It’s been more than 16 years since this conference family gathered for a day of worship and fellowship,” said Velino A. Salazar, SCC president. “It’s time for Southern California Conference to renew our sense of church family!”
This month, the SCC family is coming together again for a convocation. The event will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, which seats 5,900 people. “The event is first-come, first-served,” explains John H. Cress, executive secretary. “We can’t accommodate everyone, but we would love to have you, so please plan to attend.”
Themed “Alive: A Journey to Health & Hope,” convocation speakers will highlight the intersection of health and hope, and how attendees can have an abundant life. The morning’s worship speaker will be Leslie Pollard, president of Oakwood University. Karl Haffner, senior pastor of the Kettering Adventist Church and mission strategist for Kettering Health Network, will speak in the afternoon. Lifestyle presentations by Nerida McKibben, host/co-producer of Go Healthy for Good on Hope Channel; H. Schubert Palmer, M.D., cardiology section chief, White Memorial Medical Center; and Neil Nedley, M.D., president and professor of Health Sciences, Weimar Institute, will give tips on diet, offer hope for beating depression, and much more.
Two mass choirs, made up of members from throughout the Southern California Conference, will sing at the convocation. Ricky Ferrando, Hollywood Spanish church children’s choir director, will direct a 60-voice children’s choir. Fred Settle, Valley Crossroads church choir director, is leading an international mass choir with more than 150 voices. “Our members are from many different SCC churches, backgrounds and experiences coming together with one common goal: to unite our talents to praise the Lord in song,” Settle said. “Attendees can expect to hear a variety of styles of music designed to reach anyone and everyone and prayerfully draw them closer to Christ.”
Special programs during the morning and afternoon will also be provided for kids ages 5-13, themed, “A Day With Jesus and My Friends.” Alison Dorsey, University church, is spearheading the plans for this portion of the program.
After sunset, a program especially by and for young adults will “celebrate and recognize young adults — college students, professionals and their journey,” says Pastor Iki Taimi, Gardena Genesis Community church. “All of us in every facet of our lives need to celebrate our faith; to recognize there is challenge to that as well as power behind it. When we do that, it gives profound permission to young people to be exploratory and creative and go for the dreams that the Dream-giver has given them.”
Adventist Health, along with its Southern California Region hospitals and ambulatory network, and Loma Linda University Medical Center have partnered with SCC for the convocation, sponsoring the program and giveaways. “We are really pleased the hospitals are partnering with us,” said Betty Cooney, SCC communication director and chair of the Health Response Steering Committee. “They have been very supportive of our conference health and other activities on a regular basis, and we greatly appreciate working with them.”
The Greek Theatre is an outdoor venue, and attendees should bring sunscreen and plenty of water, dress comfortably, and wear a hat that won’t block others’ view! Don’t forget to pack a lunch; the neighboring Griffith Park is a great place for a picnic.