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Dealing with Racism and Prejudice

The recent killings between police officers and black men in cities like Baton Rouge, Dallas, and St. Paul have raised people’s levels of anxiety everywhere. Add to that, the increasing numbers of violent terrorist attacks in western nations and the fear, anger, and hatred is becoming truly frightening. Are Christians going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

It doesn’t seem that there is much that you or I can do about the racism and prejudice in our world. The truth is that until a person has really tried to understand how people feel on all sides, he or she will be part of the problem, at least passively. One is unlikely to be part of the solution without gaining an understanding for people that are different from him or herself. So, what does God expect us to do about it? Our world is in such a mess that it is overwhelming to think of all that needs to be fixed. Are we to just do nothing and wait for Jesus to come? Surely, it will all be fixed then, praise be to God, but isn’t there something we are to do before Jesus comes?

As Christians we know that only the love of Jesus can solve these problems; however, much of the world doesn’t have the right idea of Jesus and consequently rejects Him. We are to share who Jesus really is with those who are open to see it. That’s been the major part of the Gospel Commission for almost 2,000 years. Does knowing Jesus break down the walls of racism and prejudice? Yes! Has that happened in the history of Christianity? Has it broken down those walls today? We are forced to admit that it’s not as it should be. Why? Don’t Christians know Jesus?

In the days of the apostles, Christians were struggling to break out of the prejudice and racism between Jews and Gentiles. Paul tried hard without complete success to break those walls down. Racism and prejudice are nearly as old as sin itself. It seems that to get rid of racism and prejudice that we have to get rid of sin, doesn’t it? God’s remnant people for the last days have to do better than the generations before us, don’t we?

While we cannot fix racism and prejudice nationally or even regionally, we can live out the song that the pastors sang this past Sabbath, “Brighten the Corner Where You Are.” If we each love as Jesus loved, by the grace of God the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church can be a model of racial harmony, a light in our community of a Christianity that actually works in every way with real life issues.

Our church has a wonderful racial diversity that makes such a model a possible reality. How can we expand our understanding for each another? I would like to dialogue with anyone with positive ideas. This seems to be an opportune time to shine as a “light to the world” as Jesus said we should. What would Jesus have us to do at this time?  “These things I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:17)

Fred Dana, Associate Pastor

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CENTRAL CORNER

This Week (July 18 to 23): 

• Tuesday @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Prayer Meeting with Pastor Chris Buttery

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - Spanish Group Prayer Meeting

• Various L.I.F.E. groups (in-home small group Bible studies) take place across Sacramento. To locate one near you contact our small groups’ coordinator, Richard Anger @ (916) 681-3990

• Sabbath @ 9:00 AM – Morning Manna with Richard Anger

• Sabbath @ 9:30 AM – Central Study Hour with Pastor Mike Thompson + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School Classes

• Sabbath @ 10:50 AM – Worship Service with Pastor Chris Buttery

• Sabbath @ 1:00 PM – Guest Fellowship Lunch

• Sabbath @ 1:00 PM – Small Groups Ministry Luncheon

• Sabbath @ 2:00 PM – Light Sacramento!

Upcoming Events

Light Sacramento! Central’s signature event for all, continues this Sabbath, July 23, and will continue every 2nd and 4th Sabbath @ 2 PM. We will meet in the Camellia Room after lunch for a debriefing and prayer, and then go out to Light Sacramento!

Healthy Plate: Join us for the next Healthy Plate presentation, “Lose Weight Naturally!” with Dr. David DeRose, on Monday, July 25 at 7 PM in the Chapel.

Family Life Sabbath is July 30 here at Central. Join us as Pastor Art & Esmie Branner and Tyra Taylor-Cooks lead out in two very engaging afternoon seminars.  The program runs from 10:50 AM to 3:30 PM.

AFCOE-To-Go will take place right here at Central, starting Friday, August 5 from 6:30 PM (onsite registration begins at 6 PM) and running all day Sabbath, August 6. Plan to join us for fellowship lunch. Supper will be provided.

Collegiate Sabbath School will be starting August 6 in the North Upper Sanctuary Room here at Sacramento Central Church. This class will be for collegiate students ages 18 to 25.

Family Matters

Sacramento Central Prayer Ministry has conference calls open to the entire church twice daily, at 5:30 AM and 7 PM, for approximately 30 minutes. If you happen to log in during the prayer time, please do not say your name. Call 712.770.4010, access code: 361097.

Podcasts Available! If you didn't know, every Central Study Hour and worship service can be viewed and downloaded by going to our website (https://zqh.orf.mybluehost.me/saccentral/sermons). This is an easy way for you to invite friends and family to listen to important Bible messages coming from Central church. The podcasts are uploaded a week after the live presentation.

Watch Us On Television! Enjoy viewing Central’s flagship program, Central Study Hour, every Friday night at 7 PM (NEW TIME) and Sabbath morning at 6 AM (PST) on 3ABN Proclaim! Also enjoy our Receiving the Word, 30-minute programs weekly on Sunday at 11 AM, Tuesday at 11:30 AM, Wednesday at 8:30 PM, and Thursday at 9 PM on Sacramento Faith TV. These can also be viewed on our website (www.saccentral.org) and our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/thecentralconnection). Let everyone know where they can receive timely Bible messages!

News & Events From Elsewhere

Watch Summer Shows, beginning July 17. Hope Channel Classics will feature documentaries on Martin Luther, John Wesley, Corrie ten Boom, and more. Musical artists from My Story, My Song will perform an encore in mini concerts. Also back is Barry Black in Higher Ground. In addition to the return of these favorites is Arnion, a brand new show that presents a fresh, contemporary look at the book of Revelation. For air times, check the program guide. Watch Hope Channel on DirecTV 368, streaming online, on Roku, and mobile apps.

Grab your bike and get ready to change the world! After successful rides in Australia and New Zealand, 25000Spins is coming to America this year. You can fight world poverty and improve the lives of people around the world by joining ADRA for a cycling adventure in beautiful Big Sur, California. Registration is open! Visit crowdrise.com/adrausa to get started. Dates: September 25-27, 2016; Registration Fee: $199; Fundraising Target: $2,500 (minimum to raise is $1,500).

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NEWS HEIGHTS

Resources

Find out what’s new from Pacific Press®, including Joe Wheeler’s Favorite Prayer Stories, Glimpses Into the Life of Ellen White by Jim Nix, and Guide’s Greatest Friendship Stories edited by Lori Peckham. The catalogue includes plenty of sweet summer specials and several coupons.

Bibles: An array of Bibles for adults, youth, and children are available at your local Adventist Book Center or online at www.adventistbookcenter.com/bibles.html. They make great gifts, and it’s nice to have a couple on hand for that “somebody” you may meet who doesn’t have one.

Be Inspired 

“God uses ordinary people to carry out His extraordinary plan.”

If you want others to enjoy receiving this e-newsletter as much as you do, please invite them to sign up by going to www.saccentral.org/central-happenings

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