September 14, 2011

Adventists Honor Local Heroes, Remember 9/11 Victims

This past Sunday, Seventh-day Adventists in Kettering, Ohio, and Takoma Park, Md., recognized the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks through sacred music. The Spring Valley Academy High School Band from Centerville, Ohio, under the direction of Donald Huff, joined the Kettering Praise Orchestra and Oakwood Brass for a Remembrance Concert at 10 a.m. at the Kettering church in Dayton, Ohio. The concert included several encouraging spiritual numbers as well as several patriotic songs, such as “America the Beautiful” and “Proudly We Hail,” a rendition of Francis Scott Key’s national anthem.

Later that evening, the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Student Association presented their 9/11 Memorial Concert. While the performance was filled with heartfelt performances from WAU students and others including Committed, an a cappella group from Oakwood University (Ala.) that recently won a singing competition on NBC, one of the most moving moments of the event came when a local police officer, firefighter and two soldiers were recognized for their service to their communities and country. A. Jean Warden, vice president for Student Life and Retention, reminded attendees that “9/11 failed to defeat the American people and … while it was a painful experience, we gained thousands of heroes.”—Vicki Swetnam and Taashi Rowe


National Institutes of Health Awards $5.5 Million to Adventist Health Study 2

The National Institutes of Health  recently awarded Loma Linda University’s (Calif.) Adventist Health Study 2 a $5.5 million grant over the next five years, which will allow the study to continue its analysis of cancer and other lifestyle diseases.

“This will allow us not only to conduct our ongoing functions, but to conduct them more efficiently, and to begin analysis on projects we have had to shelve,” said Gary Fraser, MD, principal investigator of the study.

The Adventist Health Study 2 is a long-term health study of more than 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists from the United States and Canada. The study began in 2002 with the purpose of examining the links between lifestyle, diet and disease. For more information, visit— Jennifer Frehn

Potomac Spanish Youth “Re:Vived” at Retreat    

More than 200 Potomac Conference Hispanic young adults recently attended an annual retreat at Camp Blue Ridge in Montebello, Va. Organized by Movimiento Joven Adventista (MJA), the conference's Hispanic youth ministry, the retreat followed MJA’s yearlong theme of “Re:Vive.” Pastor Homero Salazar (pictured) of the Washington Spanish church in Silver Spring, Md., led a series of powerful talks that encouraged the young people to find revival through the life of Christ.

Highlights of the weekend included a series of seminars on Sabbath afternoon. Each focused on one aspect of revival as represented through the events in Jesus’ life: relationship, repentance, renewal and remembrance. Attendees got the chance to experience a special agape feast, watch a drama on scenes from Christ’s life, as well as experience how Christ brings us renewal through a hands-on demonstration. Churches were also challenged to come up with outreach plans focusing on youth in their own communities.—Sylvia Urrutia


Jovenes Hispanos de Potomac tienen un retiro de “Re:vivamiento”

Mas de 200 jovenes recientemente asistieron al Retiro de Jovenes del Movimiento Joven Adventista (el departamento de jóvenes de la Conferencia de Potomac) en Camp Blue Ridge en Montebello, Va. Este es un retiro de jóvenes anual presentado por el Movimiento Joven Adventista (MJA), el departamento de jóvenes hispanos de la Conferencia de Potomac. El invitado especial, Pastor Homero Salazar, de la Iglesia Adventista de Washington Spanish en Silver Spring, Md., continuo con el lema que MJA ha tenido en este año, “Re:vive,” y motivo a los jóvenes que recibieran reavivamiento a través de la vida de Jesús.

Momentos que resaltaron en el retiro incluyen una serie de seminarios el Sábado por la tarde con enfoques en cada etapa del reavivamiento representado a través de los eventos y encuentros en la vida de Jesús: arrepentimiento, renovación, relación y recuerdo. Los jóvenes que asistieron tuvieron la oportunidad de participar en una cena ágape, ver un drama de la vida de Cristo y ver una demostración de cómo Cristo nos renueva. Cada iglesia también tuvo la oportunidad de crear un ministerio para su propia comunidad que se comprometieron en empezar cuando regresaran a sus casas.—Sylvia Urrutia


Allegheny East Adventurers Enjoy Annual Family Retreat  

More than 200 Adventurers and their families recently gathered on the campgrounds of the Allegheny East Conference (AEC) headquarters in Pine Forge, Pa., for their annual Adventurer Family Retreat. The AEC Adventurer Association has been holding this retreat for almost 20 years. “Preparing for Ministry” was the retreat’s theme.

“The goal of the retreat is to teach children more about the life of Jesus and bring families together at the same time,” shared Sandra Mit-chelle, AEC Adventurers executive coordinator.

During the weekend, Adventurers had the opportunity to earn awards such as Fitness Fun, Prayer Warrior, Bible Royalty and Astronomy. Families also enjoyed a fun day of swimming, field games and an inflatable. On Saturday night, they enjoyed a re-enactment of the “Wedding in Cana” where the children came dressed as wedding guests of that time.—LaTasha Hewitt

Hackensack Family Celebrates New Births

It was a little past midnight on Sabbath evening, and the stage was set for the celebration of six birthdays in one family—all on the same day. Micaela McFarlane was born to Ricky and Shevene McFarlane at the Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck at 12:05 a.m., August 6. Bruce Banner (right), pastor of New Jersey Conference’s Hackensack church, had teased the couple that their baby would be born on his birthday, August 5. It became apparent the next morning why Micaela had to be born on the sixth of August and not the fifth.

Later the same morning of which young Micaela stepped into the world, her cousin Adrian Betty and four of her aunts—Denise Harrison (not pictured), Merlene McFarlane, Isolyn Betty and Novelette McFarlane—stepped into the waters of the Hackensack church’s baptismal pool to experience their second birth! “Praise be to our Lord and Savior that [they] will always have this special day in common to celebrate,” said Pastor Banner.

Mount Vernon Academy Students Enjoy Back-to-School Activities

Energy, excitement and laughter filled the campus of Mount Vernon Academy (MVA) in Mount Vernon, Ohio, as students arrived for another eventful school year. Ohio students met students from Illinois, the Carolinas, Colombia and Korea. Within the first weeks of school, students experienced registration, the annual handshake (pictured), an ice cream social and a slip-n-slide, a day at the lake and a fall picnic. This was all woven together with classes, dual credit programs, music performances, sports and a commitment to allow Jesus to be the center of MVA life.—Tina Stevenson

Moorefield Church Members Minister at County Fair

Annalisa Van Melle (pictured) and her mother, Dalva, recently manned a booth at the Hardy County Health Fair in West Virginia. These members of Mountain View Conference’s Moorefield church saw this as an opportunity to introduce health fair attendees to Seventh-day Adventists. They served samples of whole wheat waffles with blueberry sauce and a cream made from tofu. They reported hearing positive comments and used that opportunity to invite passersby to the church’s next cooking school.—Phyllis Jeffers and Nicole Ott

Meet Mario Broussard, Takoma Academy’s New Assistant Chaplain

As assistant chaplain at Takoma Academy in Takoma Park, Md., Mario Broussard is responsible for helping strengthen the lives of the school’s 225 students.

Previously a taskforce chaplain and assistant dean at Mount Vernon Academy, Broussard challenges students to listen to God and encourages them to get involved in outreach and Bible study. During one of the first chapels this year, he appealed to students and staff to heed the warning of Isaiah 6:9-10, which instructs believers to devote their senses to receiving God’s leading instead of heeding to worldly desires. “It is my goal, through prayer, fasting and the teaching of practical Christianity, to see Christ take residence in the hearts and minds of the students, faculty and staff of Takoma Academy,” he says.—Amy Soper


September 17: “ReCharge” Youth Leadership Training Youth and Young Adult Ministries leaders from around the Columbia Union Conference are invited to take time to “ReCharge.” This one-day training will be held September 17, from 2-8 p.m., at the union’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., and will feature presentations from division-level and local church youth leaders.

The $20 registration fee will include a drawstring backpack, handouts, books including The Youth Ministry Formula and Tips for Youth Leaders, resource packet and light supper. For more information, call (410) 997-3414 or email

September 25: Vibrant Life Fun Run  This annual 5K Fun Run/Walk in Hagerstown, Md., is scheduled for September 25 on Let’s Move Day. Registration runs from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. Get more information online at, or call (800) 876-7313.

October 1: Maryland Men of Faith will hold their annual conference at the Mount Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md. Pastor Fredrick Russell, Allegheny West Conference president, will be the keynote speaker. Register online at

October 14-16: ANEW Fall Conference  ANEW, a ministry for Adventists attending secular colleges throughout the mid-Atlantic region, is inviting fellow Adventists and young professionals to attend their upcoming retreat at the Camp Hebron Retreat Center at 957 Camp Hebron Rd., in Halifax, Pa. “This will be a great opportunity for you to grow in your understanding of God's specific calling for your role in ministry,” says Jacqueline E. Rivera, ANEW’s communication director. Those interested in attending must print out the registration form and mail it along with payment by September 23.

October 16: Highland View Academy’s First 5K Run/Walk will benefit the school’s athletic program. Runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to get out and move and enjoy a day of fun. Area churches will also provide a vegetarian buffet for attendees, complete with recipes. Register at by September 15 to receive a T-shirt; however, applications will be accepted up to the event date. For more information, contact John Henline at or by calling (301) 331-1016.

October 21-23: Allegheny East Conference Women’s Ministries Retreat will be held at the Founders Inn & Spa in Virginia Beach, Va. Registration is $165 per person, which includes five meals and the retreat fee. Youth registration is $145. Registration fees are transferable, but are not refundable. For further information, contact Minnie McNeil, AEC Women’s Ministries director, at (610) 326-4610, ext. 315. The Founders Inn room rate is $99 plus taxes. Call (757) 424-5511/(800) 926-4466 to make hotel reservations by September 20.

For more news and up-to-date information from the Columbia Union Conference, visit

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