March 7, 2012

Mount Vernon Spanish Youth “Awaken” Their Talents for Ministry

“God is really blessing,” shares Victor Martinez, who is pictured with his wife, Brenda, performing a skit. According to Martinez, the blessing is that Potomac Conference’s Mount Vernon Spanish church, which has 40-50 active members consistently draws some 90 young people to their monthly Friday night vespers services at 2001 Sherwood Hall Lane in Alexandria, Va.

What’s the draw? Awakening, which is anything but traditional worship. Participants now say that this service has become a refuge and allowed them to use their talents to worship God. Each month, young people come from as far south as Stafford, Va., and as far north as Germantown, Md., to share their original songs, poetry and skits.—Story and photo by Taashi Rowe


Los jóvenes hispanos de Mount Vernon “despiertan” sus talentos para el ministerio

“Dios está realmente bendiciendo”, comparte Víctor Martínez, el ex director de jóvenes de la iglesia hispana Mount Vernon, en Alexandria, Va. Según Martínez, la bendición es que esta iglesia de la Asociación del Potomac, que tiene unos cuarenta a cincuenta feligreses activos, regularmente atrae a unos noventa jóvenes a sus servicios vespertinos mensuales los viernes de noche, en la localidad de 2001 Sherwood Hall Lane.

Hace un año no había este servicio. “Nos dimos cuenta que nuestros jóvenes no tenían una manera de disfrutar el sábado”, recuerda Martínez. “Muchas veces salían con sus amistades no cristianas y participaban en actividades no cristianas”. Luego, comenzaron a realizar un servicio vespertino tradicional, que con el tiempo se transformó en lo que hoy se conoce como Awakening (despertar), que es cualquier cosa menos una adoración tradicional.


Adventist Risk Management Prioritizes Safe Churches

A new child protection program from Adventist Risk Management (ARM) is galvanizing the church’s ongoing efforts to shield minors from abuse and misconduct.

Through training for adults and children, as well as background screening for employees and volunteers who work closely with minors, ARM’s Child Protection Plan equips local leaders to make the church a safe place, says Arthur Blinci (pictured), ARM vice president and chief risk management officer.

The plan is already getting resounding support. “The Columbia Union’s Office of Education embraces every effort that seeks to further protect, nurture and equip young children in their daily journeys to spiritual, social, emotional and academic growth,” says Hamlet Canosa, Education vice president for the Columbia Union. “This new initiative further aligns other Seventh-day Adventist ministries across North America with that of education to provide safe and secure environments for one of the church’s richest treasures—its children.”—Story by Adventist News Network/Visitor


Washington Adventist University Leads Russian Bible Translation

In 2010 Mikhail Kulakov, DPhil, became director and editor-in-chief of the Bible Translation Institute, which is based at Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park, Md. Kulakov (pictured) shares his thoughts on this work:

Q: Isn’t there already a Russian translation of the Bible?

A: The most recent translation of the complete Bible authorized by the Russian Orthodox Church was published in 1875. For most Russians today, it is practically unreadable. The WAU institute is leading in the translation of the Bible into contemporary Russian language. The New Testament, the Psalms and the Pentateuch are already complete and published, and the institute plans to publish the new translation of the entire Bible by 2015.

Pennsylvania Conference Church, Students Plant Children’s Church

When the Pennsylvania Conference challenged churches and pastors to become intentional for mission, the Kenhorst Boulevard church in Reading took up the challenge. Together with the Pennsylvania Conference Youth Ministries Department Cool Camp team, they reached out to children in the low-income community neighboring their church. The week before Cool Camp, the Pennsylvania Youth Challenge student literature evangelist team reached hundreds of homes around the church.

As a result of these efforts, approximately 40 children attended their Cool Camp, with more than 35 kids accepting Christ as their Savior. When Cool Camp was over, Pastor Mike McCabe (pictured with some of the kids) and the Kenhorst Boulevard members created the Oakbrook Project. Designed as a church-planting project, McCabe recruited a team of Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) students to lead this Sabbath afternoon ministry. McCabe is mentoring these young people. Church members prepare meals for the children and students each week, get to know the children and pray for the ministry.—Story by Ray Hartwell


Mountain View Teacher Embraces Education Mission

Students in Melvin Glass’ physics class at Valley View Adventist School (VVAS) in Bluefield, W.Va., get a practical understanding of the world. His field trips can involve analyzing the forces on an elevator as it goes up and down or learning about angular momentum while on a merry-go-round. Glass, who also teaches chemistry, algebra and geometry, has taught in Seventh-day Adventist schools for 25 years, seven of which have been at Mountain View Conference’s VVAS.

Before coming to VVAS, Glass (pictured) taught at a self-supporting Adventist school and then at Valley Grande Academy in Texas. He holds undergraduate degrees in physics and math from Southern Adventist University (Tenn.) and a Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from Andrews University (Mich.). While he enjoys preparing students for life here on Earth, Glass says his favorite part of teaching in an Adventist school is “being free to talk about God and the Bible and how it fits in with science.”—Story by Taashi Rowe

New Film to Explore Adventist Education

Martin Doblmeier, founder and president of Journey Films, and the man behind The Adventists, the award-winning documentary that highlights the Adventist Church’s health emphasis, is at it again. For his latest film, Doblmeier is in the beginning stages of exploring Adventist education. He says he became interested in the topic after noticing that Adventists were doing one particular thing well: “Providing students something that is difficult to describe but something everybody wants, and that is developing body, mind and spirit,” he explains.

He adds, “And while it’s possible to quantify results of education on mind and body, quantifying spirit is the most elusive of all. We will try to unearth what that means and try to quantify spiritual development.” Doblmeier (far right) is pictured in a sixth-grade technology class at Spencerville Adventist Academy in Spencerville, Md., with teacher Darlene Rackley and students Cameron Mayer (left) and Emma Tennyson. He estimates the new film will be released next spring.—Story by Taashi Rowe

Review and Herald Seeks 1,000 Local Church Reps

Want free books? Then join the more than 1,000 church representatives that Adventist Book Centers (ABC) and the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Md., are recruiting. The positions do not come with a paycheck, but they do have perks for those who love books and reading. “The idea is to have an ABC representative in each church congregation,” says Oscar Hernandez, who directs the Church Promoter Program.

Church promoters receive a monthly package that contains instructional information and several promotional pieces, such as posters, bulletin inserts, church announcements, scripts and summaries of the books being promoted. Also, promoters receive free copies of the books featured that month. Their part of the bargain is to inform local church members about new products and help the local ABC take orders. For more information, visit or contact Oscar Hernandez at or (301) 393-3252.

End Quote: Are Your Toes Wet Yet?

My parents, Nem and Zelda Bailey, have always been strong supporters of Christian education, even when the money was not on hand to support their vision. When three of their four children were school aged, my parents had to make a decision. Was there a Seventh-day Adventist school near us? No. Did they have the money for private school? No. Were they discouraged? Of course not! They knew God would provide the money when it was needed and He did.

Seventh-day Adventist Christian education is expensive, but our God is in control and He only asks that we trust Him and claim the promises. Remember the priests of Israel as they approached the swollen Jordan River. The Jordan did not part until they obeyed God’s command. So I ask again, are your toes wet yet? Have you put God to the test? He will never ask us to do anything without making a way for obedience. If your child is not yet attending an Adventist school because you believe you cannot afford it, put your toes in the water and watch the miracle unfold.—Yvette Cooper, Allegheny West Conference Education Superintendent

Columbia Union Members in the News

Kettering College Mentioned in Newscast

Central Church in Columbus Gets Produce to Needy

Pennsylvania Conference Couple Gleans for the Hungry, See p. 39


March 2-31: Driven: Who’s Navigating Your Life? All are invited to come out and attend this powerful evangelistic series that is sure to cause you to think about who’s navigating your life. Paul Graham, Restoration Praise Center’s senior pastor, will host the series, which will feature the following guest speakers: Pastor Gregory Nelson on March 2-3, Mario Broussard on March 9-10, Pastor Jamie Kowlessar on March 16-17, Pastor Abraham Jules on March 23-24 and Pastor Furman Fordham on March 30-31. Come out each weekend during the following times: Friday night beginning at 7:30, Saturday morning beginning at 11 and Saturday afternoon beginning at 5. The church is located at 10411 Greenbelt Road in Lanham, Md.

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 or register at

March 10: Kelly Mowrer Presents “Into His Presence With Praise”on Sabbath morning at 11 a.m. at the Staunton (Va.) church at 1000 North Coalter Street. You are invited to come renew your faith through beautiful music and stories of beloved hymns. An inspiring speaker, pianist and recording artist, Mowrer travels in full-time ministry telling of God’s great grace and love. She also hosts two television programs, Praise and His Words Are Life. For more information, call (540) 886-8081.

March 10: Kelly Mowrer will present a piano concert at the Hagerstown (Md.) church located at11507 Robinwood Drive at 5 p.m. This Sabbath Sundown Serenade concert is open to all.

March 10: “How to Share Your Faith” is the title of a seminar that Rajkumar Dixit, associate pastor of New Hope church, will present this Sabbath. Learn the basic tools of how to tell your personal testimony in this high speed, practical seminar. The seminar starts at 1:30 p.m., at the New Hope church, which is located at 12350 Hall Shop Road in Fulton, Md. Lunch is provided. There is no charge, but registration by March 7 is required. Visit, or phone (301) 854-1866 to register.

March 14: Frederick Adventist School invites any interested student in grades 7-9 to attend their Junior Academy Days. Frederick Adventist School’s junior academy offers a rigorous academic program with a low teacher-to-student ratio, affordable tuition, financial aid and merit scholarships available. For more information or to RSVP, email Teresa Kelchner at or call her at (301) 788-9522. The school also offers tours every Wednesday. To schedule a visit, call (301) 663-0363.

March 15: Vienna Adventist Academy’s Open House will start at 6 p.m. Vienna Adventist Academy is a private, Christian school that educates children from pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade. They are located at 340 Courthouse Road, SW, in Vienna, Va. For more information, visit, call (703) 938-6200 or send an email to

March 22: Dupont Park Adventist School Open House runs from 9-11 a.m. This school for pre-schoolers thru 10th-graders, is located at 3942 Alabama Avenue, SE, in Washington, D.C. They will have another open house on April 26. For more information about the school, call (202) 583-8500.

March 23: The Mount Vernon Spanish church in Alexandria, Va., invites youth to Awakening. The program allows young people to worship God in creative ways such as poetry, song or acting. The program is in English and starts at 7 p.m. Find out more at

March 30: “DECEIVED” is a stage play written and directed by Anthony Hackett, a local Seventh-day Adventist. This play is designed to expose how Satan can and will deceive people, but also how God always gets the victory! It also features the Washington Adventist University gospel choir and Orville, the poet. This free play starts at 7:30 p.m. at Sligo church, which is located at 7700 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Md.

March 31: The Columbia Union Conference Has Designated This Date as Washington Adventist University Sabbath. This is a time for congregations to hold up the university in their prayers and support Adventist higher education. Visit to learn more about the exciting things that are happening at your university. For more information, contact Lahna Farver, assistant in the Advancement Office at (301) 891-4133 or email

April 4: Frederick Adventist School’s Pre-Kindergarten Round Up. Children who will be aged 4 (eligible for Pre-K) before September 1 and their parents are invited to visit the school for the day. There are many exciting things planned for the children, along with a complimentary lunch. RSVP to or (301) 788-9522.

April 15: Kettering College’s Fourth Annual Spring Into Health 5K Run/Walk starts at 2 p.m. at the college (3737 Southern Boulevard in Kettering, Ohio). Registration and packet pick-up begins at 1 p.m. in front of the school. The cost is just $25 for participants registering before Wednesday, April 4, and the first 250 registrants are guaranteed a T-shirt. More information and a link to online registration can be found at

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

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