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

Community Services

Passionate Hard Workers Ready Redwood

Passionate Hard Workers Ready Redwood 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Over Memorial Day weekend, over 60 dedicated volunteers gathered at Redwood Camp Meeting grounds for the annual spring cleanup. Harry Salvini, camp director, stated, “The wonderful redwood trees that make our campground so special also create challenging obstacles, namely fallen limbs, leaves, and toppled trees. We are grateful for the work this group accomplished over the weekend!”

With high grasses to be mowed, mountains of branches to be cleared, brush to be cut and downed trees to be removed, the volunteers worked tirelessly to prepare the grounds for the upcoming July 21-27 camp meeting. Jennifer Shaw, camp secretary, noted, “We’re attributing the overwhelming turnout this weekend to the camp’s increased interactions on social media, our dedicated church Ambassadors, and the camp’s new website nccsda.com/rac .”

The increase in volunteers follows the trend in current pre-registration totals, up 30% over last year. Salvini exclaimed, “We are thrilled that young and old families are choosing to come to Redwood this summer!”

One volunteer said, “This weekend was a fantastic family getaway. Everyone pitched in on important projects and enjoyed potlucks and free campsites with coworkers.” The consensus was that the work and camaraderie left everyone feeling satisfied, knowing that they had contributed to preserving the grounds. It was an enriching experience for all involved.

Shaw concluded, “We are excited to see growth in Redwood’s attendance this year. I believe that with Northern California Conference’s excellent programming, marketing support and the spirit of unity, hard work, and dedication displayed during the cleanup weekend. God can achieve great things when people come together for a common cause.”

Redwood Camp Meeting, scheduled for July 21-27, promises to be an enriching and uplifting experience for all who attend. For more information, visit nccsda.com/rac.

Featured in Northern Lights, June 13, 2024

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

Health Interests Open Doors to Ministry

Health Interests Open Doors to Ministry 1882 971 Ken Miller

Mount Shasta Church has a proactive health ministry that draws many community members from all walks of life. Patti Guthrie, health evangelism coordinator, says, “A broad spectrum of people come through our doors because health, diet, exercise, and life are a language without walls.

With the financial assistance of the Northern California Conference, the Mount Shasta Church recently hosted a free dental, medical, and eye care clinic. Attendance for the clinic topped 50 people. Some were already involved with the church’s robust health ministry, and others were personally invited by pastoral staff.

Medical volunteers staffed the clinic from as far away as Loma Linda and Sacramento. When asked, Coral Parrish, a local chef who made sack lunches for everybody, stated, “This type of outreach is just what the community needed.”

To maximize the effect of the church’s outreach, each participant was given a survey. The surveys assessed interest in further contact with the church, with the following areas ranking highest: plant-based cooking, weight loss, depression recovery, Bible study, and diabetes reversal. Guthrie explained, “Hosting healthy living classes opens many avenues of discussion, appreciation, and occasionally Bible study!”

Deidra Cazneaux, a community volunteer, concluded, “The level of care and compassion by the providers and the organizers was noticeable and a tremendous blessing to those who came for services. This clinic was a beautiful example of God’s people being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Featured in Northern Lights, May 16, 2024

A Commitment to Community Relevance

A Commitment to Community Relevance 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The Willits Church is committed to remaining relevant to its community by engaging in personal and interactive initiatives that offer valuable service to those around them.

The church runs two ministries that extend compassion beyond its walls, namely the farmer’s market which offers visitors free clothes, food, and spiritual literature, sparking conversations about faith and life.

The Willits Men’s Prayer Breakfast promotes fellowship among men from diverse backgrounds and faiths. Through shared prayers and testimonies of faith, they foster unity and support.

Recently, Ben Capps was baptized, marking a significant milestone in his spiritual journey. His newfound commitment to Jesus Christ was nurtured through Bible studies and supportive interactions with his fellow church members, reflecting the church’s focus on personal transformation and faith development.

The dedication and mentorship offered by the church members demonstrate their outreach ethos. They embody Christ’s love through service and fellowship, and together, they reflect a commitment to unity, compassion, and spiritual growth in the local community of Willits.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 2, 2024

Restoring Dignity

Restoring Dignity 1600 1200 Ken Miller

Pleasant Hill Church recently received a significant addition to its community services toolbox: a brand-new shower trailer. A decade in the making, this idea is the culmination of several iterations, community research, and generous donations.

Mitch Williams, pastor, articulated, “The necessity for hygiene services for the unsheltered was glaringly apparent. Our team already provides food to approximately 100 individuals weekly, and we had a profound understanding of the need. This trailer represents the next phase of our community service, a step towards restoring dignity and enhancing well-being.”

Through collaboration with various organizations, members explored the initiatives of other churches and ministries in their respective areas. A team even ventured to Loma Linda, working alongside a similar ministry to glean the best practices. Armed with this knowledge, a generous grant, and local church fundraising, they were able to procure a 26-foot trailer equipped with four bathrooms and showers.

On the first Sabbath of each month, the trailer will be available for service at the church. Hygiene kits, haircuts, and other volunteer services will also be available. A volunteer stated, “As we learn better how to serve each person, we hope to expand our service radius.”

Foreground, Left to Right: Miguel Verazas, Youth Pastor, Marc Woodson, NCC President, Mitch Williams, Pastor

Featured in Northern Lights, May 2, 2024

A Journey of Compassion and Connection

A Journey of Compassion and Connection 1749 1063 Ken Miller

Recently, Sacramento Central Church hosted a free dental clinic, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement. Over 290 community members, each with their unique stories and needs, streamed into the church’s makeshift dental clinic, eager to receive much-needed care and support.

A shy 14-year-old girl, accompanied by her supportive school principal, had a chipped tooth and entered the clinic without a smile. As the girl emerged, her hand no longer shielded her face. Instead, she beamed radiantly, her newfound confidence lighting up the room—a testament to the transformative power of care and kindness.

Amidst the crowd, a patient, number 150 in line, had to depart abruptly for work, unable to receive dental treatment. Apologetic volunteers guided her to the Community Services closet, where she selected some essential items. Grateful but curious, she inquired about the church, sharing a longing for a church connection. She revealed that her heart had been touched, igniting a desire to explore further—a beautiful example of how genuine compassion can sow seeds of curiosity and faith.

Many refugee families joined the event, navigating language barriers with the help of volunteers. A young adult from these families stepped forward as a translator, bridging gaps and fostering unity. The exchange was not merely about dental care; it embodied a deeper connection—a shared humanity that transcended differences.

Volunteers who had personally invited neighbors door-to-door were met with joyful reunions. Faces lit up with recognition and gratitude, reinforcing the impact of direct outreach efforts. Each embrace and promise to return echoed the warmth and sincerity of their invitations—a testament to the power of personal connections.

In the quiet moments after the event, amidst the echoes of laughter and shared stories, the volunteers reflected on the day’s journey. Beyond the numbers served and procedures performed, they had witnessed lives touched, hearts healed, and connections forged. Each interaction had been a brushstroke in a larger portrait of compassion- a testament to the transformative power of faith-driven service.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 25, 2024

Organizational Health Successes

Organizational Health Successes 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The Oakland Emmanuel Temple and Pittsburg churches are dedicated to fostering community relevance and connecting with their neighbors through compassion and diligence—a mission that aligns with the conference’s strategic anchors.

Each church embarked on this journey toward organizational health in the last year. Their leadership teams have crafted thematic goals that resonate with their congregation and the surrounding community. With a fresh perspective, they evaluate church initiatives to ensure they align, maximizing their impact and effectiveness.

Damon Washington, the district pastor, articulated, “We understand that our internal practices reflect the message we send to our community. Recently, our team addressed a broken chair lift that prevented our access-challenged members from getting around easily. During this process, we realized that we were not projecting a message of care and consideration for our infirm community by not fixing this issue. As a result of this realization, we fixed the chair lift immediately.”

Every leadership team member is empowered to shape the churches’ outreach efforts through inclusive decision-making processes. For instance, a community service day initiative unveiled a neglected weekly service program, a casualty of the pandemic. Through collaborative efforts, they’re revitalizing this program, laying a robust foundation for community engagement.

Washington concluded, “Organizational health and its process has provided a leadership structure that creates a more streamlined approach, member ownership, and efficient, well-planned paths to serving our communities.”

<em>Featured in Northern Lights, March 21, 2024</em>


Fostering Mental Health and Wellness

Fostering Mental Health and Wellness 540 360 Ken Miller

Through community-led endeavors, the St. Helena Church strives for transformative change for a brighter, healthier tomorrow. Recently, the church successfully concluded an eight-week depression and anxiety recovery program, championing holistic wellness practices.

The effort resonated with 37 individuals from across the broader St. Helena community. Upon its culmination, marked improvements in depression and anxiety scores were observed among the participants.

In the spirit of compassion and empowerment, the St. Helena Church remains steadfast in its mission to ignite positive change and uplift lives, one healthy choice at a time.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 4, 2024

Welding A Solid Community Outreach

Welding A Solid Community Outreach 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Orangevale member Rob Purvis is an expert in welding. Collectively, with several other volunteer welding instructors, he teaches students this high-demand vocation. Not just the physical expertise of laying a bead of molten metal connecting two objects but the math, physics, and accuracy employers will demand.

Reignite Hope is a welding training school that Purvis was inspired to start in a pristine fifty-three foot semi-trailer temporarily parked in the Rancho Cordova church’s parking lot.

Its purpose is two-fold: To provide a vocation to those seeking to better their lives and to share Jesus’s love. Blake Jones, Orangevale pastor, exclaimed, “I love this ministry! It gives people a practical skill whereby they can make a living. And we also bring the gospel and our hope in Christ to them. We’re seeing God use this to touch hearts and lives.”

Students are a mix of individuals wanting to retrain from other careers, laborers, unhoused, or re-entering society from incarceration. Placement services, word of mouth, and even probation officers forward candidates to the program, and the training is free of charge to the student. After training and graduation, a newly certified welder can walk into a business and professionally weld.

This outreach takes a missional approach, and the participation of the Orangevale and Rancho Cordova churches is integral to the program. Besides providing a location to park the rig, they provide a meeting room, and church members help with meals, which the students greatly appreciate. They also give bible studies, write resumes, and other helpful services.

Debbie Purvis, Orangevale member and co-director, stated, “We currently have sixteen students in the program, and the Holy Spirit has been moving, convicting hearts, with several students deciding to follow Christ!”

Kietrich Germany, district pastor of Rancho Cordova and Stockton Mayfair churches, commented, “I am so overjoyed to have this outreach in our parking lot to serve our community in such a practical way. This type of help can be truly life-transforming. There is nothing quite like the self-dignity supplied by being gainfully employed. I truly believe this kind of ministry causes Jesus to smile.”

Featured in Northern Lights, November 30, 2023

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