy professional needs your help with 15 hours of housekeeping/week in exchange for rent. Located 2 hrs drive from LLU. Must be able-bodied, English speaking, SDA, and not allergic to my cat. Background check and interview. More info:

Evangelism Projects Coordinator needed at Quiet Hour Ministries to assist in developing and implementing and reporting for various mission projects. This is a full-time (32 hours per week) in-office position located in Redlands, CA, with potential for international travel. For more info or to apply, visit:

Marketing Director needed at Quiet Hour Ministries to plan and direct successful fundraising and marketing through a variety of methods. This is a full-time (38 hours per week) in-office position located in Redlands, CA, and includes some national and international travel. For more info or to apply, visit:

Andrews University seeks candidates for a full-time, tenure-track Ph.D. biochemistry faculty position for our ACS-approved program, starting July 2024. Duties: mentor undergraduate students to excellence in faithreflective professionalism; teach biochemistry and chemistry courses and labs; champion undergraduate research; promote an all-inclusive, equitable learning environment. For more information, email: chemistry@

Jesus 101 is looking for a Production Department Assistant to assist with editing, production, and media department needs. This is a full-time (38 hours per week), in-office position located in Riverside, CA. Position includes generous employee benefits. For more information or to apply, visit: https://www.

Retired couple seeking an estate management/caretaking opportunity. He: 30 years attorney/commercial real estate trust manager, Navy veteran, and California Highway Patrol. She: 37 years pediatric registered nurse (current licenses in Indiana and California). Oversight of estate and related vendors, plant-based chef, driver, care for homebound person, child, pet, or plants, etc. Looking for long-term situation (greater than 1 year) and separate housing onsite. Compensation based on duties assigned. References available. Bondable. email:

The Miranda Seventh-day Adventist Church is looking for a missionary-minded couple to care for its church. The couple will rent the church trailer home and be responsible for maintaining the church grounds. For more information, please call Mike Michelli at 707-296-5518.

Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University School of Nursing. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and/or service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of their department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. Assistant Professor performs other duties as needed. Requires nurse practitioner degree in nursing from an accredited institution. Two years post-master’s teaching experience or closely related professional experience. Professional certification, licensure, or registration as appropriate. https://egln. en/sites/CX/job/1100/?utm_medium=jobshare – 1100

Faculty at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of their department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. DDS/DMD degree is required. MS/MSD and/ or PhD is preferred. Two years previous experience, published peer reviews journals, experience in grant writing, securing grants, submission of external funding, and experience in material science, numerical methods, and finite element analysis. https://egln.fa.us2. CX/job/216/?utm_medium=jobshare -216 and 555

Faculty Medicine two tenure-track at Loma Linda University Department of Pathology and Human Anatomy. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and/or service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of his/her department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. Research expertise in one of the following areas: Neuroscience, stem cell and/or cancer biology, or developmental biology. Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a relevant field, MD, or dual degree; at least three years of postdoctoral research experience; record of peer-review original research publications in recognized scientific journals, including at least one postdoctoral publication. Preferred experience in applying data science approaches to biological problems, which could include artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, multi-dimensional imaging, or other methods; history of securing extramural funding. https://egln.fa.us2. CX/job/808/?utm_medium=jobshare - 808

Professor PhD at Loma Linda University School of Nursing. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and/or service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of his/her department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. Professor PhD performs other duties

78 Pacific Union Recorder I Community & Marketplace

as needed. Requires earned doctorate (or equivalent) from accredited institution, preferably with focus in area of scholarship. Post-doctoral experience (or equivalent) encouraged. Minimum five years of successful teaching experience as associate professor with emphasis in area of scholarly focus. Functions in a leadership capacity in area of expertise. Professional certification, licensure or registration as appropriate. https://egln.fa.us2. CX/job/2030/?utm_medium=jobshare – 2023

Faculty at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and/or service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of his/her department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. Faculty member supports graduate education in global public health, research and/or global health practice in an international and/or multi-national setting. Develops, delivers, and assesses curriculum at a graduate (master’s and doctoral) level. Mentors and advises students for curriculum, applied practical experience (APE) projects, and career planning. Participates in student recruitment activities and APE site identification, student placement, and site review. Ability to bring in external grant funding and strong networks in the global health field are a plus. Minimum of doctoral degree from an accredited institution required. CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX/job/826/?utm_ medium=jobshare – 826

CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX/job/2560/?utm_ medium=jobshare -2560

Real Estate

PUC Commercial Space for Rent. Pacific Union College has commercial real estate space available for lease. The spaces are in various sizes and functionality and are available for inquiries. For additional information, please email Sam Heier at

Community Health Worker Instructor at San Manuel Gateway College. Responsibility encompasses education, research, and/or service. Demonstrates loyalty to the mission, policies, standards, and regulations of his/her department, school, and the University, and follows the administrative policies set up by the University and the individual school. The Instructor is responsible for planning, teaching, implementing, and assessing courses and activities. Performs other duties as needed. Specialty license or certification preferred. Requirements will vary per specific specialty. https://egln.fa.us2.

Tennessee country living. Private 3/2, 2330+sf, large master bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet, additional gaming/family room, currently being remodeled. Almost 5 acres, paths through woods, around pond, 2 small streams, 2 outbuildings, 20x20 workshop, on city water, has additional well. Located outside of Dunlap, 56 min. from Southern. Active churches in the area, ptnbear@

Lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1519-sq-ft home. Marble fireplace, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and refrigerator. Select furniture included. Convenient location near Walla Walla University. Beautifully landscaped with private backyard and covered patio and deck, security lights, garage, and much more! Please contact 951-2329814 for more information.

For Sale

Retiring SDA optometrist in NW CA selling a very profitable practice. There are no other optometry, ophthalmology, or optician practices in this city or county. Local Adventist church and K-8 school. The office is 5 blocks from an amazing coastline with surrounding beautiful forests, beaches, and rivers. 1250 sq. ft. office with a wonderful staff. If interested, please contact

Outpatient Physical Therapy and Aquatic Therapy in the foothills above Sacramento, CA. Turn-key

Community & Marketplace I May 2024 79

practice, in business for over 30 years. Great referral base and solid practice. Lots of potential for growth. Great opportunity for someone wanting to establish a medical mission outpost or wellness center as well. 5400-sq-ft facility. $450,000. Flexible options to the right party. Contact or leave message at 209-304-7455.

Dental practice for sale in Siskiyou County, CA. Profitable practice, 4 ops, practice refers out ortho, endo, and some oral surgery. Great study club and specialists to refer to. Get out of the city and come to God's country, a 4-season area filled with hiking, mt. biking, skiing, and water sports. If interested, please contact

Vacation Opportunities

Travel on a faith-based tour to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Rome, or Vietnam on a special cultural discovery tour with Dr. Carl Cosaert, New Testament professor at Walla Walla University. To learn more about these inspirational tours that renew your faith, visit www. or email

Explore Armenia and Georgia this September with Dr. Carl Cosaert, dean of the School of Theology at Walla Walla University. Discover enchanting towns, historic churches, and breathtaking views in countries boasting a profound Christian legacy of nearly two millennia. Visit or email info@ for more information.

Sunriver, Central Oregon. Four-bedroom vacation home on the North Woodlands golf course. Two master king suites, two queens, one bunk set, hot tub, loft, Jacuzzi bath, gas log fireplace, BBQ, W/D, bikes, all resort amenities, sleeps 10, no smoking, no pets. For rates, photos, and reservations, call: 541-279-9553, or email:

Angwin home. Five-bedroom, three-bathroom vacation home 2 miles from PUC. Fully furnished, large kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, piano, high-speed internet, vineyard views, WiFi, washer and dryer, BBQ, sleeps 10. Call for rates, photos, and reservations: 415-539-7980 or email nroger1965@

Footsteps of Paul in Greece! Begin your biblical journey in the north where Paul landed and travel south to Athens, visiting countless spots throughout. Cruise to four Greek islands and Ephesus. Info at www. or George Dialectakis, 860-4022247.

Bulletin Board

Help the Lord’s ministry of healing in Micronesia by donating your car, boat, bike, RV, or truck. All proceeds help provide free medical services to the

island peoples of Micronesia. Canvasback Missions, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has been serving since 1986. For more info: 707746-7828.

San Fernando Valley Academy (preschool-12th grade) is located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. The over 100 students and their teachers are a large family who care about each other and want each other to succeed. In the high school, teachers have also been professionals in their credentialed teaching fields. The elementary teachers are highly experienced with years of childhood development training, so you know that you are getting qualified instruction from top to bottom. Please visit our website: or give us a call at 818-349-1373 to schedule a visit. We look forward to meeting you.

Partner with ASAP Ministries in serving the marginalized and reaching the unreached in Southeast Asia with the wholistic gospel. What you do today can change a life for eternity! To learn more, visit Subscribe to our weekly Mission Matters videos. Facebook: asapministries; Instagram: asapministries; YouTube: asapministries.

Shop for new/used Adventist books. TEACH Services offers used Adventist books at www.LNFBOOKS. com or new book releases at your local ABC or www. Authors, let us help publish your book with editing, design, marketing, and worldwide distribution. Call 800-367-1844 for a free evaluation.

Free digital cards. LifeTalk Radio has many beautiful FREE digital sharing cards for all occasions. Let others know: “God Loves You.” Encourage friends and neighbors by sending a hopeful message or Bible promise via email or text. Visit:

At Rest

Abdelfadi, Adel – b. July 5, 1963, Cairo, Egypt; d. Feb. 7, 2024, Astoria, OR. Survivors: daughters, Esther Stamos, Nancy Banek, Margaret Abdelfadi-Ramberg; two grandchildren.

Aitken, John D. – b. May 4, 1946, Chattanooga, TN; d. Dec. 29, 2023, Glendale, CA. Survivors: wife, Harryette; son, John II; sister, Judi Falsnes; two grandsons. Elder Aitken served as pastor in the Montana, New Jersey, Greater New York, and Southern California Conferences and as Bible teacher/chaplain at Garden State (NJ), Campion (CO), and Glendale academies. John grew up in Europe and South America, the son of missionary parents.

Blower (Bennett), Elizabeth Ann – b. Oct. 16, 1962, Denver, CO; d. Dec. 5, 2023, Sacramento, CA. Survivors:

80 Pacific Union Recorder I Community & Marketplace

daughter, Candace Silva; sons, Chris Blower, Cody Blower; four grandchildren. Elizabeth worked as an LVN for 37 years at Adventist Health Ukiah Hospital.

Carmona, Viorica – b. Aug. 23, 1949, Avram-Iancu, Romania; d. Feb. 5, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: daughter, Claudia Carmona-Thomas; siblings, Zorica Szabo, Minerva Catinean, Elena Catarama, Penina Braister-Sturgis.

Channer, John – b. Aug. 16, 1960, Detroit, MI; d. Feb. 10, 2024, Tucson, AZ. Survivors: wife, Sientje; sons, Jonathan, Kenny; daughter, Rachel; three grandchildren. John was a longtime active member of the Ridgecrest church.

Gard, Sarah Jean – b. May 17, 1923, San Francisco, CA; d. Dec. 31, 2023, Redlands, CA. Survivors: sons, Kenneth, Brian; daughter, Carolyn Waldron; one grandchild.

Gunderson, Bernice (Neff) – b. Jan. 8, 1925, Kelseyville, CA; d. Feb. 13, 2024, Long Beach, CA. Survivors: son, Bruce Neff; daughters, Brenda Lindsay, Beverly Neff Holly. Worked as a nurse for 50 years. Genealogy researcher and author. World traveler.

May 2024 Sunset Calendar

City/Location MAY 3 MAY 10 MAY 17 MAY 24 MAY 31

Alturas (Modoc Cty.) 8:03 8:11 8:18 8:24 8:30

Angwin 8:04 8:10 8:17 8:22 8:28

Bakersfield 7:44 7:50 7:55 8:00 8:05

Calexico 7:25 7:30 7:35 7:40 7:44

Chico 8:04 8:11 8:17 8:23 8:29

Death Valley (Furnace Ck) 7:37 7:43 7:49 7:55 7:59

Eureka 8:15 8:22 8:29 8:36 8:41

Four Corners [E] 8:07 8:13 8:19 8:25 8:30

Fresno 7:50 7:56 8:01 8:07 8:12

Grand Canyon (South Rim) 7:18 7:24 7:29 7:35 7:39

Half Dome 7:50 7:57 8:03 8:09 8:14

Hilo 6:44 6:47 6:49 6:52 6:55

Holbrook (Navajo City) 8:09 8:15 8:20 8:26 8:30

Honolulu 6:57 7:00 7:03 7:06 7:09

Joshua Tree 7:31 7:36 7:42 7:47 7:51

Lake Tahoe 7:55 8:01 8:08 8:14 8:19

Las Vegas 7:30 7:36 7:42 7:47 7:52

Lodi-Stockton 7:58 8:05 8:11 8:17 8:22

Loma Linda 7:34 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:55

Los Angeles 7:38 7:44 7:49 7:54 7:59

McDermitt [N] 7:52 8:00 8:07 8:13 8:19

Moab 8:12 8:19 8:25 8:31 8:36

Monterey Bay 7:58 8:04 8:10 8:15 8:20

Mt. Whitney 7:32 7:38 7:43 7:48 7:52

Napa 8:03 8:09 8:15 8:21 8:26

Nogales [S] (Los) 7:08 7:13 7:18 7:22 7:26

Oakland 8:02 8:08 8:14 8:20 8:25

Paradise, CA 8:03 8:10 8:16 8:22 8:28

Phoenix 7:13 7:18 7:23 7:28 7:32

Pu‘uwaiau, Ni’ihau [W] 6:45 6:48 6:51 6:53 6:56

Reno 7:55 8:02 8:08 8:15 8:20

Riverside 7:35 7:40 7:46 7:50 7:55 Sacramento 8:00 8:07 8:13 8:19 8:24 Salt Lake City 8:26 8:33 8:40 8:46 8:52

San Diego 7:32 7:37 7:42 7:47 7:51

San Francisco 8:02 8:08 8:15 8:20 8:25

San Jose 7:59 8:05 8:11 8:17 8:22

Santa Rosa 8:05 8:11 8:17 8:23 8:28

Sunset Beach 7:58 8:04 8:10 8:15 8:20

Thousand Oaks 8:02

[S]=Southernmost [E]=Easternmost [W]=Westernmost point in the Pacific Union

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9

Hickerson, Alice Jean (Vernoy) – b. Aug. 27, 1928; d. Sept. 14, 2023. Survivors: daughters, Kathy Miller, Ruthie Gage, Shelli Baze; daughter-in-law, Kathryn Rose; multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean was active in leading children’s Sabbath School, especially Kindergarten. She gave Sabbath School workshops throughout Northern California and in the Pacific Union and British Columbia. She also helped design children’s curricula on General Conference Committees.

Holtz, Charles – b. July 26, 1942; d. Jan. 24, 2024. Survivors: stepdaughters, Lisa Walls, Christina Carr; three step-grandchildren. Charles joined the Air Force at an early age and made it his career. During his last station at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA, he studied his Bible for truth, found that Seventh-day Adventist beliefs coincided with his studies, and became a dedicated member of the Vacaville church. He shared literature with family and friends and was a longtime financial supporter of the local SDA school as well as Leoni Meadows Summer Camp.

Janes, Jack – March 3, 1942, Bombay, India; d. Feb. 7, 2024, Irvine, CA. Survivors: wife, Eileen; daughter, Megan; sons, Chad, Kyle; one grandchild; sisters, Shirley Lighthouse, Colleen Burdick.

June 2024 Sunset Calendar

(Modoc Cty.)

Community & Marketplace I May 2024 81
“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9
21 JUN 28 Alturas
8:35 8:38 8:40 8:41 Angwin
8:37 8:38 Bakersfield 8:09 8:12 8:14 8:15 Calexico 7:48 7:51 7:53 7:53 Chico 8:33 8:36 8:38 8:39 Death Valley (Furnace Ck) 8:03 8:07 8:08 8:09 Eureka 8:46 8:49 8:51 8:52 Four Corners [E] 8:34 8:37 8:39 8:39 Fresno 8:16 8:19 8:21 8:22 Grand Canyon (South Rim) 7:43 7:46 7:48 7:48 Half Dome 8:18 8:21 8:23 8:24 Hilo 6:58 7:00 7:01 7:03 Holbrook (Navajo City) 7:43 7:46 7:48 7:49 Honolulu 7:12 7:14 7:16 7:17 Joshua Tree 7:55 7:58 8:00 8:00 Lake Tahoe 8:23 8:26 8:28 8:29 Las Vegas 7:56 7:59 8:01 8:01 Lodi-Stockton 8:26 8:29 8:31 8:32 Loma Linda 7:58 8:01 8:03 8:04 Los Angeles 8:02
Mt. Whitney
7:58 8:00 8:01 Napa 8:31 8:34 8:36 8:36 Nogales [S] (Los) 8:01 8:04 8:05 8:06 Oakland 8:29 8:32 8:34 8:35 Paradise, CA 8:32 8:36 8:38 8:38 Phoenix 7:36 7:39 7:41 7:42 Pu‘uwaiau, Ni’ihau [W] 6:59 7:02 7:03 7:04 Reno 8:24 8:28 8:30 8:30 Riverside 7:59 8:02 8:04 8:04 Sacramento 8:28 8:31 8:33 8:34 Salt Lake City 8:57 9:00 9:02 9:02 San Diego 7:55 7:57 7:59 8:00 San Francisco 8:29 8:33 8:35 8:35 San Jose 8:26 8:29 8:31 8:32 Santa Rosa 8:33 8:36 8:38 8:38 Sunset Beach 8:25 8:28 8:30 8:30 Thousand Oaks 8:05 8:08 8:10 8:11 Tucson 7:28 7:31 7:33 7:34 [N]=Northernmost [S]=Southernmost [E]=Easternmost [W]=Westernmost point in the Pacific Union !
8:32 8:35
8:05 8:07 8:08
[N] 8:24 8:28 8:30 8:30
8:40 8:44 8:46 8:46
Bay 8:24 8:27 8:29 8:30
8:08 8:14 8:20 8:25 Tucson 7:06 7:11 7:16 7:21 7:25 [N]=Northernmost

Jones, Laurel Anne (Pat) – b. Aug. 12, 1927, Los Angeles, CA; d. Dec. 31, 2023, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: daughters, Laurel Munson, Allison Field, Julianne Hardy; seven grandchildren, three greatgrandchildren. Taught English at Walla Walla College.

Kidder, Melissa – b. March 16, 1964, Niles, MI; d. Jan. 11, 2024. Survivors: husband, Larry Kidder; son, Scott; daughter, Katie; sibling, Minnie; parents, Eloy and Jeannie.

Lang, Lois Vivian – b. April 2, 1928; d. July 18, 2023, Butte Valley, CA. Survivors: husband, Sydney Lang; daughters, Kimberly Bailey, Karen Riley, Jennifer Vendrye, Joni Cone; eight grandchildren; eight greatgrandchildren. A longtime member of Paradise church, Lois worked for Adventist Health Feather River for 24 years as an O.R. nurse.

Little, Roland Clinton – d. June 3, 2023, Paradise, CA. Survivors: sons, Randy, Gary, Richard; one grandson.

McDaniel, F. Charles – b. Nov. 24, 1930; d. Nov. 10, 2023. Survivors: wife, Sheila; eight children; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren. Charles was a longtime deacon at the Paradise church.

Miller, Terry – b. Nov. 4, 1952, Lodi, CA; d. Dec. 27, 2023, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: sons, Kelton, Scott, Jonathan; daughter, Sheila Wynn; sibling, Dennis Miller; three grandchildren.

Mohr, Salma Irene – b. June 27, 1918, SD; d. Jan. 4, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: son, Teddric Mohr; daughter, Jo Anna Codington; four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren.

Nicola, Bruce – b. Jan. 19, 1951; d. Oct. 25, 2023. Survivors: wife, Ginger; sons, Ryan Nicola, Alan and Eric Patton; sister, Peggy; brothers, Steven, Bryon; one grandson. Bruce served the Northern California Conference for more than 38 years as a pastor and chaplain.

Perry, Robert – b. Nov. 1, 1943, Rulison, CO; d. Dec. 23, 2023. Survivors: wife, Donna Perry; son, Matthew Perry; five grandchildren.

Peterson, Robert D. – b. Jan. 9, 1936, San Jose, CA; d. Jan. 20, 2024, Colton, CA. Survivors: wife, Belia Peterson; daughters, Debbie Grant, Michelle Solis; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren.

Racine, Edwin – b. Oct. 27, 1939, Pontiac, MI; d. Feb. 14, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: son, Michael Racine; daughter, Maria Deane; sibling, Helen Jacobs.

Sage, Vernita – b. Feb. 22, 1930, Forest Grove, OR; d. April 10, 2023, Rocklin, CA. Survivors:

daughters, Teresa Clifford, Delnita McCormick; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren. Vernita's great-grandfather built the first SDA church in Europe at Tramelan, Switzerland. Ellen White stayed in their home and dedicated the church in 1886. Vernita started the first cafeteria at PUC's Albion Field Station. She taught home economics at Okanagan Academy in Canada and also worked as bookkeeper for Weimar Institute.

Spoto, Angela – b. March 27, 1937, Montemurro, Italy; d. Oct. 22, 2022, Redding, CA. Survivors: husband, Leonard Spoto; son, David Spoto; daughters, Louisa Smith, Ruth Robinson; four grandchildren. Angela was deeply dedicated to helping those in need at the Hayfork and Redding churches.

Steffen, Frederick Adolph – b. March 22, 1937; d. Aug. 28, 2023. Survivors: wife, Carol Steffen; sons, Kurtis Steffen, Steven Steffen; stepdaughter, Chanelle Parks; stepson, Robert Goforth; two grandsons; sister, Marjorie Thompson. From Pathfinders to Pismo Beach to Mexico for mission trips, Fred took pleasure in serving others. Sabbath school was his higher education, and he loved worshipping the Lord in song.

Summers, Joan – b. Oct. 4, 1930, Washington, PA; d. Jan. 6, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: daughters, Barbara Ford, Linda Dayen; four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren.

Timple, Lettie – b. Oct. 15 ,1946, Caloocan City, Philippines; d. Jan. 11, 2024, Redlands, CA. Survivors: husband, Edwin Timple; daughters, Lewy, Fay, Cathy; six grandchildren.

Vander Mei, Lola – b. Oct. 15, 1928, Los Angeles, CA; d. Jan. 22, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: daughters, Lynnette McDermott, Kathy Vander Mei, Robin Vander Mei-Roos; nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren.

Walker (Flingstrom), Janette – b. Feb. 5, 1931, Hollywood, CA; d. Feb. 21, 2024, Valencia, CA. Survivors: sons, David, Kirk; daughter, Karen; six grandchildren. She was a 1949 graduate of La Sierra Academy.

White, Robert (“Bob”) – b. Jan. 17, 1933, Szechwan, China; d. Sept. 25, 2023, Granada Hills, CA. Survivors: wife, Claudia Berry Dahlsten; two daughters; two sons; three granddaughters. Attended Newbury Park Adventist Academy and La Sierra University. Served in the Korean War.

Zahid, Joseph – b. Oct. 25, 1951, Churkhana, Punjab; d. Jan. 23, 2024, Loma Linda, CA. Survivors: wife, Audrei; son, Adrian; daughter, Joyce; siblings, Joel Zahid, Emmanuel Zahid, Victoria Siraj.

82 Pacific Union Recorder

In this volume are presented selected papers on the topic of Sabbath that were presented at two scholarly societies: the 2020 conference of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies with the theme “Sabbath: Roots, Rest, and Resistance,” and the Society of Biblical Literature’s “Sabbath in Text, Tradition, and Theology” program units between 2008 and 2016. It also includes contributions from academics who have worked on the topic of Sabbath.

This is one of the most deeply moving and insightful books that has come to press in recent years on the theology and practice of Adventist wholeness care. Ever since Adventism’s first generation of broken, health-damaged leaders built a health institute in the 1860s to nurture the restoration of their own health, they have been thinking about what it means to also make other people whole. What does it mean in theology and practice for broken believers to extend the wholeness-making ministry of Jesus in a broken world?

Coming Soon from Oak & Acorn


Like a composer who turns a simple tune into a majestic symphony, Jack W. Provonsha transformed a familiar theme in Seventh-day Adventist circles—individuality, power to think and to do—into a powerful philosophical orientation about human personhood and agency that those with other backgrounds and points of view can evaluate from their own standpoints. His views were particular in their origin, but universal in their

“In this book, everything I share comes totally out of my experience. No quoting from anyone else, just what I experienced. And what worked or didn’t work for me. I’ve written about my journey in order to pass on ideas—and hope.” His wife and daughter finished the last chapter after he died. One thing is always clear, he wrote: “I can’t see God, but I know Him. He’s as close to me as a dear friend.”

destination and public in their desired evaluation. The book’s title comes from Ellen White herself: “Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator—individuality, power to think and to do” (Education, p. 17). Provonsha (1919-2004), was emeritus professor of philosophy of religion and Christian ethics in the Faculty of Religion at Loma Linda University.

P.O. Box 5005 Thousand Oaks CA, 91359-5005 Recorder PACIFIC UNION
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