Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

North American Division

Photograph by Erica Haller

At age 15, Jose Cortes Jr., the North American Division’s associate ministerial director for evangelism, wanted to be a doctor—not a pastor. Being a wise father, José H. Cortés, Sr., who serves as president of the New Jersey Conference, encouraged his son to pursue his dream. But early one morning in Madrid, Spain, Cortes Jr. heard his heavenly Father’s call to become a pastor. “I believe that [my father’s] wonderful and exemplary ministry during his early years influenced and silently encouraged my call,” says Cortes Jr. 

Columbia Union team participation in the annual test of Bible knowledge has more than doubled over the past year.

Story by Columbia Union Staff; Photos by Jeff Cooley

On Wednesday, June 19, the administrations of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and its North American Division (NAD) forwarded, to the boards of Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, a request for the two organizations to consider a merger in the near future. The proposal comes in response to church administrators’ analysis of the current publishing mission setting along with related distribution systems. It builds upon the work of several commissions/groups that, over the past several years, have studied the challenges and opportunities arising from rapid technology changes in publishing, as well as changes in how society accesses information.

Silver Spring, Md.—After two hours of presentations from multiple levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as 90 minutes of discussion, delegates to the Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency Meeting today voted an historic motion—“That the Columbia Union Conference authorize ordination to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.”

“Last year we baptized 42,000 Hispanics, which represents about a third of the entire baptisms done in all of the North American Division,” shares Ricardo Norton, DMin, director of the Institute of Hispanic Ministries at Andrews University (Mich.). Norton is sitting in front of a class at the Columbia Union Conference’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., which just finished covering the ins and outs of developing and implementing small group ministries. In front of him are 29 Spanish-speaking students, most pastors of churches throughout the union, who have just completed one class toward their Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. 

Seventh-day Adventist volunteers from churches throughout the Allegheny East and Pennsylvania conferences worked at five sites throughout Pennsylvania on Sunday to offer aid to their neighbors still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Just two weeks ago, the Adventist church in Paterson, N.J., partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement stores to distribute items to a community reeling from flood damage As the home improvement store looked to aid flood victims in eastern Pennsylvania, they again worked with Adventist church members who, with little notice, were quick to volunteer their time, hugs and prayers.