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President's Report
We Have This Hope!

We have this hope that burns within our hearts,
Hope in the coming of the Lord.
We have this faith that Christ alone imparts,
Faith in the promise of His Word.
We believe the time is here, 
When the nations far and near
Shall awake, and shout, and sing – Hallelujah! 
Christ is King!
We have this hope that burns within our hearts,
Hope in the coming of the Lord.
(Wayne Hooper) CCLI License #1262243

This song, which some have called the Seventh-day Adventist “national anthem,” made its debut at the 1962 General Conference Session held in San Francisco. I was in the audience as it was sung for the first time, and I remembered the thrill of the words and music, focusing us on the great hope we have in Jesus Christ. That song continues to remind us of our hope, as well as the message we have to share with the world – which is at the heart of who we are here in the Northern California Conference.

The Lord has been at work in our conference, and we give Him praise and glory for all that is accomplished. We have been moving forward positively with our strategic plan – which we refer to as “Northern California Adventists In Action” – with its eight goals and numerous strategies centered on our motto: “Doing What Matters for the Kingdom.” We want to be intentional about the work of God in our territory and, in the words of our Vision Statement, “to be among the most productive, effective and spiritually dynamic conferences in the North American Division. …” 

We are making progress in the areas of:
1. Core Message – Understand and communicate the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Leadership Development – Produce effective, spiritual leaders.
3. Church Growth – Cultivate a healthy ministry environment that grows Adventist Christian disciples.
4. Educational Excellence – Demonstrate academic excellence in teaching and learning that prepares students for Christian service in this world and for heaven.
5. Community Outreach – Enlarge Adventist ministry involvement in local communities.
6. United Mission – Create a spirit of unity in diversity to accomplish the purposes of God’s kingdom.
7. Youth Involvement – Foster an atmosphere that helps young people understand and play a significant role in the Church’s mission.
8. Financial Development – Provide sufficient resources to support all aspects of the Conference’s priorities.

As we are coming toward the end of this multiple-year plan, we will be assessing what has been completed and where we need to place our focus over the next several years. You’ll be hearing more about this in the months ahead.

One of the areas where God has been at work is in the Bridges: Bay Area for Jesus outreach initiative, begun as a cooperative effort between the Central and Northern California Conferences. We are focusing our NCC attention on the city of Oakland, with cooperative strategies among our churches there to make a positive impact and grow God’s work. One of the first big events was the Bridges to Health medical outreach held in both San Francisco and Oakland, sponsored by the Pacific Union ASI (Adventist-Laymen’s Services & Industries) ministry. That event birthed the Pathways to Health movement across the North American Division. The VegHub restaurant ministry is part of the Bridges vision, along with specific plans for revival and growth in our existing churches, as well as planting new congregations and ministries in the city. Enthusiasm is spreading throughout our members in Oakland and catching hold in other places in our conference as well.

Recently we have “shared” some of our NCC team with other parts of the Adventist work in the Pacific Union and North American Division. Elder Virgil Childs, formerly our NCC African American Ministries coordinator (among other responsibilities), as well as pastor of the Oakland Market Street church, is now the director of the Regional Office of African American Affairs for the Pacific Union. Dr. Leon Brown, most recent NCC African American Ministries coordinator (and leading other ministries as well), is the new president of our neighbors, the Nevada-Utah Conference. And NCC Associate Treasurer Jeff Klam is now vice-president for finance and treasurer for the British Columbia Conference. Over the past few years, the NCC has “shared” at least 10 of our conference leaders with the larger Church! 

The Adventist Book Center in our territory has returned to the conference’s oversight and control. With branches in Pleasant Hill and Sacramento, along with the bookmobile, we are seeking new and innovative ways to share this ministry – not only with our members but also with the community at large – in an ever-changing retail environment. 

God has blessed in many ways through the various ministries in our conference – our office-based ministries, our churches, our schools, and our off-site ministries Leoni Meadows and the Napa Valley Adventist Retirement Estates. We’re grateful to God for the growth and expansion of His work. And we continue to keep our focus on the “hope that burns within our hearts, hope in the coming of the Lord!”

James E. Pedersen

James E. Pedersen
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | 401 Taylor Blvd. | P.O. Box 23165 | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 | (925) 685-4300 | info@nccsda.com