Greetings Church Family,
The Advent movement was founded with deep fervor, with a desperate longing to see Jesus and the new earth. But with every year that goes by, the longing for heaven seems less and less real. The voices in our heart call out for other things. Success. Fulfillment. Purpose. Recreation. Family. They’re all needs and passions that call for our attention. Our pursuit of the things of this life can drown out the quiet hope of heaven.
And then we have a day like last Tuesday. A day when tragedy hits too close to home. In an instant we feel pain with the parents of Reynolds High School who were sending their children off for a normal day on campus. By now the responses are predictable. Within minutes, people cry out for and against new gun laws. Internet pundits second guess every detail, before the facts are even known. But in the midst of the varied responses, there is a shared pain. A shared outrage. My kids are barely school-aged, but when I came home from work on Tuesday night, I hugged them extra tight, thanking God for another day with them. I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one. In moments like this, we suffer together as a community and suffer privately.
It’s in the quietness of that private pain that we sense the longing of heaven once again. “He has also set eternity in their heart,” writes Solomon. We are wired to anticipate heaven. We are wired to have hope for what is to come. But too often that hope and anticipation are overshadowed by the pursuits of the present. Except in moments like this one. Except in the deepest pain and most palpable discouragement.
As time passes, healing will come. But don’t let the pain pass without it doing its work: to remind us of our desperate longing, our hope of seeing Jesus. Our instinct is to mask the pain, ignore it, or move on to something “happy” as quickly as possible. I understand it. I share the instinct. But I’m reminded of a passage from Augustine’s Confessions. “The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be home on earth. As long as we are aliens, we cannot forget our true homeland.”
This pain we feel is but a reminder: We’re not home yet. Don’t give up hope. Help is on the way.
May the God of peace be with us all as we long for our homes with Him.
News & Notes
Sabbath worship services are at 8:45 and 11:15 am. Pastor Jonathan Russell will be bringing us our Bible message entitled “The X Factor.”
Today immediately following church, lunch is provided for all those who will stay and help place Vacation Bible School door hangers around our neighborhood. The more people we have to help, the less time it will take us.
Encounters With God this afternoon at 5:00 will feature Shane Conaway. Come and hear how God has led in his life.
We are now planning for the school year 2014-2015. If you need financial assistance to attend an Adventist school, student aid applications are available from the Church Office.
Calling all VBS participants and volunteers! We are having a work/ decorating/construction bee to get the Church ready for our Wilderness Escape! The Sunday before VBS (June 22) has been set aside for multiple tasks to prepare for our journey. We will need our construction, set up, and decorating crews at 10:00 am If you are a shop keeper, you may want to decorate your booth during this time. We are planning to have the costumes available for assignment at 3:00 pm Tribe leaders, shop keepers, drama members, musicians, kitchen volunteers, registrars, and any other participants may/should be in costume. ~One more note: We have plenty of cans now. Thank you for helping us with this fun craft.
Sunnyside’s 33rd Annual Strawberry Vespers will be June 21, 5:30 pm. This promises to be a great program for you to enjoy with your family and friends! There will be lots of great music from some of Portland’s finest musicians, plenty of good fellowship, and lots of strawberry shortcake! After this event, the Heritage Singers will be performing at 8:00 pm as part of their Northwest tour. This is an evening you won’t want to miss! Come early for a good seat.
One of our Pathfinders is trying to earn extra money to go to Oshkosh by babysitting. If you have a need or know of someone that does, please contact the church office for more information at 503-252-8080.
Portland Adventist Academy e-Headlines!
Portland Adventist Elementary www.paes.com
YOU are Needed! Oregon Conference is requesting all who are willing and able to volunteer during Camp Meeting this year. We are seeking volunteers for both Hispanic Camp Meeting (July 10-12) and Gladstone Camp Meeting (July 15-19). We need volunteers for hospitality, shuttle drivers, safety and security, as well as licensed RNs and EMTs for 8-hour shifts. Whether you would like to work a shift daily or only have time for a single shift, your services would be greatly appreciated. To volunteer go to http://volunteer.oregonconference.org or contact Lisa Rodriguez via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 503-850-3575.
North American International Student Services, NAISS, is looking for native English-speaking host families. Host families will help Chinese youth overcome Mute English (where people can read and understand English as a second language but cannot speak it well). The program begins in July and runs for approximately 30 days. For more information please visit our website www.naiss-us.com or call 541-228-0667.
June 13-15: Better Life Camp Meeting featuring Kenneth Cox. Registration is now open. For more information or to register go to: http://goo.gl/IlN1iF or call 541-474-3095.
Event Location: Milo Academy.
June 14-22: Messiah’s Mansion. This life-size replica of the ancient Hebrew tabernacle gives visitors a chance to glimpse into the past. Operated by the staff and students of Oklahoma Academy in Harrah, Oklahoma, Messiah’s Mansion has been in operation since 2003. In October of 2008, this exhibit drew over 10,000 visitors in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For more information go to email@example.com.
Event Location: Newberg Adventist Church.
July 1-5: Light Bearers’ 30th Annual Convocation. This year’s theme is “Faith to Faith.” We will be focusing our attention on the beautiful message of righteousness by faith, exploring god’s transforming love for each of us as revealed in Christ. Powerful preaching. Interactive Bible study. Children’s meetings. A spiritual feast for the whole family. To register, visit www.lightbearers.org or call 541-988-3333.
Event Location: Jasper, Oregon.
Project Patch is seeking a part-time Development Assistant (25 hours per week) in the Vancouver, WA, office. Assist with the annual fund, donor support and recruiting, and public relations. Must love working with people, great on the phone, computer savvy with attention to detail. For more information, visit www.projectpatch.org/jobs or call
The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) is seeking applicants to fill the certification registrar position in the education department. This full-time employment opportunity at the NPUC office in Ridgefield, Wash., will be available in September. A degree in education is preferred. A minimum four years of job-related experience in teaching or administrative work in schools is essential, preferably in the secondary area. Knowledge of school registrar work is desirable. A working knowledge of Internet use is expected. Experience with word processing, spreadsheets and other software programs are essential. For more information, contact Robert Sundin, NPUC Undertreasurer, at 360-857-7014, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Résumés for the position are being accepted until
July 10, 2014.