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Adventist News Network reports on the Spring Meeting of Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in Battle Creek, Mich.
Tithe returned in the North American Division for 2012 was up about 1 percent from 2011 and totaled US$933 million. Tithe from divisions outside North America increased 4.4 percent for a total of close to $1.4 billion.
Mission offerings from outside North America similarly rose, reaching about $60 million, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, mission offerings returned in North America dipped 2.6 percent, totaling nearly $23 million.
“We have seen a tremendous increase in mission giving by divisions outside of North America,” Adventist world church Treasurer Robert E. Lemon told ANN. “But I want to point out that in North America, local churches often give to many projects directly, or their members go on mission trips. These acts of mission giving go uncounted.”
This week, Japp Korteweg sets the table for Sabbath at the Spectrum Café. In addition to memorable Sabbath meals, Sabbath at the Spectrum Café features guest columnists’ fresh perspectives on food, community and unique stories surrounding vegetarian cuisine.
My name is Jaap Korteweg, and I am an eighth-generation farmer from the Netherlands. Twenty years ago I decided to switch to organic farming on our farm, now 230 acres, where the challenge was to show that in this way, we could reap a harvest that was of higher quality than usual. Our company, Biotrio,is very successful, and for many years now we have been one of the largest organic vegetable and herb growers in Europe.
From my experience on a mixed farm, and after witnessing major disasters in large-scale animal farming in the Netherlands, I decided to try to shorten the food chain. I was—and still am—very attached to the taste, structure and feeling of meat, but the production was bothering me, so I decided not to eat animals anymore. As a response, I launched the world’s first Vegetarian Butcher, which cannot be distinguished from a traditional butcher, with one single difference: no slaughter animals are involved.
We market a completely new generation of meat substitutes, which are indistinguishable from real meat, in the most positive way. For example, we have developed 100 percent vegetarian chicken with exactly the same taste, appearance and texture as real chicken, but without the collateral damage or artificial additives.
Mark Bittman, food critic for The New York Times wrote a lyrical review about our chicken, “A Chicken Without Guilt.”When Ferran Adrià, the chef of El Bulli, tasted our meat he thought that he was dealing with "Chicken thigh of high quality, probably a free-range chicken from France." And in the culinary capital of the world, Paris, France, we launched a vegetarian hamburger, which attracted lots of media attention earlier this month.
Within two years, we grew from one single shop to 500 Vegetarian Butcher dealers in the Netherlands. Our ambition is to be the biggest butcher in the world within 10 years.
We would like to benefit the world in terms of the environment, climate, health, fair food distribution, animal welfare and nature, in line with the heritage of Adventist food factories from the past and the ideas of Adventist pioneers. In theory, we could feed 30 billion people with a plant-based diet, using the current agricultural surface.And together with the Netherlands’ Wageningen University and Delft University of Technology, we are developing a new machine that makes fresh meat substitutes accessible for developing countries.
We are on the verge of a breakthrough that the food industry has not witnessed before. A century ago, 20 million horses in the United States were starting to be replaced by tractors. In a similar way, we will also be able to liberate the billions of slaughter animals from the food chain! Whereas a chicken yields about .66 lb (0.3 kg) of meat from about 2.2 lb (1 kg) of soy, the new “mechanical chicken” yields about 6.6 lb (3 kg) of chicken meat from the same amount of soy.
When the slaughter of animals becomes an outdated production method, the words of Albert Einstein can come true: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We hope to set foot on U.S. ground soon, when we find a suitable distributor, perhaps following the heritage of the Adventist food tradition.
The Vegetarian Butcher is linked with the Sabbath tradition in terms of culinary experience, but also in terms of a healthy mindset. I feel that mankind and the planet need to rest to be restored, and to touch ground. I know the Sabbath meal tradition from my wife, Marianne Thieme, and friend and business partner, Niko Koffeman, both members of the Adventist church. Vegetarian meals can complement the Sabbath holiday and give it extra meaning.
Jaap Korteweg is the founder of the Vegetarian Butcher, a vegan and vegetarian meat substitute company in the Netherlands. He is also the husband of Marianne Thieme, a Dutch politician of the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren).
For more images of the Vegetarian Butcher shop, products and more, click here.
This week’s recipe for Indonesian Stew (pictured, bottom left) comes from Jaap Korteweg in the Netherlands. He writes that as someone who eats vegetarian meat daily, this is his favorite recipe. Korteweg adds that the main difference between using vegetable meat and real meat in this recipe is that this sauté needs less time to simmer, because the vegetable meat is already precooked and tender. Serve with yellow rice and spicy green beans in coconut milk (top right and bottom right, respectively).
Total prep. time: 50 min.
Active prep. time: 20 min.
2 medium onions, chopped
Optional: replace ¼ c onions with ¼ c chopped green onions
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 tbsp. reduced-sodium or regular soy sauce
1/3 c + 2 tbsp. (100 mL) water
1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
1 pinch of nutmeg, or to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste
12 oz. vegetarian chicken strips, 1 block (about 16 oz.) extra-firm tofu, or 1 cakes (about 16 oz.) tempeh
Optional: 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1. Warm 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until nearly translucent, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the garlic green onions (if using) and sauté for another five minutes.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (soy sauce through pepper) and let simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
4. Sauté the vegetarian chicken, tofu or tempeh in the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a medium nonstick skillet, then add it to the sauce. Let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid begins to evaporate and the sauce becomes thicker. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
Looking for a recipe from a previous meal at the Spectrum Café? See previous weeks' postings below.
1. A Seventh-day Adventist lost his job and subsequent court appeal at a UK-state school after telling students that gays are "disgusting". On a separate occasion, he told students that “anyone who worships on Sunday is basically worshiping the devil.”
2. Florida-based Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Faces Lawsuit Over Data Breach Affecting More Than 763K.
3. President of the Uganda Union Mission preaches birthday sermon praising the king (Kabaka) of Buganda.
The SDA national leader, Dr. John Kakembo, who was the official preacher, read 2Samuel 23:3-4, which says: "If a king rules in righteousness and fear for God, God blesses him." He expressed dismay over wide spread corruption, discrimination and other injustices in the Uganda society. He also read Daniel 2 about the dream King Nebuchadnezzar got and assured the Kabaka that the witchdoctors and sorcerers cannot guide leaders....
Southern Accent, the student paper of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn., reports on a local alumna who ran in the Boston Marathon.
Jessica Marlier, ’10, an avid runner and Hixson middle school teacher, told the Southern Accent how she heard a sound like “a deep crack of thunder” after running in the Boston Marathon Monday.
“It’s terrible and I’m just kind of in shock. I can’t believe it happened,” Marlier said.
The two booms she heard turned out to be a terror attack four blocks away, right at the same finish line Marlier crossed just an hour earlier at the famed race that draws tens of thousands to Boston each April.
“My training partner and I were hanging out in a local park around 4 blocks away and I was just laying down because I was tired and sore,” she said. “I heard the explosions and I thought maybe a generator blew.”
“It was strange because we heard a lot of ambulances and fire trucks. We got our stuff and we walked down to the nearest subway station. We had to walk an extra mile because they had some of the lines blocked off,” Marlier said.
“Then my phone started going crazy and people started calling. We stopped at a store window to watch a TV and that’s how we found out.”
“The police are encouraging us not to leave our hotels and go out,” Marlier, 27, said.
Marlier said she knew at least fifteen people from the Chattanooga area that participated in this year’s Marathon, but that most had already finished the race when the bombings occurred.
Skip Bell, D.Min., holds the positions of Professor of Church Leadershp and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University. This presentation entitled, "Methods of Resolution for Congregational Conflict,"was recorded on March 14, 2013, in Berrien Springs, Mich., during the Ministerial Director's Boot Camp.
1. The Washington Post marks 150 years of the Seventh-day Adventist Church:
Over the past 150 years, Seventh-day Adventists have built one of Christianity’s most inventive and prosperous churches — while praying for the world to end as soon as possible.
A small band of believers has mushroomed to more than 17 million baptized members, including 1.2 million in the U.S. Nearly 8,000 Adventists schools dot dozens of countries. Hundreds of church-owned hospitals and clinics mend minds and bodies around the world.
You might expect Adventists to celebrate their success while marking their church’s 150th anniversary this May. There’s just one problem: the church wasn’t supposed to last this long.
2. Ben Carson, M.D., Withdraws As Johns Hopkins Medical School Commencement Speaker After Gay Marriage Outcry.
3. Congressman Gary Miller Pays Visit to Loma Linda University Health Campus
This January, when the Theology of Ordination Study Committee met in Laurel, Maryland, the setting of the proceedings, just outside of Washington, D.C., inspired a couple of comments that seemed to help change the tone of the conversation from sharp disagreements to more thoughtful reflection. Describing that committee's proceedings at the annual meeting of West coast university and college religion professors this past weekend were committee members Kendra Haloviak Valentine, John Brunt, Chris Oberg, and Randy Roberts. Their accounts of the meeting provided some background on a process that has been mentioned frequently in the church press sans details about the session papers and conversation.
Dr. Kendra Haloviak Valentine, chair of the department of Biblical Studies in the HMS Richards School of Religion at La Sierra University, began the overview with the basic structure of the three days of sessions. Each began with extensive prayers and a devotional before the presentation of papers—17 in all. On the last evening during the January meeting, the TOSC chair, Artur Stele, suggested spending time in small groups (organized alphabetically). Kendra Haloviak Valentine said one of the most meaningful moments for her came on the last morning of the session. As Stele opened the meeting, he reflected on the committee's work and said it had also led him to think about the Washington, D. C., area where so many people are starving for the bread of life, and yet “here we are spending all our energy discussing who gets to distribute the bread.”
John Brunt, senior pastor of the southern California-based Azure Hills church said committee members represented both ends of the theological spectrum, and that they were told over and over that their goal was to reach consensus. On the first day there were many speeches about the need to be nice to each other, and he wondered why so much time was spent on that. By the second day, he understood. He told of a moving response given by Denis Fortin, outgoing dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University, to a paper that suggested any hermeneutic that included movement toward change was just plain wrong. As a new American citizen Fortin stood to object. In this place where the emancipation proclamation has just been celebrated, he said, if the paper’s theory was correct, slaves would still be slaves.
Another significant moment for Brunt came following the devotional that was given by Haloviak Valentine, the only presentation by a woman during the three days of meetings. She had spoken about the woman at the well in the book of John, and the next day one of the committee members said that he had been moved by her presentation and wished he could participate in the ordination of a Kendra, but if he were to do so, his whole Biblical world would fall.
Loma Linda University Church Senior Pastor Randy Roberts told of the questions that came to his mind during the committee’s session. First, he said, given the sheer size of the group (over a hundred people), how is anything going to happen? Then he wondered how the group had been constituted? He said he overhead some of the committee members saying they wondered why they were on the committee, because they had no special training or background pertaining to the issue. Given that some of the most strident voices in the church are on the committee, Roberts worries that a consensus will be difficult to reach. After a paper was presented on a theology of ordination, he said one participant said that the paper needed to include three Old Testament references to when ordinations were undone. “There is a component that not only wants to block ordination of women ministers, but to also undo ordination of women elders. And they are pretty energetic,” he said. However, Roberts, added, this is the way the church does business and it is an important process. All the people have come with a passion and conviction wanting to do as God would have us to do.
Chris Oberg, the senior pastor of the La Sierra University Church, said that an appeal had been made to come to the meeting with a sense of openness. She said she wrestled with that challenge, noting that of course we all want those on the other side to be willing to change their minds rather than changing our own.
It was also reported that several world Division presidents went to the microphones to ask for clarification about how the work of their study committees would be integrated into what the General Conference committee is doing. It is not yet clear exactly how that is going to work. The leaders of the committee said it was important to have the members of TOSC get started with their work and become acquainted with each other. Waiting until after the Division committees have completed their papers would have made that difficult. Oberg said that she had a sense that the Divisions are doing really good work, and she is looking forward to hearing their reports.
Jon Paulien, dean of the Loma Linda University School of Religion, moderated the panel, and he mentioned what he had heard about the process at a meeting of the Biblical Research Institute. He said that people who felt passionately about the topic were chosen deliberately for the TOSC. And the Divisions were asked to study the topic because it was felt that the work that had been done in the past, such as at Camp Mohaven in the 1970’s and later had been by Biblical scholars from the United States, and that the world field needed to get involved. He said that his understanding was that multiple reports were likely.
Haloviak Valentine said that at the TOSC there was no sense that work done in the past is informing what is being written now. “We are not understanding our own history,” she lamented. She did note however, that the General Conference Department of Archives, Statistics, and Research has posted the papers from the 70’s and 80’s on their website.
Angel Rodriguez presented a paper on the theology of ordination in which he noted that the word “ordination” is not even used in the original language in the New Testament. There was sharp disagreement by someone who suggested that if he would use an Adventist hermeneutic, he would see that it is in the King James Version of the New Testament. Committee members said that Rodriguez, the former director of the Biblical Research Institute, was quite taken aback by the suggestion that he was not using an Adventist hermeneutic.
The next meeting of the TOSC is in July. Oberg predicted that it will be the significant meeting as the topic moves from simply a theology of ordination to a discussion of women’s ordination.