In this week’s news round-up, a year after closing Atlantic Union College is selling off parts of the campus, a church in Alabama provides women with free oil changes and car washes, an Adventist in Virginia continues her rainbow-blanket ministry after surviving a stroke, and Zambian Adventist women prepare and bury 18 unclaimed bodies from a local hospital.
Atlantic Union College Selling Parts of Its Former Campus. A year after closing, Atlantic Union College has begun selling off parts of its old campus. According to a recent post on the website of the Atlantic Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the conference’s plan is to sell all but the Thayer Mansion and buildings on campus used by the new Adventist Heritage Center. State land records show the former college already sold a property at 40 Maple Street for $610,000 to Villani Real Estate LLC last week. The report also reveals the conference is still paying $1.2 million annually to maintain the campus and that its current $520,000 yearly tax bill is slated to increase next year when the expiration of its tax-exempt status becomes factored in.
That fiscal situation is one of the reasons the conference agreed to sell off a large portion of the former college’s land, the conference’s update says. Proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off old loans — the college has about $2.4 million in loan debt — and help cover operating expense, and support other educational programs within the church. Several other buildings are also being rented out to generate revenue, but the conference’s report noted many of those structures are in need of costly repairs. From Telegram, “Atlantic Union College, closed last year, is selling off parts of campus in Lancaster.”
Alabama SDA Community Outreach Ministry Provides Women with Free Oil Changes and Car Washes. The Dothan First Seventh-day Church in Alabama has created a unique community outreach ministry. “This program was designed to help meet the need of the community. That includes working with the elderly, disaster relief programs, youth organizations, [and] workforce development,” says Dothan First SDA Church’s community service director Rosalind James. “Women usually don't understand much about cars, so we thought that would be an act of kindness,” says Pastor Elton Desousa. Those single, elderly, or homeless received car inspections, oil changes, and car washes at no charge to those who requested them. All of the oil and filters for the 64 registered vehicles were donated by local businesses. “Once they heard what we were doing for the community, they were so prompt to help us,” says Desousa.
While women waited on their oil changes and car washes to be completed, they were offered facials, manicures, and lunch. All of the services, including the child care, were possible thanks to volunteers. “We are so glad and blessed to have such a supporting community,” says Desousa. The women also completed a health assessment. A health seminar will be held based on those results on July 11th. That seminar will include cooking courses and lifestyle consultations. From WTVY.com, “An act of kindness was provided to nearly 100 women in Dothan.”
Adventist Seizure and Stroke Survivor Continues Rainbow-blanket Ministry. In 2015, after suffering an epileptic seizure and “mini-stroke,” requiring a lengthy hospital stay, Seventh-day Adventist Katie Phillips began to regain her strength and returned to a life-long passion: crocheting. Before her collapse in 2015, she spent her free time creating rainbow-pattern blankets from seemingly endless rolls of yarn. She often gifted the blankets to friends and fellow church members who had fallen on hard times.
“As soon as she would find out about anybody who was sick, she would immediately make sure there was a blanket available for them,” said Geraldo Alonso, Phillips’ pastor at Lynchburg Seventh-day Adventist in Virginia.
Now retired, Phillips decided to turn her crocheting hobby into a full-time ministry through her church. She estimates she crocheted more than 500 blankets last year and about 100 so far this year, most of which already have been donated to people across the region.
Phillips, a devout Christian, said the brightly colored blankets are inspired by scripture. “In Genesis, God creates rainbows as a reminder of his promise to never again flood the Earth. The whole plan and purpose of these blankets is to remind them of that rainbow in the sky and to keep them in a positive frame of mind,” she said. “I also figured bright colors brighten a person’s outlook in life.” From The News & Advance, “Brookneal woman crochets hundreds of blankets as part of church ministry.”
Zambian Dorcas Mothers Bury Unclaimed Bodies. Dorcas mothers from the Seventh-day Adventist Mindolo Mission District in Kitwe, Zambia, have buried 18 unclaimed bodies from the Kitwe Teaching Hospital. The bodies had remained unclaimed for over 14 days, and the hospital had appealed to members of the public with missing relatives to check bodies in the mortuary before they were disposed of. Hospital spokesperson Phoebe Chileya stated that the bodies were in a decomposed state and unhygienic to the mortuary. She said 13 of the bodies were brought in by the Police Traffic Officers, four died in the hospital wards, while another died at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The Dorcas mothers spent over K12, 000 buying 18 coffins, transporting, and preparing the bodies of the 17 men and one woman. From Zambia Reports, “18 Bodies Unclaimed at Kitwe Hospital” and “Mindolo Dorcas Mothers Bury 18 Unclaimed Bodies.”
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 Yucaipa, California.
Image credit: auc.edu
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