January 25, 2012 

Mount Vernon Academy Special Constituency Highlights Strengths, Needs

More than 190 Mount Vernon Academy (MVA) stakeholders recently assembled for a special session of the Mount Vernon Academy Corporation, where the corporation reported on items such as current operations, finances, fundraising, a financial audit, Ohio Conference subsidies, demographic trends and future prospects. Bie An Tija Fong (pictured), MVA’s business manager, described the actions the school has taken to turn around their financial operations and stabilize fiscal operations.

After acknowledging that the Ohio Conference and MVA administration, faculty and staff are doing all they can to keep the academy’s operation strong and viable into the future, conference president Raj Attiken appealed to attendees for specific areas of needed support. These areas include increased church support for Ohio Advance, increased giving for student aid and other areas of financial need, assistance in identifying and recruiting Seventh-day Adventist students, assistance in marketing the academy, volunteering for special projects and paying bills. “We will remain optimistic about our constituency’s commitment to this academy,” Attiken concluded.—Heidi Shoemaker


Adventist HealthCare Tops Hospitals in Green Energy Buys

Adventist HealthCare (AHC), based in Rockville, Md., recently announced that it is the largest purchaser of green energy of any healthcare system in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership, a national program that recognizes organizations that voluntarily use green power from eligible renewable sources.

The achievement follows the recent expansion of its already substantial Energy and Sustainability Program. This energy initiative and earlier efforts have resulted in AHC now purchasing nearly 15 percent of its electricity in the form of green energy. At 6.75 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year of green energy, AHC has exceeded all other healthcare providers participating in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Through this purchase, AHC is reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 5,119 metric tons each year.

“An integral part of our mission is to improve the health of our communities and an important way to achieve this is by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions,” says William G. ”Bill” Robertson (pictured), president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare.


Nearly 300 Accept Christ During Chesapeake Initiatives

Many churches in the Chesapeake Conference recently employed traditional and creative forms of evangelism to reach people in their communities.

The Hagerstown (Md.) congregation drew local residents by screening Forks Over Knives, a feature film that uses scientific data to advocate a plant-based diet of unprocessed foods for optimum health.

Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Alejandro Bullón conducted meetings in six area churches, filling many to capacity. As a result, 250 people accepted Jesus as their Savior and 50 were baptized.

Franke Zollman, pastor of the Williamsport (Md.) church, used a unique approach in a series that spanned more than two months. Each meeting focused on a strong archaeological topic followed by a biblical one. Artifacts were displayed in the church foyer (pictured). “I find that people will come to hear me talk about archaeology and the Bible that would never come to hear just about the Bible,” says Zollman.— Story by Samantha Young


Baltimore Junior Academy to Partner With Johns Hopkins

The Baltimore Junior Academy (BJA) School Board recently voted to partner with the Johns Hopkins University Medical School Department of Ophthalmology on an upcoming research project. The Baltimore-based medical school is seeking funding to research a new device and procedure that will allow the public to do effective and accurate eye tests at home. The procedure is purported to be easy enough for children.

“Having been asked to partner with the prestigious Johns Hopkins is such an honor for Baltimore Junior Academy,” says Carol Cantu (pictured with students), principal. “It says to us that they trust us, and they see a quality in our school that is respected in our community and in our churches. The school will receive monetary benefits, but much more is that the school will be a part of global, historic, breaking medical news that will change the course of medical science for ever.”

A decision for funding is expected by April.

Nine Students Baptized at Blue Mountain Academy

A special weekend at Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) in Hamburg, Pa., involved inspirational talks, having fun and spending time with the church family. The weekend was especially memorable for several students. Sheldon Cooper, a pastor from North Carolina, shared his personal story, which left a huge impression on the students. He spoke to students about hope, faith and the power of prayer, and as a result, nine students stepped up to be baptized or re-baptized, including senior Tylor Curtis (pictured).

“God showered our campus with His love, inspiring us and making us yearn for more weekends like that,” shared Daniela Castillo (’14).

Four Join Liberty Church After Revelation Seminar

As a result of a Men’s Ministries seminar on Revelation, four new members have recently joined Allegheny East Conference’s Liberty church in Baltimore.

These converts say they are determined to follow Christ all the way! Cathy Vait said, “The Holy Spirit has given me a new outlook on life since my baptism.”

Seminar participants Anthony Simms; Ian Jerome, an elder; Darryl Humphrey, Men’s Ministries leader; Wayne Rhooms; and Ray Crawford, assistant Men’s Ministries leader; are happily giving God the glory.

Spring Valley Sponsors Bone Marrow Drive

Last August Cindy French-Puterbaugh, Ohio Conference associate superintendent of Education and a Spring Valley Academy alumna (’70), was diagnosed with leukemia. She has been fighting this disease ever since, and a bone marrow donor is urgently needed. None of her siblings are a match. Nor is there a perfect match for her through the National Marrow Donor Program (marrow.org). So the Centerville, Ohio-based school hosted a bone marrow donor drive that involved a simple inside cheek swab at no cost to the donor. More than 50 people participated in the drive.

“I think it is wonderful to simply give people the opportunity to be a part of making a difference,” said French-Puterbaugh, who is pictured center with Kari Schebo, vice principal, and Jeff Bovee, principal. “I am thrilled that regardless of what happens to me, the bone marrow bank will increase due to my need and the efforts of those who responded.”

Sharing Christ Behind the Wheel

Since 2006 Prince and Natasha Iheme have owned and operated Drive Now, a Maryland state-certified driver education school. But for these members of Chesapeake Conference’s Northeast (Md.) church, their work is about much more than teaching drivers the commandments of the road. “Everyday we pray and ask the Lord to send someone who wants to learn more about Him and for us to be aware when that opportunity presents itself,” they share. “We have made it our mission to give the book Great Controversy to every driver improvement student and Steps to Christ to the students in the driver education program.”

Both are also members of the Columbia Union Conference chapter of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) and will be one of several Adventist business-owners who will be sharing their testimonies at the annual chapter convention March 8-11 at the Vienna (Va.) church. For more information, visit columbiaunion.org/asi.

85 Attend Pine Forge Academy Young Alumni Weekend

Last month, more than 85 students from the classes 2005-2011 returned to the campus of Pine Forge Academy in Pine Forge, Pa., to recall fond memories at their alma mater and inspire current students. On Friday career workshops were held. This was a vehicle for the past graduates to share with the current students what to expect when they enter the next level of academia. They were able to provide advice to the students about high school, choosing careers and their relationship with Jesus.

On Friday evening, they also hosted a Spirit-filled Singspiration. The alumni led Sabbath service with Marcus Larivaux (’09) preaching on the theme of the weekend “We are Royalty.” The weekend’s activities concluded with an act of benevolence by the young alumni, allowing the boys’ varsity basketball team to defeat them.— Noreena Ogidan

La iglesia de Charlottesville hispana expande el reino

“Cuando una congregación está unida ciento por ciento, Dios se manifiesta con poder”, comparte Josué Gabriel Mego, pastor de la iglesia central hispana de Charlottesville (Va.). “Los milagros que Dios hizo ayer, los está haciendo hoy en la ciudad de Charlottesville”.

Esos milagros son resultado de las actividades para el crecimiento estratégico que sus feligreses han desarrollado—vigilias, reavivamientos, conciertos, y obras dramáticas de los niños. Recientemente, el grupo organizó noches de poder, un reavivamiento que atrajo más de sesenta personas de la comunidad. Diez de ellas son candidatas para el bautismo. Aunque los feligreses están preocupados que su santuario con un aforo de ciento cincuenta, no tenga lugar para las personas, todavía planifican ganar trescientas nuevas personas para el reino de Dios. “Creemos que con el apoyo de todos, podemos alcanzar este objetivo”, añadió Mego (centro).


New Market Church Presents Journey to Bethlehem

It was a Sunday evening and the smoke from three fire pits drifted lazily through the cool air. An ancient wood shed sat several yards away—only this one was crowded with four adults, one wriggling baby and a pint-sized donkey. And if you squinted in the right direction, you just might have seen two soldiers on horseback, patrolling for any wayward taxpayers.

Scenes like this were common at Potomac Conference’s New Market (Va.) church as it geared up to present to the community Journey to Bethlehem (J2B), an interactive dramatic recreation of first century Bethlehem. Every night more than 100 actors helped re-enact the night of Christ’s birth, complemented by real livestock. The entire production cost about $30,000 and required the work of more than 450 volunteers. Tours, which were handicap accessible, lasted approximately 45 minutes and attracted hundreds of visitors.—Shane Anderson


Chesapeake Church Participates in Christmas Parade

Potomac Conference’s Chesapeake (Va.) church continued a four-year tradition by participating in the local annual Christmas parade. More than 40 church members helped out in some capacity.

There were two angels holding the banner followed by English handbell players, wise men followed the float and those distributing literature were dressed as shepherds, and, of course, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and an angel rode the float. There were thousands of people watching the parade and church members gave away nearly 6,000 pieces of literature including Steps to Christ. “It’s an experience our children will always remember,” said Suzanne Scheier, Personal Ministries director. “May God bless those that received the literature, that the Holy Spirit will water the truth within.”


January 26: The George E. Peters Adventist School Open House will be held from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. If you have children in pre-K-8th grade, visit them at 6303 Riggs Road in Hyattsville, Md. For more information, visit gepetersschool.org or call (301) 559-6710.

January 21-27: The Metropolitan church invites you to bring a friend to the “Get on Board” evangelism series featuring Abraham Jules, DMin. The Lloyd Mallory Singers will present a mini concert to kick off the series at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, January 21. Other musical guests for the week include Tenore Three, Kay Bishop-Hall, Heaven’s Song and Paul Heflin. The meetings will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Hyattsville, Md., on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights. For more information, visit metrosda.org.

January 29: The Pennsylvania Conference Youth and Young Adult Ministries Family Ski Trip will be held at Jack Frost Big Boulder in White Haven, Pa. The price is $48 for the snow pass, lesson and rental. The lessons are for ages 8 and over. Helmet rentals are $10 additional. Tickets must be purchased by January 16, 2012. Pre-paid ticket pick-up will be at the Jack Frost Lodge, 8 a.m.-12 noon. For more information, contact the conference’s Youth Ministries Department at (607) 374-8331, ext. 212 or at pa-youth@paconference.org.

January 30: Olney Adventist Preparatory School Open House will be held at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. Its students rank within the top 5 percent of the nation on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. For more information, call the school at (301) 570-2500 or visit their website at www.olneyprep.org.

February 2: Spencerville Adventist Academy invites all eighth graders and other high school students to attend their Academy Day from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Visiting students will get the opportunity to meet teachers and students, hear and see the school’s touring groups perform, compete for scholarships, play against basketball teams and check out the new school. To RSVP, contact Heidi Wetmore at (301) 421-9101 or hwetmore@spencerville.org.

February 4: Capitol Hill Church to celebrate Church Heritage Day under the theme “From Generation to Generation.” Pete Palmer, pastor of the Germantown church in Philadelphia, will be the guest speaker. There will also be an afternoon concert featuring the Breath of Life Quartet, with special tribute to the generations represented at Capitol Hill. All former members are invited to return for the celebration! The congregation may wear colors representing their generation: BLACK and WHITE (born after 2001); RED (born 1983 – 2001; TAN/BROWN (born 1965-1982); BLUE (born 1946-1964); GOLD (born 1929 – 1945); and SILVER (1909 – 1928). For more information, contact the church at (202) 543-1344.

February 4-5: The first Willow Brook Fine Arts Show sponsored by the Pioneers Pathfinder Club, will feature paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures produced by local amateur, student and professional Adventist artists. The show is Saturday, February 4, 7-9 p.m., and Sunday, February 5, 2-5 p.m., at the Willow Brook church located at 8916 Mapleville Road in Boonsboro, Md.

Some of the works will be available for purchase. Entry and light refreshments are included in a small fee for those 6 and older. For more information, contact glenmilam@myactv.net.

February 11: The Hagerstown church’s Sabbath Sundown Serenade Concert will feature soprano Karla Rivera Bucklew.  The concert starts at 5 p.m. and will be held at 11507 Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, call (301) 733-4411.

February 12: Jared Renaud Taylor will be signing copies of his new book, New Lenses—How I met Jesus on MTVfrom 2-4 p.m. at the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Store. The store is located at 12004 Cherry Hill Road in Silver Spring, Md. Taylor, a member of Potomac’s Restoration Praise Center in Lanham, Md., can be reached at jaertee@gmail.com.

February 12: Highland View Academy’s International Fair will be held 2-6 p.m. Students will be representing several countries from around the world. Each country will have a unique food and fun facts about its culture. Come early! You don’t want to miss the parade of nations! The fair will be held at 10100 Academy Drive in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, visit hva-edu.com.

February 12: Crossroads Adventist Preparatory School Presents “A Healthier You: Community Symposium and Health Fair.” It runs 10 a.m. thru 4 p.m. and will feature student presentations on health, nutrition and fitness; a health trivia challenge game; information and activity booths featuring massage therapy, health screenings, medical organizations and vegetarian cooking demos; fitness classes, seminars/workshops on women’s, men’s and children’s health and more! The school is located at 3291 St John's Lane, in Ellicott City, Md. For more information, call (866) 715-7752.

February 17-19: The “Love for a Lifetime” Marriage Enrichment Retreat will be held at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, Md. The registration fee of $299 per couple includes two nights at Dunes Manor Hotel, brunch, tea, dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. For more information, e-mail MarriageEnrichment@comcast.net, or contact Mark and Peggy Lee at (301) 317-5428 or Jeff and Sandy Hartz at (443) 864-6328. The Triadelphia church and Maranatha Adventist Fellowship are among the churches sponsoring the retreat.

February 24-26: Chesapeake Conference’s high school students will want to attend the Generation Rain Spiritual Retreat at Mount Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md. Themed “The Call,” the weekend features speakers from Insight magazine: Duane Esmond, editor; Tom Fraga, associate editor; and Tiffany Taylor-Mduba, columnist. For details, call Ann Reynolds at (410) 995-1910, or email areynolds@ccosda.org.

February 24-26, 2012: Pennsylvania Conference’s marriage retreat, “Love on the Farm” will feature Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, North American Division Family Ministries directors. It will be held at the Best Western Premier Contral Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg, Pa. To register online visit, www.paconference.org, go to the Ministries page and click on Family Ministries. For more information, contact Jeanne Hartwell at jhartwell@paconference.org, or (610) 374-8331.

February 25: The Hagerstown church’s Sabbath Sundown Serenade Concert will feature Jermain Cain on the three-manual Digital Allen Organ. The concert starts at 5 p.m. and will be held at 11507 Robinwood Drive, in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, call (301) 733-4411. To request a copy of the Winter-Spring 2012 Hagerstown Sabbath Serenade Concert Calendar, send your email address to office@hagerstownadventist.org.

February 25: The New England Youth Ensemble will recognize the ministry of Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse with a tribute concert. Soprana Karla Bucklew will also perform. The concert will take place at 4 p.m. at the Frederick church at 6437 Jefferson Pike in Frederick, Md. For more information, visit fredericksdachurch.org or call (301) 662-5254.

March 8-11: The Columbia Union chapter of the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) convention will feature Ivor Myers, speaker/director of Power of the Lamb Ministries; the Guild of Adventist Musicians and Henry Wright, pastor of the Community Praise Center in Alexandria, Va. The convention will be held at Potomac Conference’s Vienna (Va.) church, located at 344 Courthouse Road SW in Vienna. For more information visit www.asicolumbiaunion.netasi.org or register at www.plusline.org.

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Taashi Rowe, Visitor News Bulletin Editor 
5427 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045

Email: visitor@columbiaunion.net    Website: www.columbiaunion.org
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