On Wednesday, June 14th a group of Republican lawmakers were practicing in a quiet Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood for the annual Congressional baseball charity game when things took a scary turn as a lone gunman attacked them. Five people were injured, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey with the U.S. Capitol Police were both hurt while defending the congressman and other guests at the practice.
Editorial by Heather Crews, pastor of Courthouse Road church
Wander into the world of social media and you will find it colored with grief. We are reeling and pained by the actions of terror in our world. To try to fathom the loss of one life, and then to multiply that in order to understand the loss here is staggering. And so we post a new profile picture, filtered through our grief. We do this seeking to connect with the world and find hope. In a world getting-smaller-every-day we desire to share our pain. Then in that connection to find a spark of hope or a breath of peace for the day ahead.
Story by Gerry Lopez, pastor of Children and Family Ministry at Sligo Church
A parent told me recently that their child didn’t want to come to church because they got bullied by the other children at church. This wasn’t at school or online; this was happening at church!
These are statements that as a children’s pastor I don’t want to hear, but I need to be aware of them! I thought to myself, no not here in church; not in this place where we all should feel safe and loved! It blew my mind and made me ask, am I doing enough to make sure this stops? Sadly, I realized that I am not. But why not? I’ve known that bullying behavior has been around for a while but I have put the matter on the back burner.
Editorial by Rick Remmers
We live in a fast-paced digital age. News is distilled into soundbites. Thirty-second commercials leave us feeling that a two-minute video is long. We expect our internet service to be max speed. We grow impatient even as our microwave ovens quickly warm up our food. Electronic devices are all around us—we use them for work, play, learning, relaxation, communication, relationships and even worship.
Story by V. Michelle Bernard
The John Nevins Andrews School (JNA) in Takoma Park, Md., recently hosted its last graduation ceremony. JNA, a school in Potomac Conference, has been educating young people for the last 110 years. For many of those years, the school was located less than a mile from the former world headquarters of the General Conference and Review and Herald Publishing Association.
Story by Oksana Wetmore
With long and distinguished histories of their own, two Takoma Park, Md., Seventh-day Adventist elementary schools are merging to become one. John Nevins Andrews School (JNA), established in 1907, and Sligo Adventist School, established in 1917, will merge to become the newly named Takoma Academy Preparatory School. The merger will take two exceptionally diverse entities and form an institution that upholds the vision to prepare graduates to be scholars, thinkers, achievers and servant leaders.
The Columbia Union Conference Office of Education recently recognized juniors and seniors at each of the union’s eight academies. The Caring Heart Award winners were nominated for demonstrating a personal commitment to service and witnessing:
Ashley Hunte from Blue Mountain Academy in Hamburg, Pa.
Bree Hurst from Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Md.
Michael Williams from Pine Forge Academy in Pine Forge, Pa.
Chrizette Sullano from Richmond Academy in Richmond, Va.
Brenda Ngetich from Shenandoah Valley Academy in New Market, Va.
Story by Visitor Staff/ Illustration by Kylie Kajiura
Seeking more ways to engage members on social media, the Columbia Union Visitor staff recently created a Snapchat filter that will be available the first or only Sabbath at the remaining summer 2017 camp meetings in the Columbia Union Conference.
Blog by Rob Vandeman
For centuries, throngs of people sung Psalm 133 on the road as they made the ascent to Jerusalem for festival worship. Our imaginations readily reconstruct those scenes. How great to have everyone sharing a common purpose, traveling a common path, arriving toward a common goal, that path and purpose and goal being God. How much better than making the long trip alone: “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” (Ps 133:1 NLT)