Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A "Good News" Celebration!

Platform party (l-r): Pastor Reynold Ferary (CAAA Chaplain), Devon Powell, Pastor John Adams, Pastor Clive Dottin, Dorthy Vernon (CAAA Communications Coordinator), Sharon Long-Brown (CAAA Northern Chapter President), and Mark Johnson (President of the Alberta Conference

Pastor Clive Dottin delivering the Sabbath message "Getting Past the First Page"

Adventist Youth & Vespers with Pastor Clive Dottin

Pastor Ishmael Ali, Pastor Clive Dottin, and Pastor John Adams

The Caribbean Association of Adventists in Alberta (CAAA) recently celebrated a momentous occasion! September 4-7, 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of CAAA, a non-profit organization, with a mission of preserving and sharing cultural heritage while leading souls to Christ.
Pastor Clive Dottin, the Youth, Health, & Religious Liberty director of the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists was the keynote speaker, and an excellent addition to the weekend activities. His sermons included such topics as “Getting past the first page,” which addressed milestones (self inflicted or otherwise) that stifle the growth of meaningful relationships with Christ, and how to overcome them. We praise God that Melissa Adams, a first time visitor to CAAA, was convicted by the Holy Spirit, and was baptized on Sabbath, September 5 along with Cassandra John who was re-baptized. Many others made vows re-dedicating their lives to Christ. We were also honored to have Mark Johnson, the president of the Alberta Conference, bring opening remarks.
The family retreat (themed “Good News!”) at Foothills Camp, Bowden included thought provoking sermons from the featured speaker, therapeutic massages, a financial seminar, an old time social, a banquet, and delicious vegetarian meals. The banquet capitalized on Caribbean folklore and the many talents of young and old, while the social featured a mixture of traditional and well known games proving to be enjoyable for all age groups. This power-packed weekend proved to be a unique spiritual experience.

Please join us next year, September 3-6, 2010!
We welcome your questions! Contact us: CAAAInformation@gmail.com

Dorthy Vernon
CAAA Communications Coordinator

Yellowknife Fire Department Gives Thanks for Adventist Church

Dana, Mary, Mikelle, a happy community member, Johanna, and Tristha. Photo taken by Katelyn Ruiz
In the next few days the Yellowknife Church will be posting a report on its recent Be a Rebel evangelism weekend but here’s an exciting news flash. Each week the city publishes a newsletter called, “Capital Update” and they mail it to every mailbox in town. This week, the fire department printed this short announcement:

“THANK YOU! Seventh Day Adventist Church
“The Seventh Day Adventist young people stepped up to the plate September 12 and 13 with the “Be a Rebel Community Challenge.” Spearheaded by Pastor Brad Dahr, they delivered 200 batteries to homes in the Forrest Drive area with the message “Stay Safe! Change smoke detector batteries once a year and test them regularly.” Our sincere thanks from the YKFD for helping our community practice fire safety! Job well done!”

The members of the Yellowknife church know that people don’t care what you know until they know you care. This community service event sent the message that we care about our community and it’s great to get some good press for it. However, credit really goes to Moises and Katelyn Ruiz who were the guest speakers for the weekend event. “When Moises, Katelyn and I were brainstorming for the weekend, it was Moises’ idea to give out batteries,” says Pastor Brad. “We were going to do them as a lead into the weekend but they didn’t arrive in time (our time) so we made giving them out part of the evangelism weekend (that’s God’s timing).” Also, big applause and pats on the back go to the church members who went out in large groups to give away the batteries. “Coming together as a team made the battery event and the whole weekend a huge success,” said Pastor Brad.

The Seventh-day Adventist church has been serving the Yellowknife community for over 30 years and is located at 5008 Forrest Drive. Services are every Saturday morning at 10:30 starting with small groups for adults and children with services starting at 11:30. On the web they are at www.yksda.org while the church office can be reached at 873-6767 or by email at info@yksda.org.

Fred SanJenko Obituary

Fred SanJenko was born March 1, 1917, in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan and died October 21, 2009, at the age of 92 in Vegreville, Alberta.

Fred served the church faithfully in Calgary and Vegreville as a deacon and 14 years as the Investment Leader in Vegreville, Alberta.

He is lovingly remembered by his three daughters: Grace SanJenko of Edmonton, AB; Darlene Rastegar of Vegreville, AB; and Jane (Dr. Lee) Farrow of Vegreville, AB; numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth; parents Andrew and Vera; sisters Nettie Wolfe, Alyce Hall, Jean Poirier; brothers Bill, Steve, John, Mike, Alec, Kelly, and Edward; and many other friends who will miss hearing his stories of answered prayers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Great Service is a Choice

On a mild, late September afternoon I travelled out to the Cavalcade campsite across from Abraham Lake (511.2 kilometers round trip). Forty grade 9 students and their counselors from our SDA schools had been camping there since Monday. What a lovely setting the teachers and kids had to enjoy. There were majestic mountains that outlined the skyline across the valley. And as the sun was setting you could see the features of an Indian's face and headdress silhouetted against the southern sky.

Once the campfire was lit and all the campers had gathered on their benches and picnic tables Shad Lehmann had a few announcements before worship. I used the theme of...."In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths." I tried to tie this into what God might have in mind for you as your life work. In other words stay in touch with Him, trust Him, and you will be amazed at how He will lead in your life. Then it was time for some "giveaways". There were choices of PAA shirts, pens with lights in one end, caps, and camouflage Bibles. How interesting to see the Bibles become the first choice.

Then to top the evening off my wife Karen had the hot chocolate container all set up. There were seven dozen donuts of every variety (apple fritters went first) all spread out on a picnic table and a hundred of the Okanagan's finest crisp apples. So what made the evening so rewarding? It was to be thanked and hugged by countless kids you didn't even know. It was to serve without expecting anything (other then new students next year) and yet be rewarded by thankfulness. As we serve together in God's family, our lives take on eternal importance. Paul said, "I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less . . . because of what you are a part of" (1 Corinthians 12:14a, 19 MSG).

God wants to use us to make a difference in this world. He wants to work through us. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it. Not how long you lived, but how you lived. Let me illustrate the theme of our school year, "to serve" in another way by the following story:

No one can make you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice. Years ago, my friend, Harold Justinen, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harold noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed my friend a laminated card and said:

"I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement."

Taken aback, Harold read the card. It said:

Wally's Mission Statement:

"To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment"

This blew Harold away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."

My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."

Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water, and orange juice."

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke"

Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."

As if that weren't enough, Wally told Harold that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harold of the best route to his destination for that time of the day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights, or, if Harold preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?"

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it this has paid off for you," Harold said.

"It sure had," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and start soaring like an eagle. How about you?

Landon Ritchey is the Director of Marketing and Enrolments Services
for Parkview Adventist Academy,
and CUC in PR and Alumni Special Projects
He writes from his purple and gold office in the PAA building...

Parkview Adventist Academy Sophomores Have Most Fun

Spell "Nebuchadnezzar"

Tug of War Fun

Grade 10 Phantoms

Each year Class Challenge matches High School and College teams against each other. This year the Parkview Adventist Academy grade 10's didn't win but what a performance this new crop of students put on. Can you imagine students from 14 years old through their mid 20's all jammed into the Canadian University College gym? Not only were they fiercely competitive but they had loads of fun too? Saturday night saw grade 10, 11, 12, University Freshmen, and the rest of the University competing for bragging rights in the tire roll and jelly bean toss. The Faculty and Staff acted as officials during this time of intense playful fun. From Tug of Wars to Human Wheelbarrows it was quite a spectacle to watch. Professor Ron Schafer led out in the many assorted games with his statistician's keeping track of the team scores. For the first time in many years the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year University team won class challenge ------BUT if you look at the faces of the grade 10 Phantom's you can surely tell they had the most fun.

Landon Ritchey

Mill Woods New Birth-day Celebration

Praise God! It was with joy that the Thompson family, along with brethren from the Mill Woods SDA Church, celebrated in their daughter Tiffany's decision to be baptized on her 12th birthday this past Sabbath at the Leduc SDA Church.

Crocodiles Found in Yellowknife

Crocodiles, fireflies and crawfish, oh my! On June 29, the Yellowknife Seventh-day Adventist Church was “swamped” with over 60 fearless kids as the church launched their week long Crocodile Dock VBS. It all began when Children’s Ministry leaders, Sheila and Noel Cruz, led a team of eager volunteers to transform the church’s gym into a Bible Bayou full of swampy things. Then crew leaders were trained and coached. When opening day came, the gym was full of community children ready to become fearless kids shining God’s light.

This year’s VBS was the largest yet with an average of 60 children in attendance each day with few days seeing over 70 children join the fun. The Crocodile Dock theme was evident all over the building from the craft stations (Crawfish Crafts and Missions) to the games (Gator Games). Perhaps the most amazing part of all was the Firefly Finale set where participants could hop on a flat-bottom boat and pretend to drift on lazy, hazy waters under tall cypress trees. Plants such as trees and water-lilies were built from ordinary school materials and garbage bags were used to create “the swamp”.

Each day began at 2pm with the Sing and Play Swamp Stomp which was led by the crew leaders - all early teens. The children who signed up for the camp were arranged into eight different groups or crews. After the Sing and Play Swamp Stomp, the crews split up and headed for the various stations around the church. All the games, crafts, snacks, and stories reinforced the Bible point for that day. A workbook was supplied to each child with instructions to draw or write about 'God in action', such as their parents hugging or laughing. Once the crews had moved through the stations, they rejoined each other for the Firefly Finale.

On the last day, all 10 crew leaders pitched together to perform a skit on 'being fearless' for all of the children and their parents. All the participants where given their crafts and small toys to take home to share with the rest of their family; a constant reminder that, “God is with us! Fear not!”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been serving the Yellowknife community for over 30 years and is located at 5008 Forrest Drive. Services are every Saturday morning at 10:30 starting with small groups for adults and children with services starting at 11:30. On the web they are at www.yksda.org. The church office can be reached at 873-6767 or by email at info@yksda.org.

Written by Cherryl Li, Crew Leader,
with a little help from Pastor Brad Dahr

Sherwood Park Care Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary

(l-r) Kathy Fortunat, Director of Patient Care; Danny Northam, Financial Officer; Gerald Northam, Executive Director; Mark Johnson, Chairman of the Board and Conference President, expressing appreciation

(l-r) Laurie Dunfield, former administrator; Gerald Northam, current administrator; Allan Fowler, former administrator

The Sherwood Park Care Center is a senior care facility owned and operated by Alberta Health, whose purpose is to meet the needs of aging family members and accomplishes their mission by providing quality care for the individuals who reside in this Christian care facility.

On the weekend of September 25-27, 2009, the staff, conference administrators, residents, friends, former employees, and resident family members,gathered in a large white tent right on the property next to the care center! Everyone enjoyed the words of congratulation and appreciation throughout the weekend. It was evident to all how God has led in the direction of this care facility since its inception 40 years ago.

The weekend events also included tours of the facility and grounds, culminating in a BBQ with live entertainment! It was obvious that there was much thought, planning, and efficient administration of the weekend events. It was so appreciated by so many.

Thank You Cake

Rose Simon proudly presented this exquisite cake to the Alberta Conference office

Pastor Peter Ford's dream is now becoming a reality! The Alberta Conference administration, assisted by Pastor Ford and Bob Spratt, entered into an agreement to purchase a parcel of land in the town of Hobbema. The intention for this piece of property is to erect a church and safe multi-purpose community center for students of Mamawi Atosketan Native School, future students, and the community.

It is a Native people's custom to show their appreciation to someone who does something for them by presenting a gift as a thank you. Rose Simon, a representative of the Native community in Hobbema as well as a member of the Maskwachees Adventist company, presented a beautifully-decorated cake as shown in the photo above. Jeannie Spratt, wife of Bob Spratt who is actively involved in the ministries we provide in the Hobbema area, made and decorated this cake. As you can see, it is a work of art and beauty! What a fantastic way to say thank you.

Parkview Adventist Academy Update

Angie Bishop

Tracy Ganson

Jason Irish

What a great year we are experiencing already at PAA. Everyone is saying that our student body is of such tremendous quality. The dorm has been blessed with full rooms and great student leadership. We will see how the academic side of PAA transpires further into the year.

Mrs. Angie Bishop is our new Principal at PAA this year. She comes to us with many years of teaching and administrative experience. She was our vice-principal last year and previous to that taught at CHCS. Taking on the duties of vice-principal this year is Rod Jamieson. His experience here at PAA will be very valuable in helping Angie with the many administrative duties. He will also be teaching exciting hands on classes like; mechanics, welding, woodworking and digital photography.

We have been blessed by two new faculty members. Mr. Jason Irish comes to us from the Fraser Valley with a family of four kids, one of which, Brandon joins our grade 10 class at PAA. Jason will be focusing on Socials Studies and coaching our soccer team. Deanna, Jason's wife will be working as a Health Care aid at the Royal Oak. Mrs. Tracy Ganson is our new Religious Studies teacher. She and her husband Clayton have two young children. Tracy is already getting involved with the kids in some musical ventures and service projects.

In our very first week in Academy many of the students participated in the Sabbath Communion Service at the College Heights Church. That same evening the Student Association had a very successful movie night at CHCS gym. Then straight into the week there were try outs for Volleyball and Soccer. Word is that the ladies volleyball team will be a team to contend with. A number of new students with top volleyball skills are trying out. Mr. Jamieson is already excited about the team's trip to Walla Walla, a sporting high light of the year.

The school has taken on a significant theme this year. It is "Service" within the school and community. If you are going to give your life for something ... What will it be-a career, a sport, a hobby, fame, wealth? None of these will have lasting significance. Students will learn that service is the pathway to real significance. It is through ministry that we discover the meaning of our lives. The Bible says, "Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body" (Romans 12:5 MSG). For example within our Science classes students have volunteered to be part of a shore clean up detail this fall. Mrs Ganson's students are already working on creating a project within the RS classes.

Our focus at PAA is to let God use us to make a difference in this world. He wants to work through us. What matters is not the duration of our lives, but the donation of our lives. Not how long we've lived, but how we lived. As our constituency we seek your prayers and support of Parkview Adventist Academy. We are truly a school that is:
Distinctly Academic - Decidedly Christian.

Landon Ritchey
Director of Marketing and Enrollment Services
and Public Relations PAA and CUC