Tea lights

by Burney Culpepper

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacted education throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, the Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) team needed to work on our 2020–21 budget. Not knowing what the year would bring, we based our finances on 80 students. And we prayed, knowing that God is faithful.

Image by AgnieszkaMonk from Pixabay

Editorial de Jorge Agüero

El 11 de marzo de 2020, la Organización Mundial de la Salud declaró al COVID-19 como pandemia. A partir de ese momento, impuso una crisis global. Algunas partes del mundo estaban cerradas y en cuarentena. Frases como “quédate en casa”, “usa máscaras” y “distancia social”, fueron nuestra nueva normalidad.

Durante más de cuatro meses, las iglesias estuvieron cerradas, y algunas no volverán a abrir durante el resto del año. Pero la atención se centra en la reapertura de los negocios, centros comerciales y restaurantes, con el mensaje: “Adelante. Estamos abiertos”.

Story by WGTS Staff

“Having enough food in the pantry or the cupboard or the fridge is a challenge many families are facing right now, especially during a time when the coronavirus is affecting people,” says Jitesh Ram, WGTS community engagement coordinator. As a way to make sure families are receiving the food they need, WGTS and their listeners teamed up together with McLean Bible Church over the summer months to collect food.

by Heidi Shoemaker

Who doesn’t love receiving a card in the mail? A text from a friend? Maybe even a call from a dear family member? Though many church facilities have reopened, not everyone has returned to in-person worship. To that end, members have found unique ways to reach out to church family and stay connected to those worshipping from home.

Ohio Conference’s Communication Department asked church members to consider reaching out to members who, for one reason or another, haven’t physically returned to church since the pandemic. It is in times like these where at-home worshippers need to know they are being thought of and prayed for. Suggestions included mailing cards to senior members, texting and checking up on college students or calling friends just to say hello.

Mark Hall from Casting Crowns sings during “Night of Hope”

If there is one thing we’ve needed more than ever this year it is hope.  Every year WGTS 91.9 presents the “Night of Hope” event targeted at people who are curious to learn more about Jesus.  This year’s event was moved online because of coronavirus restrictions.  Casting Crowns set the move for the evening with their performance.  Then, Darren Mulligan of the band We Are Messengers shared his story about how Jesus pulled him out of a life of sin and destruction.  At the end of his message, Darren asked listeners who wanted to receive Jesus to pray with him. Finally, Pastor Mike Speegle invited them to text “Jesus” to 800-700-1094 to get the WGTS Bible study called “Getting to Know Jesus.”

Robert Kennedy baptizes Mark Devonport

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

Recently, the Emmanuel Worship Center in Alexandria, Va., hosted a drive-in baptism and communion service. Pastor Robert Kennedy baptized three people in a temporarily installed baptistry in a garage on the property the church is renting.

Prior to their baptism, Kennedy studied with the baptismal candidates by Zoom and FaceTime. Once they expressed their desire to be baptized, Kennedy went to work to make this possible and to ensure safety protocols were in place and were conference-approved.

On the Sabbath of the baptism, the church held Sabbath School together virtually. At the end of the lesson study, Kennedy interviewed the candidates and called for their vote into membership.

Story by Valerie Morikone

Ginelle Edmondson recently became the new Health Ministries director of the Mountain View Conference.

Born in Guyana, South America, and raised in Queens, N.Y., she always expressed an interest in health. Feeling led to study nursing for her undergraduate career, Edmondson was drawn to public health and mission work. She graduated with a Master in Public Health from New York University (NYU), then traveled to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.

Image by bernhard hayo from Pixabay

Rising coronavirus infection rates are causing many families and churches to reexamine their holiday plans. However, the socially distanced show must go on and many Adventist schools and churches are already preparing their virtual holiday programs.

Let us know about your church or school’s virtual program so all Columbia Union Conference members will have the chance to enjoy the holiday cheer.

Email the program title, time, date and link to, and we’ll share on our social media accounts and website.