Columns

Living Our Mission by Empowering Our Communities

October 08, 2015 / Max Torkelsen

God calls each of us to follow the example of Jesus Christ as loving and compassionate individuals. This means caring for ourselves and others in mind, body and spirit as He did on Earth. As Jesus empowered those He healed with confidence in His power, so we are called to empower the communities with which we come into contact.

Appreciate the Pastor

October 07, 2015 / Martin Weber

When the elders hid my Bible with its sermon notes, I should have known this Sabbath would be different. They didn’t want me to preach that day. What was happening? Pastoral Appreciation Sabbath.

Grateful church members across America among many denominations set aside the month of October to honor their pastors. So it was for me that memorable Sabbath in 1997 with New Hope Church in Maryland. Our elders wanted my sermon time for themselves, taking turns sharing their testimony of what they had learned from my sermons that year. How affirming!

Little

September 22, 2015 / Steve Vistaunet

We like big things. Big names, big paychecks, big promises. But the little things, often overlooked, are really what matter.

A scant week before I was to leave for this summer’s General Conference Session in San Antonio, I tried place kicking the laundry room door. I did so neither on purpose nor with any semblance of accuracy. Only my little toe met the mark, and therein lay the problem.

Meetings

September 09, 2015 / Seth Pierce

I arrived a day later than I was scheduled for a book signing at the ABC booth during the NAD Pastoral Convention in Austin, Texas, this summer. For the uninitiated, the ABC is the Adventist Book Center — seller of my literary works. NAD stands for North American Division, as in the more than 5,000 pastoral families working in North America I hoped would buy multiple copies of my new book, Life of Ellen White for Teens.  

Assessing the Session

September 01, 2015 / Martin Weber

Delegates to the 60th General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, in July elected a global leadership team, updated church policies and clarified doctrinal statements. In the minds of many, though, the main agenda item was ordination of women pastors — specifically, whether to empower the 13 divisions of the world field to determine what is best for their own territories. What if some divisions then ordained women and others didn’t — would that sacrifice global church unity?

Women Who Minister

August 27, 2015 / Max Torkelsen

Editor's Note

Some members within the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) wonder if the recent world church action regarding ordination has diminished hopes for a sense of equality and value for women in ministry. Pending further discussion on the topic, Max Torkelsen, NPUC president, wishes to convey his affirmation of women who minister in countless ways throughout the Northwest. 

New From Pacific Press

August 12, 2015

Editor's Note: Periodically the Gleaner will feature reviews or summaries of recently published books from the Pacific Press Publishing Association. Following are the third set of featured books in the series.

Tongues of Fire

August 07, 2015 / Seth Pierce

This year the powerful planners of camp meeting called upon me to teach a class on the Holy Spirit. This subject fascinates me as a former Adventist preacher’s kid, turned Pentecostal, turned Adventist pastor. My background creates morbid fascination for a lot of Adventists who become titillated when they discovered I spoke in tongues during my time in a charismatic church. Their reaction is usually widened eyes, a nervous smile and a shifty gaze around the room before leaning in and asking me, “What was it like?”

After the Ordination Vote, What Now?

August 01, 2015 / Martin Weber

By the time you read this, the General Conference Session in San Antonio will be history, and world church delegates will have voted on perhaps the most explosive Adventist issue of our lifetime. I’m referring, of course, to the ordination of women — whether to allow our 13 global divisions to decide within their own territories what is best regarding women in ministry.

So now, one way or another, the decision is sealed. Where do we go from here?

Fermata

July 24, 2015 / Steve Vistaunet

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain

Since my earliest days, music has gone straight to my heart. Operatic tenors and Scandinavian polkas, symphonies and synthesizers are thoroughly blended there with the decades-old Sabbath sounds of Del Delker, King’s Heralds and Take Three.