El Centinela Conscripts Hispanic Adventists to Distribute 1 Million Magazines on May 2

(Spectrumbot) #1

El Centinela, the Spanish Language monthly magazine for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists published by Pacific Press, has announced plans to distribute one million copies of the May edition of the magazine throughout the NAD.

Each magazine contains a Bible study enrollment card. The plan, according to Pacific Press President Dale Galusha, is to encourage each church member personally to give copies to their friends and neighbors.

In a video released by Pacific Press on YouTube, pastors Ricardo Betancur, Alfredo Campechano, and Julio Chazarreta, El Centinela's leadership team, announced the initiative, saying, "We are very excited about what will happen on May 2."

The three offered suggestions for how to make the distribution of a million magazines possible: "If you start with your neighborhood, the best way—the classic way is to distribute them door to door," Betancur said.

"You can go to shops where people speak Spanish and pass out magazines to the people who stop by," chimed in Campechano. "Additionally, you can go to the mall. There are always lots of people and lots of lovely hispanic folk who go there. So go to the mall and share the magazine there."

They further suggested targeting places where hispanic individuals are working: "restaurants, factories, fields that are being harvested—there are lots of places that you can go," Betancur said.

Chazarreta suggested sharing them with friends, colleagues, classmates, "or the members of your sports teams—soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, or whatever other sport, you can give your friends a copy of the magazine."

I asked Dale Galusha for further insight into the motivation for the project.

"The One Million El Centinela program is a joint initiative of the North American Division Multi-lingual department, the Hispanic Union and Conference Coordinators, and the local Hispanic churches and El Centinela Magazine," he said. Galusha noted Hispanic membership growth in North America, pointing out that the population is, on the whole, "very evangelistic."

There are approximately 1,050 Hispanic churches in the North American Division with a membership of about 225,000.

"We are connecting the One Million Plan with La Voz de la Esperanza," Galusha said. In each of the one million copies of El Centinela is a Bible study request card through La Voz de la Esperanza.Between May and November, church members will be following up and giving Bible studies to those who requested as the result of receiving a Centinela Magazine. In November Pastor Omar Grieve, speaker/director for La Voz, will preach a reaping series of evangelistic meetings. "So—this project is a part of the overall strategy for outreach and evangelism in the Hispanic community throughout North America," Galusha said.

Mass literature distribution has certainly faced challenges in North America. As I reported in November, 2014 when the Great Controversy Project placed over one million paperback copies of Ellen White's "The Great Controversy" on top of mailboxes throughout Manhattan, David Blend, writing for Thrillist, published an article entitled, "Seriously, what the hell are you supposed to do with this?" However, unlike the impersonal distribution of paperbacks in New York City, the distribution of copies of El Centinela is intended to be a more personal venture in hopes that the personal touch may make a bigger evangelistic impact.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6766

(Frank Peacham) #2

There was a time when free religious literature was very influential, not now. I wish we would rethink our witnessing model. The example in Matthew 25 of caring for the hungry, under-employed, incarcerated, and the immigrant is a potent evangelistic model that lies mostly unexplored by our local congregations. Think about it, Jesus rewarded simple acts of kindness, non-judmentalism with eternal rewards, a symbol of effective evangelism. Instead of cranking up the presses to swell the landfill, invest in the community with acts of hospitality and generosity.

I wish our Conferences and Unions would minimize time spent in committees and go to work modeling how to labor in the vineyard. I think our great hindrance is our view of the disadvantaged as their fault, thus deserving their poverty, because they did not make the right choices as we have. Second, our leaders look to the wealthy and highly educated for advice and influence, something Jesus never did his ministry. Some of our larger congregations will not hire a pastor without a Ph.D, and the repercussions of this is we spend more time feeding ourselves rather than others. (My local church spend thousands on a new kitchen, playground and pastoral salary—and 0 on community outreach.)

(Tim Teichman) #3

Yes, it seems this might have worked 50 years ago.

Yes, I’ve been invited to, and have participated in, far more outreach efforts with non-SDA groups than with.

Yes, and besides, the end of the world is at nye and everyone’s fate is sealed anyway. Does it really matter that much?

(Steve Mga) #4

Does anyone recall the Advertisements stating –
Your Friends, the Adventists.

Perhaps Tim’s statement is Really what we are thinking as a religious body –
The End of the World is here, and everyone’s fate is sealed anyway. Does it really matter?

So we remain cloistered in our isolationism toward the city and county. And let the postman do our evangelism for us.