The Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized with a representative form of church government. Authority in the church comes from the membership of local churches. Executive responsibility is given to representative bodies and officers to govern the church.

Two people being baptized during a mass baptism of 1,000 in Guatemala's Lake Atitlan on March 29, 2015 (Gustavo Mendez/IAD)

Story by Andrew McChesney / Adventist Review

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official membership has topped 19 million for the first time in history, and the number of local churches has doubled worldwide to more than 80,000 in just two decades, according to newly released figures.

Story by Kimberly Luste Maran

All members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are part of a constituency, which is defined as a group of voters in a specified region who elect representatives to a legislatorial body. In this case, church members of the Columbia Union Conference have designated about 310 delegates who will represent them during the quinquennial constituency session occurring this May (2016).

Every five years representatives elect union leadership, receive reports from union leaders and entities, and vote on general decisions and church business. Reports on finances, church membership, auditing and other statistics are also received and voted. The session delegates will also vote on any proposed changes to the union constitution and bylaws.

Story by Edwin Manuel Garcia

1. Prayerfully study the Great Commission and the inspired counsels on reaching out to “the stranger in our midst.”

2. Get acquainted with refugees and immigrants near your church—in apartment complexes or grocery stores that specialize  in ethnic foods.

3. Contact refugee resettlement agencies that help identify and place refugees in local communities.

4. Identify church members who can teach English as a Second Language classes, provide transportation, assist with tutoring school children or know about the availability of meaningful jobs or employment agencies.

5. Appoint a coordinator who will be sensitive to the refugees’ needs and fears.

photo by andeecollard on Flickr

Editorial by Hamlet Canosa / Photo by andeecollard on Flickr

Not too long ago, I listened intently to a long-time supporter of Seventh-day Adventist education say to me, “Adventist education is not what it used to be. Its ‘golden age’ is behind us and will never return.”

His prognostication was difficult to refute. Measured by enrollment trends only, one cannot deny that Adventist education in the ’50s and ’60s was formidable. Accessibility, affordability, work-study programs, strong church demographics and other factors optimized Adventist education’s growth and impact on the church as a whole in North America.

Story by Daniel Granderson / Image by Mars P on Flickr

The four pillars of STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—already shape nearly every aspect of our lives, and Adventist educational leaders, if interested in staying relevant in a business-minded world, must embrace its effects. It’s becoming clear that American business leaders of tomorrow are the STEM students of today.

Story by Daniel Granderson / Images by iStock

Jesus came not just to preach, but also to teach. Is it any wonder then that He was referred to by His followers as rabbi (teacher)? He held class on the mount and in fishing boats. Wherever there were ears to hear, He saw opportunities to educate.

Today there are more than 1.8 million pairs of ears still receiving the teachings of Christ through the schools, colleges and universities the Seventh-day Adventist Church operates worldwide. These modern teachers develop not only the intellect, but also the spirit, allowing the ministry to live on beyond the pulpit. In these schools, there is no ministry without education. The two are twin branches growing together on the same gospel tree.

Story by Edwin Manuel Garcia

The worldwide refugee crisis is prompting the United States to open its immigration doors to a larger number of people from regions in turmoil. According to the United States Department of State, nearly 70,000 refugees came to the U.S. last year—the world’s top resettlement location—yet recent political instability in Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Africa will boost admissions to 85,000 this year and 100,000 in 2017.

This dramatic increase will undoubtedly enhance the chances that families fleeing persecution may move into our communities in the near future. How should Seventh-day Adventists respond when refugees from Syria, Burma, Iraq, Honduras, Guatemala and other nations become our neighbors?