On May 22 and 23, some 250 delegates, including pastors, members and leaders representing churches, conferences, schools, healthcare networks, and ministries from across the Columbia Union Conference territory will gather virtually for the Columbia Union Conference’s 28th quinquennial constituency meeting.

“The agenda includes the election of union leaders for the next five years, updates to the Constitution and by-laws, an audit report as well as reports from leadership of the union’s various institutions,” says Rick Remmers, executive secretary for the Columbia Union, whose office heads the meeting planning committee. “Sometimes people are tempted to devalue the reports, but they are an important part of creating transparency and accountability.”

The Pennsylvania Conference Executive Committee has invited Yves Monnier to serve as the conference’s Ministerial and Evangelism director. Monnier fills the vacancy left by Tim Bailey, who is moving to West Virginia to serve as president of the Mountain View Conference.

Story by Benia Jennings

The annual Allegheny West Conference (AWC) Prayer-a-Thon, hosted by the Prayer Ministries Department, was first held three years ago. Every first Sunday of the year, prayer warriors representing every church across the conference, come together for 18 hours to pray for the new year and give thanks to God for His blessings through the previous one.

Violet Cox, AWC Prayer Ministries coordinator, shares how the idea was born:

Editorial by Dave Weigley

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living through a global pandemic for more than a year. Our hearts ache for the many lives lost and families impacted. Sadly, our world continues to witness the scourge of wars, terrorism, racial strife, economic stress and extreme weather.

Zenaide Cavalcante & Vania Baioni

Story by Adventist HealthCare staff

Vania Baioni, a registered nurse with the Forensic Medical Unit (FMU) at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, is helping nurses in Brazil launch a much-needed medical specialty. “I am passionate about forensic nursing and I am Brazilian, so it makes sense that I get involved with the group of Brazilian nurses that are working hard to have this specialty recognized there,” said Vania.

Rob Vandeman Passes Away

Our Columbia Union Conference family is heartbroken to share that our beloved colleague and friend Elder Rob Vandeman passed away this morning at his home in Clarksville, Md., after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, Judy, and their family.

Vandeman, a dedicated pastor and administrator, served the Seventh-day Adventist Church for almost 50 years, the last 11 as Columbia Union executive secretary.  

We will share more information as it becomes available. 

Ohio Conference's Spring Valley Academy students participate in a disc golf league.

Story by Vicki Swetnam

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport of disc golf exploded. Needing an escape from quarantine disc golf provides an opportunity to get fresh air and exercise all while social distancing.

Cold weather often spells the end of disc golf, but Ohio Conference's Spring Valley Academy, located in Centerville, kept the sport alive by hosting a six-week putting league in conjunction with disc golf manufacturer Dynamic Discs. Using a universal set of rules, students were able to see how they stacked up against competitors worldwide. Stats were collected on a UDisc app, and a running global leaderboard was updated each week.

A volunteer places a toy in a car to bring joy to a child.

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

Recognizing wintertime would be difficult for many in their community, Allegheny East Conference's Glenridge church in District Heights, Md., conducted its first ever drive-thru community giveaway. Spearheaded by Pastor Wayne Hosten, more than 40 members and volunteers from various churches ministered to more than 400 families.

After a week of sorting and packaging by a faithful crew, cars starting lining up at 7:30 a.m., two hours prior to the giveaway.