March 18, 2020

Since the elephant is in the room—actually, it is a monster, not an elephant—let’s talk about it. Yes, its name is COVID-19, or coronavirus.

For the last few weeks, the news and social media have bombarded us with information regarding this biological monster creating a pandemic situation, pushing us to change our lifestyle as the Los Angeles area becomes another hub of this infectious disease.

As you may be aware, the SCC leadership (administrative and departmental) has been taking this issue seriously and has made some decisions to protect our communities, schools, churches and office personnel following the directive counsel of healthcare and government agencies.

Therefore, from this week to the rest of March:

  1. At schools: all were required to close, and international traveling (senior class, mission trips, etc.) was canceled and banned
  2. At churches: no gatherings (worship services, boards, etc.) (regardless of the number of individuals present) are allowed on church premises
  3. At camps: all retreats, convocations, etc., were canceled
  4. At the conference office: all the employees were asked to work from home, except for a handful of personnel to run essential operations. However, the building is closed to the public.

I would like to ask for your gracious understanding for any inconvenience these changes may bring to you. I reiterate that we are available as before, and we encourage you to not hesitate to contact us as in the past (emails, texts and phone). (For extension numbers, click here.)

Let us together face this situation with the confidence that the Lord will help us to do what we cannot do—at the same time acting with wisdom, prudence and precautions to do what we can do.

This last concept reminded me of the experience of the widow’s oil (2 Kings 4:1-7) when the crisis arrived at her home and how she handled it. Here are some points for our individual and collective reflection:

  • Adversity and scarcity impact the believers as well, including those who serve God’s people.
  • Under distress, look for help among people you really trust.
  • Spiritual guidance may come while seeking material assistance.
  • Whatever you have is enough for God to use it.
  • Following directions increases the possibilities of results beyond our imagination.
  • Do what we can do. He will do what we cannot do.
  • God supplies what we need, not what we want, nor to hoard.
  • Oil in Biblical context symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
  • The presence of the Spirit promised never ends.

It is my prayer that each one of us, amid this scary situation, can have an uplifting experience of trust in the Lord. Our Heavenly Father is ready to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for. So, Lord, we need your Spirit in our lives now more than ever!


  • II Adventist Education Summit: SCC pastors and teachers, please save the date for Tuesday, August 11, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Glendale Adventist Academy. Let's all plan accordingly.

Your fellow traveler,

Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference