Volume 4 Issue 15 April 15, 2021
NCC Disaster Response Team Members Are Ready to Serve
In response to the Northern California fires of recent years, the NCC administrative team established the Disaster Response Team (DRT) last fall, and they are working together to make plans for the future. Team members include:
Selena Diaz, Angwin Fire Department lieutenant (pictured) – She has a master’s degree in emergency management. Since 2013, she has been a first responder in every fire that has impacted Napa County. She is a wildfire survivor, and she helped in the development of the Angwin Community Disaster Response Plan.

Jeff Joiner, associate professor of nursing and director of the emergency services program at Pacific Union College - As a nurse, he specializes in critical care and trauma, as well as wilderness emergency management. Since 2001, he has been active in emergency management and disaster response at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Maureen Wisener, marketing account manager, Adventist Health, Northern California Region - As a communication and marketing expert, as well as a wildfire survivor, she brings an enormous amount of experience and resources to help create a well-executed response to disaster.

Rhonda Bandy, member of the NCC’s Inter-church Recovery Committee (IRC) - She formerly served as the interim NCC disaster response coordinator for the Camp Fire, and she has been coordinating with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for many years. Her knowledge and experience with county, state, and federal entities will be invaluable.

Others on the team include NCC employees Josie Asencio, pastor of The Haven church; James Lim, director of community services; Jeffery Maxwell, director of risk management; and Laurie Trujillo, director of communication and development.
Plans Are in the Works for Redwood Camp Meeting
Redwood Camp Meeting will take place in person this summer!

Due to Humboldt County’s attendance limitations, there will be two sessions that campers can choose between:

July 19-24 - Monday night through Saturday night

July 26-31 - Monday night through Saturday night

Between 100-200 campers will be allowed per session, depending on Humboldt County health guidelines this summer. All attendees will need to comply with COVID evaluation questions, temperature scans, wearing masks within six feet of other people, social distancing, and other guidelines. The cafeteria and the Burger Bar will not be open, so campers will need to bring their own food.

The speakers for both sessions will be Pastors Gary and Lee Venden, who will present a series of meetings titled “And We Beheld His Glory.” Music will be provided by Gary and Marilynn Venden. The meetings will take place in Pepperwood Pavilion, and they will also be live-streamed.

Redwood organizers are working on an online registration form. Please keep checking redwoodareacamp.com for updates as they become available.

“We are really excited about Redwood 2021, but we have to deal with numerous challenges in order for it to take place,” said Harry Salvini, Redwood Camp Meeting director. “We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we make decisions in an ever-changing environment.”
Don't Miss Out on Camp This Summer!
Leoni Meadows will be hosting camps for kids and families this summer! Although each session will be shorter than usual, campers still get the opportunity to have fun and grow closer to Jesus in a beautiful setting. Find out more.
Long Thatcher Pastors New District
In mid-September, Long Thatcher began serving as the pastor of a new church district: Alameda/El Sobrante Appian Way. He continues to serve as pastor of the Vietnamese group at the Oakland Market Street church.

Thatcher was previously welcomed online to his new district, but last Sunday the members of all three churches had the opportunity to greet him, his wife Vicky, and their son Andrew (pictured) at an outdoor reception.

“I really appreciate that the church and the welcome team took time to organize and to plan to acquaint my family with the extended church families,” said Thatcher. “The occasion surpassed all our expectations.”
Glynes Benfield Engages Her Calling to Ministry
Glynes Benfield is the longest-serving church clerk in the Northern California Conference! For over two decades, she has volunteered as clerk of the Sacramento Woodside church.
Most members don’t think about the important work done by their local church clerk – recording member information, transferring memberships, handling subscriptions to the Pacific Union Recorder, and more. Many clerks also create the weekly church bulletin and take the minutes at board meetings.

When Benfield first started as clerk, her duties were labor intensive. “Everything was paper – transfers, membership, and reports – all handwritten and mailed,” she said.

The job became easier once clerks were trained to use eAdventist, the North American Division’s centralized membership information system. “Good people in the conference office really worked with us and helped us learn what we were supposed to do,” said Benfield.

Her favorite part of the job is adding brand-new members. “Baptisms are the most exciting things – a whole new life coming into the church,” she said.

A life-long Adventist, Benfield came to the Woodside church from Texas in 1992. She joined the church choir, and the next year married the choir director – Bob (pictured). For many years, she served as the church secretary in addition to being the clerk.

She now mentors other clerks when they have questions about their duties. “Glynes is smart and dedicated – the model clerk,” said Premila Willmott, the conference clerk.

“I hope my length of service encourages others to stay with it,” said Benfield. “They can say: ‘She did it, and so can I.’”
News & Upcoming Events
The General Conference Executive Committee has elected a new GC secretary and treasurer. Read the news.

The Hispanic womens retreat will be held online, April 23-25.

Don’t Forget Me, a prison ministries rally and training day, will take place on April 24.

The Christian Men’s Retreat will be live-streamed this year, April 30 and May 1.

Watch Religious Liberty in the Workplace, last Sabbath’s conversation with Alan Reinach, executive director and general counsel of the Church State Council.

Join the NCC prayer call every Thursday morning from 7-8 a.m. Find out how.
In Risen: Finding Hope in the Empty Tomb, Clifford Goldstein argues that reasons for belief in the resurrection of Jesus are vastly more credible than reasons to deny it. Find this book for $24.99 at our NCC ABC.

In the coming weeks, the NCC ABC will be making prepaid drop-off deliveries in California and Nevada. The Livermore church will be a new stop on April 20!
NCC Headquarters Closed 
The NCC headquarters building remains closed, and staff are working from home. You can still reach them.
Enjoying “Northern Lights”? Invite others to sign up by forwarding this issue.
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(916) 886-5600 I www.nccsda.com