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Shirley Neil Pettis, Former U.S. Congresswoman, Dies at 92


Shirley Neil Pettis, former U.S. Congresswoman, Dies at 92. Shirley Neil Pettis, former U.S. congresswoman and supporter of Loma Linda University Health, died Saturday, December 31, 2016, in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 92.  She served as one of 19 women among the 435 members of the House of Representatives. She was sworn in just four months after the death of her husband Jerry L. Pettis, who represented the area until 1979. Jerry L. Pettis, a World War II flight instructor and entrepreneur, represented a district in San Bernardino and Riverside counties as a Republican in Congress beginning in 1966, bringing a veterans medical center to Loma Linda. From Press Enterprise, “Shirley Neil Pettis, Loma Linda University supporter, former congresswoman, dead at 92.”

Zimbabwe Adventists Tussle Over Dancing at Wedding Reception. A happy celebration became a violent altercation when Bheki Bhebhe, an angry groom, punched a family member after the ceremony at the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Seventh-day Adventist church. Bhebhe reportedly punched his uncle, the director of ceremonies, for denying the bridal party a chance to dance at the function. According to a close friend of Bhebhe and his bride Lorraine Nyoni, Bhebhe’s Adventist relatives stopped the music, preventing the bridal party from dancing, claiming it was an ungodly act. The groom ignored his relatives’ request and asked a commuter taxi driver to play music for his bridal party. The family complained. “Harsh words and insults were exchanged, and police were called to stop the misunderstanding,” the couple’s friend said. From, “Drama at SDA church wedding……., event turns into boxing match.”

800 Baptized at Ugandan Annual Meeting. As many as 800 people from different faiths were baptized at the 12th Seventh-day Adventist church annual corporate prayer meeting at Mandela National Stadium in Wakiso district in Kampala, Uganda.  Central Uganda Conference President Samuel Kajoba was the featured speaker at the event.   The members accepted Jesus Christ through baptism which was conducted using mobile leather water pools at the stadium. Kajoba said the country is facing many challenges because leaders and those they lead have forgotten about God.  "That is why we still have corrupt officials, child sacrifice, homosexuality, domestic violence, cases of murder, and all kinds of habits among our people. But if we get back to the Word of God, this country is going to be a better place," he said. From New Vision 30, Hundreds baptized at SDA corporate prayer meeting.”

St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church Hosts Food Pantry for 20 Years. During the last 20 years, the St. Helena Community Food Pantry has been and continues to be hosted by the St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Linda Bertoli has volunteered at the pantry during all those years. “I think the Adventist church is very philanthropic as far as helping communities and giving space to organizations,” she said.  The food pantry volunteers pack up a basic box of non-perishables once a month. Every week, though, clients can come and pick up a grocery bag of fresh food like potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, apples or oranges.  “We do get a lot of food from the Napa Food Bank,” Bertoli said, and, during the summer, a lot of produce from local gardeners.  The organization has 25 or 30 volunteers. From Napa Valley Register, Volunteer Bertoli helps feed the hungry in St. Helena.”

Tennessee Seventh-day Adventist Church Hosts 2nd Annual "Super Foods of the Bible" Programs. The Dyersburg Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee is hosting its 2nd-annual "Super Foods of the Bible" seminars.  Participants gain insights and cultural connections with the people who lived in Bible times and the area known as the “cradle of civilization.”  Initiator of the course, Pastor Check Kohley stated, “Creating this program has been a fun learning experience. Occasionally our menu includes one of the ancient recipes from the Holy Land. This gives a unique window into how people lived in Bible times, but we also deal with how to incorporate the inspired principles and the ‘super foods’ mentioned in the Bible into our own daily lives to improve our own health and longevity because many of the super foods from Bible times have proven health benefits today."  People can sample some super foods, including lentils, garbanzo beans, oatmeal, grapes, olives, leeks, almonds, and pistachios. The free course includes 12 sessions designed to bring thought-provoking information and easy recipes that are useful in a healthy lifestyle. From State Gazette, “Super Foods of the Bible invites public to monthly events.”

Small East Indian Tribe Members Are Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists and Baptists can be found among Koirengs, a small tribe in India’s North-eastern region. Most of the Koirengs cannot read the Bible. Among the Seventh-day Adventists, Kungsong Wanbe was a pioneer. He delayed his baptism for more than two years because he wanted to understand the difference  between Saturday and Sunday observance by Christians. He asked many Christian leaders, but none of them could give him satisfactory explanation. Finally, Ph Shomi (Khangchuga), a Seventh-day Adventist evangelist, gave him a month-long Bible study. Wanbe was convinced about the immutability and perpetuity of the Law/Ten Commandments of God. Pastor MC Kujur baptized him. After his baptism, he wrote many religious pamphlets. From E-Pao, “Traditional religion and root of Christianity among Koren/Koireng tribe.”


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.

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