A year ago, our Conference held its 65th Constituency Session. The delegates voted an evaluation of the region structure and reconvene the delegates to receive a report in September of 2021. This administrative system has been in operation in our conference since the summer of 1996. Its purpose is to provide closer support to the local churches and pastors to enhance their mission while giving them more space for initiative, ownership and accountability in their evangelistic approaches and utilization of resources, human and financial.
Since early this year, an ad-hoc committee has been organized and is doing its work studying the original guidelines, reviewing the practices implemented, preparing a survey, taking the survey, analyzing the survey and now preparing to collect information through focus groups. After this evaluation process, a report and recommendations will be submitted back at a Constituency Session next year on September 19, 2021.
In a month, on October 23-26, there will be 10 opportunities for about 150 delegates randomly selected to verbally express their perspective on the Region Structure coordinated by a specialist in focus groups. If you were a delegate a year ago, and you are now chosen to participate, I invite you to accept such an invitation; it will be valuable for this assessment.
Our dynamic and spirit-led Literature Ministries directors, Marco and Lisa Topete, will be parents of a beautiful baby boy next month. Thanks to the pandemic, all the SCC office staff was invited to participate in the virtual Topete’s baby shower a few days ago. In less than 90 minutes, we all knew more about the lives of this amazing couple who are passionate about sharing the gospel on the streets with other young people, through either the Youth Rush and Cross-Training programs. Congratulations, and many blessings, Marco and Lisa!
Last Friday, September 18, I participated in the celebration of the 115th anniversary of Adventist Health Glendale. At this event, I highlighted the joined ministry done between the Southern California Conference as founder back in 1905 and this hospital for more than 11 decades. In a brief, simple, but meaningful service, prayers were offered to thank God for His blessings upon the healing ministry of this institution over a century in Glendale and its surrounding communities.
Within the last two weeks, Esther and I have enjoyed the worship services of the Spanish American and Panamericana Spanish churches. During this pandemic, both churches have been impacting the East Los Angeles community as never before with beneficial services providing to the community, from groceries and other provisions to spiritual and emotional orientation.
I want to conclude this message highlighting the extensive and noteworthy ministry of two dear colleagues here at the conference office. I’m speaking about the deserved elders Geofry Park and Bob Wong. These two distinguished leaders have served the church, and together they sum more than 100 years of faithful ministry. Both began their ministry in this conference; both went to serve shortly to other conferences. After serving for a few years there, both returned to work again at the Southern California Conference. Both are now retiring this fall, and we are expressing our perennial gratitude for their faithful ministry. We wish them abundant blessings as they enter into this deserved stage of their lives after serving God’s people.
Your virtual fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar