• Connecting people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and preparing them for His return

Adventist Community Services

Mulching Mission Movement

Mulching Mission Movement 2000 1125 Ken Miller

October 10- It was all hands on deck as the NCC administration offices locked the doors and workers descended on Maidu Park in Roseville for the annual community service day.

In 2022, workers spread sixty yards of forest mulch at another Roseville park. This year, 300 yards were piled around the new location. The contrast in job size raised a few eyebrows. Albert Miller, NCC superintendent of schools and project coordinator, looked across the park at the piles and drily stated, “Well, it ain’t gonna get done by itself.”

While the mulch group shoveled and raked the piles methodically, smaller teams painted perimeter gates bright yellow and refreshed red curb paint along driveways. Four baseball equipment shacks were painted grey and blue. By the end of the workday, finished painters joined in the mulch movement, and the team completed all the jobs.

Brian Casteluccio, Roseville Parks, Recreation and Libraries Superintendent, wrote, “I want to send a huge kudos to your team. They did a great job! It was a very successful volunteer event. Your work is greatly appreciated by the City of Roseville and the community.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 26, 2023

Willits Church Commits To Serving Unhoused

Willits Church Commits To Serving Unhoused 834 574 Ken Miller

Members of the Willits Church continuously show their servant’s hearts and passionate hard work, positively impacting their community.

Jeb Berbasal, district pastor, stated, “From a deep sense of duty and love for their neighbors, they have created ‘Serving with Compassion,’ an initiative to feed and serve unhoused persons in the area.”

The ministry team serves many people weekly, feeding, praying, and clothing with love and encouragement. Bersabal continued, “This outreach is also about manifesting faith through action. Serving others with compassion is a sacred duty that strengthens both the giver AND the receiver.”

Bersabal concluded, “The core of its mission is not just about the food; it’s about letting people know they are seen and valued as part of caring for them.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 5, 2023

Manteca and Local Area Churches Fix Teeth and Eyes

Manteca and Local Area Churches Fix Teeth and Eyes 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Thanks to a generous gift, the NCC Health Ministries Department can fund ten free medical and dental clinics in our territory. James Lim, director of Health Ministries, said, “These funds help participant churches to provide services that are free to the community.”

On August 20, Manteca Church members from both English and Spanish groups, plus many members from Lodi, Escalon, and Stockton churches, united in the early morning hours to serve the Manteca community, providing much-needed physical and spiritual care.

Dentists, eye-care professionals, church members, and businesses donated services, medical supplies, and volunteers for this effort. Attendees received free cleanings, extractions, fillings, and eye exams that included a free pair of glasses. One of the many persons served tearfully thanked the volunteers for fixing a bad tooth her husband had been suffering from.

The team credited the large turnout and numerous connections made at the event to the Holy Spirit’s response to their nightly online prayer meetings leading up to the event. The prayer team and pastors were available to serve and offer prayers and counseling to receptive people. Everyone was invited to upcoming evangelism meetings that are scheduled soon.

Featured in Northern Lights, September 28, 2023

Joelle Chinnock Chosen as Ending Homelessness Initiative Coordinator

Joelle Chinnock Chosen as Ending Homelessness Initiative Coordinator 1474 1967 Ken Miller

Joelle Chinnock started her new job as the Ending Homelessness Initiative Coordinator in
August. Before this, she served as the Director of Disaster Recovery and Development for the Paradise church after the Camp Fire of 2018. In this position, she led multiple support initiatives, wrote grants, and co-founded the Camp Shed Project.

Applying her professional and personal experience to the Ending Homelessness Initiative, Chinnock stated, “During the Camp Fire incident, I was not equipped nor trained. However, I felt the urge to assist my fellow survivors. This desire was driven by my own personal journey to overcome the trauma of being displaced and losing my home. I know many unhoused individuals experience similar feelings of hopelessness and despair. I am thrilled to be part of the solution and restore hope in these people’s lives.”

At the 2022 Constituency Session, NCC President Marc Woodson presented this new initiative, “Our goal is to reduce homelessness measurably and significantly in every county where we operate by 2032. This means achieving and maintaining ‘functional zero’ for specific populations within each county, such as chronically homeless or veterans. Although the Northern California Conference comprises 31 counties in California, we do not have a presence in all of them. Therefore, our focus is to reduce homelessness where we have churches and schools in the next ten years.”

Chinnock will serve as the primary contact for the initiative. As coordinator, she will shape the Built for Zero model strategy and liaise between NCC entities, regional organizations, and community groups. She will manage day-to-day operations, including volunteer development and training.

Chinnock continued, “I understand that each county where our schools and churches are present faces different issues, but the aim is to ensure that every entity is equipped with the necessary resources and information to address homelessness based on the Built for Zero model.”

Woodson concluded, “I am very excited to add Joelle to our team. She is going to be working on a very important initiative that will help our churches and schools become more community-relevant as they work with top leaders and non-profit organizations, addressing homelessness.”

Featured in Northern Lights, September 21, 2023

Hope is Alive in Maui

Hope is Alive in Maui 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The tragedy on Maui has filled the news. Pictures and video of the 1800’s era town of Lahaina left us speechless and filled with a familiar sense of grief and dismay. However, God is always present, and this is reflected in the actions of the conference administrators, employees, and members.

As one of the NCC Disaster Response Team members and having worked through many disasters, Laurie Trujillo, director of communication and development, explains, “Disaster recovery falls into four phases. The first 24 to 48 hours are the most critical and the most difficult for disaster response teams because the information is limited. However, Hawaii Conference President, Erik VanDenburgh, was able to get cash and support to the shell-shocked victims immediately.”

The Hawaii Conference post reported that the Kahului church provides emergency shelter for over 40 displaced church members and community residents. In addition to shelter, they ensure people have essential supplies and nutritious meals in collaboration with other nonprofits. Mark Tamaleaa, ACS response team leader, reports, “The compassion and selflessness of the Kahului church members is extraordinary.”

VanDenburgh wrote, “We are dedicated to providing care and avenues for spiritual rejuvenation and moments of joy. As we navigate this challenging and uncertain time, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing compassionate, comprehensive support.”

NCC has contributed $25,000 to the Hawaii Conference to assist with the immediate, emergent, and long-term needs of members and those connected to churches and schools. Marc Woodson, NCC president, states, “We understand the pain, trauma, and challenges our sister conference in Hawaii is facing and the difficult road to recovery.”

The best way to help is by contributing to the Maui Fire Relief Fund. In the future, there may be opportunities to volunteer and donate items. Keep checking the Hawaii Conference Website and social media accounts for more information.

Featured in Northern Lights, August 17, 2023

Pleasant Hill Mission Trip to the Philippines Results In Baptisms

Pleasant Hill Mission Trip to the Philippines Results In Baptisms 2002 1127 Ken Miller

July 4- Twenty-two youth and adults from Pleasant Hill and Oakland Grand Advent churches returned from a life-changing mission trip to the Philippines.

Working primarily at an SDA-run orphanage, they also participated in a community clothing drive that served over 300 local families. Other projects included teaching basic dental skills to 800 local elementary students and leading VBS for 100 or more children. Other projects included finishing the construction of a wall around the orphanage campus and painting.

Mission trips are usually known for being gritty, different, and often uncomfortable. Trip co-leader Bonnie Gottke reported, “This energetic group was met with cold showers, sleeping under mosquito nets, and nearly 100% humidity. Regardless of the unfamiliar climes and other challenges, the young workers started each morning with worship and gave 110% effort all day.”

Norma Rilveria, sponsor and trip nurse, added, “My heart was full when our young people shared their daily reflections at our morning and evening devotionals.” The service, interaction, and sharing of God’s love certainly were felt by the group. By the trip’s end, eight kids that were on the mission trip and three children from the orphanage were baptized.

When asked how this trip impacted her life, Pleasant Hill Junior Betsy Carmona reflected, “It helped me grow my relationship with Christ, and I learned how to love a community within days. Although languages can be a barrier to communication, showing God’s love is the best way to communicate.”

Featured in Northern Lights, July 27, 2023

Ft. Bragg-Willits-Covelo Members Create Unity With Area Churches To Serve Communities

Ft. Bragg-Willits-Covelo Members Create Unity With Area Churches To Serve Communities 2002 1127 Ken Miller

Bordered by the Yuki Wilderness to the east, the Round Valley Off-Reservation Trust Land to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, you’ll find the Covelo-Willits-Fort Bragg- district churches. Connected by a meandering highway that crosses Highway 101 in the middle, it’s a different California and a different pace of life.

In quieter towns, you might expect more traditional methods of outreach. But recently, members of the district invited non-Adventist churches to a social event that resulted in many friendships, personal and denominational. Through these new connections, church members could discuss beliefs and, more importantly, create unity to accomplish mission goals in their communities.

One outcome was the Covelo Church Vacation Bible School. This year, it took on a unique dimension, led by members, church leaders, and volunteers from several denominations. Regardless of affiliation, mission-minded adults acted, taught, and sang side by side, sharing their unique talents to present the promises of Jesus to children.

According to Edwin Berbasal, district pastor, “This inclusive approach furthered those friendships, not only creating more extensive participation but unity, and it was a powerful display of shared faith among the children and the broader community.

Through conversation, friendship, and shared goals, these connections have laid a foundation for future collaborations and continued work that will serve the district communities and prepare people for the soon coming of Jesus.

Featured in Northern Lights, July 27, 2023

Ministries Move With Generous Planned Giving Gift

Ministries Move With Generous Planned Giving Gift 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The Open Door story from Sacramento Korean (see Stewardship Leads to Service Leads to Disciples) is just one of the many testimonies from a commitment to serving our neighbors with contagious kindness and passionate, hard work. During the 2023 year, the following projects have been approved, and the corresponding amounts allocated.

Rio Lindo Academy Men and Women’s Dormitory Remodel Project: $350,000. Albert Miller, superintendent, reported, “We have scheduled a meeting with the contracted architect and engineer in July. We aim to have one or two demo rooms completed by the end of October, followed by remodeling the dorms rooms staggered the following year based on available funding.”

Multi-Campus Hybrid School with Missional Group: $185,000 According to Kevin Robert, evangelism director, “The project is progressing well and has received approval from WASC. We are pleased to announce that academy classes for El Dorado will begin with four confirmed students and possibly a fifth for the upcoming school year.”

Free Dental/Vision Clinics for Communities: $50,000. James Lim, Asian Pacific coordinator, and community service director, reported, “I am happy that our free clinic projects are progressing smoothly. We have many churches participating, and we expect to use the full budget of $50,000 by the end of the year. Our partnership with Life Health Network has resulted in noticeable cost savings. Also, The NCC Women’s Ministry has been a valuable partner, providing event volunteers.”

Hispanic Ministries Center of Hope: $190,000. Paul Guevara, Hispanic ministries coordinator, stated, “Exciting news! Plans are underway to establish a Center of Hope in Hayward. A dedicated committee is working closely with an architect and engineer to ensure the building is used to its fullest potential while remaining within budget. Additionally, there are plans to develop the community service building adjacent to the Center of Hope.”

Cascading Organizational Health: $75,000. Marc Woodson, NCC president, remarked, “Organizational Health will help the conference thrive and accomplish its mission. A healthy organization starts with a cohesive leadership team at all levels. The funds have supported leadership training for pastors, educators, and directors. It also supported developing a team of 20 mentors to support 30 churches’ journey toward organizational health.”

Featured in Northern Lights, July 13, 2023

Stewardship Leads to Service, Leads to Disciples

Stewardship Leads to Service, Leads to Disciples 1926 1012 Ken Miller

By Susie Kim

A planned giving donation(see Ministries Move With Planned Giving Gift) has made it possible to fund various projects in our territory. Each project proposal was submitted by ministry directors and reviewed for merit and adherence to the overall mission and objectives of the Northern California Conference.

Utilizing funds from this program, the Open Door church, the English-speaking group of Sacramento Korean, recently organized a dental clinic
in concert with Life and Health Network, an ASI health ministry based in the NCC.

One church member reported, “We bathed this event with prayer
for two weeks. Then with only six days of targeted advertising via Facebook and knocking on doors in the nearby neighborhood, God sent us the patients needed for the dental clinic.”

Seventy-six patients were given teeth cleanings, fillings, and tooth extractions by ten volunteer dentists from Open Door and other churches, who gave up their Sunday to be the hands of Jesus.

Danny Kwon, Director of Life and Health, stated, “We helped many people today and made some wonderful contacts for our upcoming Bible study series titled, “Sidewalk Evangelism.”

Featured in Northern Lights, July 13, 2023

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Part of the NCC’s path to organizational health is to effectively inform, educate, and tell the stories of our churches, schools, and ministries. To do this, a new website was launched in 2020.

The COVID pandemic was a catalyst that accelerated the need for online methods for staying current with news and events. The NCC website was no exception, and its professional look, functionality, and information were revamped with a new look.

Subsequently, the site was entered into the 2022 American Advertising Awards competition, winning an impressive Silver Award. Terrill Thomas, web designer and president of T13 Media, said of the project and award, “It was gratifying to see Christian content, graphics, and web design be recognized for excellence by a secular professional organization.”

The website is constantly updated with important conference information, including employment opportunities, education scholarships, events, and news.

Most recently, the communication and development department has posted an incredible help guide for creating a culture of stewardship in your church. You can visit the website here.

Featured in Northern Lights, July 6, 2023