Archive for February, 2012
Florida Conference In Mission is a monthly video series about people reaching people.
This month’s report is on Port Charlotte Church’s successful implementation of the CREATION Health program.
Video produced by Adventist Health System for its 2011 Conference On Mission.
It is with deep sadness that we announce Elizabeth Hudak passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Ms. Hudak worked in Florida Conference for many years, first as Associate Superintendent of Education for Curriculum and then as Superintendent of Education. When she “retired” in 1986, she began the Special Needs program for students in our conference which continues to this day.
The family will hold a memorial service next Saturday, February 18, 2012, 4:00 p.m., at the Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home—West Altamonte Chapel (across from Best Buy). During this time, the family would like to have a book of memories to share with the guests. Elizabeth’s niece, Sharon Wolcott, is putting this book together. If you have a special sentiment, memory, or testimony to share, please e-mail it to Sharon right away: email@example.com
There are still several employees in Florida Conference who were hired by Ms. Hudak. She will always hold a special place in the hearts of all those who knew and loved her. If this includes you, send a special note for the family’s memory book so they will know the difference she made in so many lives.
Let’s keep Ms. Hudak’s family in our prayers as we look forward to that resurrection day when we shall never have to part again.
by Gladys Neigel
“It is so powerful to know that God’s people are gathered together at this time, this weekend, praying together from all over this state for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for the presence of God, and for the renewing, refreshing, revitalizing power of God to come into lives as we begin a new year together,” said Mike Cauley, Florida Conference President, as he welcomed members and guests to the first of two Prayer Revival Conferences in January 2012.
Prayer Revival Conferences were held for English- and Spanish-speaking members during two weekends. Technological history was made as churches and members were linked together in prayer through streaming at the original sites and from churches throughout the Conference via Skype videoconferencing. Approximately 20 percent of the total program came from remote locations.
The English-language weekend was hosted at Kress Memorial Church in Winter Park with Geoff Patterson, senior pastor of Forest Lake Church in Apopka, as speaker on Friday evening, the first Sabbath worship service, and Sabbath afternoon. The second worship service speaker was Mike Cauley, Florida Conference President.
The Spanish-language weekend was hosted at West Palm Beach Spanish Church with Homero Salazar, pastor of Washington Spanish Church in Silver Spring, Md., as speaker. Both weekend programs included testimonies, prayers, and music from church members throughout the Conference via Skype.
“Our team produced a program that has only received positive reviews,” says Dave Boggess, Florida Conference Information Systems Director. “The streamed broadcasts may have reached more than 20 countries, including those in Europe, Africa, and the South Pacific. We estimated that we reached between 50 and 65 percent of our total membership in Florida Conference.”
by Natalia Lopez-Thismon
Hollywood, Fla., Spanish Church members recognized God’s blessings with a week of concerts, worship, Bible study, and praise that culminated in a day-long inaugural celebration in their new church facility. This congregation parented four additional churches in the south Florida area during the 18 years of working and struggling to acquire their own house of worship.
“Every step we took when trying to move to a new church was met by an attack from Satan, but the Lord has helped and blessed us,” said Freddy Poggi, church elder. “I hope that now our church can be a beacon of light here in Hollywood.”
A member, who prefers to remain anonymous, donated the 34,000-square-foot facility, which is a 1920s historical landmark in the city. He and his family also donated funds for renovations, as the church had fallen into disrepair during a five-year period after it was abandoned.
“This is all the product of one member’s kindness and desire to serve God,” said Emilio de Leon, Hollywood Spanish’s current pastor. “There is no doubt that God can do what seems impossible. When I look at what He has done for this church, I know He has great plans for all of us.”
“When I think about how God has gifted this congregation with this beautiful facility in a prominent location in this community,” says Florida Conference President Mike Cauley, ”I think it must have something to do with their seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and their desire to extend the mission of Jesus into this community.”
Photos: Rafael Angarita, Natalia Lopez-Thismon, Dan Hunter.
by Teresa Wiles
Months ago, God prepared the 49-member Starke, Fla., Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their community. Telephone conversations with Second Harvest Food Bank and local government officials helped get the ball rolling, while countless hours and many Sundays were spent preparing a building to house a food pantry.
The members began handing out bread on Tuesday afternoons before their Bible study. This blossomed into distribution of nonperishable food and produce on the third Tuesday of each month. Since September, church members have helped 660 families, totaling more than 1,300 people.
“Many prayers have made a miracle for this small church,” says Lay Pastor Curtis Johnson. Also, many hands have helped with picking up and delivering food to the church from Second Harvest Food Bank. Each month, 10-15 members consistently turn out to volunteer with this program.
Patricia McEachrane-Gross, M.D., M.D.H., recently opened a new medical practice, Peppertree Primary Care, in Ocala, Fla. Following is a condensed version of a story printed with permission from Ocala Magazine.
“I call my philosophy ‘functional medicine,’” says Dr. Patricia McEachrane-Gross.
“It’s treating the patient as an individual person, with a unique makeup, and looking at the symptoms to find an underlying cause,” she explains. “It’s just a natural way of thinking about things…. We then might use a combination of mainstream medicine, drugs, supplements, and modification of one’s lifestyle and diet as treatment. That’s preventive medicine.”
Prior to seeing a patient, Dr. McEachrane-Gross will review the individual’s medical history and background in detail, followed by a 20-minute conversation with the patient. Her approach, she says, involves “spending time with the patient, looking carefully at the symptoms and medical history, and getting lots of information.” This helps her tailor the treatment for each individual.
Dr. McEachrane-Gross is board certified in family medicine and preventive medicine. Her practice, she notes, will be primary care with office hours throughout the week. However, she intends to reserve Thursday and Friday afternoons for house calls—a component of family medicine that has practically disappeared in the 21st century.
Educating patients about proper diet and lifestyle will be a major component of her practice, she says. “Most of our chronic diseases, whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer—all of them have a lifestyle basis. Yes, there are some hereditary aspects, but the majority of the causes are based on lifestyle and diet. The Western diet is what I call an inflammatory diet, because it produces inflammation in the body…. Often, it’s what we choose to eat.”
Dr. McEachrane-Gross is aware of how difficult it is for some patients to make a transition to a healthier lifestyle, but she says she’s here to help. “It can be difficult to make these changes, but that’s my goal—to help my patients through these transitions.” It’s a common-sense philosophy, or as Dr. McEachrane-Gross calls it, “medicine with a personal touch.”