Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists
- Seventh-day Adventist
Ohio Conference constituents received an unusual Christmas gift this year--a new conference president--Ron Halvorsen Jr., MDiv.
At the end of this year, Seventh-day Adventists in the Pennsylvania and Ohio conferences will see two Adventist Book Centers (ABC) close—one in Mount Vernon, Ohio—the other in Hamburg, Pa. The closures come as a result of the Idaho-based Pacific Press Publishing Association’s (PPPA) decision early this fall to end a management agreement of some 17 ABCs across the North American Division.
As the 22-year-old mother of two tried to get her friendly, rambunctious, four-year-old daughter to sit still at the dinner table, her five-year-old son sat counting. He was doing pretty well. He almost made it to 100, when Luritz Parker, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Atholton church in Columbia, Md., interrupted to hand them three clear sandwich bags filled with soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and wash cloths.
Last Thursday, for the second year in a row, the officers of the Columbia Union Conference recognized those who have made a significant contribution to ministry in the union. Six were honored with a special luncheon and the Notable Person of Honor Award.
This week presidents of the Columbia Union’s eight conferences, two healthcare networks and university met in Columbia, Md., for executive-level board meetings. The week started with Presidents’ Council where each president shared praises and challenges from their field. On Tuesday each conference’s top-three officers met for Administrator’s Council where they handled the business of the union. They also heard a presentation on crisis communication from Celeste Ryan Blyden, Visitor publisher and editor, and author of the new book, Crisis Boot Camp, published by the North American Division.
The images on Quang Ngo’s TV screen were graphic. It showed just how devastating an impact that Typhoon Haiyan had, not just on the landscape of the Philippines, but the also the people. This was how he ended up on the doorsteps of Allegheny East Conference’s Oxon Hill Filipino church in Oxon Hill, Md., toting some 1,000 T-shirts. “We saw the people suffering and it reminded me of our situation. My family and I escaped our country of Vietnam in a boat,” he said. “When we got to Malaysia, we had no food, no clothes and no water. So we see what’s happening in the Philippines and feel like this was us and we have to do something for them.”
After watching Rex Hugus, a quiet coworker read his Bible on lunch breaks, Larry Sutherland’s curiosity finally got the best of him. “I finally had to ask Rex some questions,” Sutherland said. “I was intrigued with his background and found his habits to be different from most [people] I worked with,” said Sutherland.
“Today we are revisiting the days of pioneers of the [Seventh-day] Adventist movement when there were women evangelists who raised up churches, who preached and baptized,” said Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, during an ordination service for Hazel Burns (81) and Margaret Turner (90) at Ohio Conference’s Kettering church last Sabbath.
“I’m so happy to let you know that the Caravan of Hope (Caravana de la Esperanza) is going way beyond all expectations!” wrote an excited Ruben Ramos, assistant to the Columbia Union president for Multilingual Ministries, in an email sent this morning. “When the week of evangelism and harvest was planned with the leadership of New Jersey Conference, we set a goal of 100 souls for the whole week.”
Tomorrow will mark the grand opening of the Shady Grove Adventist Aquillino Cancer Center in Gaithersburg, Md. The center, the first of its kind in Montgomery County, offers personalized, expert care, with up-to-date technology and support services to treat various forms of cancer in one location.