April 11, 2012

Union Aids First Adventist University in Liberia

Teresa Bardu, wife of the Columbia Union Conference treasurer, Seth Bardu, is pictured at a groundbreaking for the Adventist University of West Africa. Bardu went as a representative of Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president, who wanted to show support for the first Seventh-day Adventist university in Liberia.

“Most schools here conduct classes on Saturday,” says Pastor James Golay, Liberia Union president, “so our leaders want to provide an educational option that benefits the community and allows our young people to observe the Sabbath.” Around 300 students are enrolled and attending classes in a temporary space. The new school will be located in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, on 100 acres, and initially will offer degrees in business, education, nursing and theology. Some financial support for this Columbia Union Missions Abroad recipient comes from the union’s healthcare networks.


Highland View Academy Teacher Wins Science Awards

Ophelia Barizo, Science Department chair at Highland View Academy (HVA) in Hagerstown, Md., recently received two awards. She received the 2012 PASCO STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Educator Award for the high school level during the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) national conference held in Indianapolis, Ind., March 29-April 1. The award recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of STEM education.

Barizo also won the Shell Science Lab Challenge for Region 3, which includes Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. The award comes with a $3,000 prize, which will be used to upgrade HVA’s science laboratory facilities. Pictured (left to right) are Paul Stokstad, PASCO president and founder; Dori Haggerty, PASCO National Education Development manager; Ophelia Barizo; and Patricia Simmons, NSTA president.

“I praise God for these awards, and to Him be the glory,” Barizo enthusiastically shared. “I am thankful for all His gifts.”—Story by Daniel Barizo and Visitor Staff


University SIFE Team Stands Out at Regionals

The Washington Adventist University (WAU) SIFE team was named a Rookie of the Year and First Runner-Up Region Champion at the SIFE USA Regional Competition held last Wednesday in Baltimore. The event is one of 11 SIFE USA regional competitions being held across the United States in March and April. Participating students in SIFE or Students in Free Enterprise, use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

The culmination of the SIFE program is an annual series of competitions that provide a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and have business leaders evaluate those projects. Lee Pope, WAU SIFE president; Kimberly Pichot, SIFE faculty advisor and professor; and Patrick Williams, PhD, chair of the Business Department; are pictured displaying their awards.—Story by WAU Staff


Six Clubs Headed to Division-Level Bible Experience

Twelve teams, representing eight Pathfinder clubs from the Allegheny East, Chesapeake, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Potomac conferences, recently participated in the Columbia Union Pathfinder Bible Experience. Chesapeake Conference hosted this year’s event at the Hagerstown (Md.) church.

The Pathfinders were asked 90 questions testing their knowledge on the books of Mark and I Samuel. The scoring is based on the club with the highest score. All clubs that come within 90 percent of that score are given a first place and are eligible to compete in the division-level, which will be held at the General Conference on Sabbath, April 21.

Six clubs earned first place: the Liberty Light Bearers–Allegheny East; Frederick Firefoxes, Hagerstown Explorers, Triadelphia Sparks—Chesapeake; Hungarian Heroes—Ohio; and Beltsville Broncos–Potomac.—Story by Pamela Scheib; Photo by Josue Sanchez

Washington Adventist Hospital Physicians Participate in Mission

Three physicians from Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., participated in the seventh Medical Mission of the Pan American Medical Society. Cynthia Plate, a surgeon, and anesthesiologists Maksim Barkinski and Omid Moayed were among 26 physicians, nurses, physician assistants, technicians and support staff who operated on 105 patients in San Padre Sula, Honduras.

“We worked longer than 12 hours a day for five consecutive days to accomplish this goal,” said Dr. Moayed. “I cannot emphasize enough the joy, satisfaction and pride I felt taking care of these patients. This truly was a memorable trip and I am glad I was a part of it.” Pictured are Drs. Moayed, Plate and Barkinski during their trip.—Story by Diana Troese

Preaching Class Equips Pastors, Elders to Transform Lives

“The most empowering thing that you can do for a pastor or elder is helping them to realize that, in their own skin, God has called and anointed them to be a great preacher,” said Hyveth Williams, DMin, a professor of homiletics at Andrews University (Mich.). This comment preceded a class on preaching with 23 pastors and elders at the Columbia Union Conference office in Columbia, Md. Williams continued, “Preaching is to transform. As preachers, we are called to participate in the transformation of lives.”

Williams focused on helping the students locate their voice and be authentic. After watching his fellow classmates preach, Pastor Vince MacIsaac of the Arlington/Fairfax district in the Potomac Conference, said “I realized for the first time just what great hands Christ has provided for this church! The future of the [Seventh-day] Adventist pulpit is indeed bright as God has His hands on many great men and women of faith!”—Story by Peggi Trusty


La iglesia hispana de Rahway compró un edificio de iglesia

Bajo el liderazgo del pastor Charles González, la iglesia hispana de Rahway compró recientemente la Segunda Iglesia Presbiterana. Por más de veinte años, la iglesia hispana había alquilado el edificio para sus servicios de adoración. Luego, a través de una serie de direcciones milagrosas del Señor, la congregación hispana de Rahway supo, que dado a una feligresía decreciente, los presbiteranos estaban optando por vender el histórico edificio e integrarse a la Primera Iglesia Presbiterana de Rahway.

Supieron que los presbiteranos ofrecerían el edificio por $1.6 millones. Sin embargo, la iglesia hispana de Rahway solamente tenía alrededor de $300,000 en su fondo de construcción y no calificarían para un préstamo para el balance del precio de venta. Antes de que el edificio oficialmente se pusiera en el mercado, la Asociación de Nueva Jersey, la iglesia hispana de Rahway, y los líderes de la Segunda Iglesia Presbiterana se reunieron, y negociaron el precio a $970,000. Este precio reducido aún les dejaba un balance de alrededor de $700,000, necesarios para financiar.


Pennsylvania Conference School Helps the Hungry

Pennsylvania Conference’s York Adventist Christian School recently hosted a weeklong “Fill the Bus” community food drive during their annual Spirit Week. They collected more than 500 non-perishable food items and 400 personal care supplies for the York County Food Bank.—Story by Dave Morgan

Hillsboro Church 5K to Support Community Garden

This Sunday, April 15, Ohio Conference's Hillsboro church members (some pictured) will participate in their second 5K run/walk to fund a community garden. “I have a garden in my backyard,” says Kathy Decker, one of the organizers. “We wanted people who don’t have a garden be able to grow their own tomatoes or beans or whatever they want.”

The church is working with Marilyn Hiestand who developed the nonprofit Highland Quality Living. “Gardening is a good place to make friends,” she says. “We are also supporting good health and eating really good food.”

Neighbors have already donated seven acres a few blocks from the church. The race/walk will begin at 6060 Holiday Road. For more information, visit servicescene.org.—Story by Taashi Rowe

Short Animation Pokes Fun at Evolution

Guide magazine is premiering a short video that pokes fun at evolution. The Missing Link is an animation created by college student Tyler Fishell, a member of Chesapeake's Willow Brook church in Boonsboro, Md., that features a conversation between a Veja-Link and a piece of Bologna. Click here to view the video and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

April Visitor Highlight

This month’s Visitor magazine tells the story of the Southeast church in Cleveland, which is in the middle of a food desert, where fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce. Church members addressed the issue by starting a community garden. Read how the garden is also helping them grow relationships.

Click here to view the accompanying video.

Oasis en un desierto de alimento

La iglesia del Sureste en Cleveland está situada en el centro del desierto. No se halla en tierra secada por el sol, rodeadas de dunas de arena azotadas por el viento, sino en un área urbana a la que hoy comúnmente se le refiere como “desierto de alimento”—aquí, las tiendas de comestibles son pocas, y las de frutas y vegetales de calidad son aún más pocas. ¿Y el producto orgánico? Ni una posibilidad—hasta ahora.

Para la feligresía de la iglesia del Sureste, que dirige el departamento de Servicios a la Comunidad, es una noción familiar tener alimento disponible a los que lo necesitan. Hace como veinticinco años, la congregación de Allegheny Oeste, comenzó con entusiasmo a servir a los habitantes locales por medio del programa del banco de alimentos.—Historia por Debra Banks


Kit Shares Earth Day Ideas for Churches

Interfaith Power & Light, a coalition of various faith organizations that advocate environmental stewardship, have produced an Earth Day kit called “Sow a Cool Harvest.” This resource is filled with inspirational stories from faith gardens across the country. It includes ideas for installing raised beds, building a worm composting bin (which kids love), tips on choosing seeds and ideas for what to do with all the produce. If you are unable to plant a garden, you will still find useful information in the organization’s kit—ideas such as, hosting a farmers’ market, being the hub of community supported agriculture or gleaning healthy food for redistribution. The kit includes a dinner and movie organizer kit and ideas for hosting a “cool potluck.” Click here to learn more about the kit.—Story by Susan Stephenson/ Interfaith Power & Light

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events around the Columbia Union Conference.

April 13-15: Washington Adventist University (WAU) Alumni Weekend. The university will formally open The Leroy and Lois Peters Music Center, its first new building on its Takoma Park, Md., campus in 40 years, April 14 at 8 p.m. A memorial dedicated to the late Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, founder of the New England Youth Ensemble, will be unveiled at the opening. For more information, visit wau.edu.

April 14: Ohio Elementary Worship Festival
will take place at the Mount Vernon Academy gym in Mount Vernon, Ohio. This worship experience starts at 3:30 p.m. and will include art, photography, band, bells, drama and choirs! The school is located at 525 Wooster Road. For more information, contact David Niño at dnino@mvacademy.org.

April 16-21: It’s Family Week at the Boulevard church
in Philadelphia. Every day of the week they will host free seminars beginning at 7 p.m. Sabbath’s seminar will begin at 3:30 p.m. Monday’s seminar will address conflict in marriage, Tuesday will focus on senior citizens and the people who care for them, Wednesday will address the issues youth/young adults face daily, Thursday’s speaker will share how to pray for your husband, Friday’s speaker will talk about preparing your family for the second coming and, Sabbath’s speakers will discuss how to build and protect a family budget. The church is located at 8441 Roosevelt Boulevard. For more information, call (215)-335-3454.

May 5: The Parkway South church’s Family Aid Fund Benefit Concert takes place at 7 p.m. Each year, soprano Karla Rivera Bucklew joins pianist Ingrid Forss for this fundraising concert. The funds raised goes to the church’s Family Aid Fund, which helps needy families in the community. For more information, visit facebook.com/FamilyAidConcert. The church is located at 9 North Shore Road in Marmora, N.J.

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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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