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


Orangevale Junior High’s Impactful Week of Prayer

Orangevale Junior High’s Impactful Week of Prayer 2000 1125 Ken Miller

By Lian Funada

In a remarkable display of faith and leadership, the Orangevale Adventist School Junior High students recently took on specific roles in their spiritual journey. They led a week of prayer that left a lasting impact on their school community. From managing AV equipment to delivering inspiring worship messages, these young individuals demonstrated remarkable maturity and dedication.

Their increased interest in Bible study resulted in 10 baptisms. Today, 60 out of 105 students actively participate in optional weekly Bible study and baptismal classes, led by students.

Reflecting on her experience, 8th-grade student Sammie Chaplin shared, “I liked talking to the kids and praying with them,” highlighting the meaningful connections made during the week of prayer. A 7th-grade student, Bela Stay, added, “It was fun!”

The week’s impact extended far beyond the event itself. It served as a testament to the power of young people to lead and inspire others. Through their actions, these students strengthened their faith and served as beacons of light for their peers.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 16, 2024

Chicken or Egg? How About Both?

Chicken or Egg? How About Both? 2029 1125 Ken Miller

This year, Foothills Elementary Kindergarten through 2nd grade students had the opportunity to witness something unique: Chicks hatching! Thanks to a generous donation of chickens, the school decided to take full advantage of the situation and lead a deep dive into chicken development stages and the identification of the breeds that they received.

Tammy Priest, the teacher responsible for the project, was thrilled with the results. With their teachers’ guidance and supervision, the students could watch as seventeen new chicks hatched and grew right before their eyes. The students fed the chicks, ensured they received the proper nutrients and kept them safe and comfortable in their classrooms.

Through this unique and hands-on experience, the students gained a newfound appreciation for the wonder of nature and the miracle of life. They witnessed these tiny creatures’ growth stages firsthand and developed observation, record-keeping, and teamwork skills.

Priest concluded, “Overall, this project was a huge success and a wonderful learning opportunity for the students and the teachers involved. It shows that sometimes the best learning experiences are the most unexpected.”

Featured in Northern Lights, May 9, 2024

Lauren Heinrich Joins Education Department

Lauren Heinrich Joins Education Department 2146 2658 Ken Miller

Lauren Heinrich recently joined the NCC as the School Mental Health Clinician. She will spearhead this new counseling program to enhance mental health among NCC students.

A graduate of Loma Linda University earning a Master of Arts, Associate Marriage and Family Therapy degree, Heinrich is enthusiastic about her role, stating, “As a therapist, my goal is to be a person who can genuinely invest in others. Therapy provides a safe space to share your story, create goals, and receive direction for a positive outcome. I am very excited to participate in this student service.”

Growing up at Leoni Meadows and working with children helped guide her career path. Substitute teaching at Chico and Paradise schools after the Camp Fire and being around the Abba’s Children grief camp at Leoni further honed her desire for a career with youth.

Albert Miller, Education Superintendent, stated, “Lauren’s passion for young people and her services will be integral to providing positive mental health counseling for our students. We are excited about the program and her contribution to it.”

Heinrich’s duties will extend beyond the academic year. She will also serve as the Assistant Summer Camp Director at Leoni Meadows during school breaks, her childhood home.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 4, 2024
#nccsda #adventisteducation

Student Mental Health a Priority

Student Mental Health a Priority 4973 3385 Ken Miller

The NCC Education Department has recently launched a student mental health initiative that aims to provide access to professional counseling services within the NCC school community. Albert Miller, Education Superintendent, expressed, “We are very excited that we will be able to offer a mental health component to the students in our school system.

The focus of this initiative is to provide students with access to a certified counselor at no cost who can offer proactive support. This will positively impact the well-being of at-risk students, creating a healthier learning environment.

The initiative has several key features, including the identification of students who may benefit from counseling. Teachers and principals will play a vital role in this process, ensuring that students in need are recognized and supported. Parental involvement is also integral to the program. Once a student is identified, parents will be engaged to discuss and approve the commencement of counseling.

The counseling program involves a structured 10-week course of treatment, with each student participating in weekly counseling sessions lasting 30 to 45 minutes. These sessions will be a combination of in-person meetings and video conferencing, providing flexibility and accessibility. The program is designed to cater to 25-30 weekly clients, ensuring quality support for many students.

Miller concluded, “I believe that the Northern California Conference is the second conference in the NAD to offer this service. I am excited because this program will greatly benefit our students and parents and contribute to the overall mission of our schools.”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 18, 2024
#nccsda #adventisteducation

Bicycling in the Buttes

Bicycling in the Buttes 2000 1125 Ken Miller

The annual Pathfinder Bike-a-Thon got rolling on April 7 beneath the almost-towering Sutter Butte Mountain range near Yuba City.

Exquisite weather greeted over 500 energetic and motivated riders, leaders, and parents. The giddy peloton careened by roadside support tents, trailers, lawn chairs, and delicious food offerings. The range of delectables included donuts, pupusas, corn dogs, and many other tasty treats available to the participants. Proceeds from each booth help support each club’s expenses throughout the year.

Eddie Heinrich, Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director, stated, “This year’s event was nearly back to pre-pandemic size. I am so excited for our Pathfinders and their cycling achievements. Two hundred fifty-eight riders circled the idyllic course for a total of 7,210 miles, close to previous records!”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 18, 2024

Young Women Organize to Serve

Young Women Organize to Serve 1895 981 Ken Miller

Recently, the Young Women’s Ministry gained a new and passionate organizer, Sophia Suisala, a member of the Antioch Church.

Suisala stated, “This ministry for young women, ages 17-25, has languished since the pandemic. But recently, our core group has been meeting in person and online to outline our goals and move forward. I am very excited!” It was in these small meetings that the team developed a mission statement to “Love God, Love Yourself, and Serve Others.”

Suisala continued, “Our team is dedicated to creating an atmosphere of inclusivity for all young women while still being authentic to who they are as individuals.” The team is working collaboratively to create a newsletter that champions the contributions of young ladies in creative ministries, serving others, social activism, and entrepreneurial pursuits.

The core group has committed to visiting churches throughout the NCC to grow the ministry and help young women organize and serve their community together.

Featured in Northern Lights, March 14, 2024

33 Schools and a Million Success Stories

33 Schools and a Million Success Stories 1921 1007 Ken Miller

Northern California Conference (NCC) schools, totaling 33 institutions and catering each year to an average of 2,300 students over the past three years, exhibit diverse approaches to meet their communities’ multifaceted needs.

In cultural enrichment, schools like Paradise Academy, Pine Hills, and Orangevale shine in their pursuit of theater and visual arts, garnering recognition in local media outlets. Meanwhile, institutions such as Rio Lindo, Sacramento, and PUC Preparatory excel in athletics, showcasing the distinctiveness of Adventist athletes.

Paradise Elementary, Redwood Academy, and Napa champion innovative educational experiences, pioneering outdoor education initiatives that illustrate the value of holistic learning. The spirit of evangelism thrives across campuses like El Dorado, Pleasant Hill, and Lodi Academy and at elementary schools, where a collective effort has led to many student baptisms.

In schools like Ukiah, Yreka, Crescent City, Middletown, Red Bluff (ACES), Yuba City, Bayside, and Hilltop, there is a high percentage of non-SDA or unchurched children, which highlights a commitment to embracing diversity in the entire community.

The commitment to providing dynamic and creative learning environments remains unwavering in schools like Echo Ridge, Chico Oaks, Redding Academy, Tracy, Galt, Westlake, Clearlake, Vacaville, and PUC Elementary. This dedication is mirrored across small rural schools like Feather River, Foothills, and Fortuna, demonstrating a shared commitment to educational excellence.

Featured in Northern Lights, March 14, 2024

Good Things Come in Sevens

Good Things Come in Sevens 5184 3456 Ken Miller

Recently, Pleasant Hill Academy had an impactful fall week of prayer.

Placerville Church Associate Pastor Leif Cano spent the week with students, sharing a themed message of God’s acceptance. The daily messages resonated with seven students who committed to be baptized.

Jea, one of the seven, retold her experience, “During the week, I hadn’t considered being baptized, but as the sermons continued, I began praying, asking the Lord to talk to me. And he did. I was on the edge of my seat, not knowing what to do when pastor Cano called for baptism.”

The Holy Spirit was urging Jea to join the six others already standing. Yet she could not bring herself to do so. Cano looked out at the six standing students and exclaimed, “There is a seventh person who wishes to be baptized today.” Hearing this, Jea’s tears began to flow because, as she exclaimed, “I knew I was the seventh person.”

Before Christmas break, two students were baptized at the Vallejo Central Church and two at Pleasant Hill Church. The other three have scheduled their dates for the New Year.

A proud and grateful parent commented, “We praise God for the decisions these seven made and the role that our schools play in the salvation of young people.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 4, 2023

Pathfinders Find Leoni Fantastic!

Pathfinders Find Leoni Fantastic! 2000 1125 Ken Miller

October 6 – Pathfinders from our territory met at Leoni Meadows for their annual Camporee.

Over 600 campers from 35 clubs arrived for a weekend of spiritual renewal, fun activities, and work. Services were full of singing and praying, and the theme of the weekend, Live Love Now, was masterfully presented by Rudy Alvir, youth and young adult director of the Nevada-Utah Conference.

The Pathfinders marched in a parade with colorful banners and flags from around the world. In breakout sessions, many worked on new honors that included CPR, geology, and first aid. Other groups worked on camp renewal projects, including moving limbs into burn piles, spreading bark in the church bowl, and preparing old fence posts for future use. One of the highlights was when Pathfinders explored new camping areas that will be used annually for this and other events.

Eddie Heinrich, NCC youth and young adult director, stated, “We owe a big thank you to all the Pathfinders and their leaders that came and received a spiritual blessing and helped prepare Leoni Meadow as the future home of this event.”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 19, 2023

Pets and Products Pull Eager Locals to Lodi Campus

Pets and Products Pull Eager Locals to Lodi Campus 2000 1125 Ken Miller

For 78 years, the Lodi Elementary Pet and Hobby Fair has drawn community members to a Sunday of furry fun and shopping.

Students and visitors flooded the campus, checking out the farm craft store, playing games, and enjoying delicious food. A petting zoo provided giggling children with a lot of fuzzy fun. First responders and other community service organizations shared information from each of their pavilions.

Lisa Nuss, Lodi Elementary principal, explained, “This event offers the school many fundraising opportunities that directly benefit the kids. It also provides fellowship and fun between our school and our community.”

Karen Kanas, parent, and board member, stated, “This yearly event is a highlight for current students, families, and those who return year after year to relive the fun!”

Featured in Northern Lights, October 19, 2023