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

Prayer Ministry

The Power of Prayer Ministry

The Power of Prayer Ministry 1907 995 Ken Miller

The NCC Prayer Ministries team recently held their annual prayer retreat at Leoni Meadows, which attracted over 120 attendees.

Esme Ross, the ministry director, expressed her satisfaction with the turnout and highlighted the impact of the event, particularly the blessing brought by speaker Melody Mason.

Reflecting on the retreat, Vince Saunders, pastor of The Haven, remarked on the abundance of insights shared regarding various forms of prayer—corporate, personal, and intercessory. He noted that the experience left everyone feeling more deeply connected to God.

Ross concluded, “Overall, the retreat was a spiritually enriching and transformative experience for all who participated.”

Featured in Northern Lights, March 28, 2024

Prayer Rally at Capitol Draws Appreciation

Prayer Rally at Capitol Draws Appreciation 2000 1125 Ken Miller

September 10- The NCC Women’s Ministry department sponsored a women’s prayer rally at the State Capitol Rose Garden.

Angela Fusilier, women’s ministries coordinator, reported, “We prayed, worshiped, sang, conversed, and praised the Lord in harmonious spirit. But the Lord had even more in store for us.” One attendee, Yvette, wrote on the ministry’s Facebook page after the event, “The speaker, Lisa Marsh, was amazing, the ministries were inspiring, the vegetarian food was delicious, and my table mates even offered me flowers! God knew that I needed to hear every word that was spoken that day! Praise Him!”

Gwiin Correa, Southgate church member, reported that a gentleman from Norway who had flown to Sacramento for a concert he ultimately missed stumbled upon the Sunday morning gathering while exploring Capitol Park. Drawn in by the music, he joined the prayer event and stayed for the entire luncheon. Touched by the experience, he shared, “I plan to find a Seventh-Day Adventist church when I return to Norway.”

A women’s ministry member, Niki Eby, exclaimed, “Wow, my heart is full! The vision of this event and the passion of the attendees came together beautifully! The morning prayer event was amazing. So many people were blessed with overflowing goodness!”

Fusilier explained, “We met in prayer to ask God into our lives, families, community, and government. The power of the Holy Spirit blessed the people who came, and many surprises that can only be attributed to His work were witnessed. We continue to connect and minister to the friends we made there.”

Featured in Northern Lights, September 28, 2023

Racing Through Childhood

Racing Through Childhood 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The first time I laid eyes on little Nova, she was bolting from her kindergarten classroom, left arm adorned in a fresh pink cast, running like her chariot was on fire.

Her teacher had instructed me to prohibit any running. She flew past us, gaining speed, hurling herself over the three-foot retaining wall that separates the elementary school playground from the soccer field… And she just kept going. I thought to myself, “I like this kid already.”

My bond with her grew over the next five years until I became an auxiliary grandmother to her rambunctious family. They were not part of our SDA church, but occasionally, Nova attended church with us.

One summer, I invited them to my favorite place on Earth, Redwood Camp meeting. The casual, hundred-acre-wood style would be a comfortable introduction to worshipping our great God. Nova, her younger brother River, and their mother relished the cool, oxygen-rich air filtered by thousand-year-old Redwood trees. At Redwood, running is encouraged between the Christ-centered children’s programs.

During the invigorating morning classes, River learned about creation. He would find me in the Redwood office later and, with his newfound knowledge, quiz me on who made the giant trees and the sun and tigers and monster trucks and the mountains. I fielded question after question about where God lives, why we can’t see him, and how we talk to Him.

One afternoon, River returned to the question of who God is, paused, and then blurted out, “Oh! I met God yesterday!” I answered, “That’s so cool!” River continued, “You showed him to me in your office! His name is Ed!”, My amusement was growing, and I responded, “Who?” River squealed, “You remember? I asked if he was God… that guy named Ed. I think he is God because he was so nice!”

Ed just happened to be Ed Fargusson, assistant to the president of the NCC. Indeed, a lovely man who interacted with River that day he exploded into the office. But to no avail, no matter how many times I tell River that Ed is kind but not God, River continues to address God as Ed.

Halfway home from Campmeeting, the children’s mom called to ask if it was too late to enroll them in our local Adventist school. She stated, “I want my kids in a wholesome environment with kids like the friends they’ve made at Redwood Campmeeting.”

In the end, River, Nova, and even Nova’s best friend all started school on August 16th at our local SDA school.

Inviting our community to experience uplifting events like campmeeting, a potluck, or a school program can have resounding results both here and in Heaven. I am so grateful for our Adventist culture, exemplifying the love of God, commitment to family, and for connecting people to an abundant life in Jesus.

Featured in Northern Lights, September 14, 2023

Pitch It and They Will Come

Pitch It and They Will Come 2000 1125 Ken Miller

2,300. That is correct. Two thousand three hundred visitors recently made the pilgrimage to Pleasant Hill church to experience a life-sized replica of the Mosaic temple.

People of all ages were treated to a life-size re-creation of Israel’s wilderness temple, complete with an outer court, altar, tent, temple furniture, and a replica of the Ark of the Covenant in the most holy place. Mitch Williams, pastor, explained, “Our goal was to have an attractive and thought-provoking event to create tangible leads for our ministry teams. We were very proactive with our invitations, heavily relying on social media, where we filmed and posted videos promoting the attraction. We even sent personal invitations to other churches and synagogues within a thirty-mile radius; we cast a big net.”

Visitors remarked that it was beautiful to see the actual size and scope of the Tabernacle.

Many guests returned comment cards requesting more information about the church’s ministries including, personal finance classes, Bible studies, cooking classes. Church members are calling each person interested in learning more about an abundant life in Jesus. Williams was very excited that a new student would be attending Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy because of this event.

Williams concluded, “This event was epic for gaining traction in such a busy community. We are so pleased with how many people were on our church grounds and the interactions we were able to have with them. God magnified the social media success and invitations and blessed our event. Now the real discipleship work begins.”

Featured in Northern Lights, August 24, 2023

Living With Cancer Creates A Mission

Living With Cancer Creates A Mission 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Pam Ramsey, a Roseville church member, shares her journey:

“In October of 2014, I went for my yearly mammogram. A few days later, I got a call from my doctor saying I had breast cancer. I had just retired from teaching a year before and was enjoying a good life with my children and grandchildren. It was a tough blow, and I was angry with God for letting this happen. If this meant that my life was ending, I would accept that. But this end was not what God had in store for me. Instead, He blessed me tremendously, opening a mission door to help others.”

Pam Ramsey is fulfilling acts of service with the Cancer, Care, and Compassion group. This team meets twice a month to evaluate how they can serve cancer patients more effectively. One of their projects is making care packages for cancer patients.

Ramsey stated, “We started making blankets and giving to friends and family battling cancer. But we wanted to do more. The team and I decided to make blessing bags filled with inspirational and comforting gifts. We took them to the infusion center in Auburn and another center in Roseville.”

The web of recipients has continued to grow through the group’s efforts. Through a chance meeting with a store manager who was wearing a cancer ribbon for his mother-in-law, to a cancer nurse navigator from Sutter who was thrilled to take 24 “blessing bags” for their children’s cancer center.

David Resendes, pastor, stated, “The group has received a stack of thank you letters for the bags they have given. This has become a very rewarding mission helping many different people. Jesus said that when we help others, we help Him. That is the goal of the Cancer, Care, and Compassion ministry. As Hebrews 6:10 states, ‘God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.’”

Featured in Northern Lights, August 10, 2023

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Part of the NCC’s path to organizational health is to effectively inform, educate, and tell the stories of our churches, schools, and ministries. To do this, a new website was launched in 2020.

The COVID pandemic was a catalyst that accelerated the need for online methods for staying current with news and events. The NCC website was no exception, and its professional look, functionality, and information were revamped with a new look.

Subsequently, the site was entered into the 2022 American Advertising Awards competition, winning an impressive Silver Award. Terrill Thomas, web designer and president of T13 Media, said of the project and award, “It was gratifying to see Christian content, graphics, and web design be recognized for excellence by a secular professional organization.”

The website is constantly updated with important conference information, including employment opportunities, education scholarships, events, and news.

Most recently, the communication and development department has posted an incredible help guide for creating a culture of stewardship in your church. You can visit the website here.

Featured in Northern Lights, July 6, 2023

Burned Out?

Burned Out? 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Hope springs anew at Leoni Meadows!

Amid guests using the facilities for various retreats, the staff and contractors have been tirelessly working to move forward on recovery.

The barn has been completed, the new wilderness camp area is being prepared, the new pool footprint has been dug, and the land where the new multipurpose building (formally crafts building) has been cleared. Craftsmen will work throughout the spring to rebuild this essential structure. Most recently, after clear-cutting dead/dangerous trees, hundreds of thousands of baby trees have been planted all over the property.

Although Leoni was “burned out,” new springs are flowing where there was never water before, partly due to the overabundance of snow, but also just part of the natural recovery process. The recovery process at Leoni Meadows is a physical reminder of God’s promise in Isiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose water does not fail.” (NKJV)

When you feel “burned out” and need a break – visit Leoni and let the “…God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

Featured in Northern Lights, April 20, 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

Prayer Ministry Retreat

Prayer Ministry Retreat 1912 999 Ken Miller

10 Days of Prayer 2021

10 Days of Prayer 2021 1200 900 Julie Lorenz
During the worldwide Adventist Church’s 10 Days of Prayer, Jan. 6-16, people throughout the NCC gathered together online for a one-hour meeting every evening. Each service featured a short sermon, music, and a time of prayer with prayer coordinator Esmé Ross (left) and prayer team members, including Roseville church member Lanni Aasen (right).  “We believe that God, through His Holy Spirit, is bringing revival in the hearts of many people who will give testimony of the good news, preparing people for the soon return of Jesus,” said Executive Secretary Jose Marin.