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September 2021 Carolina's 10,000 P5

1. A PANDEMIC HOPE & PRAYER

Over the past 57 years of my life in America, I’ve watched the playout of our human nature over the battles around compulsory seat belts, motorcycle helmets, fluoridation of water supplies, and a host of other public health mandates. Perhaps one of the most significant that I remember since coming to America is in the area of smoking. Remember when there were cigarette commercials on television – “Come to Marlboro Country” with the rugged cowboy appeal; or remember “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!” Some of you from my time era can probably recall even the tunes that accompanied those jingles. As long as smoking was a danger to the puffer alone, we were willing to let people have the freedom to pursue their habit irrespective of the consequences. However, when research showed conclusively that second-hand smoke from someone else could damage the health of others, the tide changed. Warning labels were placed on cigarette packages, cigarette commercials were removed from television and radio, and public bans against smoking were mandated across the United States.

That seems to be the crux of the “Great controversy” of masking and vaccinations that has engulfed our world during this COVID-19 pandemic. And sadly, Satan has infused those seeds of division and discord into our Seventh-day Adventist Churches. In reality, it is a personal choice to mask or not to mask. In reality, it is a personal choice to be vaccinated or not to be vaccinated. However, when that decision has the potential of putting other lives at risk, it assumes a broader public health impact for all of us.


According to Dr. Richard Hart, President of Loma Linda University Health, more than 90% of admitted patients and deaths throughout the country today are among the group who refuse to be vaccinated. He noted that growing frustration and even anger from our working health care professionals for ill and dying patients is significantly rising.

Very sadly some of our church boards and school boards are taking positions that are not supported by the Carolina Conference Emergency Response Team. Adventist churches here in Carolina and across North America are hosting anti-vaccine seminars and anti-masking positions in opposition to federal, state and county recommendations. It seems that these mandates – especially anything coming from the government, only accelerate our suspicions in our information and misinformation saturated society. There are those who believe that these mandates are a fulfilment of apocalyptic prophecy to usher in the closing moments of earth’s history fostered by a host of unfounded conspiracy theories. Consequently, many believe that anything coming from our government must be held in suspicion.


Yes, prophecy does indicate a time of trouble – specifically with respect to religious liberty issues related to the Mark of the Beast which is the observance of Sunday in opposition to the observance of the holy Sabbath day. But let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. There are many blessings for which we should have a heart filled with gratitude and praise for the government of the United States that provides us at this time with an unprecedented level of freedom not seen in many parts of the world. Really -- would any of us prefer living in Afghanistan under the Taliban or under the democracy we often take for granted in America?












Listen to the words of counsel from God’s messenger to the remnant church:

“By some of our brethren many things have been spoken and written that are interpreted as expressing antagonism to government and law. It is a mistake thus to lay ourselves open to misunderstanding. It is not wise to find fault continually with what is done by the rulers of government. It is not our work to attack individuals or institutions. We should exercise great care lest we be understood as putting ourselves in opposition to the civil authorities. It is true that our warfare is aggressive, but our weapons are to be those found in a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Our work is to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. We should not be turned aside to lines that will encourage controversy or arouse antagonism in those not of our faith.” Ellen G. White, Counsels to the Church, Chapter 7, Page 316


We have been here before. Moses and the prophets faced it throughout the sad history of the Israelites. Jesus and the apostles faced it through the closing moments of the Jewish nation and the challenging times of the early Christian Church. Let us fix our hope and prayers understanding and unity; on seeing an end to our internal COVID warfare as we seek to protect each other in the light of the 11th commandment -- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NKJV



2. TAKING TIME TO PRAISE OUR GRACIOUS GOD

Praising God is full of benefits. Last month we reflected on these two benefits:

1. It’s a means by which we come into His presence.

2. It’s a means by which we perceive God’s glory.


This month let’s consider two more benefits:

3. Praise is where God lives. Wait a minute, isn’t God omnipresent – everywhere, all the time? Absolutely! Yet His presence is especially intense in an atmosphere of praise. The Bible says God is “Enthroned upon the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). That’s why I like to sing when Carole and I walk together. That’s why I sing when I drive! I want God beside me…all the time!!


4. Praise promotes productivity. According to God’s Word, the Earth yields its produce in the presence of praise (Psalm 17:5-6). Does this mean crops are actually going to grow better where praise is present? Perhaps. Why not? Whatever you’re feeling on the matter, I like Jack Taylor’s commentary in his book The Hallelujah Factor. “When we praise, productivity is maximized, fulfillment is realized and frustration is neutralized” (p. 31).


A few weeks ago all of our schools, academies and colleges began a brand new school year. In the midst of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 challenges that have plagued all our lives, let’s bring our praise to God for His protective hand over the lives of our students, their teachers, and each of our church schools. Far beyond God’s care over the impact of the pandemic is God’s tender care for the children, youth and young adults who are being surrounded in an environment of Christ-centered education and nurture in preparation for a life of service for God and in eager anticipation of the joys of dwelling with Jesus for all eternity.


Beginning with this issue, we will be uplifting and praising God for each of our Universities, Academies and Schools that serve the Southern Union Conference and the Carolina Conference.


We begin with our Universities in the Southern Union Conference:

We continue with our Senior Academies within the Carolina Conference:



3. PRAISES AND PRAYERS FOR A SPECIAL NEED IN OUR CONFERENCE

Girls’ Dormitory Renovation at Mount Pisgah Academy

By faith we have been moving forward!! This summer a wonderful Maranatha Volunteer group gathered on our campus to begin the major task of renovations for girl’s dorm at Mount Pisgah Academy. They pulled out old carpet, demolished worn out closets, added new furniture, flooring, electrical outlets, USB ports, and overhead lighting.


Careful planning involved changing the rooms from their original design. The delay was a blessing in that it allowed them to realize more durable furniture was needed in a dorm setting. The new furniture is modern, sleek, and commercial grade.


As of today –

➢ All the rooms are finished with updated electrical, overhead lighting and all new furniture.

➢ Every room has a brand-new door.

➢ The Dean’s Office has been finished.

➢ Our nurse’s office has been moved and updated.

➢ Upgrades have been made to the worship room.

➢ Other electrical improvements include speakers in the hallway and Wi-Fi upgrades.

The next and final phase of renovation will include a makeover of the bathrooms in the girls’ dormitory. The academy will need to hire professional plumbers to resolve the existing functional issues at an anticipated cost of approximately $300,000. Lucy Hall, MPA Development Director has submitted grant request to help fund this. However, we will most likely not know till the end of December if this grant request has been approved. The goal is to see this part of our renovation project completed by summer 2022.


We need our friends, alumni, and church members who feel it’s time to show our girls and our future students that we want them to have a beautiful and comfortable place to study, pray and call home.


As the saying goes, many hands make light work, so many and all donations will ensure our girls’ dormitory renovation will be complete before the 2022-2023 school year begins. Our prayer and plan is to accomplish this debt free. Thank you for your prayers and thank you so much for your generous giving to our Girls' Dorm Renovations at Mount Pisgah Academy. For more information about how your donation can help, please contact our Development Director, Lucy Hall, at 828.418.2408



4. PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]

Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis.


Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.

Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:

  1. For Protection from Satan — "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

  2. For Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts — "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)

  3. For Deep Spiritual Encouragement — "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." (Romans 1:11-12)

  4. For Wisdom — "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5)

  5. For Doctrinal Faithfulness — "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)

  6. For A Healthy Body — "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27)

  7. For A Strong Marriage & Family — "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church." (1 Timothy 3:2-6)

PASTOR CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS

1. Richard Peterson ........................................................................................................................Pastor

Jacksonville SDA Church

Kinston SDA Church

Washington SDA Church

Jacksonville Spanish SDA Group

2. Jose Pieretti .....................................Associate Pastor (Raleigh) & Pastor (Henderson)

Raleigh SDA Church

Henderson SDA Church

3. Rubi Pimentel ................................................................................................................................Pastor

Hendersonville Spanish SDA Church

Arden Spanish SDA SDA Company

Swannanoa Spanish SDA Company

Asheville Spanish SDA Mission Group

4. Jose Portorreal ...........................................................................................................................Pastor

Lexington Spanish SDA Church

Columbia Spanish SDA Mission Group

Swansea Spanish SDA Mission Group

5. Art Randall ......................................................................................................................................Pastor

Hickory SDA Church

Hickory Korean SDA Group

6. James Reynaert .................................................................................................Associate Pastor

Fletcher SDA Church

7. Dexter Richardson ...................................................................Pastor / Overseeing Pastor*

Chapel Hill New Life SDA Church

Haw River SDA Church

Triad Adventist Fellowship SDA Church*

Lighthouse Fellowship SDA Company*

(Fuquay Varina)


5. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES

Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full-length report of all that they have been or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in our prayers. The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational department functions. They include:

1. The Adventist Christian Book Center

2. Camp Meeting

3. Administration

4. Outreach

5. Church Ministries

6. Children & Young Adults


This month, we will begin the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference. With this September issue, we wish to uplift the ministry and services of our Adventist Christian Book Center [ACBC]. I am so grateful for the dedication and diligent efforts and management that has kept our Adventist Christian Book Center ministry open when many conferences have been forced to shut down the operation of their Adventist Christian Book Centers. In addition to our store front operation in Charlotte, our ACBC operates a number food and book delivery runs to central drop off and pick up points at local churches across North and South Carolina. The ACBC is also present at major conference events and operates a full-service venue at our annual camp meeting gatherings at Lake Junaluska.


The Adventist Christian Book Center carries the full line of Pacific Press and Review & Herald products, Bibles, Sabbath School supplies, children’s materials, music, devotional materials, media products, witnessing and outreach materials, and much more. They also provide a variety of food merchandise that can help individuals transition from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet at a reasonable cost. These come in canned, frozen or packaged products.

6. SATURATED WITH THE WORDFundamental Belief # 26 – Death and Resurrection

As a President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. This is the second cycle in our emphasis on these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.

Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month. I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11.


Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.

FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 26 – Death and Resurrection The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later.

A. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 (NKJV) For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun."


B. Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV) He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.”


C. John 5:28-29 (NKJV) Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth – those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation.”


D. 1 Corinthians 15: 51-54 (NKJV) — “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’”



7. REMEMBERING AND UPLIFTING GOD’S ANOINTED LEADERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN CONTINUOUS PRAYER

Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders also in the Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard:



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Louis, Leslie 2022.jpg
Elder Leslie Louis
President