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


A Town’s Passionate Hard Work

A Town’s Passionate Hard Work 2000 1125 Ken Miller

On April 19, the Paradise Church hosted its bi-annual event, Love Paradise. This event brought together volunteers from Paradise area schools, churches, non-profits, and residents for a day of community service.

Over 300 volunteers tackled seven area projects, including cleaning debris and yard waste from several parks. They targeted the main thoroughfare of Paradise by picking up trash, weeding, and other beautification tasks.

Paradise Adventist Academy students served at a local center that provides housing for mentally and physically disabled persons who have experienced homelessness. Students prepped and planted garden beds with new flowers and vegetables.

A church volunteer stated, “Enthusiasm and volunteerism continue to increase each time Love Paradise is held. It is an important community service opportunity to share the love of Jesus through service.”

Featured in Northern Lights, May 16, 2024

Orangevale Junior High’s Impactful Week of Prayer

Orangevale Junior High’s Impactful Week of Prayer 2000 1125 Ken Miller

By Lian Funada

In a remarkable display of faith and leadership, the Orangevale Adventist School Junior High students recently took on specific roles in their spiritual journey. They led a week of prayer that left a lasting impact on their school community. From managing AV equipment to delivering inspiring worship messages, these young individuals demonstrated remarkable maturity and dedication.

Their increased interest in Bible study resulted in 10 baptisms. Today, 60 out of 105 students actively participate in optional weekly Bible study and baptismal classes, led by students.

Reflecting on her experience, 8th-grade student Sammie Chaplin shared, “I liked talking to the kids and praying with them,” highlighting the meaningful connections made during the week of prayer. A 7th-grade student, Bela Stay, added, “It was fun!”

The week’s impact extended far beyond the event itself. It served as a testament to the power of young people to lead and inspire others. Through their actions, these students strengthened their faith and served as beacons of light for their peers.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 16, 2024

Lauren Heinrich Joins Education Department

Lauren Heinrich Joins Education Department 2146 2658 Ken Miller

Lauren Heinrich recently joined the NCC as the School Mental Health Clinician. She will spearhead this new counseling program to enhance mental health among NCC students.

A graduate of Loma Linda University earning a Master of Arts, Associate Marriage and Family Therapy degree, Heinrich is enthusiastic about her role, stating, “As a therapist, my goal is to be a person who can genuinely invest in others. Therapy provides a safe space to share your story, create goals, and receive direction for a positive outcome. I am very excited to participate in this student service.”

Growing up at Leoni Meadows and working with children helped guide her career path. Substitute teaching at Chico and Paradise schools after the Camp Fire and being around the Abba’s Children grief camp at Leoni further honed her desire for a career with youth.

Albert Miller, Education Superintendent, stated, “Lauren’s passion for young people and her services will be integral to providing positive mental health counseling for our students. We are excited about the program and her contribution to it.”

Heinrich’s duties will extend beyond the academic year. She will also serve as the Assistant Summer Camp Director at Leoni Meadows during school breaks, her childhood home.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 4, 2024
#nccsda #adventisteducation

Bicycling in the Buttes

Bicycling in the Buttes 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The annual Pathfinder Bike-a-Thon got rolling on April 7 beneath the almost-towering Sutter Butte Mountain range near Yuba City.

Exquisite weather greeted over 500 energetic and motivated riders, leaders, and parents. The giddy peloton careened by roadside support tents, trailers, lawn chairs, and delicious food offerings. The range of delectables included donuts, pupusas, corn dogs, and many other tasty treats available to the participants. Proceeds from each booth help support each club’s expenses throughout the year.

Eddie Heinrich, Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director, stated, “This year’s event was nearly back to pre-pandemic size. I am so excited for our Pathfinders and their cycling achievements. Two hundred fifty-eight riders circled the idyllic course for a total of 7,210 miles, close to previous records!”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 18, 2024

33 Schools and a Million Success Stories

33 Schools and a Million Success Stories 1921 1007 Ken Miller

Northern California Conference (NCC) schools, totaling 33 institutions and catering each year to an average of 2,300 students over the past three years, exhibit diverse approaches to meet their communities’ multifaceted needs.

In cultural enrichment, schools like Paradise Academy, Pine Hills, and Orangevale shine in their pursuit of theater and visual arts, garnering recognition in local media outlets. Meanwhile, institutions such as Rio Lindo, Sacramento, and PUC Preparatory excel in athletics, showcasing the distinctiveness of Adventist athletes.

Paradise Elementary, Redwood Academy, and Napa champion innovative educational experiences, pioneering outdoor education initiatives that illustrate the value of holistic learning. The spirit of evangelism thrives across campuses like El Dorado, Pleasant Hill, and Lodi Academy and at elementary schools, where a collective effort has led to many student baptisms.

In schools like Ukiah, Yreka, Crescent City, Middletown, Red Bluff (ACES), Yuba City, Bayside, and Hilltop, there is a high percentage of non-SDA or unchurched children, which highlights a commitment to embracing diversity in the entire community.

The commitment to providing dynamic and creative learning environments remains unwavering in schools like Echo Ridge, Chico Oaks, Redding Academy, Tracy, Galt, Westlake, Clearlake, Vacaville, and PUC Elementary. This dedication is mirrored across small rural schools like Feather River, Foothills, and Fortuna, demonstrating a shared commitment to educational excellence.

Featured in Northern Lights, March 14, 2024

Pathfinders Find Leoni Fantastic!

Pathfinders Find Leoni Fantastic! 2000 1125 Ken Miller

October 6 – Pathfinders from our territory met at Leoni Meadows for their annual Camporee.

Over 600 campers from 35 clubs arrived for a weekend of spiritual renewal, fun activities, and work. Services were full of singing and praying, and the theme of the weekend, Live Love Now, was masterfully presented by Rudy Alvir, youth and young adult director of the Nevada-Utah Conference.

The Pathfinders marched in a parade with colorful banners and flags from around the world. In breakout sessions, many worked on new honors that included CPR, geology, and first aid. Other groups worked on camp renewal projects, including moving limbs into burn piles, spreading bark in the church bowl, and preparing old fence posts for future use. One of the highlights was when Pathfinders explored new camping areas that will be used annually for this and other events.

Eddie Heinrich, NCC youth and young adult director, stated, “We owe a big thank you to all the Pathfinders and their leaders that came and received a spiritual blessing and helped prepare Leoni Meadow as the future home of this event.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 19, 2023

Pets and Products Pull Eager Locals to Lodi Campus

Pets and Products Pull Eager Locals to Lodi Campus 2000 1125 Ken Miller

For 78 years, the Lodi Elementary Pet and Hobby Fair has drawn community members to a Sunday of furry fun and shopping.

Students and visitors flooded the campus, checking out the farm craft store, playing games, and enjoying delicious food. A petting zoo provided giggling children with a lot of fuzzy fun. First responders and other community service organizations shared information from each of their pavilions.

Lisa Nuss, Lodi Elementary principal, explained, “This event offers the school many fundraising opportunities that directly benefit the kids. It also provides fellowship and fun between our school and our community.”

Karen Kanas, parent, and board member, stated, “This yearly event is a highlight for current students, families, and those who return year after year to relive the fun!”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 19, 2023

The Adventure of Cycling

The Adventure of Cycling 1923 1008 Ken Miller

October 1-Over 200 riders and 300 more family members and support staff turned out for the annual Adventurers Bike Derby.

Sacramento Adventist Academy’s (SAA) campus was alight with young cyclists waiting for the start signal while homemade food and drinks prepared by different Adventurer clubs excited the hungry visitors. And ride they did! Barry van Iderstein, NCC children and family ministry director, estimated the total miles ridden added up to over 1,000!

The SAA campus was complete with cook tents, rest areas, games, and weekend mechanics. With the enthusiasm of a Tour de France crowd, parents cheered riders as young as four and as old as ten.

The helmeted packs of riders took turns on the track, with younger riders out first and more experienced riders moving much faster. A third track was reserved for the riders on tricycles and training wheels. There was something for each bicyclist and tricyclist to enjoy.

Van Iderstein stated, “This event wouldn’t be possible without the extremely hard work and dedication of the Adventurer area coordinators, their families, and the help of several volunteers and SAA representatives. We are already looking forward to October 6, 2024, when the next derby takes place.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 12, 2023

A Perfect Fall Picnic

A Perfect Fall Picnic 2002 1125 Ken Miller

NCC teachers, pastors, employees, and their children came out on Sunday, September 24, to the annual employee appreciation picnic held at Sacramento Adventist Academy (SAA).

Planned and organized by the NCC administration and staff, the shady schoolyard was festooned with culinary delights and activities for all ages. Carmichael Cougar Pathfinder Club provided enough corndogs and their secret recipe tartar sauce to please a baseball crowd. Sacramento Spanish Pathfinders offered an eclectic buffet of Mexican foods and salsas. Sacramento Slavic brought their food trailer serving варе́ники and налисники (pierogis and blintzes) complimented with gourmet ice cream and drinks.

NCC Youth Director Eddie Heinrich, son, Kyler, and SAA students enthusiastically monitored a sea of children as they frolicked in the bouncy house, the massive inflatable obstacle course, and the famous climbing wall. A fierce game of nine-square-in-the-air seemed to have no end as children jumped and hit the ball.

Pastors, teachers, and staff from as far away as Redding conversed and laughed, relaxed at picnic tables, enjoying the complimentary fare. Friendly conversations and kids’ laughter were intermixed with more competitive gamers bouncing from table to table, stirring interest in the softball game or pickleball court.

Marc Woodson, NCC president stated, “I want to thank our directors and staff that planned this event and worked tirelessly to make it happen. I also wish to acknowledge our NCC employees who connect people daily to an abundant life in Jesus.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 5, 2023

El Dorado Salutes 9/11 Victims

El Dorado Salutes 9/11 Victims 2000 1125 Ken Miller

September 11—El Dorado Adventist School commemorated the 9/11 tragedy with a flag-raising ceremony and affirmed invited first responders from the El Dorado County area.

The school has remembered the victims for over a decade and celebrated local first responders. Principal Marty Sutton thanked Bonnie Daggett for “spearheading this event that provides unity between our children, the school, the church, and public servants.”

Invited local Sheriff, Police, and Fire personnel lined the school parking lot with their trucks as students led the group in raising the American flag, singing the national anthem, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jeff Leikauf, El Dorado County Sheriff, spoke of why it’s important to remember 9/11 and teach our children about it. “We are blessed to live in a country and a county that can come together in remembrance and unity. On that fateful day, we saw the residents of New York and a nation standing strong in the face of adversity and selflessness. It is important that our young people learn that a knowledge of history enhances the power to reshape the future they can be the light in the darkness and make the world a better place.”

After the service, students presented the assembled first responders with handmade crafts and care packages, each with a written thank-you. Marty Sutton, principal, stated, “Thank you go to our first responders for caring each day in service to our school and our community.”

One fire official remarked, “Events like these are why many join the ranks of public service. To serve the public and then go home and feel appreciated for their chosen jobs, nothing more.”

Featured in Northern Lights, September 21, 2023