Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

New Jersey Conference

News from the New Jersey Conference

It’s not just the adults at the Bridgeton Spanish church in Bridgeton giving weekly Bible studies to their neighbors. Every week Jaffet Vazquez, a fourth-grader at Vine Haven Adventist School in Vineland, teaches the children that live on Walnut Street more about the Bible and his best friend, Jesus.

We are living in difficult times. It seems as if our civilization is falling apart because of terrorism, abuse and hatred. It is shocking to watch the news, as apparently harmless people—men, young women, sometimes children or elders—detonate themselves with explosives, killing and injuring dozens of people they do not even know! Can it get any crazier?

As the Master Guide graduation candidates from the New Jersey Conference prepared for their final review, Reina Zapata, Master Guide state coordinator, realized that one was not a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Virgilio Osorio, his wife and their children accepted the Lord after volunteering in the Pathfinder program at the Lake Nelson church in Piscataway.

Adventist HealthCare, Montgomery County’s first and largest healthcare provider, has officially transferred ownership of Hackettstown Regional Medical Center in New Jersey to Atlantic Health System, based in Morristown, N.J.

Teresa Jorge is involved in the singing ministry at the Luso-Brazilian church in Newark. (photo credit – Jorge Pilco)

Teens, youth and youth leaders recently spent the weekend at the Tranquil Valley Retreat Center to participate in the Youth Convention & Teens Retreat. The three-day event, themed “Get Involved!,” offered more than 40 classes where leaders urged participants to get involved in their churches and in the community and work for the Lord.

The Lake Nelson School (LNS) has provided a Christ-centered quality education in the Piscataway area since 1959. LNS provides an education to a large portion of the conference and its surrounding communities. In 2011 the constituent churches, Lake Nelson church in Piscataway, and New Brunswick English church in New Brunswick, voted to expand the school to offer a full junior academy program.

Although only 14 teens participated this year, dozens have asked to join next year, Macena reports. Jessica Branda, 17 and a member of the Wayne church, says, “This experience brought so many benefits for my life: spiritual growth, so much fun and an opportunity to be a light in a stranger’s life.”

When John and Janelle Rivera decided to work with the Laurelwood church youth again, they only planned to revive the Pathfinder club. However, they ended up leading a group of young people of varying ages, from juniors to young adults, many of whom did not grow up in Seventh-day Adventist homes or didn’t take their faith seriously.