During the past two years, the NCC Health Ministries Department has initiated and conducted a wide variety of health training events and screening programs.
Annual Training Events
For a number of years, the department has conducted an annual wellness-training weekend workshop for local church health leaders and their teams.
- In 2013, we focused on developing a wellness series that would encompass our belief in the importance of “wholeness”—physical, mental, social, and spiritual. The best series we could find to accomplish this was Florida Hospital’s Creation Health series. A number of congregations, such as Antioch and Pittsburg, have conducted this series numerous times. One congregation, Round Mountain, has used it as a worship series. In addition to introducing the community to the concept of wholeness, the eight-week series offers several advantages for local churches:
- If a church conducts this series a number of times over a two-year period, an evangelistic series can be run using the same title and inviting the same audiences, with a greater emphasis on the doctrines of the church. Plus, a Creation Health Vacation Bible School series can be conducted simultaneously for the children.
- With this series, a church has the opportunity to conduct follow-up workshops. For example, the letter “N” representing nutrition can be followed by a cooking series.
- Last year our focus was on emotional wellbeing because mental health issues are becoming an increasing problem in our society. We conducted training sessions at the Carmichael church, NCC headquarters, and the Yountville church. Over 40 churches sent representatives to Dr. Neil Nedley’s latest “EQ” series “Optimizing the Brain.” Already, a number of congregations, including the Sacramento Yugoslavian church, have begun conducting this series.
Now in its 12th year, the NCC health-screening program—under the direction of Darwin Forster—has been utilized and appreciated by members of many churches. Forster screens at health fairs and local church health programs at various English and Spanish-speaking churches (approximately two a month). The computerized health age and body composition evaluations assist in counseling and guiding participants toward a more healthful lifestyle. In 2014 and 2015 over 640 church members and community individuals participated in this health screening. Every year at Redwood Camp Meeting, we annually conduct blood chemistry tests (with Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital) and body composition tests for 50 campers.
Redwood Camp Meeting
Each year at Redwood Camp Meeting, the department sponsors several events. On Sunday morning, over 100 campers participate in a 5K fun walk/run. Each morning and afternoon, over 150 lay members and health professionals attend a preventive health workshop. (The professionals receive continuing education credit.) Vegan cooking classes drew an average attendance of 100-150 every afternoon. Each summer, our booth displays and sells training items for the department’s various ministries. Also, each year the department sponsors the massage booth managed by Travis Opp, which is much appreciated by the campers.
- In 2014, the health workshop speakers were Dr. Winston Craig, an expert on nutrition, and Ernestine Findley, who explained the hows and whys of conducting a successful cooking school - Natural Lifestyle - in a local community. Vegan cooking classes were presented by Dr. and Mrs. Ruben Brinckhaus and Connie Bertholf.
- In 2015, Dr. Allen Lindsey, from Australia, presented a wonderful series on health and denominational topics. Drs. John and Millie Youngberg discussed the importance of both family and a healthy lifestyle. Tami and (Dr.) Randy Bivens presented vegan-cooking classes.
Many exciting things have happened in the 80 NCC Adventist Community Services centers since the last constituency meeting. Here are a few of the various activities that are being conducted by ACS centers in the NCC:
- The Auburn ACS center offers free medical, dental, optometry, and tattoo removal services. Plus, they have added an orchard and have begun organic farming in their community garden.
- Carmichael ACS feeds nearly 500 individuals every week, and volunteers have logged over 9,900 hours.
- Crescent City and Feather River ACS centers, among others, are stocking ready-to-eat meals for the homeless populations in their communities. They are also encouraging people from within their local communities to volunteer. These volunteers are hearing about our Adventist beliefs and lifestyle from our members. As a consequence a number have been attending Sabbath services.
- More than 45 NCC ACS centers have developed community gardens—with the produce distributed to individuals and local food distribution centers. One example is the Valley Community ACS, which has partnered with the local Hmong community in a community garden.
- In 2014 the Camino church was the Red Cross center for the King fire. Pastor Jim Crabtree of the Mount Shasta church and Pastor Enoch Brownell of the Yreka church served as chaplains during the Boles fire.
- In 2015, the Lakeport church was the center for the distribution of clothing, food, and basic necessities during the Valley fire. Angels Camp, San Andreas and Sutter Hill church members were affected by the Butte fire. Over 30 Adventist families lost their homes during these two fires.
- Our first Disaster Training was conducted last fall at the Stockton Mayfair church with over 20 members being certified. We plan to conduct one of these training seminars in a different area of our conference each year.
The NCC Stewardship Department continues to send out the monthly bulletin insert The Stewpot to every Northern California church. Now in its 20th year, The Stewpot is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Stewardship Director Gordon Botting regularly conducts various financial workshops in NCC churches, such as “Surviving in Tough Times” and “What’s Your Financial Personality?” Two new 60-minute stewardship seminars are also available. One is designed for church and finance boards, titled “Stewardship for a New Century and a New Generation.” The other, titled “Dollar Smart Kids,” assists parents with money management for their children.
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | 401 Taylor Blvd. | P.O. Box 23165 | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 | (925) 685-4300 | firstname.lastname@example.org