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“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4, KJV).

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, I received a call from my daughter Andrea, a nurse, telling me that she had a temperature of over 101 degrees, was being sent home from work and was going to be tested for COVID-19. I prayed with my daughter and claimed God’s promises over her.

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“This I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion ... therefore I have hope in Him” (Lam. 3:22–24, RSV, adapted).

My first recollection of Jeremiah’s words came as a 19-year-old. It opened my eyes to the many mercies God brings into my life on a daily basis. That was true when I studied abroad as a college sophomore, and true four years later when my father died at 59. It’s been true throughout my life.

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“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17, NIV).

During the quarantine, God is with us and He is mighty to save us from COVID-19 by protecting us from evil. We can take great delight in God by reading His Word and by praying every night. We have to pray from our hearts, and we have to pray for everyone not to get COVID-19 and for the sick ones to get better from it.

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“But His hand is stretched out still” (Isa. 9:12, NKJV).

This verse in the Bible caught my attention. I wondered if I was reading it correctly. I looked at it in several versions, each showing a different picture than the New King James Version. I decided to see what Ellen White wrote about it:

2021 Columbia Union Conference Year of the Bible

Welcome to the Columbia Union Conference Year of the Bible. Throughout 2021, we will place special emphasis on the primacy of the Word of God and how it informs and impacts our mission, ministries and lives. During this special year, we invite you to join us in spending more time reading the Bible, digging deeper for knowledge and understanding, and meditating on its precepts, promises and prophecies.   

At a time when many of Christ’s followers turned away, Jesus asked His disciples, “'Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:67–68, NKJV). 

Welcome to 2021, and what we in the Columbia Union are calling “The Year of the Bible”. For Seventh-day Adventists, the Bible is EVERYTHING, and remains our only creed.

So 2021 seemed like a great time, as a Columbia union family, to spend a little extra time in our bibles. To facilitate this special initiative, we published a devotional book, are producing videos (like this one!), promoting this project in our annual calendar, and creating opportunities to engage with each other through social media.

Follow us on to see our videos throughout the year.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Ten months into the pandemic, many churches and schools are still meeting virtually. The Visitor staff asked leaders around the union what they’ve learned about online ministry during this time, and gleaned tips on how local leaders can make the most of these important communication tools—no matter how long the pandemic continues.

Building on a Strong Foundation

Want More Copies?

For those interested in ordering additional Year of the Bible Words of Life devotional books, call (800) 447-7377, and ask for the “Columbia Union Devotional.” Each book costs US $5, plus shipping, while supplies last. Take advantage of this 50 percent discount, through January 31!

For those wanting more copies of the 2021 Columbia Union Calendar, call (800) 447-7377, and ask for the “Columbia Union 2021 Calendar.” Extra calendars are free, with only the cost of shipping.

Didn’t Get Your Book or Calendar?

Story by Valerie Morikone

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, Mountain View Conference (MVC) constituents and friends were saddened to receive the news that Larry Boggess passed to his rest. Boggess retired as MVC president in 2017. He and his wife, Jo’an, then moved to their country home in Ohio to live near family.

Boggess arrived to MVC in 1989 to pastor the Beckley (W.Va.) church, and pastored several churches for more than a decade. In 2002, Boggess was elected to the office of executive secretary, and, in 2006, became MVC president, a position he held for almost 12 years, also adding the title of superintendent of education for several years.

In a year filled with natural disasters, a pandemic and sadness over racial injustice, Columbia Union Conference members and others who visited clung to hope, at least in their article selections.

Here are the top 10 most read 2020 news stories on in 2020:

10. Pottinger Retires, Celebrates 50 Years of MinistryLeonel Pottinger, the ministerial director for the New Jersey Conference (NJC), recently retired after nearly 50 years of selfless ministry.