Central Happenings

Dear Reader,

We would like to warmly welcome you to the very first edition of Central Happenings – a weekly e-newsletter from your pastoral staff to inform, update, and keep in touch.

It was George Bernard Shaw who once quipped, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  Ask anyone and they will tell you how true this is.  Healthy communication is a prerequisite to healthy relationships, and no less for the church family.

We plan to make Central Happenings a pithy and relevant read with the obvious goal to simply communicate.  You can expect each edition to contain:

  • Pastor’s Blog - a refreshing Biblical insight from your pastors
  • Central News & Happenings – important info on news and events taking place at Central
  • Bulletin Board – includes various news, resources, programs, and/or initiatives taking place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church locally and around the world that may impact you

 We trust you’ll find Central Happenings (not to be confused with The Central Connection put together by Central’s Communication Department) another great resource that will allow you to stay in touch with your church family.  As your pastoral staff we look forward to continuing to reach out to you, including through this new way, as we seek to press together for the work at hand and in preparation for the soon return of Jesus.

So please, read on.

Pastor’s Blog

Love is in air, or at least that's what the 14th of February is suppose to be about.  I remember back in high school everyone surreptitiously ensured someone they were fond of received their “Valentines.”  It was a day you looked forward to, and in some ways it was a day you didn’t.  You weren’t supposed to go home empty handed.  And if you did you felt small and unloved.

It was a rather silly thing we put ourselves through back then.  Of course, many times what we thought was love was only an emotion that was either driven by hormones or peer pressure.  It wasn’t real love at all. 

“Love” is a predominantly misunderstood word.  The fact that we use it to express our feelings for just about anything we like may have something to do with it.  For example, you’ve probably heard someone say they love pizza and they love their wife during the course of the same conversation.  Of course we know that they didn’t mean they were married to a slice of veggie-lovers and enjoyed eating their wife, but this is one example of how the word “love” is loosely used thus diminishing its true meaning.

What is true love?  Unfortunately many misconstrue love for mere emotion.  While love definitely includes emotions, it is much larger than mere emotion.  It has to be that way or else the love I have for my wife would change with the way I feel during the course of a candlelit dinner or how I feel when there’s a disagreement.  If love were merely an emotion then I’d love her one moment and not the next.  No relationship would ever last under those circumstances. 

Contrary to popular opinion, the antonym of love isn’t hate, but selfishness.  It would be difficult for a person who had the wrong idea of what love is to see that, but if we properly define love then it becomes clear. 

In what is probably the most quoted passage in Scripture we’re introduced to God’s definition of love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16 – emphasis mine)  God’s love led Him to give.  And give He did!  He gave His Son to the human race so we might be saved.  Love gives.  Love is unselfish. 

But that’s not all.  In the well-known “Love Chapter” of the Bible (1 Corinthians 13), the apostle Paul enlarges upon the meaning of true love.  In a nutshell - love is a decision. 

So today, will you decide to love more?  Today, will you decide to give more?  And while deciding, remember, and claim God’s wonderful promise: “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).  This is the only way to experience and share true love.

To read more of Pastor Chris’ blogs go to pastorchris11.blogspot.com.

Central News & Happenings

Pastor Harold & Dorreen White would like to extend a deep, heart-felt thank you to everyone for the wonderful cards, e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and well-wishes they’ve received after announcing his retirement.  In Pastor Harold’s words: “What a joy to serve Sac Central for 11 years and minister to such a wonderful family!” 

Central’s Media Ministry: Recently the church board appointed a “Media Study Committee” with the task to report what it would take to continue a viable media ministry at Central.   A couple of weeks ago the committee gave their report to the board highlighting costs for a bronze, silver, and gold media package, including time and volunteer commitments. Two things came out of that initial meeting:

1. Approval to replace sound equipment that Central currently uses but belongs to Amazing Facts.  That investment will cost the church thousands of dollars so your donations toward media ministry at this time would be greatly appreciated.

2. The need for further research to be done on the quality of proposed camera equipment.  Both the finance and media study committees are planning to meet soon to review the new findings.  A board meeting is also scheduled for this week to look at and process the data coming in.

While we might be able to acquire new media equipment, the big question is whether Central will have the help needed to produce TV quality material.  At the very least we desire to continue recording for Central’s vibrant CD/DVD ministry and live stream Sabbath School and church.  However, if we can get production up to snuff Central’s programming could be used on local TV as well as 3ABN Proclaim, and possibly Hope Channel.  This means Central can continue to have a wider impact in the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, which has been the church’s vision for years.  Please join us as we pray and look for individuals to help.

Senior Pastor Search: Recently the church board commissioned a “Search Committee” to do some groundwork in the selection of a new senior pastor.  They have met twice already and will report their findings to the board once they have completed their task.  At that time a Conference representative will join the process to bring the search to its conclusion.  While this could be a lengthy process, the committee and board are seeking to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Please continue to pray that God’s will be revealed during this process.

Youth Pastor Search: Since the sudden departure of our previous youth pastor the pastoral staff have been actively searching for a someone to fill this role.  The search was initially delayed due to not knowing whether the position would be a local hire or Conference hire.  Once we received word that the Conference would hire a youth pastor for Central we went to work looking for the right person to bring to Central.  We came close to selecting an individual at the end of 2013 but through circumstances out of our control we lost the opportunity.  About a dozen names have been recommended for the youth pastor position since then so we will continue to work deliberately to fill this important position as quickly as possible.  Please continue to commit this process to prayer as well.

Let’s Welcome Jonathan Duffy, CEO, ADRA International this coming Sabbath. He will be presenting a special message for the worship hour that will change the way we think about the way we pray.

Discipleship University: Dr. Herbert Douglass will be joining us this Sabbath @ 2 p.m. for a stirring presentation on The Great Controversy Theme: The Heartbeat Of Adventism.  We trust you’ll be able to stay by.

Piano Concert: Please welcome our own, William Byas in concert, Sabbath afternoon, February 15 at 5:30 PM as he presents a wonderful piano concert.  Join us in the Sanctuary and invite your family and friends.

New happenings will be featured each week.

Bulletin Board

News

Gone but not Forgotten - Don Gray has died at age 87 in Portland, Ore.  Longtime visionary and evangelist, he and his wife wrote seven books, as well as a set of 24 Bible lessons that were translated into more than 76 languages.  They traveled the world promoting evangelism for the Adventist church in Russia, China and Europe.  They worked closely with George Vandeman and It Is Written, the Voice of Prophecy, Mark Finley, Pacific Publishing Press, and many of the church’s organizations in a worldwide witnessing, and evangelistic effort.  Don was one of the pioneers in multimedia approach to communication and witnessing.  A memorial service is scheduled for February 8.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Don's memory be made to the Portland TV Ministry Fund of the Oregon Conference.

News will be featured each week as it becomes available.

Programs

ARME Bible Camp is coming to Leoni Meadows Feb. 19-23 and registration is currently open.  Follow this link for more details: http://www.armeministries.com/future-camps/

Children's Leadership Conference will be held March 28-30. If you or someone you know loves teaching kids about Jesus and need ideas, inspiration or encouragement, then this event is for you! Come learn and grow from the best trainers in Adventism, including Richard Aguilera, Miss Brenda, and Phyllis Washington. Full Adventurer Basic Staff Training and Hispanic Workshop Tracks (Basic and Advanced) will be available.  Other workshops include Kids' Health Expo, Creative Prayer Ministry, Children's Ministries basics, and much more. Several of the workshops will be great for kids who would like to learn more about ministry. It will be held on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich.  Register before February 28 for the best rate.

More and new programs will be featured each week.

Resources

Every Word, a new one-minute daily devotional presented by director/speaker for It Is Written John Bradshaw can be accessed www.itiswritten.com or “Like” It Is Written’s Facebook page to receive automatic updates.

Living Successfully in Our Day and Age Requires Serious Wisdom!  And now you can learn about true wisdom from one of the very best in the field—King Solomon—with Pastor Doug Batchelor’s newest devotional through the Proverbs!  Go to www.amazingfacts.org to order your copy today!

A compilation of Spirit of Prophecy Counsel Relating to Church-State Relationships was assembled in 1964 by the Ellen G. White Estate. In 2011 Liberty Magazine reformatted the material for a custom printing. Now it's available to you for download via the NARLA website. Like NARLA on Facebook.

More and new resources will be featured each week.