June 27, 2012



WAU to Provide Support, Expertise to new Russian Media Center

Last month leaders of Washington Adventist University, (WAU), the Columbia Union Conference and Euro-Asia Division participated in the groundbreaking (pictured) for a new media center in Zaoksky, Russia.

The idea for a new media center, which Weymouth Spence, EdD, Washington Adventist University (WAU) president, spearheaded, took form in January at a meeting held in Zaoksky with John Konrad, WGTS 91.9 FM general manager, and leaders of Global Vessels, a U.S.-based charity.

The purpose of the media center is to provide new, relevant and educational programs to the people of Zaoksky and the surrounding area, said Konrad. “It’s going to provide the church with relevant programming to help spread God’s Word, and better the community by [broadcasting] positive health and living programs.” He added that students will also receive hands-on realistic training in both television and radio broadcasting.

Spence; Mikhail Kulakov, DPhil, head of WAU’s Bible Translation Institute; and Zdravko Plantak, PhD, chair of WAU’s religion department are pictured during their visit to Russia.—Story by Barby Kulakov
  
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Union Names New Education Associate

For his commitment to the fundamental mission of Seventh-day Adventist education and his strength in curriculum and research, Donovan Ross, PhD, was named associate director of secondary education for the Columbia Union Conference.
 
An alumnus of Andrews University (Mich.), where he obtained his terminal degree in educational administration and supervision, Ross has more than 25 years of combined experience in the areas of teaching, advising, staff and program development and administration. His administrative experience includes service at Spring Valley Academy in Dayton, Ohio, and the former Garden State Academy in New Jersey.
 
“As the new associate director, Dr. Ross will focus his energies on curriculum, research, teacher certification, school accreditation and mentoring leaders; as well as assuming field assignments,” explained Hamlet Canosa, EdD, the union’s vice president of education.
 
Ross shared that his ultimate goal is to bring students to Christ, and says, “Yes, we want to have great academics and test scores, but when [our students] walk away from us, my goal is that they also have a lasting relationship with Christ.”—Story and photo by Samantha Blake




Ephesus Members Pay Academy Mortgage in Record Time

Not only did Columbus Adventist Academy in Columbus, Ohio, recently satisfy their $1.2 million mortgage, they also did it in record time—three years! It was members and friends of the school’s constituent Ephesus church who rallied together to complete the seemingly impossible task.

In October 2008, Donald L. Burden left the Allegheny West Conference office as the ministerial and youth director to lead Ephesus, first as interim pastor and then as senior pastor. He immediately rallied the church body to perform some much-needed repairs on the building. The leadership team also had a burning desire to pay off the remaining $670,000 on the mortgage that put a constant strain on the church’s finances. In May 2009—after a very successful evangelistic campaign ending in 100 baptisms—the leadership team launched an aggressive campaign. Members began to attack the mortgage with all denominations of currency. Once a distraught treasurer even counted 21,000 pennies!

James Lee, Ephesus church treasurer, is pictured proudly burning the mortgage note.—Story by Karen Williams




Community Honors Allegheny East Pastor

The Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation (MNDC) in Montclair, N.J., recently honored a Seventh-day Adventist pastor at its sixth annual Project Oasis Dinner on June 10. Paula Olivier, DMin, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s First church of Montclair, was one of six honorees. Olivier received the Carlos Wormley Community Service Award “for her commitment to empower and support disadvantaged individuals, youth and families to achieve and improve quality of life through training, education and advocacy.”

As her name was called, Olivier stood to a rousing applause. “I praise God for what He is doing in Montclair through His church,” Olivier said. “May His name be glorified.” Olivier is pictured, center, with her husband, Pastor Smith Olivier, on her left, and Albert Pelham, executive director of MNDC.

Olivier was also honored with a Joint Legislative Resolution from the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey. The resolution recognized her for exemplary skills and spiritual leadership.





City Commends Reading Junior Academy

Lee Stahl, principal of Pennsylvania Conference’s  Reading Junior Academy (RJA), planned every detail of the school’s graduation program. Or he thought he had. However, Francis Acosta, Reading City Council president, added a surprise to the program when he presented Stahl with a commendation from the city council, calling “upon the citizens of Reading to recognize Reading Junior Academy and their commitment to the education of the youth of Reading and Berks County.”

Acosta has children at the school and is impressed by the school and what they provide. As president of the council, he knew that they often commend public schools and believed that RJA also deserved the commendation and submitted the school for consideration.—Story by Tamyra Horst




Shady Grove’s Healing Garden Wins Design Award

The Barbara Truland-Butz Healing Garden at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg, Md., won a merit award in the 19th annual Professional Awards Program by the Maryland and Potomac chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). This award recognizes superior professional accomplishment and brings public attention to the outstanding projects and services of landscape architects.

“At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, we are committed to caring for the whole person,” said Dennis Hansen, the hospital’s president. “The healing garden demonstrates our commitment to caring for not only the physical, but also the spiritual and mental needs of the community.”

The Barbara Truland-Butz Healing Garden opened in September 2010. It was made possible through a generous gift from Barbara Truland-Butz’s brother and her four sons, after she passed away from cancer. The garden was also made possible through employee and community donations.—Story by Susan Griffiths

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Baltimore Spanish Church Hosts Fourth Health Fair

Chesapeake Conference’s Baltimore Spanish church in Baltimore recently celebrated their fourth health fair. Church members worked together with several local physicians and agencies to provide free medical services to the families in the neighborhood surrounding the church. They also provided seminars on accident prevention and how to stop smoking, and alerted attendees to social services that the city offers.

“This has been a great blessing to our neighbors and friends, especially those who have no insurance,” said Orlando Rosales, the church’s pastor. “We are grateful for the collaboration we receive from all the doctors and their assistants" who volunteered to make this event possible. It was a great joy to see how all the brothers and sisters came together to participate in this event.”

Another benefit of the health fair is that two large families are now taking Bible studies and preparing for baptism.—Story by Cristina McConnell

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Allegheny West Hispanics Commit to “Each One, Reach One”

For the third consecutive year, the Allegheny West Conference (AWC) celebrated their Hispanic camp meeting with a turnout of more than 400 participants. During the meetings, evangelist Alejandro Bullón challenged Hispanic members to bring one soul to Christ this year as the department’s theme for the year is “Each One, Reach One.”

Pastor Rubén Ramos, assistant to the president of the Columbia Union Conference for Multilingual Ministries, challenged attendees to follow the excellent biblical method of evangelism and win the rest by serving with humility.

Marcos Ventura, a theology student at Washington Adventist University, challenged the youth to live a life of integrity with Jesus. Also, more than 100 children had the privilege of experiencing the life of Daniel in Babylon. Furthermore, the conference recognized 70 pioneer leaders of the Hispanic work in AWC with a plaque.—Story by Walter Castro





La Conferencia de Allegheny West se compromete a “Cada uno, alcanza uno”

Campestre Hispano de La Conferencia de Allegheny West Por 3er año consecutivo la Conferencia de Allegheny West, celebro su campestre Hispano con una asistencia de mas 400 participantes. Miembros hispanos de la Conferencia de Allegheny West (AWC) fueron desafiados por el Pr. Bullón a traer un alma para Cristo en este año. La hermandad acepto con mucho agrado el Lema para 2012, “Cada Uno, Gana Uno”.

El pastor Rubén Ramos fue quien desafio a la hermandad con el único método bíblico por excelencia de evangelización. Ganando a los demás sirviendo con humildad. Los jóvenes fueron inspirados por Marcos Ventura (Estudiantes de Teología, WAU), a vivir una vida de integridad con Jesús. Y mas de 100 niños tuvieron el privilegio de experimentar la vida de Daniel en Babilonia. Además la Conferencia reconoció con una placa a 70 lideres pioneros de la obra hispana en AWC. Este record de asistencia se debió al esfuerzo incansable de los pastores y sus esposas que trabajaron unidos como un cuerpo unidos por a Jesús.—Historia por Walter Castro





Chesapeake Campers Gather to Learn and Share

Themed “Walk with God! Share His Grace!” the Chesapeake Conference Camp Meeting held in Hagerstown, Md., equipped participants for deepening their relationship with God and sharing the good news of Christ’s soon return.

Worship focused on prayer and a challenge to reach out to others in Christian love regardless of race, religion or social status. Local and foreign mission reports, interspersed with inspiring music, cast the vision for soul winning, and $16,000 was raised for evangelism.

Ryan Roberts, a college freshman from Frederick, Md., was among many individuals who recommitted to the Lord. As a teen, he rejected church. Recent camp meeting experiences have led him to a decision to study for pastoral ministry. Download audio recordings of meetings at ccosda.org, and view photos at facebook.com/chesapeakeconference.—Story by Samantha Young




Potomac Campers Commit to Making Disciples

After leaders of Potomac Conference’s June 19-23 camp meeting challenged attendees to focus their lives on making disciples for Him, nearly 300 signatures now surround a copy of Harry Anderson’s painting, “Christ Ordaining the Twelve.” These signify individual commitments to bring one new soul to Christ this year.
 
Originally, the idea was to create a display honoring and showcasing the work of Anderson, the well-known biblical artist who created pictures for many children’s storybooks, as well as cover art for Steps to Christ and The Desire of Ages.

After conference president Bill Miller challenged the communication team to make a clear connection between the display and the conference’s mission and vision of creating healthy disciple-making churches, the team created an interactive display, which would also encourage a commitment to Christ. Leaders will also call for attendees to the June 29–July 1 Hispanic Camp Meeting to sign the print.—Story by Dan Jensen



No Visitor News Bulletin Next Week

The next Visitor News Bulletin will be distributed on July 11.



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


DELAWARE
July 1: Allegheny East Conference’s Spanish Council of Churches offers a “Day of Recreation, Sports and Championships.” All churches are invited. The games, which will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will take place at 101 Garden of Eden Road in Wilmington, Del. For more details, call Pastor José del Rosario at (540) 207-2040.



MARYLAND
July 13-15: The Middletown Valley church invites you to attend their Revival and Renewal Weekend with speaker Ron Halvorsen. An evangelist and prayer revivalist, he will speak for a “Prayer Warrior Seminar,” which consists of five lectures—July 13 at 7 p.m., July 14 at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and July 15 at 7 p.m. The church is located at 1811 Arnold Road in Jefferson, Md. To register by July 11, call (240) 415-8268 or email mvsdaevents@gmail.com.
July 15 – 20: Sligo church’s Vacation Bible School will focus on the sky. During this program, kids aged 1-12, discover that everything is possible with God! The fun starts at 6 p.m. and will end at 8:45 p.m. For more information call (301) 270-6777 or visit the church’s website at http://www.sligochurch.org/vbs. The church is located at 7700 Carroll Avenue inTakoma Park, Md.



OHIO
July 11-13: The Seventh World Choir Games will be held from July 4 to 14, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Oakwood Aeolians will be among the 15,000 participants and 362 choirs from 64 nations that will compete. The Aeolians will perform and compete on July 11-13. For more information, visit http://2012worldchoirgames.com or click here to view the schedule.



WASHINGTON, D.C.
June 28 – August 2: Responding to Climate Change in Our Congregations is a summer class that Interfaith Power & Light is offering to all. People of any faith tradition who are part of a local congregation are warmly welcome to participate and learn what is happening to our world due to climate change. The class will cover both the scientific basics and the moral implications. The class takes place Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Servant Leadership School, The Festival Center in Adams Morgan, at 1640 Columbia Road NW, in Washington, D.C. Click here to register.

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Taashi Rowe, Visitor News Bulletin Editor 
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