Volume 4 • Issue 39 • September 30, 2021
Good News for NCC Schools

The NCC education department reports that our schools are growing again! After a couple difficult years, the overall enrollment at NCC schools is up by 14 percent. That means we have 297 more students this year than we had last year. Furthermore, that growth is broadly distributed through most of our 34 schools. While navigating COVID health regulations is still challenging, we look forward to ministering to more students and families throughout this school year.
Gresford Thomas Ordained

On Sabbath, Sept. 11, Elder Gresford Thomas was ordained to the gospel ministry at the Concord International church. Thomas serves as the pastor of the Concord International/San Ramon Valley district. He was previously the pastor of the Lincoln Amazing Grace/Olivehurst/Penn Valley district.

Before becoming a pastor, Thomas worked for nearly 20 years in pharmaceutical clinical research. During that time, he served as an elder and active lay leader for churches and ministries in New Jersey, New York, and Washington State.

After much prayer, and with the encouragement of his wife, Elia, Thomas decided to respond to God’s calling to ministry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Pacific Union College and then a Master of Divinity from the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

“To God be the glory!” said Thomas. “I am humbled and blessed beyond measure to have experienced the confirmation of the call God placed upon my heart decades ago.” See photos from the service on the NCC Facebook page.
Free and Clear

Congratulations to the American Canyon Fil-Am church, led by Pastor Eleazar Famorcan! After completely paying off their church mortgage early this year, they burned the mortgage papers during a formal ceremony last month.
Debi Pedersen Retires

After serving in a variety of roles throughout her career, NCC trust officer Debi Pedersen retired at the end of August.

For the first two decades of her working life, Pedersen was a teacher in the Southern California Conference and at Napa Christian Campus of Education. During her years as an educator, she taught almost every grade between first and tenth.

In 2001, she joined the NCC office team as an accounting clerk. Five years later, she became a trust officer in the planned giving & trust services/property management department. In this role, she worked to fulfill people’s last wishes as expressed by their estate plans, including facilitating their gifts to family and the ministries that were dear to them. “I treated every estate like it was my family’s,” she said.

Her colleagues will miss her. “Debi’s skill in navigating the complicated landscapes of matured estates has been a tremendous blessing to the Lord’s work in our territory and around the world,” said Rich Magnuson, department director. “Her skill, attention to detail—as well as the joy and delicious treats that she brought us—will be greatly missed.”

In her retirement, Pedersen looks forward to cooking and baking; traveling with her husband, Jim; and spending time with her family, including her grandson, Stephen.
Happy Birth Day!

Congratulations to Vanessa and David Fernandez on the birth of their son, Julian Day, who arrived on September 9. Julian's mother is assistant treasurer at the conference office. We pray that God will bless this young family!
Upcoming Events

This Sabbath, Oct. 2 - Don’t miss Finding a Way Forward: Vaccine Mandates & Religious Liberty, a dialogue between Christians with diverse views. Moderated by Steve Allred, NCC religious liberty liaison, the online discussion will feature several physicians and attorneys, along with President Marc Woodson. Watch on the NCC YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Oct. 8-9 - The NCC African American Ministries virtual convocation, Engaging the Vision, Living the Dream, will be a time of inspiration and encouragement. Wesley Knight, pastor of the Revision church in Atlanta, will be the guest speaker.

Oct. 22-24 - Juniors and seniors in academy, high school, and home school are invited to attend Surge, this year’s Jr/Sr Retreat with speaker Kent Rufo, Pacific Union College chaplain.

Oct. 23 - The NCC Prison Ministries Rally & Training Day will be held at the Sacramento Central church.

Every Thursday - The NCC Prayer Team invites you to join the weekly conference-wide prayer call.

Learn about other events throughout the conference.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month! To say thank you to NCC pastors, the ABC is offering them discounts on books, gifts, and vegetarian food. Learn more!

In the coming weeks, the NCC ABC will be making prepaid drop-off deliveries throughout the conference and in Nevada.
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(916) 886-5600 I www.nccsda.com