December 15, 2013

As Snow Snarls Traffic, Adventists Mark Year of New York City Evangelism

A winter storm that dumped three to five
inches of snow and slush on the sidewalks of New York, not to mention its
roadways, didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists
who braved the elements to attend three events marking a year of evangelism in
America’s largest metropolis.

Temperatures fell Friday evening as members
gathered at the Linden Seventh-day Adventist Church in Laurelton, Queens; but
spirits rose both there and Sabbath morning at the Historic Manhattan
Seventh-day Adventist Church on West 11th Street in Greenwich Village. General
Conference president Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, who spoke at both venues,
emphasized evangelism as a priority for Adventist Christians.WEB Wilson FotorA TIME OF DECISION: Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, General Conference president, said God is moving in this world to bring people to a time of decision. He spoke at three events marking a year of evangelism in the New York metropolitan area. [Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review]" class="img-right" style="float: right;">

“All over the world, God is moving in an unusual
way to bring people to a point of decision,” he told Sabbath morning
congregants. “You are part of a prophetic people, who have a prophetic
message,” he continued, later asking, “Are you ready to deliver the message God
has put into your hands today?”

Wilson added, “Never be afraid to share God’s
word in love, but also to share it in a straightforward way.”

The Sabbath afternoon meeting, which along with
the Laurelton event was billed as “Celebrating Christ at Christmas: Rejoicing
in the Harvest,” drew hundreds who braved the falling snow and slippery streets
to hear Wilson, veteran evangelist Mark Finley and his wife Ernestine, as well
as five musical soloists and an ensemble expressing gratitude for a remarkable
year of church growth in the metro region.

While the inclement weather prevented a raft of
local politicians from attending – New York City mayor-elect Bill De Blasio had
indicated he would participate, before the snow hit – Kenneth P. Thompson,
newly elected district attorney for the borough of Brooklyn made it to the
Upper East Side meeting place, Hunter College of the City of New York’s
75-year-old auditorium, and spoke warmly.

WEB Thompson FotorBROOKLYN FRIEND: Ken Thompson, district attorney-elect of Brooklyn, New York, promised Adventists they would "have a friend" in the borough's top prosecutor. [Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review]" style="float: left;" class="img-left">“Happy Sabbath,” Thompson began. “Thank you for
your support, and for allowing me to appear before you. Whether you live in
Brooklyn or are just passing through, you’ll have a friend in Ken Thompson.”

Evangelist Mark Finley shared several brief
reflections on scriptural points, noting the presence of four women – each with
troubled pasts – in the genealogy of Jesus as recorded in the first chapter of

In that chronology, Finley said, “We see grace, a
genealogy that embraces all of humanity.”

Speaking from the Scripture, Wilson noted the
messianic promise of Numbers 24:17 – “A star will come out of Jacob” – and said
the Christmas star “can lead us to the One who came, who was predicted” in that

“Jesus came to the most humble place possible,”
Wilson said. “Jesus came to simple, believing people – the shepherds of His

Today’s Christians, Wilson said, can proclaim the
message to a world blinded by sin.

“God wants you to be a star like the star in
Bethlehem, [one] that points to Him,” he said. Noting the season, he added,
“Don’t allow commercialism and ‘Santa Claus’ to distract you from the One who

Concluding the program, Atlantic Union Conference
president Don King was joined by Greater New York Conference president G. Earl
Knight and Northeastern Conference president Daniel Honoré, who conducted an
on-stage interview with Hope Channel president Brad Thorp. The television
ministry president disclosed that the Seventh-day Adventist-owned media outlet
would soon begin over-the-air broadcasting on HD channels in New York, Boston,
Philadelphia and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.

“I thank God for the accomplishments of NY13,”
King said.