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

Asian Pacific Ministries

We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 774 224 Ken Miller

In May we celebrated and honored our 23 Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches, companies, and groups in our territory who speak eleven different languages.

Our Asian Pacific Department works with the following cultural groups: Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, Samoan, Tongan, Japanese and Fijian.

We are also proud to have the only organized Fijian Church in the North American Division.

We wish to recognize our fifteen Asian Pacific pastors who are passionate hard workers and demonstrate a servant’s heart.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 25, 2023

Conference Advance Offering- What Does it Mean?

Conference Advance Offering- What Does it Mean? 1200 675 Ken Miller

The name of this offering category is confusing and lacks a definition. To be transparent and good stewards of your gifts, the purpose is to spread the gospel in our territory.

When you give, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the ministries supported can better connect people to an abundant life in Jesus and prepare them for the Second Coming.

Moreover, Conference Advance gives you the opportunity to support various ministries with one gift.

This week’s offering will support the following five ministries:

  1. Leoni Meadows receives 85% to support camp operations.
  2. With its various projects, Urban Ministries (6%) is making a positive impact and connecting people to Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Education (3%) teaches our youngest members and non-members and sets them up to experience abundant life in Jesus.
  4. Our Church Growth and Evangelism Department (3%) is increasing the number of people exposed to the Gospel truth and attracted to our churches and schools.
  5. The Native American Ministry (3%) is busy serving and reaching this unique population with various projects.

You can return your offering by clicking here, or you can give directly at the offering call on Sabbath.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 20, 2023

Caring For The Forgotten Behind Bars

Caring For The Forgotten Behind Bars 1997 955 Ken Miller

April 1- The Prison Ministries Department sponsored a training seminar for those that serve men and women behind bars. Thirty-four people attended and learned how to be more effective in their ministry from speaker Daniel McManus, an ex-convict and president of the Alliance of Prison Ministry Organizations and Affiliates.

Rudy Peters, prison ministries director, stated, “We are dedicated to the support of our members involved in this important ministry. We are creating a program named The Prison Ministry Federation that will provide a framework that assists volunteers, pastors, and churches in their prison work.”

Peters concluded, “Members that serve in prison ministry are contagiously kind and passionate about caring for the forgotten. Many have been inside those same walls. We want to ensure they have all the training and tools needed for this important work.”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 13, 2023

Journeys Of Pain, Joy, Service, and Excellence- Our Ten Women Pastors

Journeys Of Pain, Joy, Service, and Excellence- Our Ten Women Pastors 2062 1125 Ken Miller

By Laurie Trujillo

These ten women are making history and playing a vital role in connecting people to an abundant life in Jesus and preparing them for the Second Coming. We wish to recognize and celebrate their critical role in the Northern California Conference serving as pastors or ordained ministers. Sonia Cartwright is in the process of earning her Master of Divinity from Andrews University.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

They come from all walks of life but share a common and inspirational journey that centers on God. They shared some of their journey with us, opening my eyes to what it takes to be a female pastor. Here are some excerpts:

“What I strive for in life and ministry is stated in 1 John 4:12-13, ‘No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.'”

“I love Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ God has often used this to quiet my heart when things are tense. It reminds me that God hears and cares for me and that His peace transcends understanding.'”

“Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ This is the formula to success in life, and it provides the answer when you don’t know what to do.”

What was your journey like? What challenges did you overcome?

One pastor stated, “All the pastors I knew were male, and I did not initially think women could be pastors. I did not question the system. I simply accepted it.” Although this pastor felt a call to serve and was given the talent to minister, it took a person she respected and admired to nudge her into her calling.

Another recalled, “I remember God extending the invitation to serve my sophomore year in college, but it took me years to answer the call.” She had to escape her “selfish perspective of thinking that I had to be perfect to be a pastor.”

Not only did these pastors have to overcome personal challenges, but they also had to face public pressure not to answer the call. They were bullied, called names, and laughed at when people found out they wanted to be a pastor.

One of our pastors explains the experience well, “It was hard getting past some of the comments people made discouraging me as a woman going into ministry. Ultimately, I had to look to Jesus and stay focused on him. Jesus is the One that has kept me standing in ministry.”

What is different about being a female pastor/leader vs. a male pastor/leader? Advantages? Disadvantages?

One pastor clearly explains, “There are, unfortunately, many issues that come up. In addition to the struggles of maintaining a successful mentor relationship with male colleagues, I have been stalked and told that specific dress colors make it difficult to look at me while preaching.”

Another pastor wrote, “I think being a female pastor is difficult because many leadership skills needed are considered ‘not feminine.’ For example, some members are uncomfortable with my decisions because they feel they are not lady-like.”

However, our women pastors feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. One pastor wrote, “In my experience, I can meet with women my male colleagues feel uncomfortable with.” Another describes, “There are church members who feel more comfortable opening up to a woman than a man, and so I hear stories that would have never been told otherwise.”

All our pastors agree that they get an overwhelming sense of joy when a person connects to Jesus and begins living an abundant life. They enjoy walking alongside individuals and families, learning their stories, and ministering to their needs.

If a young girl wants to be a pastor and leader in ministry, what advice would you give her?

“The same advice I received, ‘If there is anything else you want to do…do that.’ You won’t make it if you don’t believe you are called to minister. If you answer the call, practice self-care and connect with a mentor. Learn to lovingly say no, invest in your friends and family, and keep up with your hobbies, exercise, and take vacations!”

“Fully surrender your heart to God first. Let God hold and protect it. Your heart will break if God isn’t your priority in the tough moments that will surely come. Likewise, your heart will get prideful in the good moments if you aren’t focused on God.”

“As a woman going into ministry, I would double down on your identity in Christ. We, as women, struggle with our identity. As a blossoming leader, many people will try to shape you into what they think a woman leader should be. But when you are fully aware of who you are, in Christ, you can embrace your calling and not be swayed by other people’s thoughts and opinions.”

“Learn to recognize God’s voice. Remember, God is with you always and has a purpose for you. You are a daughter of God first and foremost, and never lose that dignity.”

Wrap Up

Women pastors have made history and continue to shape our story in the Northern California Conference. They have been called into ministry, and God has gone out before them. God has broken down obstacles so that they can be more effective in spreading the gospel. Their gender is an asset to connect with those who perhaps would have gone untouched. And their journey is inspiring.

Let’s celebrate all our pastors, especially recognizing and appreciating those women God calls to serve and lead!

Featured in Northern Lights, April 13, 2023

Tongan, Fijian, and Samoan Churches Celebrate “High Sabbath”

Tongan, Fijian, and Samoan Churches Celebrate “High Sabbath” 2000 1125 Ken Miller

February 25- The Sacramento Tongan Church sponsored a combined service, inviting the Sacramento Samoan and Fijian Churches. Over 200 people attended and learned about stewardship.

Pastor Tui Finau stated, “Bringing the church families of Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji together was a ‘High Sabbath’ for us. We share a part of the South Pacific, each with distinct cultures, but all loving Jesus.”

Each church participated by providing two songs and one testimonial. Piano, ukulele, and acapella music were abundant. According to one member, “The message Pastor Harpe shared hit the point that God is Lord of the universe and that our faithfulness in giving back is a privilege and one way to honor God.”

Finau continued, “This celebration weekend was so inspirational; our three churches are planning similar events regularly.”

Featured in Northern Lights, March 2, 2023

Melany Quintero Joins NCC Offices

Melany Quintero Joins NCC Offices 1474 1967 Ken Miller

Melany Quintero is the new administrative assistant supporting the Hispanic and Asian Pacific Ministries coordinators.

Quintero was born in Costa Rica but attended school in Arizona and Tennessee. After graduating, she went to a university in Costa Rica and became an English professor.

Regarding her new position, she stated, “I enjoy being part of a ministry team that supports our ethnic churches and community outreach.”

Quintero is contagiously kind and a passionate, hard worker. Her hobbies include hiking, music, and cooking, and she has a passion for personal growth and serving God.

Featured in Northern Lights, February 9, 2023

Wai “Larry” Chu Ordained

Wai “Larry” Chu Ordained 793 608 Ken Miller

January 28- Larry Chu was ordained at the Alameda East Bay Chinese church.

Chu has served as the full-time pastor of the Alameda East Bay Chinese Church and with a Chinese language group from Stockton Central since 2016.

Chu stated, “This ordination gave me encouragement from the NCC and church members, strengthening my faith to share the great news of Jesus.” Jim Lorenz, ministerial director, said, “Pastor Chu is a kind and gifted pastor dedicated to his church community and serves them well.”

A passionate, hard worker, Chu said, “My goals are to continue sharing the gospel among my members but also increasing ministry to young people, bringing more of that age group to church, and connecting them with Jesus.”

In 2015, Wai and his wife, Zi Yang, married and have served God together. They welcomed daughter Dorcas into their family in 2020.

Featured in Northern Lights, February 9, 2023

North Bay Korean Group Becomes a Company

North Bay Korean Group Becomes a Company 1200 676 nccsadmin

On August 6 the North Bay Korean Group in Fairfield was organized as a church company.

Originally a home-based worship service under the guidance of retired pastor, Dewey Rhoe the small group grew quickly, and moved into a space at the Fairfield church in 2016.

The mission-hearted group engaged their call to ministry by joining a mission trip in Tanzania to provide medical help to about 1,000 patients. That same spirit of service continues at home with regular community health programs, cooking classes, and musical outreach.

Currently, with pastor Joseph Shon, the growing company’s commitment to service, guided by the Holy Spirit, is connecting people to an abundant life in Jesus Christ, and preparing them for His soon return.

According to James Lim, Asian Pacific coordinator, “It was a very meaningful milestone for this group to organize, serve, and grow to company status, even during the pandemic.”

Featured in Northern Lights • August 18, 2022

Korean Camp Meeting

Korean Camp Meeting 1200 675 nccsadmin

Over 900 people celebrated Korean Camp Meeting on the Pacific Union College campus. The first in-person gathering since the pandemic, joyful attendees rekindled friendships, family ties and worshipped Jesus.

According to James Lim, coordinator of Asian Pacific ministries, “The PUC Korean camp meeting serves our brothers and sisters not only from our northern territory, but the western half of the United States. We meet friends from Northern, and Southern California as well as many western states.”

The PUC camp meeting is one of two Korean events, with the other on the east coast. When asked his opinion how campers choose the PUC event over the East Coast Korean camp meeting Lim laughed and said, “It is a personal preference, hot and dry versus hot and humid.”

When discussing why camp meetings mean so much to us, Lim paused reflectively and said, “Because camp meeting is a foretaste of Heaven to come. Enveloped in a loving community praising the Lord Jesus Christ. It is what the Holy Spirit has built into our hearts.”

Featured in Northern Lights • August 11, 2022

NCC Organizes First Official Fijian Church in North America

NCC Organizes First Official Fijian Church in North America 1113 870 Julie Lorenz

On Sabbath, Oct. 23, the NCC formally organized the Sacramento Fijian church—the only official Fijian church in the North American Division. The service took place at the Sacramento Woodside church, where the congregation meets each Sabbath afternoon.

Currently about 11,000 Fijians live in Sacramento County—more than in any other place in the United States! For many years, the Fijian Adventists in the area dreamed of having a church of their own. In 2009, a church plant began at the Sacramento Central church. In 2013, the group moved to the campus of Sacramento Adventist Academy. The congregation was formally organized as a church company in January 2015.

Through the years, members have worked to build relationships with the local Fijian community by conducting evangelism and outreach programs for people of all ages. During the pandemic, the congregation has been using social media to connect with Fijians throughout the world. Each of their live-streamed presentations has garnered between 20,000 and 30,000 views.

“As I think about our congregation’s history, one word that stands out to me is ‘Providence,’” said Pastor Joseph O’Connor. “We have seen God moving and blessing.”