In this week’s news round-up, 110-year-old Laura Pitts says “faith in God” is the secret to a long life, the Medford Seventh-day Adventist Church plans to offer an active-shooter training, and an Adventist pastor in Kenya has helped create a program to save young men from alcoholism.
110-year-old Seventh-day Adventist Credits Age to “Faith in God.” Laura Pitts celebrated her 110th birthday in November with friends and family at Birmingham’s Cherry Hill Healthcare Center. Asked by Birmingham City Councilor John Hilliard the “secret to living to 110 years,” Pitts replied, “Faith in God.” Pitts, who has been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist faith for 78 years, received accolades from Senator Doug Jones, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, and Governor Kay Ivey among others. A resident of Cherry Hill since June 2018, the supercentenarian lives independently in her own apartment and enjoys bingo and word search puzzles books, finishing several in just a few weeks. From Birmingham Times, “‘Faith In God’: Birmingham Woman Celebrates Her 110th.”
Medford Seventh-day Adventist Church May Offer Active-shooter Training to Public. Churches and synagogues, long considered the safest of places, are taking steps to increase security for services. Medford’s Seventh-day Adventist Church plans to offer an active-shooter training to the public in the first half of 2020. Jonathan Russell, assistant to the president for multimedia communication for the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, says some churches view this as an uncomfortable conversation, but it is one that needs to be discussed. He says already churches within the conference have been openly having this discussion to address problems and find solutions. Some have taken proactive steps such as working with law enforcement more closely and taking classes to identify potential threats. “It makes me upset; it makes me angry that we need to be having these thoughts and even be pursuing any kind of safety measures in our churches,” said Russell. “I mean we want our churches to be safe places for people who are seeking faith.” From KOBI-TV NBC5, “Local religious institutions look to increase security and safety.”
Adventist Pastor Supports Kenyan Plan to Save Young Men from Alcoholism. Jacob Mutiga and Abraham Kinoti and other Kenyan community members, including SDA Pastor Gachoki Gichobi, have created a program to save young men from alcoholism. They realized that many young men started drinking soon after undergoing circumcision. Mutiga and Kinoti’s idea was to have the boys circumcised at a central place like a school, a new way of initiating the boys into manhood. During this time, they teach them about Christianity and culture and the importance of education in their lives.
“We decided to launch a modern way of initiating boys once they complete sitting their Class Eight national examinations. We learned that most of the boys lost track during the circumcision period where there were no mentors to caution initiates against certain practices,” said Mutiga.
“We stayed with them for two weeks. We invited traditionalists, teachers, religious leaders, and officials from the National Aids Control Council,” recalls Mutiga.
“Our main challenge is inadequate facilities because 40 percent of the collections go to leasing of the facility where the initiates reside during the seclusion period,” notes Mutiga. The group is planning to have its own facility where leaders will be providing guidance and counseling to the society for free to the community.
“We are planning to reduce the circumcision charges and also offer a sponsorship to the vulnerable groups so as to enhance a responsible leadership within our community,” says Mutiga. The group is appealing for the establishment of permanent guidance and counseling centers in every sub county to attend to matters of youth especially during holidays when many of them become vulnerable to social vices. From Kenyan News, “Group Adopts Modern Circumcision Model To Solve Youth Challenges.”
Please note: Spectrum news round-ups are an aggregation of regional, national, and international publications around the world that have reported on stories about Adventists. As such, the accuracy of the information is the responsibility of the original publishers, which are noted and hyperlinked at the end of each excerpt.
Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.
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