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Brazil Signs Pathfinders Day Into Law—And More News


Brazil Signs Pathfinders Day Into Law

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has signed a law establishing September 20 as a National Pathfinders Day (Dia Nacional dos Desbravadores). The move, a first for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist-run Pathfinders organization, is being heralded as an opportunity for visibility and growth. From a report by the Adventist News Network,

"This is an unprecedented achievement for all the Pathfinders in our country. With this recognition, we will be able to reach more people with a lifestyle that values friendship, the development of all faculties, working for others, and proclaiming the good news in Jesus," says Pastor Udolcy Zukowski, Pathfinders director for the South American Division (SAD) of Seventh-day Adventists."

 Brazil is the first nation in the world to make the date official, which also contributes to increased visibility, resulting in the opening of new Pathfinder clubs in places where it is not yet present.

­­– Read More at Adventist News Network.

Adventist and Other Religious Leaders Join Pope in Seeking Harmony

On September 3, Pope Francis conducted a service in Mongolia to recognize the communist repression of all religions. He paid special recognition to Mongolia’s Buddhists, but also invited leaders of various religions, including Seventh-day Adventists, to speak at the event in Ulaanbaatar’s Hun Theatre. Cindy Wooden for Catholic Review reports:

Beginning in the late 1930s, thousands of Buddhist monks were condemned to death and hundreds of Buddhist temples were destroyed. . . . The pope prayed that the memory of past suffering would give all Mongolians “the strength needed to transform dark wounds into sources of light, senseless violence into the wisdom of life (and) devastating evil into constructive goodness.”

Pope Francis said, “Harmony is that special relationship born of the creative interplay of differing realities, without imposition or amalgamation, but with complete respect for their differences, in view of a serene life in common,” Pope Francis said. “I ask myself: Who, more than believers, is called to work for harmony among all?”

Close-mindedness and fundamentalism “destroy fraternity, fuel tensions, and compromise peace,” he said, but beauty is born of harmony, which “flourishes through kindness, listening and humility.”

“We share a common origin that confers equal dignity on everyone,” he said, “and a shared path that we can only travel alongside one another as we dwell under the one sky that surrounds and illumines us.”

­­– From the Catholic Review, “Pope, Mongolian Religious Leaders Vow to Promote Harmony, Shun Violence.”

Adventist Risk Management Launches New Initiative to Eliminate Employment of Known Sexual Predators in North American Division Adventist Risk Management, Inc.

(ARM) recently developed a new initiative to eliminate the employment of known sexual predators within the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, writes Wilona Karimabadi for Adventist Risk Management and Adventist Review.

One of several ways organizations within the Adventist Church in North America can prevent the employment of known sexual predators is by running an insurability report through ARM. Prior to an organization completing the hiring process for an individual, [the organization] would engage in a thorough background screening process, to include criminal background screening, effective reference checking, and checking with ARM to make sure the individual is indeed insurable. The process is simple.

To initiate a report from ARM, interested parties can send an email with full names (to the best of the organization’s knowledge) and the date of birth of the potential hire. The plan is that ARM turns around the requested screening within three business days. If the potential hire in question is deemed not insurable and/or key individuals need extra time for background research, it may take up to two additional weeks before a response is released. “Together we can prevent future victims if we follow a system to share information about past employee behavior,” ARM president and CEO James Winegardner said.

Adventist Risk Management, Inc. is the risk management and insurance company of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The company provides risk management services and insurance product solutions to assist the Adventist Church in eliminating oversights that can lead to costly accidents.

ARM has its corporate headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and satellite offices in St. Albans, England, and Brasilia, Brazil. ARM’s stated mission is to protect the ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist world church. 'We don’t view what we do as just a business. Our ministry is to protect your ministry,' the company states on its website. The company has been providing insurance and risk management solutions for the Seventh-day Adventist Church since 1936. Currently, the company serves almost 22 million baptized members, 88,000 local churches, 8,773 schools, 563 hospitals, and 67 camps.

– From the Adventist Review, “ARM Launches Insurability Protocol to Screen for Sexual Predators.”

Nigerian Adventist Pastor Identifies Religious Freedom as Essential to Reducing Poverty

In Northern Nigeria, the Seventh-day Adventist Men’s Organization (Fellowship) stated that “political and economic strategies are core components in addressing issues of sustainable development.” According to a story by Isaac Shobayo in the Nigerian Observer, the group has addressed the government, asking that these components be given the attention they deserve.

Addressing newsmen in Jos, Plateau State, ahead of the convention of the fellowship, the president, Pastor Yohanna Harry, added that religious freedom is equally essential to tackling the root causes of poverty. According to him, this is because religious freedom is a pivotal human right that is central to all other freedoms and is a key to nurturing sustainable development.

“Faith and faith values play a tremendous and often unrecognized role in many facets of human interaction. For this reason, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is contributing by bringing the best values to Nigeria and the world’s economic challenges, and as people of faith, we work together in unity to alleviate suffering and promote the well-being of all,” he said.

On humanitarian services, Pastor Harry mentioned that since the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1956, the church has continually prioritized humanitarian aid and community development, adding that Adventist humanitarian work reaches more than 120 countries and serves tens of millions of people every year, including Nigeria.

“Our world is full of wars, natural disasters, poverty, and famines, and we are motivated to reach out to those suffering in the name of Jesus. We derive our inspiration from our faith, which motivates us to show Christ’s love to the world around us.”

– From the Nigerian Tribune, “Engage Political, Economic Strategies for Sustainable Development—Seventh-Day Adventist Tasks FG.”

Ninth World Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association Meets

From August 21–23, almost 200 participants attended the ninth World Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Marcos Paseggi, writing for the Adventist Review, reports that the event invited attendees to discuss “a holistic understanding of freedom of religion or belief as a pivotal human right.”

In his remarks on August 21, Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, welcomed attendees, reminding them of the historical focus of the denomination on the topic. “Adventist pioneers . . . saw in religious liberty an incontrovertible value without which our very humanity could be at risk of being diminished and impaired,” thus embracing “the priceless value of religious freedom, and the foundation of freedom itself,” Wilson said. Wilson shared how Adventist pioneers fought against oppression of others, slavery, and early attempts at Sunday laws. “Adventist leaders officially adopted a solidarity [pact] with the whole human family through the advocacy of religious liberty,” he reminded attendees.

Read the entire story at Adventist News Network.

Pennsylvania Adventists Deliver Birthday Bags to Needy

This August, members of the Gettysburg Seventh-day Adventist Church congregation collected and delivered 113 birthday bags to community members in homeless shelters, sober living houses, soup kitchens, and food pantries. The Gettysburg Times reports: Brittany Noss, Gettysburg SDA’s Personal Ministry coordinator, feels it’s very important to reach out to those most impacted by difficult circumstances at times where it can be the most meaningful. “I’ve never really liked the fact that churches, in general, seem to only reach out to their community to invite them to seminars and things of that nature,” said Noss. “I like the idea of meeting physical needs first, so that down the line we can meet the spiritual needs. I feel like that is more in line with Jesus’ teachings than just hurling religion at people.” Noss’s goal as Personal Ministries coordinator is to put smiles on the faces of those going through bleak times in their lives. Each bag contains all the fixings for a celebration, including cake mix, frosting, decorations, plates, napkins and utensils. The birthday bags are very well received by the agencies, according to the release. Other outreaches the service group has implemented are community cookouts at area agencies including the Adams Rescue Mission, Adams County Shelter for the Homeless, and the Agape House. It is Noss’s hope to add a sober living house to the list. She was just getting this started before the COVID pandemic and can’t wait to get it going.

– From the Gettysburg Times, “Gettysburg Adventists Spreading Joy.”

Pakistani Governor Praises Adventist Church-administered School

Haji Ghulam Ali, governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, recently highlighted the contributions of Christian institutions to the advancement of education in the country, according to a report by the Pakistan Observer.

He highlighted that these institutions have played a commendable role not only in producing numerous scholars across the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but have also contributed to increasing the literacy rate prior to the partition of the subcontinent.

Governor Haji Ghulam Ali expressed these sentiments during a meeting with a delegation led by Priest Rauff Masih of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The delegation, which included Principal of Seventh-day Adventist School, Waris Sharif, Adil Siddiqui, and others, discussed the provision of facilities in the schools under the administration of Adventist Church.

The delegation informed the Governor about the challenges faced in providing clean drinking water and other facilities at the Adventist Church-administered school. They also shared that the construction of a tube well had been initiated by the Department of Auqaf (Religious Affairs), but due to a lack of funds, progress had been hindered, causing difficulties in ensuring clean drinking water for the students.

Governor Haji Ghulam Ali attentively listened to the delegation’s concerns and assured them of his complete cooperation in resolving the issues. He expressed his condolences over the Jaranwala incident, emphasizing that minority communities are equal citizens of the country and their protection is the responsibility of all. He mentioned that individuals from various schools of thought, including important figures and even the Prime Minister, had shown solidarity with the Christian community, praising the exemplary educational services provided by the Christian community.

– From the Pakistan Observer, “Governor Praises Christian Educational Services in KP.”

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.

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