Fresh Direction for ASI Northwest

April 26, 2017 | Steve Vistaunet

The melting pot of Adventist members and mission is nowhere more evident than at an Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) convention. That diversity, coupled with a common passion for sharing Christ in the marketplace, was a centerpiece of the recent ASI Northwest (ASI NW) convention held April 21–23 in Boise, Idaho. Chapter leaders James Rafferty, Rick Westermeyer and Fred Cornforth put together a rich menu of speakers and topics germane to the ASI mission.

More than 100 business and ministry leaders, along with interested lay members, families and children, gathered to share inspiration and ideas, and choose chapter leaders for the year ahead. ASI NW chapter constituents elected Fred Cornforth as president, Rick Westermeyer vice president, Terry Mace vice president for finance, Martin Casper vice president for communication, Randy Meyer vice president of evangelism, Gary Morgan vice president for membership and Ted Evert vice president secretariat to lead the chapter for 2017–18.

Evening keynote speaker Ty Gibson jogged attendees from any tendency toward complacency. “Religion,” he said, “is the best place in the world to hide from God.” Furthermore, he observed, a religiously inclined person can be “outwardly and intellectually compliant, but with a heart that is totally corrupt.” The message was clear: Don’t even talk about sharing Christ in the marketplace unless you are giving Him first place in your heart.

Sabbath day meetings included a plethora of inspiration from John McVay, Walla Walla University president, who led a vigorous lesson study; David Prest, Idaho Conference president, with the morning sermon; and music from the Ken Bevins praise team and the Sound Wave Bell Choir from Gem State Academy.

The highlight for many featured an AMEN (Adventist Medical Evangelism Network) Impact Your Health Clinic report and video summary from the Boise clinic held April 19–21 just prior to the ASI NW weekend. The clinic brought more than 750 volunteers together to bring free medical, dental and other essential services to more than 1,300 individuals from the community.

Along with the usual reports and projects highlighted from various ministries throughout the weekend, event organizers stressed strategic visioning for connecting with the larger community. Gasper and May-Ellen Colon, world church community service leaders, challenged those who attended with creating urban ministries and centers of influence in the public sphere. Local businessmen Fred Cornforth, Martin Casper and Jere Webb described proactive efforts of the Cloverdale Church in the Boise area to reconnect with former members. Cornforth also led a panel discussion of communication and media professionals — including Randy Jamison of Curious Media, Steve Creitz with Good Salt and Brian Yeager of Barefoot Media Ministries — on how to positively use technology in gospel mission.

Young and old, familiar stories and fresh faces, joined this melting pot of Adventist mission. Local members Steve and Kimberly Miljatovic attended with their four young children, and Irwin Rogers, semiretired businessman, was in his seat as he has been since his first ASI meeting in 1984. There were differing perspectives and backgrounds represented in those seats, but unity on mission to the community and the world. And that, in a nutshell, is what ASI here in the Northwest and beyond is all about.