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


Thoughts On Christmas And Unity

Thoughts On Christmas And Unity 911 607 Ken Miller

“The Christmas Mission” During the Christmas season, I am on a mission to decorate the whole house, send Christmas cards, and prepare a gift list by the first Monday in December. I must admit that sometimes I fail because things don’t always go as planned. However, upon further reflection, all this preparation seems insignificant compared to God’s mission.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we recognize that Christmas is about God’s mission to save and redeem those who are lost. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

In the small town of Bethlehem, a special baby was born destined to save people from eternal death and loss. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Jesus, as he matured into adulthood, never wavered from the mission of saving everyone who believes. He was focused, determined, and committed to saving those who were lost. He was resolute in His mission to redeem humanity.

Jesus is our example! Just like Him, we should be as focused and enthusiastic about our mission. What is our mission? It is the one Jesus gave to the disciples before leaving earth—to go and make disciples. It’s that simple. We have the privilege of partnering with the Divine to connect women, men, girls, and boys to Jesus for life transformation and eternal salvation.

One of the beautiful aspects of this mission is how it unites all of us. Though we may come from different backgrounds or have diverse perspectives, we can be aligned by the mission, which is why our theme for this current quinquennium is “One Body, One Mission.”

As one church body, we can unite to carry out God’s purpose within the Northern California Conference territory of more than eight million people. We are commissioned to reach each one with the good news of hope and wholeness.

So, this Christmas, let’s be on a mission to reach our family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s look for opportunities to share the love of Jesus. It may mean going out of our way or our comfort zone. Either way, it will reflect the same spirit Jesus had when He became flesh and dwelt among us. That is the Christmas mission.

Marc K. Woodson, President
Merry Christmas!

Featured in Northern Lights, December 22, 2022

A Call To Sore Arms… And Backs

A Call To Sore Arms… And Backs 2000 1125 Ken Miller

November 14- was the conference office’s quarterly community service day.

Most of the office staff, directors, and leadership met at Mahany Park in Roseville to help revitalize and beautify the park. The day had three main jobs: painting two equipment sheds, planting approximately twenty-five shrubs and flowers, and spreading 130 cubic yards of forest mulch in the flower beds.

According to Ken Miller site director, and assistant to the director of communication and development, “A 130-yard pile of mulch is equivalent to a full-sized Greyhound bus!”

Workers shoveled the ground cover into two-wheeled garden carts and moved material to flower beds around the two-acre parking lot.

By 2:30 pm, all the flowers were in the ground, the painting was done, and the mulch was distributed. Marc Woodson, president exclaimed, “I am so proud of our conference staff and their hard work today. They exhibited our core values of passionate hard work and a servant’s heart, and I saw many acts of kindness. Many hands indeed make light work.”

Denise Brummund, accountant clerk said, “I was so amazed at how much fun we had with each other and the amount of work we accomplished.”

Brian Castelluccio, Roseville Parks, Recreation & Libraries Superintendent wrote, “Your team jumped right in and I was blown away by how efficient they were. Mahany Regional Park looks refreshed, and we are already receiving great compliments. You have a great group of people working there.”

Featured in Northern Lights November 17, 2022

Kevin Robert Is New Church Growth and Evangelism Director

Kevin Robert Is New Church Growth and Evangelism Director 720 540 Julie Lorenz
On Dec. 1, 2021, the Northern California Conference Executive Committee voted to invite Kevin Robert to serve as NCC church growth and evangelism director. He plans to begin his new role in January.
“We feel blessed to welcome Kevin to the NCC,” said President Marc Woodson. “God has certainly answered our prayers because Kevin’s skillset, passion, and experience match our conference’s needs!”
A pastor and church planter, Robert comes from the Southern New England Conference, where he has served the Merrimack Valley and Billerica churches since 2017. During the last few years, he planted One Connection Academy and One Connection Community church—both in Wakefield, Mass.
Robert is also a facilitator and coordinator for the North American Division Evangelism Institute’s ACTS Church Planting Support System. He is currently coaching church planters in Massachusetts, Florida, the Philippines, Albania, and Mozambique.
His passion is growing missional communities—modeled by the New Testament church—to reach people for Christ. “In a missional community, the believers eat together, study together, go on missions together,” he said. “The whole group has a desire to change the community where they live for the gospel.”
The high school he planted was an intentional part of this type of evangelism. “We planted a core missional community team to use the school as a center of influence,” he said.
Robert didn’t always plan to be a pastor. A native of Massachusetts, he graduated from Atlantic Union College with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He spent a number of years as a sleep lab manager before answering the Lord’s calling to the ministry.
As a young married couple, he and his wife, Tanya, were part of a church plant in Massachusetts, where Robert got involved in preaching and evangelism. With his wife’s encouragement, he began working on a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, which he finished in 2016. In the midst of his studies, he was called to the Pennsylvania Conference, where he served in a four-church district until called back to Massachusetts. He was ordained in 2019.
The Robert family will soon be moving to Angwin, where Tanya will teach nursing at Pacific Union College. The couple has three daughters: Gianna, a college freshman; Carmela, a high school freshman; and Analia, a third grader.
Robert is excited to join the NCC team. “I’m looking forward to working with all the pastors and administrators, collaborating together, letting creativity flow,” he said. “We want to focus on multiplication, rather than addition—growing disciples that make disciples and churches that plant churches.”

Sacramento Ukrainian Church Organization

Sacramento Ukrainian Church Organization 720 360 Julie Lorenz

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.”

Helping Churches Unite in Their Mission

Helping Churches Unite in Their Mission 432 324 Julie Lorenz

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.”


NCC Office Team Serves Our Church and School Community

NCC Office Team Serves Our Church and School Community 1280 960 Julie Lorenz

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.”