October 2, 2018
Recently, we have witnessed excessive polarization in our society and in different areas of life: politics, finances, security, education and, unfortunately, in religion. I intentionally use the word excessive, because since human beings have been in existence, we have always faced differences of opinions, perspectives and preferences. But in these times in which we live, it seems to have spun out of control.
This tension is primarily caused by differences in ideological perspectives. Instead of engaging in decent and civil dialogue, we are attacking and offending each other when the other party doesn’t agree with our position on the subject.
It seems that we are bombarded with information that stimulates our spirits in a negative way, to the point of being intolerant toward others. As I examine myself, the description of the fruits of the Spirit listed by the apostle Paul comes to my mind: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
On Tuesday, September 18, our SCC Prayer Ministry Team organized a Pastor’s Prayer Day for all our pastoral team at the Van Nuys Church. We had an attendance of about 50 pastors, who were spiritually challenged by Pastor Iki Taimi to trust in the Lord in the midst of our personal and ministerial difficulties. Thank you, Janet Lui and your team, for the wonderful spiritual gift you prepared for us. It was a day of reflection, prayer, fellowship and partaking of a meal.
My prayer request is in regards to the Newbury Park Project. As I reported earlier this year, the North Campus of our property in Newbury Park is back on the market. For the last six months, we have been in conversation with four different potential buyers, and with officials of the City of Thousand Oaks, exploring what is the best use of our property there. We are asking the Lord for divine wisdom so we can know clearly His will and follow His direction and not our own. Please, please join us in prayer.
After lunch at the Hollywood church, the SCC officers rushed to Chino Valley Chinese SDA Church to participate at the dedication and grand opening of their sanctuary/multipurpose building. This church has made history in SCC. In 13 years, it was planted, organized as a church, a brand new building built and dedicated — without taking out a loan. To God be the glory, and congratulations to the church members, who, under the leadership of Dr. Paul Cho and Dr. Mei Mei Cho, made this possible.
The amazing stories of these churches will appear soon in the Pacific Union Recorder!
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference