December 8, 2020

The month of November was a busy one for me and many other SCC leaders, and I want to highlight a few events and activities we participated in within our conference.

On Sabbath afternoon, November 7, the SCC officers lead Pastor Jillian Lutes’ ordination to the gospel ministry. Click here to watch the service. Such a meaningful service was another opportunity to reaffirm the experience of God’s calling men and women to speak and act on His behalf as ministers. After going through the experience of receiving God’s call, her ministerial training, and a few years in pastoral ministry, Pastor Jillian was examined by our Theological Competence and Ordination committees, which recommended her for ordination to our Southern California Conference and Pacific Union Conference Executive Committees. Many blessings to her and her husband, Stephen, in their ministry at West Covina Hills church.

Pastor Jillian Lutes with her husband, Stephen.
Pastor Jillian Lutes with her husband, Stephen.

Our Pacific Union Conference (PUC) year-end-meetings, including the Executive Committee and its working committees, were held in mid-November. At this time of the year, these committees’ agendas include: ministry reports are received, financial appropriations are approved and evangelistic funding is allocated and distributed for the upcoming year. In 2021 (as in previous years), our conference will receive about $2 million for evangelism, education and mission in general in the Southern California Conference. It is a blessing for churches and schools to have the denominational structure we have, especially to help each other during the challenging times as we live in this pandemic year. Thank you PUC leaders for your constant support and assistance.

Pastor Michael Johnson <br>and his wife, Denise.
Pastor Michael Johnson
and his wife, Denise.

The weekend of November 13-15, our conference-wide pathfinder clubs had their first-ever virtual annual Pathfinder Camporee. It was reported to me that more than 1,000 people participated and watched this event online beyond Southern California, such as Texas, Florida, Australia, Mexico, El Salvador and other states and countries.

The programming was outstanding from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, including a couple of inspirational messages, one by a former national Pathfinder leader who served in this conference 40 years ago and another by a young pathfinder who has a passion for telling the story of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please visit our SCC Pathfinders Facebook to watch all the videos of this event, but especially this one where the pathfinders and local leaders thank Pastor Bob for his outstanding ministry, leading this ministry for 33 years. Kudos to Pastor Bob Wong and his team of many for such fantastic work done.

Last week, the SCC leadership had the privilege of effectuating the ordination of Pastor Michael Johnson to the gospel ministry. Click here to watch the service. After serving some years as a bi-vocational lay evangelist and trainer of church members as Bible workers in the Southern California and the Pacific Union territories, Michael completed his ministerial training at Oakwood and Andrews universities, holding now a bachelor's degree in theology and a masters degree in pastoral ministry, respectively. Beyond this formal education, Pastor Johnson has a burden for bringing people to Jesus. Congratulations to him and his wife, Denise, who has been a co-laborer by his side, building up the Kingdom of God, now at the Pasadena church.

In His service,

Velino A. Salazar