January 15, 2019
Dear Southern California Conference Family:
I wish to each one of you a happy and a blessed New Year 2019! As we read and hear in the news everywhere, there is a sense that negative things are going to happen this year; there is no doubt that we are concerned how this might impact us personally. Obviously, in our attempt to face these circumstances, we make plans and strategies. However, there is basic counsel for us in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” I pray that all of us can have this experience.
During the Christmas season, Esther and I were perked up. My wife’s brother and his family of five came to visit us from Argentina, and we also had our daughter, Melissa, who teaches at South Bend Junior Academy, and our son, Eric, who lives in Brea for those days — we had a full house this year. We were nine total sleeping everywhere at home, on beds, couches, even on the floor. It was really fun; Esther secured that I was busy. (No regrets, it was worth it!)
We attended Christmas programs and candlelight services. This year, the Vallejo Drive Church Candlelight Concert won our hearts with their an outstanding musical program and beautiful decoration as we have never been seen there before. Kudos to their music department and to Pastor James Kyle for such a nice seasonal gift to the Glendale community. We were blessed. Click here to watch the video!
Our first Sabbath of the year was a busy one. In the morning, I had the privilege of encouraging the members of the Spanish American Church to ask God’s presence in their lives and ministry during 2019. Their emphasis this year is on family and health and ways to reach out to the community. Learn more about this church's ministry here.
After a fellowship meal with them, Esther and I headed to the Eagle Rock church to participate in the ordination of Pastor Bronson “Pono” Lopez to the gospel ministry. We praised God for calling you, Pono, to speak and act on His behalf. Many have been blessed, and many more will be. Congratulations, Elder Lopez!
On a personal note, early morning on Monday, I had an arthroscopic surgery of my right knee (meniscus tear) as a result of an accident I had last October. After two days at home in recovery, I could retake/resume my responsibilities but at a slower pace. I praise God for His double healing dose for me. I really mean it. I’m recovering faster than usual. PTL!
Last but not least, I want to recognize the visionary leadership and outstanding ministry of Dr. Randal R. Wisby as President of La Sierra University since 2007, who last week announced his resignation as LSU President due to health issues effective on June 30, 2019. Click here to read more details.
The SCC has been as one of the closest recipients of the ministry of La Sierra University. We have pastors, educators and other personnel who have received their education and preparation for ministry there, and for that we are grateful. We are partners in the mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Last Sabbath, even though I was recovering from my surgery, I decided to join the West Hollywood Spanish church for communion service. We were blessed to worship with these wonderful members. During lunchtime, I met Justo Lopez, a church elder whose passion is soul winning. Pastor Franklin Grant informed me that this brother gives Bible studies every day and brings many people to church. Last year, 25 new people joined the church by baptism, and he was very instrumental along with other members. (PICTURE)
SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS:
- Adventist Education Summit: the SCC Pastors and Teachers will convene on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at the Glendale Adventist Academy to address how to enhance these both ministries in our conference.
- 65th SCC Constituency Session: will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at the White Memorial SDA Church from 7:55 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference