Paulsen Commemorates World AIDS Day
n a day the world community acknowledged the challenge of HIV and AIDS, Seventh-day Adventist world church president Jan Paulsen reaffirmed the church’s commitment “to be an active and not a silent partner” in addressing what is being called a curse for humankind.
|COMMEMORATING WORLD AIDS DAY: Accompanied by GC secretary Matthew A. Bediako, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division president Paul S. Ratsara, and other church leaders, Paulsen lights a symbolic candle to commemorate World AIDS Day. [Rajmund Dabrowski]
As he arrived in Port Elizabeth on December 1, Paulsen was met by hundreds of Adventist believers. He recognized World AIDS Day by lighting a symbolic candle.
“We need to seek and find solutions [to HIV and AIDS] in the scientific and medical area, in prevention, in training, and in acceptance within our communities of those who are suffering,” Paulsen said. “A church is where people come to be accepted, to be loved, and to have their human dignity recognized. . . . The church must be supportive, positive, loving, and accepting.”
This is Paulsen’s second visit to Port Elizabeth. In 1991, as chairman of a Commission on South Africa set up by the church’s General Conference, he participated in a consultation with church members about merging two unions, restructuring them into one administrative unit for the country.
“At that time it was a big step forward and it was a signal,” Paulsen explained. “But there are still more things to be done. We have still some distance to go, and we have not completed the task as a church.”
—Adventist News Network/AR.
Women’s Ministries Evangelizes Prison
Hundreds of female prisoners in the Women’s Rehabilitation Center of Panama City have heard the gospel message and 30 have been baptized as a result of Bible studies and evangelistic campaigns conducted by volunteers.
Rosita Tamburelli, a local Adventist church member, began the prison ministry in 1997, and since then has given Bible studies to prisoners twice a week and led in evangelistic campaigns held at the center each year. Church members have also conducted seminars on professional ethics and physical and mental health, as well as provided prisoners with basic necessities such as food, clothes, and medicine.
|HELPING THOSE IN PRISON: (From left)Addis Santiago and Rosita Tamburelli, who coordinate the prison ministry in the Women’s Rehabilitation Center of Panama City, stand with GC Women’s Ministries Department associate director Raquel Arrais. [Photo: GC Women’s Ministries]
Tamburelli, with help from volunteers Addis Santiago and Ana Saez, also assists the prisoners with practical needs, including supermarket shopping, legal processing, and handling banking transactions.
The support of the prison ministry leaders, however, doesn’t end when the prisoners are released.
“It is important in this ministry to stay in contact with those who have been released from the center,” says Rosalinda De Gracia, Women’s Ministries director for the East Panama Conference. “[Released prisoners] are given phone numbers, and the women carrying on this ministry are constantly surprised when they receive calls to say hello and to thank God for this ministry by which the Lord reached them.”
—GC and East Panama Conference Women’s Ministries departments/AR.
PHILIPPINES: New President Installed at AIIAS
|NEW AIIAS PRESIDENT: Stephen R. Guptill [Kuang Yi Fang]
Stephen R. Guptill, who has served in educational leadership positions in Asia for more than 21 years and most recently as Education director of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), is the new president of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS). The appointment of Guptill was celebrated in November with a dedication ceremony, along with a groundbreaking service for a new multipurpose building on the AIIAS campus and an international concert. Representatives from the world church, delegates from SSD, and others from the community attended the events. Guptill succeeds Julian Melgosa, who is now dean of Walla Walla College’s School of Education and Psychology.
“The true measure of leadership and success is how well we can fulfill the mission of the church and the plans God has for this institution,” Guptill said, “and I realize what a privilege we have to prepare Christian leaders for service to the whole world.”
AIIAS, located in Silang, Cavite, Philippines, is a graduate-level educational institution of the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists, and is the first GC educational institution to be located outside of the United States.
To learn more about AIIAS, go to www.aiias.edu
. —AIIAS Development Office/AR.
INTER-AMERICA: Former Division Vice President Dies
|Ramon H. Maury [Courtesy of IAD]
Ramon H. Maury, a former vice president of the Inter-American Division (IAD), died of apparent respiratory arrest on December 2 while vacationing in Mexico. He was 73.
“His legacy will always be with us, for he was part of the excellent team of workers who made the Inter-American Division what it is today,” said IAD president Israel Leito.
Maury, who just retired in 2005 after serving the church for nearly 50 years, began his career in 1957 as the treasurer and a professor at Colombia Adventist University. He later became president of the institution. He also served as a church pastor, the treasurer, and the president of the Adventist Church in Colombia. He became treasurer of the IAD in 1981, and served in that position for 19 years until becoming IAD vice president in 2000.
Maury is survived by his wife, Maria Eugenia, four children, and four grandchildren.
—IAD Communication Department/AR.