MARYLAND: Adventists and Presbyterians Dialogue
epresentatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) engaged in dialogue on November 1, 2006, at the Adventist world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The purpose of the dialogue was to gain a clearer understanding of each faith community’s beliefs and practices; to clarify areas of misunderstanding; and to explore possible areas of cooperation.
|SHARING THEIR FAITH: Five representatives from the Adventist Church and five from the Presbyterian Church met at the General Conference office for a dialogue about their respective faiths. From left: Bert Beach, William Johnsson, David Jensen, Eunice McGarrahan, Kwabena Donkor, Carlos Malavé, John Graz, Aurelio Garcia, Sheldon Sorge, and Angel Rodriguez. [Jonathan Gallagher]
The Adventist Church engages in conversation with other churches, but is not a member of the ecumenical movement in the United States or internationally. The 2.4 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a strong commitment to improve relations among churches in the United States.
The dialogue centered in two formal presentations, followed by discussion. William G. Johnsson, editor of the Adventist Review, presented a profile of Seventh-day Adventists; and Sheldon Sorge from the Presbyterian Church’s Office of Theology and Worship (U.S.A.) shared the history, teachings, and ethos of his church.
Other participants in the dialogue were Adventists John Graz, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty at the General Conference; Angel Rodriguez, director of the Biblical Research Institute; Kwabena Donkor, associate director of the Biblical Research Institute; Bert B. Beach, retired Adventist statesman; and Halvard Thomsen, assistant to the president for the North American Division.
The Presbyterian representatives were Carlos L. Malavé, associate for Ecumenical Relations and assistant stated clerk at the Office of the General Assembly; Eunice McGarrahan, a pastor at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.; Aurelio Garcia, associate professor of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico; and David Jensen, associate professor of Constructive Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The dialogue was co-chaired by Graz and Malavé, and was described by participants as being marked by a spirit of friendliness, openness, and desire to understand.
A second round of conversations, hosted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will be held August 22-24, 2007, at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
—Joint Release by the Seventh-day Adventist and Presbyterian Churches.
NAD: Hope Channel Celebrates Third Anniversary
Hope Channel director Brad Thorp shared world developments of the Adventist-owned station during a presentation to attendees at Church’s Annual Council and the North American Division’s Year-end meetings, both held in October at the church’s world headquarters. The media ministry, which is celebrating its third birthday in October, has grown from two channels to six, from two languages to eight, and from four satellites to eight, said Thorp. He added that Hope Channel now has more than 400 cable contracts and some 70 television stations; about 1,600 television station projects are also currently in process.
Thorp also announced that it was recently “voted by the Taiwan Conference, particularly for the Chinese Union Mission, to launch the Chinese Hope Channel.” He added that it was still in the “embryonic stage” but “by the grace of God we will provide Internet as well as direct satellite broadcasts to more than 1 billion people” in that region.
CALIFORNIA: 100 Years Old and Still Witnessing for Christ
Velma Cox, a member of the Adventist church in El Cajon, celebrated her one-hundredth birthday on May 5, 2006.
|Velma Cox [Courtesy of Southeastern California Conference]
“The reason for my long life,” she said, “is the Lord. He has been so good to me, and I encourage everyone to follow my Jesus.”
Velma and her husband, Harley C. Cox, who is now deceased, were baptized into the El Cajon church in 1969 after attending evangelistic meetings there. Velma continues to be an active member and is currently raising funds for a new church building. Family members say they “respect her for her faithfulness to God and her lifelong, undying love for her Master.”
Velma has two daughters, 9 grandchildren (two of whom are deceased), and 16 great-grandchildren. —El Cajon Adventist Church/AR.
Ministerial director of the Oregon Conference, has been elected president of the Minnesota Conference. He succeeds William K. Miller, who is now president of the Potomac Conference.
—From the Desk of Don Schnieder/AR.