Northern Lights April 2023

Creative and Missional Outreach

By NCC Communication and Development Department

The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort has been presented to me by One who cannot err. If there is a large number in the church, let the members be formed into small companies, to work not only for the church members, but for unbelievers.

Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 21


The Northern California Conference is on a journey toward organizational health. As a conference, four strategic anchors will help us better connect people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and prepare them for the Second Coming. We have seen that if a church is relevant to its community and is focused on the mission, and if members are engaged and enthusiastic, there will be church growth.

During the early months of 2023, the following churches, schools, ministries, and members exhibited creative and loving acts of service, education, and fellowship in their communities. Through these missional acts, they connected people to Jesus.




Missional Church Planting: Mirroring the Church of Acts

For several weeks, groups have been meeting in churches to strategize and train. The attendees are volunteers, each called by the Holy Spirit to step out in faith. Their ages span from young to old, appearances range from grizzled to refined, and personalities extend from subdued to outgoing. Their quest will be to plant missional church groups in their neighborhoods.

Kevin Robert, evangelism director, said, “Several groups will be creating micro-churches in their communities. These groups will engage neighborhoods with a New Testament-style work where every day is an outreach and Sabbath is to celebrate the weekly work, a day of mercy and blessing.”

Robert continued, “This missional and incarnational living is modeled after the church of Acts and was heavily encouraged by Mrs. White. Instead of fitting church into their lives, workers will focus on serving daily within their community; it will be their life and lifestyle.”

One of the goals of these micro-churches is to reach parts of communities that traditional services cannot.


Project Light Ministry Serves Unhoused

Vallejo Berea church strives to be a shining light in its community.  One way they fulfill this purpose is through the Project Light Ministry. Every fourth Sabbath, the ministry team pre-cooks meals in the church kitchen and then serves them at a local unhoused encampment.

Ministry team members serve the food and often pray with receptive persons. The group sings songs during the meals, and many beautiful voices from the unhoused community join in—they are usually open about taking the lead in singing.

There is plenty of food, and often servings reach the 120-meal mark. Everybody is welcome to take extra meals back for friends. On many weekends, leftover meals are taken to other camps in the area, spreading God’s blessings.





“Since the pandemic, the old way of doing church has passed,” said Wanetta Daniel, outreach coordinator. “We are bringing the church to the community. We give out sleeping bags, tents, tarps, personal hygiene products, and food because that is the need. We’re even discussing taking pet food—because a dog or cat is often the only companion the unhoused have.”

Roger Williams, head pastor, stated, “Project Light Ministry is how we change the church paradigm. Our focus is, ‘Whom will we be in the community?’”


Preschoolers’ Learning Ignited by Fire Safety

Gil Fayard is an alumnus of Sacramento Academy and a soon-to-be Pacific Union College graduate. A kind and compassionate hard worker, Fayard is determining his professional path. Currently, he works as an EMT and volunteer firefighter for the Angwin Fire department. His sister Natalie recently invited him to talk to her preschool class of youngsters at Sacramento Academy.

The children sat on the carpeted floor for circle time—a place for special presentations and worship. Excited and attentive, the children watched as Gil donned his turnouts (fire retardant overalls), firefighter’s jacket, and helmet while describing the purpose of each piece of clothing.

Aided by a PowerPoint presentation, Fayard explained fire safety to the children, including how to dial 911 in an emergency and “stop, drop, and roll” to extinguish a fire on your clothing.

“Even though preschoolers are very young, this foundational safety lesson will stick with them for life,” Fayard said. “It’s also important to explain why they shouldn’t be afraid of first responders. We’re always there to help them.”

Shari Thompson, Sacramento Academy preschool director, said of Fayard’s presentation, “You can’t communicate this kind of information just being a teacher. To have somebody like Gil from the community present information from his work life is more vital to the education of our children. To see the kids’ faces light up is just amazing! We thank people like Gil for serving as a first response worker and taking time for our children!”