I turn out the lights, close my eyes, and wait for the familiar soft cloud of warmth and vibration to settle down upon me. Sound like something sci-fi, or maybe some psychedelic experience? No, it’s just my 20-pound cat, Crusty Lou, purring and kneading as she prepares for the night. I sleep on my back so she can sleep on my lap, her favored spot for the last seven years.
Cats are famous for seeking out a warm spot for their naps, and my 98-degree body certainly qualifies. But I choose to believe something more brings her to me each night at bedtime. I believe she seeks me out because she wants to be with me, and values my companionship, and it pleases me immensely.
As I drifted off to sleep last night, I wondered if it pleases God when I seek out His presence. He made me to be His friend (imagine that!), and He waits for me to want Him as much as He wants me. Sometimes He tempts me with fringe benefits, like my warm lap lures my cat, but the goal is companionship. Friendship with an infinite God? Amazing!
—Linda J. Finster, Oklahoma, United States
DID YOU KNOW?
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THIS? Founded in 1899, Christian Record Services (CRS) is a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that provides free Christian publications and programs for people with visual impairments. Each year the lives of approximately 100,000 visually impaired people are changed by services provided by CRS without cost. All who are blind, legally blind, or have physical impairments that prevent them from holding reading material are eligible for its services. Christian Record Services is located in Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A. Visit its Web site atwww.christianrecord.org.
“When an injustice stops the flow of love, we seek the way back to love over the bridge of forgiveness.”
—Lourdes E. Morales-Gudmundsson, in her book I Forgive You, But …, p. 22.
ANSWER: This picture was taken at the Marcionílio Souza Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the Central Bahia Conference of Brazil. The young people are celebrating the success of “Caleb Mission” (Missão Calebe), a project where young people dedicate their vacation time to evangelize a town with no Adventist presence.
God is great! Please help us render thanks unto Him. He has made a great breakthrough for us as students at the University of Fort Hare—we are no longer writing exams on the Sabbath. Satan would like to spoil all this but please pray that the Lord will sustain us.
—Geshom, South Africa
I am a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ituri province. I have been in Uganda since 2003 with my 12 children. I need your prayers for me and my family.
Please pray that Joseph is able to go to an Adventist college. He wants to be a pastor.
Please pray for our marriage and finances. My wife decided to leave the marriage after the death of my mother, who passed to her rest this year (at the age of 92), after living with us for the past five years. My wife has just asked for a divorce.
—Peter, United States
Please pray that I will be successful in taking my board examination, and that someday God will give me a good job to support my family.
I am a 20-year-old Adventist from Zambia, crying for help and prayers because I am sinking here. I thought I could have everything I wanted in this world, but the quest for eternal peace and hope took me to a lot of dark places and false worship. I couldn’t find answers to my problems, but thank God I met an old friend who is now an Adventist. I’ll never go back again to the world.
I am planning a Christmas program with food and clothing for about 500 people. Please pray for this ministry.
Please pray for my brother who had an accident, and for my family.
My prayer request is for my family, specifically the financial situation of my husband. We are passing through a difficult period and are depending on the answer of a job for him, and that we will remain strong in faith.
I am an orphan in Kenya. We are languishing in poverty under the care of our grandmother. Pray that God will close the doors of poverty and redeem our family from the wiles of the devil.
I am requesting prayer for my son, to pass his exams. He is struggling with his school work right now and needs the mighty hand of God to move in his behalf. Please keep him before the Lord. Thank you.
—Sherma, United States
Please join me in praying for the Youth Guide Concern, a group of young people from our church who are doing charitable work in the church and community by supporting orphans and the elderly.
Please pray for me. A situation is developing that could cause a lot of trouble in my family. Please pray that this situation will go away. Thank you for your prayers.
Bill Knott, in his “World View” editorial, “Discerning the Body” (Adventist World, September 2008), expressed my sentiments exactly! How wonderful it is to come to church on Sabbath morning, not because we have to attend church, but because we are eager to attend!
There’s something about our meeting together that’s unexplainable to those who do not know God’s rejuvenating agenda for His special remnant people. He wants all people to participate in this experience, and it is our wonderful privilege to share this blessing with others until He comes. Then we will all participate in worshipping our Creator and Redeemer together for all eternity.
On one occasion while crossing the ocean in Ellen White’s early years she became sick. At the time she drank one cup of mild tea as a medication. On another occasion during her sickness she took one cup of coffee with a raw egg as a medication.
After she was given full light on the harmful effects of tea and coffee, she wrote that tea and coffee are health destroying (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 63), and she listed many other harmful effects. In Ellen White’s experience, one cup of mild tea, plus one cup of coffee with a raw egg, in her lifetime, does not allude to her use of them as a medication.
E. J. Nichols
Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada
Have you ever felt powerless in your Christian life? Do temptations seem to easily overpower you? Do you fail again and again? Perhaps you think: Christianity has to offer more than this. Where is the power? Why do I live in frustrated defeat? I have experienced God’s saving grace for my past sins, but I long for His power now to live a different, victorious life.
You are not alone. Other committed Christians have felt the same way. In today’s lesson we will discover how to tap into the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to live lives of moral strength and victory.
1. How did the apostle Paul describe the dilemma each Christian faces?
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find” (Rom. 7:18).
a. In our flesh nothing _______________________________________________ dwells.
b. We may have the ________________________________________________ , but
c. We are unable to ________________________________________________ what is good.
2. Where did Paul find the solution to this problem?
“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24, 25).
The solution to the constant failure in the Christian life is a relationship with ___________________
There is only one answer to the problem of continual failure and constant frustration over our sins. Jesus makes the weak strong. He transforms defeated believers into victorious ones. He looses the chains that bind us and sets us free to serve Him and bless others with our witness.
3. What was Paul’s inner spiritual longing?
“But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ … ; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:8, 10).
Paul was willing to count all things loss for the ________________ of the _____________________
Paul’s heartfelt desire was to know ___________ and the ____________ of His _______________
The secret of living a joy-filled Christian life, rather than one of frustrated defeat, is “knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection.” One of the central truths of the New Testament is the resurrection of Christ.
4. What title did Jesus use to reveal Himself to the apostle John on the isle of Patmos?
“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Rev. 1:17, 18).
Jesus is the ___________________________ and the ______________________________ .
Jesus was ________________________________________________________________,
but now He is ___________________________________________________ forevermore.
Christianity is not simply another of the world’s belief systems. Jesus Christ is alive. His power is available to us. Just as our resurrected Lord conquered the grave and gave us freedom from death’s dominion, through the power of His resurrection we can live new lives.
5. How did the apostle Paul describe the effect of resurrection power in our own lives?
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
a. The _______________________ raised ______________________________ from the dead.
b. This same Holy Spirit will give __________________________________to our mortal bodies.
This is an amazing truth. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from physical death will enter our lives, through faith, and transform us from spiritual death to spiritual life. New spiritual strength will be ours through the power of the Spirit.
6. If we surrender our lives to Jesus, and are willing to be “united together in the likeness of His death,” what promise can we claim?
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).
If we are united with Him in the likeness of His death we shall also be in the ___________________
of His _______________________________________________________________________
To die with Christ is to surrender our lives completely to Him, to ask Him to allow our sinful natures to be crucified on the cross with Him. His promise is if we die with Him, we shall be resurrected to new life through His resurrection power.
7. What invitation comes to all who respond to the promise of new life?
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
We can come __________________ to the _________________ of _________________________
so we may obtain ________________ and find __________________________________________
Jesus longs to turn our defeats into victories. He has overcome the temptations of the devil and conquered death itself. He invites us to participate in that victory, through the Spirit, in resurrection power.
Dictionaries define “monotheism” as the belief that there is only one God; from the Greek, mono (“single”) and theos (“God”). Scholars from all Christian traditions have discussed the extent to which this term embodies the biblical view of God. The question they raise is whether the Bible recognizes the existence of other gods. I will describe some of the issues of this question and make some general comments on the biblical materials.
1. Monotheism and the Bible: Bible scholars used to believe that all religions were originally monotheistic, but that slowly the idea of the existence of many gods crept into their system of beliefs. Other scholars argued that monotheism is the end- product of a long process that began with the con-viction that there were many gods or many spiritual forces. But this evolutionary approach to monotheism is alien to the Bible. Recently scholars have recognized that biblical materials on that topic are more complex than previously believed. But they are still asking themselves whether a narrow understanding of monotheism properly des-cribes the biblical view of God. That depends on how we define monotheism.
2.One, Yet Many: The Bible clearly affirms the existence of one supreme God. This is the God introduced in the first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1. It was the Lord alone who created everything in an effortless manner, i.e., without having to face opposing forces. At the moment of Creation, He was the only and unique God, the Lord. We find passages stating that “besides him there is no other [God]” (Deut. 4:35, NIV), that “the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other” (Deut. 4:39, NIV; see also Isa. 44:6-8). Many other passages support the use of the term “monotheism” for the biblical understanding of God.
But we cannot ignore other evidence that complicates the issue; particularly passages such as Psalm 82, where God is described as sitting among the “gods” in judgment and pronouncing a final verdict against them: “You are ‘gods’; you are all sons of the Most High. But you will die like mere men” (verse 6, NIV). This has been called “monarchic monotheism,” that is to say, the other gods are under the headship of God (cf. Ps. 95:3); but this is too close to polytheism (a belief in the existence of and the worship of many gods). The New Testament acknowledges the existence of at least another “god:” “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4:4, NIV).
Even the first commandment could be read as implying the existence of other “gods:” “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3, NIV). What is surprising about the first commandment is that—as far as I can tell—such a prohibition is unknown in ancient Near Eastern religions. Such religions did not know anything about a jealous God who demanded the exclusive service and adoration of His people. In such religions, honoring all the gods was a virtue and useful to their practitioners.
3. Uniqueness of the Lord: When examining this question we have to emphasize one thing: that the Bible depicts God as absolutely holy, unique, and without equal (cf. Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:3). He is the Uncreated One, the Eternal (cf. Isa. 43:10; 44:6-8). His very nature places Him outside the realm of His creation—even though He chose to dwell with His creatures. Those who are called “gods” are in reality creatures and therefore essentially different from the Lord. They were created by Him through Christ (cf. Col. 1:16), but they chose rebellion (cf. Jude 6) and sought to occupy the Lord’s place in the life of humans (Isa. 14:13, 14; Eph. 2:1, 2). They proclaimed themselves “gods” but they are still accountable to the Lord and cannot fully function independent of Him (cf. Job 1:6-12; Col. 2:10). This biblical understanding of God and the nature of the “gods” may not fully fit a traditional and narrow definition of monotheism, but it is monotheistic in that it does not recognize the existence of any other being that is in any way similar to the Lord God or that participates of His distinctive nature. The uniqueness of God does not deny the plurality of persons in the Godhead, but they should never be considered to be a plurality of “gods.” The mystery of the Godhead resides in the mystery of His uniqueness.
Addictions and at-risk behaviors obviously impact our health very negatively. What is the best way to educate our youth in order to prevent these behaviors?
You ask a vitally important question. We often think that education and information are the main pillars of prevention. Information and facts are important, but they are not enough. If education or the understanding of the dangers of tobacco use was enough of a deterrent, warning signs and notices on cigarette boxes would be sufficient to stop people from smoking. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Warning labels are very necessary, and some countries are placing warnings of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy on bottles of alcoholic beverages. There should be more of this. Sociologists and psychologists, however, have found that even life-threatening events such as heart attacks or the diagnosis of cancer are not sufficient to produce changes in health behaviors in a large percentage of individuals. This is frightening! Should we be reading labels on the foods we eat and what we drink? Absolutely! It is essential to know the sodium content, fat content, transfat content, number of calories, etc., of the products we consume. If we paid more attention to labels, we would have fewer cases of high blood pressure and diabetes.
In the area of behaviors—specifically addiction—if education alone is not enough, what else should we be doing? There are many well-conducted and analyzed studies that show there is power in connection, or connectedness. This should not be surprising to a people who preach that our religion depends on a close relationship with Jesus. (Maybe as with our health habits, we preach more than we practice!)
But to what or whom should we be connected? In order to help people resist at-risk behavior (alcohol, drugs, premarital sexual experimentation, etc.), they need to have a meaningful relationship with a person of significance in their life. This would be a parent, grandparent, teacher, pastor, or other trusted friend. There is also a second and equally important component, and that is a connection to a set of values. We identify these values as those found in the Bible and exemplified in the life of Jesus.
What is the result of this kind of connectedness? The development of resilience. Resilience is the ability to cope under difficult circumstances and in stressful situations. Resilience is something that develops over time and is nurtured by a support system such as that found in families, churches, and communities. Youth who are connected to those of significance in their lives have more confidence and self-respect. This is fostered further by love, respect, and acceptance from the significant individuals in their lives and environment. Such relationships provide golden opportunities and methods for addressing the very serious problem the Adventist Church faces in trying to retain its youth.
Two other important factors strengthen the benefits of supportive relationships. One is the active mentoring of our youth. We need to become mentors and life coaches, sharing skills and knowledge that will help youth travel life’s road. Mentoring needs to be combined with the other essential ingredient—service. Our youth are tired of our attempts to entertain them; they need rather to be involved in service. Service for others has been shown to strengthen resilience and the ability to cope despite the chaos that shows up in life from time to time.
Meaningful relationships and good friends are beneficial to our health. Positive friendship connections promote positive mental health, a sense of belonging, self-respect, and the strengthening of purpose. This can occur at any age. It is vital to foster resilience in our youth; investment in our friendships can improve health and brighten disposition for the long haul.
Albania, located in southeastern Europe, is bordered by Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Archaeological discoveries suggest the area has been populated since prehistoric times.
Surrounded by powerful, warring empires, Albania has been occupied at various times by Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, and Italians. During World War II the population was forced to speak and use Italian instead of Albanian. Albania is the only European country occupied by Axis powers that ended the war with a larger Jewish population than it had before the war. Not only did Albanians refuse to turn over lists of Jewish families, they provided refuge to Jews of neighboring countries, and provided them with forged documents so they could be assimilated into the Albanian population.
Christianity has been part of Albanian culture since the first century. After 395 Albania fell under the administrative umbrella of the Eastern Roman Empire; but Albanian Christians remained loyal to Rome. During the Schism of 1054, Christians in southern Albania came under the jurisdiction of the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople, and those in the north became loyal to the pope in Rome. During the Ottoman invasion of the fourteenth century, the Islamic faith was imposed on Christians and pagans alike.
After independence from the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century, political regimes followed a systematic practice of separating state and religion. In the latter half of the twentieth century the government practiced a policy of eliminating organized religion from its territories. Albania officially declared itself to be the world’s first atheist state.
Although religious freedom has since returned to the country, most Albanians do not practice any religion, but align themselves with one of the three traditional religions.
Adventists in Albania
The first Albanians to become Adventists were baptized in an area that is now part of Greece in 1909. In 1932 E. Hennecke, director of the Grecian Mission, moved to Tirana when he was forced to leave Greece. He obtained permission, with two German nurses, to begin a medical work in Albania. The project lasted only a few months when all foreign workers had to leave the country. One woman was baptized as a result of their efforts, however.
In 1938 an Albanian, D. C. Lewis, learned about the Adventist message in the United States. Upon returning to Albania he began to share his faith and four people were baptized.
Muslim, 70%; Albanian Orthodox, 20%; Roman Catholic, 10%
ADVENTIST TO POPULATION RATIO
During World War II, contact with Adventists in Albania was lost. After the war it was learned that Lewis died shortly after the war ended. For more than 40 years the church had no contact with any of its members. But in 1991 the church discovered that two believers had remained faithful during this period of isolation. And in 1992 a team of evangelists under the direction of David Curry, Ministerial Association secretary of the Trans-European Division, held meetings in Tirana and Korce that resulted in the first baptisms in 50 years.
In 1993 the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) leased land from the local council in Tirana for development of a warehouse, community center, health center, and micro industrial units.
Today nearly 300 Adventists worship in three churches in the Albanian Mission Conference.
Seventh-day Adventist world church leaders cited membership growth and need for flexibility when reorganizing administrative structures in August, including a large region of Brazil experiencing explosive membership growth.
Officials revealed to the church’s Executive Committee the changes in Brazil’s Amazon region and areas of the church’s Euro-Asia Division, while meeting October 14.
The former North Brazil Union Mission encompassed about 45 percent of Brazil’s land mass, spanning about 3.28 million square miles. The area, now comprised of two union missions, includes about 350,000 Adventists and charts some 45,000 new members each year.
Brazil has the most Adventists of any country, with nearly 1.4 million members.
“We see a lot of opportunities there, and we want to be able to better support our members,” said Erton Köhler, president of the church in South America.
The distinction of a “union mission” indicates that the union receives appropriation for operation, unlike a “union conference,” which is self-supporting. Additional funding for missions is supplied by the parent division, one of the church’s 13 world administrative regions.
The Executive Committee also revealed to delegates changes in structures in the Eastern European Caucasus region. Leaders voted to reorganize the Caucasus Union Mission into two union missions: the Trans-Caucasus Union Mission with headquarters in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the Caucasus Union Mission with headquarters in Rostov, Russia.
Associate world church secretary Agustin Galicia pointed out that this change was studied prior to conflict in the region in August.
Church structure in the countries of Belarus and Moldova will become “unions of churches” with conference status. This structure, typically applied in smaller territories and countries, allows local churches to organize directly under a division. Moldova currently has nearly 11,500 members worshipping in 153 churches under two conferences.
The Far Eastern Mission in Eastern Russia will become a union of churches with mission status.
SOUTHERN ASIA LEADER: John Rathinaraj was elected to lead the Adventist Church in Southern Asia, including the countries of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. Rathinaraj was among four church officials voted into new leadership positions during the church’s fall business meeting.he Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Executive Committee elected four new church officers and leaders October 12, the first full-day business session of its Annual Council.
The committee voted new leaders for Southern Asia, North America, the world church headquarters and a legislative liaison for Washington, D.C.
John Rathinaraj, secretary of the church in Southern Asia, was elected president of the region, based in Hosur, near Bangalore, India, and provides administrative oversight for the church in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. He replaces Ron Watts, who resigned from the position earlier this year because of family health matters.
Rathinaraj, 59, said he will focus on growing membership in the region through church planting and evangelism, setting a goal of 200,000 new church members within one year. The region will hold about 1,500 public evangelism meetings this year, including 1,000 youth-to-youth meetings and 100 led exclusively by women.
“I praise God because the church has made me what I am,” Rathinaraj said after his appointment. “As long as I live I must do His work and serve wherever He places me.”
Rathinaraj said he is encouraged by the world church voting this week a $225,000 appropriation to establish a seminary in Nepal, a country with some 6,000 Adventists.
Rathinaraj holds a master’s degree in history from Madurai University in the southern Indian province of Tamil, and bachelor’s degrees in religion and education.
NORTH AMERICAN SECRETARY:G. Alexander Bryant was voted as executive secretary for the Adventist Church’s North American region. The position is also an associate secretary for the world church.The world church Executive Committee also appointed G. Alexander Bryant as an associate secretary for the world church and executive secretary of the church’s North American region, which includes the United States, Canada and Bermuda.
Bryant, 51, became an Adventist at age 15 and currently serves as president of the church’s Central States Conference, a historically African-American administrative church region in the Midwestern United States.
“It will be my goal to help the president with the tremendous mission we have in North America, especially in our large cities, and see what we can do to make greater inroads in those urban centers,” Bryant said.
Since serving as Central States president beginning in 1997, Bryant said he has focused on church planting, including the initiative “Each One Reach One,” designed for each member to see themself as a disciple.
He said he plans to continue making an impact on church planting in his new role, as well as getting youth involved at all levels of the church.
Bryant, who holds a master of divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, said he plans to transition to the headquarters of the world church and North American region in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the end of the year.
HEADQUARTERS ROLE: Homer Trecartin was voted to serve as the world church associate secretary in charge of Adventist Volunteers.Homer Trecartin, current planning director of the church’s Office of Adventist Mission, was appointed to head up Adventist Volunteers as a world church associate secretary. Trecartin will continue to oversee the work of his current office as well as assuming new responsibility.
Trecartin, 52, who holds a master’s degree in educational administration, will direct the recruitment of volunteers for all missions, ranging from student and short-term to permanent missionaries and Global Mission pioneers.
The Executive Committee also voted Barry Bussey, an attorney and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) director for the church in Canada, as the new associate director for the world church’s PARL department. He’ll serve as the church’s liaison to the United States Congress.
Bussey replaces James Standish, who earlier this year was appointed executive director of the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom.
In 2004, Bussey argued the position of the Adventist Church on the same-sex marriage reference case in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. He also led the campaign for Canada Post to issue a stamp commemorating the church’s world session, held in Toronto in 2000.
“He’ll be an active participant in legislative life in Washington promoting religious freedom for all,” said PARL director John Graz. “This is a key position for us, not only for religious freedom in the U.S. but around the world.”
Leaders of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have voted to ask the next world business session for broad authority to change church departmental structures and hiring, as they pursue greater efficiency than the current process, leaders say.
“It is important for the church to be able to move with flexibility and dexterity,” said Jan Paulsen, General Conference president, the morning after the October 12 ballot. The decision, he said, “is a signal of the fact that we want to retain the flexibility to function as a dynamic community while protecting our values.”
PRESS PLEA: Robert Smith, president of the Review & Herald Publishing Association, urged a commission studying the status of publishing in North America not to "make the cure worse than the disease."Paulsen’s comments came after the Annual Council, the world church’s yearly business session, voted to ask the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, to allow the church’s Executive Committee to make changes in the structure of headquarters departments without first getting a quinquennial business meeting to approve the moves. The General Conference session will continue to have final authority to review or reverse adjustments made by the Executive Committee during the quinquennium. Also, the election of associate departmental directors or associate secretaries of associations will shift from a GC session to the first Annual Council following a session, if the proposal is approved in Atlanta.
The two administrative proposals were the result of the 3-year-old Commission on Ministries, Structures and Services, which held a series of global meetings in which the church’s operations were evaluated. The report came to the floor of Annual Council on the day that General Conference treasurer Robert E. Lemon reported that the 16-million member Seventh-day Adventist Church was dealing with the uncertainties of the current world financial market. Lemon, Paulsen, and other leaders emphasized the need for the church to be able to respond to such conditions more quickly.
A key rationale for allowing the Executive Committee to make departmental changes between sessions is this need for flexibility in changing times. The decision to ask for a change in the way associate directors and associate secretaries are elected is designed to relieve pressure on GC session nominating committees and newly elected departmental directors, some of whom have had to choose their associates with very little time.
The church did “not give up anything that is valuable” in taking the action, Paulsen said, but rather is enhancing the ability of church leaders to manage in a more dynamic fashion.
He noted that while “we have done things in a given way for so many, many years, perhaps there is another way.”
The potential for “another way” may also extend to the operation of two church-owned publishing houses in North America, the Review & Herald Publishing Association (RHPA) in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the Pacific Press Publishing Association (PPPA) in Nampa, Idaho. Both presses have historic roots in Adventism: Review & Herald was the church’s first publishing house, and for many years operated in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Takoma Park, Maryland. Started in Mountain View, California, PPPA is another long-time publishing house for the church. Both houses have been central to producing literature and magazines for the world church, as well as North America. Review & Herald prints Adventist Review and many editions of Adventist World.Pacific Press is lead printer on the Adult Bible Study Guide, the church’s Sabbath school quarterly.
However, Paulsen said October 13, “publishing is also a business,” and “from time to time we have to ponder the question if we have the best arrangement of publishing institutions.”
Paulsen asked, “Have we put together the best publishing structure to serve the church?”
To find out whether that’s the case, Paulsen proposed—and delegates accepted—the creation of a commission that would have “the task of assessing publishing realities.” With members principally drawn from North America, the goal is to have the commission’s report ready for the 2009 Spring Meeting at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama.
Though the motion passed easily, Robert Smith, RHPA president, noted that the General Conference has studied the North American publishing system previously. He urged that the new commission not “study us to death and make the cure worse than the disease.”
Smith asserted that RHPA made a profit of $100,000 in the year ending September 30. He said that if the General Conference “would give us all the work that is justifiably ours,” the press’s business would be stable.
Pacific Press president Dale Galusha told Adventist Review: “We welcome opportunities such as this to explore better ways to even more effectively strengthen the church, promote its mission and deliver faith-strengthening and spiritually inspiring books and materials to our church members.”
—By Mark A. Kellner, news editor, reporting from Manila, Philippines