On Sunday, September 22, early in the morning, delegates began to flow into the White Memorial church to reconvene for the 65th constituency session of the Southern California Conference. It was a beautiful morning, and members came with high anticipation to receive reports and to make decisions for the next five years. More than 900 delegates total attended this meeting, and we are so thankful for their participation in the important work God has put before this conference.
We started with a highlight moment when the keynote speaker, Elder Dan Jackson, North American Division president, shared an inspirational message with our delegates about our shared faith and mission.
Within this high moment, 151 voices came in and sang songs of praise and adoration to God for all His blessings He has given to His people in the Southern California Conference. These young choir members are part of our SCC academies, and we were blessed by their participation.
We started the session at 9:00 a.m. After the preliminary decisions, seating of the delegates and sharing instruction as to how the meeting will be conducted, we paused for a moment to honor those workers/employees who served the church for many years and retired within the last four years. This was followed by a few minutes of silence to respect the lives of those employees and retirees who went to sleep in Jesus within the last four years.
This recognition of our predecessors is important for us. The reflection reminds us that the benefits and, at one point, the commodities that we have today in our churches and in our ministry have been built on the great sacrifice made by those who served before us. And for that, we are praising God — because the Southern California conference is a movement that is moving ahead, keeping our eyes on the future while also maintaining a connection with the past.
The reports that were presented had been produced having in mind one thing: recognizing God for being the head of this church and for blessing His people in Southern California. Along with this, we expressed our gratitude to members and employees (pastors, educators and office personnel) for allowing God to use us all in a very different way to communicate His love in our communities. Please click here to find more about these reports on our constituency website.
We also are praising God for the new members who have joined us in our journey to heaven. We praise God for every single soul who has accepted Jesus as their Savior, and we are thankful to God for providing the resources (financial and human) to carry on His mission here in Southern California.
Velino A. Salazar
John H. Cress
Executive Vice President:
James G. Lee
Superintendent of Schools:
Also at this 65th constituency session, new leaders were elected to serve this conference for the next five years. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of my fellow administrators to express our gratitude for the confidence that you have put on these simple human beings who are committed to honoring God. Please pray for us, that His spirit can use us to advance His kingdom on this earth and, soon, He can come and take His people home.
After giving opportunity for delegates to speak and express their perspectives and listening to their counsel, we concluded presenting our basic strategic plan through our mission, vision, values and objectives. (Scroll down for the video.)
We left that meeting with a sense that the Lord had blessed us that morning in different ways. And for that, to Him be all the glory and all the honor. I conclude with the words of Ellen G. White, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 196.2.
In His service,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference