Columbia Union News

 Leandro Lima

Story by Visitor Staff / Photo by Leandro Lima

Nine students from academies within the Columbia Union Conference recently received the Office of Education’s annual Caring Heart Award. The following graduates were nominated for demonstrating a personal commitment to service and witnessing.

Blue Mountain Academy – Lorena D. Alves
Highland View Academy – Catarina Sanches
Lake Nelson Adventist Academy – Brendan Sierra
Pine Forge Academy – Jonathan Williamson
Richmond Academy – Wendy Reyes (pictured above with Principal Nancy Malashenko)
Shenandoah Valley Academy – Pedro Teste-Pereira
Spencerville Adventist Academy – Favour Ogbue
Spring Valley Academy – Janelle Richardson
Takoma Academy – Taylor A. Gordon

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

This week the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious convictions. The case, watched closely by religious liberty experts, highlighted the tension between gay rights and same-sex interests and the rights of those with religious convictions who feel that providing certain services to same-sex individuals violates their right to practice their religion.

The couple filed a charge of discrimination, saying that Phillips violated the public accommodations law of Colorado that prohibits businesses from discriminatorily refusing services to protected classes, which include sexual orientation.