This month two churches in the AZC welcomed new members through baptism. Pastor Van Bledsoe, AZC ministerial and evangelism director, held a series of meetings at Chandler Fil-Am church from April 21 to 29. Two candidates, a mother and daughter, came forward for baptism. Sonia Dela Cruz and Myra Fe Mercado were baptized on April 29 and accepted into membership by the church.
North Valley Spanish church had an extra special Easter celebration. Glory to God for Lupe and Erick, who gave their lives to God on Sabbath, April 8! Then, to add to these blessings, more than 10 people came forward and expressed their interest in baptism. Praise the Lord!
Central California Conference
The Central California Women's Retreat offers a sacred haven for spiritual transformation. Set near Yosemite's tranquil Tenaya Lodge, this retreat invites women to immerse themselves in prayer, meditation, and divine wisdom.
In our fast-paced world, prioritizing spiritual well-being can be challenging. This serene mountain retreat provides the perfect environment for women to rest, commune, sing, praise, worship, and reconnect with God and fellow believers.
The 2023 retreat, themed "Abide Forever," began with nearly 400 women singing "Waymaker" as a reminder of God's omnipresence and love.
On February 3, 2023, after months of prayerful planning and coordination, the Pahrump church hosted its first weekend Women’s Day celebration. The weekend theme was titled “Take Heart Daughter: Jesus Has Something for You.”
It was the first event in a series of planned “Grow Your Church” initiatives for 2023. Creating an environment of inclusion, members of the Centennial Hills sister church attended to share in the celebration and worship.
Northern California Conference
During spring break, the NCC youth ministries department sponsored a mission trip to the Dominican Republic (DR) that combined Pathfinders, Yuba City church and school members, Lodi Academy, and Adventist volunteers from Kansas.
Trip leader Eddie Heinrich, youth ministries director, stated, “Our group grew as a result of several mission trips that were canceled or redirected for various reasons.”
The workers, 63 in number, descended on Santo Domingo, where the heat and humidity were met with positive attitudes and excitement. Karen Kanas, trip co-leader, posted on social media, “It’s much hotter today, but we got a good night’s rest, and everyone is having a good time! Did we mention the food is AMAZING?” This spirit would continue the entire trip.
Southeastern California Conference
On January 29, 2023, Adventist Community Services (ACS) of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) conducted an in-service training event for 65 ACS leaders. Held at the SECC offices in Riverside, the event's purpose was to discuss how best to engage with the community’s needs. Robert Edwards, the SECC ACS director, hosted the event. He partnered with North American Division (NAD) ACS Director Derrick Lea and Associate ACS Director Colette Newer, providing vital insight and guidance.
Southern California Conference
This April, the West Covina Hills church participated in the 15th annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival Cambodia Town in Long Beach. According to the event website, Long Beach is home to the largest concentration of Cambodians of any city outside Cambodia. The theme of this year’s parade was “Stop Hate with Love.”
James Dok, West Covina Hills associate pastor, was invited to participate in the event by the Cambodia Town chairperson, Richer San. “It seems the whole world knows that it’s only through love that we can change the world,” Dok shared, “and that love is the love of Jesus Christ. It was such a wonderful blessing that I was given the opportunity to speak to the theme.”