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ASI’s Mission Heats Up in Arizona

By Conna Bond/Visitor Staff

The intensity of the Arizona heat matched the fervor of the committed individuals attending the 2009 Adventist-laymen's Services & Industries’ (ASI) national convention in Phoenix last month. In his opening night keynote address, Justin McNeilus challenged evangelism-minded individuals to leave no stone unturned when looking for opportunities to fulfill ASI's mission: Sharing Christ in the Marketplace. Convention seminars, grouped into five tracks, addressed evangelism, apologetics, and financial challenges in ministry.

Norman Reitz, an attorney from Hayward, Calif., was elected to serve a two-year term as ASI's new president. Reitz originally resisted joining ASI 10 years ago, fearing to add more commitments to his already busy schedule. His perspective changed when he saw the power of association to accomplish greater goals in outreach and evangelism. His goal is to double ASI membership, and "share the big blessing of ASI with the greater group of church members in North America, and throughout the world."

Despite tough economic times, the more than 2,000 convention attendees, including several hundred children and youth, dug deep and gave more than $2 million to support 37 ASI-sponsored ministry projects around the world during the next year. Of the 15 projects in the North American Division, two are dedicated to creation research and education, a topic given special attention during the convention.

The Columbia Union chapter of ASI was well represented. Twelve members manned exhibit booths and chapter president Denise Hayden moderated a panel discussion titled “How Business Gives Birth to Mission.”

“We discussed how ASI member-businesses see a client's specific need as they conduct their day-to-day operations,” Hayden explained. “This not only creates a niche in their income generating marketplace, but in the heart engenders a compassion for the people Jesus came to save and that produces a mission-minded ministry which is profitable for eternity.”

The 2010 ASI Convention will be held August 4-7 in Orlando, Fla. Visit for more information and to sign up for ASI's bi-monthly e-newsletter.