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


We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 774 224 Ken Miller

In May we celebrated and honored our 23 Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches, companies, and groups in our territory who speak eleven different languages.

Our Asian Pacific Department works with the following cultural groups: Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, Samoan, Tongan, Japanese and Fijian.

We are also proud to have the only organized Fijian Church in the North American Division.

We wish to recognize our fifteen Asian Pacific pastors who are passionate hard workers and demonstrate a servant’s heart.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 25, 2023

Rosie Sanchez Joins Administrative Staff

Rosie Sanchez Joins Administrative Staff 1877 2326 Ken Miller

Rosie Sanchez recently joined the NCC offices. Sanchez is the new administrative assistant to Jose Marin, executive secretary.

After dedicating several years to family banking at Chase, Rosie found herself on a new and exciting path. Her prayers for a community that shared her deep commitment to Biblical principles and Christian values were answered, leading her toward a more fulfilling personal life. She explains, “I didn’t study the Bible much during my time in another church, but that lack of knowledge made me feel a strong desire to learn more about God.”

To answer her heart’s desire, Emmanuel Escobar, a friend, and member of the Sacramento Spanish Church, began inviting her to Vespers on Friday nights.

There, Sanchez found what she sought. A Bible-based community that she described by saying, “Not only were they friendly, but they engaged and surrounded me with love and care. This is exactly the desire God had put in my heart.”

Rosie was baptized on May 7, 2022. She reflects, “I now profoundly understand that my journey was in God’s hands, which gives me certainty in life. He has given me a church family, a new job serving Him, and assurance of His blessings.”

God had more blessings in store for Rosie. Emmanuel and Rosie’s connection grew stronger, and they will be married on May 28th, 2023.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 18, 2023

Conference Advance Offering- What Does it Mean?

Conference Advance Offering- What Does it Mean? 1200 675 Ken Miller

The name of this offering category is confusing and lacks a definition. To be transparent and good stewards of your gifts, the purpose is to spread the gospel in our territory.

When you give, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the ministries supported can better connect people to an abundant life in Jesus and prepare them for the Second Coming.

Moreover, Conference Advance gives you the opportunity to support various ministries with one gift.

This week’s offering will support the following five ministries:

  1. Leoni Meadows receives 85% to support camp operations.
  2. With its various projects, Urban Ministries (6%) is making a positive impact and connecting people to Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Education (3%) teaches our youngest members and non-members and sets them up to experience abundant life in Jesus.
  4. Our Church Growth and Evangelism Department (3%) is increasing the number of people exposed to the Gospel truth and attracted to our churches and schools.
  5. The Native American Ministry (3%) is busy serving and reaching this unique population with various projects.

You can return your offering by clicking here, or you can give directly at the offering call on Sabbath.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 20, 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

Mark Blue Series Promotes Clarity, Leadership, and Teamwork

Mark Blue Series Promotes Clarity, Leadership, and Teamwork 2000 664 Ken Miller

April 3- Principals, pastors, and members of the respective leadership teams met at Carmichael Church for the Mark Blue Lecture Series.

The annual in-service promotes teamwork and collaboration between churches and schools.

This year’s subject was creating effective leadership teams. Through presentations and breakout sessions, each team learned and practiced how to build trust, create conflict, and manage an effective meeting while staying focused on our purpose.

According to Michelle Piner, registrar at Sacramento Academy, “The seminar had great lessons and training to clarify an issue down to its core and then effectively tackle that issue as an administrative team.”

Diona Wheeler, a teacher at Yreka, stated, “Our Yreka team practices about ninety percent of the methods I saw today, but it was very eye-opening and helpful to see and learn a framework in which we can tackle each issue methodically.”

Steve Brownell, pastor of the Oroville Church, remarked, “The material and system was a great start to building more effective churches and schools. I hope we will continue to be trained, learn and become better stewards in our communities.”

Marc Woodson, president, wrapped up the day by stating, “Everything presented here today we have put into action over the last two years at the conference leadership level. The tools shared today will make your teams more effective. Sometimes there are bumps and bruises on our journey, but this method works. If implemented at your church or school, you will see positive results.”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 6, 2023

Ending Homelessness Initiative

Ending Homelessness Initiative 979 295 Ken Miller

Are you moved by the growing number of unhoused residents on the streets and parks throughout our cities and towns? Do you wish to be part of the solution?

At the 2022 Northern California Conference Constituency Session, we were challenged to be involved in significantly resolving homelessness in our territory.

We recognize that many churches and schools are addressing this humanitarian crisis. Nevertheless, there is more we can do to begin the work of ending homelessness.

To accomplish this overwhelming and seemingly impossible goal, we seek to hire a full-time person to coordinate the Ending Homelessness Initiative for our conference. The successful candidate will have a master’s degree, five years of experience related to homelessness, and demonstrated expertise and interest in this field. They will have established relationships with civic leaders, state and local governments, and community groups. They must show passion and expertise in bringing various groups together and galvanizing them to end homelessness in our church or school communities. Click here to read the full job description and apply.

We also seek an experienced team of volunteers to serve on our Council of Homelessness. The group’s purpose is to oversee the Initiative and support the coordinator. Click here for The Terms of Reference and a formal application.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 6, 2023


THANK YOU 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most critical task anyone could ever do on this earth, and we are all called to do it equally.

We could not be more grateful to all our members who returned $47.6 million in tithe in 2022. These gifts have funded the ministry in Northern and have helped connect people to an abundant life in Jesus and prepare them for His soon return.

In 2022, there were 682 precious souls who gave their lives to the Lord through baptism, and 119 joined through Professions of Faith:

·       11% of these were children 13 and under

·       17% were teens from 14-17

·       10% were young adults 18 to 29

·       25% were Adults 30-59

·       12% were seniors aged 60+

·       25% were unknown

Additionally, in 2017 only 19% of our churches were growing. In 2022, the number of growing churches increased to 39 percent.

Thank you so much for your faithful and compassionate giving!

Featured in Northern Lights, March 16, 2023

NCC Funds Relief For Earthquake Victims

NCC Funds Relief For Earthquake Victims 1912 999 Ken Miller

Serving the international community has always been an essential concern of members and churches of our territory.

The massive earthquakes that struck southern Türkiye and northwestern Syria on February 6 impacted a 310-mile-wide area populated by nearly 14 million people.

Our conference contributed $10,000 to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in response to the extreme humanitarian need. These funds helped distribute food, water, clothing, and essential supplies, sheltered displaced families, and implemented water and sanitation solutions.

Zoltan Sitkei, ADRA country director for Hungary and search and rescue technician/paramedic, stated. “We rescued six people, including two children. It took us 14 hours to save a lady, who was found by our team. It was very difficult to get her out. We worked with the Turkish fire brigade. But finally, we found a solution and got her out,”

Featured in Northern Lights, March 9, 2023

Black History is American History

Black History is American History 1030 1402 Ken Miller

Social Justice and Emancipation is the title of the black history month study guide. It came about as a project envisioned by Drs. Calvin B. Rock and Mervyn A. Warren. It was written for churches and schools that want to study what the Word of God says about Emancipation.

Multiple authors, such as Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S Senate, provide lesson studies that inform and inspire on subjects such as the context of Old Testament enslavement, the interaction of Biblical nations of African heritage, and how God’s power, grace, and redemption plan permeate the lives of diverse cultures time and again.

Progressively the study guide showcases peoples, nations, and heroes of the Bible who were of African and middle eastern descent and gives proof and hope that the people of God are intended to be of one body and one mission.

Marc Woodson, NCC president, and contributing author said, “This is the second guide on social justice. I felt it a privilege and honor to be a contributor. It is essential to tell the story of black history, which is American history.”

In its second year as a guide, Woodson has been invited to present the lesson he authored via Zoom to the Lake Region Conference, South Atlantic Conference, Allegheny East Conference, and the Bermuda Conference.

Locally, Sacramento Academy offered it as a lunchtime bible study guided by Carmichael associate pastor Benji Ferguson. He stated, “As a pastor, I’m so impressed with the scholarship and content of the study guide. I am seeing things from angles I should have noticed before and enjoying the scope of scripture for my students.”

Featured in Northern Lights, February 23, 2023