From the President

October 16, 2018

Me with my daughter, Melissa, at Annual Council 2018 in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Me with my daughter, Melissa, at Annual Council 2018 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

This newsletter is written from Battle Creek, MI, the “Cereal Capital of the World” and the birthplace of our beloved Seventh-day Adventist church. I am attending the General Conference Annual Council (click here) and it is thrilling to be in the place where so much history of our denomination happened. Delegates and attendees were invited to wear 19th century style attire. It was instructive and inspirational, regardless of the current political climate in our church.

“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Life Sketches, p. 196). This famous statement from Ellen G. White declared in 1902 has resonated in my mind this past weekend, and I’m convinced it is still relevant today, in spite of the upheavals and difficulties this church has faced and is still facing.

Dear fellow travelers to Heaven, I invite you to reflect on this statement in light of your personal, family, local church, conference, and denominational, experience. I have the personal conviction that God is still with us in spite of us. Praise to the Lord!

On Sabbath, October 6, Esther and I joined the 8th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Thai SDA Church. We enjoyed the Thai music style, along with costumes and delicious food, but overall we were blessed by their welcoming spirit and the wonderful fellowship time we had together. We felt at home. Yes, we removed our shoes as we entered the chapel for worship following their practice in reverence to God.

Photo by Kary Camacho.
Photo by Kary Camacho.

That afternoon, I attended the Hispanic Region TMI (Total Member Involvement) Training event at the Spanish American church, where more than 300 church members were inspired by Pastor Alejandro Bullón to revitalize the region's existing 300-plus small groups in preparation the April 2019 NAD net series. I was so moved by seeing the commitment made by these members that I decided to personally become involved in this evangelistic endeavor as well, leading a small group. Kudos to Elder Luis Peña and his team for this great initiative.

SECC officers re-elected at 2018 constituency, left to right: Elizer Sacay, Vice President for Asian/Pacific Ministries; Verlon Strauss, Treasurer; Sandra Roberts, President; Jonathan Park, Executive Secretary  Robert Edwards, Vice President for Black Ministries; and Yohalmo Saravia, Vice President for Hispanic Ministries.
SECC officers re-elected at 2018 constituency, left to right: Elizer Sacay, Vice President for Asian/Pacific Ministries; Verlon Strauss, Treasurer; Sandra Roberts, President; Jonathan Park, Executive Secretary Robert Edwards, Vice President for Black Ministries; and Yohalmo Saravia, Vice President for Hispanic Ministries.

On Sunday, October 7, I attended the Southeastern California Conference Constituency Session. I was pleased to add my support of our dear friends and great neighbor conference leaders Elders Sandra Roberts, Jonathan Park and Verlon Strauss, who were re-elected for another five-year term. Congratulations and blessings to these Christian leaders. Knowing the complexity of organizing a constituency session, I was impressed by the masterful way the Secretariat Office prepared the delegates to participate well-informed in this session. (Click here for their session website.)

On Wednesday, October 10, our Quarterly Conference Leadership Meeting took place to address two important items: 1) our upcoming Constituency Session next year on September 22, 2019, and 2) the recent decisions made by the General Conference Administrative Committee. Before going to Battle Creek, I especially wanted to update our conference region/department directors and associates regarding the second item and invite them to read the official documents produced and published by the General Conference. Later, I will report more about this topic. In the meantime, for easy access, you can find them on the President page of our SCC website by clicking here.

Let us take encouragement by knowing that this church belongs to Christ who gave His life for her, and He will take care of her. Let’s remain faithful to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Your fellow traveler,



Velino A. Salazar
President
Southern California Conference

 

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