Former President



Former Lake Union Conference President extended a formal apology to Lake Region Conference.  Under the leadership of Elder Don Livesay, at a Lake Region camp meeting, a formal apology was made to the Lake Region Conference for injustices of the past.  Elder Livesay was visionary in making said remarks and his statements were reflective of the  spirit  of  our  pioneers who actively engaged in breaking down racial barriers. His apology was well received by those at the encampment. 



Elder Livesay followed up this important event with a Journey to Healing event  at  the  Village  Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where multiple guests were invited to participate in a panel discussion to speak to the uneasy issue of race relations. Virtually every conference in the Lake Union was represented at this watershed event where many left gratified that discussion transpired at Elder Livesay’s behest. 



That said, while supporting our local conferences, hospitals and schools and university through the COVID-19 crisis, the Lake Union officers are exploring new ways to address the needs of the underserved of every people group who cannot afford technology necessary for distance learning and also currently prayerfully entering into the early planning stages of hosting a Diversity Summit.

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.
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Thank God for the not-so-little boat that could — and did because, at our inception as the movement of God,  the people of God reflected the heart of God by taking risks, even as Jesus did to save mankind because of God’s love for all people.  My prayer is, “Please, come, Holy Spirit, help us lay aside every weight especially avarice, division and confusion and revive us again.”  Then, as the quote above expresses, do bring about a reformation of our practices relative to the way we treat one another that is as sustained  and as everlasting as the gospel, because it began, not in our heads, but rather, within our hearts. (Eph 1:9-10) 

Maurice R. Valentine 
Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist