Hollywood SDA Church: Where God's Spirit Continues to Change Lives

(The following article was contributed by Cher Blue and Mireya Chaffee, who are co-coordinators for Adventist Peace Fellowship initiatives at the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church in Los Angeles.  Hollywood SDA is one of five Adventist congregations that have passed official motions to become certified Adventist Peace Churches.)

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The Hollywood Adventist Church is located in the heart of Hollywood. We take our urban context seriously and actively seek to discover what our role is in our community. We believe that God loves the city and therefore invites us to love the city on God’s behalf. We also love our city by simply being involved in its life, eating in local restaurants, shopping in local stores, listening to and being in relationship with our neighbors, and participating in community and civic life.

At Hollywood Adventist Church where our unspoken creed is, “Where God’s Spirit is given space to change lives,” we are committed to the ongoing work of making that space fully inclusive.

We accept that God’s love is broader and deeper than we can fathom. Fellowship and membership in His church should, likewise, be open and generous. The redemptive power of Christ’s love extends to everyone regardless of age, race, class or sexual identity. All are welcome in our church.

We embrace the challenge of being a diverse community, which encourages dialogue and welcomes questions, as we continue to identify the ways God is at work in all of our lives. We believe this will ultimately enrich us and transform us to be a witness for and a foretaste of the kingdom God intends to establish in the earth made new.

In our church community, we seek to encounter God’s presence in what He is actively doing in people’s lives and our surrounding communities.  One aspect of our search for God’s activity is through our Peace and Social Justice lens.

For example, in Los Angeles County and Hollywood it is very difficult for low income and homeless members of the community to experience life and community without dire hardships. Meeting even the most basic needs such as finding a place to rest during the day or use the bathroom is often impossible. By law, police officers in the City of Los Angeles may detain and ticket individuals for loitering (including standing or sitting) on sidewalks and other public right of ways between 6am and 9pm. For our homeless friends and neighbors, it is impossible to obey this law since you can’t just disappear during the day. Individuals often end up getting tickets which cannot be paid because these individuals don’t have any money to begin with. If the person has tickets that remain unpaid for a certain length of time they turn into warrants which then get them arrested and in jail.

The Hollywood Adventist Church is committed to provide a safe space to come off the street Tuesday through Friday. Once a guest rings our bell they are greeted by a staff member or volunteer who directs them to our service counter. At the service counter, first time visitors fill out our new guest form. Each day, guests are offered the ability to sign up for the currently offered programs and services, like access to showers or may be referred to other local services provided by other community agencies.

Genuinely caring and building a trust relationship with our new friends has opened many opportunities to minister and provide for the needs that we may have otherwise missed.

Our staff is intentional about getting to know our guests, learn their story and understand their needs. Genuinely caring and building a trust relationship with our new friends has opened many opportunities to minister and provide for the needs that we may have otherwise missed. A lot of our homeless neighbors feel forgotten by society.  Many feel they will live out their life as invisible people walking the streets of our city. We have designed our effort to support our homeless friends in such a way as to get in touch with their immediate needs and provide them a place of safety and belonging. We remain available for spiritual conversations, counseling, and extend an open invitation to participate in any aspect of our church community but do not impose our beliefs. By taking this approach, we seek to be a part of the solution to end homeless and take on a role and responsibility not currently being offered by other agencies that support our homeless neighbors.  This is one aspect of faith-based social justice that our church has practiced for more than 7 years.

This aspect of the church’s peace and social justice, currently provides 200+ showers each month for our homeless neighbors. When a person visits us for a shower we provide them with a clean towel, body wash, and shampoo. Our lobby is available Tuesday through Friday for those waiting for the shower or that just need a safe place to rest. In the lobby our service counter offers the opportunity to sign up for our services as well as information on services provided through our community partnerships.

Several months ago, our church administrator was approached by some of the 25+ homeless young adults that we serve on a regular basis. They asked if there was any way the church could assist them in obtaining their GEDs.  The church staff collaborated with one of our community partners (which partner, add link).  Through this partnership, we were able to start offering GED classes to our guests. Each Thursday one of our staff takes 4 people in their car to GED tutoring.

As we continue in our journey to be active participants in what God is already doing in our neighborhood, we both wait and are active in seeking His Leadership for us individually and collectively as a part of the body of Christ in our community.

Peace and Justice are at the heart of Advent Hope's church life in New York City (by Jacqueline Murekatete)

(Jacqueline Murekatete, is an internationally recognized human rights lawyer, a Rwanda genocide survivor, and the Adventist Peace Fellowship coordinator at the Church of the Advent Hope in New York City, which is one of five Adventist congregations that have passed official motions to become certified peace churches.  She shares some of the recent and ongoing actions for peace and social justice that church members at Advent Hope are involved with.) unnamed

Based in the middle of New York City, Church of the Advent Hope (which has passed an official resolution to become a certified Adventist Peace Church) is uniquely positioned to make a positive impact in our local and global community. Year after year, our members have engaged in various social justice and peace initiatives with the aim of sharing the gospel and God’s love not just through words, but action.

Through our Meals on Heels ministry as well as our partnership with God's Love We Deliver, members of our church frequently cook and deliver nutritious meals to many of our homebound neighbors, which also often provides an opportunity to share God’s words of encouragement.

Our annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is an occasion to remember the millions of men and women who have lost their lives to war and genocide in recent times, and to discuss the dangers of racism, hate, state sanctioned discrimination and the type of intolerance which enables genocide to take place. It is also an opportunity to recommit ourselves to peaceful co-existence with all of our neighbors irrespective of their race, religion or ethnicity.

Through our annual holiday benefit concert, we have raised awareness and funds to address many local and global crises as they appeared, such as the Haiti earthquake, the heavy floods in the Philippines, and Hurricane Sandy in USA. This past December we raised more than $11,000 for an Adventist hospital struggling to stay open amidst the Ebola crisis in Liberia.

As part of World AIDS Day on December 1st, and building on our annual participation in New York AIDS Walk, Church of the Advent Hope held an educational workshop where an Adventist physician and a social worker who work with those living with HIV/AIDS spoke about the complicated social and economic inequalities that often lead to the spread and inadequate treatment of this illness. They also discussed the need for church members to be less judgmental and show more of God’s love to those living with HIV/AIDS.

As we were confronted with the tragic deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri, Tamir Rice in Ohio, and the death of Eric Garner which took place in our own New York City backyard, Church of Advent Hope also stood up with those calling for racial justice and better police-community relations by holding a conversation about the role of the Adventist church in promoting racial, economic and social justice.

In the coming months, we plan to hold additional social justice and peace programs, including a program during the Adventist Peace Fellowship Sabbath on May 23rd, as well as an event surrounding the United Nations International Day of Peace, which takes place annually on September 21st.

Church of the Advent Hope is honored to be part of the Adventist Peace Fellowship network. We look forward to working with fellow Adventist Peace Churches as we strive to promote peace and justice for all and to answer Jesus’ call to love our neighbor as ourselves, not just through words but also through actions.

Peace activists convene at Oakwood University for Adventist Peace Education Week

-cc1a524a4d5ae4b7 Dr. Keith Augustus Burton (one of the APF's founding Advisory Board members and the director of the Adventist-Muslim Center at Oakwood University) presents the 2015 Adventist Peace Fellowship Peace and Justice Calendar to internationally known peace activist Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

(Republished by permission of Kay Campbell writing for the Huntsville Times)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Want to feel less discouraged about the disarray and violence in the world? Then join a protest movement, say Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a pro-peace group originally organized by mothers against war.

During the evening presentation on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, marking Adventist Peace Education Week at Oakwood University, Kelly and Benjamin took questions from the audience of about 30 about what their protests and demonstrations do. Kelly has just been sentenced and will report on Jan. 23 to a federal prison for a three-month sentence for walking into Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri with a loaf of bread and letters from Afghan teenagers she was trying to deliver to the commander of the base from which drones are controlled that are killing people in Afghanistan.

"You always feel like a fool out there," said Benjamin, who recently participated in a"die-in" in Senator Elizabeth Warren's office to bring attention to the civilian deaths in Gaza from Israel's strong-handed response to Hamas. "But that's how a movement starts. That's how it gets built up. That's how it gets talked about."

But it's been 13 years, with no end in sight, that the U.S. has been at war in the Middle East. When will that stop? Given the money involved in the military-industrial-congressional complex, Kelly and Benjamin said, perhaps never unless American citizens become more active in protesting the growing militarism abroad - and at home, for that matter, as local police departments become a dumping ground for excess military supplies. Despite the horrors in the world, both activists said they see signs of progress.

"People who do these actions tend to be more optimistic than people just sitting at home, getting more and more disgusted with how things are," Benjamin said. "When you're on the front lines, you do find those little victories."

Career of action

Kathy Kelly has spent most of her adult life on the frontlines. Kelly holds a master's in religion, but has spent most of her adult life traveling to the heart of dangerous and pained places. During the embargo on Iraq, she helped to take medication and other humanitarian supplies - in violation of the United Nations embargo - to people who were dying.

"It was a death row for children," Kelly said, quoting a British aid worker she talked to in Iraq when she delivered the supplies.

She was living in Baghdad at the time of the American invasion as a living example of how pro-peace actions involve simplicity and direct service. In Afghanistan, where she has also lived for years, she helped set up a woman's cooperative to make blankets to give to people who are freezing, sometimes to death, with the war-caused disruption of electricity in the cities. To make sure she in no way contributes to America's wars, since the early 1980s, Kelly has voluntarily limited her income to below the taxable level of income tax.

"The IRS became my spiritual director in living in solidarity with the poor," Kelly said.

"Blood will not wash away blood," Kelly said, summing up why she is against war. The connection between America's actions in Iraq and the recent escalation of ISIS and even the massacre in France is clear: Most of the leaders of ISIS were held as teenagers in cruel circumstances in the same American prison in Iraq, where they met and began pledging their lives to fighting together. The gunmen in France were trained in the camps in Yemen that also have direct connections to people formerly held in American camps in Iraq.

"Please don't hear me make excuses for anyone anywhere who decides to put up a gun and kill, but let us be aware of the consequences, let us see the context in which evil is going to exist," Kelly said.

Huntsville's bloody hands

Like several of the Huntsville-area peace activists who welcomed the crowd, both Kelly and Medea Benjamin made reference to the reliance that the Huntsville area has on the machinations of war, including being a center for development and testing of the drone bombers and surveillance machines. Those instruments of death could be turned to good, Medea said.

"These could be used for good - to fight forest fires, to track endangered wildlife, to help farmers or realtors or as hobbies," Medea said. "Let's develop technology for positive uses, and let's quit using drones for killing."

Medea has been part of protests that have flown surveillance drones over the homes of those making decisions about military uses of drones to let them see how it feels to have that impersonal monitoring. They don't like it.

"They usually have us arrested," Medea said, shrugging.

Only peace activists can introduce new solutions to global disruptions, both Kelly and Medea said. Otherwise, those in power will hear only from people who think the way to solve problems of violence is with a stronger counter-violence. And citizens also have push the government to quit supporting repressive governments - like that in Saudi Arabia - and encourage patient negotiations, which, so far, is what is happening with Iran despite some pressuring for military action there, too.

"We've just concluded the biggest arms deal in the history of humanity with Saudi Arabia - the center of this radical Muslim teaching and a terribly repressive government," Medea said. "How do you think that looks to people in the Muslim world who are trying to build democracies?"

Keeping the long arc of justice in mind is crucial to peace work, Kelly said.

"Just think - if this meeting were held 100 years ago, how many people in this room wouldn't be able to vote, to own land, to marry," Kelly said. "Some things that seem unthinkable, even impossible, can be closer than we think. Let us not despair. We are all part of one another - and that way peace lies."

Announcing the 2015 Adventist Peace and Justice Wall Calendar

APF Calendar copy 2 The APF is pleased to announce publication of our first wall calendar featuring Adventist pioneers whose lives continue to challenge and provoke as champions of nonviolence, peacemaking, social justice, environmentalism, freedom of conscience, and human rights.  The 12"x12" calendar includes major U.S. holidays and days of significance to socially conscious persons of all faiths or none.  Days of particular importance to peacemakers in the Adventist tradition are highlighted in red.

The APF 2015 wall calendar will be mailed to pastors, teachers, and others in the APF network, and sent as a thank-you to individuals who make an online donation of at least $25 to the APF before the end of January.  Donations will help support the ongoing work of the APF and creation of an Adventist peace and justice curriculum for use in school and church settings.

Among the individuals whose stories are told throughout the year on the calendar are prominent poet and novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, Arna Bontemps (February); champion of gender equality, Sojourner Truth (March); Soviet era prisoner of conscience Vladimir Shelkov (August); and revolutionary missionaries to Peru, Fernando and Ana Stahl (September).  The calendar also announces the first annual Adventist Peace Education Week (January 12-19), and first annual Adventist Peace Fellowship Sabbath (May 23).

A high resolution sample from the calendar (featuring A. T. Jones for the month of January) can be downloaded as a PDF file.

For more information about the calendar, see the interview with its creator, APF director Ronald Osborn, by Jared Wright at Spectrum Magazine online.

Symposium on the Impact of WWI on Adventism

British_wounded_Bernafay_Wood_19_July_1916 The Institute of Adventist Studies at Friendensau Adventist University (Theologische Hochschule Friedensau), hosted a symposium May 12-15 on the Impact of World War I on Seventh-day Adventism (event website). Sixteen presenters and over one hundred auditors, representing twelve countries, gathered at the school near Berlin, Germany, to discuss three broad areas relevant to this time period—the failure of apocalyptic prophecy (the Eastern Question of WWI), Adventist involvement in war, and the emergence of the Reform Movement.

I attended as a representative of Adventist Today, submitting daily reports on the symposium. In addition, I was given a 15-minute time slot at the event to promote the Adventist Peace Fellowship. Approximately half of this time was used for question-and-answer dialogue. During the open discussion, I appreciated the support of APF co-founder Doug Morgan, who was a presenter at the event.

Following is a brief overview of the content covered at the symposium, along with links to media coverage of the event.

Apocalyptic Prophecy and Interpretation

Three presentations looked at the failure of Adventist prophetic teachings centering on WWI—the Eastern Question. At the time, Adventists focused their evangelism on the Ottoman Empire, predicting it would move its capital to Jerusalem, ushering in Armageddon and the end of the age. With the transition of the Ottoman Empire into modern Turkey with no seat in Jerusalem, this prophetic interpretation had to be abandoned.

Adventists and the Challenge of War

This topic consumed the bulk of the event's time and attention. Including George Knight's key note address to kick off the symposium, twelve presentations were given, covering a range of countries affected by WWI—the United States of America, Germany, Great Britain, France, Russia, Denmark, South Africa, Australia, Italy and more.

The range of issues covered in these presentations was compelling—conscription/draft, religious freedom, conscientious objection, church-state relations, nationalism, and the tension between pragmatism and idealism. These issues could have consumed much more time than the four-day symposium allowed.

The Church, The Prophet and the Reform Movements

The third major area dealt with the development of the Reform Movement, first in Germany but also in several other European countries. When church leaders in Germany informed the government that Adventists would participate in armed combat and would act on Sabbath as other soldiers do on Sunday, a minority of church members refused to comply. Amidst protest, these Adventists were disfellowshiped, and their stance on Sabbath and nonviolence led many to be imprisoned, with some even dying for their faith. Seventh-day Adventists at times reported on the reformers to authorities and even witnessed against them, which naturally contributed to friction between the groups.

After WWI ended, General Conference leaders clarified the error of the German leaders' decision, but the attempts at reconciliation failed, thus setting the reform movement on a path toward forming a new denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement (sometimes referred to as the German Reform Movement, though this label misses the larger nature of the movement). This group eventually split again in 1951, with one faction adding the phrase International Missionary Society (IMS) to their name. Together, these two entities have approximately 70,000 members, with operations in 120 countries. Since the early schism, the Reform Movement has developed other disagreements with the mainstream Seventh-day Adventist Church.

On Wednesday evening, event organizer Rolf Pöhler read a recently-released statement by German Seventh-day Adventist leaders apologizing for the decisions and actions of 1914. After this statement, symposium participants associated with the IMS and SDA churches clasped hands, expressing a level of warming between the groups. While disagreements continue between the two groups on a handful of issues, the symbolic action appeared to be meaningful for those present.

Publication

The papers presented at the symposium, along with chapters addressing Canada and Romania, will be revised and published as a book. Adventist peacemakers will likely find this volume to be quite informative and engaging, making it an important publication along with books such as Seventh-day Adventists in Time of War (Wilcox, 1936), Adventism and the American Republic (Morgan, 2001), The Peacemaking Remnant (Morgan, 2005), The Promise of Peace (Scriven, 2009), and Should I fight? (Bussey, 2011).

These were the presenters: George Knight, Jón Stefánsson, Bert Haloviak, Rolf Pöhler, Douglas Morgan, Ronald Lawson, Denis Kaiser, Eugene Zaitsev, Richard Müller, Jeff Crocombe, Daniel Reynaud, Gilbert Valentine, Stefan Höschele, Johannes Hartlapp, Idel Suarez, Jr., Woonsan Kang, Michael Pearson, and Reinder Bruinsma.

Media Coverage

You can learn more about the event through the following media reports:

Symposium participant Denis Kaiser will be publishing an article about the gathering for Adventist World. This will likely appear in the August 2014 edition, marking 100 years since the start of WWI. We will link to Kaiser's article when it is available online.

Glen Stassen Passes Away

glen-stassenGlen Stassen, noted Baptist theologian and peace advocate, passed away April 26 at the age of 78.

APF co-founder and current treasurer Doug Morgan shares:

I found the “just peacemaking” approach that Glen Stassen developed enormously helpful in overcoming the sometimes tiresome pacifism/just war debate. It called pacifists beyond nonviolence to active peacemaking and just war advocates to engage in practices that would reduce the likelihood of war. Along with intellectual rigor, a heartfelt commitment to Jesus came through his writing that challenged and inspired me.

I concur. As a graduate student in peace studies, I read a number of his original and edited works, such as Kingdom Ethics (2003), Just Peacemaking (2008), andThe War of the Lamb (Yoder, 2009). Later I shared lunch with him at a peace conference, and I found him to be friendly and engaging. His love for Jesus--and the way of Jesus--always came through.

Below are excerpts from a tribute written by David Gushee, who co-wrote Kingdom Ethics with Stassen:

Glen Stassen was a scholar of Christian ethics. He loved his work. He loved reading everything in Christian ethics. He loved talking about Christian ethics. He loved arguing with people about the best directions for Christian ethics. He will leave behind a vast library of well-marked books in Christian ethics, which for him meant biblical studies, theology, political science, economics, science, international relations, peace and war studies, and ethics proper. Those marked-up books help symbolize his epic engagement with the field.

Glen was an activist. His earliest activism was in civil rights. He was at the March on Washington in 1963. He did civil rights work everywhere he went in the 1960s and 1970s. But most who knew him later will remember him as a peace activist, especially against the threat of nuclear annihilation. This was one of my very first intersections with him. Trained in nuclear physics, Glen knew exactly what destructive power humans had unleashed. Glen became a leading activist against nuclear weapons during the Cold War and helped the global, not just Christian, anti-nuclear movement refine its theory, message, and strategy.

Gushee's tribute can be read in full here--Sojourners.

Just War Illusions: Shrouding Brutalities with Theological Euphemisms

Syria-articleLarge-v2Ron Osborn (Advent Peace Fellowship Executive Director) published an article earlier this month inCommonweal, "Just-War Illusions: Shrouding Brutalities with Theological Euphemisms." Osborn calls readers to reflect on "just-war pacifism."

Excerpt:

Finally, just-war pacifists in the Christian tradition remember that in a world of violence and war, the church’s primary calling remains that of modeling a radically different kind of action, and of community. Inevitably in the discussion of how to respond to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and its other crimes against humanity, the question arises: “What should we do if not strikes?” Such questions assume a very particular “we”—a “we” that possesses all the tools of violence and must decide when and how to use them. They invite us to imagine ourselves equipped with missiles and drones, and to work out our ethics from the position of the state’s monopoly on violence. Yet to ask “What should we drone operators do?” or “What should Obama do?”—or even “What should we Americans do?”—is not the same as asking “What should we members of the Body of Christ do?” The irony of “Christian realism” is the tragedy of misplaced pronouns.

View the entire article here.

Open House at The Center and & Library for the Bible and Social Justice

CLB-LOgo2The Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice will host an open house on April 4, 2014 from 4-8 p.m. (17 Cricketown Road, Stony Point, New York 10980). "Join us for a reception at the Library, stay for dinner ($15.00), or come for dessert and a dialogue between Norman Gottwald and R. Douglas Bendall as they talk about the relevance of the Center and Library to the work for social justice in the classroom, in the pulpit, and in the street. RSVP info@clbsj.org or 845-405-6470."

In addition to the amenities for respite, retreat and research, CLBSJ’s 6,000+ volume library includes the past six years of acquisitions by the Lehman Library of F.O.R. and the libraries of half a dozen scholars and activists including Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Professors Norman Gottwald and Jack Elliott, and Mark Johnson.

What could the Center & Library offer you?

  • Fully catalogued in renovated space, a library and conferencing venue to support scholarship and engaged activism: Students, Faculty, Activists, Pastors, Researchers, Preachers, Advocates, Seminarians, Movement Builders, Writers, Liturgists, Librarians, Lay Leaders, Seekers.
  • With 6000+ volumes that extend over the fields of study of the Bible, philosophy, ethics and their intersection with anthropology, sociology, economy, ecology, political science, history, CLBSJ represents a rich and concentrated research base.
  • On the campus of a 180-bed retreat center, served though the hospitality of its Community of Living Traditions, with the capacity to support residences and host symposia, colloquia, dialogues, a relaxed, safe setting in which to explore difficult questions, deep concerns.

International Symposium: The Impact of World War I on Seventh-day Adventism

wwi18The Institute of Adventist Studies at Friedensau University will host an international symposium entitled "The Impact of World War I on Seventh-day Adventism" (Germany, May 12–15, 2014). One hundred years ago, the so-called “Great War” broke out, which not only shaped the history of the 20th century in Europe and beyond, but also had lasting repercussions on the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For this reason, the Institute of Adventist Studies is organizing an academic symposium in Friedensau, Germany.

Scholars and interested individuals are invited to participate in this conference and hear/discuss the findings of 16 internationally known researchers. The symposium deals mainly with the following issues: prophetic interpretation (“The sick man at the Bosporus”), Adventists und military service, and the so-called “Reform Movement”, the largest offshoot in the history of the denomination. The conference language is English.

The 16 presenters are: George Knight, Bert Haloviak, Ronald Lawson, Douglas Morgan, Gilbert Valentine (all USA); Daniel Reynaud (Australia), Michael Pearson (Great Britain), Reinder Bruinsma (Netherlands), Richard Müller (Denmark), Hjorleifur Stefánsson (Iceland), Eugene Zaitsev (Russia); Denis Kaiser, Johannes Hartlapp, Daniel Heinz, Stefan Höschele und Rolf Pöhler (Germany).

Event Details

Registration: gaestehaus@thh-friedensau.de; Phone ++49-3921-916-160 (office) and ++49-175-5742677 (mobile)

Location: Friedensau Adventist University, D-39291 Möckern-Friedensau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Learn more on the symposium website.

Union College Graduate Involved in Ukranian Protest

531c0233236c5.preview-300Serhiy Horokhovskyy, who studied religion at Union College, is currently involved in the political protests in Kiev, Ukraine, according to the Lincoln Journal Star ("Union College grad at the center of Ukrainian riots," Chris Dunker, 19 Feb 2014; the included picture is copied from Dunker's article as well). Excerpt:

Carrying heavy logs alongside priests and other Ukrainians, he spent Tuesday night stoking the fires preventing riot police from storming the protester camp in Kiev’s Independence Square.

Talking by video chat late Wednesday morning, Horokhovskyy said he planned to return to the barricades Wednesday night to keep the fires going, carry out the wounded and keep standing for what he believes is the right future for his country.

But he realizes the circumstances have changed drastically after 25 people -- including nine police officers -- were killed and more than 1,000 wounded in Tuesday night riots, prompting President Viktor Yanukovych to promise a swift crackdown on “extremist groups” who began as peaceful protesters in November.

The complete article can be accessed on the Lincoln Journal Star website.

Anti-Defamation League Honors John Weidner Posthumously

WeidnerThe Anti-Defamation League recently honored John Weidner posthumously. During WWII Weidner formed the Dutch-Paris, an underground network responsible for smuggling more than 1,000 Jews and others out of the reach of Nazi forces. Spectrum reported on the story in late January (First-ever posthumous award from the Anti-Defamation League to an Adventist, 31 Jan 2014), and the award was given in early February. Excerpt from the Spectrum article:

At its annual meeting in February, the Anti-Defamation League will present the Jan Karski “Courage to Care” award to a man credited for saving over 1,000 Jewish men, women, and children, Allied pilots, and political opponents of the Nazis during the Second World War.

The coveted award will go Johan Hendrick (John Henry) Weidner who, at the age of 29, founded Dutch-Paris which became the largest and most successful underground network rescuing people being persecuted for their faith or race. In its heyday, some 300 people participated in the underground which escorted refugees over the Alps to safety in neutral Switzerland or Spain. For his efforts, Weidner became one of the most sought of the underground leaders of France, and for whom the Gestapo offered five million francs for his arrest.

On February 7, 2014, The Anti-Defamation League posted three stories about the award:

Additional resources about John Weidner and the Dutch-Paris:

Articles

Books 

Films

Websites 

Union College to Honor Veterans at Homecoming

union collegeUnion College will honor alumni veterans this year during the school's annual homecoming weekend (April 3-6). Of special note are members of the Medical Cadet Corps. In the school's mailer, Alumni Association President Ardis Dick Stenbakken writes:

You may be aware of the important place Union College and the Medical Cadet Corps have had for our church and the young people who served our country in the military after taking that training, as well as others who have given military service. This year is our time to honor and remember the influence of these individuals. If you served in the military, please make sure that Union College has your information.... We want to remember and honor you at this year's celebration.

This announcement made me wonder if any Adventist military veterans are members of Veterans for Peace. If you are all three--Adventist, veteran, and member of Veterans for Peace--we invite you to get in contact with APF leadership. We would like to hear your stories and possibly connect you with other like-minded Adventists.