Central California Conference
According to the sign that greets people coming into town, Sonora is considered the Queen of the Southern Mines in Gold Rush Country. Starting in 1848, panning and mining gold brought people to this foothill area, about one hour from Yosemite.
A little over 70 years later, on April 23, 1921, an Adventist church was established. Continuing to “pan for God’s gold” over 100 years later, there are over 900 members in Sonora’s Discover Life church, with Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy adjacent to the church building, and Adventist Health Sonora, a 152-bed hospital, not too far away. On October 14-15, 2022, the Adventist community was finally able to celebrate the blessings that God has poured out in Sonora over the last 100 years.
A series of paintings called “My Father’s World” was highlighted at a recent art exhibit. The exhibit took place at the Millcreek County Library, located in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah. The artist, Nancy Schafner, a member of Wasatch Hills church, created paintings that invited viewers to focus on God as our Creator.
When Nancy discovered that she had been selected to prepare the exhibit, she wondered how, through her love of God’s creation, she could use this opportunity to share the gospel with the public. Many people don’t believe God created the heavens and the earth or understand His character of love. In answer to her prayers, she was strongly impressed to do a series on Creation. She didn’t view herself as an accomplished artist, so this task seemed intimidating.
Northern California Conference
It has been a year of spiritual and relational growth for the Anderson church, and they are preparing for what comes next. As the fellowship strengthens, members have begun to anticipate opportunities to share faith and truth and to form intentional relationships with people in order to introduce them to Jesus. “Our church has changed so much,” one church member explained. “We are busy, busy, busy! All good stuff! It’s hard to capture the sense of optimism, growing closeness, and interest in growing spiritually that is evident now.”
One intentional opportunity involved a lively and excited group of Adventurer Club members. Along with parents, friends, and other supporters from the church, they participated in the annual parade and Christmas tree lighting in downtown Anderson.
Southeastern California Conference
The Southeastern California Conference Youth Ministries Department hosted a one-day leadership convention at the Loma Linda University church on October 30, 2022. The youth ministries department had worked tirelessly on a weekend leadership convention to be held earlier in October, but the Hemet fire changed their plans.
With much thought and prayer, the youth directors decided to cancel that gathering. Even though this was the right decision to make, there was a bit of disappointment. The youth team still wanted to put on a convention, so this one-day leadership event was born.
Southern California Conference
In November, the Central Japanese-American Community Church celebrated 75 years of ministry. The history of the Japanese Adventist church in California can be traced back to a man named Teruhiko Okohira, who accepted the Adventist message in 1892 as a Japanese student in Paso Robles, Calif., becoming the first Adventist of Japanese ancestry in the Pacific Union. After completing studies at Pacific Union College (PUC), he followed a calling to share the message and continue his ministry in Tokyo, joined by PUC president William C. Grainger. Okohira and Grainger today are known for starting the Adventist movement in Japan.