It’s been barely a week since the attention of our country was fixed on Roseburg, Oregon. We watched in horror as the news reports reminded us just how broken our world is. We feel it acutely because the victims were fellow Oregonians. And because one victim was a fellow Adventist. And yet the reality of life is that most of us will get back to life as usual within a week or two, while the victims and their families toil under the weight of this tragedy for the rest of their lives.
This is the profound sadness of the world in which we live. We are so bombarded by stories of tragedy and pictures of need that we become numb, insulating ourselves against the onslaught of pain so that we can continue about our lives.
We look right past the panhandler on the street. We change the channel when the news crew talks about Roseburg…again. We turn away from the chaos in Syria. We quickly avoid the flashing lights and caution tape marking the scene of another gang shooting.
All are reminders of a broken world. Add them together and they are just too much to carry.
But the real tragedy is when we look past the pain found within our own spiritual community. We come to church to find refuge. We seek relief from the storm outside these walls.
So we look past the pain and illness of the one in the pew next to us. We change the subject when someone begins to talk about their own relational brokenness. We turn away from the people who wish to share about their own spiritual chaos. We get perturbed or frustrated when “that mom” can’t keep “those kids” quiet in the sanctuary.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ,” writes Paul. Connect with each other in a way that will share the load. Offer encouragement in the face of pain. Speak stability into spiritual chaos. Stay connected when someone is struggling with their marriage or their kids. Help “that mom” out in feeling at home in the house of God.
May we never become so numb to the plight of those around us that we fail to be the hands and feet of Jesus in sharing their burden with them.
I’m thankful that I’m part of a community in which people are willing to engage with one another, willing to pray for one another, and willing to stay on the journey to the kingdom with one another.
I’m praying for God’s blessing for each of us as we experience the Sabbath together. This Sabbath marks my first as Sunnyside’s lead pastor and I’m excited about the message that God has been laying on my heart. I hope to see many of you there as we engage in God’s word together.
News & Notes
If you can see the platform better at church this weekend, thank Ed Betz and Olivian Gramada. They were the ones on ladders replacing bulbs for our stage lights.
Our worship services are at 8:45 am and 11:15 am. Pastor Jonathan Russell will present our Bible message titled “Time to Breathe.”
Encounters With God this afternoon at 5:00 will feature Romulus Costea. His topic is “How God Led Me Through Troublous Times.” Romulus was a pastor in Romania. All are invited. Translation will be provided. Immediately following at 6:00 pm in the same room there will be a report on the Belize mission. We plan to show pictures and work on our plans. All Belize Mission team members, please plan to attend. For more information contact Vasile Gramada at 503-705-3072.
Our Library has new hours: 10:50–11:20 am; after 2nd service–1:00 pm.
If you are interested in a copy of the Torah, the library has a free copy available.
The 2015 PACS (Portland Adventist Community Services) Awards Dinner is tomorrow, October 11, 4:00 pm, at Embassy Suites Hotel, Portland Airport. It will feature a silent auction, gourmet meal, and an awards presentation. Call 503-252-8500 by Wednesday, October 7, for seat reservations or more information. By letting PACS be our partner in service, we give disadvantaged families in the Portland area a leg up in their quest to get out of poverty.
Our Pathfinders are again selling Willamette Valley pies with proceeds going towards funds for the Ethiopian mission trip next spring. If you would like to place an order, contact Belinda Duong at 503-515-7786, or one of our Pathfinders.
Sabbath, October 17, Pastor Eliseo Lozano from Changing People’s Lives Ministries (cplives.org) will share first-hand experience in taking the gospel to communist countries. He will be preaching for our services and sharing a special Encounters With God at 5:00 pm. Because of the sensitive nature of his experience, we will be unable to live-stream our worship service on that Sabbath. Plan now to attend this unique Sabbath experience.
Hans U. Hielscher, organist, will be in concert at Sunnyside Church, Wednesday evening, October 21, 7:00. Hans Hielscher is a German organist and composer and has played more than 2,500 concerts worldwide. This is a concert you will want to attend.
Sunnyside will be sponsoring a mission trip to Ethiopia during Spring Break 2016. Plan to join the mission team for evangelism, building, heath ministry, and children’s ministry. Express your interest by contacting Ted Mackett, chair Foreign Mission Facilitation Committee.
We are pleased to announce a joint mission project to Belize between Oregon and Moldova SDA Conferences. A group of missionaries from Romania will travel with a group from Sunnyside to Belize and work together in various projects: two evangelistic series, children’s ministries, and construction. Everyone can participate! We will leave Portland on Nov. 9 and return Nov. 24. Contact Vasile Gramada 503-705-3072.
Portland Adventist Academy
Portland Adventist Academy is having their annual Student Scholarship Auction on November 15, 2015. Tickets are $20/person or $125/table of 8 people. We are also looking for auction items such as event tickets, vacation homes, and gift certificates. If you would like to come to our event or donate, please call Heidi Woodworth at 503.255.8372 ext. 230 or email her at email@example.com.
Portland Adventist Elementary
October 16-18: “Joy! The Road Trip” Women’s Retreat with Dr. Carla Gober-Park from Loma Linda University. Special musical guest: Elise LeBlanc. Breakout speakers are Cheri Gatton, Karen Pearson, Sher Carlton, and Dr. Mable Dunbar. Teen speaker: Macy McVay. Registration ended October 8 for the “Joy! The Road Trip” Women’s Retreat, but… You may still be able to attend at a live-streaming site and get in on the wonderful fellowship which is such a blessing at retreats. All main sessions with Dr. Carla Gober-Park will be streamed along with two breakout sessions. For more information about attending a live-streaming site – or about watching online at home for free – visit OregonConference.org.Event Location: Eagle Crest Resort.
Sunnyside’s Christian Women’s Ministries Retreat will be held in early Spring. We will be broadcasting the “Christian Women’s Retreat” program as well as portions of the “Women of Faith” program. It promises to be an exciting retreat, packed with the talent from both programs. The spring date will be announced soon.
Event Location: Sunnyside Adventist Church.
October 18-November 8: ABC Fall Case Food Sale. Go to abcflyer.org to view full details.
Event Location: Adventist Book Center, Gladstone.
October 23, 7:00 pm; 24, 2:30 pm; 25, 2:00 pm: Boosting Immunity Seminars. You’re invited to an exciting new free seminar series focusing on boosting immunity through simple natural methods. Avoid illness and experience health so good it could be contagious!
Event Location: Stone Tower Church.
October 29-November 1: Medical Evangelism Conference – CrossTraining: Are you a physician or dentist interested in learning how to effectively share Christ with your patients? Then the AMEN conference is for you! We will discuss how health professionals can be “CrossTrained” meeting not only their patients’ physical needs but their spiritual needs also. Together we will learn how to focus our attention, and the attention of our patients, on God’s heart of love as revealed in the Cross of Christ. Featured Speakers include: Pastors Steven Grabiner and Mark Finley; Physicians Peter Landless and Kelly Kinsley; Dentists Steve Chang and Ronald Hold; and many others. All physicians, dentists, healthcare professionals, and pastors are welcome. For more information please
October 29-November 1: Medical Evangelism Conference – CrossTraining: Are you a physician or dentist interested in learning how to effectively share Christ with your patients? Then the AMEN conference is for you! We will discuss how health professionals can be “CrossTrained” meeting not only their patients’ physical needs but their spiritual needs also. Together we will learn how to focus our attention, and the attention of our patients, on God’s heart of love as revealed in the Cross of Christ. Featured Speakers include: Pastors Steven Grabiner and Mark Finley; Physicians Peter Landless and Kelly Kinsley; Dentists Steve Chang and Ronald Hold; and many others. All physicians, dentists, healthcare professionals, and pastors are welcome. For more information please visit www.amensda.org or call 530-883-8061.