Australia's Hervey Bay Adventists Advertise Their Opposition to Gay Marriage. Hervey Bay's Seventh-day Adventist Church members in Australia have taken a stand against gay marriage with a sign in front of the church reading "God designed marriage between a man and a woman" while the other side reads "Vote Y or N? See bible chs: Gen 1&2: Lev 18: Rom 1 & Jude." Church member Heather Paynter said, "We could get backlash; I don't know, but down in Brisbane, the gay people have been putting on shows and marches and that kind of thing which I think they were wrong in doing that. If they don't get their way, I reckon there will be a bit of strife. [I] feel the minority are overruling everybody else, [and] they're trying to force their opinion on everyone. If God was comfortable with [gay marriage], then I would be comfortable with it." Despite her views, Paynter said she was in no way seeking conflict and did not treat the gay community any differently in a social environment. In a statement to the Chronicle, the Seventh-day Adventist Church said that it supported the legal definition of marriage and that any changes to the law should not be treated lightly. "We believe everyone should have the right to speak up on this important issue without the fear of bullying or intimidation," the statement read. "We encourage healthy and respectful debate, while understanding that not everyone will agree with our point of view." The statement went on to say despite seeking to retain the current legal definition of marriage, it should not be misinterpreted as being unsympathetic to those with differing views and as Christians, they were committed to recognizing all people are valuable to God. From the Fraser Coast Chronicle, “Clear cut sign: Local church says no to same sex marriage.”
3ABN Broadcasts Little Richard Interview. In his first television interview in years, Little Richard, known as the "Architect of Rock and Roll," sat down to an interview with Danny Shelton of Three Angels Broadcasting Network before giving an interview with News 3 in Thompsonville, Illinois. Little Richard said choosing his faith over his fame was one of the best decisions he has ever made. "I didn't feel right anymore. I would sing and do things, but I wasn't a part of the in crowd anymore," he said. "I started thinking about Jesus. I started thinking about the world is going to end soon and all the trouble in the world," he said. Once uniting people around his music, he is now uniting people around his story. Little Richard, raised a member of the Baptist and African Methodist Episcopal churches, found his home in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. From WSIL 3, “Music legend Little Richard makes a stop in southern Illinois.”
Nashville Area Multiracial Adventist Churches Unite in Peace Prayer Service. Inspired by the killing of one woman and the injuring of several others inside an Antioch church by a gunman, pastors at Seventh-day Adventist Churches across the Metro Nashville, Tennessee, area, representing different cultural demographics, organized a special unity service for all their parishioners to come together for the first time to pray for peace in this difficult time. "We want to say as Christians, oneness knows no color; oneness knows no gender; oneness knows no age. Jesus said, 'By this you know you are my disciples,'" said Pastor Furman Fordham of Riverside Chapel. "After the unfortunate situation that took place in our community, where we had an African American individual open fire in a Caucasian church, it became obvious this doesn't just need to be unity among pastors; we need to invite our congregations." While they may all be of the same faith, many of the people in the pews had never met before Saturday. "I think it is extremely important that we, as a nation and as a community and as a faith-based group, come together and express our love for one another in unity and being able to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ," says parishioner Frank Cardona. The idea is that the congregations are stronger together than alone in the battle against hate. Organizers say, moving forward, they plan to host monthly events, again bringing all the churches together. From Fox 17, “Churches unite to pray for peace after church shooting.”
Florida Adventist Teacher Organizes Relief Drive for Puerto Rico, His Homeland. Mayol Gutierrez, band director at Citrus Springs Middle School, is organizing a collection drive to assist those in his hurricane-ravaged homeland of Puerto Rico. “There was no way I was just going to sit here and let things happen,” he said. “I wish I could do more.” With the help of three Florida churches — Reflections in Citrus Springs, Advent Hope Seventh-day Adventist in Crystal River, and Inverness Spanish SDA in Inverness — Gutierrez made contact with a man who volunteered to drive his 40-foot truck to Orlando where the Adventist Development and Relief Agency(ADRA) is using a donated private school gymnasium as a hub to gather relief supplies for Puerto Rico. From the Citrus County Chronicle, “Teacher musters aid for Puerto Rico.”
Other Adventists are also aiding hurricane relief efforts. From Delaware Online, “Delaware doctors to provide medical aid to Caribbean island in wake of Hurricane Maria” and from the Herald Citizen, “Local students help Florida hurricane victims.”
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: Fraser Coast Chronicle
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the location of Hervey Bay. The article has been corrected.
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