Volume 4 Issue 5 February 4, 2021
Support New Beginners Educational Fund
Donate here. Like a passport opens the door to world exploration, a child’s first years of school have the potential to be the beginning of a lifelong learning adventure. School needs to be a place where kids feel welcomed, embraced, cared for, and valued. By cooperating with the divine purpose in imparting knowledge of God to children, Adventist education does more than teach. Its goal is to nurture the harmonious development of the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, and social powers to further God’s purpose on this earth.

Caring parents want the best for their children, particularly during a time of extraordinary change that is reshaping the way we live, teach, work, worship, and socialize. Parents want a great education for their kids because it is their passport to success in life as adults.

The Northern California Conference is committed to supporting parents who wish to begin their child’s journey at one of our schools with the creation of the New Beginners Educational Fund.

With a goal to raise $47,000 by March 30, 2021, the New Beginners Educational Fund will cover half a month of tuition for up to 172 new students in kindergarten for the 2021/2022 school year. When we meet our goal and with funds from the Pacific Union Conference, these new kindergarteners will receive a full month of tuition.

However, our schools have the capacity to accept up to 280 students in kindergarten. Our miracle goal is to raise an additional $30,000 to encourage parents to enroll their kids, so our kindergarten classes can be at full capacity.

This is not a scholarship. There is no application. It is money given to the school to cover one month of tuition for every new student who enrolls in kindergarten!

The average monthly tuition for kindergarten in our conference is $540. Since the Union is offering to cover half of this cost or $270, we are inviting you to match with a gift of $270 for each child you wish to sponsor. 
1 Student - $270 
2 Students - $540 
3 Students - $810 
4 Students - $1,080

How many children do you wish to begin their journey at our schools? Donate here.
Hilltop Christian School Students Get Excited About Service 
Last fall, Hill Christian School students donated more than 1,100 pounds of food to two local food banks. “I was blown away by the generosity of the parents and the children’s excitement,” said Mekey Lepulu, principal of the Antioch school.

The students knew they were making a real difference in the lives of others. “There are many people in our community that need help,” said fourth grader Wing Cheung. “I was happy to give because I know it will make someone else happy.”

“I liked bringing canned food because it helped people, and it’s kind,” said kindergartner Jackie Law.
After the food drive, the students collected $1,000 for Operation Christmas Child, a project that sends shoeboxes full of gifts to kids in need around the world. Each time the students raised $24, they went online and selected items – such as school supplies, socks, and toys – to fill a shoebox, which the organization shipped to a child.

“These service projects really excite our students, and it’s a real joy to see them want to give year-round and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need,” said Lepulu. “Since 1980, our school’s mission has been to show children Jesus, nurture their love for Him and others, teach them to think critically, and empower them to serve.”
Church Clerks Learn New Skills
On Sunday, 46 local church clerks participated in their annual NCC training session, conducted in English. (Last Sunday, there was training for Spanish speakers.)

Executive Secretary Jose Marin and NCC Clerk Premila Willmott (pictured) spoke about the clerks’ responsibilities, new procedures during the pandemic, and the eAdventist recordkeeping system. “We really appreciate all the clerks for dedicating so much time and effort to the vital work of record keeping and for writing the story of God’s activity in the life of the church,” said Marin.
Dan Oliver Engages His Calling to Ministry
Dan Oliver loves to paint! As he was growing up, his artist father encouraged him to draw and paint, teaching him techniques and various mediums. “I took to watercolor, but once I got into medical school, I quit,” said Oliver, a retired physician and longtime St. Helena church member.

Oliver promised himself that he would paint again, but he had trouble getting started. A few years ago, he approached fellow church member and artist David Miller, and they discussed getting people together to paint. “I thought this might be an interesting small group ministry,” said Oliver.
This was the beginning of Watercolor & Worship – a group of people who met weekly in the church fellowship hall for worship, prayer, and painting. The men were joined by church member and artist Sherrie Wimberley as well as others from the church and wider community.

The group stopped meeting for a time last year, but it took a new form in November. Concerned about people isolated by the pandemic, Wimberley suggested that art could help. The members began Card Connexion, a ministry of creativity and encouragement.

They now meet one evening a week via Zoom to paint greeting cards and write messages inside them. “I usually do tutorials for art on the cards that anybody can do,” said Oliver, who wants everyone – artist or not – to feel free to attend. “Every week we are all learning a new type of technique,” he said.

In the past six weeks, Card Connexion has mailed nearly 200 hand-painted cards of encouragement. “The Holy Spirit gives gifts, as Paul says, for the edification of the body of Christ,” said Oliver. “What more beautiful way to use these skills than to facilitate communication and connection!”  You can join them. 
At Rest
We are sorry to report that Elder Kenneth Bushnell passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 2. After a long and faithful ministerial career, he served as pastor of the Vallejo Berea church (1997-2002) and the Concord International church (2002-2008) prior to his retirement. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Elizabeth, and his entire family.
Religious Liberty & Christian Witness in a Time of Turmoil
This upcoming event is a partnership between the NCC and the Church State Council. Watch it on our NCC Facebook page and YouTube channel. Find out more. 
Prayer Ministries
Join the NCC Prayer Line every Thursday morning from 7-8 a.m. Call 1-916-637-8111, and use code 669648#. This morning, Gracepoint church Associate Pastor Marlene Rodriguez will present a short devotional. Next week, Pastor Rod Thompson from Amazing Facts will speak.
In celebration of Black History Month, all books and music by African American authors and musical artists are 20 percent off at our NCC ABC during the month of February.
NCC Headquarters Closed 
Due to the pandemic, the NCC headquarters building is closed until further notice. Staff are working from home during business hours. Email info@nccsda.com, and we will forward your message to the appropriate department. Find a list of departments and staff members on the NCC website. The Adventist Book Center remains open during its posted hours. 
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Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(916) 886-5600 I www.nccsda.com