U.S. Senate Chaplain Presents
2007 PREACH Message
eventh-day Adventist Barry C. Black, 62nd
chaplain of the United States Senate, presented a message of clarity and conviction on February 22, in a sermon which will be broadcast as part of the 2007 PREACH Seminar, a global communication effort of the world church’s Ministerial Association.
“We must be prepared to minister in obscurity,” Black, the first African-American and first Seventh-day Adventist to serve in the Senate Chaplain’s role told his audience. “How well are you at providing faithful ministry when you don’t get any credit? How well are you at being assiduous in your labors for Christ when you don’t make the headlines? … How well are you at being faithful in your ministry when no one recognizes you?”
Black exhorted his listeners to “maintain ethical fitness” in their ministry, and said Bible study is essential: “Do you take time to be holy? The embarrassing thing is that many Christian leaders have not read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. … This amazing love letter and you have read bits and pieces of it.”
|BARRY BLACK [Photo: U.S. Senate]
He added, “When people believe that you are ethically congruent, you have a power that you cannot get otherwise.”
Black also stressed the value of prayer for Christian workers, using an analogy from his current position: “If I wanted to see the Senate Majority Leader, it would take me a couple of hours. If I wanted to see the President of the United States, it would take me a couple of weeks. But if I want to walk into the throne room of the One who created the Senate Majority Leader, who created the President of the United States of America, I can do it any hour, any minute, any second of the day. And yet, our spiritual muscles atrophy because we do not spend time in the presence of God.”
The message will be part of “For Such a Time as This: Preaching Truth in an Age of Idolatry,” the annual PREACH (Project for Reaching Every Active Clergy at Home) seminar presented for clergy of all denominations. Last year, more than 15,000 clergy around the world viewed the live satellite presentation, which in 2007 will originate from Cambridge, England, United Kingdom. Along with Chaplain Black, Randy Roberts of the University Church of Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California; Australian pastor and parliamentarian Dr. Gordon Moyes; and Beeson University distinguished professor Robert Smith, Jr., will speak in a three and one-half hour broadcast on April 18, with a repeat broadcast the following day.
More information on the PREACH program, including promotional literature and details of arranging a satellite downlink of the April 18 broadcast, can be found online at www.ministerialassociation.com. Adventist pastor Anthony R. Kent, an associate ministerial secretary of the world church responsible for the event, can be contacted via e-mail at MinSeminar@gc.adventist.org or by telephoning 301-680-6515. —Ministerial Association/AR
North America: Adventists Share Their Faith on Public Television
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America participated in the taping of a new weekly PBS series on March 14 titled I Believe.
Producers say I Believe will travel across America and--through host Dennis Wholey--interview different religious leaders to present a basic outline of what various religions and faiths believe and practice.
Wholey interviewed Roscoe J. Howard III, secretary of the Adventist Church in North America, on the history and basic beliefs of the church. The crew also traveled to Sligo Adventist church in Takoma Park, Maryland, to do a tour and talk to its senior pastor, Ron Halvorsen, Jr., about weekly services at the church.
The I Believe series is scheduled to air nationally in mid-April. The Adventist Church's segment is one of its first four programs.
For local listings, go to www.pbs.org.
--NAD Communication Department/AR.
Rwanda President Attends Inaugural
Session of ADRA Leadership Council
His Excellency Paul Kagame, the president of the Republic of Rwanda, attended the inaugural session of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s Leadership Council (ALC) in Kigali, Rwanda, held February 12th through 15th.
GROUP SHOT: Left to right: Daniel dos Santos, ADRA Rwanda country director; Pastor Hesron, ADRA Rwanda board chair; President Kagame; Pastor Geoffrey Mbwana, president of the East Central Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; Charles Sandefur, president, ADRA International; Lowell Cooper, ADRA International board chair and vice president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. [Photo: Byrne/ADRA]
Opening the session with President Kagame in attendance, Lowell Cooper, ADRA International board chair, said, “We pray that the nation of Rwanda will know peace in every city, village, and home; that it will be a country under the rule of just laws; that every citizen will be accorded the dignity deserved by every human being.”
Attended by ADRA network leadership from 33 countries, the ALC refines global strategies for effective development and emergency response interventions while enhancing sound business management practices of the agency. ALC participants are also providing input to the new network Strategic Planning Committee, led by Mario Ochoa, executive vice president for ADRA International, which is working on agency strategic plans for 2007 through 2012.
“Being here adds force to what you are trying to do to help build a new nation, to concretize strategic plans, and to share experiences of leadership,” President Kagame said. “We appreciate the role that ADRA continues to play in this region. We will be partners in this task. There is a long history between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and ADRA through its 30 years of working in this country,” he continued.
ADRA Rwanda is currently implementing multi-year projects focused on long-term sustainability, valued at more than $14 million and reaching 450,000 community partners.
ADRA’s approach to development is partnership-based. Community partners are given the tools and resources they need to improve their own living standards, providing economic independence and dignity. In 2006 alone, ADRA touched the lives of more than 24 million people.
“Two hundred million people in sub-Saharan Africa face hunger and malaria, and AIDS continues to claim lives. Any development agenda must be well coordinated to ensure that marginalized communities are part and parcel of the development process. Through this approach, genuine partnership and ownership can be realized,” President Kagame said.
ADRA is officially recognized in Rwanda as one of just two NGOs that did not take part in that country’s 1994 genocide. ADRA was the last international NGO to leave the country then because of raging hostilities. In the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, ADRA receives an honorable mention for its efforts in collaboration with the International Red Cross for saving the lives of close to 400 orphans, internally displaced people, and people who survived being wounded and thrown into mass graves. More information about ADRA can be found online at www.adra.org.
—ADRA Public Relations/AR
BY JAMES D. STANDISH, associate director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department at the General Conference 1