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Arizona Church Produces Drive-Thru Pageant—And More News Shorts


In this week's Adventist news roundup, a drive-thru Christmas pageant, a new film about William Miller, NPR's coverage of an Adventist Camp helping disaster victims, and more news from around the world.

Arizona Adventist Church Produces Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant

On a crisp Saturday night recently, 56 cars rolled through the drive-thru Christmas held at the Wickenburg, Arizona, Seventh-day Adventist Church. Drivers with their passengers stayed in their vehicles and drove past four scenes depicting the birth of Christ. The live goats and miniature donkeys added to the excitement as children hung their heads out the car windows to get a close view of the scenes.

—From the Wikensburg Sun, "Christmas Story Told through Drive-Thru."

New Film Tells Story of William Millers Predictions of the Second Coming in 1844

Advent Hope, filmed for the big screen by Australian director Kyle Portbury and now in postproduction, tells the story of Baptist preacher William Millers predictions of the Second Coming in 1844 through calculations based on Daniel 8:14. It never happened.

But the failure of Millers prediction gave rise to the birth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of which Portbury is a member.

What fascinated me about the Great Disappointment is, you’ve got 17 million people in America in this period of history, and there were about 1.5 million people who were actively going, This is going to happen,’ which is a huge proportion of the then population of [the] continental US. If you looked at it in todays terms, youre probably talking close to 50-60 million people, comparatively, going,  ‘This is a legitimate thing that I believe is going to happen,’ ” he said. Because it didnt happen, its probably why its been largely forgotten by history.”

Much of Advent Hope was filmed more than five years ago, at the same time Portbury was making Tell the World, commissioned by the Adventist Church in Australia. I said to them while we were shooting [Tell the World] that I could actually shoot a completely different film at the same time, utilizing about half the stuff differently to what they had done [and] shooting a whole bunch of different material that focuses on that Great Disappointment,” Portbury said.

He said it was fascinating for him as a director and storyteller to go deeper into how the characters missed” the Scriptures that state no one knows when Christ will return.

Its fascinating that they missed that. I think thats what makes me interested in what is it that blinded them to that—because its clearer that no man knows the day or the hour,’ right? than it is, Youve been able to piece together prophetic timelines, ” he said.

Portbury said that interestingly, Miller never settled on a specific date but got suckered into the fervor of marketing.”

Portbury's career has taken him across the globe, most recently to the United States and Cape Town, and in a range of genres, from live-action to animation, including winning an Emmy Award in 2018. Its that inquisitive nature I have that I like exploring why people do the things that they do."

This included people like former slave-turned-rights-activist and anti-slavery advocate Sojourner Truth, whose speech on the rights of women in the mid-1800s he made into a movie, which earned him his Emmy Award.

—From Sight Magazine, "History on Screen: ‘Great Disappointment’ a Story of Hope Says Aussie Film Director Bringing It to Life on the Big Screen."

British Columbia Adventist Camp Houses Disaster Victims

Camp Hope, which is run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in British Columbia, canceled its summer reservations to house residents of Lytton who were escaping for their lives from devastating fires and subsequent floods.

This summer, a heat dome shattered Canada's temperature records and is blamed for hundreds of deaths. Last month, an "atmospheric river," a current of wet, warm air from the tropics, dropped a normal month's-worth of rain across the southern part of the province in just two days. The record rainfall caused flooding and landslides across a wide area.  Canadians who experienced these intense weather events have passed through Camp Hope.

Camp Hope had to make some changes to accommodate the displaced citizens. Volunteers had to prepare three meals a day. The camp had a room full of donated toiletries and clothes, which they offered to the stranded travelers.

"We set up beds in the auditorium," says staff member Evie Connor. "We had a ton of mattresses that we brought in from our cabins and stuff in the auditorium and then they found every nook and cranny—I'm still finding mattresses in places I would never know that they would be."

Without road access, food eventually had to be flown in by helicopter for all the unexpected visitors. Connor says some of the temporary residents helped unload deliveries and in the kitchen.

The retreat's director, Bill Gerber, was cut off from the camp by the landslides in the nearby city of Abbotsford, which saw major flooding during the record rain events. He says he expects the camp could house disaster victims again in the future.

—From NPR, "A Church Retreat Came to the Aid of Canada’s Latest Disaster Survivors."

Kenyan Adventist Pastor Scolds Critics Misrepresenting Adventist Church as Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine

A Kenyan Seventh-day Adventist pastor has told off critics whom he accused of peddling rumors that the church is against COVID-19 vaccines. Some of these people talk as if our church has officially declared war against coronavirus jabs, yet the SDA leadership believes that the vaccines are safe and are the surest bet to protect the people from contracting the disease,” Bering Ngore said.

Pastor Ngore, who is the president of the SDA church in Ranen Conference, Migori County, cautioned Kenyans against spreading irresponsible pronouncements, saying doing so could lead to unnecessary hatred against the church.

He was speaking in Migori town at a meeting to sensitize county stakeholders of COVID-19 vaccination exercise. The clergyman said the church has always urged faithful to get vaccinated and embrace public safety protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health to fight the disease.

Our Church, from top to the grassroots, has always remained a key player in the campaigns to have as many people as possible take up the jabs and these messages have been spread among our followers and to the members of the public in general,” Ngore said.

—From The Star (Nairobi), "Pastor Tells off Critics of SDA Church over COVID-19 Jabs."


Please note: Spectrum news roundups are an aggregation of regional, national, and international publications around the world that have reported on stories about Adventists. As such, the accuracy of the information is the responsibility of the original publishers, which are noted and hyperlinked at the end of each excerpt.


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.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash


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