Who We Are, How We Serve

The Columbia Union Conference coordinates the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in the Mid-Atlantic United States, where 145,000 members worship in 863 congregations. We provide administrative support to eight conferences; two healthcare networks; 101 early childhood, elementary and secondary schools; a liberal arts university; a health sciences college; a dozen community services centers; 8 camps; 5 book and health food stores and a radio station.

Mission Values Priorities

We Believe

God is love, power, and splendor—and God is a mystery. His ways are far beyond us, but He still reaches out to us. God is infinite yet intimate, three yet one,
all-knowing yet all-forgiving.

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A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DAVE WEIGLEY

As we transition from 2022 to 2023, what will be our support as we go into the future?

All of us have areas in life we would like to improve, and as we reflect on 2022, maybe we have some regrets, in a relationship with God, or with others, or maybe there’s something else in your life you want to address.

Why not think of the Bible as a bridge to transition from the past to the new--from what was to what could be?

WATCH THE PRESIDENT'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE 

President Dave Weigley

We found nine amazing ACS volunteers—including a trio of motorcycle “ministers”—who go the extra mile year-round to help those in need in their mid-Atlantic neighborhoods.

Story by Mark Tyler

Eight women gathered for a prayer group in Battle Creek, Mich., more than 140 years ago with a central idea: the church should provide food and clothing to needy families, minister to the sick and care for the fatherless and widows. Born from that 1874 meeting came the Dorcas Society, an association of female members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that grew to assist countless people in need throughout North America and beyond.

“Those volunteers did such amazing work that almost anywhere in the world, even today, people remember the selfless women of the Dorcas Society,” explains Minnie McNeil, Adventist Community Services (ACS) coordinator for the Columbia Union Conference and director for the Allegheny East Conference.

Today the work of those service-minded ladies continues through ACS, and has expanded to include men, teens and whole families who volunteer together to extend God’s love to others. The Columbia Union is currently home to 14 official ACS centers run by Adventist members who dedicate their time to spread Jesus’ love in ways the early Dorcas ladies may have only imagined.

Story by Elena Cornwell / Cover Image by iStock Photography

It’s a debate that seems to continue to crescendo since the first accidental discovery of saccharin by Constantine Fahlberg in 1879. Since then most would agree that the fascination and need for sweet foods has become a national problem.

And, although it appears that the addictive and health-related issues induced by sugar has only recently received more national attention, Ellen G. White counseled on that very topic before many even knew it was a problem. In Counsels on Diets and Foods, White admonished, “Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine” (p. 327).

Now her words ring true more than ever, but there is a new player in the sweets aisle—non-nutritive sweeteners—that requires some attention. The American Heart Association describes non-nutritive sweeteners as sweeteners that offer no nutritional benefits, like vitamins and minerals. They also contain low amounts or no calories at all. They are often used to replace sugar because of their low caloric levels.

Three professionals in fields of health across the Columbia Union weigh in on different types of non-nutritive sweeteners and compare them to natural sugar. Understanding how non-nutritive sweeteners affect the body is important to properly manage your diet, they say:

Story by Sam Belony/ Photos by Krystal Irrgang

Union administrators team with Pastor Tara VinCross to start the REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School, where young adults are not only staying in the church, they are transforming it—as well as the many lives they touch through boots-on-the-ground ministry.

The unprecedented venture was born like so many God-inspired projects—thoughts planted in the minds of those seeking to be used by the Lord in ministry. This particular idea started developing in 2010 when Tara VinCross, then pastor of Pennsylvania Conference’s Chestnut Hill church, wrote a ministry development plan as part of her doctorate in ministry. She hoped it would result in an urban evangelism school in Philadelphia.

Unbeknownst to her, Columbia Union Conference leaders had hatched a similar idea and were also planning to launch an evangelism school. Eventually, the plans coalesced. “After completing my doctoral program, I thought, ‘Well, that’s the only piece that hasn’t been completed,’” VinCross recalls. Then one day, the union called to discuss a collaboration, and together in 2013 they formed a task force.