August 10 Communiqué

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 Greetings Sunnyside Family,

 There are moments in time when a community is shocked, saddened, and hurt by tragedy in its midst.  For us at Sunnyside one of those moments was June 21 when Alex Buchanan experienced a serious bicycle accident.  Many of us have watched Alex grow up.  We love him and his family, so we all share in the pain of an uncertain future.  Many of you have asked for an update on Alex’s condition and ways that we can help.  Carl has taken the time to write an update, excerpted below:

 On the evening of June 21 I got a call from a neurosurgeon calling from the regional trauma center in Chattanooga, TN telling me that one of our twins, Alex Buchanan, had been in a bicycle accident, had C3/C4 level neck trauma, was paralyzed, and the surgeon was about to operate.  After a couple hours of sleep Rose and I got up very early the next morning and spent the day traveling to Chattanooga.  Our lives, as well as Alex’s, have changed as a result of this accident.

 Alex’s spinal cord was injured but not severed.  The surgery went well but he came out of surgery as he went in, as a quadriplegic.  The only feeling or movement he had below his neck was that he could shrug his shoulders and feel touch at the very top of his arms.   That has continued for six weeks.

 On Alex’s 21st day in the Trauma ICU at Erlanger Medical Center he was transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta.   Our research suggested Shepherd Center was the largest and best spinal cord injury center in the country.  After only one day in Shepherd’s ICU he was transferred to one of the spinal cord injury floors to begin his rehabilitation.  We expect Alex to be at Shepherd for most or all of August. .  We hope to be able to bring him home at that time.

 One of the challenging things about spinal cord injuries is that the experts can not predict the future.  Some people regain much function, others regain none.  Most function is regained in the first six months.  But only after twenty-four months would doctors say, “this is where he is at”.  And of course medical advances could result in repairs in the future that are not possible now.

 From the people that have known about Alex’s accident we appreciate all the calls, text messages, facebook posts, and prayers.  It has been important to me that Alex keep his spirits up and I have made a strong effort to respond to his friends and keep him updated on messages from his friends and church members.  The main method I have used to keep people updated is by posting on Alex’s facebook page and my facebook page.  If you want to be more in the loop you can send me a facebook friends request.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How is Alex now?  This can be a challenging question as there is often little or no change from day to day.  Alex is still on a ventilator.  But he continues to be off of it for longer periods of time during the day.  We were alarmed to learn Friday that he had lost more weight and was down to 100#.  Alex still gets tube feedings at night and can now eat during the day.  He has a poor appetite and burns a lot of calories learning to breath a new way.  My first assignment upon returning will be a get him foods that he will like better than his current options.  Alex is still not able to talk but he can mouth words and sometimes we or caregivers can read his lips.  Also when we are there we have a way where he can spell about one word per minute.   But the big news today is that Alex was able to move his hands over the weekend.  We got calls from a Southern friend, Matthew Peel, that visited on Saturday and Sunday, that Alex was able to move his hands and arms a little.  We heard he was in a great mood.  Shepherd will pick up on this and really give him a workout today.  We don’t know how much movement Alex will get back but this is some of the best news we have received.

How are you doing?  This is a harder question to answer.  Our faith in God is strong.  But it is hard to see our son in this condition and not know the future.  I think we would prefer friends to just let us know they are praying for Alex.

Is there anything we can do for you?  We focus on Alex and his care.  His friends in Tennessee were gracious and helpful.  We are doing OK but have concerns about Alex’s financial future.  A friend at our church is looking into setting up a fund to assist him.

What is Alex’s prognosis?  What is his future?  Time will tell.  Doctors can not predict his level of recovery.  We know he will not be able to attend college this fall.  Our dream would be that he gains enough function to someday be independent, get his MSW, and become a social worker.  We expect to bring Alex home to continue his recovery this fall.

Carl Buchanan

Most certainly, the Buchanans are at the beginning of a long  journey.  It’s at times like this when we need each other them most. Continue to remember the family in prayer.  When you see them, let them know specifically how you are praying for them.  We are beginning to look at ways that we can come together as a community to bless Alex and the family more tangibly, but nothing will be more important than prayer.

As we experience the Sabbath together, may we experience blessing in spite of the pain, peace in the midst of the storm, and assurance of God’s love in the midst of uncertainty.

See you tomorrow!

Pastor Jonathan

News & Notes

This Weekend
The Week Ahead
Church Announcements
Prayer Requests
This Week’s Celebrations
Coming Events
Adventist Education
Area Events

This Weekend

Sabbath worship services are at 8:45 and 11:15 am. Pastor Jonathan Russell will be presenting our Bible message entitled The Art of Re-gifting.

The Week Ahead

Sunset:  Today  8:25 pm  •  Friday  8:16 pm

3:30 pm Oromo Choir Rehearsal (Basement)
6:00 pm Romanian Prayer Meeting – Final Events with Stephen Bohr (Room 63)

Tue, Aug 13
6:30 pm The American Revolution (Room 63)

Wed, Aug 14
10:00 am FaithLift – John 6 (Room 21)
5:00 pm Women’s Ministries Committee (Room 21)
6:30 pm Wednesday Night Prayer & Readings (Prayer Room)   Last Day Events by Ellen White – Chapter 12 “The Shaking”
7:00 pm CherryWood Prayer Meeting – Conrad Gren

Thr, Aug 15
6:00 pm Worship Committee (Workroom)

Fri, Aug 16
6:00 pm Oromo Choir Rehearsal (Basement)

Sab, Aug 17
Sermon: Surely Goodness and Mercy – Pastor Scott

Prayer Requests

Gerald Bruce, Alex Buchanan, Elena Ciuca, Verna E. Dixon, Johnetta Fuller, Danette’s sister), Michael Hamilton, Jim Kramer (Tom Kramer’s brother), Nancy Ruhl, all who have financial, spiritual, and health needs, and the 50-member Romania Mission taskforce.

For  comfort and peace. . .
For the family and friends of Millie Allen who passed away July 28, 2013. There will be a memorial service here at Sunnyside August 17 at 3:00 pm.

For the family and friends of Maria Heissler who passed away July 28, 2013, and
Robert Heissler who passed away July 29, 2013.

This Week’s Celebrations

Today: Gloria Myers, Esther Racasa  Sunday: Lauren Gregory, Barbara Gren, Conrad Gren, Terri-Lynn McDonald, Arlene Thompson  Monday: Ronda Blehm, Adahley Dormus, Arlene Hoover, Eric Swiridoff  Tuesday: Matthew Duong, Zachary Eason, Dane Petersen Wednesday: Esmeralda Cruz-Martinez, Norval Gryte, Karen Krieger Thursday: Tara Bartholomew, Michael Cummings, Kayla Martinez , Lyra Tulipat  Friday: Robert Buller, Bruce Hazen, Ron Linder, Gregory Spiker

Coming Events

A Celebration of Missions – Romania: August 24, 6:30 pm, music with Melvin West at the organ, pictures, and reports. This will be a celebration you will not want to miss. Refreshments following.

Sabbath, August 31, our worship services will be presented by Dr. Raj Attiken, Ohio Conference president and others. At 6:00 pm, we will enjoy the 11th Annual Bobby McGhee and Friends Vespers entitled “A New Decade of Love,” featuring the Three Wisemen Quartet and many local artists. Stark Street pizza follows vespers.

Sunday, September 1, beginning at 7:30 am, the Adventist Softball Tournament will be held at Brush Prairie field. View map at:

September 8, 3:30 pm – Corn Feed and Picnic


Portland Adventist Academy
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Portland Adventist Academy is having its 14th Annual Cougar Golf Tournament at Stone Creek Golf Club on Sunday, August 18 starting at 7:30 am. If you would like to sign up, please register at under the “Sports/Golf Tournament” tab.

PAA has yet more changes to announce. It is with mixed feelings we say goodbye to Jon Lovenguth, a 15-year PAA teacher. Mr. Lovenguth recently found full time employment after serving PAA as a part time teacher for several years. We are happy for him, of course. But he will be missed.

We are also thrilled to announce the addition of Pastor Steve Lemke to our Bible teaching staff. Some of our pastors are already familiar with Steve and know that he will be a great addition to our team!

School is just around the corner! Portland Adventist Academy is already preparing for students to start on September 3 (new students) and September 4 (all students). If you or someone you know would like a Christ-Centered, Character-Driven education, please call PAA at 503.255.8372

Portland Adventist Elementary  School
School starts: September 3

Rivergate Adventist Elementary School
Registration: August 27, 2 pm
School starts: Tuesday, September 3

Area Events & Announcements

Today, 7:00 pm: Adventist Community Church of Vancouver hosts Alter Wiener, holocaust survivor. He will share his powerful and poignant autobiographical story: “From a Name to a Number.”

Today, 7:30 pm: Hood View Church hosts a piano concert by Alicia and Matthew Dellen.

August 29—September 1: Central Oregon. Join us for the 3rd Annual REFRESHED Retreat as we welcome special guest speaker Dr. Jo Ann Davidson from the Andrews University Theological Seminary held August 29th through September 1st at the scenic base of Paulina Peak in Central Oregon. Theme this year is, “The Gift of the Sabbath.” Friday evening service at 5:00 pm followed by an agape dinner. Sabbath school at 9:30 am with Chuck Burkeen (Director of the Member Ministry Department) and his wife Joyce. Church service will begin at 10:45 am. RSVP by August 25. Read more, or go to

September 8, 6 pm: Stone Tower Church presents Financial Peace University. Classes are once a week for 9 weeks. Register online at and look for classes.

September 11-14, 2013: Festival of the Laity free virtual conference via your computer. Get equipped for effective ministry with no registration, travel, or hotel expenses! The North American Division Adult Ministries Department is offering free online training for Sabbath School, Personal Ministries, and Prison Ministries leaders. Attend from the comfort of your home, church, or office—all you need is a computer with internet access. All of your church’s leaders can benefit these live broadcasts presented by globally respected facilitators. Visit to sign up.

September 13: Beaverton Church begins the new CHIP+ program. Information sessions will be held on September 3, 9, and 10. For more information visit, call 503-646-9282 ext 39, or email

The North American Division Music Committee for the 2015 General Conference Session (July 2-11 in San Antonio, Tex.) is now accepting applications from musicians/groups desiring to perform at the 2015 General Conference Session. Applications can be downloaded at the 2015 General Conference website at Click the “Music Application Packet” tab and follow all directions.  Applications will be processed through December 31, 2013.

October 18-20, 2013: Eagle Crest hosts the 27th annual Oregon Christian Women’s Retreat featuring Elizabeth Talbot from the Jesus 101 Institute. Theme: Exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we can ask or imagine. For more information and to register go to:

Combined Budget (Local Church Expense)

Received August: $6,433 / Monthly Budget: $38,000
Received YTD: $32,022 / YTD Budget: $76,000
ReNew Sunnyside − Goal: $450,000 / Received: $64,014

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