May 21, 2019
The first weeks of May have been pretty intense, traveling and attending commitments pertinent to this time of the year.
On Tuesday, May 7, I headed to Angwin, California, to attend the mid-year meetings of the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee, where reports were presented on church membership, finances and educational institutions. After his reflecting devotional, Elder Dan Jackson, NAD president, was asked to give an update about two unique topics discussed last November at the NAD Year-end Meetings: the GC Compliance Document and the Tithe Parity among the Divisions. (Read last November’s discussions here.) In response to the first document, the GC has responded that no rescindment would happen on the document; on the second one, the GC and Division leaders are keeping the conversation open to bring this financial parity in place in the near future.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Pacific Union College Constituency Meeting was held. Several reports were presented and plans were approved, such as the President’s and those regarding academics, financials, Campus Master Plan, etc. However, the highlight of that afternoon was Alexander Chang’s story, a senior biochemistry/pre-medicine major, sharing his two-term missionary student journey in Pohnpei, highlighting the impact the PUC mission and values have had on his life. Click here for more!
That night, I took a red-eye flight from Oakland to Mexico to visit my parents and be with my mom on Mother’s Day (Mexico celebrates it on May 10). Needless to say, it was a delightful time going back home where a 62-year-old boy was pampered by his 90-year-old mom. After this short vacation, I left Sunday morning to spend Mother’s Day here at home.
Also, within the last weeks, I have been working closely with key people who are helping us out with the Newbury Park Project to complete the recordation of the third phase of the Tract Map (the first phase was in 1996; the second was in 2011). There was a list of items that needed to be done by engineers, insurers, environmentalists, consultants, county and city officials and others to have them ready for today's meeting of the City Council. Please keep this project in your prayers.
Last Sabbath was a full day. Esther and I started it by attending the Newhall Spanish SDA Church where we enjoyed the worship with this vibrant and growing congregation led by the third-time retired pastor, Elder Antonio Cabrera (93) and committed local leaders. We also enjoyed a fellowship meal and time together with these church members. Thank you, Elder and Mrs. Cabrera, for your kind hospitality.
After this, I rushed to speak at the Hispanic Region Evangelistic Rally at the White Memorial SDA Church. More than 700 members across the Region churches got together to:
- Praise God for the 150+ souls baptized since January 1 of this year.
- Welcome the newly baptized members into the SCC family.
- Recognize the diligent work of lay people who are the Small Group Leaders.
- Thank the Region pastors for facilitating and supporting this NAD initiative.
All received a well-designed pin to commemorate this evangelistic effort with the theme: “He Who Wins Souls is Wise.” Elder Alberto Ingleton, PUC Hispanic ministries director, challenged the members to keep this discipleship program moving. Kudos to Elder Luis Peña for leading this initiative in SCC.
I concluded my day with a pastoral visit to a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. He told me that his burden is “too heavy to carry it alone,” so he has decided to talk openly about it because he doesn’t want to travel this journey alone, but with his God, his family and his friends. We talked, we sang, we laughed, we cried, we prayed. Like him, many other people are also facing hard times. Let’s show them our love by giving them our time and our ear. Somebody has called this activity a “ministry of presence.”
Last but not least, BY SUNDAY, MAY 19, all churches needed to have sent their delegates list as described below. Pastors, first elders and church clerks, please verify that this step has been taken. Thank you.
- SCC Session Delegates List Submitted to SCC: No later than May 19, 2019, all SCC churches and companies needed to submit the list of their delegates to the SCC Executive secretary as indicated in a previous communication to pastors, first elders and church clerks.
- Submission of proposals for Bylaws amendments: No later than June 3, 2019, SCC churches and delegates can submit written proposals for Bylaws changes to the SCC Secretary's office to be passed to the Bylaws Committee Chair, George Sellers.
- 65th SCC Constituency Session: This important meeting will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at the White Memorial SDA Church from 7:55 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference