June 2019

June 3, 2019
Ministry happens in many different contexts. In our conference, it happens primarily in churches, schools and hospitals. The last two Mondays of May, we learned what ministry looks like for two Adventist Health ministries. During our morning worship time here at the SCC office, two teams from the Adventist Health Glendale hospital, the Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Play to Learn Center, led by Myriam Watson who oversees these programs, described the diligent work they do to save lives and assist children with special needs, respectively.

As Watson pointed out, “Adventist Health Glendale is the first medical center in California to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center accreditation from DNV-GL Healthcare USA, Inc. By earning this prestigious accreditation, Adventist Health Glendale has demonstrated that it exceeds patient safety standards set forth by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Brain Attack Coalition, and the American Stroke Association.”

To learn more about the Play to Learn Center program, click here.

Thank you, Warren Tetz, for inviting these two teams who described the healing ministry of Jesus Christ in our community.

On Sabbath, May 25, I had the privilege of preaching at Light Above church in eastern Pasadena. We had an uplifting experience with a worship service full of music and camaraderie. This mostly Filipino congregation has been led by Elder Rodrigo Alabat and his family for more than 10 years. Thank you for such a committed ministry.

After a wonderful fellowship meal with the entire congregation, Esther and I headed to the Los Angeles Portuguese SDA Church to participate in Pastor Denilson Reis’ ordination to the gospel ministry. Since Pastor Reis also leads Highland Park Spanish church, the service was conducted in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Although last week was a short one here at the office, it was intense with standing committees. Among those was the Board of Education, which met to receive reports (accreditation, finances, etc.) and to approve the new educational personnel for the 2019-2020 school year.

Then, after lunch, I left to attend La Sierra University Board of Trustees quarterly meetings in Riverside. That evening, the board elected Joy Fehr, Ph.D. as new LSU president, following the presidential search process established by Board policy. This election was the highlight of these meetings. Congratulations to Dr. Fehr as she takes the leadership of this thriving university effective July 1, 2019. For more about this story, click here.

Last Sabbath, Esther and I joined at the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Palmdale church. Four of the 15 pastors who have led that church were present, along with Elder Greg Hoenes, West Region Director, who each presented part of the history of the church. Since the church also has services in Spanish, the entire program was bilingual. Kudos to Pastor Jose Gutierrez and his church leaders for putting together this wonderful church anniversary celebration.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Submission of proposals for Bylaws amendments: No later than June 16, 2019, SCC churches and delegates can submit written proposals for Bylaws changes to the SCC Secretary's office to be passed to the Bylaws Committee Chair, George Sellers.
  • 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
President
Southern California Conference


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.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • 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
President
Southern California Conference