“Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” - Andrew Murray
Join many from Washington, Oregon and beyond as they come together for a time of prayer and spiritual refreshing! Take a look at the picture above and register online HERE.
Register for the first Church Revitalization BootCamp of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists to take place at beautiful Sunset Lake Camp, from November 4-7, 2021 by clicking on the picture above or HERE.
The three day experience has been designed and created exclusively for Church Planters, Pastors, Volunteer Lay Pastors, Church Planting Core and Launch Teams, and Conference and Union Leaders currently involved in church planting or planning to plant between now and 2022. The benefits of attending include: practical teaching on how to plant a church, from some of our best church planters in North America, networking opportunities, and experiential learning with other practitioners who are traveling the same journey, and in-depth, direct information on funding for church planting in North America. Click on the picture above or HERE to find out more and register.
The Northern California Conference hosted the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI) module 1 training for church planters at Leoni Meadows May 3-5. These intensives (6 hours of instruction/group sessions, etc. per day) were attended by leaders from British Columbia (via Zoom due to travel restrictions), Nevada-Utah, Northern California and Oregon Conferences. This is the first of 4 modules for this West Coast church planting initiative. Some have asked, “Why plant churches when we have so many to take care of as it is?” The answers: We have a Biblical mandate to take the gospel to every people, church planting (with various modalities) is one way to help do so, and currently our established churches have not entered several un-entered areas within our own territory. Many other reasons were given from the Bible, Ellen White’s writings and Early Adventist history, but overall the mandate of Matthew 28 remains before us: Go – make disciples! The next module will be in August, so please pray for the respective Conferences endeavoring to take the gospel to their part of the field. Please see the ACTS church planting document for an overview of what we covered. Below are some pictures from module 1. Click HERE to download the document.
The Elder's Engage weekend was attended by over 80 leaders and members from all over the Northern California Conference - we praise God for that! At the end of the last meeting, it was clear that more resources were desired and more online trainings were needed. Look for future meetings to be promoted soon!
For those who attended (or who watched the archived presentations online HERE), you can access the slides for the presentations below.
Greg Howell: Practical Pendulums of Adventism (the file is too large to post here, please fill out the form on the "Contact Us" page or email the Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Serns: Our Most Important "Job"
As of February 26, a YouTube page was created with its first uploaded video: Preaching with PURPOSE session 1. More videos and links to other trainings are now also posted under "Playlists". For Volunteer Lay Pastors you can view a playlist just for you HERE, or get videos on the TEAMS proficiency areas HERE. For Church planters, there is a playlist with lots of videos HERE, and for Pastor-Coaches I have put a playlist on the YouTube channel just for you here.
Feel free to check out the channel and let me know what you think. To utilize the YouTube channel for Volunteer Pastor or Volunteer Lay Pastor education/continuing education hours, please click on the "More" tab and select "Online Learning".
Click on the picture below to access the channel or go to: Ministry TEAMS Resources - YouTube
Resource Links for this Weekend:
Greg Howell Suggested Links:
1. Adventists and Epidemics interview: Pastor Greg Howell and Pastor Keith Jacobson interact in this almost 10 minute interview about Adventists and Pandemics. Click HERE
2. The 1918 Influenza and the 1919 Bible Conferences: Sabbath School with Pastor Greg Howell featuring an interview with Dr. Michael Campbell: Click HERE
3. Michael Campbell article "Adventists and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic": Click HERE.
4. The Remnant interview with Pastor Greg Howell and Dr. Jon Paulien: Click HERE.
5. Historical Interpretations of Genesis Sabbath School by Pastor Greg Howell featuring Dr. John Reeve (Andrews University Early Church History professor): Click HERE.
The course materials can be obtained by contacting the VLP Coordinator at email@example.com or by filling out the form on the "Contact Us" page of this website. A Zoom link will then be sent to those who have registered. Here is the introduction contained in the course materials:
Impetus for the Course
To obey Christ’s command to take the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20),
the Northern California Conference needs more workers. Jesus’ words are still true today
that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2 NIV).
To fulfill the mission of Christ and reach new communities for God, the Northern California Conference needs more part-time and volunteer leaders who can preach, do the work of evangelism, administrate and care for the membership of local churches. These proficiency areas are covered with the TEAMS acronym with each letter standing for an area of training (T – Teaching/Preaching; E – Evangelism/Engagement; A – Administration; M – Member care; and S – Spirituality of the leader). This particular course has been designed to begin meeting the need for more lay training. A more in-depth training course is available for those wishing to pursue being a Volunteer Lay Pastor (VLP). Please feel free to contact your Pastor to express your interest in further trainings to pursue VLP ministry. More resources on preaching, and other areas of ministry, are available online at this web link: https://www.ministryteams.org/teams-resources.html.
Purpose and Overview of this Course
Purpose: To provide basic proficiency in preaching concepts and a tangible process that can be repeated weekly, monthly or periodically when developing sermons for a local church’s worship service.
Overview of sessions:
Suggested Additional Reading:
Bresee, W. Floyd (1997). Successful Lay Preaching. Silver Spring, MD: The Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Robinson, Haddon W. (2001). Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Wibberding, James Richard (2006). Learn to Preach Before Next Weekend. Telford, PA: Big Fish Publishing, In
 These sessions were developed through personal experience and by adapting materials produced by the North American Division that were accessed at this website: www.ifollowdiscipleship.org.
Ethan Conger grew up in the Alturas area and attended the Alturas Seventh-day Adventist Church. He states that though he attended church, “I never really understood what I was being told or what all of it meant. I drifted away,” and eventually stopped going altogether. Due to this “drift” Ethan sought meaning in various ways. In High School he played football and had a goal to become as strong, fast and mean as possible so he would defeat the other side. He developed a mentality of being willing to do “anything” for his team. This desire to do anything for a team was enhanced further when he enlisted in the military. However, due to some decisions that path did not work out either. Soon, he decided to become a bartender and handle problems with violence if need be. He states that, “Oftentimes after work, me and my ‘friends’ would each drink a large amount of liquor and go searching for trouble. At times, we would nearly kick a door in to find conflict”.
It was during this time of frustration and anger that something very interesting happened. He watched a Joe Rogan Podcast about a flood in North America which began a journey into the “Truths of the earth,” as he put it in his baptismal sermon. He began wondering about the validity of the worldwide flood and some questions as well as some conclusions came to his mind: “Did every culture just have their own little flood and by coincidence made a similar story? Unlikely. Why is this so Important? The idea of a worldwide flood flips everything we have been taught on its head. Everything in school, Media, Scientists-Gone. You must completely re-evaluate every conclusion you have made. You have to re-evaluate How life came to be, our place in the universe, the time that we have been around—You have to shift it all. This is CRUCIAL. The Flood answers Fossil record questions, Human records, all Flood myth records. I began thinking it might be time to check out some stuff on the Grand Canyon. . . I wasn’t exactly trying to prove the Bible, but that was certainly a bi-product of what came next.”
What came next was that Ethan decided to move to Redding, and do MMA-Cage fighting. He thought that if he was going to fight, he “may as well do it legally”. He advanced in the skill of fighting, and also continued his research. While he continued his research on the flood, he also had Adventist family members who encouraged him to watch the program “The Days of Noah” by Laymen Ministries. This gentle form of witnessing would later serve to help him re-engage with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Along with his study of the flood, he also began learning how the Bible was written, and concluded that it was not like other texts. This was a seed that God used to lead to a pivotal moment in his life.
One day, after finishing a Muay Thai class, he began doing pushups in his room. While he was exercising, he had an experience that he would later recall vividly: “Something clicked. A Switch was flipped. It felt as though it was SEARED into my mind ‘There is a God’, and ‘I am not alone.’ It’s still mind-blowing thinking about that moment. It was most certainly not me deciding there was a God. It was Him saying ‘I’m here. I found you. Come find me.’ In that moment I knew that was God himself making himself known, and acknowledging back that I was no longer alone. How did I know that? I didn’t have a clue but concluded that there is a God.”
He began searching the Bible and found that the Bible always explained itself, and never contradicted itself. As he searched the Scriptures, he began to recognize the reality of Jesus, and found the truth about the cross. He believes that, “At the very core, you have a God who came down to teach people to Love. . . A God crying out to the world to come to him. . . Hundreds of prophecies point directly to this Man. The absolute impossibility of his very existence is enough to convince many. Everything in the Bible has a scarlet thread that leads STRAIGHT to Jesus. The first coming, and the Second coming.”
Ethan’s journey continued and not only did he begin interacting more with his family about what he was learning, he requested that his grandma Joy Evans, the Head Elder at the Alturas church, get him in touch with the pastor he knew when he was a child – Bruce Blum. Pastor Bruce Blum studied with Ethan, and Ethan grew both in his understanding and application of the Bible to his life. As a result, he requested to be baptized and made decisions that allowed God to change his life in many ways. Ethan was baptized at the Alturas Seventh-day Adventist Church by Pastor Bruce Blum on November 14, 2020. The day of his baptism, the Church also prayed for Ethan’s future ministry. A ministry that began with his first sermon the day of his baptism and continues weekly as he takes Orientation to Ministry classes from Pastor Murray Miller. During Ethan’s baptism day sermon, Ethan concluded his remarks by saying, “I am fully dedicating my life to a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Wild, eh? I want more people to experience this. I want people on this train. This is the single greatest thing that I have ever experienced. We are in the last few moments of the World as we know it, and everybody needs to know our God, so that when he returns they too will say ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us’. . . It is time to get ready. Get in your Bibles. Do not look back, and remember that ‘God is Love’’.
Synthesized from Ethan Conger’s sermon manuscript and recollections.
Murray Miller will be a contributor and the moderator, but many can help to shape the content.