Who is the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
Who is the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
-The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been an official denomination since 1863.
-The Seventh-day Adventist Church has more than 18 million members worshipping in more than 71,000 churches around the world, including 1.2 million members in North America.
-In 2011, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was recognized as the fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America, according to USA Today.
ELLEN G. WHITE and the SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH:
-Ellen G. White was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who helped shape the mission and vision of the church.
-Adventists do not regard her as a saint, nor do they view her writings as an addition to the Bible. Her prophetic claims are tested and proved by the Bible.
-She is the most translated American author.
-Her total literary output is approximately 100,000 pages. More than 100 books have been published from her writings.
-She wrote books on numerous topics, including spirituality, parenting, social issues, health, and financial counsel. All of her works point the reader to God and the Bible.
-Her most translated book, Steps to Christ, is a how-to guide on being a Christian that has been translated into more than 165 languages.
THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
-The Adventist Church has the largest Protestant integrated network of hospitals and clinics worldwide, with 172 hospitals and sanitariums, 238 clinics and dispensaries, and 169 lodging facilities, including nursing homes, retirement centers, orphanages, and children’s homes (as of December 2011).
-In 2011, Adventist hospitals and clinics provided healthcare assistance to 17 million people worldwide.
-The lifestyle of Seventh-day Adventists has been featured in National Geographic, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Blue Zones, a New York Times best-seller book that describes the lifestyles of the world’s longest living people.
-One of the most significant contributions that Seventh-day Adventists have made to the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle can be found in the publications based on the Adventist Health Studies. Begun in 1958, these studies have covered topics such as diet, air pollution, religion, and health and have gained the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the World Cancer Research Fund.
-In addition to being one of the largest and most comprehensive studies on diet and longevity, the Adventist Health Study-2, which surveyed the lifestyle of 96,000 Adventists, is also one of the largest dietary studies of African-Americans and sheds light on why this group has more cases of cancer and heart disease than other ethnic groups in America.
-The Adventist Church has the world’s second largest integrated network of schools, with more than 7,800 schools worldwide enrolling more than 1.6 million students.
-Since the first Adventist school formed in the 1850s, Adventists have believed that education should be redemptive in nature, with the purpose of restoring human beings to the image of God, our Creator. Adventist education also includes mental, physical, social, and spiritual health; intellectual growth; and service to humanity.
-The Adventist Church focuses on a “ministry of healing,” which encompasses catering to the spiritual, physical, mental, and social needs of people around the world.
-The church held the Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. More than 750 people from 95 countries attended to learn more information about how to provide improved health and spiritual care for the global community.
-Seventh-day Adventists established a master’s degree program throughout the continent of Africa that equips pastors with comprehensive health courses. They learn not only the anatomy of health, but also practical applications of the Adventist lifestyle.
-The church developed the “Breathe-Free” program, a smoking cessation program that has helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide quit smoking. It is the official smoking cessation program of China and Taiwan.
-The Adventist Church helps nurture marriages and families because strong marriages lead to strong families, and strong families lead to strong churches.
-The church has programs and ministries to help enhance communication, problem-solving, and relationship skills.
-Outreach programs include the Adventurer Club (for ages 6-9) and Pathfinder Club (for ages 10-15). These programs offer specialized weekly activities to promote psychological and spiritual development through camping, marching, community projects, vocational training, and arts and crafts.
-Youth Outreach also provides an opportunity for more than 100 young adults from all over the world to volunteer in a major city every year for what is known as “One Year in Mission.”
HUMANITARIAN / COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA):
-ADRA is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
-ADRA provides emergency relief and development assistance to more than 120 countries. The agency strives to protect the vulnerable, support families, promote health, provide food and water, establish livelihoods, and respond to emergencies.
-In 2012, ADRA improved the lives of nearly 20 million people around the world.
-ADRA has also participated in international initiatives such as World Water Day. ADRA started the Beyond the 5 campaign, which raised the awareness of water inequality throughout the world.
-The church’s Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty advocates for the religious freedom of all people. It advocates for religious freedoms on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in the United Nations in New York City, and in other international bodies.
-Since 1893, the Adventist Church has sponsored what is now known as the International Religious Liberty Association, a nonsectarian organization and the largest forum dedicated solely to freedom of conscience. It is the oldest religious freedom organization in the United States. This association includes involvement from Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Baptist, Mormon, and many other faith groups working together for universal religious freedom.
-Every year, this department holds an annual religious liberty dinner. Members of Congress and White House officials are invited to this leading event to promote religious liberty in Washington, D.C. Past keynote speakers have included Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Kerry, and Senate Chaplain Barry Black.
Adventist Community Services:
-Adventist Community Services is a nonprofit humanitarian agency that services North America, Guam, and Micronesia.
-Adventist Community Services has six defined ministries, including community development, elder care, disaster response, tutoring and mentoring, crisis care, and the YES! (Youth Empowered to Serve) network.
-This outreach helps churches, schools, and individuals create, operate, and manage service-based programs in their own community through a Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program, which focuses on leadership, management, and social dimensions of evangelism.
The Sabbath is God’s gift to us, a time for rest and restoration of our connection to God and others. It reminds us of God’s creation and Jesus’ Grace.
The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts.
CREATION: THE BIBLE'S WORLDVIEW
The Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms its belief in the biblical account of creation in contrast to an evolutionary explanation for the origin of living organisms and the relationship of humans to other life forms. Seventh-day Adventists note with great interest the increasing discussion of intelligent design in nature and the evidence that supports this view. In the light of considerable public interest in this topic the Church takes this opportunity to express its confidence in the biblical record.
Belief in creation is foundational for Seventh-day Adventist understanding concerning much more than the question of origins. The purposes and mission of God described in the Bible, human responsibility for stewardship of the environment, the institution of marriage and the sacred meaning of the Sabbath all find their meaning in the doctrine of creation.
Seventh-day Adventists recognize that the biblical record of creation does not answer all questions that can be asked concerning origins. Our comprehension of such mysteries is limited. We anticipate that continued study of both the Bible and nature will deepen our understanding of God's power and strengthen our faith in His Word and the creation account it contains.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that all people, regardless of race, gender, age, creed, and sexual orientation, are children of God, whom he loves equally.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms the traditional, Biblical belief of marriage.
As a Christian community we are called to reflect and spread this love to all of His children and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We do not condone singling out any group for scorn and derision, let alone abuse.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America has been given a mandate by both God and its constituency to serve one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. The Church appreciates the role of its Regional Conferences, which have been a valued and integral part of our North American Division governance structure since 1944,
The historical establishment and current role and function of Regional Seventh-day Adventist Conferences are structurally essential, mission effective, and relevant in reaching the diverse populations and urban centers within our territory.
We as a Church, are deeply committed to continuing our mission focus and evangelistic unity as we seek to fulfill God's commission within our territory.
Throughout our territory we will continue to seek ways and means to further racial cooperation, understanding, and growth.