Story by Heidi Shoemaker / Photos by Hollie Macomber

Walk into Shona Macomber’s classroom at Spring Valley Academy (SVA) in Kettering, Ohio,  and one is transported into an artist’s paradise: bright open space, skylights, soft music and students intently working on projects—from pastels to pottery. Inside students are overheard saying, “This is my favorite class of the week!” while others stop to admire displays outside her classroom.

 Juliana Baioni

Story by Heidi Wetmore

When Jacob Harris was 8 years old, his family moved from Liberia to Maryland so his father could serve as a Lutheran minister. Harris was bullied in school because he was not from the United States. He decided that he didn’t want to be different and started hanging out with gang members. That decision led him to an unhealthy lifestyle including drugs, fighting and crime.

Just in time for grilling season, here’s a hearty and tasty burger recipe from Clara Iuliano, a member of the Pennsylvania Conference’s Hamburg church, that packs protein and will add “meat to the bones.”

Bella Burgers

16 oz can of chickpeas

2 tbs olive oil
1 c unseasoned breadcrumbs
3⁄4-1 c water
4 tbs Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tbs The Vegetarian Express Saucy Ranch Seasoning (
1 c vital wheat gluten
Safflower oil for browning

1. Grind the chickpeas in a food processor until homogenous.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas with the olive oil, breadcrumbs, water, garlic, and Bragg and ranch seasonings.

3. When well incorporated, add the wheat gluten and mix it in thoroughly with your hands.

Editorial by Jose H. Cortés, New Jersey Conference president

We are living in difficult times. It seems as if our civilization is falling apart because of terrorism, abuse and hatred. It is shocking to watch the news, as apparently harmless people—men, young women, sometimes children or elders—detonate themselves with explosives, killing and injuring dozens of people they do not even know! Can it get any crazier?

If we look at the other side, we see that our sophisticated society is plagued with abuses and violations: child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, racial hatred, prejudice and discrimination. Even politicians are lowered to dirty diatribes, verbal and physical attacks. Where are we going to stop?

Tara VinCross, director of the REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School, has accepted a call to be senior pastor of the Azure Hill church in Grand Terrace, Calif.
“Tara has made a valuable contribution in engaging young adults to experience the mission,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president. “Being the founding director of REACH, she has provided excellent leadership in creating a place where young adults can experience experiential learning--a valuable method to engage young adults.”
Photo by Howard Lake on flickr

Mountain View Conference’s Adventist Community Services (ACS) staff is actively involved in coordinating relief efforts following floods in West Virginia that killed 23 people and left thousands homeless. The team is working to organize a warehouse south of Charleston, in Belle, W.Va., where victims will receive necessary items.

Belle is about 50 miles from the site of the upcoming Best Pathway to Health event where Seventh-day Adventists from around the country will converge to offer free medical care to community members.

Larry Murphy, Adventist Community Services director for the Mountain View Conference released this update on the West Virginia flooding:

I want to thank anyone who has contacted myself or the conference office making yourselves available to aid our fellow West Virginians in this terrible time of crisis. Many families have lost homes and loved ones, and we need to keep them in our prayers.

Adventist Community Services is actively involved in the coordination of relief efforts. The need that we fill here in WV is warehouse management. All donated goods have to be organized, so that emergency managers know what they have available to help the people they serve.

At this time, it is too early for donations to be sent, or volunteer help to arrive. Search and rescue efforts are still going on and local leadership is asking everyone to wait for now. Certain trained organizations are on location, and help is being given, but everything is being coordinated through the state EOC office.

We will post updates and needs here as the information becomes available. If you have ACS training, or just want to help, please wait for a call for volunteers to be posted here on this Facebook page.  Please keep not only the victims, but also the emergency workers in your prayers.

Thank you and God bless,
Larry Murphy, ACS Director
Mountain View Conference

Bob Mitchell, Potomac Conference Adventist Community Services and Disaster Relief coordinator released this statement today:

As you have probably seen on the news and weather reports, there is MAJOR flooding in West Virginia.  Forty-four counties have been put under a disaster declaration.  Our Columbia Union ACS DR Coordinator has been contracted by the Mountain View Conference to possibly provide trained ACS DR volunteers to serve in the process of collecting, warehousing, and distribution of emergency supplies.

Several counties in Western and Southwestern Virginia have also been flooded.  Traffic on I-64 in western Virginia is being controlled by the state police.

Story by Dawna-gene Milton

Have you ever wanted to learn more about a particular topic related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church or its history? With the new and greatly improved Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (ESDA) being developed now—the work’s first update since 1966—members across the globe will be able to access its pages in one, quick, easy step.

According to Benjamin Baker, ESDA managing editor, “The ESDA will be born and live online, with entirely free content available to all with the swipe of a fingertip on just about any device.” He says the compilation will be a great tool, not only for those seeking to learn more about the church, but will aide those looking to witness to others.

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