March 19, 2019
Ellen G. White wrote: “In the work of soul saving, the Lord calls together laborers who have different plans and ideas and various methods of labor. But with this diversity of minds, there is to be revealed a unity of purpose” (R&H February 6, 1908). This was exactly the goal of our Annual Pastors Retreat this year on March 3-5. The theme was One Table: “that they all will be one.” Click on these links to see a couple of the several videos we produced to reaffirm our unity as servants of God regardless of our race, age, gender or ethnicity: Unity / Who Am I.
The pastoral team in SCC is so diverse, so different and so distinct, which is a great blessing that helps us carry on the mission of Jesus Christ in our territory, and we praise God for the spectrum of gifts He has sent to SCC. At the same time, we have witnessed that this variety of talents has not been utilized in a united way with other churches and ministers for greater impact in the communities of the churches we serve. We left determined to work in much more collaboration.
Many thanks to our Prayer, Spirituality & Renewal team for the serious and outstanding mission they have taken for our pastors fostering a life of prayer. They have clearly understood that if the ministers are closer to the Lord, they will guide our congregations to have the same experience. Thank you to Janet Lui and her team for ministering us as pastors.
On March 8, Esther and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary and decided to spend it together as we did our daily work out of the home. We recounted the blessed life we have had amid ups and downs we have had as a couple, and how the Lord has helped us to take us through. Esther, you have been a great blessing in my life and I thank God for you. I love you.
The next day, we visited the Sunland-Tujunga SDA Church, and we were blessed by worship and fellowship with church members there. What a pleasant surprise we had that morning when we met there the organist who played at our wedding 32 years ago, and after worship, he played for us once again the traditional wedding march. Thanks, Fernando Westre, Jr., for such a nice treat of remembrance. (I kissed the bride once again.)
Within the last two weeks, we had standing boards and committee meetings in the office, but the highlight was the announcement that our session website is ready for our church members to visit (click here to view!). This website will be updated as new information becomes available as a result of local churches and session working committees (Bylaws, Pre-Session, Nominating, etc). I thank our Communication team for the great work they do. The Session Steering and Management committees are in charge of the preparation for our upcoming 65th Constituency Session. This group of 32 is comprised of all the conference officers, region/department directors, associate, and assistant directors.
Last Sabbath, at the Calimesa SDA Church, I attended the memorial service for Elder Samuel D. Schmidt, who served at our Vallejo Drive church as Associate Pastor from 1986-1991 when he retired. He started his denominational service in 1950 and served in three divisions (South America, Inter America and North America). He was an untiring and faithful man of God. We praised God for his ministry and thanked his wife for her support. Let’s keep the Schmidt family in our prayers.
- 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