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Battle Creek to Host the National Cereal Festival — and More News Shorts


Battle Creek to Host the National Cereal Festival. Battle Creek will host the National Cereal Festival on June 9. The southwest Michigan city’s quirky charm is on full display during the annual breakfast-food bash. Starting at 8 a.m. festival day, the World’s Longest Breakfast Table will offer free bowls of cereal. The Grand Cereal Parade steps off at noon, proceeding along West Michigan Avenue. In Festival Market Square, next to Kellogg Arena, will be vendors, live music, and family fun. From the Chicago Tribune, “Battle Creek dishes up cereal — with a side of nostalgia — at breakfast-food bash in June.”

Spicer Adventist University Officials Allegedly Forged Their PhD Certificates. Recently, a social activist filed a complaint against three of Spicer Adventist University’s administrators: vice chancellor Noble Prasad Pilli, chief financial officer Rathnasamy Jeyam, and School of Arts and Social Sciences dean Chacko Paul, alleging that their PhDs from the Manav Bharti University in Himachal Pradesh were fake. The Chatushrungi police filed a case against the three for allegedly forging their PhD certificates. A police team sent to arrest them was unable to locate them at their respective homes. Assistant inspector Dhananjay Kapre, who had sought copies of the degree certificates and had approached the authorities of Manav Bharti University, said, “The university officials said they had not issued the doctorate degrees to the three office-bearers. It is clear the degrees were fake.” Spicer Memorial College was granted university status by the State Legislative Assembly in June 2014. Since then, it has been known as Spicer Adventist University. The university belongs to Ashlock Education Society and the Southern Asia Division of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to the official website. Some alumni of the university expressed shock over the turn of events at their alma mater. Rumors have been going around for months now with many discussing the alleged fake degrees on social media. “It came as a shock to me that such respected people can have fake degrees. We belong to the church, and it hurts to know that the very people who are supposed to uphold the ideals of [the] educational institute are embroiled in a controversy,” an alumnus said. From The Times of India, “Police look for three Spicer officials in fake degree case.”

Adventist Ugandan-American Hopes to Serve People in His Homeland. Timothy Sebaduka Brass, who lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, grew up in Uganda. Tim farmed his food with other villagers and shared clothes with similarly sized cousins, wearing them until they were worn out. Ten years after his journey from Africa, Tim, 25, straddles two worlds: America, which gave him a Master’s-level education and opportunities beyond his expectation as well as the family support and structure he never knew he craved; and Uganda, where half his heart remains, bound to the land and the people and the culture that shaped who he was and who he became.Now, in a few weeks, he’ll return to Uganda, to see if the pull of his motherland is strong enough to keep him there forever – even with a mother, father and siblings here in Tennessee. Tim’s grandmother founded a Seventh-day Adventist Church in their village; living with her, his faith deepened. Seeing his potential and wanting him to become educated, his grandmother sought to have the American missionaries who visited a local orphanage sponsor him. At 10, Tim’s sponsors for Ugandan boarding school were the couple he would one day call Mom and Da Tim who visited Uganda on a Seventh-day Adventist mission trip. From Knox News, “Roots and wings: Ugandan man’s mothers — and heart — span two continents.”

Australian Community Center Serves Clients’ Monetary and Emotional Needs. Up to 12 volunteers run the Seventh-day Adventist Good Samaritan Center in Ballarat, Australia. They serve the community with food, clean clothing, or simply a chat over a hot drink. Weekly, the food pantry service at the Wendouree center offers grocery bags of fresh fruit, vegetables, and staples for a donation price. Ballarat Seventh-day Adventist church lay pastor Danny Swanton said the program had been popular since beginning in May 2017. “We get a range of different people coming in. There are people who are at rock bottom. There are people who are casual workers you might see one month and then they might disappear for six months because they have had enough work, but when that work dies down again, they are back in here for the service,” Swanton said. Volunteers collect rescued food supplied by Foodbank in Melbourne. They separate a mix of fresh produce and staple items like pasta into individual grocery bags. Between 60 and 70 bags are packed each week at the Ballarat center. “Everyone has a different range of problems, and everyone needs a friend. We just want to show them they are cared for in a no judgement environment,” Swanton said. He added that the service is about more than food. “Even though the food is getting them through the week, we want to be able to be there for them, sympathize with their problems, mingle with them, and just let them know that they are cared about….We have purchased a $250 voucher for menswear for a man who needed new clothes…we helped a lady out with petrol so she could get to her job. That has been really important for us because most of the people who do come in here have greater needs.” From The Courier, “A new form of grocery shopping helping put fresh food on the plate.”

SDA Psychiatric Nurse Finds Nursing His “Form of Worship.” Seventh-day Adventist Walt Murphy, a 58-year-old mental health officer who has been practicing psychiatric nursing for the past 33 years, has been nominated for a national award for public service this year. Murphy works in Tobago. Whether he is awarded or not, Murphy has received enough fulfillment from seeing his clients get back to their former selves. “Nursing is my form of worship. The nomination has humbled me. I must stay humble because if I don’t, you know what happens; you become proud and pride comes before the fall,” he said. Growing up with a religious background and facing the stigma that mental illness and demonic possession were linked if not synonymous, Murphy said one of his challenges was getting religious leaders to teach their following about mental illness as the followers are more likely to heed their words than that of a mental health practitioner. He added that the brain is an organ that needs care like all organs such that physical and mental health are tied to each other for a person’s well-being. From Newsday, “Nursing the mentally ill.”

Usain Bolt‘s Father Baptized in the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Wellesley Bolt, father of international sprinting star Usain Bolt, was baptized on Saturday, May 5 in the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Sherwood Content. The baptism was presided over by Karl Archer, President of the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day (NJC), and O’Brien Hawthorne, Pastor of the Falmouth District of Seventh-day Adventist Churches, at the Burwood Beach in Falmouth, Trelawny. Jennifer Bolt said she is happy that her husband has joined the Christian faith. “It was a joyful moment watching my husband being baptized. I was overwhelmed. I have been praying for years and thanks be to God my prayers have been answered. To God be the glory,” she said. From Jamaica Gleaner, “Usain Bolt’s Father Baptised.”


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.

Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash


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