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Reviewing. . .Adventist World: Numbers edition

December 2009 – Vol. 5, No. 12
Adventist World is free online. For that reason, I only review or comment on articles and editorials that I believe to be of special interest.
ADVENTISTS ADD 1 MILLION NEW MEMBERS, AGAIN. This increase marks sixth year of seven-figure church growth. “An average of 2,818 people joined the church daily, bringing the world membership total to 16,049,101 baptized believers. Church leaders initially projected a world church membership of 17 million by 2009. However, partially because of corrected membership reports from several church regions, the membership total stayed around 16 million.”
CONSERVATIVE INVESTING HELPS ADVENTISTS WEATHER DOWNTURN. “Mission offerings have held steady since dropping early in the year, but tithe returns from North America—which account for 45 percent of the world church’s budget—continue to decrease, reflecting rising unemployment figures.
“Because church financial officers are uncertain when tithes and offering rates might rise in United States dollar terms, the budget delegates approved for 2010 does not factor in assumed increases in tithes and offerings. . .It reflects a US$1.6 million decrease in tithes and offerings when compared to the 2009 budget.
Church officers also voted to use $2.79 million from the church’s working capital to balance the 2010 appropriations budget.
ONE-DAY CHURCH PRODUCTION RISES TO MEET DEMAND. Requests for more than 100,000 structures are pending.
Jan Paulsen argues that there are 5 THINGS WE CAN’T AFFORD TO IGNORE as church members contemplate the future of the Adventist Church. It’s a MUST READ in its entirety. The following is Paulsen’s summary statement.
“How should we face the coming year? I hope we’ll live deliberately—choosing our path with integrity and with an eye to the passing of time. I hope we’ll choose community over individualism, affirming what each of us brings to the body of Christ. Above all, I hope, as individuals and as a church, we’ll refuse to be satisfied with the status quo.”
80 IS NOT ENOUGH is Bill Knott’s interview with Adventist World Radio President, Ben Schoun. He explains why AWR’s work has just begun
“We have programs available in nearly 80 languages, but 80 is not enough! There are about 6,000 languages in the world. Many of them are very small, isolated languages, and most of those people know other languages besides. But there are generally considered to be about 200 critically-important languages spoken in the world. So you can see that our work has just begun.
“Of course, we have a Christian orientation, so there is a different type of music. We use a magazine format, which is made up of a health segment, often a family life segment, and then a Bible study or spiritual segment. And those topics deal with better living and improving community life—things that catch people’s attention. Some of our studios even give training in agricultural principles, or they may have some children’s stories or educational programming.”
HELPING THE HELPLESS by Sandra Blackmer reports the North American Divisions’ efforts to construct a school and feed and educate orphans in Maluti, a city in the small African country of Lesotho, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.
Check out the pictures of the editors and staff of Adventist World! They pose for the camera in a two-page spread titled, A TEAM EFFORT.
A BETTER WORLD IN BOLIVIA AND BEYOND by Crystal D. Steeves is a MUST READ if you have any questions about the importance of ADRA.
In the midst of a world in which one-third of the world’s children go to bed hungry, and thousands of them die every day of starvation, Angel Manuel Rodriguez answers the question, Was Daniel a Vegetarian? TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT is a Rodriguez tour de force.
Letters shared in THE PLACE OF PRAYER continue to break my heart.

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