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

Northern Lights

Robert Benardo Installed At Sacramento Central

Robert Benardo Installed At Sacramento Central 6000 4000 Ken Miller

January 21- Rob Benardo was installed as pastor at Sacramento Central Church.

Pastor Benardo returned to our territory from the Battle Creek Tabernacle church in Michigan, where he was the prayer coordinator for the Michigan conference. He also pastored previously at the Milpitas Church in the early 2000s and is pleased to be back in Northern California.

According to Lynette Stansfield, a church member, “Sacramento Central is excited and grateful that God has led Pastor Rob and his wife Olga to Sacramento. We are particularly thrilled with his vision to grow our church by reaching out and serving those in Sacramento.”

Benardo is a friendly and energetic evangelist who likes to use acronyms for teaching and planning. His working title for what he hopes to accomplish in Sacramento is S.P.E.C.S.- Strategic Planned Evangelism for the City of Sacramento.

Bernardo shares his life with his wife of 32 years, Olga. They have two grown daughters, Amaris and Alexia, and his life motto is, “God’s glory is my greatest joy.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 26, 2023

Officers and Directors Consecrated

Officers and Directors Consecrated 1863 937 Ken Miller

January 21- The new NCC officers and directors were dedicated in a Sabbath afternoon service at the Roseville Church.

Voted during the September Conference Constituency Meeting, this administration team will serve the NCC for the next five years.

In his consecration message, Pacific Union President Bradford Newtonsaid, “There is such a wonderful spirit in this current administration. The God of the Bible is still in the midst of His people and will do a new and wonderful thing in this conference.”

NCC president, Marc Woodson, quoted the promise given to the Israelites found in Joshua 3:5 – “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (NIV)

Woodson explained during the response time, “We are one body on one mission to connect people to an abundant life with Jesus and prepare them for the Second Coming. When we dedicate ourselves to this purpose, the God of miracles will do amazing things in our conference!”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 26, 2023

Lodi Schools Avert Disaster!

Lodi Schools Avert Disaster! 800 600 Ken Miller

The 22-day storm that recently bombarded California did not leave Lodi Academy and Elementary schools unscathed.

Lance Lemos, business manager, said, “We had about 9 inches of rain that completely saturated the soil. With that sogginess, the accompanying wind took down about six trees on the two campuses.”

The more significant trees included mature cedars and spruce that music teacher Jeanine Hanson remembers from the boarding school era – decades ago.

After the storm passed, cleanup started immediately. Volunteers and staff began cutting the trees into fireplace-sized wood to sell in a future fundraiser. The logs too big to cut were removed on trailers by volunteers.

Elementary principal Lisa Nuss said, “We hated to lose our beautiful trees out in front of the school. But God has a reason. What is amazing is that one tree fell just a foot away from our music building!”

Lemos concluded, “God sent all those trees in the right direction, thankfully avoiding building damage.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January26, 2023

Keitrich Germany Installed As District Pastor Of Rancho Cordova And Stockton Mayfair

Keitrich Germany Installed As District Pastor Of Rancho Cordova And Stockton Mayfair 1200 1200 Ken Miller

In November, the Rancho Cordova Church and Stockton Mayfair churches welcomed Kietrich Germany as their new district pastor.

Both congregations received the Germanys with open arms and excitement.

Germany said, “It’s nice to come back home to the Sacramento area. I have a lot of friends and community connections here.”

Rudy Peters, African American ministry coordinator, said, “I am excited about what God is going to do in the lives and communities of these two churches.”

Germany explained, “My spiritual gift is public and personal evangelism. As I get to know members at Mayfair and Rancho Cordova, I will enjoy researching our community needs.”

A native of Sacramento, Kietrich shares his life with Teairra, his wife of thirteen years.

Featured in Northern Lights, January 19, 2023

Love In Action – By Leon Richardson

Love In Action – By Leon Richardson 1200 626 Ken Miller

December 17- The Pittsburg Church effectively demonstrated that love is indeed an action word by engaging in community service. The church members, though small in number, proved that with the Holy Spirit, they could indeed be impactful and mighty in the service of the Master.

Under the direction of Joyce Richardson, coordinator for women’s ministry, the church members were divided into three teams, each with a specific service area.

The first team prayed and allowed the Holy Spirit to lead the way as they entered a local Walmart and gave shoppers $25 gift certificates. Team members greeted the shoppers by saying that God loves them and they wanted to share God’s blessing with them. Many recipients were deeply touched, tears were shed, and some confessed that this was a miracle! A total of 30 gift certificates were given out.

The second team, carrying beautiful fruit basket gifts, visited sick and homebound members. The group prayed with them and provided much-appreciated fellowship. The message was clear; these people are loved, important, and not forgotten.

The third team remained at church in a season of prayer. There were intercessory prayers for the sick, bereaved, and those in need. Each team member prayed a “personal prayer” to God that the Holy Spirit would prepare their hearts and create a passion for Christian service. Finally, there was a prayer of thanksgiving.

The following Sabbath representatives from each group enthusiastically shared their experiences:

Jeanice Warden-Washington, a member of the Walmart gifting team, retells the reaction of a woman that cried and hugged her “like she was a some long lost relative.” Barbara Jones, another team member, said, “One woman confessed she was wondering ‘how we were going to pay for all this stuff’ and what a blessing the gift was to her.”

Sharon Evans, a prayer team member, said she could “feel the fire coming from heaven.”

David Wright of the visitation team said, “If you want to enjoy Sabbath like never before- do something for others. It is like a holiday.”

Damon Washington, pastor explains, “Our church shows that love in action, fueled by the Holy Spirit, can impact the community and produce great joy for all concerned. To God be the glory!”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 19, 2023

Randy Speyer Installed At Sacramento Woodside

Randy Speyer Installed At Sacramento Woodside 1200 1200 Ken Miller

November 5- Randy Speyer was installed as the pastor of Sacramento Woodside Church. He hopes to empower the growth of a loving and healthy community whose joyful pursuit is a spiritual life with God.

Before joining Woodside, he was the director of mission and spiritual care at Adventist Health. He was also pastor of care and counseling at Loma Linda University Church, and former lead pastor at Palo Cedro.

Speyer said, “I have a love for storytelling, music, and art with a passion for shaping people who will go out and shape the communities they are a part of.”

According to Jim Lorenz, ministry director, “Randy has so many talents and has worked in health ministry, been a church pastor, a counselor; we are blessed to have him choose church ministry again at Woodside.”

Randy has been married to his high school sweetheart, Jewel Tryon-Speyer, for 42 years.

Featured in Northern Lights, January 12, 2023

Storm Nearly Derails Pastors Retreat

Storm Nearly Derails Pastors Retreat 1200 675 Ken Miller

January 10- What would have been three days for pastors to share, learn, teach, and collaborate at Leoni Meadows had to be compacted into one day due to storm damage. Subsequently, all pastors from the territory diverted to Gracepoint Church for what was left of their mini retreat.

Jim Lorenz, ministerial director said, “This annual get-together is very important for the pastors. We not only get work done but collaborate and strengthen friendships. It’s as much business as it is therapy. Unfortunately, we had to cut a lot out because of the storm.”

In keeping with the original plan, Craig Heinrich and Leoni staff provided a quality lunch and the camp’s famous cinnamon rolls from the Gracepoint kitchen.

Featured in Northern Lights, January 12, 2023

Served Meal Yields Baptism

Served Meal Yields Baptism 1200 665 Ken Miller

Yreka Church member Ben Woodruff has been involved in ministry for unhoused people in his community. Through his work with area churches and agencies, it was only a matter of time before he got his home church involved.

Ben and the Yreka church members committed to taking one night per week to serve hot meals to the unhoused at a local church. According to Woodruff, “We soon realized that not many of them were coming to the church. To maximize our effectiveness, we started going out to their camps with food. That decision increased serving 2 to 4 meals in a building to serving 30 to 40 in the camps.”

As the collaborative town program ended with the season, the Yreka team didn’t see any lessening of the need. The church board then voted to keep assembling meals at Yreka church and delivering them to the camps.

According to Bob Mason, district pastor, “We called our new group Ministry of Mercy, and as the months turned warm, the number of meals rose to over seventy.”

Mason continued, “Through choosing this act of service, we now know many in the camps by name. We have made our outreach more relevant to the community and God has opened doors. As opportunities arise, the Ministry of Mercy team converses and prays with our new friends. One man has begun coming to church and has requested baptism. Praise God!”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 12, 2023

David Peckham Installed At Stockton Central

David Peckham Installed At Stockton Central 682 516 Ken Miller

November 19-David Peckham was installed as the new senior pastor of the Stockton Central church.

Peckham joins the NCC from Valley Center Church in San Diego County where he has been since 2015. In ministry since 1974, Peckham is known for his friendliness and constant activity.

According to Meleseini Tu’itupou, a Stockton member, “Even before he arrived, he asked us to send out invitations to everybody on our books, attending and not. He wants our members to be proactive, and involved in habits of connecting with our community, both Adventist and not.”

Tu’itupou continued, “I think members have been sparked and drawn into a leadership style of energy and action. This will be great as we serve our neighbors with passionate kindness.”

David and Cheryl, his wife of 48 years have two daughters: Melissa, who is the principal of Hilltop Christian School in Antioch, and Janine, associate pastor at Lodi Fairmont.

Featured in Northern Lights, January 5, 2023

Stockton Central Hits The Streets

Stockton Central Hits The Streets 1200 675 Ken Miller

Stockton Central engages its community with compassion with many community-relevant service projects.

For nine years, the “Homeless Feeding Team” has faithfully provided meals to thousands of unhoused residents in Stockton. Twice a year, they collect food from members and work in partnership with a local food bank. Then on a Sabbath, they feed many grateful people.

Another team in the church operates The “Community Service Ministry”. Once a month, they open the church gates and gym doors to give away supplies to the surrounding community. According to David Salcido, church member, “Depending on the season, weather or holiday, 50-70 customers per day is normal.”

Salcido continued, “You don’t always receive a lot of thanks in this ministry. But, that one special person will thank you from the bottom of their heart because you have filled a real need, and that makes it all worth it.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 5, 2023