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Green Bay Adventist Pastor Charged in Child Pornography Case—and More News


Cory J. Herthel, a former pastor at the Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, "has been charged with attempted production of child pornography and transferring obscene material to a child," as reported by Kelli Arseneau in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Herthel targeted a Venezuelan child he had met while doing missionary work.

Herthel, 40, of Green Bay, is accused of encouraging the minor to send videos of their genitalia in exchange for money and of sending images of his own genitalia. . . . If convicted of the attempted production of child pornography charge, Herthel faces between 15 and 30 years in federal prison. For the transferring obscene material to a child, he faces up to 10 years imprisonment.

If Herthel is convicted of either charge, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

The case is being investigated by the Green Bay and Milwaukee offices of the FBI, with the help of the Green Bay Police Department. It was brought forward as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's initiative Project Safe Childhood.

The Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists released a statement saying that the conference had "learned of alleged illegal actions" by Herthel and "immediately informed the appropriate authorities." The conference terminated Herthel's employment and said his ministerial credentials and ordination would be revoked to prevent future employment within the Adventist Church.

—From the Green Bay Press Gazette, "Green Bay Pastor Charged with Attempted Child Pornography for Online Communication with Venezuelan Child."

Forest Lake Academy Alum Now an Astronaut

Forest Lake Academy Alum Christopher Huie (Class of 2006) "is embarking on an extraordinary journey as the 19th Black Astronaut in history!" according to a post on the school alumni association's Facebook page. "He'll be soaring as a mission specialist aboard Virgin Galactic's Unity 25 spaceflight." The post congratulates Huie: "Christopher, you're reaching for the stars, and we couldn't be prouder!"

A story from shares more information about Huie:

The mission specialist is the son of Jamaican migrants and was raised by his mum, who has flown in to watch the flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Ahead of his "first rodeo" beyond Earth’s atmosphere, he paid tribute to her sacrifices in unlocking opportunities he had once never thought possible.

Christopher, 35, spoke to from Virgin Galactic’s Gateway to Space center at the facility amid training which has included the crew taking aerobatic flights to prepare for the g-forces on the journey.

He will be wearing US and Jamaican patches on the planned test run involving a mothership and spaceship, both of which he is well acquainted with as a senior engineer.

"For me it’s part of my personal origin story," Christopher said.

"My parents came to this country from Jamaica looking for more opportunities and to do more with their lives. Both my parents, especially my mum, sacrificed a lot so I could have opportunities she didn’t have growing up. I’ve had a lot more opportunities in my life than she’s had and that’s all culminating in the space flight experience. It’s not only for Jamaica, it’s for immigrants anywhere looking for opportunities to see what you can do with the life that you’ve been given.

"It’s a story of sacrifice and achievement, that’s what it represents for me."

. . .

Christopher, known as "Chuie" to teammates, graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and worked in the industry’s private sector before joining Virgin Galactic in 2016 as a loads and simulation engineer. He is due to become the world’s 19th Black astronaut on a flight he imagined as a child playing with LEGO but didn’t think he’d have the chance to make.

—From Forest Lake Academy Alumni on Facebook and, "Astronaut Wearing Jamaican Flag on His First Space Flight Hails Mum’s Sacrifices."

Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Serves Migrant Families

The Greater New York Conference recently opened "The Little Shop of Kindness" or "La Pequeña Tienda de Bondad" in Manhattan to serve asylum seekers. "Here the citys newest residents can procure free clothing, toys, [and] books" in a space on 12th West 40th Street that is "decorated with murals and paper lanterns strung across the ceiling," reports Arun Venugopal for Gothamist.

According to Ilze Thielmann, who runs the organization, the shop offers a "normal-looking place" to get necessities rather than a "church basement or bus terminal":

“They can actually try on clothes and choose clothes in a respectful environment,” she said, and recounted the story of one visitor, a “tough customer” with scars and tattoos who came with his 2-year-old son. Thielmann said he teared up after asking how much everything cost, and discovering it was all free.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, [Pastor Everette Samuel of the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church] said the Little Shop of Kindness was “a sacred space,” one where “people come and their needs are being met.”

“You will never take a bra for granted anymore,” said Samuel. “You will never take an underwear for granted anymore.”

According to Thielmann, the Little Shop has been doing a brisk (free) business with some of the more than 72,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since last year, many bused here by border-state officials. Still, she said, the store constantly needs donations – namely underwear, Spanish-language books for children, and smaller rather than larger clothing for men—and directs New Yorkers to the organization’s website, so they can either mail in donations or bring them in person to the Bryant Park location.

—From Gothamist, "There's Now a 'Little Shop of Kindness' in Manhattan for Asylum Seekers."

Washington Adventist Church Shares Its Property for Community Garden

The North Cascades Seventh-day Adventist Church in Burlington, Washington, is providing land for a community garden, as reported for by Oliver Hamlin.

Skagit Gleaners has been granted access to about a quarter-acre of land behind North Cascades Seventh-day Adventist Church for a community garden.

The organization has been known for providing about 600 families with food from grocery stores, restaurants and distributors that may otherwise be thrown away, as well as from farms at the end of a harvest.

Now it will try its hand at growing its own food.

Skagit Gleaners Executive Director Morgan Curry said the garden was started after she was heard talking about wanting to do a pilot program where the organization could grow its own food.

This led to Van Smith, facilities manager of the church, hearing what Skagit Gleaners wanted to do. The area behind the church is used by a farmer, and part of that land has now been turned into a community garden put together by and for the Skagit Gleaners community.

. . .

“The stars all aligned from talking out loud,” Curry said.

—From, "Skagit Gleaners Fighting Local Food Insecurity with Community Garden."

Loma Linda University Medical Center Helps Celebrate Heart Transplant Patient's 25th Anniversary

Loma Linda University Medical Center celebrated with Hannah Grinnan the 25th anniversary of her heart transplant. "It's a milestone her surgeon, world-renowned infant heart transplant pioneer Dr. Leonard Bailey, had hoped for but did not live to see," reports Denise Dador for KABC-TV in Los Angeles. "His colleague, Dr. Richard Chinnock, recalls many conversations about the likelihood of longevity."

"When Hannah got her transplant, we'd only been doing it for about 10 years," Chinnock said. "We had no idea what was possible."

Hannah was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

"I didn't think that I could take a baby home and just hold it until it passed away because we had been down that road with my son," said Catherine Grinnan, Hannah's mother.

Fourteen years before Hannah, her mom had another baby also born with the same condition. At the time, the family was told a heart transplant would not be an option. He died two days later. For Hannah, there would be hope.

. . .

Eleven days after her 25th birthday, Hannah Grinnan celebrated the 25th anniversary of her heart transplant.

"I love my life. I love my doctors, and I love being a heart transplant recipient," she said.

. . .

Today Hannah is a college graduate living on her own far from home. It's a dream.

"I know that there could be hiccups in the future, and that's perfectly OK," Hannah said. "But you know, you just want it to go as long as you possibly can."

—From KABC-TV, "SoCal Native Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Her Heart Transplant Days after Turning 25."


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.

Title illustration by Spectrum. Source images: Cory J. Herthel booking photo from the Brown County Jail / Image by Freepik.

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