August 3, 2011

Spencerville Members Tour Their LEED-Certified School   

“That we are now gathered here in front of this beautiful new facility is irrefutable evidence that by Divine Providence, patience, hard work and sacrifice, dreams really can come true!” Jerry Lutz, senior pastor of the Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., ecstatically declared. “We are truly blessed and must therefore return to God the praise and thanksgiving that He so very much deserves. For without His leading and guidance, this would likely be an empty field where we are now standing. But instead, look at what our Lord God has made possible!”

Lutz spoke Sunday to 500 of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church members and friends who came together for their first look at the new Spencerville Adventist Academy on Route 198 in Silver Spring. Having just been awarded its occupancy permit three days before, the church family wanted to take this time to praise God for the realization of a dream a decade and a half in the making.

At a total cost of $22 million, which includes the price of the 31 acres it sits on, the 100,000-sq.-ft school is less than a mile from the old property and took 19 months to complete. With only grading for a ball field and the storm-water management pond remaining, the school will open August 22 to 350 students.— Barbara Carreno


ACS Gives Away 300 Computers, Offers Classes

The Potomac Conference’s Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW) located in Silver Spring, Md., has expanded their services to meet the community’s needs. One of those services involves providing computer classes in tandem with distributing computers to families in need. When the Montgomery County School Board upgraded their computers recently, ACSGW solicited the old ones, which numbered around 300. Then “under the leadership of our co-directors of education and training programs, we refurbished the computers and made them available to senior citizens and poverty-level families with children who are starting to take computer classes,” said Ron Wylie, ACSGW executive director.

The packages are valued at around $750 each. ACSGW distributed the remaining computers to their seven constituent churches. Pictured are students at ACSGW’s “Beginning Computer” class.—Taashi Rowe

Potomac Teens Unite at Bible Conference   

Every year the Potomac Conference’s Movimiento Joven Adventista (MJA), which connects the conference’s Spanish-speaking youth, hosts a teen Bible retreat in the spring, and the English-speaking teens have their Bible retreat in the fall. This year teens of all ethnicities and languages came together for a teen Bible retreat held July 21-24 at Shenandoah Valley Academy in New Market, Va.

After a slow start to registrations, 180 teens of all ethnicities from around the conference poured on to the Shenandoah Valley Academy campus. Through small groups, worship and seminars geared at tackling real issues, students were able to learn what it meant to be a “21st Century Teen” in this world. Speakers included Pastor Denny Grady, conference Youth Ministries director; Ed Garcia; Pastor Sylvia Urrutia; Courtney D’Avilar and Pastor Eliasib Fajardo.—Sylvia Urrutia


Noticias en Español: Los Adolescentes de Potomac se Unen en un Retiro Espiritual

Cada año la conferencia del Potomac realiza un retiro para adolescents hispanos (teens) en la primavera, y realiza otro retiro para adolescentes (teens) de habla inglesa en el otoño. Este año el departamento de jóvenes de la conferencia del Potomac en conjunto con MJA (Movimiento Joven Adventista, un grupo de líderes hispanos que apoyan al ministerio Joven Hispano de la conferencia del Potomac) decidieron combinar estos dos eventos en un solo retiro.

El evento se realizo en la academia adventista de Shenandoah (SVA) en New Market, Va., el 21 al 24 de Julio; aproximadamente asistieron 180 adolescentes de toda la conferencia. El retiro tenía como titulo Adolescentes del Siglo XXI – 21st Century Teen- el objetico era resaltar las cualidades que un joven Cristiano debe tener en estos tiempos, y como estar listos para afrontar los retos de este siglo; se realizaron seminarios con diversos temas de interés para los adolescentes y al mismo tiempo pequeños grupos para el estudio de la Biblia. Los predicadores para este evento fueron: pastor Denny Grady, Director de Jóvenes de la conferencia del Potomac, Ed Garcia, Sylvia Urrutia, Courtney D’Avilar y el pastor Eliasib Fajardo, coordinador de jóvenes hispanos de la conferencia del Potomac.–Sylvia Urrutia

Cumberland, Frostburg Churches Host Health Expo  

The Mountain View Conference’s Cumberland and Frostburg churches in Maryland recently completed their first health expo at the Country Club Mall in LaVale, Md. For five hours, 25 volunteers taught approximately 60 people about God’s natural health laws. They also utilized interactive booths to encourage positive lifestyle choices. Each booth provided information and literature about one of the eight laws of health: nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest and trust in God.

Team members also measured the participants’ height, weight, body mass index, body fat percentage, blood pressure and glucose levels. Each booth also offered an activity. Heart rates were tested in conjunction with a three-minute step test at the exercise booth. Participants learned of the hazards of drinking alcohol by wearing impaired goggles and trying to walk a straight line. Volunteers demonstrated the benefits of hydrotherapy at the water booth. Cumberland church members Mary Kasekamp (pictured left) and Michelle Deetz (right) gave backrubs.

“All members did a great job working together,” said Brenda Owens, a nurse practitioner. “Spirits were high, and it was truly God’s work being done. It was a great day of witnessing for God.”—Jessica Martin

Shady Grove Hospital Welcomes New Mission, Spiritual Care Director

Adventist HealthCare, based in Rockville, Md., recently welcomed Shelvan Arunan, DMin, as the new executive director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care on their Shady Grove Adventist campus. The Shady Grove campus in Rockville includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland and Adventist Behavioral Health.

Arunan, an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has 33 years of experience in working with the church and Adventist health systems. Prior to joining Adventist HealthCare, he served as the regional director of Mission and Ministries of Midwest Adventist Health System and director of Reconciliation Ministry for the Ohio Conference. He was also the producer and host of Spirit Alive, a Christian radio talk show, and The Collective Echo Television Ministries in Ohio.—Adventist HealthCare

Former Visitor Editor Passes Away
Don A. Roth, 84, long considered the “PR person” for the Adventist Church for the past 60 years and a former Columbia Union Visitor editor, recently passed away. He worked at every level of the organization—from his local congregation to the world church—and edited the Visitor from 1954 to 1965, while also serving as the Columbia Union Conference public relations and radio-TV secretary. “I spent 15 happy years in the Columbia Union Conference,” Roth wrote last year in a letter to the current Visitor editor Celeste Ryan Blyden. “We had a great team at the union office, and I thoroughly enjoyed those years.”

In 2009 the Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC) recognized his contributions with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He is pictured with Blyden, then SAC president, who presented the award.


Frank Hale, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies  

Frank Hale Jr., PhD, 84, a beloved member of the Allegheny West Conference’s (AWC) Ephesus church in Columbus, Ohio, died last Wednesday after an extended illness.

“The Allegheny West Conference was blessed to have had a stalwart giant in education, civil rights and our denominational community in our midst,” said Robert Moore, AWC executive secretary. “There will be a void of his leadership, wisdom and community influence. He will be greatly missed in our conference territory.”—Bryant Taylor


G.E. Peters Names New Principal

Meet John C. Alberty, new principal of the Allegheny East Conference's G.E. Peters Adventist School, at an open house August 4, 6-8 p.m., at 6303 Riggs Road in Hyattsville, Md. View the upgraded facilities and register for fall classes.

August Visitor Highlights

This month we feature a story about the Columbia Union Conference’s first motorcycle camp meeting. The story shares more about the men and women who identify themselves as motorcycle enthusiasts who also love the Lord.


Columbia Union Members in the Media
Mansfield Church Feeds 100

Senate Chaplain Barry Black Featured in the Washington Post

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Visitor News Bulletin Staff: Celeste Ryan Blyden, Communication director;
Taashi Rowe, news editor
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