Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

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Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner
APRIL 2021

   Staying the Course
       Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates
    120 Years of Service and Community Engagement

7 God’s Gift to Man
8 Through it All, Give Thanks!
18 Texas Food Pantry Receives Help from Massachusetts and New York
Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner
Inside                                      A PR I L 2 0 21
                                                                                                3       Committed to Advancing the

                                                                                                4       Staying the Course

                                                                                                7       God’s Gift to Man

                                                                                                8       Through it All, Give Thanks!

                                                                                                9       Bermuda Conference
                                                                                                10 Atlantic Union Conference

                                                                                                12 New York Conference

                                                                                                14 Northeastern Conference

                                                                                                16 Northern New England Conference
    8                                                                                           18 Southern New England Conference

                                                                                                20 Healthy Choices

                                                                                                22 Advertisements/Announcements

                                                                                                22 Sunset Calendar

                                                                                                23 General Conference Session: New
    18                                                                                             Date, New Location

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April 2021, Vol. 120, No. 3. The Atlantic Union Gleaner is published monthly (except for January/February, July/August, and November/December) by the Atlantic Union Conference
of Seventh-day Adventists®, 400 Main Street, Lancaster, MA 01523-2804. Printed by Pacific Press Publishing Association®, 1350 N. Kings Rd., Nampa, ID 83687-3193. Standard postage
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Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of
Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. | Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2             Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                           Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website
Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

  Committed to Advancing
      the Mission
          enerally speaking, the people      ing of the Lord. “The work which the
          who made history were often        church has failed to do in a time of
          unaware of how far their           peace and prosperity she will have to
actions and decisions were going. The        do in a terrible crisis under most dis-
job that the Seventh-day Adventist           couraging, forbidding circumstances.
Church and the early pioneers did was        The warnings that worldly conformi-
an extraordinary work. The proclama-         ty has silenced or withheld must be
tion of the Sabbath truth, the ministry      given under the fiercest opposition
of the heavenly sanctuary, and the           from enemies of the faith. And at
warning of a fallen Babylon were some        that time the superficial, conservative
of the revelations God intended for the      class, whose influence has steadily
world to know during a time infested         retarded the progress of the work, will
with spiritual darkness.                     renounce the faith”—Testimonies for
   History teaches that one of the           the Church, vol. 5, p. 463.
greatest apostolic doctrines of all             Today, our generation is writing
time is Christ’s second coming. In the       the new history. What will the next
middle of the 19th century, an era in        generation read? Like the early pio-
which faith and evolution were in a          neers, we must invest our resources
very heated debate, both with allega-        in utilizing the best methods avail-            “Let our commitment
tions of new discoveries, the Adventist      able to communicate. The effect will
Church emerged as a beacon of light          enhance the voices of the three angels
to the earth. Men and women arose            of Revelation, with the proclamation
preaching and studying the Word of           of the gospel in the most cost-effective               to advance the
God in various places, teaching people       and relevant manner.
to obey God’s Ten Commandments,                 As we commemorate another anni-
while awaiting His second coming.
   All this exciting history began right
                                             versary of the work of the Seventh-day
                                             Adventist Church in this region, let’s
                                                                                             mission of this church
here in the territory of the Atlantic        remain truthful to the One who has
Union. The message, the methodolo-           given us the task. Let our commitment
gy, the mission, and the money were
all combined to extend the work that
                                             to advance the mission of this church
                                             remain in us as we continue to write
                                                                                                remain in us as we
was given to our early founders during       the final pages of the history of this
those challenging times in our church’s      world. Ellen G. White wrote, “I have
history. They used the most advanced         received most precious assurances that           continue to write the
transportation, communication, media,        our early experiences were of God.
building construction, and publishing        I wish that every one of our people
technology of their time. The sentiment      might know, as I know, of the sure and
and high sense of calling was charac-        certain way in which the Lord led us in             final pages of the
terized by a similar spirit to that of the   times past”—Letter 262, November 24,
church in the book of Acts, where Jesus’     1903. She also said, “We have nothing
disciples had all things in common
(Acts 2:44).
                                             to fear for the future except as we shall
                                             forget the way the Lord has led us, and
                                                                                             history of this world.”
   The famous writer-philosopher             His teaching in our past history”—
George Santayana was the first to say,       Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel
“Those who cannot remember the               Workers, p. 31.
past are condemned to repeat it.” As
a movement of the end time, we must          Elias F. Zabala, Sr., is the Atlantic
never forget how dark it was and how         Union Conference treasurer and
obscure it will get just before the com-     stewardship director.

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Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner
By Ednor A.P. Davison

         Staying the Course
             Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates
          120 Years of Service and Community Engagement

         pril 16 is a significant            England, New York, Pennsylvania,        The membership stood at 8,510, with
         day in the history of the           Quebec, Vermont, Virginia, West         276 churches, and 39 companies.
         Atlantic Union. On that             Virginia, and two mission fields:          The Seventh-day Adventist Church
 day in 1901, the Eastern Union              the Maritime Provinces, and             added Union Conferences to the
 Conference, the forerunner to the           Newfoundland. The territory covered     church’s landscape in 1901 as a
 Atlantic Union Conference, was              Connecticut, Delaware, District         result of a recommendation made
 organized. At that time, the territory      of Columbia, Maryland, Maine,           at the thirty-second session of the
 was called the General Conference           Massachusetts, New Brunswick,           General Conference. The addition of
 District No. 1, or the Atlantic             New Hampshire, New Jersey, New          union conferences would “distribute
 District, and was comprised of 12           York, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia,        the responsibilities of the General
 conferences and two missions—               Pennsylvania, Quebec, Rhode Island,     Conference, placing them more fully
 Atlantic, Chesapeake, Maine, New            Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.   and definitely upon those who are on

                    1901                            1902                         1903                            1906
     • Apr. 16: Eastern Union       • Greater New York            • Southern New England        • New York Conference
       Conference organized           Conference organized          Conference reorganized        reorganized

     • Dec. 1901: Eastern
       Union Conference
       renamed Atlantic Union
       Conference and the
       territory divided

 4           Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                     Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website
Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

the ground where the work is to be       was renamed the Atlantic Union
done and the issues to be met”—The       Conference.
General Conference Bulletin, vol. IV,      The territory continued to                      “There are great
no. 3, p. 514.                           experience growth and, in 1907,
   With the reorganization to include    delegates voted to divide the Atlantic
Union Conferences, “more men and         Union Conference even further.                difficulties and trials
more talent will-be brought into the     By combining conferences in the
management of the work. A thousand
details will be transferred from the
                                         former southern area of the Atlantic
                                         Union Conference—Chesapeake,                      before us. It will
General Conference Committee to          Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West
those whom the Lord has called to
his work, and whom he has placed in
                                         Virginia—with the Ohio Conference
                                         that was formerly in the Lake Union
                                                                                      require strong courage
the field where the details are to be    Conference, the Columbia Union
worked out. If this plan is managed      Conference was formed.                            and persevering
wisely by those first placed in charge     In 1915, the islands of Bermuda
of the different conferences, a large    were assigned to the Atlantic Union
number of men and women will be          Conference. Previously, the General            effort to go forward.
brought to the front, with the experi-   Conference directed the work in
ences necessary to make them safe and    Bermuda as one of the “miscellaneous
valuable burden-bearers in the various   missions.” In 1959, the Bermuda               But all now depends
departments of the cause”—Ibid.          Mission was organized.
   The Eastern Union Conference
existed for only a short time. At the
                                           During the growth of the work in
                                         the Atlantic Union territory, the New
                                                                                         on our faith in the
first biennial session of the union      York, Northern New England, and
conference, held at the church in        Southern New England conferences              Captain who has led
South Lancaster, Massachusetts,          went through reorganization. In 1944,
from November 27 to December 5,          the Northeastern Conference was
1901, the Canadian territories—          organized and added to the field. Then           us safely thus far”
Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, and      in 1986 Bermuda Mission became
Newfoundland—separated to form,          Bermuda Conference, bringing the                   —The Review and Herald,
along with the province of Ontario,      total number of conferences in the                  November 29, 1881.
the first Canadian Union Conference.     Atlantic Union territory to six, and
The remainder of the territory           that is where it remains today.

           1907                     1915                   1922                        1926                       1945
 • Atlantic Union         • Islands of            • New York               • Southern                   • Northeastern
   Conference               Bermuda assigned        Conference               New England                  Conference
   territory further        to the Atlantic         reorganized              Conference                   organized
   divided                  Union Conference                                 reorganized

                                                                           • Northern
                                                                             New England

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Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

    For 120 years, the Atlantic Union       conducting business while completing      Atlantic Union Conference theme for
 Conference and its six conferences         the mission of the organization.          2021 is “I Will Go to Multiply.”
 have served and continue to serve             The administrators turned their          The words of Ellen White remind
 as beacons of hope to proclaim the         attention to planning how they would      us, “Now is the time for the friends
 gospel of Jesus Christ, lighting the       move forward during this unpredict-       of Jesus to be decided, faithful,
 way for others to prepare for His soon     able time. Considering guidelines         and valiant for the Captain of their
 return for His people on planet Earth.     established by various states and         salvation. Now is the time to show
    Today the Atlantic Union                governments in the territory, the         who are the true Calebs, who will
 Conference territory covers the            CDC (Centers for Disease Control),        not deny that the walls are high,
 islands of Bermuda and the states of       the Seventh-day Adventist Church          the giants mighty, but who believe
 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,         at its General Conference and North       that this very fact will make the
 New Hampshire, New York, Rhode             American Division levels, as well as      victory more glorious. There are
 Island, and Vermont. Its membership        the Atlantic Union Conference and         great difficulties and trials before
 stands at 127,771, with 603 churches,      the local conferences, they developed     us. It will require strong courage
 and 93 companies (Atlantic Union           a strategic plan. Each department will    and persevering effort to go forward.
 Conference Statistical Report, Fourth      continue to monitor the situation and     But all now depends on our faith in
 Quarter 2020).                             assess any further steps needed while     the Captain who has led us safely
    The mission of the Atlantic Union       collaborating with local conference       thus far”—The R eview and Herald,
 Conference is “to support our six          leaders and departmental directors        November 29, 1881.
 conferences in reaching all people         (Atlantic Union Conference Strategic        The work in the Atlantic Union
 with the Christ-centered Seventh-day       Plan: 2020 and Beyond).                   Conference continues to move forward
 Adventist message of hope and whole-          As the Atlantic Union                  120 years later. The timeline for when
 ness.” The vision “is to collaborate       commemorates 120 years of ministry,       the COVID-19 crisis will be over is
 with the six conferences and assist        in addition to its focus on evangelism,   uncertain, but with God at the helm,
 them in reaching their full potential in   the administrators are placing            we must stay the course and move
 the development of their ministries.”      major emphasis on three strategic         forward in faith, believing that He
    In March 2020, the Atlantic Union       imperatives: Leadership Development;      will guide us safely through these
 Conference administrators entered          Youth and Young Adults, and               uncharted waters.
 uncharted waters as they began to          Education. These are not the only
 navigate through the impact of the         areas on which the administrators will    Ednor A.P. Davison is the communication
 COVID-19 pandemic. Out of necessity,       place emphasis, but they will receive     director for the Atlantic Union Conference
                                                                                      and editor for the Atlantic Union Gleaner.
 they identified new pathways for           greater attention at this time. The

                   1959                            1986                           2020                             2021
     • Bermuda Mission             • Bermuda Conference           • Coronavirus pandemic          • Apr. 16: Atlantic
       organized                     organized                      declared                        Union Conference
                                                                                                    commemorates 120
                                                                  • More than 200 church            years of ministry
                                                                    members, mainly from
                                                                    the New York City area,       • Statistics: six
                                                                    died as a result of the         conferences; 127,771
                                                                    coronavirus                     members; 603 churches;
                                                                                                    93 companies; 52 schools

 6          Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                       Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website
Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner
God’s Gift to Man                                                                                    By J.W. Watt

          or God so loved the world that he gave his only                           Yes! Actually fond of them?—Yes. Will he be fond of them
          begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him                             during eternity?—Yes. How wonderful is the love of God!
          should not perish, but have everlasting life.”                            Mr. Webster still continues, “to delight in with exclusive
John 3:16.                                                                          affection.” What! God delight in me with exclusive affection!
   God’s gift to man is a wonderful gift. What caused God                           What does this mean?—It means that through Jesus, the
to bestow this gift?—Love. Whom did God love?—The                                   precious gift of God to man, each member of God’s family
world. What is true of the world as a whole, is true of each                        may receive and enjoy God’s love and care just as though
individual in the world. God so loved us, that he gave                              he or she was the only one in all the universe who had this
Jesus Christ to us an individual Saviour. All there is of                           privilege. “Unto us a son is given.”
Christ is mine. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son                           “That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and
is given.” Isa. 9:6. Why was this Son given? Because God                            hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:23, last
loved us. What is love? Mr. Webster says in defining the                            clause. Does God love his Son with exclusive affection?
word love that it is “preeminent kindness or devotion to                            Does he love you, my brother, in the same way? Not
another.” What a wonderful truth is this! God, the living                           because of your own goodness but because of the obedi-
God, despite all our sins, our waywardness, our selfishness,                        ence of his Son Jesus who has been so freely given to you
yet has manifested to us the highest degree of kindness                             of God? Is this so?
that the human mind can conceive. He has shown such                                    If all who profess the name of Christ would accept Christ
devotion to us that the best gift that heaven could afford                          as he is, a perfect cure for all spiritual maladies, one who
was bestowed upon us.                                                               brings to us forgiveness for every sin, one through whom
   Again, Mr. Webster says on the word love, “to be pleased                         we are actually accepted of God, and by whom we are to
with or fond of.” God pleased with men who have sinned?—                            be guided daily in all our ways, by the agency of the Holy
                                                                                    Spirit, there would be greater activity in the work of the
                                                                                    Lord than we see at the present time. What we need as a
                                                                                    people is a greater appreciation of God’s love than we now
                                                                                    have. We must come to appreciate more fully what God has
                                                                                    done for us through Jesus Christ.
                                                                                       One who takes hold upon God by faith, as the tender,
                                                                                    loving Father that he is, and makes these grand truths with
                                                                                    reference to his love as manifested to us through the gift of
                                                                                    Christ his own cannot remain silent. Such an one must and
                                                                                    will work for God. They will show to God by active service
                                                                                    that they appreciate what he has done for them.
                                                                                       This being true, we should labor earnestly to get all men
                                                                                    to see and appreciate the love of God, and help them in
                                                                                    every way that we can to gain a living experience for them-
                                                                                    selves. An individual experience in the love of God is the
                                                                                    greatest need of this people to-day. When this experience is
                                                                                    gained, then all lines of the work will move rapidly forward,
                                                                                    and the Lord will soon come to take his people home. Oh
                                                                                    hasten, glad day of deliverance.

                                                                                    This article by J.W. Watts appeared in the Atlantic Union
                                                                                    Gleaner, vol. 1, no. 5, February 5, 1902, less than one year after
                                                                                    the Atlantic Union Conference was organized for ministry in the
                                                                                    Northeast United States.

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Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner
[A Journey to Excellence]

                                                                                                           By Marlene Alvarez

Through it All, Give Thanks!
I  n 1990, Andraé Crouch penned the
   words to the song “Through It All.”
He shares that through it all, he has
                                           am thankful for allowing the members
                                           of my family who were affected by
                                           COVID-19 to recover and give their
                                                                                       from what we were lacking to what
                                                                                       we have in Jesus. Cultivating a spirit
                                                                                       of gratitude helps us to know that we
“learned to trust in Jesus,” and he has    lives to Christ. I am thankful to God       can:
“learned to trust in God.” The year        for allowing me to have my wedding
2020 was an unforgettable year filled      in spite of the circumstances!”             Give thanks in all circumstances.
with uncertainties and unexpected             As we entered into the 2020-2021         Rely and rest on God’s promises to
surprises. Many people in our church-      school year, many were thankful for         never leave us or forsake us.
es and our educational system became       their students returning and for an         Appreciate the storms because storms
ill. Some recovered and others died.       influx of students in their school. Yes,    come to make us stronger for the
Students and teachers quickly transi-      there are many reasons to be thankful.      journey.
tioned to remote learning. The sting       In spite of the circumstances, our edu-     Trust God to always be by our side,
of isolation and separation threatened     cational system has learned to echo         and we will find
to break us. The sadness and fear hov-     the words of David written in Psalm         Inner peace as we shelter under His
ered over us like a dark cloud. Where      9:1, which says, “I will give thanks to     wings.
                                                                                       Thank God, for He is good.
                                                                                       Understand that God offers hope in all
“When we give thanks, God is pleased. His heart is                                     circumstances.
                                                                                       Decide to rely on God, and this leads
full, and we free ourselves from the oppression and                                    to happiness because He is
                                                                                       Everywhere at all times. His watchful
bondage of the darkness that surrounds us.”                                            eye is on us and our families.

                                                                                          Through it all, we “Give thanks
could we go for a solution to our situa-   you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell   with a grateful heart, give thanks to
tion? What could we do? We hunkered        of all your wonderful deeds” (NIV).         the Holy One. Give thanks because
down and placed our trust in God.             Psychological research provides          He’s given Jesus Christ His Son. And
   Even in this situation, did we have     evidence of wonderful things that           now, let the weak say, ‘I am strong;’
a reason to adopt an attitude of grati-    happen when we choose an attitude           let the poor say, ‘I am rich, because of
tude? Yes! Suleima Godinez, a teacher      of gratitude. Giving thanks makes us        what the Lord has done for us.’ Give
at Greater Boston Academy, said, “I        more resilient, improves our health,        Thanks!”—Henry Smith
am thankful for the community that         reduces stress, and strengthens our
surrounds my family and me. Their          relationships. When we give thanks,                        Marlene Alvarez is the
prayers gave us strength and hope that     God is pleased. His heart is full, and                     Atlantic Union Conference
                                                                                                      associate director of
we would get better.” Leslie Colon,        we free ourselves from the oppression                      education and children’s
a teacher at Jackson Heights school,       and bondage of the darkness that                           ministries.
said, “I am thankful for the tireless      surrounds us. An attitude of gratitude
efforts and time essential workers put     helps us to see the blessings in every
in to help keep our cities running. I      situation, and this shifts our focus

8         Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                          Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website
Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

How to Forgive When You Can’t Forget: Seven Steps to
Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual Freedom

“W       e struggle with forgiveness
         because we prefer revenge or
 because we are afraid that justice will
                                             of love. I cancel my demand that you
                                             should change as a condition for me to
                                             love. I am holding you responsible for
                                                                                                                                            to forgive, God will act as the king
                                                                                                                                            and take back His forgiveness.” Jesus
                                                                                                                                            prayed, “Father, forgive them, because
 not be served,” claimed Paul A. Bryant, a   your thoughts and actions. I take back                                                         they do not know what they are doing”
 retired pastor and Family Ministries lead- my freedom and power to love and                                                                (Luke 23:34, CSB). “Christ forgives us
 er at Patmos Chapel in Apopka, Florida.     express love.”                                                                                 for hurting Him, and we must ask God
    In his Zoom presentation to viewers          Step 4: Get a change of memory.                                                            to empower us to forgive the one who
 of the Bermuda Conference in February, “One reason it is difficult to forgive is                                                           has hurt us.”
 Bryant admitted that forgiveness can        that the hurt lives on in our minds.                                                               Step 6: Use loving confrontation.
 be difficult and requires effort, but is    We photograph those things that are                                                           “It is difficult to forgive until we face
 possible, even if reconciliation was not. associated with emotions. Unclogging                                                             the offender squarely and say, ‘You did
    To understand the essence of forgive- those memories requires changing                                                                  me wrong, and I feel hurt because of
 ness and why it is so critical, Bryant      the channels of our minds.” Bryant                                                             it.’” Bryant suggested speaking to an
 suggested following seven crucial steps     encouraged getting a memory change                                                             empty chair to build up the courage
 to move from hurt, blame, and punish-                                                                                                      to confront the offender. “When
 ment to peace, pardon, and emotional,                                                                                                      confronting, state the facts; express
 physical, and spiritual healing.                                                                                                           true feelings; say what ‘I’ want, and use
    Step 1: Understand the nature of                                                                                                       ‘I’ statements.”
 forgiveness. Bryant said forgiveness                                                                                                           Step 7: Experience the healing
 is the willful process in which the                                                                                                        benefits. Forgiveness has substantial
 forgiver chooses not to retaliate but                                                                                                      emotional, physical, and spiritual
 responds to the offender lovingly,                                                                                                         advantages and frees both the offender
 letting go of a record of wrongs. It does                                                                                                  and the victim. Bryant concluded that
 not deny that something happened;                                                                                                          forgiveness “aids digestion, improves the
 it does not excuse the offender, but                                                                                                       immune system, lowers blood pressure,
 it does not allow the experience to                                                                                                        aids in providing a restful sleep,
 control attitudes and behavior.                                                                                                            increases energy, creates awareness,
    Step 2: Acknowledge all of your                                                                                                         and sharpens the intelligence. It also
 emotions. This is important because                                                                                                        provides relief from resentment and
                                                                                                               Courtesy of Paul A Bryant

“suppressed emotions hurt and                                                                                                               depression, reduces stress, creates a
 deny the peace and healing needed.                                                                                                         more positive outlook, restores self-
 Aroused emotions can escalate and                                                                                                          esteem, and ultimately creates peace of
 become destructive.” Bryant suggested                                                                                                      mind and happiness. Keep on praying;
 we often have burning hate for people       The Bermuda Conference Family Ministries Department hosted                                     keep on desiring to forgive, and God
 who do us wrong. “When we admit            “How to Forgive When You Can’t Forget” with Paul A. Bryant, a                                   will give the ultimate victory.”
 our hate, anger, or negative emotion,       retired pastor and Family Ministries leader at Patmos Chapel in
                                             Apopka, Florida.
 we can forgive.”                                                                                                                           “How to Forgive When You Can’t
    Step 3: Choose to forgive. God           by (a) changing your companion(s), (b)                                                        Forget” was presented by the Family
 said, “Nothing they plan to do will be      changing your expectation that life                                                           Ministries department and hosted by
 impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6).        should be fair, and (c) separating the                                                        Ulric Hetsberger, Bermuda Conference
 Choose to forgive the offender for          person from the hurt.                                                                         Family Ministries leader and pastor of
 each wrong, and then say, “I choose             Step 5: Look to the Cross of                                                              the Midland Heights and St. David’s
 to stop hurting myself for what you         Calvary. Using the parable in Matthew                                                         churches.
 have done or are doing to me. I choose 18:23-27, Bryant said, “If we act like                                                             —Joi Tyrrell, communication director, Bermuda
 to forgive and restore a healthy flow       the unforgiving servant and refuse                                                            Conference

          “One reason it is difficult to forgive is that the hurt lives on in our minds. We
        photograph those things that are associated with emotions. Unclogging those
                             memories requires changing the channels of our minds.”

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Staying the Course Atlantic Union Conference Commemorates 120 Years of Service and Community Engagement - Atlantic Union Gleaner

GODencounters Draws Hundreds in Virtual Event

I  n 2003 on Valentine’s Day weekend,
   some 150 young adults braved the
cold weather to worship together at
Camp Winnekeag in Ashburnham,
Massachusetts. They came out for the
first-ever GODencounters Collegiate/
Young Adult Retreat weekend under
the leadership of Bill Wood, former
Atlantic Union Conference Youth
Ministries director. Eighteen years
later, GODencounters continues to
be a place for a new generation of
young adults in the Atlantic Union
Conference to worship together,
hang out, and have a life-changing
experience with Jesus Christ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Naquan Taitt
   While the coronavirus pandem-
ic eliminated the opportunity for                                  Pictured are some of the in-studio crew who helped to make the GODencounters weekend a success.
an in-person event this year, the
GODencounters planning committee                                   General Conference Youth Ministries                               and YouTube channel and connected
moved forward to hold a virtual event,                             director; Abraham Henry, Lake Region                              with the hundreds of viewers—both
February 12-14, with more than 525                                 Conference Youth Ministries direc-                                registered and non-registered—via
young adults registered. Under the                                 tor; Shonelle George, motivational                                the chat, as well as on the Yapp
theme, “One in Him,” David McKenzie,                               speaker, blogger, and psychotherapist;                            app that was available to registered
Atlantic Union Conference Adventist                                Teddy Williamson, Greater New York                                attendees. If you missed this year’s
Youth Ministries (AYM) director, and                               Conference Youth Ministries asso-                                 GODencounters, be sure to watch the
cohosts Teddy Williamson, Mitsuka                                  ciate director; Israel Mora, Carolina                             videos by visiting the Atlantic Union
Attys, and Samuel Cruz, set the tone                               Conference ShareHim coordinator and                               Adventist Youth Ministries Facebook
and kept each segment moving from                                  pastor; Jonathan Coicou, a Northeastern                           page (
their cozy, living-room-style set.                                 Conference Youth Ministries area coor-                            AdventistYouthMinistries) or YouTube
   Guest speakers and presenters                                   dinator; and Eric Walsh, physician and                            channel (
for the weekend included Heather                                   health care administrator.                                        AUYouthMedia/videos).
Thompson Day, interdenominational                                    Atlantic Union AYM streamed the                                 —Debra Banks Cuadro, assistant communication
speaker and author; Gary Blanchard,                                programs live on their Facebook page                              director, Atlantic Union Conference

Cohosts Mitsuka Attys and Samuel Cruz, left, speak with Friday-night presenter Heather             Cohost Teddy Williamson, Greater New York Conference Adventist Youth Ministries associate director,
Thompson Day, an interdenominational speaker and author.                                           left, talks with David McKenzie, Atlantic Union Conference Adventist Youth Ministries director.

10              Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                                     Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website

Atlantic Union Youth Participate in NAD Youth Sabbath
School/Youth Church

T    he North American
     Division (NAD) Youth
and Young Adult Ministries
                                  who led the discussion; and
                                  the Northeastern Academy
                                  Choir which provided music.
Department partnered with            On February 13, Abdiel
young people and Youth            Nieves of the Framingham
Ministries leaders from           Spanish church in
around the Atlantic Union         Framingham, Massachusetts,
Conference during the             cohosted on behalf of the
month of February to cohost       Southern New England
Momentum Youth Sabbath            Conference. Danielle Jean-
School and Youth Church.          Baptiste, director of Youth
Representatives from the          and Young Adult Ministries
NAD Youth and Young Adult         for the Village Church in         Givens Lubin, Shiloh Bilingual French church youth director, top left, prays with youth from the
Ministries, Tracy Wood, direc-    Lancaster, Massachusetts,         Greater New York Conference before discussing the Sabbath School lesson on February 27.
tor; Vendeon Griffin, asso-       gave the message; Kirosha
ciate director; and Armando       Sidelca, Shalom Rodriguez,
Miranda, associate director,      and Shayanya Rodriguez
hosted each live-streamed         provided music.
episode and were assisted            Trevor Schlisner, NNEC
by youth leaders from four        Youth Ministries director,
conferences in the Atlantic       cohosted the program on
Union: Greater New York           February 20 with special
(GNYC), Northeastern (NEC),       guest Janely Pierre, who pas-
Northern New England              tors the Derry and Manchester
(NNEC), and Southern New          churches in New Hampshire,
England (SNEC).                   to give the spoken word.
   Each week, cohosts brought     Ben and Jasmine Blanchard
visitors to the program from      provided music for NNEC,
their territory to share music,   and Janel Tyson, Pine Tree        Janel Tyson, Pine Tree Academy vice principal and seventh- and eighth-grade teacher, top row, second
                                                                    from left, leads the Sabbath School lesson discussion on February 20, joined by Trevor Schlisner,
present an inspirational mes-     Academy (PTA) vice principal      Northern New England Conference AYM director, top center, and several Pine Tree Academy students.
sage, and teach the Sabbath       and seventh- and eighth-grade
School lesson. Each segment       teacher, led out in the Sabbath
also included youth from var-     School lesson discussion with
ious churches located within      several PTA students.
the hosting conference or stu-       Representatives from
dents from a local Adventist      the Greater New York
school to participate in an       Conference ended the month
interactive Sabbath School        by cohosting the February
discussion.                       27 program. Ariel Manzueta,
   Cohost Ingrid Pierre,          GNYC Youth Ministries
Adventist Youth leader for        director, and cohost Kebrina
the Flatbush church in            Stephenson, a young adult
Brooklyn, New York, rep-          from Bronx, New York, led
resented the Northeastern         out in the program. Gregory
Conference and led out in         Carrol, pastor of Queens
                                                                    On February 13, Jeamela Guilloteau, assistant Pathfinder leader from the Brockton church, top
the program on February           Faith Temple in Laurelton,        left, leads the team, including Daniel Velez, Southern New England Conference AYM director,
6 with special guests             New York, provided the            bottom left, in discussing the Sabbath School lesson.
Edsel Cadet, pastor of the        message, and musical artists
Cambridge church in Everett,      Keila Lopez and Mildred           Bilingual French church in                          young people from various
Massachusetts; Jonathan           Laventure brought special         Brooklyn, New York, and                             area churches.
Coicou, a NEC Youth               music. Givens Lubin, youth        Stephenson led out in the                           —Debra Cuadro, assistant communica-
Ministries area coordinator,      director for the Shiloh           Sabbath School lesson with                          tion director, Atlantic Union Conference

at		                                                                 Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021                                   11

The Indicator Magazine Gets a 21st Century Makeover

W      hile doing some
       research on the New
York Conference (NYC)
                                 live on Facebook (facebook.
                                 com/NYConference). Each
                                 episode provides conference
                                                                                   of the church. Rodriguez
                                                                                   and his cohosts, Miguel
                                                                                   Crespo, NYC president, and
                                                                                                                                   in the Facebook comments
                                                                                                                                     In its first season, The
history, Claudio Gomez,                                                                                                            Indicator transitioned to a
NYC executive secretary,                                                                                                           monthly program as church-
discovered some old copies                                                                                                         es reopened and resumed
of The New York Indicator,                                                                                                         services, but that change has
a magazine published in                                                                                                            not affected the number of
the 1900s by the New                                                                                                               people tuning in, which has
York Conference and Tract                                                                                                          more than doubled. Topics
Society. At the same time,                                                                                                         covered in 2020 included
Reynolds Rodriguez, NYC                                                                                                            the mission and diversity
communication director,                                                                                                            of the conference, church
was finalizing plans for the                                                                                                       planting, and the corona-
conference’s new weekly                                                                                                            virus and its impact on the
online program. Gomez pre-                                                                                                         church. In January 2021, The
sented his hidden treasure,                                                                                                        Indicator kicked off its sec-
and they all agreed that The     New York Conference representatives Miguel Crespo, president, bottom left; Claudio Gomez,         ond season discussing reli-
Indicator was a fitting name     executive secretary, bottom right; and Reynolds Rodriguez, communication director, top left;      gious liberty, and focused on
for this new program.            discuss church planting with Jonathan Perez, One Connection church assistant pastor, top right,   emotional and mental health
  On May 8, 2020, The            during the November 2020 edition of The Indicator.                                                during the coronavirus in its
Indicator made its digital       news and updates, and                             Gomez, interview guests,                        February broadcast.
debut. The program utilizes      features a special guest to                       take prayer requests, pray,                     —Debra Banks Cuadro, assistant
an interactive video format      discuss current issues as                         and share testimonies                           communication director, Atlantic
via Zoom that is streamed        they relate to the mission                        from viewers interacting                        Union Conference

Westvale Celebrates a Virtual Prayer Walk

T   hings at the Westvale church are
    done differently due to COVID-
19, but that does not stop ministry
                                                  via Zoom. Payne showed pictures of
                                                  the different rooms or people—Seong
                                                  Cho, Westvale church senior pastor, the
                                                                                                                         Payne and Hayford are planning a
                                                                                                                       prayer walk once a quarter this year
                                                                                                                       because they realize that prayer is
from happening. In the past, before               audio visual team, officers, and more—                               especially important for the church
COVID-19, the Prayer Ministries                   and then someone said a prayer for the                               and church school. Payne feels it is
and Health Ministries teams joined                different people, rooms, activities, and                             important for the Health Ministries
together to conduct a prayer walk for             ministries of the church.                                            team to join the Prayer Ministries
the church and church school. They                  Sue Hayford, Westvale church                                       team in these walks since prayer is a
did not let the virus prevent that from           Prayer Ministries leader and one of                                  part of spiritual health and exercising
happening this year.                              the church school teachers, led out                                  (walking) is good for one’s physical
   Leaders held the first prayer walk of          in the prayer walk around the church                                 health.
2021 virtually. Instead of walking in the         school, Parkview Junior Academy,                                     —Reynolds Rodriguez, communication director,
church or church school, Joan Payne,              showing pictures of the different                                    New York Conference
Westvale church’s faith community                 rooms and students. Various people
nurse, led the walk around the church             then said a prayer for them.

12        Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                           Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website

Joy of Troy Church Delivers Food to the Homeless

J   oy of Troy church
    members made and
delivered a total of 60
                                                   “Thank you for supporting
                                                   Kendal House’s work on the
                                                   Outreach Van with your
lunches for Joseph’s House                         donation of bottled water
& Shelter (Kendal House) in                        and sandwiches. . . . Your
Troy, New York, on the last                        gift is helping us provide
Sabbath in January. Joseph’s                       support and housing
House & Shelter has a van                          services to the individuals
that travels through Troy                          living on the street in
each afternoon, making                             Albany.
deliveries of sandwiches to                           “We couldn’t do our work
the homeless in Troy.                              without caring friends like
   The lunches Joy of                              you. With your help, we will
Troy assembled included                            reach even more people in
                                                                                                  Sandwiches and water are ready for Joy of Troy members to deliver to Joseph’s House & Shelter
sandwiches, granola bars,                          need of housing and shelter                    for distribution to the homeless in Troy, New York.
mandarin oranges, and two                          in Albany this year.
cases of bottled water. Due                           “While our overall vision                   Gleaner, November 2020,                          relationships and touching
to COVID-19, the Gonzales                          is for everyone in the                         p. 12 ), the church in Troy,                     hearts in a meaningful way
family volunteered to make                         community to have safe                         New York, has cordoned off                       by providing much-needed
and deliver the lunch bags.                        and affordable housing,                        an area around their church                      services.
Joy of Troy members plan                           we also do what we can                         which they refer to as the                       —Annette Barnes, elder, Joy of Troy
to perform this ministry                           to alleviate the stresses                      Quadrant. In the Quadrant,                       church
quarterly in 2021. Until it                        endured during episodes                        they are strengthening
is safe to meet as a large                         of homelessness. Your gift
group for such an activity,                        helps us do just that.
a different family from the                           “We are so pleased to have
church will volunteer to                           you as a friend of Kendal
make the lunches each time.                        House. Again, thank you for
   In response to the                              your support and gift.”
compassion initiative, Joy                            Joy of Troy members
of Troy church members                             are blessed to help meet a
received a response from                           need within the Quadrant
the Joseph’s House &                               and to be the hands and
Shelter development                                feet of Jesus. As mentioned
assistant Andrew Barnes,                           in a previous article (see

Food supplies to pack lunch bags for people in the area surrounding Joy of Troy church include,
granola bars, mandarin oranges, and other items.

at		                                                                                             Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021                             13

God’s Hands Keep the Bethel School Community Safe

“A    pandemic?” “Are we all
      going to die?” “What
 is going to happen to
                                     Fortunately for the
                                  Christian, all things work
                                  together for good to them that
                                                                                     home, neither could they
                                                                                     afford to pay for someone to
                                                                                     stay at home with them.
                                                                                                                                          For those who work with
                                                                                                                                        small children, you know
                                                                                                                                        what happens when one
 my grandmother and               love the Lord. While they                            With the challenge ahead                         child gets a cold—the entire
 grandfather?” “Is it true that   are not suggesting that God                        of preparing for online                            building is sick. However,
 this can kill us?” “How do       brings bad things to others,                       learning, which would be                           during this pandemic, they
 we keep ourselves safe, and      they rest assured that when                        difficult for young children,                      witnessed something they
 will we survive it?” What in     they put their lives in His                        the school had to figure out                       had never seen before. Not
 the world is a pandemic to       hands, no matter what hap-                         the best way to educate its                        one single child in the
 an elementary child? These       pens, there will be a bright                       students. It also had the                          school became ill because
 were all questions that          side for the Christian whose                       ominous task of getting the                        of COVID-19. No one had a
 students were asking.            eyes are on the Savior. So, the                    building ready to receive the                      cold, or flu, or sniffle of any
    Their questions echoed
 the fears of the students
 and the fears of many
 teachers and parents who
 had no answers to give.
 Nonetheless, the Bethel
 school curriculum was
 immediately changed
 to seek out and provide
 answers to the many
 troubling questions and to
 settle the hearts and minds
 of little ones, whose only
 concern before now was
“Do I get to play with my
 friends today?”
    Aside from adding a new
 vocabulary word to the
 list of words for the period     At Bethel school everyone wears masks and each class is set up to give the students the space required to practice physical distancing.
 under study, teachers gave
 students the dictionary          question is, “How did this                        students when September 4,                          kind. The administrators
 meaning for “pandemic,”          work for the good of anyone?”                     2020, arrived.                                      and staff did not take this
 which became a teachable         Well, at the Bethel school, a                       The building was                                  blessing lightly. They saw
 moment, one that would last      K-8 grade school located in                       sanitized and cleaned,                              that when they obey God,
 much longer than a moment.       Brooklyn, New York, some                          following CDC, local,                               He protects them and, even
    The 2020-2021 school year     good things did happen.                           state, and Northeastern                             when He chooses not to act
 began with the knowledge            When the school year                           Conference guidelines. Each                         in the way they think He
 that the academic landscape      began, the administration                         class was made ready with                           should, He works out all
 had changed. These were          and staff got busy making                         hand-sanitizing stations,                           things for their good.
 not times they had seen          all the necessary prepara-                        portable hand-washing                                  Everyone had to wear
 before, nor were they times      tions for students to return.                     basins, extra supplies of                           masks. Mask wearing helped
 that could be compared to        At the end of the previous                        face masks, markings on                             to prevent the spread of the
 any in their short lifetime.     year, parents indicated that                      the floor for distancing,                           virus in the building. They
 For many, the change was         many of them needed the                           Clorox wipes, regular                               cleaned their hands with
 so drastic they immediately      school to open for in-person                      cleaning during the day,                            soap and water and sani-
 recognized that things would     learning because they could                       and deep cleaning at the                            tized them often. They wore
 never be the same again.         not leave their children at                       end of each day.                                    gloves where appropriate.

14         Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                           Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website

This helped decrease the            James 4:8 says, “Cleanse       connotation as well as a          implications for the class-
spread of the virus, espe-        your hands, ye sinners;          physical need to be clean.        rooms and meeting places.
cially preventing them from       and purify your hearts, ye          According to Ellen G.            As Bethel school practiced
putting their hands on their      double minded” (KJV). 1          White in The A dventist           the principles laid out in
faces. Each class was set         Thessalonians 4:7 says, “For     Home, p. 22, “A neglect of        God’s Word, as they were
up to give the students the       God hath not called us           cleanliness will induce dis-      reminded by the scientific
space required to practice        unto uncleanness, but unto       ease. Sickness does not come      community of the need to
physical distancing.              holiness” (KJV). Ephesians       without a cause.” She also        put these measures in place,
  All classes became their        5:26 says, “That he might        says, “Perfect cleanliness,       they could see God’s hand
own bubble, allowing no           sanctify and cleanse it          plenty of sunlight, careful       in keeping the children and
one in who was not a part         with the washing of water        attention to sanitation in        their school community
of the class. The school also     by the word” (KJV). These        every detail of the home          safe. They were reminded
denied open access to their       texts remind them of             life, are essential to freedom    that all things work together
building. By controlling the      how important cleansing          from disease and to the           for good unto those who
environment and practicing        themselves is. In doing          cheerfulness and vigor of         love the Lord and conduct
the principles that God gave      this, they allow God to          the inmates of the home”—         themselves according to His
to them, they have been able      clean their souls so that        Counsels for the Church,          way (Romans 8:28).
to keep their children safe       they prepare for Him. These      p 219. While this passage         —Celestine Creighton, principal,
thus far.                         texts suggest a spiritual        relates to the home, it has       Bethel school

Northeastern Conference Communication Presents
“The Zoom Where It Happens”

B    ryant Taylor, worship
     and media pastor at
the Azure Hills church in
                                  being a participant in a vir-
                                  tual church service. For the
                                  viewer, they simply click a
                                                                   audio software, streaming
                                                                   equipment, and presentation
                                                                   platforms. Taylor also noted
the Southern California           link on Facebook, YouTube,       that just because a church
Conference and president          Zoom, or other platforms,        has the best of everything, it
of the Society of Adventist       and they are instantly mem-      does not always mean that it
Communicators, presented          bers of a virtual church ser-    will have the greatest results.
a virtual media workshop          vice, board meeting, or even       He emphasized that
titled, “The Zoom Where It        a concert program. However,      they need to take time to
Happens” to Northeastern          to achieve the highest level     grow and learn about the
Conference pastors and            of professional quality, many    equipment and use it to
communication leaders on          people are behind the scenes     each church’s best needs to
February 23. Taylor has a         to make that happen.             minister to those who will
wealth of knowledge and              In his presentation, Taylor   be watching the programs.
experience when it comes to       provided information on          He told the workshop              Bryant Taylor, worship and media pastor
                                                                                                     at the Azure Hills church in the Southern
technology for churches.          how to get the best out of       participants, “I love             California Conference and president of the
   In this time of virtual liv-   the online church experience     developing digital disciples.”    Society of Adventist Communicators, shared
ing, working, and socializ-       by using the best equipment      He also emphasized                information on how to get the best out of the
                                                                                                     online church experience.
ing, perhaps one of the most      that will enhance any            that they can still make
rapid changes since the pan-      program. He demonstrated         an impact by using this
demic began is how every-         how to use the latest video      technology to reach others        —JeNean Lendor, communication
one has had to adjust to          cameras, microphones,            for Christ.                       director, Northeastern Conference

at		                                                     Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021                       15

She Found a New Religion, Love, and Then Marriage in the
Middle of a Pandemic

W       hen Melinda Durller
        was first invited to
an Adventist church, she
                                                    Right after her baptism,
                                                 the Atwoods invited
                                                 Melinda to a health weekend
agreed to go out of curi-                        at Camp Lawroweld, and
osity and reciprocity—for                        Melinda not only thoroughly
the Adventist friend who                         enjoyed the health
invited her had previ-                           presentations, but fell in
ously accepted Melinda’s                         love with the camp. When
invitation to attend her                         she got an opportunity to
Baptist church. But Melinda                      chat with the camp director,
found that her visit to                          Trevor Schlisner, she found
the Adventist church in                          that a renovation of the
Bennington, Vermont, had                         camp was going to start
awakened a vague nagging                         almost immediately with
at the back of her mind.                         the help of a group called
                                                                                  Mark Atwood, Bennington church pastor, baptizes Melinda Durller while Chris Schmid waits to
   She attended a few more                       Maranatha. Schlisner invited     be baptized.
times, and the nagging                           her to join with Maranatha
blossomed into a realization                     and gave her the contact         Maranatha and found that                         campfire at night. I loved it,”
that the Sabbath truth had                       information.                     the project was full and new                     she said, “And I jumped right
been tugging at her heart for                       With the help of Mark         registrations were closed.                       in. I signed up to give my
literally decades. She engaged                   and Ruth, Melinda looked            Melinda expressed her                         testimony on the third night,
in Bible studies with the                        into Maranatha and liked         disappointment to Mark and                       even though I didn’t know
Bennington church pastor,                        what she saw. It was a good      Ruth, and when Mark heard                        what a testimony was. Well,
Mark Atwood, and his                             organization that worked         her story, he frowned. “Let                      when the first testimony was
wife, Ruth. By the time the                      with volunteers to build         me make a call,” he told her.                    given, the man who gave it
Bible studies were over and                      churches or repair buildings     She’d been told registrations                    went on at length. All of a
Melinda was to be baptized                       at Adventist projects all over   were closed, and the project                     sudden, I was really nervous.
in September of 2020, the                        the world. She was delighted     started in only days, so she                     I was awake the whole night
ceremony itself was a bit                        with the prospect of return-     held out little hope. It wasn’t                  before I was to give my tes-
more muted and sparsely                          ing to the camp and taking       long, however, before she                        timony, praying to God to
attended than it would have                      up important work with           heard from a smiling Mark                        help me know what to say.
been, because the pandemic                       good people. But her hopes       that her registration had been                   At the end of the night, I felt
was in full swing.                               were dashed when she called      accepted and she was an                          God telling me to use my
                                                                                  official part of the Maranatha                   drum—which I had for some
                                                                                  project at Lawroweld.                            reason taken with me. ‘Talk
                                                                                     Mark never told her who                       about finding Me and play
                                                                                  he called or how he man-                         your drum,’ He seemed to be
                                                                                  aged to pull the right strings,                  saying. And so I did, and it
                                                                                  but Melinda now sees the                         helped start several conver-
                                                                                  whole chain of events as                         sations with people on the
                                                                                  part of God’s plan—a plan                        project that I hadn’t met yet.”
                                                                                  that was only beginning                             One of those people was
                                                                                  to unfold. When Melinda                          Alan Stevenson, who had
                                                                                  joined the Maranatha group,                      traveled with his dog and
                                                                                  she also got an immersion                        some friends to the proj-
                                                                                  into Adventist culture and                       ect from North Dakota.
                                                                                  mission mindset. “There                          “Apparently, he liked my
                                                                                  was worship morning and                          drum playing,” said Melinda,
                                                                                  evening and amazing spiri-                       “because we started spend-
Melinda Durller and Alan Stevenson prepare to exchange vows.                      tual discussions around the                      ing quite a bit of time

16             Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                   Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website

together, including taking          That dinner led to the        couldn’t make it happen               Even in the middle of a
his dog for walks most eve-      couple spending still more       because of work commit-             pandemic, God works His
nings. It wasn’t long before     time together and, when          ments, but he did invite            plans out. Melinda and Alan
he invited me out to dinner.”    the project was over, it was     Melinda out to North Dakota         now have a home in both
Melinda confesses that she       difficult to part. Melinda       for an extended visit, and          North Dakota and Vermont
hadn’t gone to the project       signed up for another            she accepted. A few weeks           and are trying to figure out
looking to meet someone.         Maranatha project, this time     later, on December 7, 2020,         what the future holds for
“My husband of 45 years          in Tennessee. Alan returned      on the shore of the lake at         them. Two things they know
passed away a couple of          home and kept in touch with      the Dakota Conference’s             for sure: God and Maranatha
years previous to my becom-      Melinda by text and phone,       Northern Lights Camp, Alan          will be in their future.
ing an Adventist, and I          but found after a few weeks      asked Melinda to marry              —Scott Christiansen, communication
wasn’t looking for a relation-   that he really wanted to be in   him. They were married on           director, Northern New England
ship, but it seems God had       Tennessee and see Melinda        January 21 at her church in         Conference
other plans.”                    in person. In the end, he        Bennington, Vermont.

What Does It Take to Stop a Pathfinder from Pursuing
Their Mission?

W      hat does it take to stop a
       Pathfinder from pursuing their
ministry? Before you answer that,
                                            Even though the meetings were all
                                            virtual, the weekend was as packed
                                            with activities as it would have been if
                                                                                         clubs with membership of about 150
                                                                                         Pathfinders and leaders. True to their
                                                                                         “git ‘er done” nature, the meetings
consider that these are the young           they were meeting in person.                 started early in the morning and went
people who take their Pathfinder              The scope of the agenda helps              until late at night. When chided about
pledge seriously: “By the grace of God,     people who are not deeply familiar           the non-stop nature of the weekend,
I will be pure, and kind, and true. I       with Pathfinders to understand just          conference Pathfinder director Kurt
will keep the Pathfinder Law. I will be     how broad and important this critical        Amos said, “Hey, we expect a lot
a servant of God and a friend to man.”      ministry is. There were excellent            from our kids, and we know they
That is quite a pledge, and obviously,      worships and devotionals, of course,         expect a lot from us, so putting in the
it would take quite a lot to stop young     and there was also a multitude of            hours is just part of leadership in the
people who are so intent on carrying        useful break-out training sessions.          Pathfinder ministry.”
out the mission and ministry God has        Becky Barcelow led a session on                 But, even though the passion and
given them.                                 Small Club Organization. Paul and            dedication that Pathfinder leaders
   Now consider a second question:          Seth Noyes led a session on Suicide          have for their ministry were on full
What would it take to stop Pathfinder       Awareness (how to spot risk signals          display over the weekend, there was
leaders? Specifically, Northern New         and what to do). Mark Tamaleaa led           one common refrain that, if not a
England Pathfinder leaders? The             a session on Realizing Your Spiritual        complaint, was a heartfelt observation:
answer, just going by the available         Gifts. Beverly Tier led a session on         “I can hardly wait until we can do all
evidence, seems to be that we haven’t       Adolescent Development, and Karen            our Pathfinder activities in real life!”
found anything yet that stops them.         Amos led a session on Medical, Risk          None of the attendees knew exactly
Certainly not COVID, at any rate.           Management, and Child Safety. There          when all clubs could resume regular
Pathfinder leaders just keep going and      were, in all, 34 break-out sessions over     schedules, but there was one thing for
going and going. Proof of that is the       the weekend.                                 certain: all Pathfinder leaders were
recent NNEC Pathfinder Leadership             NNEC’s Pathfinder Leadership               praying for a rapid resumption of all
Meetings. Club directors, regional          Meetings were spread out over three          aspects of their ministry (including
coordinators, and conference directors      days with 51 leaders in attendance,          camporees).
kept their appointed time for their         including 17 teen leadership trainees.       —Scott Christiansen, communication director,
annual worship and training weekend.        Those in attendance represented 11           Northern New England Conference

at		                                                      Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021               17

Texas Food Pantry Receives Help from Massachusetts and
New York

N     icole Broushet and her
      husband, Victor, are
personal ministries leaders
at the College Church in
Lancaster, Massachusetts,
and are owners of The Vegan
Nest, a café in Worcester,
Massachusetts. Broushet,
originally from Texas, saw her
fellow Texans’ plight during
the arctic outbreak that
slammed the state, bringing

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photos courtesy of Nicole Broushet
snow and one of the lowest
five-day average temperatures
seen in some 40 years. “I
knew we needed to get help
down there,” Broushet said.
“They just don’t have the
infrastructure to support                            Frankie Vasquez, Southern New England Conference Adventist Community Services director, far left, and Shawn Santana, far right, pose for a group
weather like that and even to                        picture outside the Pleasant Grove Spanish church in Dallas, Texas, after unloading a rental truck they drove from Massachusetts filled with donated
                                                     food and water from the Southern New England and Greater New York conferences. Starting second from left are Alyssa Valenzuela, Nicole Broushet,
know how to respond.”                                Ana Carmela Cotrina Poncedeleon, Ray Valenzuela, a member of the Pleasant Grove Spanish church, and Miguel Mares.
   Fueled with only a desire
in their hearts, the Broushets                       Dallas, Texas. “We prayed                           food and supplies at a steep                      Massachusetts. Broushet con-
didn’t know what to do and                           for God to touch our hearts                         discount and donated 1,100                        nected with Frankie Vasquez,
how to get started. They                             and the hearts of those who                         pounds of water.                                  Southern New England
sought the Lord in prayer,                           wanted to be involved in this                          Armed with this news,                          Conference Adventist
asking Him to show them                              project so that we could move                       they approached their                             Community Services (ACS)
how to provide some relief                           forward together to support                         church pastor, Einar Rom,                         director, to coordinate send-
and do whatever they could                           our brothers and sisters in the                     who got their church family                       ing another truck to Dallas.
do from 1,800 miles away.                            Dallas area.” Broushet shared                       on board to contribute to                         Luis Biazotto, ACS director
   Broushet connected with                           the idea with their food dis-                       the cause. She also took to                       for the Greater New York
Carmela Cotrina Poncedeleon,                         tributor, who, upon learn-                          social media and tapped into                      Conference, heard about the
a friend who had contacts                            ing that this was a charity                         their loyal customer base                         initiative and also wanted to
at the Dallas First church in                        mission, offered to transport                       for donations. A mere four                        get involved. “It makes me so
                                                                                                         days later, help was on the                       happy to see members and
                                                                                                         way to Dallas in the form of                      churches talking and com-
                                                                                                         almost 5,000 pounds of food                       municating, laying aside pref-
                                                                                                         and water that went to God’s                      erences and self, and uniting
                                                                                                         Table Food Pantry operated                        under the banner of Christ
                                                                                                         by Dallas First Seventh-                          and the cause of God. That,
                                                                                                         day Adventist Church. The                         to me, is a blessing beyond
                                                                                                         church also shared some                           measure,” says Broushet.
                                                                                                         of its supplies with area                            Less than two weeks
                                                                                                         food pantries in Austin,                          after the first delivery, two
                                                                                                         Arlington, and Fort Worth.                        trucks—a rental truck driv-
                                                                                                            As more people heard                           en by Vasquez with multiple
                                                                                                         about the project, donations                      pallets of food and water
                                                                                                         continued to pour in after                        donated from the Southern
                                                                                                         the first delivery, including a                   New England and Greater
                                                                                                         donation of blankets and hats                     New York conferences, and
Volunteers at the Pleasant Grove Spanish church in Dallas, Texas, organize the food and water            from the Leominster Spanish                       another tractor trailer from
donations that arrived in a tractor trailer from Massachusetts to distribute to their local community.   church in Leominster,                             Broushet’s food distributor—

18               Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 2021		                                                                                        Visit the Atlantic Union Gleaner Website
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