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On Religious Freedom Day, January 16, 2019, local faith and civic leaders gathered at the North American Division Headquarters in Columbia Md., for the NAD’s first Religious Freedom Prayer Breakfast. They celebrated the freedoms enjoyed in the United States and prayed for guidance in further fostering and sharing it with others. 

With the theme To the End, the 2018 Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) national conference convened in Houston, Texas, United States, from December 28, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

A Loma Linda University Health Team PossAbilities member, Shawn Morelli, road and track cycling two-time gold medalist in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, has been named to the 2019 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team.

On January 7, 2019, the Texico Conference issued a statement condemning WCAS’ actions, and the Southwestern Union Conference issued a statement supporting the conference’s decision.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has announced it will provide financial support totaling $50,000 to the Adventist Community Services (ACS) who has been coordinating efforts to help survivors of Butte County, California recover from deadly wildfires, which started on November 8 and later contained on November 25 in 2018. The fires have been declared the nation’s deadliest in a century according to local authorities.

In this week’s news round-up, Adventist Chief Justice David Maraga says he wishes every Kenyan practicing law was a true Christian, Nevada and Utah churches receive active assailant response training, Pacific Union College establishes $7.1 million conservation easement and creates native plant garden, a La Sierra University student’s film will air on PBS, and Loma Linda Academy students participate in “Trout in the Classroom” program.

Randal R. Wisbey, president of La Sierra University since 2007, announced today that he will step down from the presidency on June 30 of this year.

Days after a deadly tsunami hit the coastal towns near the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, local government officials reported 426 people are confirmed dead, 7,202 people injured, 23 are missing and 40,386 have been evacuated. These numbers continue to rise while rescue operations are still ongoing.

Pacific Union College, the Land Trust of Napa County, and CALFIRE have announced the permanent protection of 864 acres of priority forest land in Angwin, California. Working together, on Dec. 20 they closed a conservation easement on land currently owned by PUC. The forest will continue to belong to the college, but the easement will permanently eliminate the potential for residential, commercial, and agricultural development of the property.

James M. Slater, MD, whose determination to improve the quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatment inspired him to use proton therapy for patient care and to champion and oversee creation of the world’s first hospital-based proton treatment center at Loma Linda University Health, died Dec. 26. He was 89.