April 3, 2018
What a wonderful Sabbath Esther and I had on March 17. We began our day at Philadelphian church, by attending the inspiring worship service which concluded a two-week evangelistic meetings presented by Dr. Carlton Byrd, Breath of Life Ministries. Wow! This was an uplifting experience with joyful music, a reassuring message of salvation in Jesus Christ and an inspirational baptismal ceremony of 33 people joining the “Church of Brotherly and Sisterly Love: Where Love Hopes, Heals, and Helps,” as the members of this church identify and guests and visitors verify. Kudos to Pastor David Zaid and his pastoral team for the awesome spiritual impact made in the city of Long Beach.
Then we headed to Pasadena to the organization of the Light Above Seventh-day Adventist group attaining the status of Company where 85 committed church members took higher responsibilities in this mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the context of the Three Angels Messages. Back in 2002, a handful group of mission-oriented Seventh-day Adventist church members decided to plant a church for the Visayan speaking people of Philippines.
The week of March 19-22, I attended the Pacific Union Conference Spring meetings. At these meetings, conference leaders of this Union (conference and college/university presidents) get together to address matters pertinent to the mission of the Church in this Union territory. Among the items to address are initiatives presented, reports received, leaders appointed for vacant positions in Union leadership or ministries posts, funds distributed for evangelism and capital improvement, etc. (more details in the next issue of the Pacific Union Recorder magazine). Overall, the mission of the Church across the conferences in this Union is carried in unity using distinctive methodologies and different approaches for diverse communities.
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit the Pomona Valley Spanish church, and we had an enjoyable experience in worship and Christian fellowship, and we all were blessed. I started my message acknowledging what was happening across our nation that very morning, especially in Washington D.C.: hundreds of thousands of people got together to march as an act of protest for INACTION regarding gun control, basically saying enough is enough to this type of violence. Then my message that day for that congregation was encouraging them to be a church that makes the difference in their community, presenting a Savior who will come to bring peace among the nations, but in the meantime can bring peace to our troubled hearts.
I conclude with the words of Jesus to His disciples: “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” I invite you to share this e-newsletter with those who are part of this large family in Southern California Conference, and invite them to subscribe by clicking here: http://eepurl.com/cPsc1L.
In His grip of grace,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference