February 15, 2012 

Virginia Korean Church’s English Group Grows Through Ministry

Just two years after having their first English divine service, Allegheny East Conference's Virginia Korean church in Manassas, Va., has a vibrant, growing English small group.

When “we launched an English divine service in the beginning of 2010, we were hoping to build an infrastructure for a multicultural and multi-ethnic ministry for the people in our community,” shares Justin Yang, the church’s English pastor. “And sure enough, some of the people who have moved to the local community began to check in on Sabbath to attend our English divine service. Soon we had multicultural families joining our worship and we felt the need to start an English small group.”

They started the group last year with three families. Since then it has grown to seven families with some 16 to 18 members total. The multicultural group, which includes an African-American, Hungarian and Jamaican, is a welcoming place. One member even brought friends from his running group to the monthly meeting and they are now studying the Bible.— Story by Visitor Staff


Toledo First Church Hosts “Souper Bowl”

On the night of the Super Bowl, millions of families gather around the biggest TV in their homes to enjoy food, friends and football. Members at Ohio Conference’s Toledo First church as well as students at Toledo Junior Academy were no exception. They held their annual Super Bowl party in the church’s Fellowship Hall and offered free food and drinks. As usual, the church joined the Souper Bowl of Caring, which gave them an opportunity to show people that “Jesus loves them like crazy,” as Pastor Mike Fortune likes to say. For the past 10 years, members have joined thousands of groups nationwide in collecting cans of food and cash during the game to help feed the hungry.

“After the holidays, the generous donations of the season have been used for those who needed help during that time,” Fortune says. “But, the need for nutritious food is a continuing struggle.” Church members and students raised $140 plus canned food for the Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. Joshua Fortune (sixth-grader) and Alex Peppard (eighth-grader) are pictured holding the church's Souper bowl trophy.

Union PARL Office Gains Staff

Gary Ross, PhD, a former General Conference congressional liaison, recently joined the Columbia Union Conference’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department. Ross fills the vacancy left open following the 2009 death of Adrian Westney, DD. While he will not be picking up Westney’s radio program, Ross will focus on religious discrimination.

“Gary’s rich prior experience in religious liberty and educational background uniquely prepare him for this position,” said Walter E. Carson, vice president and general counsel for the union.

Ross has served as president of Helderberg College in South Africa, assistant to the president of Andrews University (Mich.) and vice president of the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. He is a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md.—Story by Taashi Rowe

Washington Adventist University Lobbies State

Last Friday in Annapolis, Weymouth Spence, EdD, Washington Adventist University (WAU) president, joined presidents of other Maryland private colleges and universities to press the state government for continued funding of these institutions. The Takoma Park, Md.-based school joined other administrators and students in the state’s capital in observation of Maryland Independent Higher Education Day.

In his testimony to the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Spence expressed thanks for the level of funding that the state has provided for Sellinger Aid in the fiscal 2013 budget and asked for continued funding of the program. Last year WAU used 70 percent of its Sellinger Aid for students who are residents of Maryland.—Story by WAU Communications; photo by Beth Mayer

Highland View Students Organize Clothing Drive

A Goodwill training session last year, taught students at Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Md., how to evaluate the needs of the community, how to use social media to communicate about their initiative, how personal responsibility makes a difference to families in need and discussed how each shirt and pair of pants can correlate to a dollar amount that can assist with a Goodwill employee’s training and salary. As a result of the training, for the past three weeks, students have been collecting items for Goodwill. In addition to clothing, they’ve also collected housewares, electronics, art and antiques, books, sports equipment and toys.

“I think it’s a really thoughtful and Christian-like thing that the school is doing, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said junior Luis Mendoza.

For Deborah Treviño, prinicipal, teaching students to help others is an integral part of the school’s curriculum. “Our primary goal was to enhance the academic learning by providing a service learning opportunity and to plant the seed of being a servant leader,” she says.

In Tappahannock, Virginia, Ministry Needs Company

It’s just after noon on Sunday and though the sun beams directly on my head, it’s chilly in Tappahannock, Va. Leaving the warm car running and my family buckled within, I dash into a small, white building to find Chris Tyson stocking shelves with yellow-labeled jars of Super Food, a nutritional supplement.

“How can I help you?” he asks.

“So, this is the store, huh,” I reply, moving past him to get a better look. “You have everything here.”

The Veggie Corner is a tiny store that only houses about three aisles, a glass-door refrigerator and freezer. Notwithstanding, it’s well stocked with familiar brands of canned and frozen veggie meat, environmentally friendly health and beauty supplies and a variety of food staples for the health conscious and health intrigued.

“Wow, you have TruWhip all the way down here?!” I exclaim opening the freezer near the back of the store. “I’ve been trying to find this for months in Maryland!”—Story and photos by Celeste Ryan Blyden


Chesapeake Congregation Celebrates Religious Liberty

Chesapeake Conference’s Atholton church in Columbia, Md., recently hosted its annual Religious Liberty Emphasis worship service. Planned by the church’s Religious Liberty leader, Vivian Stevens, every aspect of the service emphasized the sacred gift of choice—from the praise song selections to the children’s story to the powerful divine worship message.
Special guest Elizabeth Bobo, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, reminded members of the importance of protecting our freedoms of worship and choice, and thanked them for her annual subscription to Liberty magazine.
Melissa Reid, associate editor of Liberty and executive director of the North American Religious Liberty Association, shared with the congregation the work of the journal and the history of religious liberty emphasis within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In his sermon, Nikolaus Satelmajer, interim senior pastor, pointed out that it is not sufficient to just be concerned about our religious freedom, but that we need to respect the freedom of others. That Sabbath Atholton also raised a religious liberty offering of more than $1,000.—Melissa Reid/Liberty 

54 Attend Woodbury Women’s Ministries Breakfast

The Woodbury (N.J.) church’s Women’s Ministries group recently hosted their second Women’s Spiritual Breakfast at the Adelphia restaurant in Deptford, N.J. Teresa Garloff, Women’s Ministries director of this New Jersey Conference church, reports that the 54 attendees came from area churches and enjoyed fellowshipping together.

“This was a successful outreach and friendship-building event, as some women who recently attended the Woodbury church’s evangelistic series were in attendance, as well as other women who were invited by church members from our sister churches,” Garloff shares.

Amalia Aguero, Women’s Ministries coordinator for the New Jersey Conference, shared a presentation on “The Happiest Woman.” Sally Atari sang and played the guitar while her niece Faith Maybrook accompanied her on the cello. Click here to view more photos on the church’s website.

Pine Forge Students Strive for Excellence

The challenge from principal Delmas Campbell was great and the courses rigorous, but Pine Forge Academy students worked diligently and consistently throughout the semester! The results? Sixty-seven percent of the students earned Honor Roll status, including 59 percent of the freshman class, 61 percent of the sophomore class, 58 percent of the junior class and 82.5 percent of the senior class!

Two students, sophomore Terry Williams and junior Antoinette Jones (pictured), made the Principal’s List, getting A’s in all of their classes.—Story by Noreena Ogidan

Frederick Member Builds Chapels

“The cycle of poverty and ignorance corrupts so many young lives around the world today,” observes Dirci Marquart, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Frederick (Md.) church. However, this founder and CEO of MissionServ International, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is determined to bring others hope. Through the help of volunteers, the organization recently committed to building 17 new chapels in 17 different locations. In November 2011, they completed the first chapel in northeast Brazil. Sixteen of the 17 chapels will be inaugurated this year.

Marquart is also an active member of the Columbia Union Conference chapter of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI). Come meet Marquart and her volunteers along with other ASI members who are “sharing Christ in the marketplace” at the upcoming union convention March 8-11. The event will be held at the Vienna (Va.) church. Click here to register.

 Join the Conversation on Facebook

Have you seen the February issue of the Visitor? The cover story talks about a family that decided it was time for them to move to the hills of West Virginia. What about you? Do you think it is time to leave the cities and move to the country? Read the story, go to our Visitor Facebook page and tell us what you think!


February 17-19: Oakwood University’s Aeolians of the Alma Blackmon era are planning their reunion this February 17-19. The reunion will include a concert on February 18. The concert will be held at Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md., and starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Desmond Pierre-Louis dkpl58@aol.com.

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 21: The Berkely Springs church’s Annual Supper Club will be held at 3606 Valley Road in Berkely Springs, W.Va. The event features a free healthy meal and a presentation on “How to Boost Your Immune System.” For more information, contact Lisa Shingleton at (304) 258-2739 in the evenings.

February 23: Sligo Adventist School will have an open house from 6–7 p.m. For more information, call (301) 434-1417 or visit Sligoadventistschool.org. The school is located at 8300 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Md.

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.

February 25: The 2012 Living Legends Award Ceremony will take place at the Emmanuel-Brinklow church on February 25 at 6 p.m. This year’s honorees include U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black. The church is located at 18800 New Hampshire Ave., in Ashton, Md. Visit their website for details.

February 25: Washington Adventist University’s Russian Bible Translation Project Event will take place at the Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md. The daylong event will include inspiring Russian music, fellowship and prayer. Mikhail Kulakov, a WAU religion professor, will preach a sermon titled “When Life is Worth Living.” Russian soloist Elena Rudoy will perform in the church atrium at 4 p.m. For more information, contact Kulakov at (301) 576-0108 or at mkulakov@wau.edu.

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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