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

Womens Ministry

Mulching Mission Movement

Mulching Mission Movement 2000 1125 Ken Miller

October 10- It was all hands on deck as the NCC administration offices locked the doors and workers descended on Maidu Park in Roseville for the annual community service day.

In 2022, workers spread sixty yards of forest mulch at another Roseville park. This year, 300 yards were piled around the new location. The contrast in job size raised a few eyebrows. Albert Miller, NCC superintendent of schools and project coordinator, looked across the park at the piles and drily stated, “Well, it ain’t gonna get done by itself.”

While the mulch group shoveled and raked the piles methodically, smaller teams painted perimeter gates bright yellow and refreshed red curb paint along driveways. Four baseball equipment shacks were painted grey and blue. By the end of the workday, finished painters joined in the mulch movement, and the team completed all the jobs.

Brian Casteluccio, Roseville Parks, Recreation and Libraries Superintendent, wrote, “I want to send a huge kudos to your team. They did a great job! It was a very successful volunteer event. Your work is greatly appreciated by the City of Roseville and the community.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 26, 2023

Catrina LeSure Ordained

Catrina LeSure Ordained 1983 1197 Ken Miller

September 23, Catrina LeSure was ordained at the Palo Cedro Church.

Her father gushed in his introduction, “Catrina has loved the Lord from a very young age. With that came a desire to serve others. As a result, she graduated from Andrews University with a degree in Education.”

Her first job out of college was a junior-high teaching position, and while she loved the kids and being their teacher, it fueled a desire to go deeper. She returned to Andrews, studied for the ministry, and pursued service as a pastor.

After entering ministry in Idaho, she answered the call to the Palo Cedro church, where she is currently the youth pastor.

Marc Woodson, NCC president, praised, “We are very proud of Catrina today; she has served the Lord well and served with courage, and we are glad she is a part of the NCC.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 5, 2023

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

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

Bernadette Johnson Retires

Bernadette Johnson Retires 384 504 Ken Miller

June 30- Bernadette Johnson retired from the NCC administration office after 19 years of service.

Johnson joined the NCC in 2004 as a clerk for Golden Gate Academy, where she was a substitute teacher and, eventually, treasurer. In 2007 she moved to the NCC administration offices in Pleasant Hill, where she became the administrative assistant for the ministerial department.

According to Jim Lorenz, ministerial director, “Bernadette knew how churches work, making her an outstanding advocate for pastors. She supported many pastors and churches in their day-to-day operations, and her insightful knowledge, dedication, and humor will be greatly missed.”

Johnson was known to be one step ahead of events throughout the territory, from pastor installations and group convocations to dedications and evangelistic series. Jennifer Kendrick, executive administrative assistant, stated, “I will miss her presence and associated laughter in the office. She was so fun to plan events with and would regularly know all the event’s particulars and have them half-planned in advance!”

Also respected as a spiritual mentor, Yolanda Frazier, administrative assistant to the African American ministries coordinator, said about Johnson, “When I started at the NCC, she took me under her wing and guided me to significant spiritual growth. I will truly miss her and am happy for her next mission with her family.”

Marc Woodson, NCC president, said, “Bernadette truly epitomizes our core values. She has a servant’s heart and is a passionate, hard worker. She always looks to help others, lending a helping hand wherever needed. She will be sorely missed.”

Bernadette and her husband, Willy, call Crowley, Texas, their home. They will enjoy their retirement close to their children and grandchildren.

Featured in Northern Lights, June 15, 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

Women’s Ministries Active After COVID

Women’s Ministries Active After COVID 1200 675 nccsadmin

Various NCC Women’s Ministry leaders engaged their call to ministry by putting 1 Thessalonians 5:11 into practice: “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”

According to Angela Fusilier, director of women’s ministries, this appeal in Thessalonians has been the forefront message in several recent events:

The Encuentro de Mujeres Cristianas at Golden Gate Academy. Through inspiring stories and seminars over three-hundred ladies connected and learned about resilience, and rebuilding their faith and life, trusting in God, regardless of vexing life events.

The Southgate Church Women’s Spiritual Retreat encouraged the fellowship of women from the Sacramento area churches. One attendee explained, “Through fellowship and prayer, I regained a sense of hope for the future.”

The Granite Bay Women’s ministry team sent birthday acknowledgments and hosted baby showers for the local church body.

This type of engagement has united the women along with continual prayer. Fusilier concluded, “Our Women’s Ministry events provided opportunities to study God’s Word and to support each other.”

Featured in Northern Lights • May 12, 2022

Women’s Ministries Coordinator Angela Fusilier

Women’s Ministries Coordinator Angela Fusilier 504 384 Julie Lorenz

Angela Fusilier is the new women’s ministries coordinator for the Northern California Conference.  A Sacramento Capitol City church member, she has been active in ministry for decades.
“We are very happy Angela has joined our NCC team,” said President Marc Woodson. “She has a real calling for ministry to women, and I know her leadership will be much appreciated.”
A native of Ohio, Fusilier served as  lifestyle facilitator in the medical missionary work at the New Life Health Institute of Ashtabula, Ohio, before moving to California to serve as lifestyle facilitator at Weimar Health Institute. She earned her Master of Social Work from California State University, Sacramento, and currently serves as a social worker for Sacramento County.
Fusilier was one of the founders of the Rites of Passage Youth Program, Young Ladies’ and Men’s Ministry, at the Capitol City church. She was recently the enditnow (abuse prevention) representative for NCC women’s ministries. “I want to create and provide safe spaces for women within the church culture,” she said.
As she begins her new role, one of her goals is to foster ministry to women at the local level. “I want to focus on mining the resources in our various churches and communities,” she said. “There is a component for women’s ministries in every church—even if it’s not formally developed.”
Fusilier has a passion for communicating the gospel. “I delight to share with others the abundant grace God has generously poured into my life,” she said. “I have overcome multiple challenges of addiction, abuse, despair, and depression, but I have personally witnessed the deliverance by an almighty God, who has redirected my life to a greater path.”
She is eager to get started in her new position. “I look forward to working with the NCC Women’s Ministries Advisory Council, including my assistant coordinator Janice Nelson,” she said.
Health and fitness are important to Fusilier, an avid downhill skier who also loves water sports.  She has been married for 22 years to Erick Fusilier, an elder at the Capitol City church.
Her life verse is Hebrews 2:11: “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (NIV).“This is such a life-giving statement,” Fusilier said. “The God of the universe is not ashamed to call me His family—His sister. It has become my desire to motivate and empower others to walk in the fullness of life provided by the Savior of all, Christ the Lord!”