Major Media Outlets Pick Up Adventist LGBT Stories

Jared Wright
Spectrum Magazine

Stories of LGBT+ Adventists and their families have caught the attention of major news organizations, pointing both to the power of the stories and their uniqueness as accounts from within the faith community. Two stories in particular—one about an Adventist pastor who came out as bisexual and another about the Adventist parents of a transgender daughter—have received national media coverage.

Last month, Alicia Johnston announced to her congregation, the Foothills Community Church in Chandler, Arizona, and to her employer, the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, that she was resigning from her full-time pastoral role over her “complete disagreement with the Adventist Church on its teachings on LGBT people.” Johnston revealed that she identifies as bisexual, and described the story leading to her resignation in a 27-minute video message. Continue reading

See ‘God’s Peculiar People,’ a new musical play by Marilynn Loveless of Redlands, May 11, 13 and 14 at La Sierra University

Redlands Daily Facts

La Sierra University Drama will present a new musical play, “God’s Peculiar People,” opening at 7:30 p.m. May 11 in Matheson Hall on the La Sierra University campus, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside.

Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. May 13 and 14, also in Matheson Hall.

“God’s Peculiar People,” written by Marilynn Loveless of Redlands with music by Merlin David, is set in 1962 and is about a family dealing with a returning son who has left the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Continue reading

Adventist Leaders in Russia Address Fake News on Church Status

Adventist Review via Spectrum Magazine

Leaders in the Euro-Asia Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a church region that includes the Russian Federation, released an official statement last week, as they try to counter false news circulating about the status of the church in that country. The statement, signed by the church regional president M. F. Kaminsky, and public affairs and religious liberty director O. Y. Goncharov seeks to allay fears after misinformation circulating online stated that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was about to be banned from that nation. Continue reading

Former SDA “Pastor” Alicia Johnston begins New Ministry, makes War on SDA Church, takes her LGBT Activism to NBC & World Stage

Andrew & Hilari Henriques
Saved to Serve

“The world is watching Seventh-day Adventists because it knows something of their profession of faith and of their high standard, and when it sees those who do not live up to their profession, it points at them with scorn.”[1] In recent months, Seventh-day Adventists have been brought into national and even international spotlight, sometimes for good reasons and other times for reasons that bring reproach upon God’s name, his cause and the Seventh-day Adventist Movement.  Most recently, Seventh-day Adventists have received national attention for something that is an embarrassment to the cause of Christ and the belief system that Seventh-day Adventists historically hold to, which can and will be used by Satan to cause individuals to look with disdain upon the biblical messages that are borne by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who hold solely to the law and the testimony (Isaiah 8:20). Continue reading

Border Angels Celebrate Easter by Hiding Water for Migrants

Jared Wright
Spectrum Magazine

For the faith-based nonprofit Border Angels, the Easter resurrection narrative finds its most meaningful expression in providing life-giving supplies for those facing death crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Yesterday, about sixty volunteers with Border Angels spent Holy Saturday of Passion Week walking in the footsteps of undocumented border crossers in the desert expanse between San Diego and Tijuana, leaving supplies for migrants along known migration routes. By providing water, clothing and nonperishable food items, Border Angels volunteers hope to prevent the death of migrants attempting the perilous crossing. An estimated 10,000 have died attempting to reach the United States since Operation Gatekeeper, a Clinton-era measure to curtail unlawful immigration. Continue reading

General Conference Adopts New Brand Identity

One of the surprisingly hot button topics at the Spring Meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee was the unveiling of a new Adventist branding identity. The Seventh-day Adventist symbol, which is owned by the General Conference Corporation and may only be used by official church entities, remains unchanged. The current symbol has been in use since 1997. The official font and design guidelines, however, have undergone extensive modifications.

The new sans-serif font, Noto Sans, which has been dubbed “Advent Sans” by the GC, is an open source font that will purportedly save the GC “millions of dollars.” The font was chosen specifically because it is available for free and works well in a variety of languages, thereby allowing for a unified look for all global Seventh-day Adventist churches and organizations.

Commissioned by Google, Noto Sans is currently the only universal typeface in the world and was just recently released for use. It took five years to design and covers over 800 languages. The GC says they adapted Noto Sans into “Advent Sans” by making “extensive modifications to the latin and cyrillic alphabets, and where applicable, we have made some recommendations for non-western character sets.”

A new seven-panel design grid – the “Creation Grid” – is to be used for all visual materials. The first six panels are open for the designer to use as she/he so chooses, while the seventh panel – the “Sabbath Column” – is reserved for the official symbol and a background that is “beautiful” and stands in contrast with the other six panels. The Adventist symbol is the “only non-background element that may be placed in the Sabbath column.”

Also new to the identity guidelines is the encouraged use of color. The previous identity system “restricted the coloration of the symbol and accompanying wordmarks,” but the new guidelines have no official color palette.

A new website, identity.adventist.org, was also unveiled and all in attendance were encouraged to go to the site to review the guidelines in more depth and to adopt them going forward.

GC legal counsel spoke to the committee about the importance of using the trademarked logo and design elements appropriately. To use them incorrectly is a violation of the trademark and could cause the trademark to be invalidated, cautioned Jennifer Gray, associate general counsel for the General Conference.

The discussion of trademark concerns seems timely considering the GC’s current legal battle with the Lillards, a Seventh-day Adventist couple who is being sued by the GC for selling Pathfinders gear that is emblazoned with the church’s logo.

After the new branding identity presentation, the floor was opened for questions from Executive Committee members, and several expressed concern, confusion, and frustration over the new guidelines. One commenter took issue with some of the examples used in the presentation, which included use of the new design on items including a cereal box, a veggie-meat can, and other items. The commenter reminded the audience that the working policy prohibits the name “Seventh-day Adventist” and the symbol from being used for commercial purposes. Williams Costa Jr, director of the communications department, apologized for his team’s creativity.

After expressing pleas that the Executive Committee be willing to work with the GC on this, Ted Wilson called for a vote. The vote passed, though there were several “nays” throughout the audience. Wilson noted the nays and called again for a willingness to work together to adhere to the new branding guidelines.

WATCH: Adventist Identity Guideline System Introduction

Central Jamaica Conference Employs First Female Pastor

Alisa Williams
Spectrum Magazine

The Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists announced on February 28, 2017, that it has employed its first female pastor, Latoya Smythe-Forbes.

According to the announcement, “Mrs. Smythe-Forbes graduated from West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Theology. Since then she had been involved in various areas of ministry, including being a missionary to South Korea, and as a Bible Instructor with CJC in 2014 and 2016. She has, however, never been employed as a Pastor.”

The CJC’s decision to employ its first female pastor in its 66 years of operation brings to fruition the hopes of Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. In April 2016, Brown said, “[The Adventist denomination has] female pastors … and one of my goals, and it’s time I am going public with this … is to employ the first female pastor in the church in Jamaica.”

The Inter-American Division (IAD), parent organization of the Jamaica Union Conference, had previously reported during a January 2014 meeting of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) that nothing in Scripture prevents women from being ordained.

Proposed News Measures Granted To Ofsted: Effect On Seventh-day Adventist Activities, Children, And Churches

UK SDA Conference Church

Following on from the Government’s consultation on extremism, the definition of out-of-school education settings now appears to include the Sabbath School division of our Church ‒ children and youth: 19-years-old and under including Pathfinders, clubs, and home schooling etc. The Government intends to register them and thus be subject to risk-based inspection by Ofsted. This approach among other reasons is to tackle extremism ‘in all its forms’ and seek to curb undesirable teaching which undermine fundamental British values.

Dr Brighton Kavaloh, in response to this consultation is inviting all interested members to attend a seminar geared towards how we as a Church approach this and get our voice heard. The seminar will be held on Sunday 5 March 2017, 10:00 am at The Advent Centre, 37 Brendon St, London W1H 5JE. Continue reading