Columbia Union Conference leadership has announced the speakers for “Rise Up,” the Columbia Union Conference Young Adult Summit 2017. Steve Case (pictured), president of Involve Youth (Calif.), will be the keynote speaker. Tiffany Brown, director of REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School in Philadelphia, Kris Eckenroth, pastor of Grace Outlet church in Reading, Pa.; and Marquis Johns, lead pastor of the North Philadelphia church, are just a few of the presenters. 

Register for the summit, and read about the other presenters at

Willow Brook church in Boonsboro, Md., pictured

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

At the Columbia Union Conference Constituency Meeting in May 2016, union leadership and conference presidents made a commitment to continue the strong focus on evangelism in the new quinquennium, starting with an initiative themed “Share the Light, Share the Hope.” Here are some highlights to date:

Prayer walk participants pray around MVJA’s campus as they celebrate school’s 50th anniversary.

Story by Cristina Macena

Meadow View Junior Academy (MVJA) in Chesterfield recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Pastor Art Randall, former pastor of the Robbinsville church, one of the churches that supported MVJA through the years, delivered a powerful sermon to an audience of nearly 300 people.

Photo by David Lienhard on Flickr

Editorial by Rick Remmers

The Advent celebration is synonymous with lights. They decorate our neighborhoods, malls, trees and homes. When we look in the gospel accounts of the first advent of Jesus, we find the angels appearing to the shepherds with a brilliant light. Their presence or message could not be missed—Christ had come.

Then there was the star from the east leading wise men to the humble dwelling to see Jesus. The light of the star provided a guide for those who were willing to find the One who would light the world.

Blog by Rob Vandeman

We love to read the Psalms and rightly so. While Psalms may be the most popular book of the Bible, the Psalms are often the most misunderstood and misinterpreted. Many of us choose a few favorites and ignore others that strike us as bizarre or even cruel. Yet all the psalms were written for our benefit. To understand and appreciate the whole collection, we need solid principles of interpretation that will guide us to a proper reading and application of this riveting part of God’s Word.

There are several principles that we should keep in mind as we read the psalms. Not only will they help us understand God’s message in the psalms, but the principles will also allow us to see them in all their richness. As we meditate on the psalms we think, feel, imagine and choose in increasingly godly ways.

In order to illustrate each of these principles, we will apply them to Psalm 131:

    A song for the ascent to Jerusalem    A psalm of David

    1. My heart is not proud, O Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
    I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.

    2. But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
    like a weaned child with its mother,
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Durante la reunión de fin de año de la Unión de Columbia, los miembros del Comité Ejecutivo analizaron el documento sobre la Unidad en la Misión votado a principios de octubre por el Consejo Anual de la Asociación General. Muchos expresaron su preocupación por la intención, el propósito, las suposiciones que implica el documento, y cómo impactará la misión de la iglesia en esta región.

Dave Richmond, un miembro de la Asociación de Pennsylvania dijo que el documento desdibuja las líneas entre las creencias fundamentales y las pólizas. “Da la impresión que nuestras pólizas están al mismo nivel de nuestras creencias fundamentales”.

Story by Heidi Whetmore

As Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA) sophomore Autumn Uhrig watched a YouTube video one morning, something piqued her interest. Millions of people who can’t speak rely on text-to-speech devices to communicate. Most devices have the same vocal sound for all users, regardless of age or gender. Uhrig learned of VocaliD, which, according to their website, is “the human voicebank of the world.”

VocaliD records human voices, mixes them with sounds a non-speaking person can make and blends them to make a unique humanized voice in which the machine talks for them. Uhrig wanted to do her part in helping someone find their voice. She visited the website, recorded a couple of sentences and waited to see if there was anyone her age who needed assistance. Months later she received an email that a young girl, Tesa, was a good match for her voice. Uhrig now needed to record 3,488 sentences to get the job done.