Five years ago, the Phoenix Camelback church started a free Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for the community. It began simply, with signs in front of the parking lot advertising free open meetings Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon.
The goal was to reach the community. What surprised the members most was that the community included not just those individuals who were driving past the church but also the wealthy neighbors living in the mansions around the church.
During the summer young adult retreat held July 21 to July 23, the Nevada-Utah Conference (NUC) Youth Department set out to create an experience where young people had the opportunity to connect with Christ more fully. Only the young adults were brave enough to weather the 104-degree heat in Moab, Utah!
The theme for this retreat, held at Castle Valley Academy, was “Your Story. Your Journey. The Calling.” Its emphasis was on how each story and life journey is unique, but everyone is called to Christ. NUC Youth Director Rudy Alvir focused attention on Ephesians 4:1-7, reminding attendees to walk worthy of their individual calling.
Northern California Conference
On August 6, the North Bay Korean Group in Fairfield was organized as a church company. Originally a home-based worship service under the guidance of retired pastor Dewey Rhoe, the small group grew quickly and moved into a space at the Fairfield church in 2016. This mission-hearted group is connecting people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and preparing them for His soon return. Currently, with pastor Joseph Shon, members provide regular community health programs, cooking classes, and musical outreach.
According to James Lim, Asian Pacific coordinator, “It was a very meaningful milestone for this group to organize, serve, and grow to company status, even during the pandemic.”
Southeastern California Conference
In mid-July, the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) Black Ministries Department held the fourth annual SHIFT Conference (formerly camp meeting)—a yearly gathering of SECC African American churches to fellowship and worship God. The Mt. Rubidoux and Kansas Avenue churches hosted the two-day conference and drew more than 800 attendees.
This year’s theme centered around upgrading or “going to another gear.” “Every year, millions of people upgrade their phones, computers, cars, and more,” said Baron Sovory, pastor at Valley Fellowship church. “But during SHIFT, we explored how to upgrade spiritually. How can we encourage and enable our attendees to upgrade their faith, hope, and vision for what God can do in and through us?”
Southern California Conference
For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, student literature evangelists spent 10 weeks this summer sharing their faith and spreading God’s word through Christ-centered literature in the diverse Southern California Conference (SCC) territory.
“I can’t believe this happened this year,” shared Marco Topete, SCC Literature Ministries coordinator. “This is the first time going door-to-door with our missionaries since 2019, and it was an incredible experience.”