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Florida Adventist Church Honors Local Law Enforcement and More News Shorts


Florida Adventist Church Honors Local Law Enforcement Officers. During a special ceremony at the church, the Sinai Seventh-day Adventist Church in Plantation, Florida, honored deputies from the Broward County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Plantation Police Department for the personal sacrifices they have made in service to the community. Kerline Jeanmary, the social services director of the church, said members felt compelled to give back and express their appreciation, especially with all the negative media attention surrounding law enforcement as of late. "In the community, you're always utilizing their services despite whatever hate that they're receiving in the media and so forth. They still do their jobs and they do it well," said Jeanmary. "We felt that it was warranted that they hear those words, 'thank you,' because sometimes we take for granted their services." Besides honoring the first responders, Jeanmary hoped to encourage other churches and organizations in the community to reach out to officers and show their gratitude as well. From Sun Sentinel, “Church service honors first responders.”

Montreal Academy Briefly Allowed Serial-killer Mom to Be a Volunteer. Greaves Adventist Academy in Montreal, Canada, is moving to quell public fears following media reports about convicted serial killer Karla Homolka volunteering at the school. The school administration and the Quebec Conference of Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement saying no one with a criminal record will be allowed to volunteer in any capacity on school grounds. City News reported that Homolka had occasionally volunteered at the school, including supervising a field trip and bringing her dog into the classroom to interact with children. Seventh-day Adventist Church spokesman Stan Jensen told City News, “The school board was fully aware of who she is. She is not a regular volunteer and can never be alone with any children, either in school or churches. It is protocol for all of our schools across Canada, and most of the world, to do background checks, not only on teachers, but [also] volunteers as well as clergy. As I said, she is not a regular volunteer. Rarely would she have cause to go into the school, and when she is, she is never alone.” Homolka and ex-husband Paul Bernardo were convicted of crimes related to the rape and murder of two schoolgirls, Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. Homolka struck a deal with prosecutors where she served 12 years in prison for manslaughter while Bernardo was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence. Homolka was released in 2005 after serving her full sentence and has since settled in Quebec. From City News, “EXCLUSIVE: Karla Homolka occasionally volunteers at Montreal elementary school” and The Star, “Karla Homolka no longer allowed to volunteer at Montreal elementary school.”

Two Barbados Pastors Arrested, Charged with "Indecent Assault and Unlawful Sexual Connection." Pastor Roger Stephen, Executive Secretary of the St. Lucia Mission of Seventh-day Adventists in Barbados, has appealed to the public not to rush to judgment following the recent arrest of two pastors. Stephen did not accept questions from reporters due to what he said are “untrue reports” about the case in which the pastors have been charged with indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection. “As a Church we do not, and will not, condone sin or wrongdoing in any form or fashion whether it be from the members from the pew, to leaders, or to pastors. Following Christ’s example, however, we cannot rush to judgment, and we seek to reach out to all who are hurting,” Stephen said. “We therefore appeal to all to allow the course of justice to take effect in this matter and don’t rush to judgment.” From Nation News, “SDA: Don’t rush to judgement.”

Burman University Loses Bid to Join Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, Criticized by Student for Asking for Sabbath Exceptions. Burman University has had its second application to join the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) rejected. The ACAC council rejected the bid because of scheduling limitations caused by Burman University being a Seventh-day Adventist school and its observation of the Sabbath. Director Ron Schafer said, “We’re disappointed, for sure. We were rejected last year and in addition to the big issue – which is we won’t play between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday – they gave us a number of other things to address that would strengthen our application. We addressed every one of them, so I thought we had a better chance this time around. I was hoping for a probationary time or something, but I was surprised it was a flat-out rejection. The only thing we wouldn’t do is adjust our position on Friday sundown to Saturday sundown play. We addressed all the concerns except that one and that was the one where they said no, we can’t make any adjustments in our schedule.” In a separate article, Eric Anderson, a current student at Burman University, expresses his concern about Sabbath observance in relation to athletics. He feels Burman athletes asking not to play in tournaments on Sabbath is not a fair argument defending religious liberty. From the Lacombe Globe, “Burman University rejected from ACAC” and “Religious exceptionalism.”


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.

Image Credit: Sun Sentinel


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