In this week’s news roundup, the Havre de Grace Seventh-day Adventist Church sends message of peace to Trump, Pastor Roberto Pérez of Spain rests in Jesus, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists co-sponsors UN Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs, and a former San Jose Adventist Church employee is arrested on allegations of sending sexually explicit images to a 13-year-old parishioner.
Havre de Grace Seventh-day Adventist Church Sends Message of Peace to Trump. The Haitian church in Rockville, Maryland, held a prayer vigil Saturday after President Donald Trump allegedly made obscene comments about Haiti and African countries. According to a press release from the Havre de Grace Seventh-day Adventist Church, members gathered to send peaceful messages to Trump. “We’re also really here today to pray that God will touch his heart,” Rocky Twyman, founder of Pray at the Pump, said. “We’re here today, to encourage President Trump to apologize to the Haitian people and to the African people for the really racist comments that were made.” The church says events like this are necessary to combat stereotypes. “We just want to spread love. There is just so much dissension in this country right now,” Twyman said. Rodney Charitable, the church’s pastor, is also a design engineer in the defense industry and a Haitian immigrant who says the portrayal of his country is offensive.
“The statement that he made is not from the entire America; it is from only one person,” Charitable said. Church members plan to sign a card with peaceful messages that they will deliver to the White House. From CBS Baltimore: “Haitian Church Holds Prayer Vigil In Aftermath Of Trump’s Alleged Immigration Comments.”
Pastor Roberto Pérez of Spain Rests in Jesus. This official announcement originally appeared in La Revista Adventista (the Adventist Review), the official church publication for Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día en España (the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Spain):
The Adventist Church in Spain expresses its great sadness at the passing of this dear pastor and cries with his family, especially his wife and daughter, for the temporary separation. We remain united in the hope of the resurrection.
The church appreciates the years of service, dedication, and affection with which this dear pastor developed his work in the care and attention of souls.
Roberto was cheerful, willing, hardworking, helpful, friend of his friends, husband, father, son.
"All the churches he went through will remember him fondly, and the pastoral family will miss him. As a church, we are aware that we live in difficult times and that we must face the attacks of the enemy. But we trust in God, because His is the victory, "said Óscar López, president of the Spanish Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Co-sponsors UN Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs. The Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on January 22. The event was co-sponsored by the World Council of Churches, together with ACT Alliance, the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This year’s edition focused on migration and displacement as the member nations of the UN prepare their global compacts for refugees and migrants to be presented for dialogue and adoption at the 2018 UN general assembly.
The global compacts on migration and refugees must be developed in partnership with nations and faith-based organizations like the ones co-sponsoring the event and the aid organizations of all faith groups who have connections to implement at the grassroots level, says the WCC.
Nearly 50% of all funding for the global migration crisis comes from faith-based organizations. This symposium will open the essential space for FBO-nation state partnerships, leading to a more humane and well-crafted compact. From Ekklesia, “WCC to co-host public event at UN on migration and displacement.”
Former San Jose Adventist Church Employee Arrested on Allegations of Sending Sexually Explicit Images to 13-year-old Parishioner. Luis CruzCruz, 24, a former church employee and volunteer in the Central California Conference (CCC), was arrested on suspicion of sending sexually explicit images of himself to a 13-year-old girl who was part of the Iglesia Adventista Del Séptimo Día San José (San Jose Seventh-Day Adventist Church) congregation that he served, according to San Jose police. An investigation by the SJPD Internet Crimes Against Children and Child Exploitation Detail task force contends that between November and December last year, CruzCruz sent multiple illicit images to the underage victim. There is no current evidence that the victim sent any in return. When CruzCruz was arrested, an examination of his electronic devices suggest that he might have sent similar illicit material to other minors, Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.
A news article in The Mercury News incorrectly identified CruzCruz as a youth pastor at the San Jose Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The CCC responded on January 23 with the following statement:
There has been an allegation and arrest made of a former Central California Conference (CCC) employee and volunteer of the San Jose Hispanic Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The Church and Conference are aware of the matter and cooperating at all levels with law enforcement. Please note, the alleged is no longer employed by the Conference and employment was ended May 6, 2017. Additionally, he was never employed by the San Jose Hispanic Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The alleged was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, on suspicion of two counts of harmful correspondence with a minor. It is imperative that all those involved be mindful of the following:
We are cooperating at all levels with this investigation. We encourage constituents to allow law enforcement to do their jobs and remember that the names and/or identities of any minors that may have been involved must be protected and contained for moral and legal reasons.
If you suspect anything unusual, please call Detective Michael O’Grady at 408-537-1397; Central California Conferences expresses its deep sorrow during times like these. Let us remember that we serve a Savior who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Let this same savior guide your congregation now.
News inquiries can be directly referred to Cindy Chamberlin, vice president for communication, at 360-624-5195.
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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