June 5, 2018

June 5, 2018
We are in the midst of springtime, and it is time for Spring Cleaning! Last Thursday, we closed the doors of the conference office to the public and spent the entire day cleaning our desks, cabinets, closets and basement. We had accumulated stuff for six or seven years! We needed to assess if it was still usable and relevant or unusable and obsolete.

While I was cleaning in the basement, I recalled the same practice in a spiritual way. The children of Israel were told by Moses that they needed to “remove any leaven” from their houses; this activity was in remembrance of their liberation from Egypt by the Lord.

My friends, as we journey through this sinful world and contaminated society, we need to exclaim like David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). We need to be cleaned by Him, not every six or seven years – but every single day.

The past couple of weeks has been packed with meetings (Executive Officers, Administrative, Personnel, Executive Committee, Board of Education). But I’d like to briefly highlight a few events in which I participated:

Dr. V. Bailey Gillespie
Dr. V. Bailey Gillespie

On Sabbath, May 19, Esther and I worshiped with the Alhambra church, and saw how God is blessing the ministry of this church in their rapidly changing community. They are trying to present the Gospel in a relevant format, and we greatly appreciate your ministry, Don and Kathy Smith.

That afternoon, I joined the La Sierra University family to celebrate the extraordinary life of Dr. V. Bailey Gillespie, a professor in the School of Religion for 36 years. I want to honor the memory and ministry of this champion for God’s Kingdom. Many young people have known Jesus Christ or returned to Him because of his passionate ministry for youth and young adults. Dr. Gillespie’s ministry and his mentorship to our SCC pastors when they were students and in their pastorates was such a blessing to us.

The following Sabbath, we went to a church that I haven’t visited in years: San Gabriel Valley Spanish. We enjoyed worshiping with this congregation, and we encouraged them to keep up the good work of witnessing for Jesus in our diverse and multicultural community. Thank you, Pastor Jose Alejandro and Rebeca Diaz, for your pastoral service for God’s people.

Last Sabbath, our beloved Pastor Adam Hicks was ordained to the Gospel ministry. It was a beautiful and inspirational service, in which the SCC officers participated. We reminded this young minister of the unique privilege of serving our loving God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We praise God for the ministry that he and his lovely wife Cassandra provide for the Glendora community at Journey church. Let’s now call him Elder Hicks!

Your fellow traveler,

Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference