This week on ANN: A new report calls attention to religious liberty trouble spots, the church in Denmark votes to suspend all ministerial ordination until two thousand fifteen, and Adventist volunteers in Ecuador break the country’s record for blood donations
This week on Adventist News Network ... we report from a church technology conference in Hong Kong - An annual awareness dinner brings religious liberty concerns to the forefront - And an Adventist community in Guatemala inspires a healthier future for the region
ANN Video Full Episode transcript - June 1, 2012
This week on Adventist News Network, we report from a church technology conference in Hong Kong.
… an annual awareness dinner brings religious liberty concerns to the forefront
… and an Adventist community in Guatemala inspires a healthier future for the region.
These stories and more, coming up.
This is Adventist News Network, a service of the Seventh-day Adventist world church. Thanks for joining us this week.
We begin this week with a report from the Global Adventist Internet Network conference. Adventist technology professionals from around the world recently met in Hong Kong to discuss best practices and bolster the church’s online presence.
Hong Kong has the reputation of being the city in the world with the most skyscrapers. With 2,354 buildings over one hundred meters, Hong Kong has almost three times more skyscrapers than her rival, New York City, followed by Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai.
About 160 participants from around the world gathered for the eighth GAIN conference in Sha Tin, a suburb of Hong Kong.
GAiN is a community of Seventh-day Adventist technologists, evangelists and communicators who connect to discuss the creative use of Internet technology in their work and in the lives of those they serve.
Known formerly as GiEN, GAiN was organized in 2004. The GAiN Forum is sponsored and facilitated by the Communication Department of the world Seventh-day Adventist Church, in cooperation with the church's world divisions and lay initiatives.
There is an intention for you to have this, it is very important to have global vision in mind during the whole convention.
What I see as a development of those GiEN or GAiN conference over the years is that there is a mixture, a coming together, a convergence of media. In the first conferences we had a strong focus on Internet only but meanwhile it is a media conference. You have TV, you have radio, you have press, you have internet – all together where it belongs – because everything comes together and it is great to have people who deal with all of that on one point together talking about the content and sharing the ideas how to spread the gospel in a more applicable and current way.
The new apple buildings are amazing not only because they have to develop the very technology to cut the glass that would create the building, twelve and a half thousand employees will have but one restaurant and believe it or not, one toilet complex. People will be forced to meet, administrators, designers, engineers and what they call apple evangelist’s, very interesting.
Well, I think one of the most important things was Bruce Moyer and giving us a good foundation as far as the cultural sensitivity is concerned as we try to do evangelism, either online or whatever medium, to be able to recognize the fact that people are different.
We exist in our world-view, like a fish exists in water. The fish is not even aware of water until you take him out of water.
Hong Kong is a special Administrative region of the People's Republic of China. With a population of over seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas of the world.
Brink As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and has the second longest life expectancy of any country, after Japan. Tourists from around the world visit Hong Kong to experience what this vibrant city has to offer.
On Saturday, the Adventist churches Sabbath, the GAiN attendees spent the day in "Noah's Ark". A theme park with a replica of the ark, built to the exact dimensions of the ark in the Bible, opened in 2009 not far from the Hong Kong airport. The program was filled with music, reports from around the world, and a message from the executive secretary of the Adventist churches world headquarters, Pastor GT Ng.
Most attendees will agree that the most valuable part of GAIN is the networking that takes place in between presentations and during meals. For this community the conversation doesn’t stop here. If you would like to be a part of this ongoing conversation join the GAIN Facebook group today.
That was Andre Brink reporting from the Global Adventist Internet Network conference in Hong Kong. GAiN will meet next year in Athens, Greece. You can learn more about the conference at GAiN dot Adventist dot org.
Canada’s minister of foreign affairs says his country is committed to promoting human rights, including freedom of belief. Minister John Baird’s pledge came at the tenth annual Religious Liberty Dinner. The event brought government leaders and representatives from faith and advocacy groups to Washington, D.C. last week. The dinner celebrates religious freedom and honors those who work to protect and promote it worldwide. The annual event is sponsored by the Adventist Church, the International Religious Liberty Association, the North American Religious Liberty Association and Liberty magazine. In his keynote speech, Baird said recent examples of religious freedom violations are a reminder that the fight for religious freedom remains all too real for many faith groups.
In Guatemala, the Adventist Church is working with local government and community leaders to launch the region’s first joint public health initiative. The project will promote the church’s health message in eight Mayan communities in West Guatemala. The project began when community leaders approached an Adventist pastor in Pueblo Viejo. Ninety percent of the town’s residents are Adventists, and leaders said they were impressed by the low levels of violence and alcoholism there. The project will promote healthy eating habits, regular exercise and an addiction-free lifestyle, especially among school-aged children.
Adventist humanitarian officials are joining the World Health Organization to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use. In Cambodia, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency is working to reverse the health and economic impact of tobacco use. The agency is monitoring the enforcement of anti-tobacco laws in the Southeast Asian country. The laws ban tobacco advertising and require warning labels to appear on cigarette packs and other tobacco products. ADRA Cambodia is also overseeing a smoking cessation program called Khmer Quit Now. ADRA officials in the country are reporting that seven thousand Cambodians have successfully quit through the program.
When we come back after the break, an Adventist religious liberty expert unpacks a recent report on freedom of belief.
Welcome back. Religious liberty analysts recently listed North Korea as one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to protecting freedom of belief. Dwayne Leslie breaks down this annual ranking and explains its importance for Adventist religious liberty advocates.
A United States agency recently added two new countries—Turkey and Tajikistan—to its list of the world’s top religious freedom violators.
This list is part of an annual report issued by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (commonly known as USCIRF), which makes recommendations to the US State department about countries that should be designated as “countries of particular concern.” If the State Department does, in fact, adopt this label for a particular country, it then opens up the possibility of economic sanctions.
This year, USCIRF named 16 nations—including countries such as Eritrea, Iran, and North Korea—as the world’s worst offenders when it comes to protecting religious freedom.
The report also tracked different types of religious persecution. For instance, there’s repression at the hands of a government, such as what’s happening in Burma, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Or there’s persecution that's carried out by religious extremists—like the current violence against religious minorities in places such as Nigeria and Iraq.
The USCIRF report also points to countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, where there's elements of both types of persecution--religious repression by the authorities and violence carried out by extremists.
It remains to be seen just how far the State Department will implement these recommendations, but at the very least, this report is an important means of keeping religious persecution in the public eye and on the public agenda.
This week our Facebook and Twitter followers talked about the church’s role in promoting health. Megan Brauner reports on this week’s Adventist social media highlights.
This week the World Health Organization promoted World No Tobacco Day. The Adventist Church has long promoted healthy lifestyle choices, but recently it’s gotten a little harder to differentiate our message from other leading health experts. We asked our Twitter and Facebook friends how the church could better highlight our health emphasis in the future.
On Twitter, Pastor KL says, what I find is we need to promote healthy living within the church. In two towns near here the city governments are asking the Adventists to step forward and teach health - especially how to eat vegetarian/vegan. The majority of the members are not themselves and have little desire to be.
Hannes Snyman says, Go to gatherings like [World] cancer day and make use of our Adventist doctors for a healthy living rally.
On Facebook, Phil says, Healthy living should begin at home starting with young couples just married. It should be part of daily life and children will learn as they are born and grow in such a home. Then there should be adults living healthful who are … examples to those who didn't begin life learning to live that way. Our hospital food services should be prime examples of health in foods offered.
Stephen says we should Incorporate health talks in our Church meetings and programs.
Desiree says we should Join forces with the hospital systems.
And Mark says, gospel & health go together like bread & butter.
Thanks for your answers, and join us next week for another discussion on Twitter and Facebook.
Could Christian stewardship help shape the economy? As Erika Puni reports, one Adventist University is exploring the connection.
Could Christian Stewardship be the answer to the economic crisis in the world today? At least one Adventist institution of higher learning thinks so. On March 15, a stewardship symposium was held at the campus of the Northern Caribbean Adventist University in Mandaville, Jamaica. The symposium was part of the annual K.G. Vaz lecture series at the University, and it partnered with the Adventist church in Jamaica in hosting the event. Apart from regional church administrators, participants at the symposium included theology and ministerial students. Providing training at the event were Larry Evans, and myself (Associate Director and Director) of the Stewardship ministries department here at the church world headquarters in Maryland, USA. It is part of our strategy as a ministry to provide stewardship education to our Adventist institutions of higher learning. Topics presented were: Is the Address of your Church Wall Street, What is Christian Stewardship Anyway? The Four Beasts that can devour Faithful Stewardship and The Answer at the Deep Level. (Visit www.adventiststewardship.com for more stewardship information.).
Still ahead on Adventist News Network, we find out about recent It Is Written events from Las Vegas to Paris.
But up next, this week’s Tech Corner.
Welcome back. Collecting information from your online audience can be a powerful tool in shaping better content. John Beckett shows us how on this week’s Tech Corner.
Sometimes it's really useful to collect information from a group of people in an organized way. For instance, you may want to survey people about a recent or upcoming event. If you used paper for this, you could hand out a survey, then enter the results in a spreadsheet.
Online forms make this much easier by allowing you to e-mail a link to the digital form, then automatically collect the results in a spreadsheet.
If you're using netAdventist for your web site, you already have an incredibly capable forms system. netAdventist offers perhaps the easiest online forms system I've seen. Just add the fields you want to include. You can define special options if you want, and drag to re-arrange them. Once you're done, just add it to your site's menu or link to it from another page. You can even choose to have results automatically e-mailed to one or more people. All the results are saved in a database that can be downloaded as a file for use in Excel.
Google Docs also has excellent form management tools. Just log into your Google Docs Account and choose the form option. You can even include questions that optionally appear depending on earlier answers. For instance you could ask "Do you like Ice Cream," if the person answers yes, additional questions could appear to discover which flavor is most popular. The results from your Google form are added to a Google doc spreadsheet that you can share with other people.
As you can see online forms can be really handy. Hopefully one of these options can work well to get you started.
Potlucks are great places to catch up with church friends over Sabbath lunch, but as Carina Franca reports, they can also pose health risks.
Potlucks are such an important part of church fellowship, but can a potluck harm you?
Yes, the definitely can! There are lots of factors to consider, but many are under our control. When considering safety and potlucks, many first think of food poisoning, and that is a potential exposure, but just one of many. There is also a potential injury from fires, slips, being struck by something, electrical shocks, and more. In order to avoid harm, it is important to identify the possible hazard and fix it. Ultimately churches should establish a game plan for repairing hazardous conditions. In the mean time, occupants should the warned of the hazards with signs.
The kitchen is also dangerous. It is not a place for children and utensils such as sharp knives, hot stoves, and damaged electrical cords can cause serious injuries.
Last but not least, food safety is also a concern. The fruits, vegetables and the utensils used to cut them should be washed thoroughly. It is important to maintain hot foods at or above 140 Fahrenheit and Cold foods should be stored at 40F or cooler.
Potlucks are a great way to gather church members and friends but please take a few precautions to make sure they stay safe for everyone.
I am Carina Franca and this has been a simple solution from Adventist Risk Management, providing risk management solutions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
For this week’s It Is Written feature, John Bradshaw talks about the Adventist supporting ministry’s recent outreach events.
I’m John Bradshaw for It Is Written, it’s exciting to see God work. It Is Written began this year with Revelation Today in Las Vegas, Nevada and we saw hundreds of people responding to the moving of the Holy Spirit. From Las Vegas, I went to Loma Linda, California for a two-week series called Restoring Power where we spent that time focusing on the great truths of righteousness by faith. Again, God worked in a great way. From Loma Linda we went directly to Paris, France for a dynamic series of meetings we called, “La Grand Espoir” it went from Paris, all around France and around the French-speaking world. More than eighty countries participated in “La Grand Espoir” and on the final Sabbath of the meetings, three-thousand people converged on a convention center to witness almost one-hundred people give their lives to Jesus Christ through baptism. Wonderful and powerful things took place, later on this year, It Is Written will be in Dayton, Ohio, already, literally hundreds of people receiving bible studies and perhaps even more exciting, hundreds of people giving bible studies. God is doing great things, camp-meeting season now, I will be at Georgia-Cumberland, Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Upper Columbia, Southern New England. For more details, please go to our website, it is written dot com. You will find at it is written dot com more about what God is doing through the ministry of It Is Written.
When we come back, this week’s iShare report.
And later in the program, a chaplaincy leader remembers Adventist service members.
Welcome back. Let’s turn to Sergio Gonzales to find out what news you reported on this week.
Welcome to iShare, where you bring us the news. This week, iShare reporter Janette Alisolorin sent us some photos of her mission work in Mindanao, Philippines. She recently graduated from the Northern Luzon Adventist College and left to serve in the mountain region of North Cotabato. Janette says she and her fellow church members in the region are praying for the funds to build their own church.
Have a story to tell? Visit news.adventist.org/ishare to submit your photos and video.
The church’s education system has grown from a single Sabbath school to a global network of schools. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy has more on the scope and philosophy of Adventist education today.
In eighteen-sixty the new Seventh-day Adventist church formed and took the name Seventh-day Adventist and until 1872, the only school that it had was the Sabbath school, the Sabbath school was a place where old and young alike were inducted into present truth. In 1872, Ellen White had a vision and the next morning she got up and proclaimed, “we need a school” and that was the beginning of Battle Creek College, today, Andrew’s University. From that early beginning the system has grown to a global system of eight-thousand schools around the world, nearly 1.7 million students and about 90 thousand teachers. It goes all the way to the North in Finland, Toivonlinnantie, which I think is the northern most at 60 degrees and Tyrifjord in Norway – stretching down to Punta Arenas at the very tip of South America, that school had it first graduation this past year in 2011, 520 students study there and they are right on the Straits of Magellan, and yes, there are penguins there. This year the school was unable to accept any new students because everybody who had enrolled wanted to continue. Seventh-day Adventist schools – more about buildings, it is a philosophy of education.”
Now let’s turn to David Trim for a look at Adventist history. This week, a college is established just outside the U.S. capital to train missionaries.
Welcome to “This Week in Adventist History.”
Some disputes are not new in our history. On May 28 in 1863, in an editorial in the Review and Herald, James White stressed “Jesus quotes Genesis as true history.”
On May 30 in 1880, John G. Matteson organized the first conference outside of North America -the Denmark Conference, with seven churches and 120 believers, of whom 91 had been baptized. Matteson had been born in Denmark but his family had emigrated to the United States— and he had been educated there but he long held the desire to go as a missionary to Scandinavia and he proved the perfect missionary to that part of the world where he also worked in Norway.
On June 1st, in 1903, a missionary couple, Dr Sheridan Lockwood and Dr Myrtle Lockwood, opened a sanitarium in Kobe: this was the first Seventh-day Adventist institution in Japan.
On June 1 in 1904, construction of a new college began in Takoma Park Maryland, not far from Washington DC. It was initially named Washington Missionary College and served solely to train foreign missionaries because church leaders recognized that special training was needed for those who would work with other cultures and in other languages. Today, that institution is Washington Adventist University, but in some ways, its spiritual descendant is the Institute of World Mission, based at the General Conference, which still gives intercultural training to missionaries before they leave their homelands.
That was “This Week in Adventist History.”
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Our good news for this week comes from the first chapter of James. Beginning with verse five, the passage reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”
That’s our show for this week. Don’t forget, you can always visit news.adventist.org for daily news and videos. Until next time, God bless.
-- transcribed by Carol Little