I haven’t been updating this blog very often because I’ve been putting my efforts into the Adventist Peace Fellowship. Check out our podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, and more!
Silver Spring, Md.— This World Refugee Day, there are more than 60 million people around the world who are internally displaced, seeking asylum, or living as refugees in other countries. The United Nations has described the Syrian crisis, which has displaced approximately half of the country’s population, as the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.
As an international humanitarian organization, ADRA has a long history of helping people displaced by conflict and persecution. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, ADRA has assisted around 5 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). We are currently assisting refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs, and returnees in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. ADRA’s response to the Syrian crisis involves responding to the needs of IDPs within Syria, and working with refugees and asylum seekers in Lebanon, Greece, and other parts of Europe.
In the face of this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, ADRA is marking World Refugee Day with a call to action.
We call on the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY to find a timely, humane solution to resettling the refugees stranded in Greece and other parts of the world. We also call on the international community to address the circumstances that cause people to become refugees. We call on the international community to help the Syrian Government find a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict, and address the conflicts and human rights concerns in other countries which cause people to flee.
We call on POLITICIANS to stand firm on their beliefs, and not be swayed by populism. What is right and what is wrong never changes. Human dignity and human rights are always the same regardless of changing circumstances and commerce.
We call on the MEDIA to report responsibly on the refugee crisis and related events. We call on them to present a balanced, fair picture of events, and not to stoke people’s fears and prejudices.
We call on CHURCHES to talk to your congregations about what the Christian response should be to these events and how to follow Jesus’ example, even in difficult times. Adventist churches in Europe have partnered with ADRA on projects to support refugees in their community. We challenge churches to consider whether they have a role to play in reaching out to the millions of displaced people around the world and in our own communities.
We call on INDIVIDUALS to not be guided by selfishness, fear and prejudice. We urge a response to this crisis driven by intelligence, compassion and a recognition of our shared humanity and human rights. We believe that every person has the power to have a positive impact on the world around them, and that there is something everyone can do to help refugees, even if it is just saying a prayer for them or educating yourself about the situation.
To find out more about ADRA’s work with refugees, and to read the stories of some of the refugees we’ve met, visit ADRA.org/refugees. To learn more about what you can do to help refugees, sign ourpledge. For downloadable resources your church can use to devote a service to refugees, visit https://www.adventist.org/en/ information/special-days/ refugees/.
I haven’t posted anything for a while. Here are a few articles I’ve missed:
- The Prophetic Voice and Social Justice – Spring Symposium 2016 (Adventist Theological Society)
- In Dominica, ADRA Begins Rebuilding After Tropical Storm Erika (Adventist Today/ANN, 17 Feb 2016)
- Adventist Spokesperson Promotes Human Dignity at African Union Prayer Breakfast (AToday/ANN, 12 Feb 2016)
- Mexican State Governor pledges support for Adventist efforts in religious liberty and social programs (ANN, 2 Feb 2016)
- Adventists distribute bottled water in Flint, Michigan, amid water crisis (ANN, 21 Jan 2016)
- Perspective: The Church as God’s Answer to the ISIS Crisis (Phillips, Spectrum, 10 Dec 2015)
- NAD Leaders Pack 20,000 Meals (Weber, NAD, 16 Nov 2015)
- Adventists Offer Prayers and Support in Paris Tragedy (McChesney, Adventist Review, 13 Nov 2015)
Adventist Today has republished a story about some of the unintended consequences of global volunteerism–“Voluntourism: More Harm than Good” (Heather Ruiz, 19 Aug 2015). The article begins with this explanation:
In August, 2013, Heather Ruiz traveled through West Africa as a journalist for ADRA. After working in development for nine months, Ruiz moved to a village in the Western Sahara to find answers for her questions about responsible volunteering and empowering communities. The following article is her insight on constructive service.
Read the entire article at Adventist Today (link).
Adventist News Network (ANN): The World Adventist Public Officials Association (WAPOA) aims to connect Adventists around the world who serve their country as elected or appointed officials.
July 22, 2015 | Silver Spring, Maryland, USA | Bettina Krause
It can be an isolating experience for Seventh-day Adventist Church members who hold high public office: this was one of the key messages to emerge from a unique gathering of Adventist public officials earlier this month in San Antonio, Texas. Some 21 leaders from ten countries—ambassadors, ministers of state, members of parliament, a senator, a deputy chief justice, and high-level officials within international organizations—came together for a lunch meeting on July 8 to discuss both the challenges and opportunities facing Adventists within the public realm.
Elder Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, attended briefly and encouraged his fellow church members. “You are the Esthers, the Josephs, the Daniels of our world,” he said. “You make a difference in an arena that most of us never touch. And never forget you are there for a purpose; you are where God has placed you. Yes, you serve your country, or a particular legislature. But most importantly, because you are a Seventh-day Adventist, you are working under the very highest authority: Jesus Christ our Savior. You are called to be unusual ambassadors for Christ.”
Those seated around the table spoke frankly about the need for better networking between Adventists who serve their governments, and about the loneliness that often comes with serving in a political or civic role. Some expressed their disappointment that holding elected office is sometimes seen as “off limits” for faithful church members—a sign that someone has compromised their integrity. All spoke about their desire to carry their spiritual values into the public realm and to reflect Christ’s character in their service to their country.
Senator Floyd Morris, Senate President of Jamaica, was voted as the first president of WAPOA. Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Bienvenido V. Tejano, was chosen to serve as the association’s secretary, and Damaris Moura Kuo, president of the Religious Liberty Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association’s São Paulo Division, was selected as its public relations officer.
According to Senator Morris, the first order of business will be to identify more Adventist public officials—whether they serve their national government, or their local city council—and invite them to join the association. The group plans to communicate regularly and to organize a meeting of the association in 2017.
The gathering was hosted by the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the Adventist world church, and took place during the General Conference Session, which some of the public officials were attending as delegates.
Dr. Ganoune Diop, the newly elected director of PARL for the world church, says he hopes the association will promote a vigorous dialogue between Adventists who hold prominent and often-influential positions. “These men and women need our support and our prayers,” he says. “They are first and foremost our brothers and our sisters, but they are also called to represent Christ’s kingdom and His values within often-difficult and sensitive circumstances.”
Those who are interested in the association can contact the Adventist Church’s PARL department through its website, www.adventistliberty.org.
José Cortes, Jr., has written a powerful essay for NAD Ministerial on practical community engagement. He begins:
“What if our Adventist Churches across North America began a conspiracy? What if we decided in harmony with all the other churches across Bermuda, Canada, United States and the islands of Guam and Micronesia that we are going to love our cities like Jesus did? What do you think would happen if we ventured outside the walls of our churches, asked people about their needs, and did something transformational for individuals and communities?
“What if our local churches conspired together to do the following?”
Please review is creative list here.
“Lake Region Conference celebrates 70 years of service, Lake Union Conference apologizes for failures of the Church in regard to race, June 20, 2015, Camp Wagner, Cassopolis, MI. In order of appearance: Don Livesay, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Lake Union Headquarters; Clifford Jones, Lake Region Conference.”
The video below can also be seen here.<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131332874″>LUC Apology</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/lakeunionherald”>Herald</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>