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Weekly News From Around the
Columbia Union Conference

July 10, 2014
Sligo Members Speak Out for Community, Candidates Listen
Sligo church, located in Takoma Park, Md., played a major role in a recent Action in Montgomery [AIM] County Electoral Assembly that presented the real needs of the county to four candidates for county executive.
Nearly 70 Sligo members attended the event, which took place at the United Methodist Parish Church in Silver Spring. Terry Jo Hayes, the Sligo AIM leader, co-chaired the event and Donald McFarlane, a Sligo pastor, delivered the opening prayer, while other members worked on the floor committee.—Story by Sligo Staff
Union Funds 2014 Homeland Mission Projects
The Columbia Union Conference recently allocated $212,000 to 13 local outreach programs as part of its Homeland Mission Projects. The funds are distributed annually as a three-way partnership between the union, a conference and a local church, to encourage community outreach. Below are three of the newest projects:
• Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Collegiate Summer Outreach Project in West Philadelphia will offer inner-city kids fun activities that promote critical thinking and help them develop hands-on skills.
• Through AEC’s Open Arms Ministry, Bethany (N.J.) church members (pictured) will minister to the nearby Cumberland community, which is affected by high rates of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. They will build a resource center on the church premises and distribute literature to residents.
• Members of Allegheny West Conference’s Ephesus church in Columbus, Ohio, will start Driven, a church plant on the campus of The Ohio State University, which has 63,000 students.—Story by Taashi Rowe
Pittsburgh Church Receives Outreach Award
The Pittsburgh church’s community service outreach has tripled since 2008, with an estimated 70 percent of its members involved. Jeanette Dare, ACS director for the Pennsylvania Conference, recognized the accomplishment and presented Pastor Dennis Austin with the annual Adventist Community Service (ACS) award during a special presentation at Pennsylvania Conference Camp Meeting.
Dare presented Austin with a plaque to commemorate the level of excellence and commitment shown by Pittsburgh’s members—young and old—as they “reveal Jesus and make disciples” in their community. —Story by Pennsylvania Conference Staff
Camp Mohaven Equine Program Makes a Difference
Mention Camp Mohaven to members around Ohio and almost everyone will probably envision summer camp adventures, past and present. Mention the Danville-based camp to ranger Dave Robinson, and he will gladly tell you about Mohaven’s growing equine program led by Barb Banbury, CHA, which is benefiting kids from the local public elementary school.
Behaviorally challenged students in grades 2-6 at Danville Elementary School leave their classrooms every Friday during the school year to visit Camp Mohaven, where horses are their teachers. Educators in the school say they find that the horses are good for the students, some of whom have autism and ADHD.
“The kids that I work with have a lot of behavior problems for a variety of reasons, and so they come out here and learn to build a relationship with horses because the horses are nonjudgmental," says Lisa Muncie, an intervention specialist and special education teacher in Danville.—Story by Heidi Shoemaker
New Principal Leads Highland View Academy
“Highland View Academy [HVA] has all the critical resources to be a highly successful school in the early 21st century,” says Malcolm Hutchinson, EdD, about why he accepted the call to be HVA’s new principal. 
Two other aspects of HVA also attracted him to the school. After working with grades kindergarten through 12 for the past few years, he is looking forward to focusing on just high school students. And, as a country boy from New Hampshire, he, along with his wife, Nada-Gaye Kaiser Hutchinson, enjoy the school’s rural setting.—Story by Lori Zerne
More Than 1,000 Adventists Gather in Geneva for Major Health Conference
More than 1,000 leading Adventists gathered on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, for a weeklong conference that aims to create a community health center in every Seventh-day Adventist church around the world.
The conference, which opened Tuesday with plenary speeches by Anselm Hennis, a senior official with the Pan-American Health Organization, and world church president Ted N.C. Wilson, will prepare the 1,150 attendees to share information on how to live longer and healthier lives with their communities back home, said organizer Peter Landless.
“We want to see every church as a community health center, with every member being a health promoter and embracing our amazing health message in their own lives,” said Landless, head of the church’s Health Ministries Department.—Story by Andrew McChesney, Adventist Review, Photo Credit: Adventist NewsNetwork
Do you Speak "Adventese?"
You know you’re a Seventh-day Adventist if you’ve ever argued over the proper way to build a haystack. Check out our list of other “Adventese” words and phrases, then let us know your favorite phrases on www.facebook.com/columbiaunionvisitor.
Why I am no Longer a Lesbian
When the Holy Spirit visited me one Saturday evening in June 2011, I had been living the lesbian lifestyle for eight years and all of my friends were lesbian; the places I went were events with lesbians. I knew He was calling me to a different life, but my response was not an immediate yes. It was weeks of wrestling with the decision before I acted.
Read the rest of Leah’s* story here.
We’ve been getting a lot of feedback on Leah’s story and our July Underscore story: "How Can We Extend Compassion to the LGBT Community Without Abandoning Conviction."  Read it online here and let us know what you think here.
*A pseudonym
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Did you know you can read “Bulletin Board,” our classifieds section of the Visitor, online?  The section includes job announcements, real estate listings, obituaries and local church and school events.

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