Story by V. Michelle Bernard

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Columbia Union Conference leadership expected a 40 percent drop in tithe for the January–May 2020 quarter. “God has turned it around and has been gracious,” said Emmanuel Asiedu, Columbia Union treasurer, who reported only about a 4.5 percent drop in tithe (not all conferences experienced a drop) at a Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee meeting July 8 (via Zoom).

Story by Kimberly Luste Maran/North American Division Communication

On July 9, 2020, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Executive Committee met virtually to receive the name of G. Alexander Bryant, the recommendation for division president, from both the North American Division’s nominating committee and executive committee. Bryant was confirmed in a vote of 153 to 3.

Histoire par Ricardo Bacchus

Dernièrement, Victor, la souris de Visitor, vous cherchait. Il a besoin de 15 enfants pour le trouver afin qu’il ne soit pas seul. Ensuite, 1. Demandez à quelqu’un de vous prendre en photo avec lui. 2. Postez-le / « taguez » nous sur Facebook. 3. Attendez qu’un jeu de mémoire biblique arrive de LivingWell à Silver Spring, dans le Maryland.

Historia de Ricardo Bacchus

Últimamente, Victor, el ratón de la revista Visitor te ha estado buscando. Necesita 15 niños que lo encuentren para que no esté solo. Luego, 1. Haz que alguien te tome una foto con él. 2. Publícalo/etiquétanos en Facebook. 3. Espera a que te llegue un memorama de la Biblia de LivingWell en Silver Spring, Maryland.

Story by Ricardo Bacchus

Lately, Victor, the Visitor mouse, has been searching for you. He needs 15 kids to find him so that he’s not alone. Then: 1) Have someone take your picture with him. 2) Tag us on Facebook. 3) Wait for a Bible memory game from LivingWell in Silver Spring, Md.

Click here to read in Spanish. Click here to read in French.

Debbie Rivera, associate pastor at Chesapeake Conference’s Ellicott City church, welcomes viewers to the “Forecasting Hope” online Bible prophecy series.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Pastors of Pennsylvania Conference’s 26 Hispanic churches had an evangelism series planned for spring. But with coronavirus pandemic social distancing in place, they were forced to move the event to social media where they took turns preaching on the theme, “Love Written With Blood.”

The weeklong series received more than 19,000 views and was shared 678 times. Organizers believe that more people were impacted by the series than if it would’ve taken place “in person.”

Story by Elizabeth Anderson

Most child predators don’t lurk in alleys looking for their victims.  A predator is more likely to be a known and trusted figure in the victim’s community.

Some things to look out for in a predator:

1.  Grooming may be prolonged, but not in all cases.  According to the authors of “Safe Churches: Responding to Abuse in the Faith Community,” grooming could be preceded by a series of small tests that inform the abuser how to proceed.

2. An abuser’s intentions usually seem harmless.

3.  Look out for flattering words and making potential victims feel appreciated.

4.  Seemingly innocuous violations are usually followed by larger ones.

5. Seeking alone time to isolate potential victims “from those who can intervene.”

Story by Elizabeth Anderson

Liliana* is a Generation X Seventh-day Adventist who attends church with her three daughters. The way she worships today has been shaped by a series of violations during her tween years. 

"I was molested by an elder at the church," she told the Visitor staff. "My mother trusted [that] when I was in church, I was fine, andI was safe. And that absolutely was not the case."

Praying and Preying
That sense of trust church members tend to place in others can be attractive for good reasons and nefarious ones.

“Predators love church because there’s an auto- matic feeling of trust,” says Erica Jones, Women’s Ministries assistant director for the North American Division (NAD).