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


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

The Hopeful Movie Provides Witnessing Opportunities

The Hopeful Movie Provides Witnessing Opportunities 2990 2071 Ken Miller

During the premiere of The Hopeful on March 17th and 18th at a local theater, the Petaluma Church actively engaged with the community by distributing Glow tracks to passersby. This proactive outreach was a positive approach to community engagement, leveraging a cultural event to share faith and build bridges with the broader community.

This initiative aimed to create a dialog about Jesus Christ and the Adventist Church. Daniel Yim, pastor, reported that their team successfully distributed hundreds of tracks in the bustling Theater Square district, sparking genuine interest and inquiries about the Adventist faith. This feedback from the community is a testament to the impact of our outreach.

“These interactions were more than just distribution; they were opportunities to connect with people and share insights about their beliefs.” Pastor Yim expressed, “I pray that the Holy Spirit will follow these conversations and cultivate further curiosity and understanding among those they engaged with.”

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

Jonas Baca Installed

Jonas Baca Installed 897 576 Ken Miller

Jonas Baca was installed on April 13 as the new district pastor of the San Leandro Spanish Church and Richmond Spanish Company.

Baca worked extensively in Honduras and Costa Rica, helping to establish several church plants before moving to the United States. He joins the NCC from the Potomac Conference, where he has served since 2004.

Baca explained, “I have a deep passion for reaching souls and bringing them to Jesus. Much of my zeal is for training and equipping lay members to plant and grow community churches. I thank God, the NCC, the San Leandro Spanish Church, and Richmond Spanish Company for opening their arms with sincere hearts full of gratitude and love.

Paul Guevara, Hispanic Ministries Coordinator, stated, “Pastor Roca brings a vibrance to the San Leandro and Richmond Spanish churches. He is a proven church builder and embodies our core values, leading people to an abundant life in Jesus Christ.”

Baca shares his life with Lidia, his wife of twenty-two years. They are the loving parents of two teenage children, Elliebeth, 18, and Jonah, 17.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 25, 2024

10.2 Decades of Contagious Kindness

10.2 Decades of Contagious Kindness 1331 1707 Ken Miller

On March 4, Stockton Central Church member Eleanor Clayton celebrated her 102nd birthday.

A member of the Stockton Central Church since 1957, she and her late husband were passionate, hard workers with the Stockton Pathfinders and youth Sabbath Schools for decades. Church members report that she has always been ready to put her cheerful and giving talents into practice, especially when the church needed decoration for special events. She even hosted potlucks at her home.

Driving herself to Church every Sabbath until she turned 97, Clayton stated, “I just had to cut back.” David Peckham, pastor, quipped, “Eleanor is a very friendly and creative lady who loves her family and keeps a pretty good conversation. Her dedication to our church, young people, and Jesus exemplifies what it means to have a servant’s heart.”

Eleanor celebrated her special day with a High Tea and Hershey’s Disappearing Chocolate Cake. She reflected that the memories she treasures most are the myriad experiences she’s had and continues to make with her friends at Church.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 25, 2024

Churches Choose Revitalization

Churches Choose Revitalization 4032 3024 Ken Miller

Three churches recently engaged in the first module of a church revitalization training program. LIFE Church of Berkeley, Sacramento Fijian, and Lodi English Oaks have committed to creating a healthier church, serving each other and their cities.

Kevin Robert, evangelism director, explained, “This course is six modules long. By working through the courses and implementing the training, we see churches become focused outside their walls to become contextualized to their community. This means they are learning to intentionally interact in their neighborhoods, make collaborative connections with other community leaders, and improve their cities. This is serving and sharing Christ in context.”

Developing healthy disciple-making pathways is an investment in each other as they grow together in everyday engagement. That is time not only on Sabbath but serving neighbors anytime. This process also means investing in their members rather than programs, flyers, and other traditional outreach methods. The focus on creating healthy leaders and members inherently produces better community interaction.

Ron Pickell, pastor of LIFE Berkeley, stated, “I am encouraged by what I can only describe as the Spirit stirring in our church. Our leaders are beginning to pull together as a team, an answer to our prayers. I also see new people visiting our church. I feel that we are heading for a turnaround. Revitalization is beginning to have an effect!”

The module also teaches techniques from the NCC’s Organizational Health model to create better leadership teams. As a result, Sacramento Fijian has scheduled a weekend focused on revitalization at Leoni Meadows, a sign that this system inspires people to learn and serve.

Robert concluded, “I was blown away by the responses of the three churches after module one. People commented that they saw hope for their church for the first time in years. This is a very encouraging outcome for this module and the future of church health in the NCC.”

Featured in Northern Lights, March 7, 2024

A Service Journey

A Service Journey 3834 2197 Ken Miller

Sixty-nine NCC educators and pastors, each boasting 25 years or more in service, were honored during the recent Mark Blue Lecture Series.

Each recipient was presented with a distinguished service pin commemorating their unwavering commitment to ministry.

Reflecting on this remarkable milestone, Jose Marin, NCC Executive Secretary, remarked, “We are privileged to celebrate the remarkable dedication of our pastors, teachers, and principals who have devoted their careers to serving Jesus within the Northern California Conference.”

25 Years of Service

Melbert Baga, Owen Bandy, Shawn Brummund, Jaime Calvo, David Carreon, Heather Denton, Jason Eyer, John Gilley, Robert Kurtz, Linda Lamb, Janice Leigh, Donald Mackintosh, JoAnn Moon, Lisa Nuss, Ira Parrish, Ricardo Rincon, Michael Rosich, Michael Thompson, Aubrey Scarbrough, Darren Smith, Susan Walters. James Wood Jr., Glen Wahlman

30 Years of Service

Tania Duncan, Tonya Greenwood, David Goymer, Vernon Jeske, Timothy Judson, Robert Kearbey, Hyun Kim, Esther Melgar, Guadalupe Negrete, Jerry Nelson, Lyly Nguyen, J Williams, Gerald Speyer, Tamara Turk, Cheryl Wood,

35 years of Service

Thomas Adams, Edwin Brown, Frederick Dana, Bradley Davis, Kris Dunlap, Walter Groff, George Hilton, Carole LeBarre, John Linhares, Richard Maloon, Robert Mason, Albert Miller, Richard Nelson, Robert Robinson

40 years of Service

Douglas Brown, Daniel Freedman, George Jackson, Nancy Matthews, Lisa Paulson, David Peckham, James Pedersen, Dorothy Phelps, Mason Philpot, Ronald Pickell, Larry Unterseher, David Vixie, Marvin Wray, Bruce Yingling

Data from the NCC Secretariat

Featured in Northern Lights, April 11, 2024

Uniting Teachers, Pastors, and Principals for Mission-driven Collaboration

Uniting Teachers, Pastors, and Principals for Mission-driven Collaboration 2000 1125 Ken Miller

NCC is committed to supporting our entities in becoming relevant to their communities, mission-driven, and organizationally healthy. One of the key foundations to achieving this is cultivating trust, which is essential to our collaborative efforts. It empowers us to fulfill our mission with integrity and effectiveness.

The NCC wishes to foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and excellence through initiatives such as the Mark Blue Series. This annual event brings together teachers, pastors, and principals in a unique effort to coordinate ministry and promote collaboration. It serves as a rallying point for our team, uniting us with a singular purpose of connecting people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and preparing them for His Second Coming.

This year’s Mark Blue Series was particularly impactful. It introduced a practical productivity tool, the Working Genius. Rooted in harnessing personal work styles to build trust and enhance teamwork, the Working Genius framework gave our attendees invaluable insights into effective planning processes and collaborative leadership development.

With over 200 individuals in attendance, the event served as a dynamic platform for learning and growth. Participants delved into strategies for creating and managing leadership teams, emphasizing the importance of clear communication, effective change management, and organizational alignment at the local level.

At its core, the NCC believes in the power of unity—a shared commitment to rowing in the same direction toward our collective mission. By equipping our members and employees with the tools and resources needed to be engaged and enthusiastic ambassadors for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, we are cultivating a culture of purpose-driven excellence within our organization.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 11, 2024

The Precipice of Eternity

The Precipice of Eternity 2028 1086 Ken Miller

On March 1-2, The Northern California Conference, in collaboration with the Pacific Union’s Church State Council, sponsored a Religious Liberty Summit at Pacific Union College.

Distinguished speaker Dwight Nelson delivered a powerful message: “We live on the precipice of eternity and must not sleep through these critical times.” Throughout the two-day summit, Nelson underscored the growing trend of political and religious leaders attempting to combine church and state power.

Religious liberty has been a focal point of the NCC, co-sponsoring similar events for several years. Jose Marin, NCC Executive Secretary, expressed, “I was encouraged to see collegiates participate in this religious liberty summit. They are engaged in understanding the times we live in and how we can be agents of love and freedom to our community.”

Throughout the weekend, Nelson outlined essential goals for navigating this challenging trend. He urged staying focused on Jesus, extending grace, radiating joy, extending assistance to the unhoused, embracing migrants, and staying relevant in society—all cornerstone practices of leading people to an abundant life in Jesus Christ.

Featured in Northern Lights, March 14, 2024