Western Nigerian Union President Urges Moving Voting Day from Sabbath. Oyeleke Owolabi, President of the Western Nigeria Union Conference, expressed displeasure that his members are unable to vote because of elections always being held on Saturdays. He said, “We are not feeling comfortable because we are being disenfranchised. We have written many letters to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the need to shift elections from Saturday, and I know that it will accede to the request one day. . . . We have seen a situation whereby a gubernatorial election was conducted in the country on Tuesday, and I think the country recorded the highest turnout in history, so we are begging the INEC to put the interest of our people at heart.” From Vanguard, “Stop conducting elections on Saturday, Adventist Church begs INEC.”
Cousin to Cousin Marriage Labeled Incest by Kenyan Adventist Elders. Seventh-day Adventist church elders from Kisii Central Conference in Kenya have condemned a high-court ruling that has legalized marriage between cousins. Led by Timothy Nyamagwa, church elder, the group said that the ruling is against the Bible and that the church needed to be involved in making key decisions that may affect the well-being of the society. Speaking during a crusade, Nyanchawa said they will rally with other key church stakeholders to ensure that the ruling is overturned so that there can be sanity in the society. “We are not happy for this undermines the well-being of the society and are wondering why the high court would like incest to infest our society,” he added. From Hivisasa, “Church elders condemn High Court ruling on cousins marriage.”
Naples, Florida, Adventist Church Provides Relief for Parents of Special-needs Children. The Naples, Florida, Seventh-day Adventist Church has partnered with Buddy Break, a program that offers a once-a-month respite for parents of special-needs children. It enables parents to drop their kids off at the church, place them in the care of trusted volunteers, and return three hours later — all without paying a dime. Michelle Crombie, the church’s director of children’s ministries, began the first monthly Buddy Break evening in October 2015. “There are not many programs available for these kids, so our church took it on, saying let’s do this for the community,” she said. From Naples News, “Buddy Break at Naples church offers respite for parents of special-needs children.”
Adventist Osteopathic Physician and Wife Serve Shelter Island, New York Residents. Nathanael Desire, a Seventh-day Adventist osteopathic physician, serves patients in Shelter Island, New York. He said he leans heavily on God and prayer in his life. “If I am faced with a crisis, I pray about it, because God is the one who guides me,” he said. “The steadiness helps me a lot.” He and his wife and medical partner Ann have built their practice around the idea that taking the time to talk with patients is good medicine. “Most of our patients appreciate the time we spend with them,” he said. From Shelter Island Reporter, “Profile: Dr. Nathanael Desire, A family doctor for an Island of families.”
Canadian Adventist Church Provides Free Clothing to Community. Belleville’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ontario, Canada, hosted the area’s first annual Free Children’s Clothing event. The event was held by God’s Closet, a local non-profit organization that offers free children’s clothes to parents in need. Participants pay a $1 entrance fee and are then given grocery bags to fill with whatever items of clothing they choose. During this event, everyone was given three grocery bags to fill with clothing. Michelle Aylward, director of God’s Closet Belleville, said the goal of the event is to give back to the community. She said the timing of the event is ideal because people will be doing back to school shopping. “Parents are bringing their children and they are excited to take the bags and go shopping and the parents know that they don’t have to look at the price tag,” she said. From Intelligencer.ca, “Clothing those in need.”
Block Party Hosted by Charlottesville, Virginia, Church. Pastor Nathaniel Drew and members of his Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church provided a block party for the local Charlottesville, Virginia, community. The day included face painting, a bounce house, free eye and health screenings, free kids hair cuts, fire engines, and plenty of food for every one to enjoy. "Connecting with the community is what we're here for," said Drew. "If we're not doing that, we're not serving our purpose. However we can get out into the community, get to know them and they get to know us, and it doesn't always have to be attached to something spiritual, but just by providing something for them that they need then we know we touched someone's life.” From Newsplex.com, “Local church hosts community block party.”
Andrews University Students Volunteer to Upgrade Nearby Park. Students from Andrews University in Berrien Springs have volunteered to fix and paint the picnic tables, benches, and bleachers at Hall Park in Benton Harbor. The students represent only one group of volunteers who continue to fix up Hall Park, one project at a time. Jerry Edwards, founder of the nonprofit Bracken Edwards Youth Organization Umbrella (BEYOU), organizes the dedicated volunteers. He said they don’t get paid and don’t seek any recognition for the work they do. “We do it because we want the community to come back out and take pride in the park,” he said. From Herald Palladium, “Revitalizing Hall Park one project at a time.”
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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