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 ... church members rally around an awareness campaign - Adventists mourn the loss of a missionary in Papua New Guinea - And the church’s humanitarian agency supports Giving Tuesday
This week on Adventist News Network, church members rally around an awareness campaign
… Adventists mourn the loss of a missionary in Papua New Guinea
… and the church’s humanitarian agency supports Giving Tuesday
These stories and more, coming up.
This is Adventist News Network, a service of the Seventh-day Adventist world church. Thanks so much for joining us this week.
First in the news, Adventists will observe an International Day of Prayer and Fasting on December one to raise awareness of the plight of two church members imprisoned in the West African country of Togo. Adventist pastor Antonio Monteiro and lay member Bruno Amah were detained in March after a Togolese man implicated them as conspirators in an alleged human blood trafficking network. Police in Togo found no evidence of their involvement and local authorities have since recognized both men’s innocence. However, Monteiro and Amah have not been released. Adventist world church President Ted Wilson is now calling on Adventist membership worldwide to support the cause by joining in a social media campaign to promote the December one Day of Prayer. Church leaders worldwide are encouraging Adventists to spread the word on social networking sites by sharing calls for prayer and posting graphics. Leaders are also urging Adventists to join thousands of fellow supporters by signing a petition to raise awareness of the Day of Prayer. You can visit pray for togo dot com to learn more.
A tragic accident this week took the life of an Adventist missionary serving in Papua New Guinea. John Lello was killed while felling trees near a mission station in the remote East Sepik Province of the South Pacific island nation. John is survived by his wife, Pam, and the couple’s two daughters, Alissa and Abby. The family has since been flown to Port Moresby. John and Pam Lello were serving in Papua New Guinea through Adventist Frontier Missions, an Adventist supporting ministry. AFM establishes church plants in places with no Adventist presence and currently has thirty long-term missionary families and single workers serving worldwide. The ministry is soliciting prayers to support John’s family during this time. Lello is the first AFM missionary to die in the field over the ministry’s twenty-seven year history.
The Adventist Church in North America responded to a viral video uploaded to YouTube this week by the independent ministry Forerunner Chronicles. In the video, a young actor employed by the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men talks about his recent decision to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Actor Angus T. Jones calls the comedy “filth” and urges television viewers to stop watching it. Jones later released an apology through his PR firm, expressing gratitude for his colleagues and regret if his comments were seen as disrespectful. Two and a Half Men has aired in the U.S. since two thousand three and is widely considered to be among the biggest hit comedies of the past decade. Jones further discussed his newfound faith on a television show produced by Adventist supporting ministry Voice of Prophecy. The church in North America has since confirmed that Jones is a member of an Adventist congregation in the U.S. state of California. In a press release, regional church Communication Director George Johnson was supportive of Jones’ decision to embrace the Adventist faith. The release also addressed questions surrounding the young actor’s association with Forerunner Chronicles. Johnson said the independent ministry is not operated by the Adventist Church and its host is not an Adventist pastor.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency joined the United Nations Foundation and other non-profits and charities this week to promote Giving Tuesday. The humanitarian agency collected cleaning supplies at the Visitor’s Center of the Seventh-day Adventist world church headquarters in the U.S. state of Maryland on Tuesday. The donations will go toward Emergency Cleaning Kits to support cleanup efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The so-called “superstorm” struck the Caribbean and the U.S. East Cost last month. ADRA also raised awareness of Giving Tuesday through video interviews about generosity.
Well the reason I give is because if you have a little bit, you should always give a little bit to others if you can afford to. I don’t do it all the time but I do it when I can.
It is good to give – people need it. Religiously I am supposed to give and it is just the right thing to do.
I kind of just believe in Karma and I believe if you put out, you know, some part of help or assistance or you know, just any good energy in general you will get it back, so.
I give to help build a better future.
I give to help support community.
You give because it is the right thing to do.
Usually because it is fun.
Well I thing I give because people have given me so much.
We eat everyday, we sleep in a bed, we have clothing, we have several pairs of shoes. We all have surplus, we live on surplus so you give because we have to be generous. We could find ourselves without.
It will come from a moral point of view from me and giving back to the community and giving back to those around who need help.
It is better to give than receive.
Our mother is a breast cancer survivor so if someone asks me to give money for breast cancer, it’s something I would do very easily.
Well, we also give because; particularly as we are coming up to Christmas we remember the ultimate gift. God gave us His Son, Christ.
Giving Tuesday is meant to transform the way people think about and participate in the holiday giving season, according to sponsors.
Coming up, humanitarian support reaches remote villages in Southeast Asia.
Welcome back. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency provides sustainable community development and disaster relief in more than one hundred and twenty countries worldwide. ADRA is one of the few humanitarian agencies working in the remote villages of East Timor.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, or ADRA is bringing life-saving clean water to the remote village of Uma-Tolu in the island nation of East Timor.
A drill team bores holes from 65-165 feet deep, only stopping when they find fresh water. ADRA contractors and villagers are working together to build concrete washing stations at each well. When the project is finished, 10 hand-pump wells will be spread throughout the community.
“I usually go get my water very early in the morning. I used to use the river water to drink and give my daughter a bath. But the problem is that when the rain comes it washes in and pollutes the water. I want to thank ADRA very much for coming here and drilling new wells so we’ll all have clean water.”
Veronica used to make three trips to the river each day, and her daughter Victoria was often sick from the contaminated water. Now, all that will change.
On the island of Timor and around the world, ADRA is changing lives for the better. By providing clean water and addressing other basic needs, ADRA is reflecting the love and compassion of Jesus.
For our Adventist social media feature this week, Megan Brauner has more on the social media campaign supporting a Day of Prayer for two imprisoned Adventists in Togo.
Chances are you’ve seen or heard something about the recent awareness campaign #Pray4Togo, organizing an international day of prayer and fasting for the release of two Adventists imprisoned on false charges in Togo.
We still need your help spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t already, make sure to follow the Pray 4 Togo twitter account for the latest updates and resources.
Also make sure to visit facebook.com/theadventistchurch to get your special Pray 4 togo cover image to show your support on your personal profile.
Pray4togo.com is another great resource. It’s available in English, Spanish and Portuguese and you can download resources, sign the pledge and tweet your support right from the site.
You can also find bulletin inserts for your local church and submit questions about the event.
Most importantly, make sure you sign the Pray 4 Togo pledge on change dot org. You can find links to the pledge on pray 4 togo dot com and through the Pray 4 togo twitter account.
We’re also asking all our followers to share this link regularly through December 1 and to ask all your friends to sign the pledge.
Don’t want to burn out your followers? You can make sure you post at least two hours apart. If that sounds exhausting? You can use a free scheduling service like Buffer to post your updates for you.
Thank you to everyone who has given Pastor Monteiro and church member Bruno Amah their support so far. Please continue keep the men and their families in your prayers.
The Adventist Church handles more than two billion U.S. dollars of tithes and offerings every year. How can local church treasurers make sure these faithful donations make it from the offering plate to the bank? Carina Franca has pointers on this month’s Adventist Risk Management feature.
Each year faithful church members around the world return over $2 Billion dollars in tithes and offerings to support the work of our Church. It is the responsibility of every church leader to protect these funds from the risk of theft.
Having a system of internal controls for how monies are handled from the offering plate until they are deposited in the bank is a critical responsibility. Make sure that all offerings are promptly counted by two or more individuals, make bank deposits on a timely basis, ensure your church board receives timely monthly financial reports and that church financial records are audited on a regular basis.
When a suspected loss of funds occurs, it should be immediately reported to the church headquarters for your area. The individual involved should be immediately removed from having access to church funds until the suspected loss can be investigated. Make sure you report these incidents to local law enforcement agencies. And once the audit results are completed, the outcome should be reported to the board to protect the integrity of the Church.
Financial integrity is one of the key characteristics of Christian Service. Safeguarding the monies faithfully donated to support the mission of our Church is a responsibility that can never be neglected.
Still ahead on Adventist News Network, guidelines for Bible study.
But up next, this week’s Tech Corner.
Welcome back. Without organization, social media profiles can become difficult to manage. Chip Dizard has tips on grouping your followers on this week’s Tech Corner.
Social media is here to stay and one thing many people neglect is organization. Let's talk about organization on three social media platforms, Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
Google+ launched with privacy and organization in mind. Google heard complaints from many Facebook users about privacy and implemented circles. Circles are ways to organize your lists into groups. For example, I have friends, family, acquaintances, following and student circles.
Twitter lists help you manage your twitter profile by organizing followers in a public or private list. For example, I have a technology twitter list and a Pastor list to keep up with all of the people who I want to follow. I can see all of the tweets from a particular list and it makes it easy for me to follow a topic or idea from a group.
Facebook has it's own version of lists, and here are three most of popular categories. The first one is, Close Friends: You can add your best friends to this list to see more of them in your news feed and get notified every time they post. You also have the option to turn these extra notifications off.
The second is Acquaintances: This list is for friends you don’t need to stay in close contact with but you do want to see their feed. They will rarely show up in your news feed but you can exclude these people when you post something, by choosing Friends except Acquaintances in the audience selector.
The third is Restricted: This list is for people you’ve added as a friend but just don’t want to share with, like your boss. When you add someone to your Restricted list, they will only be able to see your Public content or posts of yours that you tag them in.
Please note Your friends won’t get notified when you add them to these lists or circles.
All of this can be quite overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it you’re on your way to have better social media organization.
Adventist youth leaders worldwide are highlighting the importance of regular Bible study. This week Jonathan Tejel shares some tips on how to approach Scripture.
It’s one of the most important things as Christians to study the bible, I would like to answer to you two questions, the first one is, “Why we should study the bible?” I would like to go to one bible verse that we find in John 5:39. You have your heads in your bibles constantly because you think you will find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These scriptures are all about Me, so why should we go to the bible to find Jesus? We need to find Jesus in the Bible. How? That’s the second question. How? There’s many ways you can study the bible, many, many, many ways but I would like to address three specific ones with you. First one, Pray. Pray, pray and pray. Every time you go to the bible to learn something from the bible, pray Jesus. So He will give you wisdom, He will be with you while you’re walking through the bible. Number two, open your minds and your hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit, many times we go to the bible to find a bible verse that will support what we think about something. We have to go to the bible clean, clean – clean mind, clean heart, so let the bible speak to us. Let Jesus and the Holy Spirit speak to us. And number three, spend time, spend time, spend time with the bible. Morning, afternoon, evening because at the end of the day, these scriptures are all about Jesus.
Every month at ANN Video, we sit down with a prominent church leader for a feature we call Dialogue. This month we spoke with Adventist world church vice president Geoffrey Mbwana about the church’s humanitarian work.
Thank you Elder Mbwana for being with us today.
Thank you for having me.
Now ADRA, which is the Church’s international humanratian agency, which you say you are an advisor and chairman of the board, they just recently appointed a new president. What are ADRA’s plans as they go forward as far as adjusting to this new administration?
ADRA is an agency of the church, has gone a long way to become a very strong humanitarian agency of the church and with a new leadership ADRA is looking forward to profiling itself more pro actively in the international forum amongst the NGO world, the international organization like World Health Organization, the United Nations and the entire NGO world. ADRA has a lot to offer so far and it looks forward into establishing alliances and networking relationships with other NGO’s to see just what they can do together to advance the cause and the mission of the humanitarian services on human development and relief services for which ADRA is engaged in.
But ADRA is also looking very pro actively into enabling the church as it were, to continue with it’s community services. When ADRA was assigned this task, probably there are some who, our own church members, who thought well this is now ADRA’s responsibility. Actually, it is the church’s responsibility to reach out on behalf of Jesus Christ, touch lives of people who are suffering, living in poverty and therefore we’ve experienced that ADRA has now gathered. They’re well equipped to assist the church on how to do it more professionally in an organized manner and ADRA is looking forward to engage in just that.
In the world in which we live, there’s a big place for ADRA and their work, a big ministry.
Tremendously. The needs around the world are so huge, as you travel and see people, you know, the end times that we live in – the suffering has become _____ of humanity as it were and ADRA cannot do it all by themselves. In as much as there are many other agencies, which are committed to the same mission, it is good to reach out and say, “What can we do together?” Together we are stronger than if we stood independently.
Well thank you Elder Mbwana for being with us today. God bless you.
Thank you, it was a pleasure.
When we come back after the break, remembering Adventist veterans.
Welcome back. Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries is saluting the thousands of church members worldwide who have served their nations during wartime. Gary Councell has more.
Minutes before eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, an Army chaplain made his way forward to coordinate final arrangements for a service to honor the fallen and observe the Armistice that was to, “end all wars.” Just then the Germans fired their last artillery barrage of WW I; perhaps as a final act of defiance, or as one of celebration, but it killed the chaplain, one of the last men, if not the last one to die in WW I. Most nations honor those who have served in their military. Such times arouse three emotions: solemnity, because it honors the veterans who have defended their country; sadness, because so many died or suffered in the process; and pride, because they served so well. Thousands of Adventists have served in the armed forces of their nation. Like Corporal Desmond Doss and John Weidner, many have been highly honored by their countries for valorous service in combat. Others have served in quieter ways, but no less meritorious, such as the 2,300 Adventists who volunteered for medical research in “Operation Whitecoat” from 1954-1973. So, join Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries in saluting veterans who gave some of the best years of their lives in military service for their country and to their neighbors.
Now let’s turn to David Trim for a look at Adventist history. This week, an Adventist hospital opens in Iraq.
Welcome to this week in Adventist history.
On November 25, in 1890, the schooner Pitcairn, which had sailed from Oakland, California, on October 20, arrived at Pitcairn Island for the first time. Paid for by Sabbath school offerings, the ship was to have been named Glad Tidings, but because the story of descendants of the Bounty mutineers had inspired the offerings church leaders decided to name it Pitcairn. Throughout the 1890s, it made voyages to many islands of the South Pacific.
On November 26, in 1827, Ellen Gould Harmon and her twin sister Elizabeth were born to Robert and Eunice Harmon, near the village of Gorham, in the US state of Maine. It is often forgotten that Ellen White, as she later became, had a twin sister, sadly, Elizabeth never became a Seventh-day Adventist.
On November 27, in 1946 a new Adventist hospital was opened in Baghdad. The Dar El Salaam Hospital was well regarded, and after the Iraqi Revolution of 1958, the new government nationalized the hospital in 1959.
On November 30, in 1949, Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen, the denomination‚ college in Austria, held its first classes.
And on December 1, in 1901, the Atlantic Union Conference was established, the last of the Union Conferences in the United States to be formed.
That was this week in Adventist History.
Thanks for watching Adventist News Network. Join us next week for more news from the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
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Our good news for this week comes from the New Testament book of Luke. The passage says, “Give, and it will be given unto you -- good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
That’s our show for this week. And remember, you can always visit news.Adventist.org for daily news and videos. Until next time, God bless.