Early morning on Sabbath January 4, Esther and I headed to the southern tier of our conference to worship with our Gardena Japanese church members. What an enjoyable worship experience we had along with a delicious fellowship meal followed by an insightful conversation with our members about their mission in the South Bay area. Although the young people of that church are few, they are very committed to making a difference in their community for Christ. The church has offered this after-school program through the Saniku Tozai Gakuen (East-West Language School, EWLS) for more than 50 years, and it has been a vehicle to share Christ to the non-Christian Japanese community. For half of a century, thousands of Japanese speaking children have been blessed through this ministry. Press on EWLS! You have a wonderful mission! (Click here to learn more about this ministry.)
The first full week of this month was pretty much traditional, meeting with committees and routine appointments, allowing us to plan more details in ministry for this new year.
On Sabbath afternoon, January 11, my wife and I joined the Chino Valley Chinese church (CVCC) 10th anniversary celebration for attaining its status as an organized church. This congregation began meeting in 2006, after two attempts of planting a church on the eastern side of the San Gabriel Valley throughout the span of 20 years. In four short years, they grew from a company to church status. This congregation has been the fastest-growing congregation not just in SCC, but in the Pacific Union Conference as well as the North American Division. Also, they purchased land and built a new sanctuary without taking out any loans. Congratulations to the founding members, and blessings to these CVCC committed members and a big thank you to their visionary and dynamic leader, Dr. Paul Cho.
Last week, I attended the first of four annual summits Adventist Health has every year: Governance, Mission, Strategy, Clinical. This quarterly two-day event brings not just the hospital executives and management, but employees, physicians and board members, such as myself. This governance summit was very insightful and a real eye-opener about the current health care trends and how to face this ever-changing industry. Click here to learn more about this ministry of health.
This past Sabbath morning, I had the privilege of installing Elder Jesus Torres as pastor of the El Sereno and Eastmont Spanish churches. Elder Torres has been pastoring several churches in our conference since he came in 2006. I have the confidence that he will continue being a blessing in ministry, along with his lovely wife and their children, Abdiel and Abigail. God bless you friends in your new pastoral assignment.
- SCC Day of Prayer: Save the date for Sabbath, January 25, 2020, at the Spanish American church. All are invited to come and seek the Lord’s blessing as we begin a new year.
- General Pastors Meeting: Monday, February 24, 2020, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Vallejo Drive church.
- State of the Conference: All SCC employees, Monday, February 24, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Vallejo Drive church.
- Annual Pastors' Retreat: This event starts Sunday, March 1 at noon and ends Tuesday, March 3 at noon. The retreat will take place at Pine Springs Ranch.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference