Listen to the audio version

I received a stern letter about our ministry the other day. In it an angry­-sounding woman told us she refused to renew her subscription to Adventist Review. “The Review is chock­full of sermons, unfortu­nately!” she said. “I would rather see the sermon than hear one any day. We don’t care how much you know until we know how much you care.”

She isn’t wrong.

To clarify, we don’t publish 72 pages of sermons or even more than the occasional three-­page summary. Truthfully, we wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But our unhappy reader was spot-­on concerning her other points. Seeing sermons and showing care go so much further than a display of academic prowess or skill with the written word.

When my son was in first grade, he did something (I can’t remember what) that got my husband and me justifiably upset. And so we spoke to him in a tone that conveyed that sentiment. He turned to us and said, “You’re not being the pic­ture of Jesus. You’re being the picture of Satan!”

What is being the picture of Jesus sup­posed to look like? How do we reflect Christ in the way we act? in the way we treat oth­ers? If a mirror were held up to our behav­ior, who would be looking back at us?

At the time of this writing, most of us have been glued to the news and, in my case, even TikTok, for on ­the ­ground coverage of all that is happening in Ukraine, and I’m heart­-broken at the fear, displacement, and vio­lence facing innocent citizens.

But the news has made me think seriously. Especially in times like these, being the sermon and being the picture of Jesus are what is called for, not just through words, or thoughts, or prayers alone—important as they are.

A friend of mine took to cold calling a local Ukrainian church in the area and told whoever answered the phone how much she was praying for their country. I sent an email to the lead minister of a similar congregation just to extend my support. Refugees are crossing the bor­ders into Poland, Hungary, and Romania to people waiting on the other side with food, blankets, and a welcome. And yes, brave Russian citizens are protesting, at great risk to themselves.

Even Saturday Night Live preached a simple sermon with its “cold open” during the February 26 show. On a stage deco­rated with sunflowers—the national flower of Ukraine— the show featured the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York singing the hymn “Prayer for Ukraine.” The piece traditionally closes each service in most Ukrainian Christian churches.

It’s easy to talk the talk. To research the topics, finding all the biblical support, anecdotal evidence, and Spirit of Proph­ecy quotations to load a sermon—or an article—with powerful words. But what speaks the loudest?

We are facing challenges on a world­-wide scale where we can see the oppor­tunity to be the picture of Jesus, to be the most powerful of sermons. As we get closer to Jesus’ coming, watch where the sermons are coming from—in deed more than word. And join in.

How can the Adventist Review continue to provide meaningful dialogue, interaction, our daily dose of needed spirituality, and noteworthy news to a new generation of readers? Congruent with current media consumption trends, while true to our origins and mission, the Adventist Review Ministries’ digital platforms introduce audiences to new ways to organically integrate deep spirituality into their daily routines.

What idealistic dreams we’ve long entertained! Dreams of flexible, clean, curated digital venues that provide an atmosphere conducive to deeply spiritual interactions, introspection, growth, and understanding! And our dreams are now becoming a reality—beginning, at the start of 2022, with our new ARMies website. Though still in its infancy, it truly represents a living organism that changes and adapts, grows as it learns about the user, and delivers the things that matter in the user’s journey with Christ. We have concentrated our efforts on making the navigation process as straightforward as possible.

A minimalist design provides focus and concentration, while the new robust search feature puts the Review’s rich heritage of content in front of the user. The website will develop from its cur- rent multimedia state experience into a fully interactive site and a virtual com- munity of believers. As we navigate the volatility of the end-times, our digital platforms will continue to strive to contribute in evangelizing, nurturing, and providing appropriate content for the truth seeker through spiritually whole- some multimedia expressions.

Gabriel Begle leads ARMies into the digital age: transforming our traditional media, and integrating the ministry with the technological times, are both within his portfolio.

The late British politician and journalist William Francis Deedes’ first royal wed- ding assignment was to cover the journey of the newlywed duke and duchess of Kent, George and Marina, who married in 1934. Deedes was instructed to travel on the same train the couple would take from London to Birmingham, where they would start their honeymoon. The train would stop at each station to allow well-wishers to greet the newlyweds. “It seemed an odd mission, and I inquired what precisely was required of me,” Deedes wrote more than 50 years later. The editor didn’t doubt for a second. “You are to report the rejoicing along the way.” And that’s precisely what Deedes did.*

There is perhaps no better image to describe what I try to do as I write, rewrite, edit, interview, and report on Adventist news from around the world. Sharing the joy of those “marching to Zion” is an often challenging but always deeply reward- ing enterprise. Far from what-ifs and hypothetical discussions, sharing news is telling stories of God in action, lifting up the name of God. From India to Japan to Rwanda to the Canadian Arctic, I have seen God at work in the world.

Those many stories are both a daily online presence at Adventist Review Media and a major element of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines. They serve for both information and faith building; they may tell of finding God, of miracles of physical healing and spiritual hope, or of leaving the comforts of home to serve in the most challenging and heartbreaking circum- stances. Online and in print, news works to keep the family of God healthy: church members read and realize that those who love God are all interconnected. And being connected boosts our sense of belonging, our desire to stick around, or our motivation to do our part for God’s cause.

Monthly, through the pages of Adventist World, the news division contributes a half dozen pages of both news in brief and full-length stories—news in depth—to the world church, and Adventist Review at least twice that amount: stories of mem- bers facing unspeakable challenges to Sabbath- keeping, of fierce persecution, of natural disasters. Or reports of events that bring together church pastors, young outreach volunteers, health-care executives, and humanitarian agency managers as they exchange their joys, dreams, and occa- sional tears.

I’m blessed to be part of this bridge-building and witnessing enterprise, and I’m intrigued to think that through my sharing a news story the name of the Lord is lifted high.

* William Francis Deedes, Words and Deedes: Selected Journalism 1931- 2006 (London: Macmillan, 2006), p. 394.

Marcos Paseggi is senior news correspondent for Adventist Review Ministries, keeping us and you aware of what is happening.

I once toured a potato chip factory. I remember thinking at the time that never once had I given thought to where potato chips come from or how they got into the bag. They were just there, and I ate them. My guess is that most of us don’t really think about where something originates. We simply accept that it exists.

Have you ever thought of how the Adventist Review you hold in your hands was produced? It is what I think about every day. Why? Because I’m the operations manager for Adventist Review Ministries, where, with editors, designers, and others, we work together to ensure that the Review is ready for its readers each month.

Producing the Review has been going on for a long time—almost 175 years. In the beginning, a team of young adults led by James and Ellen White manually assembled each magazine using a small hand press. Someone set the type, another punched the holes, and still another sewed the paper together. And last, Uriah Smith, using a pocketknife, trimmed the edges. Recalling those early days, Smith wrote:

“We blistered our hands in the operation, and often the tracts in form were not half so true and square as the doctrines they taught.”1

Current technology, quick communications, and powerful presses producing thousands of copies per minute ensure that blisters are no longer a challenge. But you might be surprised to learn that no matter how fascinated Uriah Smith might be with today’s advances in publishing, he would still recognize the process.

Our office produces two print journals—Adventist Review and Adventist World—as well as a publication for children (KidsView) each month. In addition, Adventist World articles are translated around the world for online and print (see article by Gerald Klingbeil). We also produce the annual

Week of Prayer readings, as well the General Conference Session Bulletins each quinquennium.

The process we follow is the same no matter the publication. First a theme is selected to help develop content. Authors are then selected, and we begin to develop content. Each article is seen multiple times by editors, copy editors, designers, and proofreaders before finally being uploaded electronically to various printers. Each printer carefully plates the issue, prints, binds, and pre- pares it for mailing.

I can’t do what I do without thinking of the publishing vision of Ellen White. Her husband, James, was told to produce a paper that would be small at first but would become “like streams of light that went clear round the world.”2

Next time you open a bag of chips, pause for a moment to think how they got there. Then take that next leap to remember this article. This is a ministry created and blessed by God. To be part of it as we work each day to accomplish the vision is a privilege.

1Uriah Smith, “History and Future Work of Seventh-day Adventists,” General Conference Daily Bulletin 3, no. 10 (Oct. 29, 1889): 105.

2Ellen G. White, Life Sketches (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 125.

Merle Poirier lays out publishing schedules as decided upon, and faithfully engages with the people, and on behalf of the circumstances, that may sustain, confirm and honor those schedules.

The privilege—and challenge—of Adventist Review’s mission entails far-reaching and diver- sified goals. We strive to provide inspiration, education, and information relevant to all Adventists—from the young (who read our KidsView publication) to the not-so-young; those in academia to those involved in so many other areas of business and expertise; church employees and laypersons; and people of all cultures, races, and ethnicities. An impossible task? Maybe—but all of us on the Adventist Review Ministries team prayerfully take up our duties each morning and work hard, by God’s grace, to accomplish that mission.

To do that, however, we must keep in mind our wide-ranging reading audience and provide something of relevance and interest to as many as possible in every issue of the magazine. That means a variety of diverse, distinct, and even eclectic material.

From when I joined the Adventist Review staff in 2004, I’ve helped to coordinate several sections of the journal. I first came on board as the news editor, helping to provide vital information on happenings of interest throughout our world church, as well as major events such as GC Sessions, Spring Meetings, Annual Councils, and so forth. I later transitioned to writing and editing articles for the other sections of the Review, such as features; Adventist Life; Adventist Service;

health-related articles, including House Call (previously called Ask the Doctors); special themed issues; book reviews; and a former regular column called Reflections. I also was part of the copy editing/proofreading process.

An Evolving Journal

The adage “the only constant is change” certainly describes the Adventist Review throughout the years. Staying true to our mission means keeping current with changing times and continuing to meet the evolving needs of our readers—yet not straying from our God-given responsibility to remain faithful to our biblical beliefs, specifically as they relate to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I’ve been blessed to play at least a small role in these many areas, and I feel privileged to have been able to do so.

I now work remotely and only half-time for Adventist Review Ministries, and my responsibilities are fewer. My focus continues to be in the areas of features and Adventist life and service, but now also includes working with our maga- zine’s creative team of print and online colum- nists, who provide unique and inspirational perspectives on relevant topics of interest.

Diversity, variety, relevance, change—all these depict the church’s long-serving magazine, the Adventist Review. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Sandra Blackmer, an assistant editor for Adventist Review, now works part-time for the magazine and therefore is able to become increasingly active in her community. This includes serving on the auxiliary board of a local hospital and as chair of its scholarship committee, as well as coordinating and participating in numerous dog therapy visits at regional hospitals and other medical facilities.

If you stop to think about the future of an organization, a publication, and yes, a ministry, you must think about the people being served. Who are they? Where are they? What do they need? And how can we provide it? But going beyond that, you must anticipate the coming needs of those you serve currently. And to build upon that, you must look to the generations coming up behind those who patronize you now. For us, the future of Adventist Review is found in the children of this church.

This coming autumn KidsView will celebrate 20 years of being the “baby” in the Adventist Review family. A publication founded to meet a need that wasn’t being met at the time—a general-interest Adventist magazine for children ages 8-12—KidsView aimed to create a vital link between the future of the church and the Adventist Review. It started with just four pages accessible only to AR subscrib- ers and in time doubled its size and vastly increased readership through its distribution in North Amer- ican Division elementary schools.

I’ve been the editor of KidsView since 2007. In that capacity, I work with our designer, Merle Poirier, to create issues that feature activities, STEM columns, devotionals, student writing, quizzes, stories, and a perennial favorite, our interactive and highly creative calendar.

Our first KidsView readers and content creators are grown-ups now—some married, in careers, and yes, some of them now parents themselves. So when we put together issues, we think about building on our foundation—introducing kids to Jesus and His interest in every aspect of their lives. We think about nurturing the seeds we’ve planted, helping faith to grow and mature. And we always think about producing something that is also fun for kids—fun to read, to think about, and to participate in. To us, this is all about shaping the future of the ones who deserve the greatest care: our children.

Perhaps one day a child now grown, who once held the pages of KidsView in a classroom long ago, but who has long left the church family he or she grew up in, will remember the little magazine that tried to show them how much they mattered. Perhaps through some pleasant memory or lesson learned, the little seeds we planted will bear fruit and point to a path back to their Savior. How wonderful would that be?

So that is why I do what I do. That’s the driving force behind all that we do with KidsView. Is it enough? Time will tell. But for now, as we strive to look at new content creation through the eyes of children to keep them smiling, our hope is great. KidsView may be that vital link between the Adventist Church of the present and the Adventist Church of the future.

Wilona Karimabadi edits KidsView and stays on the leading edge of social media.

The School of Social Work at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, has announced a new online program for a master’s degree in social work (MSW). The program, which is set to begin in the fall semester of 2022, will focus on clinical counseling and trauma.

The aim of the program is for students to learn skills and gain the knowledge necessary for a career in social work. The curriculum will include interventions with individuals, families, and communities, as well as non-profit program design and evaluation techniques, people behind the initiative said. It will also discuss treatment for emotional trauma, social policy development, mental health assessment, and treatment and therapy techniques for treating adults, children, and families.

“Online learning has become increasingly popular along with the knowledge and capacity to teach online graduate programs,” Alina Baltazar, professor of social work and program director of the MSW program, said. “Busy professionals see a need to pursue a Master of Social Work to open up more career opportunities but are unable to carve out enough time to attend live classes taught during the day or move to the area.”

Designed for busy professionals, the program will consist of live but fully remote courses, scheduled to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. EST. The remaining 50 percent of class time will be completed offline. Each cohort will allow up to 25 students.

Compared to the current in-person MSW program, the new online program will be taught at a slower pace. “Live class time is cut in half, which gives more flexibility to meet program requirements,” Baltazar explained. "The curriculum is offered at a slower pace so professionals can maintain their current responsibilities. Live classroom instruction will be in the evenings so students can maintain a full-time job and their family responsibilities."

Current MSW students said they appreciate the new developments.

“I must say that I appreciate the distance-learning MSW program that the university is offering,” Ashella Fletcher, a distance student in the first semester of her graduate degree, said. Fletcher is already taking some online courses.

According to Fletcher, classes are very interactive. “I’ve learned so much from all of my professors, who are very knowledgeable, well organized, and very professional. I would recommend [the program to] anyone who is seeking to advance [and] enhance their studies or profession as a social worker,” she said.

The MSW online program will not require an undergraduate degree in social work, program coordinators said. However, having a Bachelor of Social Work does reduce the length of the program. For students with an undergraduate degree in another subject, the program will take three years and begin in fall 2022. For students who have completed undergraduate studies in social work, the MSW program will require two years to complete and begin in the fall of 2023.

“I love all of the professors, and I can tell that they all care about us a lot,” Kiley Johnson, a second-year MSW student, said. “I see the effort they put in, and they are trying to help us succeed. I appreciate that, and it has made the experience better.”

The application deadline for the MSW online program is July 30, 2022.

The original version of this release was posted on the Andrews University news site.

AdventHealth’s CREATION Life program has joined forces with Union College to create a wellness journal for teens and young adults. Students in the fall 2020 editing class were responsible for the concept, writing assignments, line editing, and writing of extra content. The journal contains pieces written by students at Adventist colleges across the U.S.

Your Wellness Journal guides readers through each topic in the CREATION acronym — Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust in God, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook, and Nutrition — and encourages them to apply the concepts to their own lives. “The journal is intended for high school and college students,” Hannah Drewieck, a senior business administration and communication major and the project’s managing editor, said. “It’s meant to encourage overall health and be a resource they can relate to.”

“It was a huge project, and our students did an excellent job,” Lori Peckham, Union College assistant professor of communication, said. “They delivered what AdventHealth wanted, and now they have a great portfolio piece they can be proud of.” 

“Working on Your Wellness Journal was my number-one favorite thing I've done so far in college," Drewieck said. She said she has been quick to mention the project in her resume and during job interviews.

Union sophomore Alexia Rains was one of the first to get a copy of Your Wellness Journal. She said, "I never keep up with journals, but this book really kept me engaged and focused on the content. I appreciate the interactive sections, especially those about choices, activity, and procrastination. They helped me understand that other college students struggle with the same things I do.”

About the Journal’s Partners

AdventHealth is a health-care system that operates under the mission of “Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ.” It employs more than 80,000 caregivers in physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospice centers. AdventHealth has nearly 50 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites in diverse markets throughout almost a dozen states in the U.S.

Founded in 1891 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Union College has a campus located in Lincoln, Nebraska. With a focus on undergraduate studies, Union offers a traditional liberal arts education combined with practical experiences such as internships, academic and career counseling, study abroad, and volunteer opportunities.

everal years ago, I heard a speaker at a camp meeting state that he always tried to be conservative when leading his own life and liberal in allowing others to live theirs. That stuck with me over the years and, while I often fail, it is a life strategy I consider well worth pursuing.

Am I the only one who believes that most of our secular society does not often adhere to this philosophy? Unfortunately, we see the lack among our church family as well. We seem to have devolved to a point where we can only like, love, and associate with someone if we hold the same views of life. That practice must come from the scripture where Jesus instructed us to “go make disciples of all those who agree with you in everything.” Please don’t waste time looking for that verse. It simply isn’t there. You might want to reread Matthew 28:18-20, though.

To the contrary, our Lord Jesus Christ tells us, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44, NKJV). It would not be a stretch to add “love and appreciate those who act or view life differently than you do” to that list.

I find it helpful to realize that, had I been born and experienced life as another person, I would likely hold to the views they espouse. The verses found in Matthew 7:1-5 seem appropriate here — something about a speck and a plank?

Indeed, it is a common human trait to like hanging around with people you share similarities with — people who see and do life much as you do, or, more important, think “correctly” about how life should be lived. I’ve seen this practice of tribalism defined as “the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s tribe or social group.” Tribalism is not inherently negative unless it gets to be exclusionary and creates an “us versus them” mentality. When that happens in a church, it is a recipe for disaster.

For the past 18 months, I have met weekly with a group, most of whose members have darker skin pigmentation than I do. That experience has often forced me out of my comfort zone, and I promise you I am a better person because it did. I have viewed life through a lens I could never have, had I lived solely within my tribe. As a result, I have come to appreciate differences in others rather than just tolerate or mistrust them in any way.

So what am I proposing — that our church should become like a country club where, so long as you pay your dues (tithe), all views and lifestyles are welcome? I hope not. I am suggesting, however, that we would all benefit from seeing each person as a child of God for whom Jesus gave His life. To that end, it would behoove us to become totally comfortable in that reality for ourselves. So long as I know with confidence that God loves and accepts me, I can all the more love and accept those who differ from me in various ways.

Ron Price, from Farmington, New Mexico, United States, is a member of the Rocky Mountain Conference Executive Committee.

The original version of this commentary was posted by the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Teachers in Adventist schools are still frontline missionaries.

If anyone has harbored doubt about the impact of Adventist teachers in Adventist schools on the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a major study conducted by Avondale University in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia, should bring confidence to the membership.

Avondale University was asked to do the worldwide study by the Office of Archives, Statistics and Research at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which also funded the project. Under the leadership of Rob McIver, the Avondale team has so far surveyed North America, South America, Australia, Solomon Islands, and parts of northern and southeastern Europe in the Trans-European Division. 

In a book published by the team titled Education as Preparation for Eternity: Teachers in Seventh-day Adventist Schools in Australia and the Solomon Islands, and Their Perceptions of Mission, readers can find 568 pages of history, reports, data analysis, and contrasts, all relating to how teachers in Adventist schools in Australia and the Solomon Islands see their mission as teachers.

The results reported and analyzed in the book were based on 519 responses from teachers in Adventist schools in Australia and 357 from teachers in Adventist schools in the Solomon Islands. This represents 70 percent of the total available participants.

The survey sought to find out what teachers believed should be the priorities of Adventist schools and asked them about their own spiritual practices such as prayer, Bible study, faith-sharing, and meditation. It also asked questions to discover teachers’ understanding of salvation, the Scriptures, last-day events, and the creation story. It was also designed to find out teachers’ relationship to each of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

While many significant outcomes have come from the analysis of the data, the SPD membership should be heartened to know that for both Solomon Islands teachers and Australian teachers, there was little difference between how they perceived the mission of the school and the mission of the church. For the mission of the schools, the most frequent responses were to share the good news, lead others to Christ, and prepare for eternity. The same teachers saw the mission of the church to be sharing the gospel, leading people to Jesus, preparing for the future, and teaching biblical truth. 

Among the religious activities reported by the teachers, 98 percent of the participants said they had made a personal commitment to Jesus that was still important in their lives, and more than 90 percent strongly agreed that they expect Jesus to return to earth a second time. Other responses that resulted in more than 80 percent agreement from teachers in both countries were that they had a very strong commitment to the local and world Adventist Church, that they firmly believe in a personal God who seeks a relationship with human beings, that they have received a definite answer to a specific prayer request, that the Bible is the work of people who were inspired by God and who expressed their message in terms of their own place and time, and that they serve the mission of the church through their work as teachers.

The study found a very strong connection of teachers to the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the church. In fact, more than 90 percent of teachers in both countries fully subscribe to the beliefs of the Trinity, creation, the nature of man and state of the dead, the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the resurrection of Jesus, the experience of salvation, the gift of prophecy, the Sabbath as the seventh day, the second coming of Christ, the millennium and the new earth. Most of the remaining fundamental beliefs had at least 80 percent of teachers in agreement. 

Out of a possible 15 aims of Australian Adventist schools, the top three in the eyes of Australian teachers were physical, psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing of students; high-quality education; and the creation of an environment where students are more likely to accept Jesus. Solomon Islands teachers also selected the aim of creating an environment where students are more likely to accept Jesus, but their other two were to create a Christian environment in which to work, and to put into practice the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

It is significant that despite the different cultures and the slightly different ideas of what should be the main aims of Adventist schools, the Australian and Solomon Islands teachers agreed on what the least important aims for Adventist schools should be. Being competitive in the sector and making money to support activities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were ranked last for both groups of teachers.

So far, the outcomes presented here are barely “scratching the surface” of what researchers discovered in the South Pacific part of this study. The book contains other themes, including the rich history of Adventist education in both countries. The SPD membership should feel proud and blessed as they continue to see reports on the continued growth of student numbers in that part of the world, where each enrollment is another child of God who spends time each day with teachers who we can now say conclusively are aligned with the mission of the church. As also revealed in the study, though this part of the world is a long way from the beginnings of Adventism, Ellen White saw it as a mission field and spent nine years of her life impacting the work of Adventist education in Australia.

Another theme in this study was the impact of government funding on Adventist schools in both countries. Though plenty of robust discussion has taken place about the possible issues in accepting money from the government to support Adventist schools, the result has seen our schools opening up to students of other faiths or no faith. Our schools have flourished and have become true centers of evangelism to students and their families. Adventist teachers in the Solomon Islands are also paid by the government. While the negotiating time for this took longer, it was a smooth transition and has not been detrimental to the central mission of Adventist education.

No longer do administrators or casual observers need to hypothesize or assume what the nature of Adventist teachers’ commitment to mission looks like. The answers come from the teachers themselves, and the data indicate conclusively the strong commitment Adventist teachers have to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.