SECC Hosts Religious Liberty Luncheon for the Inland Empire
On Nov. 2, Audray Johnson, SECC religious liberty director, hosted a luncheon at the Lotus Garden for loyal supporters of religious liberty in the Inland Empire. She had recently returned from a World Health Organization Symposium in Geneva. General Conference President Jan Paulsen addressed that body with ideas about how the Adventist church might contribute to the health needs of a global society. Johnson briefed the luncheon guests about Paulsen's report, including her thoughts about how SECC churches might serve a global society.
Dr. C. Norman Farley, a director of the North American Religious Liberty Association - West, helped organize the luncheon. He told the group: "Many of our members are lethargic because they have been conditioned to look for the loss of religious freedom and are indifferent to the loss of civil freedoms. Justice William O. Douglas put it succinctly: 'As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged ... We must all be most aware of change in the air ... lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.'"
Members were present from six churches: Campus Hill, Corona, Kansas Avenue, Loma Linda University, San Bernardino 16th Street, and Yucaipa. They were all reminded that more than change was in the air, and that NARLA - West is ready to help local congregations form NARLA teams and get active in the freedom business.
A NARLA team can be started with as few as three people. A NARLA director will help to organize the team. The Inland Empire has two directors in the immediate area - Fabian Carballo and Norman Farley. Additional teams are being formed throughout the Pacific Union. All local teams function under the guidelines of NARLA - West. NARLA is committed to "motivational spontaneity." This gives a team latitude to be creative. The ultimate aim is to build NARLA's membership and effectiveness to strengthen the ministry of religious liberty.
For churches interested in freedom of conscience issues, there are local resources to tap. The Pacific Union religious liberty department maintains an extensive speakers bureau. Farley has created considerable interest in freedom issues by presenting his sermon, "Freedom Creators and Destroyers," followed by an afternoon seminar, "Portraits of the Demonic Struggle in the Apocalypse," which deals, in part, with the latest Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI and the current economic tsunami as they relate to freedom of conscience.
For information about guest speakers and more, contact Pat Silvia at 916-446-2552, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.churchstate.org.