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Adventist News Round Up: Liquid edition

The Press-Enterprise reports:

Mike Kendall, vice president of Turner Development Corp., has tried pitching his open restaurant space at Turner Riverwalk across from La Sierra University in Riverside 25 times before and invariably received the same response:

No hard liquor? No thank you.

A 1963 law that bars the sale of hard liquor within a one-mile radius of the Seventh-day Adventist-affiliated La Sierra University has proved to be a buzzkill for Kendall. It’s challenged him to find a chain willing to forego the profits a bar brings. He’s also had to defend his pursuit to the Riverside Planning Commission, which wants a quality restaurant.

  • A Chevrolet is used as a radio studio,
  • Adventists are Blue Zone dwellers,
  • Sanitarium turns 110,
  • Adventist Media Network’s CEO is moving back to the USA,
  • 77 young people are baptised at a PNG Uni,
  • Adventist young people are drinking more alcohol,
  • Most Christians do not understand the trinity,
  • A new Revelation seminar to be launched in the South Pacific.

Professor Julius Nam writes a beautiful obituary for Dr. Russel Standish:

My interactions with Russell leading up to and during last fall’s QOD Conference was wholly and blessedly positive. He wrote a paper that was vintage Russell—replete with sharp criticisms of what he considered to be troubling trends in Adventism, but enveloped with a deep passion for the church he loved. There was a point in the weeks leading up to the conference when those of us planning the conference felt that (as we did with several other participants) we needed to ask him to clarify certain portions of his paper and modulate the tone of his criticisms. We called him up and carefully asked if he would consider the editorial suggestions we wanted to make. His immediate response went something like this: “Well, we Australians like to press the issue and exaggerate the point we’re making, but after a vigorous debate, we can laugh about it and go home as brothers.” So we asked if he would kindly consider sensitive American souls and make some changes. He laughed and said basically, “Sure, let me know what changes you’d like me to make.” When he sent his next draft, he had incorporated every suggestion we had made without a single word of protest. He was every bit the gracious gentleman I first encountered ten years earlier.

During the conference, Russell provided for me a model of being deeply committed to his convictions while caring deeply even for those who might be considered his fierce theological opponents. I will always treasure the time I got to spend with him last October. I think I can safely say that whatever good the conference achieved is directly linked to Russell’s willing engagement with those on “the other side” of the spectrum.

The debate on Russell’s unique theological legacy will continue for years to come. But I don’t think there can be any debate on the kind of life he led—that of a singular hope and faith in Jesus. That was always clear to everyone who interacted with him. I have no doubt that he will stand in the midst of the saints on the day of the Lord’s return, praising him and rejoicing in the grand reunion of that day.

Sligo got press coverage for its National Day of Prayer service:

Sitting with her head bowed Thursday in the last pew at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, Savitha Jesudason listened to an organist play and prayed silently for her family, friends, and anyone hurting in the world, she said.

Adventist News Network profiles the new Director of Adventist Chaplaincy Services:

[Colonel Gary] Councell, 64, says he became a chaplain to provide the kind of support to soldiers his own father didn’t have when he was drafted during World War II, two weeks after becoming an Adventist.

“Back then there were no Adventist chaplains to help our members who served. My own father had all kinds of problems, from Sabbath-keeping to diet to not wanting to carry weapons, and he had no one to assist him standing for his convictions,” he says.

Now Councell oversees a department that endorses 350 Adventist chaplains in the U.S. and consults with ACM departments in many countries on keeping current the endorsements of the some 300 Adventist chaplains globally.

So instead of kicking back and enjoying mountaineering, bicycling, camping, reading, playing the trumpet and visiting Civil War Memorial battlefields, Councell says “a love for our people — our church members” brings him into the office each day.

He also adds that he is motivated by “a sense of vision about the direction I want to take the department.”

He says plans include recruiting more prison chaplains, appointing a full time coordinator for public campuses, establishing fully independent chaplaincy training programs in more regions of the world church and helping more seminary graduates realize that “chaplaincy is a viable expression of ministry just as vital as the pastor/evangelist.”

Councell is especially passionate about the last point.

“With more seminary graduates than churches to minister in we have a lot of graduates who are not getting employed by the denomination,” he says. “They need to understand that chaplains are called to ministry just as pastors are.”

The message must be getting across because Councell says he gets more calls from ministers wanting to be chaplains than about any other issue.

Before coming to the Adventist church’s world headquarters, the grandfather of five worked at the Pentagon as director of information, resource management, facilities and logistics in the office of the Chief of Chaplains. He previously served as the senior chaplain for all the military chaplains around the Pacific Rim.

Councell was also the second Adventist to earn the rank of colonel, an accomplishment that only eight out of 100 army chaplains ever make.

Still, he says it would be nice if more churches gave the chaplaincy a little more respect.

“We tend to look at end results only: numbers of people baptized. But chaplains plant seeds and then nurture them. We are building credibility for the church and making contacts with people who have never heard about Adventists,” he says.

Florida Hospital faces some bad press in the Latino community:

As millions of emails by faithful Christians circulate around the world with links to the story about the weeping image of Jesus Christ at Florida Hospital’s Prayer Garden, a leading Latino consumer advocacy group offered an explanation today: “Jesus was weeping at the deplorable pricing and collection practices of Florida Hospital—a billion-dollar religious hospital operation run by millionaire executives that has little if anything to do with ‘the healing mission of Christ.’”

According to K.B. Forbes, Executive Director of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos, “Jesus is weeping at a so-called religious hospital system that pulled in over $1 billion in profits between 2003 and 2006, sits on $ 2.3 billion in cash and assets and yet refused to help a dying, uninsured child in his time of need. What compassionate organization would spend $25 million on collection fees in a three year period and yet refuse to help a young boy from getting the care he desperately needed?”

The story of Rodney Vega has been a battle cry for people who want organizations like Florida Hospital/Adventist Health System to be stripped of their not for-profit status and master trust indentures which allow them to issue bonds and pay no income, earnings, or property taxes.

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