May 2, 2012

Two Columbia Union Teams Shine at NAD Pathfinder Bible Experience

Twenty-four teams representing six unions and 13 conferences—including seven teams from the Columbia Union—participated in the first North American Division (NAD) Pathfinder Bible Experience, held at the General Conference building in Silver Spring, Md., on April 21.

After answering 90 questions about the biblical books of I Samuel and Mark, 11 teams placed first, two of which were from the Columbia Union: Potomac Conference’s Beltsville Broncos blue team from Beltsville, Md., and Allegheny East Conference’s Liberty Light Bearers from Baltimore.

“It’s exciting,” exclaimed Monica Melbourne, a director of the Liberty Light Bearers. “We are proud to represent for the Allegheny East Conference. This is the first time that the kids have participated in a Bible bowl. They worked so hard to be here.” The Beltsville Broncos are pictured accepting their first-place certificate.—Story by Pamela Scheib and Tanisha Greenidge


GC, NAD, Unions, Conferences Collaborate to Reach New York City

Every level of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is teaming up to participate in NY13, an evangelistic project to reach the people of New York City, and beyond, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. New York City has been chosen as the first of about 650 cities where the Adventist Church plans to hold evangelistic meetings over the next several years.

Shawn Boonstra, associate Ministerial director for evangelism in the North American Division, recently sat down with presidents and other representatives from the General Conference, North American Division, unions and conferences who have formed a strategy to reach New York City, the largest metro area bordering their territories of responsibility.

The conversation was recorded as a one-hour NY13 special program in the Hope Channel studios in Silver Spring, Md. It will be shown on the Hope Channel and 3ABN and as a DVD throughout the division so that members can learn how they can have a part in the massive initiative. The program will be broadcast on the Hope Channel this weekend.


WAU Graduates one of its Largest Classes

Slightly under 300 students passed through Washington Adventist University’s (WAU) “Gateway to Service,” Sunday, April 29 in Takoma Park, Md. Relatives and friends packed Potomac Conference’s nearby Sligo church to witness one of the largest graduating classes in the university’s history. University officials say the numbers are symbolic of a growth spurt that they have been experiencing in recent years.

On Sabbath, April 28, Rear Admiral Barry Black, the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, served as keynote speaker for the baccalaureate service. Nirupama Rao, WAU’s distinguished Gateway Service honoree and ambassador of India to the United States, was recognized for her contribution to liberal arts education during the commencement ceremony.— Story by Grace Virtue; photo by Eduardo Grant


Union ASI Convention Emphasizes “Chosen Vessels,” Raises $10,000

A few weeks ago, the Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) Columbia Union chapter (CUASI) held their annual convention at Potomac Conference’s Vienna (Va.) church and attracted more than 700 attendees, including church members. They donated some $10,000 to fund upcoming CUASI projects that aim to fulfill ASI’s motto of “Sharing Christ in the Marketplace.” Their theme was “Chosen Vessels: Called & Faithful.” In this gathering more than 60 ministries joined more than 35 business owners (including pictured CUASI officers).

In related news, the international ASI convention is coming to the Columbia Union later on this year. The August 8-10 meeting will be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinatti, Ohio. Themed “It’s Time … To be About Our Father’s Business.” Visit for more information.—Story by Natasha Iheme/Visitor Staff


Willow Brook Women’s Tea Draws 140

An afternoon tea, themed “Women of Grace,” drew women from seven area churches recently to Chesapake Conference’s Willow Brook church in Boonsboro, Md. Dee Scalzo, the church’s Women’s Ministries leader, and a team of women from the Willow Brook and Hagerstown churches coordinated the event.

Hostesses assigned to each table used their creativity and their own china service to set the tables. Many attendees brought teapots for display.

Pastor Charlotte McClure spoke to the group, encouraging women to “let God be God in the most intimate areas of our lives.”

According to Scalzo, the event was a form of friendship evangelism. Many of the participants were friends, neighbors and Bible study students of members—and several were women who had been taking a break from church. Catherine Smith of the Hagerstown (Md.) church is pictured sporting a 120-year-old hat that belonged to her grandmother.—Story and photo by Jennifer Stefan

Parkway South Concert to Aid Families

Each year on the first Saturday night in May, vocalist Karla Rivera Bucklew (a Chesapeake Conference member) joins pianist Ingrid Forss in performing at New Jersey Conference’s Parkway South church in Marmora for The Family Aid Fund Benefit Concert.

The Parkway South church established the Family Aid Fund to help others and both women, who are professional musicians, have been performing this concert for seven years. “There are times when people need a hand up, and we want to be that hand,” says Forss (pictured right). “In Matthew 25 Jesus asks us, as members of the family of God, to feed those who are hungry, give something to drink to those who are thirsty, to take in those who need shelter, to care for those who are sick, and visit those who are in prison. We want to fulfill that mission, one person at a time, as Jesus did.”

Visit their Facebook page to watch videos from their previous concerts. The concert will take place Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m.

G.E. Peters Students Excel at Science Fair, Spelling Bee

The George E. Peters Adventist School in Hyattsville, Md., recently came away from the Allegheny East Conference’s annual Elementary School Science Fair and Spelling Bee in Richmond, Va., with the most first-place awards. They competed against five other schools. G.E. Peters students Ja’Mani Walker (Kindergarten) and Jennea Whitted (5th-grade) both finished in first place for their age categories and Teneé Stevenson collected a third-place finish in her category as well. Liana Allen finished first place in the Spelling Bee challenge.

“This was my sixth time participating,” Whitted said. “I got a chance to explain my project on Microscopic Water Organisms in a nice way to my classmates, teachers and the judges.”

This was seventh-grader, Allen’s first time participating in the Spelling Bee. “I prayed before every word. Doing that calmed me down, and God helped me all the way to first place!” she said. Walker said hard work pays off, and he looks forward to doing it again next year.—Story by Jocelyn B. Daniels; photo by Gladys Kelly

Shenandoah Valley Students Share Christ in Europe

Ten Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA) students and four sponsors from New Market, Va., traveled to Germany and Austria during spring break for a unique outreach journey. The group’s mission: to witness to residents and meet other Seventh-day Adventist young people.

“The trip to Europe was an eye-opening experience, much like any mission trip. It allowed me to see how a group of people can be so different in their way of living but can still be accepting and ultimately have the same goal to reach people for Christ,” shared senior Graydon Jedamski.

“I met many fearless warriors for Christ, and I aspire to be more like them,” said junior Angel Lawhorn, who is pictured with other students praying at the Immanuel School near Munich.—Story by Buz Menhardt


May Visitor Highlight

It’s that time of the year again! It's camp meeting season, where we make more time to commune with fellow members and God. This month’s issue will highlight some of the wonderful things your conferences have planned for this year’s camp meetings. Click here  to learn who will be speaking and for a list of fun activities for kids.

ACS Highlighted in New Visitor Video

Click here to see our monthly video. This month we feature the Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington in a feature we call “More Than Beans and Rice.”

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

May 4-6: Highland View Academy Alumni Weekend: Plans include the annual golf tournament, a vespers play, Sabbath school, church with roll call, luncheon, a music benefit concert, varsity basketball games, as well as soccer and volleyball games. For more information, visit the school’s website at

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 go to the church’s Family Aid Fund, which helps needy families in the community. For more information, visit The church is located at 9 North Shore Road
 in Marmora, N.J.

May 4-6: Pennsylvania Conference’s “Be Still Women’s Retreat” is designed to draw you into a deeper conversation with God—allowing Him to speak to your heart and bring you healing, joy, hope and peace. The retreat will take place at Leaman’s Country Home at 155 Glenbrook Road in Bird-in-Hand, Pa. For more information, click here.

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Taashi Rowe, Visitor News Bulletin Editor 
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