June 18, 2019
In Revelation 14:13, we read this promise: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on … that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” Believing this beatitude, on Wednesday evening, June 5, the Hemet Spanish SDA Church honored the ministry of Elder Ricardo Marcelo Lopez in a memorial service. I attended to express condolences to his wife, Gloria and his two adult children, Pablo and Esther, and to express our gratitude for his 35 years of ministry in Southern California Conference.
The entire service was dedicated to honoring his ministry among young people. The church Master Guide, Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs participated, dressed in their uniforms. The sanctuary platform was full of camping gear (a tent, flags, lamps, etc.), and the program was an expression of gratitude to God for the ministry of this beloved pastor and his family. His exequies continued the following Sunday at El-Shaddai Spanish Church in Los Angeles. Please keep in our prayers the Lopez family. Click here to watch the services
That first week of this month was an ordinary week: committees (Bylaws, Officers, Administrative, Personnel) and appointments with pastors and conference leaders. However, Thursday afternoon was a high point for our office personnel because we had our annual picnic. Our social committee planned for us to go to Lower Scholl Canyon Park, just two miles from our office. We had a typical summer American picnic food (veggie burgers, potato salad, watermelon and more) and games (volleyball, badminton, cornhole toss, horseshoes, bocce ball, croquet, jenga and more). But overall, we had the opportunity to become more acquainted with each other in an environment outside of our daily work. Great job, social committee! This was the best picnic we ever had!
At noon on Friday, June 7, Esther and I headed to Laguna Niguel to attend the annual retreat of our three Adventist Hospital boards in the Southern California Conference territory: Glendale, White Memorial and Simi Valley. At this time, the gathering included their respective physicians’ leadership making a group of about 100 people. Outside of Sabbath hours, the meetings brought an update to the boards and physicians about the most recent changes in the health care industry, including the government new decisions. It was very instructive and insightful.
I took last week as vacation time to go to South Bend, IN, and help my daughter with her move to Dalton, GA, where she will continue with her teaching ministry in a different setting. On Monday, I loaded the U-Haul truck, and on Tuesday, I drove it all day down to Chattanooga. On Wednesday and Thursday, we were hunting for an apartment for her. What a wonderful way to celebrate Father’s Day/week! I came back tired but happy to have helped her. Let’s pray for our teachers who during the summer are transitioning from one school to another.
Last Sabbath afternoon, I had the privilege of delivering the homily at the 10th consecration service for the 2019 graduates of the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University. For the last 10 years, this service has been an expression of thanksgiving to God by the students and an expression of blessed dispatch of these messengers of the gospel by the faculty. Esther and I enjoyed the service and the fellowship with these graduates and this school faculty.
- Submission of proposed agenda items: No later than June 30, 2019, SCC churches may submit to the SCC Executive Secretary items approved by either majority of the members in a business meeting, the church board or their delegates, to be passed to the SCC Executive Committee, to establish the agenda for the upcoming Constituency Session.
- 65th SCC Constituency Session: This important meeting will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at the White Memorial SDA Church from 7:55 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference