Over 500 Hispanic Youth Gather for Spiritual Retreat and to Spread God’s Love -- If you missed one of the largest gathering of bi-lingual Hispanic youth on the campus of Andrews University last weekend, June 2-4, don’t worry—we captured the highlights. The youth congress featured more than 500 youth and young adults converging from the Lake Union territory and beyond to worship God and to bring joy to residents in Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana.
Camp Akita and Au Sable on List of America’s Best Summer Camps | Camp Akita, operated by Illinois Conference, and Camp Au Sable, run by Michigan Conference, were among the 500 camps selected as top summer camps in 2023 based on social media reviews and a comprehensive survey of 15,000 parents.
Newsweek partnered with Plant-A Insights Group to help parents navigate the daunting task of vetting and selecting amongst the 12,000 summer camps across the U.S.
PBE Lake Union Finals This Weekend | This Sabbath, March 18, 33 Lake Union Pathfinder Teams will gather at the Village Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, for the PBE Union finals to test their knowledge on the book of John and its corresponding Bible
John Wesley Taylor V Elected as President of Andrews University | On March 7, 2023, the executive session of the Andrews University Board of Trustees elected John Wesley Taylor V to serve as the seventh president of Andrews University (and 25th president overall since Andrews University first began as Battle Creek College).
Lake Region Director Receives National Recognition | On Sunday, February 26, 2023, the director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Lake Region Conference was recognized for his years of dedicated service at a gala held at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryland. Edward Woods III was honored with a Living Legend Award for Service to Humanity for his decades of advocacy for equitable representation and liberty of conscience.
Singer and Pastor T. Marshall Kelly Passes at 92 | In a career that has spanned over 70 years in the gospel ministry, Kelly has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor, Bible teacher, and singing evangelist. His death in Huntsville, Alabama was announced by his son, Eric.
Original Meat: A Business-Ministry’s Journey | One of the hardest parts of eating healthfully is finding healthy food that tastes good, looks good, and is as good for you as promised. That’s why Julia Roach founded Original Meat, a plant-based food company.
Arnaldo Cruz is Featured Speaker for Hispanic Youth Congress | Cruz is known as an accomplished digital evangelist with a large social media following. He recently held an online evangelistic campaign that had 5.2 million views on YouTube and Facebook and resulted in 6,700 baptisms across Cuba, Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Venezuela.
Nearly 3,000 Adventist youth have gathered in Phoenix, Ariz. for the 20th annual Generation. Youth. Christ. (GYC) convention in Phoenix, Ariz. The annual convention seeks to revive a movement that GYC describes as “young people who yearn to demonstrate Nehemiah’s leadership, Daniel’s integrity, Mary’s humility, Paul’s passion for evangelism, and Christ’s love for God and humanity.”
A Mission Trip. A Family Reunion. Lives Changed for Good. | As churches slowly rebound from the pandemic, Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders felt it was time to do something to stir up spiritual revival not only in their own hearts, but also outside their local area.
Grayling-Based Online Cooking Show to Conclude After Three Seasons | After three seasons, Home Cooking with Chef Miguel Larcher, an online cooking show produced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Michigan, and renowned chef Miguel Larcher, will conclude on Dec.13, 2022, at 6:30 P.M.
Frederick Norman Pottle was born on December 16, 1936, in Detroit, Michigan, to Fred and Christine (White) Pottle. He passed away on September 28, 2022, in St. Joseph, Michigan. Pottle audited in the Lake Union for more than 30 years.
The North American Division Year-end Meetings concluded on Tuesday, Nov. 1 with a recap of suggestions on how to move mission forward in three areas of Divisional focus: Multiply, Mentorship and Media. Here are the discussions and observations from the Lake Union.
For some time, we had prayerfully planned to dedicate this issue to telling stories at the intersection of food, faith and family. But the challenge was narrowing that focus. Our team brainstormed a bunch of ideas, but nothing seemed to be coming together in a timely manner. But at the eleventh hour, God showed up in a marvelous way. He sent members from across the Lake Union who joyfully pooled their talents to making the magazine you’re now reading possible.
The Illinois Conference held their 34th Quadrennial Constituency Session this past Sunday, October 23, 2022, at the Hinsdale Adventist Church where delegates elected John Grys as president, Michael Campos as executive secretary, and Douglas Reeves as treasurer.
If you were around during the seventies and eighties and lived in the Lake Union, you might remember PROJECT: Steps to Christ. It was in the Lake Union in the region of Chicagoland that this ministry, born out of a vision to take the gospel to every home through the mass mailing of Steps to Christ, made its first debut.
Ninety-five students from various Lake Union academies gathered at Camp Au Sable from Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, for leadership training and team-building activities. This was the first time meeting since the Covid lockdowns forced a pause in 2020 and 2021.
On September 15-17, 2022, thousands of Pathfinders gathered at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds in Berrien Springs, Michigan for the Lake Union Pathfinder Camporee. The camporee, postponed in 2021, has been over six years in the making.
As a crisp Friday morning dawned at the Berrien Springs Fairgrounds, hundreds of Pathfinders were already prepared for a day of fun activities, honors, and making new friends at the Lake Union Pathfinder Camporee.
Nearly 2,500 Pathfinders have congregated at the Berrien County Fairgrounds for the Lake Union Pathfinder Camporee. Themed “Fearless”, the camporee has been over seven years in the making, even being postponed once in 2021. Pathfinders from across the Lake Union have eagerly looked forward to the camporee, one of the largest in the North American Division.
2,400 Thousand Pathfinders to attend Lake Union Camporee | Follow along on Thursday, Sept. 15 - Sabbath, Sept. 17 at 7 pm (EDT) on our YouTube and Facebook channels for daily coverage, exclusive interviews, and streamed programs of the Lake Union Fearless Camporee.
Andrews University is among a select group of institutions to receive the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Vocation across the Academy Grant. The grant is intended to help member colleges and universities strengthen the connection between liberal arts and career preparation.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the City of Lansing for the alleged firing of a Lansing Seventh-day Adventist Church member who refused to work on the Sabbath, a violation of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On an idyllic July 4 summer morning, Pastor Lamont Taylor dropped off his son for work at the preschool operated by the Gurnee Seventh-day Adventist Church and made his way to his nearby church office. A few hours later he received a frantic call from his wife, Marina, asking if he knew where their children were. She explained there was a shooting along the parade route in Highland Park, just 20 minutes away, and the gunman was still on the loose.
Donna J. Habenicht, emerita professor of counseling psychology at Andrews University, passed away quietly to her rest on June 22, 2022, after a lifelong dedication to children’s program curriculum and education. She was 87.
Several hundred alumni and guests gathered in Battle Creek, Michigan, June 2-5 to celebrate Battle Creek Academy’s 150th anniversary. The pioneer school of the Seventh-day Adventist church officially opened on June 3, 1872, with Goodloe Harper Bell as the first teacher. Some of the original students of Mr. Bell included John Harvey Kellogg, William Keith Kellogg, John Loughborough, James Edson White, and William White.
On May 22, seven church leaders and one lay person, cyclist enthusiasts, went on a special 1,200-mile ride from Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, Missouri—the site of the 2022 General Conference Session. They mapped out the ride, committing to ride about 100 miles per day.
Lake Union delegates prepare for global church meeting :: The 61st General Conference Session gets underway in St. Louis from June 6-11. The hybrid Session—held in person, as well as online—is open to the public and all are welcome to see the global church in action during the business sessions, listen to inspirational devotional messages and hear reports from across the globe on how the church is spreading the Gospel and impacting people.
Another mass shooting. How should we respond? :: Our country has been shocked again by a mass-casualty shooting event at a school, this time an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. There, 19 elementary school students along with two teachers were slain by a troubled 18-year-old with access to assault rifles.
"Together in Mission: I Will Go" formally adopted as theme for next four years. On Sunday, May 15, delegates to the 23rd Lake Union Quinquennial Session voted by an overwhelming margin to re-elect the current slate of officers to a term to last four years.
After a two-year wait, Pathway to Health, a humanitarian arm of the North American Division, held a free mega-clinic in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium. From April 17-21, 2022, the clinic served over 4,200 people in the metropolitan Indianapolis area.
As the final day of the Pathway to Health Mega Clinic concluded on Wednesday, April 20, the clinic had provided 4,225 services to the public. Patients from as far as Chicago, Illinois, and maybe beyond, came to the clinic for a chance to receive free dental, medical, vision, mental and spiritual care services.
Volunteers from across the North American Division are headed to Indianapolis, Indiana for the start of the Pathway to Health Mega Clinic which officially opens its clinic doors at the Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, April 17. The mega clinic will provide free dental, vision, and medical healthcare to the public.
Dollie Williams was honored for her 66 years of service as community services leader in Chicago. On April 7, she was presented with a lifetime achievement pin by North American Division Adventist Community Services Director, Derrick Lea at the organization's convention in Grapevine, Texas.
ACS serves the whole person, a concept known as holistic ministry whose mission is “Serving Communities in Christ’s Name.” This year marks their 50th anniversary.
Photo Credit: Pieter Damsteegt
For the first couple of weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hope Church member Roman Ryabyy, member of Hope Church, a Russian speaking Adventist church in Chicago, said it was hard to believe what was happening.
“I thought I was sleeping, and that eventually I’d wake up and it wouldn’t be true. That day hasn’t come.”
On Sabbath, March 19, teams from Indiana, Illinois, Lake Region, Michigan and Wisconsin conferences participated in this year's Pathfinder Bible Experience third-round testing on the Bible books of 1 Kings and Ruth.
In 2018 the North American Division asked each of its nine unions to adopt one of the nine islands in the Guam-Micronesia Mission where there was an Adventist church and school. Our Lake Union Conference island is Kosrae, a small island 2,800 miles southwest of Hawaii with about 6,600 residents.
After two years of meeting online due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lake Union resumed its in-person executive committee meeting on March 9, 2022. The meeting was also conducted online, allowing members to choose to attend virtually.
Illinois has one of the largest Ukrainian American population in the U.S., about 200,000 people. As the humanitarian crisis continues to grow, Illinois Conference Pastor Ruslan Drumil tells us what he's hearing from friends and family in the conflict zone, and how he's offering hope to his members here.
Over 300 youth and supporters from across the Lake Union Conference gathered in Shipshewana, Indiana for the 2022 Youth Evangelism Congress. Samuel Girven, Cadillac Church’s assistant Communication secretary and participant, reported the key takeaways from the weekend.
Wisconsin Conference, like so many other organizations, had big plans for evangelism in 2020. As the coronavirus lingered longer than anyone expected, conference leaders set their sights on 2022. It turns out 2021 was a year for the record books.
The Wisconsin and Illinois Conference youth departments welcomed 75 youth for a weekend of not only physical warmth, but the warmth of seeing old friends, making new friends, and learning from Scripture.
Several years ago, as part of his duties at the North American Division, Ken Denslow had the opportunity to visit the island of Bermuda for the first time. He did the usual round of meetings and visits, but the highlight for him was when he got to meet Johnny Barnes.
Hundreds of young people keen to learn about evangelism and interested to search Scripture gathered for the annual Generation.Youth. Christ. (GYC) conference in Houston. Fourteen-year-old Samuel Girven filed these inspiring reports.
Where do we go from here? I cringed when I read the words, “I would say to you gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife,” from a pastor’s sermon a few weeks ago. My stomach dropped, my heart ached, and my head started spinning. What an aberration of God’s love had he just spoken? Having these words come from the pulpit, how many more wives would suffer, and how many husbands might lose their salvation, if they followed this errant advice?
On Nov. 8-10, the Lake Union met for its annual year-end meeting, themed “Together in Mission: I Will Go,” in sync with the strategic focus of the North American Division. This was the second year the meetings were held virtually because of the pandemic.
Marshallese group scattered worldwide joins Indiana church :: The church is not an actual building. This was made clear at the start of Covid when church doors were shut, and a group of Evansville First Church members began online church through Zoom to other Marshallese throughout the world.
Youth ministry has its roots in the Lake Union. You may be familiar with the story of two boys, 14-year-old Luther Warren and 17-year-old Harry Fenner who ambled down a country in Hazelton, Michigan, one hot summer day in 1879.
A Michigan family founded Seminary Promise, a scholarship tuition program, to remove financial roadblocks to Adventist education for children of graduate students currently enrolled in the Andrews University's MDiv and MAYYAM programs.
October 21, 2021 (CHICAGO) – After working closely together for nearly seven years, AdventHealth and Ascension have decided to unwind their AMITA Health partnership, the joint operating company serving the healthcare needs of residents of the greater Chicago area.
As crime escalates and tensions between police and some communities linger, some churches have partnered with law enforcement organizations for National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (October 8-11) to encourage dialogue and collaboration.
We are working closely with our printer to deliver your October issue of the Herald during this global pandemic. They are experiencing a shortage of workers so it will take slightly longer for your copy to reach you, hopefully by next week. Thank you for your patience.
On Sunday, September 19, after almost seven hours of careful and prayerful deliberation, the Lake Region executive committee members elected Garth Gabriel as conference president for the remainder of the 2018-2022 term.
On Sept. 14, 2021, the Lake Union Conference Executive Committee convened virtually to receive the recommended name of Elden Ramirez for executive secretary. Ramirez who was confirmed with very strong support from the committee becomes the first Hispanic executive secretary in the Lake Union.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I find myself pondering how that day in New York City changed so much of the way we live. I had just finished a three-mile jog around Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, my routine before heading into work at NBC News’ Rockefeller Center headquarters. I remember the cool crisp air hitting my lungs, and the bright sun casting a ray of hope on that gorgeous September morn. The mood would quickly change.
BENTON TOWNSHIP — Students returning to Fair Plain Middle School on Monday will get a cool reception. Several area pastors donated and installed almost 20 air conditioners throughout the school Friday.
A young girl sits alone and finds her world crushing down around her with belittlement, bullying, body shaming and the ever-pressing feeling of being alone surrounding her. But suddenly a hand falls on her shoulder and the world around her starts to become a little brighter as she starts to find hope in God with people who care and value her. This describes the scene from a TikTok video of one Indiana Pathfinder club that is making a difference in spreading the gospel.
It was mid 2013 at a church board meeting when a member of the Irons church made the generous offer of donating to the church a prime piece of property right in the middle of town. The offer would set in motion an almost decade-long process of building a much-needed community service center to serve the needs of low-income families in one of the poorest counties in the state of Michigan.
Podcasters explore life and faith :: From the early days of Adventist media ministries, beginning with evangelist H.M.S. Richards founding of the Voice of Prophecy in 1930, Adventists have utilized technology to broadcast the gospel to a mass audience. Read how podcasters in our region are continuing to push the gospel using newer technology.
Our family was all out on the beach a few weeks ago when I got the phone call telling me that I had been elected as president of the Lake Union Conference. Right there in the sand we held a “family council.” The next day I accepted the invitation to serve in this great territory. Pat and I are delighted to be returning to our “home” in the Midwest.
The ancient city of Matera, a designated European cultural capital in Southern Italy, site of many movies, including the Passion of the Christ, was also the site last week of the pre-meeting gatherings of the G-20 foreign ministers as well as the G-20 Interfaith Forum, the latter focused on religious freedom in the age of pandemic.
The North American Division Office of Education believes that teaching young people to be actively involved in witnessing and service activities is central to the educational goals of the school and the mission of the church.
The Lake Union is saddened by the loss of Pastor Justo Morales, who lost his life in a car accident on Monday, June 7. We shared the news of his passing last week and since then, details surrounding the accident have emerged from the police report.
On June 9, 2021, the Lake Union executive committee convened a special virtual session to elect a new president. The committee prayerfully considered several names and ultimately voted to elect Ken Denslow as president. Denslow is assistant to the President of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. He replaces Maurice Valentine who was elected in April to serve as a NAD vice president.
The Adventist History Podcast is a monthly podcast which tells a story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1844 to 2015. This project, launched by Illinois Pastor Matthew Lucio, is akin to a spiritual genealogy, helping Adventists understand why their church is the way it is and to help raise the bar of religious literacy to those non-Adventists who tune in out of curiosity.
The Mid-America Union launched an initiative called, “What’s Your Story?” which features conversations with people of diverse experiences about their life journeys. Their desire through these interviews is to learn, to grow, to understand, and to treat others better. Included in their guest lineup is Lake Region Pastor Victor Wilson of the Minneapolis Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The Lake Union is commemorating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a live broadcast on Sabbath, May 29 at 5 p.m. (EDT). The program will celebrate the influence and contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and examine some of their various challenges, including anti-Asian hate crimes. A new study says that anti-Asian hate crimes have increased in 16 of the nation's largest cities and counties by 164% this past year.
Over the weekend of March 19 and 20, Detroit-area pastors of the Lake Region and Michigan conferences led their congregations in a deep study of how the Bible addresses issues of ethnocentrism and cultural superiority among believers.
“What’s the catch?” “Why are you doing this?” “No one does something like this without wanting something.” The questions came from Bolingbrook residents who stood in disbelief that a church would rent a taco truck to provide free food to their community.
Leaders in ASI Lake Union are preparing for their annual spring meeting this weekend, April 16-17. The event is virtual (and free!), showcasing speakers such as Chef Chew, Dr. Magna Porterfield, Dr. David DeRose, Rico Hill and Dr. Wes Youngberg.
Currently, ASPIRE has two dedicated, full-time teachers and 20 students. Ben
Zork serves as the principal and upper grades teacher, and Julia Robinson
(pictured above) serves as the lower grades teacher. With more than 35 years
of combined teaching experience, Zork and Robinson have successfully
implemented innovative, personable and interactive learning techniques for
Some schools may have a counselor but here’s something unique to any school in the North American Division. In Fall 2020, the Illinois Conference initiated a conference-wide school counselor project, led by Mindy Salyers. Just last week, Versacare Foundation awarded a grant to expand the program union-wide.
Over the weekend of March 19 and 20, Detroit-area pastors of the Lake Region
and Michigan Conferences led their congregations in a study of how the Bible
addresses issues of ethnocentrism and cultural superiority among believers.
The event titled “His Invitation: Reconciliation, Unity, and Latter Rain Power,”
drew hundreds of Adventist participants online and in churches.
Since 2015, the Lake Union has been on a journey to healing and
understanding as it relates to race relations, dialoguing about our past, as well
as our future. Our five-year sojourn has taken us to cities across our territory,
from Berrien Springs to Indianapolis to Milwaukee.
After examining the current situation as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic,
on Monday, Feb. 8, the Lake Union Conference Executive Committee voted to
postpone the Lake Union Constituency meeting until the spring of 2022. It was
initially planned for May 16, 2021.
Seventh-day Adventists are concerned for their children who are not walking
with God. We discuss friends who move, but never transfer their membership. We talk about classmates who just never connected with the Seventh-day Adventist Church after graduating. Seventh-day Adventists care about people.
If a person who is not currently connected to the Seventh-day Adventist
Church lives down the street, you can go visit them and pray with them. The
difficulty comes when a friend or family member lives in a different part of the state or even the country.
The pandemic forced Cuba to close airports and lock down borders to combat
the spread of the virus, which caused tourist travel to plummet--an important
source of hard currency--plunging the nation into one of the worst food
shortages in nearly 25 years.
On December 6, 2020, Titus Naftanaila accepted the call to be president for the
Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, after serving in many
capacities, most recently as pastor for the Green Bay district and coordinator
for both Personal Ministries and the Lay Pastor Training program in Wisconsin.
The Lake Union conference officers are deeply distressed by the events that
transpired yesterday at the Capitol building. We applaud the call of our
government leaders who have stated it is time for us to unite as a nation.
The use of violence should never be condoned by Christians (John 10:10).
When there is disagreement, Jesus admonished us to “be wise as serpents and
harmless as doves” (Matt 10:16).
As we wind down this year, it’s only natural that we take a look back at
the nine cover stories we published. We started the year with our annual
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty issue and ended with an exploration of the ministry of the disabled. In between, of course, was the pandemic, now
reaching 300,000 U.S. deaths and the recent welcome news of vaccines slowly beginning to roll out across our nation.
"We give thanks to God because the pandemic will never restrain the arm of
our Savior Jehovah," said Monte de Sion Senior Pastor, Benjamin Calderon.
"We believe that all contact with people in our community is an opportunity to
raise up Jesus Christ. All that happened and will continue to happen in our
district has been God’s work, not our own. To God be the glory!"
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit the local community hard financially, and that means that some families may not be able to afford the typical Christmas fanfare. However, one Cadillac youth group is trying to help remedy that.
BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich.— Marilyn McEntyre, spiritual writer, speaker and
professor of American literature and the medical humanities, captured the
attention of her virtual audience with the topic “Speaking Peace in a Conflict of
Climate” on Wednesday evening, Oct. 21, 2020.
As clergy sex abuse continues to explode in the headlines, the Lake Union is
pushing forward standards in an initiative called Project Safe Church, with the
goal of guiding our church’s efforts to protect its members.
The North American Division is wrapping up their year-end meetings this week.
Check out the latest reports and top news stories:
2020 NAD Year-End Meeting Video and News Coverage
NAD President Says That Holy Spirit Is a Necessity to do God’s
Executive Committee Members Receive Reports from the General
Conference, Including Information on the 2021 GC Session
"God Provides Everything We Have"
YEM Secretary’s Report Centers on Membership, Missionaries,
Training, and Effects of the Coronavirus
In April of 2019, Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, a Chicago woman, was murdered
while trying to obtain clothes and items for her then-unborn baby. At a
community-wide memorial service, her father, Arnulfo, called for the
community to supply the needs of poor and to help struggling moms-to-be with clothes, supplies, emotional care and other necessities. The Adelante
Community Health Center in Berwyn, Illinois has been able to help do just that.
As COVID-19 caused many churches to temporarily worship virtually, the
Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chicago has launched a new ministry
called, “Servants of Lights, Hope and Healing,” (SLHH).
The first Adventist church centered around the African American community in Milwaukee is gearing up to mark its 100th anniversary with a virtual
celebration subdued but not conquered by the coronavirus.
Richard Sylvester who has pastored the Milwaukee Sharon Church since 2013, says that although the in-person celebration planned for the summer could no longer occur, the Oct. 30-31 weekend commemoration is a unique opportunity to reflect on how far they come by faith.
“It’s so easy to forget and not have a clear sense of purpose,” he says, “but it’s important to celebrate our past and embrace the future.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Illinois Conference President Ron Aguilera shared a message of comfort and hope at AMITA Health Medical Center Hinsdale. The occasion was a special memorial service remembering those who, over the last six months, have lost their lives to COVID. Hinsdale and La Grange CEO, Adam Maycock, also presented a message, and staff members shared stories of joy and tears.
Aguilera told the hospital staff: "In difficult times, times when we feel downcast, discouraged and in despair, God has not forsaken us. He is with us. We must choose to hang on to God. He is our Rock and we can cling to the promise that one day, all things will be set right."
On Sabbath September 12, about 50 people gathered at Camp Wakonda to celebrate the baptism of eight new members into the Milwaukee Madison Hmong congregation.
Among the group baptized by Wisconin Lay Pastor Chanchai Kiatyanyong and Wisconsin Conference President Mike Edge was a former witch doctor, Pa Chia.
Educators in the Lake Union have embarked on an unprecedented challenge: a full year of instruction in the age of COVID. Teachers have welcomed their students back with classrooms rearranged and masks at the ready, while conference. Education superintendents have worked to ensure safety for both staff and students.
We are deeply distressed about what happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In just one week, we witnessed the horrific police shooting of Jacob Blake and violent unrest devolving into mayhem, including the tragic shooting resulting in the death of two men during a protest. hose of us who love this country are pained to see the racial fractures splitting our
nation and the increased tensions in our communities. As Seventh-day Adventists, we long to see inequities addressed and we long to see the Bible teaching “loving your neighbor as yourself" lived out, as the overriding guiding principle in our society.
Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wis. and since then demonstrations have engulfed the city. Wisconsin President Mike Edge in a video statement called for prayer for Jacob Blake and Kenosha residents.
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither it be afraid. John 14:27
(NKJV) In the most violent of storms, Jesus promises to give us peace. My prayer is that today, and in the days to come, you will experience that peace that Jesus so freely offers to each of us."
Like many other events and activities, most summer camps have not been able to escape the effects of the pandemic. As the novel coronavirus ravaged the country earlier this year, many Adventist summer camps held out for as long as they could before making the dreaded decision; that there would be no traditional summer camp this year.
However, instead of forfeiting their summer altogether and losing an opportunity to mentor the youth in their communities, Youth leaders around the Lake Union began planning creative ways to host virtual or mobile camp programs. Summer youth ministry is too important to quit,” says Lake Union Youth Director, Ron Whitehead. So, we adapt. All for His glory.”
Epic Church opened an Urban Center of Influence (UCI) on Monday, July 27 in the Wicker Park Bucktown suburb of Chicago. At the core of the new center, is the Epic Art House, which is an art and cultural center offering art classes, as well as exhibition space for local artists.
Since opening, the center has hosted the two of four week long summer camp sessions and is currently finishing its third week. During these initial weeks, the Art House staff has focused on getting to know the newcomers and establishing relationships with them.
Over the last five months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resulting pandemic has launched our world Church into unanticipated challenging financial times In response to the financial needs across the Lake Union, COVID-19 stimulus checks totaling $600,000 were mailed on July 20 to the five local conferences These funds were given in partnership with the North American Division (NAD). Read more on the stimulus funds dispersed to our local conferences.
From July 31–August 2, 2020, the Andrews University community will recognize the achievements of graduating students through virtual Commencement and Celebration of Graduates services. These virtual services will be held instead of the postponed traditional summer graduation services as a response to CO ID-19 related restrictions on large group gatherings.
The weekend’s central events begin Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m. EDT, with the Cultural Graduation Stoles Celebration. This event will be livestreamed at andrews.edu/livestream and on the Andrews University Facebook page, facebook.com/andrewsuniversity.
Shortly before graduation, Andrews Academy contacted Emma Hamel with the news that the talent for their senior class night had canceled and asked to use one of her songs. Emma informed them that she was in the process of writing a song about the abrupt end of their school year. She was initially nervous to share the original piece with her classmates since she is more on the reserved side, but quickly finished up the song and sent it in.
The looting that followed the George Floyd protests devastated some Chicago neighborhoods, leaving residents there even more desperate for basic services during the pandemic.
In early June, on Chicago’s Southside where Goshen Church is located, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and several retail stores were wiped clean of merchandise, and in some instances the buildings sustained major
damage. The church is in one of the poorest areas in the city, which had already seen a surge in COVID-19 infections and an elevated rate of gun violence.
On Saturday, June 20, hundreds of youth and young adults took to the streets of Minneapolis with “A Cry for Justice and Healing, an outreach event aimed at rebuilding the city and regaining a sense of peace.
The event, held in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder on May 25, was attended by more than 350 volunteers, 16 Adventist churches, and officials from three conferences (Lake Region, Central States, and Minnesota Conference).
Wisconsin pastors met in person for the first time in several months and dialogued on the impact the lock-down had on their ministries. Comments ranged from: "I’ve had more connection with members now than I had before when not using so much internet and phone" to "Wondering now what is the best way to make connections with the people we don’t know but who have connected with our sites during the pandemic."
Special programs addressing the killing will air this weekend in the following
This evening, Friday, June 5 at 8:30 p.m. EDT, Andrews University Chaplain
Jose Bourget and VP Michael Nixon are hosting a Facebook Live broadcast of
“Against the Wall: #runstandbreath4justice,” which will be a time to gather as a community, and a time to lament, pray and contemplate and pursue
constructive discussion. You may watch the musical tributes and panel
discussion on Andrews University’s Facebook page.
The officers of the Lake Union are heartbroken over the recent tragic death of George Floyd, one of many unarmed African Americans who have died during an encounter with local law enforcement officers. This latest tragedy sparked a wave of protests across our nation, protests mostly made up of people e pressing their pain and anger of seeing more people of color needlessly die at the hands of those whose role it is to serve and protect the people in their communities. Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery and now George Floyd are all names that are now sadly familiar to many African Americans, who have experienced additional trauma due to the increased exposure of black death.
One of the questions I am being asked daily is this: “Is Andrews University going to teach face-to-face and in-person this fall semester?”
In order to answer that, we, like other universities, have been carefully watching trends of COVID-19 and are considering our options for both keeping the campus community safe and fulfilling our mission of delivering strong Seventh-day Adventist education. We have also been continuing to consult with experts and are paying attention to the MI Safe Start Plan, put out recently by the Michigan Governor’s Office, that articulates the steps for opening the state, including colleges and universities.
So here is the answer to the critical question: Yes!
Across the Lake Union footprint, there are 70 schools with an enrollment of 2,851 students who are taught by 275 teachers. Under normal circumstances, schools would need several weeks to provide training, preparation and structure to make distance-learning a smooth transition. But amidst the logistical, pedagogical and emotional layers of shifting to distance learning, teachers, students and administrators are learning lessons in resiliency and creativity.
When Matthew Lucio, pastor of the Peoria (Illinois) Church, was growing up, evangelism meant that preachers expected everyone to bring a Bible and know how to use it. He said that the assumption was that everyone in America was basically Christian, but just the wrong kind of Christian. “We don’t live in that world anymore,” said Lucio, who oversees Peoria Adventists, a digital church planted by the Peoria Seventh-day Adventist Church. “We haven’t lived in that world for a long time.”
Escanaba Adventist Community Services food pantry located in Escanaba, Michigan, and is one of the only food pantries in the Upper Peninsula which operates mobile service to different counties. They are currently working with the Feeding America hunger-relief organization and were asked by the CEO to step up when other pantries have either shut down or are unable to open. Director Robin Wycoff reported that they had over 1,200 families lined up for miles hoping to receive food. "It was such an amazing yet sad day," she said. "They served so many but had to also turn away just as much because they ran out of food."
Adapting to a fast-paced world has long been a challenge for many churches. Technology is advancing faster than most can learn it, and with so many responsibilities on our plates, keeping up with modern technology often takes a back seat. Until it can’t. As 2020 unfolded and the realities of a world overtaken by Covid-19 began to take shape, churches suddenly found themselves with unexpectedly closed doors. Weekly community by gathering in one building was no longer possible, and adaptation was directly tied to survival.
A statement on the Michigan Conference website said:
"The office will be closed from March 24 through April 13, except for employees deemed critical to support essential basic operations such as Payroll, Communication and IT. Michigan Conference administration will make a determination regarding additional personnel deemed critical to basic operations and will notify office personnel moving forward
Churches are encouraged to practice strict caution when gathering to stream online services for their members. The Michigan Conference is leaning on the side of caution and civic responsibility, and our churches will remain closed through April 13."
Massive layoffs, skyrocketing unemployment, and a roller-coaster stock market would be enough to upset the stomach of even the experienced thrill-seeker. But add a deadly virus to the mix and suddenly it seems like someone hit the fast-forward button on time left for this old world of ours. Zedekiah asked Jeremiah when facing impending doom, “Is there any word from the Lord.” (Jer 37:17)
Yes, there is. God is Love. Nothing has changed. You and I are still the apple of His eye and we can still put our confidence, hope, and trust in Him. In short, God cares for you. Please allow me to suggest some practical steps for forging ahead in difficult times.
The Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (EXCOM) voted March 19, to postpone the 2020 General Conference Session until May 2021. The vote comes after a March 17 recommendation from the General Conference Administrative Committee (ADCOM) to delay the 2020 General Conference Session (GC Session) by up to two years due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 General Conference Session will be held in Indianapolis and is currently scheduled from May 20 through May 25. It was originally scheduled from June 25 through July 4, 2020.
Amid the growing spread of the novel coronavirus, our conferences reacted to news of the pandemic and local government recommendations. We highlight some of the news from statements they shared with their members, as well as events they're pulling from their calendars.
On Wednesday, a day after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency after an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state, Andrews University and other Lake Union area schools swung into action, canceling in-person classes and transitioned to online classes for the rest of the semester.
Three hundred people attended a special kickoff rally held Saturday, February 22 at the Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church, featuring John Bradshaw, world evangelist and speaker/director for the It Is Written (IIW) television program.
More than 200 youth and young adults attended the Lake Union Youth Evangelism Congress in Shipshewana, Ind., and were encouraged and act on the Holy Spirit’s call for evangelism. This event was unique in that it is the only event of its kind in the world that provides young people with a matching fund opportunity of $100,000 (provided by the Lake Union, conferences and local churches) to make creative evangelism opportunities in their local church a reality.
The Lake Union and its associated Conferences have launched a ground- breaking initiative to deter, detect, and hold accountable sexual and physical abuse that impacts the church. They are partnering with Abide Counseling, an Adventist network of counseling experts, in implementing Project Safe Church.
The Project involves training pastors and church leaders to create a visible reporting mechanism, as well as the ability to connect victims with trained Concerned Care Practitioners. These helpers support victims and assist them in telling their stories to appropriate civil and/or church leaders.
After news broke that a Chicago woman who recently returned from a solo trip to China was the first person in our area confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, organizations in our area went on high alert.
The woman who had returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, was the second case in the U.S. She and her husband, who contracted the virus here in the U.S., were hospitalized at AMITA Health Hoffman Estates. (AMITA Health is a joint operating company, Catholic and Adventist, formed by three faith-based health systems.) Meanwhile, yesterday (Wednesday), Wisconsin officials confirmed the first case there.
On January 24-27 the It Is Written (IIW) Training Weekend was held at the Glendale Church in Indianapolis. More than 50 attended to receive evangelism training taught by Yves Monnier, Evangelism director for It Is Written television program; Douglas Na'a, director of SALT; and Jack Phillips, IIW Bible Studies director.
Every year for the last 10 years New Albany Church in Northern Indiana has presented a Christmas program, but during last month’s program, members experienced something on a level not seen before—a remarkable outpouring of generosity.
Pastor Eric Freking’s goal has always been to raise money for an Adventist overseas ministry since he feels the need is greater over there than here in the U.S. He always wanted to keep funds within the Adventist Church.
On Oct. 14, 2019, President Andrea Luxton was named one of five “Women of the Year” by the General Conference Women’s Ministries during a special dinner program at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was recognized especially for her commitment to furthering Adventist education.
Lansing Community Services Center was recognized as Community Organization of the Year by the Delta Township, at an event held October 23 at the Crown Plaza Lansing West. While grateful for this newfound recognition, Snowrene Mitchell, the Center's director acknowledges that it comes with a greater commitment. “This [award] means we will work even harder to serve the community.”
On Nov. 13, Lake Union executive committee members voted new language on sexuality and gender language as it relates to employment. A more in-depth policy statement is scheduled for release in spring 2020, but in the meantime, this statement was necessary so job applicants could have full knowledge about the policy and can inquire further if they have questions.
Three years ago we brought you the moving story of Fidencio Sanchez. Sanchez, at 90, was photographed pushing a vending cart in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. It was a photo that went viral around the world and was responsible for a GoFundMe account created to help the struggling grandfather. Donations poured in and over the course of 10 days more than $380,000 was raised. Now, after two months in hospice care, Sanchez went to sleep in Jesus early Wednesday morning.
The Andrews University School of Social Work has developed a new International Center for Trauma Education & Care. Working in conjunction with several other departments on campus, the Center’s purpose is to provide education and tools to support healing from trauma in organizations, churches, and communities around the world.
Valentine shared the story of procuring Lucas Oil Stadium for the Session. Owned not by the city, but by an individual, the stadium was originally priced beyond their budget, so the committee gathered and fasted with prayer for two weeks. They asked God not just to bring the cost within their budget, but to simply make their use of the stadium of no cost to the church.
Against a backdrop of fiery autumn colors, almost 50 academy students attending leadership camp pledged to dedicate a year of their life to mission.
The students were part of a group of 75 from seven Lake Union academies who gathered Oct. 3-6 at Camp Au Sable in preparation for leadership roles in their schools.
Last Thursday, hundreds of individuals from Andrews University community gathered in front of the Andreasen Center for Wellness for the Ribbon Cutting Celebration. David Faehner, vice president for University Advancement recalled the groundbreaking of the Andreasen Center 18 months prior and noted that 1,400 gifts had added up to provide the building.
Renowned evangelical theologians Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Ronald Sider, author of “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger,” will headline a scholarly conference and community gathering on October 17–19 titled “Jesus & Politics: Christians, Liberty, and Justice Today” at Andrews University.
Scrubbing windows. Raking mulch. Organizing files. Stuffing envelopes. These were some of the tasks Andrews Academy students performed around Berrien County yesterday.
Over the last forty-plus years, students leave their textbooks behind and serve in the community--an outreach event that and Earth Science Teacher, Steve Atkins, says makes a big difference. "It helps the community see AA in a different way and opens doors to conversations." Pictured here are students and staff who gave a boost to ASAP Ministries in Berrien Springs.
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Chapel on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, was full during the afternoon and early evening on September 4, the first day of the North American Division’s 2019 enditnow Summit on Abuse.
During a three-week span in August, 6,253 Pathfinders from around the world traveled to the Historical Adventist Village in Battle Creek, Mich., on their way to and from “Chosen,” the 2019 International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. Some clubs came from the farthest corners of the world like South Korea, Papua, New Guinea, Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Belgium, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Dominican Republic, England and Argentina.
Andrews University student Jeremy Barrett planned to fully move into the Berrien Springs apartment he shared with his sister Sunday morning.
That changed Saturday night when he learned that his apartment was among 12 destroyed by fire at Park Manor Apartments in Berrien Springs.
Almost 5,000 from the Lake Union are attending the International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin which started on Tuesday.
On Wednesday evening dozens of youth and young adults from the Lake Union were baptized, including Kryslyn Maldonado from the Hinsdale Fil-Am Church.
For more pictures and continuous coverage from the camporee, follow us on social media @lakeunionherald.
Photo credit: Dan Weber/North American Division
Thousands of Pathfinders ventured into Hangar C to interact with our Adventist educators from across North America. Ruth Horton, Lake Union's assoc. Education director and chair of the planning committee takes us on a brief tour hours after the doors opened to visitors.
Versacare announces that for 2020 it will award $1 million in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) grants to qualifying Adventist primary and secondary schools across the North American Division.
Just one week after completing their training in Disaster Response Donations Operations, Greg and Wendy Larson, members of the Living Faith Church, responded to needs in the hard-hit Wisconsin Langlade County where lack of power and water were immediate needs.
“We provide health care to patients from all walks of life,” said Grys. “We’ve seen grandmothers raising three to four grandchildren who are worried about where their next meal is coming from. Our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ, so if people are hungry and don’t have enough, we can’t look the other way.”
Andrews University is one of only 139 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. For the fourth year in a row, Andrews has earned gold level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program.
On June 26, exactly one year from the opening of the General Conference Session (GC2020), Lake Region pastors conducted a prayer walk around the Indianapolis Convention Center and at the Lucas Oil Stadium. The walk was led by Lake Region Adult Ministries director and Chicago pastor, Leon Bryant, with participants also joining online.
Across the Lake Union footprint, there are 70 schools with an enrollment of 2,851 students who are taught by 275 teachers. Under normal circumstances, schools would need several weeks to provide training, preparation and structure to make distance-learning a smooth transition. But amidst the logistical, pedagogical and emotional layers of shifting to distance learning, teachers, students and administrators are learning lessons in resiliency and creativity.
As Andrews University returned to in-person instruction on its Berrien Springs
campus, its annual fall census report on Sept. 9 reported that 3,171 students
were enrolled on or through the Berrien Springs campus of Andrews University,
a decrease from the 3,412 headcount enrollment during the 2019 fall semester.
Andrews University had planned for the impact of COVID-19 on University
operations with its August reopening, and the University’s operating budget
was adjusted to allow for an anticipated 5 percent decrease in enrollment levels
and tuition income this school year.