Joe Wheeler. Photo courtesy Pacific Press

Story by Celeste Ryan Blyden

Joseph Leininger Wheeler, fondly known as “America’s Keeper of the Story,” has a doctorate in English, and has edited and compiled 94 books of stories that have sold more than 1.5 million copies. He is best known for the Great Stories Remembered, Heart to Heart, The Good Lord Made Them All and Christmas in My Heart series, whose 25th book was just released by Pacific Press Publishing Association and is available at Adventist Book Centers and other booksellers.

Story by Howard C. Schade

If this story were fiction, editors would reject it as being too implausible or coincidental to have ever happened. Yet these storm-induced events did occur a number
of years after Hitler’s armies ravaged Europe. Of true stories of Christmas, few are treasured and re-read more. It was published in
Christmas in My Heart 3 and reprinted here with permission of editor/compiler Joe Wheeler and Review & Herald Publishing Association.

At Christmastime men and women everywhere gather in their churches to wonder anew at the greatest miracle the world has ever known.  But the story I like best to recall was not a miracle—not exactly.

Editorial by Ken Flemmer 

One of life’s nagging questions that many have asked over the ages is, “Did my life make a difference? What impact have I had?"  

As director of Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW) and its programs, I want to assure you that the answer is YES. Our organization distributed more than 625 Thanksgiving baskets just last week! Thank you to all who helped support the Holiday Giving Project! We look forward to distributing turkeys and fixings for the Christmas holidays also.

Yes, ACSGW is making a difference in the community. I can fill a number of pages with facts and statistics on how this is happening.  

For example, last year ACSGW distributed 93 tons of food to nearly 3,500 families. That number will be even higher for 2016, as over the past three months about 10 more families have been served each day since late summer. That is a 25 percent plus increase. We’re grateful for all the support, including the assistance of 144 volunteers!  

Join the Journey Through Psalms

Any day now, the 2017 Columbia Union Calendar will arrive in your mailbox. Its theme is “A Journey Through the Psalms: Experiencing God, Grace and Growth in Real Time.” The calendar will highlight a different psalm every month accompanied by a practical assignment.

Psalms is comprised of spiritual journals---personal letters or prayers to God---in the form of poetry. And poetry’s function is not to explain or theologize but to offer images and stories that resonate with our lives. As I read them, I project myself back into their experience and ask, “Could I have prayed these prayers?” “Have I felt this particular anguish or outburst of joy?” “Do I have this same hunger for God?” And then I proceed to think through the situations in which I might pray the psalm in front of me: facing temptation, celebrating success, praising God, harboring a grudge, suffering an injustice. Under what circumstance would this psalm best apply in my life?

A Book About Relationship

Story by Elizabeth Long

Kettering Adventist HealthCare is celebrating the completion of its new cancer center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for elected officials, community leaders, and Kettering Adventist HealthCare and hospital leadership Wednesday, December 7. The cancer center is located in the new Pavilion building at 3700 Southern Blvd. in Kettering, across the street from Kettering Medical Center.

Mike Hewitt

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

This week Mountain View Conference (MVC) leadership announced that Mike Hewitt will join the conference team in December to serve as executive secretary and ministerial director.

Conference leaders are looking forward to welcoming Hewitt, who is filling a vacancy, to round out their officer team of three. “Mike loves to do evangelism,” says Larry Boggess, MVC president. “He loves soulwinning and people, and he can identify with many of our pastors who have come from a different profession than pastoring.”

David Dildy, an executive committee member from the Potomac Conference, speaks during the November Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee Meeting

At its year-end meeting in November, members of the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee discussed at length the General Conference Unity in Mission document voted at Annual Council in early October. Many expressed concern about the intent, purpose and assumptions of the document, how it was processed, why it is needed, how it will impact the mission of the church in this region and what will be the consequences of non-compliance.