On Sabbath afternoon, Sept. 18, the NCC formally organized the Sacramento Ukrainian church—the only official Ukrainian congregation in the Pacific Union. The service took place in the congregation’s rented church sanctuary in Fair Oaks.
The joyful program included music from children’s and young people’s choirs, as well as a sermon by President Marc Woodson. The congregation presented the conference with a beautiful illustrative carving of Psalm 23, created by Ivan Noshyn, church elder.
“The members are very happy! It’s a big step in their lives—a miracle for a lot of Ukrainian people here,” said Roman Tsyganiuk, senior pastor of the Sacramento Slavic/Sacramento Ukrainian district. He serves with Andriy Mykhaylovskyy, associate pastor of the Ukrainian church and youth pastor of the Slavic church.
The new church has its roots in the Sacramento Yugoslavian church, where a number of Russians and Ukrainians worshipped together several decades ago. The Yugoslavian church established the Sacramento Slavic company as a “daughter” congregation, which became its own church in 2004. Later, the Slavic church created a “daughter” congregation of its own. The new Ukrainian group, with 116 members, held its first service in October 2018. They were organized as a company a few months later in January 2019.
About 100,000 Ukrainians live in the Sacramento metro area, and church members are eager to reach out to them. The new church has active ministries for children, youth, families, and health, as well as a vibrant media ministry. The congregation is making plans to eventually purchase a church facility of their own.
“Please pray for this church and for the pastors,” said Tsyganiuk. “We believe that this church will grow and be a blessing.”
In-person evangelism has been difficult during the pandemic, but outreach meetings are still going on, and church members are eager to get involved! “It’s important that the mission God gave us doesn’t stop because of COVID,” said Roseville church Pastor David Resendes. “People still need Jesus—especially now!”
In October, President Marc Woodson held an in-person and live-streamed Bible seminar titled “What on Earth Am I Doing Here?” at the Roseville church. “I enjoyed Dr. Woodson’s message, the fellowship with the members, and praying with people,” said Kathy Kordenbrock, worship coordinator.
Volunteers helped with registration, parking lot security, sound, and more. “It takes a team to put on an evangelistic series,” said David Gainer, a member of the audio/visual crew.
Executive Secretary Jose Marin has presented several seminars this year, including “Revelations of Hope,” a series of meetings held in the Pleasant Hill church courtyard in April.
Volunteers helped with everything from live-streaming to childcare. “The event was one of the first we had as we were breaking out of the pandemic lockdown,” said Senior Pastor Mitch Williams. “It gave our members the opportunity to do ministry and use their gifts.”
The NCC office team spent Monday, Oct. 18, working on service projects at nearby churches and schools, including the Carmichael church, the Lincoln Amazing Grace church, the Orangevale church and school, the Roseville church, and Sacramento Adventist Academy. The team completed a wide variety of projects, including yard work, office tasks, washing, painting, building, and helping at a food pantry.
Allan Willmott, associate treasurer, built grow boxes at Orangevale SDA school. “What impressed me the most was how much the school appreciated our help,” he said. “I was also impressed with the staff—their friendliness and how much they enjoyed ministering to the children.”
Jeffrey Maxwell, risk management director/associate treasurer, did yard work at the Carmichael church. “Most of the time, we are at the office and don’t get to see the faces and physically rub elbows with our people on the front lines, and I very much enjoyed doing this,” he said.
Yolanda Frazier, administrative assistant in multiple NCC departments, helped with the Lincoln Amazing Grace church’s food giveaway program. “The Community Services team and volunteers were great to work alongside,” she said. “We were able to help load four vehicles with good food items for the community. We were all blessed by the experience and appreciated the opportunity.”