June 8, 2006

Adventist News

FLORIDA: Police Investigate Hate Crime
Korean Adventist

capWords of hatred, such as “God Hates Asians,” dabbed in ink on the carpet of the Orlando Central Korean Adventist Church greeted church pastor Sung Ho Jang on the morning of May 22. According to media reports, vandals also poured engine oil over the copy machine, opened file cabinets, and rifled through tithe envelopes. No money was reported stolen; the only item missing was a camera stored in Jang’s office.

According to Jang, the 200-member congregation has received an outpouring of support from the local community.

“We have received many cards and letters, and some [donation] checks,” Jang said. “Some people have stopped by” to offer encouragement, he added, noting that such attacks are rare. “Such a thing has never [before] happened in this area.” The attack is being investigated as a hate crime, said Seminole County sheriff Lt. Dennis Lemma in an Orlando Sentinel newspaper report. The report also indicated that Florida has a house-of-worship protection act, which makes any vandalism there a third-degree felony.
                                                                                                   —NAD Communication Department/ANN/AR.

WASHINGTON: WWC President Appointed to Worldwide Missionary Conference

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Jon Dybdahl [WWC/Photo] 

Jon L. Dybdahl, Walla Walla College (WWC) president, has recently been appointed by the General Conference as the only Adventist representative on the planning committee for Edinburgh 2010, an international missionary conference.

Edinburgh 1910 was the first worldwide missionary conference representing most religious denominations. It was held that year in Edinburgh, Scotland—and the subject was missions. The groundbreaking conference led to the formation of several international missionary councils, including the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Edinburgh 2010 is the proposed hub for an international round of initiatives and events geared toward finding direction for Christian mission in the twenty-first century and challenging global missionary movements.

Dybdahl explained that the upcoming conference will not be centered strictly in Scotland, but will include satellite meetings and events around the world. “It will truly be a global conference,” he said, and added that all major Protestant denominations will be represented.

According to statistics provided by the General Conference Secretariat Department, worldwide there are approximately 980 non-volunteer Adventist missionaries, making the Adventist Church one of the leading sponsors of international missionaries.

The Edinburgh 2010 Planning Committee will be held July 4 and 5 in Edinburgh.
                                                                                                        —Walla WallaCollege Media Relations/AR.

MARYLAND: Resources Developed for Single Women

A resource kit has been compiled by the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department to assist Women’s Ministries directors in working with single women in their region. Information on a variety of topics of need and concern to single women is included: career development; single parenting; dating, sex, relationships; finances; divorce; widowhood; and single ministries.

“We recognize that within this group of women are a number of subgroups with widely varying experiences and needs. The topics suggested are believed to be of interest to single Adventist women,” says General Conference Women’s Ministries director Heather-Dawn Small. “We feel these areas of concern must be addressed by Women’s Ministries.”

To obtain a copy of Resources for Single Women, e-mail
[email protected].
                                                                                                         —GC Women’s Ministries Department/AR.

MIDDLE EAST: Adventist Delegation Meets
With Islamic Sharia Professors

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE: A delegation from the Adventist Church in the Middle East recently met with professors from the Sharia and Islamic Studies at Qatar University. (From left): Qatar University professors Osman Abdelmajeed, Youssef Mahamed, Aisha Yousef Al-Mannai (fourth from left), and Mohammed Sharqawi (sixth); and Adventist delegates Tibor Szilvasi (third, Maria Esperanza (fifth), and Alex Elmadjian (far right)

A delegation from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East met with four Islamic studies professors at Qatar University in Doha on May 7, 2006, to promote interfaith dialog and a better understanding of each other’s beliefs.

“I felt a great sense of mutual respect and friendship during our hour-long meeting,” said Alex Elmadjian, communication director for the Adventist Church in the Middle East and a delegate at the meeting.

Tibor Szilvasi, leader of the Adventist Church in the Northern Gulf region, added, “There was a genuine sense of brotherhood as we spoke about the urgent need for interfaith dialogue for greater mutual understanding.”

Sharing his perspective on the issue of interfaith dialogue in the region, Conrad Vine, secretary-treasurer of the Middle East Union, said, “We are living in an increasingly fractured world in which religious and political demarcation lines appear to be hardening and leaving ever-reduced space for interfaith and intercommunity dialogue. The Seventh-day Adventist church believes that justice, peace, and mutual understanding for communities around the world are only possible to the extent that interfaith and intercommunity dialogue is maintained and nurtured.”                                                                                                                      ---Middle East Union/AR.