The Lake Union Conference administration provides tangible ground-level support to our entities and sub-entities and has disseminated funding for our cities whose citizenry have been displaced due to rioting. Currently, $15,000 has been sent to our local conferences to assist local churches with provisions for those who need basic supplementation of food, clothing and prayer support after local stores were destroyed. We are providing resources to help persons affected restock items such as diapers, clothing, food and water which were quickly exhausted after said events. Additionally, led by pastors from as far west as Minneapolis, business leaders impacted have been prayed for by our youth and young adults who also have led out in clean-up activities in their stores. Undergirding the ministry of these valiant youth/young adults was the main target of the Lake Union funding initiative. Concomitantly, police officers have been invited to join prayer vigils at these street-level healing events. Lake Union administration has asked our local conferences to match our gift with the hope of extending the healing ministry of Christ to what amounts in total to $30,000 for ministry to those hurt by recent events.
Our Lake Union administration has prayed earnestly that Jesus is reflected in our attempts to redress bigoted behavior and earnestly prayed for ourselves and our field that Christlikeness may prevail in all of our activities. Prayer should not be underestimated as it is the first and most important key to conflict management. Without it, attempts to bring together people of different backgrounds and opinions are doomed to fail. We urge all to understand that heart change begins in our prayer closets where God can reveal to us the darkness that is resident within relative to people of other cultures and/or subcultures within our own native cultures that are often overlooked as they do not match up with what is seen as normative for our own people group be they educationally, socially, mentally or physically disadvantaged by life’s circumstances.
Via our news organ, the Herald, the Lake Union administration has issued statements for calm and peaceful Christ-like resolve, fair treatment of the disenfranchised, and a call for continued discourse during our current season of national unrest. Also, at the president’s request, the Lake Union dedicated an issue of the Lake Union Herald to affirm the importance of a biblically based, God-centered approach to addressing the needs of the underserved and marginalized that live in our midst.
Moving forward, as the official birthplace of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and stewards of the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus Christ has committed into our hands to reconcile man to both God and each other, we are committed to be conduits of Christ-like behavior and catalysts for change as we pray regularly and take actions to undergird three Lake Union executive committee strategies of leadership development, discipleship training and starting a movement of the Holy Spirit in our churches and communities in this quinquennium. We will continue to engage the Adventist faith community by continuing to resource our local conferences and schools, and engaging and encouraging our health systems to continue to hire employees of diverse backgrounds, especially those persons of African descent who are sparsely represented at the leadership level of our multiple health systems.
Maurice R. Valentine
Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist