News

Story by Anna Bartlett

Growing up Adventist, Amy Newman experienced something different than Christian love from her Adventist community.

“I remember a lot of standards. [We would think] ‘is she dressed nice enough?’ ‘Was that music holy enough?’ ‘Were they quiet enough?’ [We were very] judgmental, worrying about what we thought of each other versus the emphasis being on going to church and doing ALL for Jesus.”

Sadly, Amy’s story is not unique. Many Adventists shared stories of feeling burned by the communities they grew up in. Some choose to leave. Some perpetuate the judgmental atmosphere. But some, like Amy, become part of a community that chooses to make a difference.

Amy Newman is now the relationship coordinator at Pennsylvania Conference’s Grace Outlet church, where she assists in coordinating the monthly socials there. The socials are a way all ages can come together in an environment that is non-threatening and relaxed and build a community based on sharing Jesus instead of upholding artificial standards.

“We do not have a standard [for how you should be]. You come as you are, whether you wear a suit or jeans, have purple hair or blond, we greet everyone and hug everyone and make sure everyone feels like family,” Amy says.

Amy says her involvement with this ministry has changed her personal perspective on what Adventist community is based on.

Blog by Rob Vandeman

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this psalm is its unusual length, 176 verses. The theme, generally speaking, is the Word of God. The primary emphasis of such lengthy praises of the Word must then be that the person of faith cannot weary in singing the merits of the Word of the Lord.

Story by Anna Bartlett

When Keyla Laguna and her family moved to the East Coast, they were shocked at what they found. “It almost seemed like they were dying,” Laguna said of the churches her family experienced. With a daughter in middle school and a son in high school, Laguna (pictured in red T-shirt, with Kaylea Newman, left, and Lauren Penkala) and her husband struggled to integrate their family into their new church community, until one day everything came to a head.

Laguna’s son told her about a Sunday-keeping church many of his classmates attended with lots of youth and activities. 

Story by Kettering Adventist HealthCare

John Hutsell, a critical care specialist at Kettering Medical Center in Ohio, has been named the Ohio Society for Respiratory Care’s Practitioner of the Year for Adult Acute Care. He was chosen for this statewide recognition from among 8,000 therapists.

The award recognizes respiratory care practitioners who exhibit leadership and team-building skills, mentor others, have clinical experience, and are involved in their communities.

Photo by Thomas B. Shea for AFP and Getty

Story by North American Division staff

On September 9, 2017, churches across the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will collect a special offering to support the relief efforts of Adventist Community Services (ACS) after millions in Texas and Louisiana were impacted by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. A flyer has been prepared to announce this special offering—links to downloadable files are below.

Seth Bardu

Story by Visitor Staff

The Columbia Union Conference is saying goodbye to Seth Bardu, who served as the union’s treasurer for nearly 12 years. “More than managing money and processing payroll, he promoted treasury as a resource center for ministry and mission,” said Dave Weigley, president, in a statement.

Bardu’s resignation is effective August 31. On September 14, Weigley will ask the union’s executive committee to select a search committee to begin the process of finding a new treasurer.

Bardu joined the union officer team in 2006 and previously worked in treasury positions at Northeastern Conference, South Union Conference, Adventist Health System and South Central Conference.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos Courtesy Hagerstown church

Ray Valenzuela, the associate pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Hagerstown (Md.) church, was thinking about how the church could help families displaced by a fire in the nearby Woodbridge Apartments, when a representative from the Red Cross called to ask if they were willing to open up the church as a resource center.