We, here at the SCC office, are also a little church family. We get together at least four days a week, and we worship together, do ministry together, laugh together, weep together, and we are sad when people leave. Within the last two months, a few people have been transitioning in life, and we had to say goodbye to dear colleagues and friends who served our SCC family for some years.
Our dear treasurer, Orville Ortiz, left at the end of June, and he is transitioning into another organization. Danielle de Asis, our outstanding HR generalist, got married a couple weeks ago and is moving to the Monterey Bay area. But, wanting to celebrate this milestone with her and Ian (her husband), we held our first virtual bridal shower. It was fun! Our cheerful auditing assistant, Dileanny Jimenez, has moved to Texas to be closer to her family and work there. Our beloved Kathleen Roberts, Greater Los Angeles Region administrative assistant and asset management departmental assistant, is moving to Alabama along with her husband in a couple of weeks.
To each one of them, we thank you profoundly for your wonderful ministry provided for the Southern California Conference family. Their ministry was always appreciated and valued, but overall, their friendship will be a treasure in our hearts forever. We will miss you, friends, and we wish you abundant blessings from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since March, our Adventist educational system has been impacted, as we have indicated in past e-newsletters. However, our exceptional teachers completed the last school year with positive results and outstanding satisfaction, even though the instruction delivery system was abruptly changed due to COVID-19 state and county regulations.
Now, our superintendents of schools report that, during the summer, our teachers had the opportunity to envision, plan and prepare for this upcoming school year in case virtual teaching be implemented again. So, on August 24, most of our Adventist schools started virtual classes for the 2020-2021 school year with exciting expectations. Some elementary schools have received a “waiver” from their county school district, allowing them to have at least partial in-person classes.
Unfortunately, our enrollment conference-wide has decreased due to parents who have been financially impacted during the pandemic. However, some of us are donating, seeking and raising money for scholarships during these times of hardship for some families. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to two groups:
- To parents with school-age children to consider sending your children to an Adventist Christian schools. Please let finances not be the reason for your child not to be taught in a Christian way. Please contact any of our school principals.
- To church members with grown children to contribute with any amount, small or large, so that more students can attend our schools. Adventist Christian education is the best investment we can afford. Please contact any of our school principals; they are praying for donors to help. You, too, pray about it.
On Sabbath afternoon, August 29, Esther and I, for the first time in five months, attended an in-person outdoor worship service at the Chino Valley Chinese church. Even though that afternoon was over 100 degrees, these members were creative by installing misters in the canopy tents so the attendees can have a nice breeze. Kudos to Elder and Mrs. Paul Cho, for the excellent ministry you have done. Nothing and nobody has stopped you from ministering God’s people in the midst of all kinds of challenges in 15 years. To God be the glory.
Last Sabbath, the Camarillo church family hosted us for worship, and it was a pleasant surprise for our son Eric, now a civil engineer, to see his third-grade teacher, Heidy Dietrich (now Pennock), after 22 years. There was a lot to catch up on! We were blessed as we worshipped together with these wonderful people. Everybody distanced, and under the shade of beautiful trees, we listened to Pastor Jason Whitley’s Christ-centered sermon. BTW, he announced next Sabbath would be his “Bachelor Finale” sermon since he is getting married next week. Congratulations Pastor Jason and Roxanna Sarai!
Your virtual fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar