April 16, 2019
April 1 was a full day of blessings (not an April Fool’s Day joke) to start our Semi-Annual Week of Prayer for our SCC Office personnel. Our Compton Community SDA Church pastor, Gamal Alexander, presented Christ-centered, straightforward, profound and practical messages encouraging us to trust in Jesus truly. He used modern parables such as “The Bleach,” not the TV or the comic series, but the chemical product, describing in detail the powerful and permanent effects this whitening detergent has. Likewise, our faith in Jesus has powerful, thorough and lasting results in our own lives when allowing Him to influence us.
His messages are part of two books he is working with a publisher to release this summer. I encourage you to check these books out; I’m sure you will be blessed by reading it as we were two weeks ago. Thank you, Pastor Gamal, for your inspirational messages reminding us to trust more in Jesus.
On Sabbath, April 6, our SCC Treasurer Orville Ortiz and his wife Rachel, our Asian Pacific Region Director Elder Sam Lee and his wife Soon Ja, and our Communication team, Lauren Lacson and Araya Moss, along with Esther and I, had the opportunity to attend the 50th Anniversary of Rosemead Korean SDA Church. It was a delightful celebration listening to the beautiful music and the inspirational church members’ stories told in the context of the big church’s story. Based on the theme for that day, my sermon aimed to kindle their missionary vision to reach out primarily to the Korean-speaking community in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, including Tijuana, Mexico, where many people of Korean descent live. (The full story is coming up in the June Recorder.)
Last week, I was involved in the Adventist Health (AH) Spring Meetings in Northern California. I was thrilled to receive reports of what the “right arm” of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is doing in communities where underserved people struggle to supply their basic needs, not counting health care, which definitively they lack. Click here to see how AH is making a difference in thousands of lives through the compassionate ministry of healing.
As Corporate Board, we toured the Brand-New AH Headquarters Building. Today about 1,100 employees have started moving in from the six buildings spread out in the Roseville area. This building was built with a two-fold purpose in mind: first, to have all the executive leadership, administrative management and support staff in one single place, increasing the sense of unity; second, to stop paying leases of five of the six buildings AH is using for more than 10 years, reducing the operational costs . It is calculated that the investment in this new building will offset the leasing cost in the next 12 years. Click here to learn more about the AH Roseville Campus.
On Wednesday afternoon, I drove to the Lake Tahoe area (Olympic Valley, CA) to attend the annual AH Mission Integration Summit. This two-day event was for employees, physicians, board members, management and executives of all the 20 hospitals in the AH West System. This was the most inspiring AH event I have ever attended; it was very open about the Vision, Values and Mission within our Adventist heritage. Many of the attendees are not Seventh-day Adventists, and for them, there were enlightening moments about our church and our faith. These two days were intense but worth it. Click here to see the schedule.
Last Sabbath, Esther and I had a high day attending the Newbury Adventist Academy (NPAA) 70th Anniversary. It was an outstanding occasion as more than 200 former faculty and alumni came to celebrate this long journey of Adventist Christian education. Many memories were shared by the alumni, and many expressions of gratitude were offered to former faculty. On behalf of the SCC, our Treasurer, Orville Ortiz, presented a gift for $5,000 for capital improvement. Look for the full story in an upcoming issue of the Recorder.
After a fellowship meal with the NPAA faculty, students and alumni, I headed to the conclusion of our SCC Prayer and Spiritual Renewal Weekend in Glendale. The speaker was Elder Debleaire Snell, senior pastor at First SDA Church in Huntsville, AL. More than 500 people participated and were blessed this weekend. Thank you to Janet Lui and her team for such a marvelous ministry interceding for our thriving conference.
- Adventist WestPoint: April 21-24, 2019 in Reno, NV. Click here for details!
- SCC Session Delegates List Submitted to SCC: No later than May 19, 2019, all SCC churches and companies need to submit the list of their delegates to the SCC Executive secretary as indicated in a previous communication to pastors, first elders and church clerks.
- 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