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The Conference closed the Sabbath with vespers, led by Dr. David Greenlaw, President of Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (FHCHS). Music was again provided by Soul Reason. Dr. Greenlaw spoke about an Adventist Journey, using his own experience and maturation process to parallel how the church-at-large has grappled with issues and problems throughout its history. David did not grow up Adventist, he joined the church at age 19. And his father was leery of churches in general - 'They want you to be involved in groupthink'. Initially David was quite convinced that the Adventism he had embraced was thoroughly 'right'. But then came Seminary – including some classes by Dr. Roy Branson. And his reading, thinking and questioning broadened, with some questions that might be considered inappropriate for a so-called 'good' Adventist to ask. For example:
- How should one look at scripture – in a way more faithful to context and transcending proof-testing.
- How should one relate to Ellen White, who did several 180 degree turns in the course of her long ministry?
The church has struggled with these kinds of issues through its history. Sometimes with painful and divisive results.
His personal journey took him next to New England, then Africa. There he saw how Adventist education, especially at the primary level, was having a profound and far-reaching effect. Tangibly, there were resultant baptisms and church growth from this extensive school system. Intangibly he found an amazing reservoir of good-will. Many national and local political leaders had gone through the Adventist system. They had their values grounded by and affections established toward the church from grade-school forward.
Dr. Greenlaw then turned to his current endeavor – Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences – which has a large majority of non-Adventist students. He speaks with pride and pastoral affection for the work being done here. And like Africa, FHCHS is firmly positioned in the Public Square, impacting a student population whose knowledge of Christianity, let alone Adventism, may be minimal.
[Read our recent interview with Dr. Greenlaw – here.]
The evening entertainment began with Tom Dwyer, husband of current Spectrum editor Bonnie Dwyer. Tom is noted for his spot-on impersonation of pioneer missionary, children’s author and storyteller Eric B. Hare (1894-1982). Older Adventists grew up listening to records of Elder Hare telling his stories (and they are still available at the Adventist Book Center on CD).
Then Bonnie Dwyer interviewed two film students from Southern Adventist University – Kristine Barker and Philip Sherwood. Kristine showed a clip from her short film Needed and Philip from his film The Yearbook. Both were about the problems of social acceptance in High School.
For the final segment Alex Carpenter interviewed Stanley Pomianowski and Tammy Cinquemani, staff members of Florida Hospital Adventist Church and primarily responsible for wildly successful YouTube parody Before He Speaks. It has had more than 140,000 hits on YouTube and about 26,500 hits here on the Spectrum website. Alex read several comments about their video that were left on our website. The best was: 'Haha. I am a Catholic priest. I enjoyed this :-). Reason # 7324 for a celibate priesthood.'
Then several videos were shown, beginning with Before He Speaks. The last was the just completed Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Pastors. Hilarious. It brought down the house. They have not yet posted it on YouTube but hope to do so this week. Be assured Alex will post an article with link for you here on the Spectrum site about one microsecond after he sees it online.
Here are the other three videos they showed us. Enjoy.