Adventist Church Property Trust NZ Found Guilty in Ropes Course Accident. The Tui Ridge Park, operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church Trustee in Rotorua, New Zealand, has been found guilty of one charge of failing to take all practicable steps to keep a paying customer safe. The customer was a woman who suffered a spinal chord injury and spinal fractures in a ropes course fall, determined to be the fault of park staff, who were not trained properly. Adventist Church Trustee was fined $46,000 and ordered to pay $40,000 to the victim. From New Zealand Herald, "Rotorua adventure company fined after fall."
Pakistani Adventist Convicted of Muslim Blasphemy. In Pakistan, Sajjad Masih Gill, a 28-year-old Seventh-day Adventist, was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of 200 thousand rupees for sending blasphemous messages from his mobile phone. His lawyer is hopeful that he will be found innocent at his appeal hearing on December 7, 2015. From Pakistan Christian Post, "Appeal hearing date of blasphemy victim Sajjad Masih set on December 7."
Malawi Church Member Threatens His Pastor. Nedi Kachimanga, former elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Blantyre, Malawi, was arrested and charged with sending threatening phone messages to Masco Chatiaka, the church pastor, and to a church elder. Kachimanga, an electrical contractor, may have disagreed with the pastor over church finances. From Nyasa Times, "Seventh-day Adventist Church Elder Arrested for Threatening Pastor."
Adventist Cellist Fired for Refusing Sabbath Work. Jacqueline Taylor, a professional South Carolina-based musician, has filed a civil rights complaint against the Asheville Symphony. She lost her job as the orchestra's tenured principal cellist following her baptism as a Seventh-day Adventist and her request to not work on Sabbath. The civil rights complaint alleges religious discrimination. One of four counts in the complaint has been dismissed already, and claims of this kind rarely reach trial. From Citizen Times, "Cellist says symphony discriminated on religion."
Iowa Church Members Provide Christmas Cheer to Local Prisoners. The Cerro Gordo County Seventh-day Adventist Church in Iowa is continuing its five-year tradition of bringing fruit, books, and prayers to jail inmates. This tradition of love heartens prisoners and members. From KIMT.com, "Christmas behind bars."
Walla Walla University Grad Nominated for Grammy. WWU alum Lori Henriques is a 2016 nominee for Best Children's Album with How Great Can This Day Be, an upbeat album with a jazz edge. According to the WWU Alumni Facebook page, Henriques graduated in 1993 with a BA in music followed by a Master of Arts in Piano from Northern Illinois University. The Grammy Awards will air February 15, 2016. Henriques' title song is available here. From Oregon Live, "Oregon Symphony, RAC and more Oregonians score 2016 Grammy nominations."
Body of Adventist Physician on 2013 Ukraine Mission Trip Identified. Police in Kiev, Ukraine have identified a body recovered from a ventilation shaft of an abandoned building as that of Jay Sloop, the Seventh-day Adventist physician from Yakima, WA. Sloop disappeared while on three-week mission trip with a team of health professionals helping the Adventist church in Kiev set up a lifestyle center in May 2013. From NBC Affiliate KNDO, "UPDATE: Police Identify Body as Missing Yakima Physician."
New Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Will Provide Beds for Needy Patients. Officials of the new Hong Kong Adventist Hospital in Tsuen Wan have promised that 15 of its 300 beds will be reserved for low-income patients, referred from public hospitals. Some of the needy include the elderly and victims of seasonal flu. From The Standard, "New Adventist Keeps Beds for the Poor."
California Adventist Hospital Staffers Provide Service and Equipment in Armenia. Thirty-one Glendale Adventist Medical Center employees traveled to Armenia, providing free health care for a week in the northeastern town of Noyemberyan. Surgeon Armond Kotikian repaired children's cleft palates while other members of the team screened 800 people and provided free medications. Partnering with Armenia Fund, the team of physicians and nurses also donated a pair of ambulances. From LA Times, "Glendale Adventist doctors, nurses travel to Armenia on a mission of health."
Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.
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