Momentum – Revelation Today

by Sergio Manente, Pastor of the Richland Seventh-day Adventist Church

We had 11 baptisms. God has been blessing us with new visitors every weekend. Our church leaders are mission-focused and enthusiastic to nurture each current member and serve our community. Growing each member as mission-minded disciples and investing personal energy, time and resources to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His message to the un-churched in our community has ever been our focus.

We are ever brainstorming ways in the work of establishing connections in our community and helping the un-churched in Richland experience Christ. In 2016, we developed a new series on the book of Daniel. In 2017, we followed up with a fresh new look at the book of Revelation called REVELATION TODAY. In 2018, this 3 month Sabbath series (16 sermons) covered our major prophetic and doctrinal beliefs as well as practical lessons that looked at the book of Revelation in an everyday practical approach to make it relevant to us today.

The series had a great energizing effect in our congregation. We baptized eight at the end of the series and three more just a few weeks later. We are studying with more contacts and hope to have an even richer harvest.

I am thrilled with how many members are actively involved with the community and how many new connections are being made every day. Our attendance is up and we are continually seeing a stream of new seekers coming through our doors. I am committed to spending the next few years growing the amazing leaders we are blessed with here in Richland and collaborating with them in this endeavor and figuring out new ways to bridge the gap between members and our community.

Until the Nets Are Full!

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Changed Lives – “A” Interest

by Mike Armayor, Pastor of the La Grande Seventh-day Adventist Church

Our story begins with opening night of the Prophecy Seminar held in La Grande. One of the guests in attendance was a retired business owner by the name of Linda. Linda became an “A” interest as she took in every word of each presentation and filled in every blank in the lesson with the Bible answer. Over time she shared with us that in the previous seven years she and her husband had been regularly watching 3-ABN and had thought about responding to the advertising mailers and attending one of the seminars offered a couple times each of those same years. She wondered if the messages she was enjoying on TV were the same as those presented in the seminars at the local Seventh-day Adventist church. Linda explained that she thought about attending, but for whatever reason she just didn’t until this seminar. In my recollection as a pastor, I’ve never had someone with perfect attendance, but Linda did not miss one series presentation of the thirty one.

Shortly following the seminar, Linda made her decision for Jesus in joining the La Grande Seventh-day Adventist Church by Profession of Faith. She has continued to attend church with her husband for which we praise the Lord. Linda now serves as one of our Evangelism Team members who has faithfully supported subsequent evangelistic seminar series. Linda told us that as a Christian in her teens she began searching for the right church and now after forty years she says God has led her home.

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Resources – The Mysterious Note

The Mysterious Note is about a family from Chicago who is caught up in a self-serving lifestyle. This film, produced by the NAD Stewardship Department and One Mustard Seed, seeks to teach parents and children what it means to be a good steward. The film will be available for churches to use Oct. 22-Feb. 22, 2019, as part of an evangelistic and/or fundraising campaign. READ MORE

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Advent Movements – Lang

Rob Lang has accepted the invitation of the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee to become NPUC director of youth ministry. He comes to this position from a similar role at the Georgia-Cumberland Conference based in Calhoun, Ga. Lang’s wife, Velvet, will become a part-time assistant director, carrying forward long experience with assisting her husband in youth ministry. Both plan to assume their duties with the NPUC as soon as they can effectively wrap up existing responsibilities with their current roles in Georgia. Read More

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END IT NOW: Healthy Boundaries for Spiritual Leaders and Teachers

by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

Leaders in Christian circles do not typically talk about the topic of power among leaders and much less about the abuse of power. Someone once said, that the way a person manages power is the true test of their character and leadership.  Unfortunately, we are reluctant to talk about power and the abuse of power until the news breaks out with a new scandal about the fall of another spiritual leader.   Thankfully, this silence is being shattered as we have witnessed the rising of movements like #MeToo coming through the walls of our churches and schools, which have empowered the voices of those deeply hurt by people in secular and denominational leadership. The movement #ChurchToo has formed a platform facilitating an audience for people that had been hurt by their spiritual leaders.

Our North American Division launched the EnditnowNAD campaign to encourage our churches and communities to be intentional about breaking the cycle of abuse because they recognize that abuse deeply affects children, women and men not only outside but within our church and school communities. I thought it would benefit our NPUC team if I shared some bullet points of the seminar I was invited to present this week (for the Spanish track) at the annual NAD EndItNowSummit on coaching pastors and teachers on how to create and maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries.

One of this year’s scandals illustrated perfectly how the failure to set intentional healthy personal-professional boundaries can result in situations that create ideal circumstances for the abuse of power through inappropriate sexual conduct. Andy Savage, a respected teaching pastor from the High Point, mega church in Tennessee was accused of sexually abusing a 17-yearold girl more than twenty years ago, while he was a youth pastor. This claim prompted Andy to resign from his responsibilities saying “He had committed sexual sin and had sinned against God”.  In one of the most unexpected scandals of the year, Bill Hybels, lead pastor of the world-famous Willow Creek Church in Chicago, announced to his congregation that he would accelerate his planned retirement by six months and step aside immediately for the good of the church.  Though he continued to deny the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, he did publically acknowledge, “I too often placed myself in situations that would have been far wiser to avoid.” It is evident that as spiritual leaders, we must take the time to reexamine our personal and professional boundaries in the context of the innate power our ministry positions incorporate. I trust that the following 10 suggestions I will share, will help you navigate through the issue of abuse of power and with God’s aid, will help you to be more intentional about preventing and avoiding the falling into sexual misconduct that leaves behind a tragic trail of personal, familial and community destruction.

Boundary # 1 Be aware that your position carries power
In his writings about pastors and boundaries, Peter Scazzero reminds us that there is authority imbedded into your role as a leader. Spiritual leaders must think about and intentionally process power, especially because they possess great positional power, personal power, “God factor power”, projected power, relational power, and cultural power.  These powers exert a tremendous amount of influence on the thinking process and behavior of others.1   Unfortunately, most people, inside our circles of influence, relate to our authority with courtesy and kindness and seldom are confrontational.  Our society and denominational culture have taught our female members to accept male leadership authority without questioning whether this leadership is healthy or unhealthy.

Boundary #2 Your authority and power will be tempted
Just as Jesus’ authority and Continue reading

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Why Not Try This? – Church Announcements From New Platforms

Take your regular rolling announcements from the sanctuary screen each Sabbath and share them with a wider audience through your favorite social media platforms! Read More

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From Beyond the Pulpit – Creation Sabbath is October 27th—Why Does That Matter?

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

Many of you have received an NPUC gift in the last week or so:  a DVD set of lectures by, uh, me!  “In the Beginning” is a series of programs we recorded at this cool, old 1920s-era Elsinore Theater in downtown Salem, Oregon.

Gallup Polls taken in recent years show that Americans are slipping in their knowledge of creationism.  That is, fewer people know what the Biblical account is and, more importantly, what it means.  And with the call to worship the Creator being central to Revelation 14’s First Angel’s Message, it’s time we use that “loud voice.”

Some people who lean towards theistic evolution (that God created lifeforms via evolution and millions of years) do so because they haven’t seen the objective science that supports design and refutes evolution.  For instance, when has PBS or National Geographic quoted Dr. Denis Noble, of Oxford University, as stating that “all of the assumptions of Neo-Darwinism (mutations or copying-errors drive evolution) have been disproved.”  Noble was hoping some of his colleagues could discover a better explanation than the currently accepted one of how evolution must work.  This is because all that could be tested of Neo-Darwinism was not being supported in the laboratory.

The truth is that we are not mutants!  We are not animated pond scum, like John Lennon sang, “oozing up slowly.”  But if our young people only hear this pseudo-science theory over and over again, how can suicide rates among them ever get lower?  If we are all biological accidents what is the point to life?

I once gave a lecture to secular folks on this and got a written comment by one.  They said, “Doesn’t it give you a wonderful feeling to know that your DNA would live on?”  In other words, the evolutionist’s idea of eternal life (or at least a LONG life) is when we make kids and they make kids and our DNA lives on!  Does that message give you a warm hope?  Not me, thanks!  I’d like my DNA to live on by carrying it personally in me, thanks—

So, what message of hope would you like to share with your congregation on October 27th, the official “Creation Sabbath” so designated by the General Conference?  It could be a fulfillment of Revelation 14.  How about this:  that God knew us while we were in our mothers’ wombs…and loved us even then?

https://creationsabbath.net/

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Changed Lives – Sleep Induced by God?

by Matthew Vixie, Pastor of the Clarkston Seventh-day Adventist Church

His name was Ray, he had lost his wife recently. He told me he was hoping she would hang on a little while longer for “the rapture.” Jack had invited him to come to the meetings. He accepted the invitation but didn’t return until one night when our topic was the 2nd coming. I said a prayer and preached the topic, certain that Ray would be offended by the information and never return. As I preached the sermon I noticed something about Ray, his eyes were shut, his head bowed down, he was either sleeping or in a very long prayer! Is God in the business of causing sleep to a kind old man who just lost his wife and isn’t ready for what he is about to hear?

A week or so later Ray showed up again, he apologized for being sleepy the last time he came. That night our topic was the Millennium. I said another prayer and proceeded with the information from God’s word, we went over the same information and Ray wasn’t sleeping this time. After the meeting he asked me a question that went something like this. “Pastor where is my wife tonight?” Certain questions have answers that change the way some individual lives. I went over some of the same verses from scripture concerning what happens at death. Ray responded, “I want to know where you personally think my wife is tonight.” I told him I believe the Bible when it says the dead are going to rise first. Ray told me something then that struck me as profound. “All my life I believed the dead go to heaven when they die, that Jesus comes back in the rapture. Now I don’t know what I believe.”

For me that was a high point during these meetings. Why? I saw firsthand the word of God move someone from a belief whose foundations are outside of scripture to a willingness to study what the Bible really says. Did he get baptized? Not yet. Anymore conversations about the Bible? I plan on having them with him first chance I get. For now, I am rejoicing that the word of God still moves men and women.

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Lifelong Learning – Why Americans Skip Church

In recent years, the percentage of U.S. adults who regularly attend religious services has been declining, while the share of Americans who attend seldom or never has been growing. Many stay away not because of a lack of faith, but for other reasons. Nearly 40 percent of them say they don’t go because they practice their faith in other ways. Find out more from a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Read More

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Resources – Planning Center Online

Planning Center Online is an online worship service platform that allows worship leaders, audio visual teams, song leaders, and pastors to coordinate the worship services they lead together. Read more

 

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