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Archive for April, 2015

Palm Beach County Churches Come Together in Mission to the Cities’ Total Health Expo 2015

posted on April 20, 2015, under Conference by

Rolando de los Ríos speaks to attendees at the Mission to the Cities Spanish-language program. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

Rolando de los Ríos speaks to attendees at the Mission to the Cities Spanish-language program. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

Des Cummings Jr. was the main speaker for Total Health Expo 2015. His messages highlighted principles from Florida Hospital’s CREATION Health lifestyle program. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

Des Cummings Jr. was the main speaker for Total Health Expo 2015. His messages highlighted principles from Florida Hospital’s CREATION Health lifestyle program. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

by Abel Paulín

At the beginning of 2015, Palm Beach County churches and pastors came together to make a difference under the General Conference theme of Mission to the Cities. The strategy evolved into inviting county residents to a major impact event, preceded by a Season of Service and followed by public evangelism in area churches.

Season of Service
Many members, including youth, began using the Season of Service devotional book by Southern Union Conference Ministerial and Evangelism Director Roger Hernandez. This book contains 40 devotional readings and many ideas for service. Churches and individuals implemented these ideas, such as: painting houses, feeding people, thanking police and public servants, cleaning public areas, and collecting clothes for thrift stores.

José Rojas, president of MOVEmentum, presented the Sabbath morning sermon at the Spanish service. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

José Rojas, president of MOVEmentum, presented the Sabbath morning sermon at the Spanish service. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

From the pulpit, pastors encouraged members and guests to get involved by distributing invitations to the upcoming Total Health Expo 2015 and praying for the Holy Spirit to impact the city. Several media outlets attended a press conference, and funds were allocated for radio and television advertising.

Early Sunday morning, 202 runners competed in a 5K Race/Walk certified by a local organization, South Florida Runs. All runners received a medal, and awards were given by age category. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

Early Sunday morning, 202 runners competed in a 5K Race/Walk certified by a local organization, South Florida Runs. All runners received a medal, and awards were given by age category. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

Impact Event
More than 3,000 people gathered February 28 for the Sabbath emphasis on spiritual health and family, presented by speakers Des Cummings Jr., José Rojas, Roger Hernandez, Ivan Omana, and singing artist Steve Green.

Early Sunday morning, more than 300 volunteers were on hand to assist with Total Health Expo 2015. After the early morning 5K Race/Walk, Des Cummings Jr. presented a devotional on CREATION Health principles which was followed by seminars, exercise demonstrations, and other activities on the main stage. Palm Beach County Mayor and Commissioner Shelly Vana and Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis welcomed the attendees.

The 100 exhibits were visited by more than 2,500 people. More than 1,000 tests were provided by various health care providers, including Walmart which performed vision screenings. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

The 100 exhibits were visited by more than 2,500 people. More than 1,000 tests were provided by various health care providers, including Walmart which performed vision screenings. (Photo: Fernandez Media)

National and local organizations including Walmart, Walgreens, Florida Atlantic University, Mission Medical Center, Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, FoundCare, OneBlood, and Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County partnered with the Expo to offer free health screenings and services. The various healthcare providers performed more than 1,000 tests, and approximately 2,500 people visited the 100 exhibits.

Public Evangelism
As a follow up to Total Health Expo 2015, 20 churches in Palm Beach and Broward Counties held evangelistic meetings. Many people were baptized as a result of these meetings, and more individuals are studying and preparing for future baptism as reaping efforts continue.

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Porters Celebrate 65th Anniversary

posted on April 20, 2015, under Member by

Patricia and Ernest Porter.

Patricia and Ernest Porter.

Ernest and Patricia Porter celebrated their 65th anniversary on June 4, 2014. Ernest and the former Patricia Lein were married at Trinity Union Methodist Church in Providence, R.I.

Ernest began working with the Highway Department in Rhode Island while serving as a volunteer fireman for 15 years. He was employed as a hospital orderly and then in law enforcement at many stores in Massachusetts and Florida. His last position before retirement was a nursing home security guard at Brentwood Health Center, Lecanto, Fla.

Following many years as a homemaker, Patricia became a Licensed Practical Nurse in Florida and worked for the nursing home at Brentwood Health Center and Cypress Creek Juvenile Detention Center, Lecanto, Fla.

The Porters became Adventist church members in 1956 while living in Providence, R.I. They are now members of Inverness Church in Florida.

Their family consists of: four sons, Ray, Tom, Ernest Jr., and Daniel; five daughters, Deborah, Sandra, Judith, Susan, and Christine; 24 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Their daughter, Deborah passed away in 1964, and Tom, a Vietnam veteran, passed away in 2009.

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Kossicks Celebrate 65th Anniversary

posted on April 20, 2015, under Member by

John and Betty Kossick. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

John and Betty Kossick. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

John Kossick and Betty Kasper were married April 23, 1950, in Akron First Church, Ohio, after meeting at a bus stop one year earlier to the day. After 65 years, John says, “Betty is the jewel God gave me. Her smile is the best part of the day.”

John served in the US Army Air Corps in Alaska with the Fire Rescue Squad and then became an electrician. In 1976, he left commercial electrical work and joined Kettering Medical Center, Ohio. He spent 18 years working as an electrician and/or a foreman with the specialty of troubleshooting at Adventist hospitals: White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.; Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Shawnee Mission, Kans.; and back to Kettering Medical Center until retirement.

Betty pursued many artistic positions such as sign painting, window trimming, and furniture design. She served as a Bible worker and many office positions while she became a prolific writer. She has been published in more than 70 books and authored two, plus approximately 800 poems carrying her byline.

The Kossicks make their home at Florida Living Retirement Community in Apopka, Fla., where she is the press writer. Their door is always welcome to old and new friends. As one friend stated, “To know them is to love them.”

John is a deacon and Betty is the press writer for Florida Living Church. “Johnny is the priest of our home,” says Betty. I especially appreciate his prayers.”

The Kossick family includes: son, Kevin; daughter, Stephanie Moore; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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Friends Become Family at Florida Living

posted on April 20, 2015, under Florida Living by

The beautiful Florida Living Retirement Community campus has 95 dwellings that can accommodate up to 200 residents. (Photo: Martin Butler)

The beautiful Florida Living Retirement Community campus has 95 dwellings that can accommodate up to 200 residents. (Photo: Martin Butler)

by Betty Kossick

Florida Living Retirement Community family enjoy visiting together: Walter and Linda DeLeon, Don Weatherall, and John Kossick. (Photo: Betty Kossick)

Florida Living Retirement Community family enjoy visiting together: Walter and Linda DeLeon, Don Weatherall, and John Kossick. (Photo: Betty Kossick)

Known as a place where friends become family, Florida Living Retirement Community (FLRC), Apopka, is celebrating 50 years of service. The combined dreams of visionaries Arthur Guenther, D.D.S, and Kenneth Wright of an affordable facility for retired church workers and lay members were realized on September 12, 1965.

Early residents lived in orange grove fragrance. However, freezes and expanded apartment construction removed the citrus trees. The campus grew rapidly; yet, it didn’t emerge as high-rise retirement lodging.

Whether residents reside in a one- or two-bedroom apartment, a garden efficiency, or one of the four campus houses, all are considered family. Utilities, van transportation to local stores, trash pickup, lawn care, and maintenance are part of FLRC’s provisions. Vegetarian meals are served by ticket purchase.

A traditional Adventist church service is held in Fritsche Hall for residents and members from the community. There are also more than 50 Adventist churches within a 15-mile radius for members to visit and enjoy. “We found a little heaven on earth with a wonderful church family who are loving, kind, and considerate,” says former educator Don Weatherall.

Forest Lake Academy’s ASSIST program provides students to freely help residents with small household tasks or just keep residents company with a generation connection.

Residents anticipate the 50th anniversary celebration scheduled for Sunday, September 13, 2:00 p.m. at Fritsche Hall, followed by refreshments at the House of Guenther Dining Hall on campus. Those who plan to attend the 50th celebration should notify FLRC administrator Nancy Pleasants at (407) 862-2646. More information about FLRC is at floridalivingretirement.com or on Facebook.

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Béthesda French Lehigh Church Members Dedicate New Facility

posted on April 20, 2015, under Church by

by Gladys Neigel

Kathy Deering (left), Florida Conference Property Development Director, joined Béthesda French Lehigh Lay Pastor Kernizan Monestime and his wife, Yvanne, for the ribbon cutting. (Photo: Rudy Deering)

Kathy Deering (left), Florida Conference Property Development Director, joined Béthesda French Lehigh Lay Pastor Kernizan Monestime and his wife, Yvanne, for the ribbon cutting. (Photo: Rudy Deering)

Béthesda French Lehigh Church building and complex in Lehigh Acres, Fla., was dedicated on December 6, 2014. This congregation of more than 135 members purchased a 19,544-square-foot property that contained a church facility of 12,800 square feet for their worship needs, plus rental property for two businesses, a day care center, and another church facility. In addition, Béthesda also rents its space to another church on Sundays.

In 2003, a church group began after lay members met in each other’s homes for Bible study and prayer. Later, a Sabbath School program was added under the direction of Elim French Haitian Church in Naples. By 2006, the congregation was organized into a company, and now they have achieved church status with Kernizan Monestime as the lay pastor.

Béthesda French Lehigh Church is part of a complex that includes additional facilities that are being rented to local businesses. (Photo: Joseph Fils)

Béthesda French Lehigh Church is part of a complex that includes additional facilities that are being rented to local businesses. (Photo: Joseph Fils)

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Dreams Realized at South Orlando Spanish Church

posted on April 20, 2015, under Church by

Seth Medina, church treasurer, holds the “Mortgage Paid in Full” document as Pastor Abraham Guerrero encourages the church to keep moving forward. (Photo: Willie Padilla)

Seth Medina, church treasurer, holds the “Mortgage Paid in Full” document as Pastor Abraham Guerrero encourages the church to keep moving forward. (Photo: Willie Padilla)

by Abraham Guerrero

More than a decade ago, a few mission-minded church members joined their pastor in a journey of faith as they decided to go forward with plans for planting South Orlando Spanish, Fla., Church. Because of an unknown field, a huge debt, and other tough obstacles, it seemed more an impossible dream than anything else.

By God’s grace, 130 members packed the small building on October 4 to witness the celebration of a most significant milestone—the mortgage burning. Several grateful church members responded with a loud “Amen!” when church Treasurer Seth Medina announced the accomplishment while holding the framed “Mortgage Paid in Full” document.

“We are grateful for this accomplishment,” said Pastor Abraham Guerrero, “but we can’t afford to think we’re done. Lots of people out there need to hear the Gospel, and we have the responsibility to reach out to them.”

The mortgage burning milestone is part of the church’s 2014-2018 strategic plan which includes reaching the 200-member mark and having a stronger impact in the surrounding community.

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Deltona Adventist School Hosts Health Fair

posted on April 20, 2015, under Education by

by Michelle Velbis

Fourth-grader Luke Velbis (left) and third-grader Gabriel Johnson served as greeters at the first annual Deltona Adventist School Kids Care Health Fair. (Photo: Michelle Velbis)

Fourth-grader Luke Velbis (left) and third-grader Gabriel Johnson served as greeters at the first annual Deltona Adventist School Kids Care Health Fair. (Photo: Michelle Velbis)

“It was exciting to have this opportunity,” said Deltona Adventist School fifth-grader Samantha Medina, referring to the Kids Care Health Fair hosted March 15 by third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders. “Usually adults would do something like this. It made me feel like I can do even more things than I thought I was capable of.”

In the classroom, I teach my students that, although they are young, they can make a big difference in the world. Since we were learning about health, hosting this event was the perfect time to join these two concepts and make them applicable.

The students were involved every step of the way, from brainstorming the name for the event, to writing phone scripts, making phone calls for donations, making and mailing the flyers, researching and constructing their health exhibits, set up and take down, and writing thank-you letters.

“I learned teamwork,” said fifth-grader Collin Velbis, “by participating in a group, sharing ideas, and working together to accomplish our project and help teach people about health.”

Deltona Adventist School students in grades 3-5 displayed their project exhibits at the Kids Care Health Fair. (Photo: Michelle Velbis)

Deltona Adventist School students in grades 3-5 displayed their project exhibits at the Kids Care Health Fair. (Photo: Michelle Velbis)

In our technology-driven society, personal communication skills are becoming obsolete. “Kids, these days don’t usually want to communicate person to person, especially with adults,” said fifth-grader Joshua Sierra. “We learned how to communicate with adults during this project.”

There were door prizes, healthy food samples and recipes, a Florida Hospital Fish Memorial representative with handouts and goodie bags, a nurse practitioner conducting blood pressure screenings, and exhibits with hands-on activities and research by the students.

“It felt really good to do this health fair,” said fourth-grader Satrese Franklin. “A lot of kids don’t get an opportunity like this, and I am thankful.”

“All the activities were geared toward creating a learning environment for the students,” said Principal Manny Barajas. “They planned the activities and provided opportunities that promoted a healthy mind, body, and lifestyle.”

“The students took their jobs very seriously,” commented attendee Gizelle Best. “They stayed by their stations the entire time to educate guests about their projects. I was most impressed by the enthusiasm they showed during the entire event.”

The parents also appreciated watching their children’s excitement about learning. “The Kids Care Health Fair demonstrated our children’s understanding and concern for health-related issues,” said Lizette Sierra, mother to Joshua. “It showed the students that they are never too young to be involved.”

As an added benefit of the fair, the students are now more aware of their health decisions such as diet and exercise. “If you stay healthy, by making good food and exercise choices, your body will reward you,” said fourth-grader José LeGrand.

As a teacher, my best reward from this experience was hearing the students say, “I love science now!”

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