Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

Adventist Church News

Published: March 9, 2017      Updated: September 26, 2018


North American Division News

Adventist Health Appoints New Leaders to Advance Transformative Vision Through Culture, Mission, and Consumer Health

Adventist Health Appoints New Leaders to Advance Transformative Vision Through Culture, Mission, and Consumer Health

As Adventist Health continues to advance its 2030 vision to bring health and well-being into reach for everyone, the faith-inspired health system has appointed three experienced executives to its system cabinet to focus on culture, mission, and consumer health, Adventist Health CEO Scott Reiner announced this month.

Adventist Health, the nonprofit integrated healthcare system that serves more than 80 rural and urban communities on the West Coast and in Hawaii, is transforming from a hospital-centered company to one primarily focused on health.

Joyce Newmyer

Joyce Newmyer

Joyce Newmyer, the president of Adventist Health services in Oregon, has been named chief culture officer. In her new position, Newmyer leads and supports associate and provider engagement, communications, leadership development and residencies as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. She also will continue to serve as the primary relationship leader for Adventist Health’s partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and will continue to chair the community boards for Adventist Health services in Portland and Tillamook, Oregon, and on Oahu in Hawaii.

“Joyce’s varied experiences have prepared her to help us build an intentional and unified culture that will define what it means to be Adventist Health,” Reiner said. Newmyer brings more than 20 years of healthcare executive experience to her role, serving at organizations in California, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Alex Bryan

Alex Bryan

Alex Bryan, who has more than 20 years of experience in pastoral ministry and higher education, has been appointed chief mission officer. Bryan leads and supports a systemwide mission team in promoting and integrating the organization’s mission of “living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope.”

“Our mission has always been important,” Reiner said. “It’s what inspires us to transform the future of healthcare and the lives of those we touch. Now, as we intentionally expand over the next decade with bold moves, it is essential to have an even wider perspective of mission.”

Jason Wells

Jason Wells

Jason Wells, the president of Adventist Health’s three hospitals and services in Mendocino County, California, has been named chief consumer and innovation officer to help realign the organization around the consumer by transforming the patient and consumer experience through improved access to care and easier processes as well as services and solutions that better address overall health and well-being. Wells will be responsible for consumer services, experience design, marketing and brand, public affairs, and strategy activation.

“Jason has demonstrated effective leadership and exceptional engagement along with an ability to mobilize stakeholders toward a common vision with bold, creative thinking,” Reiner said. “These skills will be critical in transforming Adventist Health into the innovative and consumer-focused organization we aspire to be.”

Before joining Adventist Health in 2017, Wells, who is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, served in healthcare executive and leadership roles in North Carolina and Florida.

Wells will remain in Mendocino County until a new president is identified. He will also continue to serve as chair of the community boards for Adventist Health Howard Memorial in Willits, Mendocino Coast in Fort Bragg, and Ukiah Valley.

About Adventist Health 

Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities. Our compassionate and talented team of 37,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Together, we are transforming the American healthcare experience with an innovative, yet timeless, whole-person focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing.

— Christine Pickering is communication director for Adventist Health.

kmaran Wed, 09/16/2020 - 15:29

Transforming Hearts with the Arts

Transforming Hearts with the Arts
Chicago center of influence arts

Head art instructor and Epic Church member, William Jamieson (pictured right), shows a young student how to do an art project using tissue paper. Photo provided by the Lake Union Herald 

Looking to win souls for Christ through art and community service, Epic Church opened an Urban Center of Influence (UCI) on Monday, July 27, 2020, in the Wicker Park suburb of Chicago. At the core of the new center, is the Epic Art House, which is an art and cultural center that offers art classes, as well as exhibition space for local artists.

"We want to bridge the gap between the church, as we know it, and the community," said Epic Church Pastor Andres Flores. "We're in a terrible time of crisis and we want to offer a place for people to experience healing, creativity and community."

Although the art experiences may be what will bring people in, Flores says that art is merely the vehicle they are using to build a connection with camp goers and Wicker Park/Bucktown residents. Aside from the art, the center plans to be intentionally active in the community through programs such as a food distribution for the less fortunate, health clinics and educational and wellness classes.

Since opening, the center has hosted the first 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. According to head art instructor and Epic Church member, William Jamieson, students ranging from ages 8-12 have participated in various types of arts such as painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, and fiber arts. Eventually, classes will be available to all ages.

“We wish to reach out to our community, to build relationships, create trust and good standing within our community, provide a variety of healthy, safe alternatives to the harm and distrust that many have experienced in the neighborhood,” Jamieson said. “Our mission ultimately is to win souls for Christ.”

Like Jamieson, Flores emphasized the idea of building relationships. He says that the idea for this type of outreach comes from the New Testament concept of emphasizing relationships that Paul was known to practice.“We want to build a relationship first with the people before we have spiritual conversations and then finally we can start the process of discipleship,” Flores said.

The Art House intends to reach additional community members by handing out ‘‘art boxes” to pedestrians walking by. Inside of each art box, pedestrians can find the instructions, tools and materials to create their own art project at home. Jamieson says that they will reconnect with those who took a box by displaying their art on both their online art gallery and the physical walls at the Epic Art House. These art boxes are just one of the many ways that Epic Church plans on connecting with the community and bringing their purpose to life.

Worldwide Church Initiative

The main purpose of a UCI is to reach those who may be reluctant to walk into a church on their own. According to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Urban Center application website, the purpose of Urban Centers of Influence is to encourage using “Christ’s method”—building relationships by recognizing a newcomer's emotional needs, in hopes of later meeting their spiritual needs. The world church allocates about one million dollars annually to help start dozens of UCI’s around the world. Based on the application information, UCI’s are meant to service urban areas where there is less than one Adventist for every 500 people.

Without a single Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wicker Park or the two surrounding neighborhoods of Logan Square and Bucktown, Wicker Park easily met the requirements to host a UCI. Wicker Park, an upbeat hipster town, is known for its food and nightlife scenes as well as vibrant art murals scattered around town. However, Jamieson and Epic Church Pastor Andres Flores both consider it one of the more secular areas in the Chicagoland area. Jamieson gave some insight into one of the challenges they will face serving the Wicker Park Area.

“Most (Millennials) that I have met are quite cynical of organized religion in their world view,” said Jamieson. “This can be quite difficult to minister and share the gospel with young people with these attitudes.”

According to Statistical Atlas, Millennials alone represent around half of the Wicker Park population. Although ministering to this population may sound difficult, Flores is embracing the challenge.

“These are the people that God is calling us to reach. I think these are the people that, like anyone, need God, but the church is not talking to them,” Flores said. “The church is not establishing a relationship with them.”

Art as Ministry

Although they are currently only hosting classes for kids, as they head into the fall, the center envisions expanding to offer classes and workshops for adults, specifically Millennials.

Jamieson, who has been teaching art for over 12 years, says that art is a type of ministry that allows people to quickly create a bond as they work together towards the common goal of creating ‘something beautiful and meaningful together” while self-expressing through their creative journey.

“It immediately sends a message to others that we are here to help. We can discuss fears, trials, suffering, history, joys and future goals while making art,” Jamieson said.

He believes that the creative process of making art is crucial for instructors and participants to build a relationship where they engage in emotional renewal and discuss and understand compassionate values that help truly understand a person.

The Art House opening comes two years after the opening of Epic Church’s suburb campus, The Art Space. Located as a storefront inside Yorktown Mall in Lombard, IL, The Art Space also uses relationships and art ministry as their way to engage community members. In contrast to the Art House, the Art Space is open only on Saturdays and offers free art experiences to kids and families at the mall. Those who come in are also invited to join the church’s afternoon Sabbath worship.

Ethan Artiga, a praise leader at Epic’s Art Space, says that he and other art space volunteers have had several inspiring experiences such as the one with a young blind boy named Ahmad.

Ahmad came into the Art Space for the first time about a year ago and immediately fell in love with the clay and paint projects but what Artiga says caught Ahmad’s attention is the live music that he overheard being played behind the storefront.

“We were having a band rehearsal. He heard all the music that was going on inside and he got really excited by that, so he came into the church, and was just there listening to us play,” Artiga said.

According to Artiga, Ahmad appreciated the connection they built and began faithfully attending every weekend with his family. Soon enough, Ahmad’s family began asking more questions about the church and their beliefs.

“That's when we started, you know, discipling them through that. But it all started with that first connection we built as they walked into the space for the first time,” Artiga said.

While Epic Church has been ministering for around eight years, this new location is their most permanent one yet. Epic Art House Business Manager Christopher Hux believes that a regular location that is open during the week will help the center consistently bring community members through the door, build relationships and be a place of healing.

“We believe that there has to be change in the Adventist Church to connect with these new generations,” said Hux. “With this different approach, I think it’s just going to be a lot more inviting. It’s going to be easier for them to take a step in and see what’s going on.”

Additionally, the services provided by the non-profit center will not be free, which Flores says will help them achieve their three-year goal of becoming completely self-sustainable.  According to Flores, the Urban Center of Influence will not open the Epic Art House on Sabbaths but will hold Sabbath worship services as well as participate in other activities such as outreach, free art events, exhibitions, and other community-oriented events.

The Art Space marks the second Center for Urban Influence in the Chicago area. The first was established with the Vanguard Church and Dr. Manuel Alva in 2017. Illinois Conference President Ron Aguilera said he’s pleased with these initiatives because "I believe it is imperative for the Church to create relational environments where families gather and relationships are established. I am convinced these environments will lead to the opportunities for those of us who pursue life with God to interface with people from the community and develop relationships that will lead to conversations and invitations to know the Jesus we know."

— Joel Guerra, a young adult from Chicago, is a PR and Business Administration major at Southern Adventist University; this article originally appeared on the Lake Union Herald website.

kmaran Wed, 09/16/2020 - 07:12

The 2020 Enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse Aims to Equip Leaders with Tools to Help Spot and End Domestic Violence

The 2020 Enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse Aims to Equip Leaders with Tools to Help Spot and End Domestic Violence
2020 enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse

The enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse will take place November 13 in English, and November 14 in Spanish. Photo: NAD Women's Ministries

The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is preparing to host an event on November 13-14, 2020, that aims to raise awareness of violence against women and minors taking place in churches, homes, and schools. This year, the enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse will place a greater emphasis on providing church leaders, pastors, seminary students, and schools administrators and teachers with practical tools to help victims of domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, receive the help they need in a safe, effective, and non-judgmental manner.

“We’ve built an awareness and engagement campaign over the years that has worked well. More and more people have expressed interest in our summit and resources, but now it’s time to put more tools in people’s hands,” said Erica Jones, assistant director of NAD women’s ministries. “Many ministry leaders are grasping that this is not just a women’s ministries issue – it’s a human rights’ issue.”

The keynote presenter of the summit will be Mary DeMuth, the author of “We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis. Additional topics covered by thought leaders in this field will include protecting children and youth, and digging out of the pit of spiritual abuse – a topic presented at a previous summit that past attendees have requested to hear again.

The enditnow Summit on Abuse has been an annual event since 2017, and, as in years past, presentations will be given both in English (Nov. 13) and Spanish (Nov. 14).

The “Perfect Storm”

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, continued quarantined conditions, deliberations about uniquely uncertain futures, and soaring unemployment rates have led to ubiquitous feelings of isolation, high stress, and financial strain. Unfortunately for women and children on the receiving end of abuse, their abusers are often triggered by those factors when inflicting pain physically, emotionally, spiritually, or financially. Thus, the quarantine conditions that have been imposed to help keep the public safe — limiting social interactions outside of the home, closing or limiting occupancy of shelters for victims of domestic violence — has been called a “perfect storm” against the vulnerable.

“It’s a whole different level of isolation,” said Jones.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline received a nine percent increase in calls during late spring and early summer in comparison to the same timeframe in 2019. More than 6,000 calls referenced COVID-19 as a contributing factor to the harm they received.

Since local orders throughout the country have restricted gatherings for religious services, and home visitations are risky due to the potential of spreading the coronavirus — leaving many interactions and opportunities for fellowship restricted to computer screens via video conferences — it may be difficult to assess a cry for help from a member. However, if a leader is made aware of abuse taking place within the scope of his or her influence, Jones recommends consulting the ministry’s “Decision Tree” as a guide to properly intercede on behalf of the victim.

“It’s one of the best resources we’ve made for this issue,” said Jones.

Tips on how to access additional practical, free resources from women’s ministries will be shared during the enditnow Virtual Summit on Abuse. Click here to register for the summit in English, and here to register for the summit in Spanish.

mylonmedley Tue, 09/15/2020 - 13:06

Adventist Youth and Young Adult Leaders Join PlayBook 2020

Adventist Youth and Young Adult Leaders Join PlayBook 2020
NAD Youth OneTeam members

NAD OneTeam PlayBook 2020 hosts (left to right) Vandeon Griffin, associate director, Tracy Wood, director, and Armando Miranda, associate director, social distance while being on camera. Photo by Dan Weber

More than 2,200 Adventist youth and young adult ministry leaders from across North America spent much of their Labor Day weekend attending the three-day North American Division (NAD) Youth and Young Adult Ministries OneTeam Playbook 2020 Leaders Convention. OneTeam Playbook was created for union and conference youth and young adult ministries directors, coordinators, pastors, and local church leaders. Young adults who are leaders or aspiring leaders in their church or school/university were also encouraged to attend.

Billed as a “virtual gathering for youth and young adult ministry networking and leader training,” the event also provided certification training and general youth and young adult workshops through 17 different tracks, eight sessions each, focused around four emphases: club ministries, youth ministries, young adult ministries, and continuing education. More than 100 leaders presented workshops during two full afternoons/evenings on September 3-4. The event culminated on September 5, with #OneTeam worship, special “Legacy of Leadership” program, and a closing session with main speaker G. Alexander Bryant, NAD president.

G. Alexander Bryant speaks during the final presentation of the NAD OneTeam Playbook convention

On Sept. 5, 2020, G. Alexander Bryant, North American Division president, speaks during the closing session of the NAD OneTeam Playbook convention. Photo by Dan Weber

The event featured a combination of live presentations and pre-recorded workshops with presenter(s), host, and moderator. Several workshops functioned as panel lectures with some questions incorporated from Zoom viewers. Only those registered for the event were able to log in and participate.

We had scheduled the NAD OneTeam Playbook 2020 Leaders Convention to be an in-person event at the Albuquerque, New Mexico, convention center,” said Tracy Wood, NAD Youth and Young Adult Ministries director. Planning for this multi-tiered training event started several years ago, but those plans were curtailed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“In April it was appearing that an in-person event was not going to happen. That’s when our youth department staff team decided that we would need to shift to a virtual event,” Wood said. But they weren’t sure what that might look like, and reached out to AdventSource. “Brad Forbes, AdventSource president, told us about a free training event online and invited us to join him in attending in May. We did and that is where we caught the vision of how we could take four platforms and put them together as one.”

Wood shared that reports of those who attended have been positive. “We’ve heard that many are excited and proud to be part of the NAD Youth and Young Adult Ministries network. We are all ‘one team,’ so I’m glad that we could help and inspire our leaders through the NAD OneTeam Playbook convention.”

Vandeon Griffin

Vandeon Griffin, an NAD Youth and Young Adult Ministries associate director, presents a segment during the OneTeam PlayBook 2020 convention. Photo by Dan Weber

Claudia Allen, online content manager for Message magazine, concurred. Allen, who participated in “Principles of specialized youth ministry, cultural and social trends,” a panel with three other leaders, said, “ This is huge. Something like 120 presenters and more than 2,000 attendees — I feel like the NAD was so well represented. You had people from every state. The [NAD Youth Ministry department] was able to really diversify the voices and move so many more people because it was on a virtual platform.”

Attendee Lori Knutson shared appreciation for the Zoom-based convention in a chat, saying, “Thank you to all who had a part in this conference! I have worked with Sabbath School, Pathfinders and have been working with Adventurers now for the past 10 years. At times, I have felt tired and wondering if I still have what it takes. I am so glad that I decided to attend. The presentations and the meetings were inspiring and helped me to realize that I want to do whatever the Lord has for me to do in his ministry until He calls me off the field.”

Armando Miranda and Tracy Wood

NAD Youth and Young Adult Ministries OneTeam members Armando Miranda, associate director, and Tracy Wood, director, host the OneTeam Playbook 2020 Leaders Convention held on September 3-5. Photo by Dan Weber

Being Current and Connected

While the workshop tracks focused on training in club ministries (Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guide, and coordinator ministry); Youth IGNITE, Youth Engage, and youth and young adult leadership development and certification; and presenter and teaching skills training, these sessions were also opportunities for deeper dives on current topics and issues facing the church — and society — in North America.

Allen was happy to help give an overview of her panel’s topics of specialized youth ministry, cultural and social trends. “Each of those topics is at least a workshop in itself, if not more, but it was good to share some of the basics,” she said. “Our panel discussion centered around how can we support young women in leadership. A lot of time the youth positions are run by women in the church. We also talked about how we can encourage interested female teens to get engaged in leadership in our church. … So many times we think of ministry from the standpoint of pastoral ministry and pastoral leadership. We [talked about] how we can get people to be OK with the fact that even if you are not a pastor you are serving the church in some way that that is ministry.”

She continued, “Out of that we then proceeded to talk about mental health within our youth and teens right now. How has COVID impacted their mental health? And then out of that we began talking about the social racial unrest and how there’s been lot of the racial tension and the protests and things that have been happening, such as police brutality, how that has impacted our teens. How do you cover all three of those things in an hour? We’re bringing these topics up initially for the participants to leave this conversation saying, Man, this is really something we need to focus on, encouraging our young girls, making sure that we’re dealing with our youth’s mental health as well as making sure we’re educating ourselves and engaging in racial reconciliation and in our communities and social issues of our times.

Daniel Ortega, Youth Ministry/Communication director for the Oklahoma Conference, hosted a total of four workshops on coordinator ministry for the OneTeam Playbook convention. In that role, he facilitated the presenters. And even though he is a trained youth ministry leader, he said he learned too — information he plans to take back with him when his conference hosts a similar but smaller version of the event. “We are going to do child protection as one of our trainings, especially for those who weren’t able to sign up and go to this one,” he shared. “I picked up on some resources that I didn’t know about and will be able to share these in my conference.”

Ortega said that while he missed the face-to-face networking of an in-person convention, he appreciated the efforts made to have virtual group “hallways” where participants could chat and meet new people. Although online, the event allowed youth leaders the opportunity to connect. “This event, and others like it, help keep our people in the loop in terms of training and guidance and leadership,” he said, “It’s what we’ve all been praying about and trying to figure out. Lord willing, we’ll press forward and learn, grow, and adapt in ministry — and get done whatever way we can.”

behind the scenes at NAD OneTeam PlayBook 2020

In the control room, behind the scenes at NAD OneTeam PlayBook 2020; photo by Dan Weber

Going Virtual

Tracks that did not finish with the four workshop sessions of the convention will continue in virtual post-convention cohorts on September 13 and 27, and October 11 and 25. Those who registered for OneTeam Playbook will be able to attend these sessions. And plans are underway to make all workshops available online.

“This has been an incredible experience. And for us, also a learning experience,” Wood said as he shared a look behind the scenesWe needed a secure website where we could plug in Zoom links to the backside of the website. This provides direct access to Zoom rooms for our breakout sessions. The general sessions were pre-recorded presentations by our guest speakers with us department directors as moderators.”

Wood said that they were able to integrate the AdventSource registration process, which provided the emails for all registrants and made it possible to create a passcode for each email, offering a secure log-in process. The event website was designed it to be a virtual convention center with features that could develop a community experience. Workshop materials were available to all logged in registrants.

“This virtual convention center will definitely change the way we provide ministry training to our field,” added Wood. “Many were able to attend who could never have made the travel to a physical in-person training event. Now we can reach people in remote areas who, prior to this virtual option, could never have attended. We are so excited about the future possibilities and the potential for serving and supporting our leaders.”


kmaran Wed, 09/09/2020 - 17:26