Friday, October 9, 2009

Would You Like To Get Away?

Quiet spaces promote reflection.

Nestled along the coast of Mendocino County, CA sits Albion Field Station operated by Pacific Union College. This was the destination for our 2nd Annual Board of Trustees Strategic Retreat.

Gibby Muth (retired professor) and Larry Provonsha (board member for 28 years) have devoted tremendous effort to the refurbishing of the property. The results speak for themselves. Brightly appointed rooms, private baths, wireless internet, and comfortable meeting rooms. These improvements have greatly enhanced the experience of students, staff, professors, community and church groups, and...the Board!

Our time was divided between learning more about board governance, socializing as members, conducting important business, and simply benefiting from the soul-renewing setting. It was particularly wonderful to meet the new "First Couple" of our College-Dr. Heather Knight, President, and her husband Elder Norman Knight. Her enthusiasm, vision, and remarkable qualifications were all on display as she shared goals for the future with us.

I'm already looking forward to our next meeting in the Fall of 2010. Until then remember Pacific Union College in your prayers. And by the way, the Albion Field Station is available for your use any time. Check their website at

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Keep on Shining

Since 1897, people in Provo, UT have been making friends with Jesus Christ through the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Today was a defining moment for the community that gathered in the newly-completed Community Center of this historic congregation.

As Jennifer and I walked into the Center the smell of paint still lingered in the air. Over 200 chairs were readied for the crowd that would assemble to dedicate this space to the Lord's service at 11:00 a.m. As we toured the offices, classrooms, and large gymnasium I recalled just a few months before when it was a dirt parking lot, unfinished walls, and exposed electrical and duct work that greeted the eye.

Transformation occurred quickly! And not only the physical space but also in the paradigm of purpose for this new location on the church grounds. What makes this project unique in my eyes is that the church is not hoarding this space exclusively for its own use. The Red Cross, the Utah Bell Choir, the Boys and Girls Club, the United Way, and many others will use this as the gathering place for service.

By church time every seat was occupied. Special guests included the mayor and all the contractors that made this facility possible. It was evident from all the community friends that joined in this hour of dedication that this was truly an event that had captured city-wide attention. We sang, I offered a dedication meditation and prayer, local elder Brad Walton presented a gracious biblical message, and Linda Walton recognized the contributions of the people who had made this day come to reality. This joyous day ended with food--lots of it!

As we departed Provo Church it occurred to us that rather than an end this was truly a new
beginning. The spirit of service that brought the first Adventist evangelist to Provo, UT in 1897 will continue to light the way for this special congregation. Driving off to our next appointment the words of Jesus came to mind, "Let your light shine before men that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Keep shining, Provo Church!