On May 4, 2022, the Lake Union Executive Committee heard reports of how God is continuing to work in the five-conference territory.
Ken Denslow, Lake Union
Served at the recent Pathway to Health clinic in Indianapolis as a Spanish language translator.
Eight teams from our area participated in the Division-level Pathfinder Bible Experience in Eugene, Oregon last month. This a great program for youth to study the Bible and memorize scripture.
ASI Lake Union recently held its spring fellowship. ASI is a wonderful ministry that has done so much; they helped build the church in Princeton, Illinois; and another church in Wisconsin. These likely wouldn’t have happened without support from the ASI Lake Union chapter.
Reminder that Lake Union is providing $500 for pastors to attend the CALLED Pastors and Family Convention in Kentucky this summer.
General Conference Session in St. Louis, June 6-11, is now open to the public. More information available at the session website.
Plans to focus on three areas for special emphasis in the Lake Union:
Growth in Adventist Education
Mission to the Cities
Thor Thodarson, AdventHealth Great Lakes Region
After unwinding the partnership with AMITA Health, on April 1, AdventHealth’s four hospitals in suburban Chicago became known collectively as AdventHealth Great Lakes Region. A “Welcome Home” celebration was held, complete with red carpet and balloons.
The transition is going well with near universal enthusiasm for being part of AdventHealth again.
Andrea Luxton, Andrews University
This is graduation weekend. Those who graduated in the last two years were invited to come back to participate in an in-person ceremony.
Launched an innovation center and a few weeks ago held a pitch competition. Students competed for $30,000 in prizes; most of the pitches were for nonprofits. There were lots of great ideas signaling the high level of student creativity.
A new social innovation concentration for the Master of Arts in leadership was launched. Sung K. Kwon, PhD, DMin, who recently joined the department as associate professor of leadership, serves as director of the program.
Vic Van Schaik, Indiana Conference
Many miracles took place leading up to Pathway to Health, such as the free gift of using the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Theme was aptly “United We Serve.” People across the U.S. and even Guam came to volunteer.
Van Schaik showed a humorous slide of a package arriving at the conference office addressed "Pathway to Heaven."
Titus Naftanaila, Wisconsin Conference
Milwaukee So. Hispanic has organized a new company.
“Prophecy Countdown” evangelism campaign just ended.
Garth Gabriel, Lake Region Conference
Motor City evangelism campaign was very successful. About one hundred people were baptized and more are expected.
Additional public evangelism series are planned for other major cities.
Ron Aguilera, Illinois Conference
Conference applied for a $100,000 Education grant and was awarded over $600,000 (see full report). It’s a federal grant and the fineprint was examined by various legal counsel, including the Lake Union and North American Division.
Several Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the Chicago area and are now enjoying support from church members.
Hispanic evangelism “caravan” has resulted in several baptisms.
Jim Micheff, Michigan Conference
Evangelism interest have increased, particularly in Hispanic districts. For example, in St. Charles and Saginaw, the number of visitors is almost on par with the number of members.
Lansing Church has an innovative medical series. Doctors have come in. Conference Health Director, Vicki Griffin, has a blended messages on the physical, spiritual, and mental. To date, 75 non-Adventists have signed up, 43 have attended Sabbath services, and seven have requested Bible study.
A church plant that gathers in a home in Rogers Heights, an affluent area near Detroit, has seen several non-Adventists join the group.
During Covid lockdowns, Camp au Sable was shutdown. Leaders regrouped to see what opportunities exist to make a difference in their community. During the evaluation, the boardwalk and camp store were singled out for potential impact. Turns out the community is embracing the opportunity to walk around the boardwalk and eat at the revamped camp store which now sells vegan meals prepared by a world-class chef.
Since the camp was closed, Gordon Atkins, the “nature guy” at Camp au Sable started producing videos for school children. Those videos are very popular. Atkins conducted a week of prayer online and 80 students made requests for Bible study and/or baptism.
Elden Ramirez, Lake Union Executive Secretary
Growth is taking place in all five conferences. The membership total as of March 31, 2022, is 88,775. During the first quarter of the year, there were 188 baptisms.
Growth is coming primarily because of church plants.
Ordination request for Indiana’s Ft. Wayne First Pastor Dr. David DeRose approved.
Carmelo Mercado, Lake Union
God has carried us through many events this year – from success with United Prayer Conference to Pathway to Health. Survey results for United Prayer Conference indicated overwhelming satisfaction.
Pathway to Heath presented an opportunity to minister to large number of Hispanic visitors in attendance. Shortage of translators was a hurdle to overcome.
ASI Lake Union Spring Fellowship was held and a new member, Cynthia Prime, presented her international ministry to orphans called SOHO.
Reminder to support General Conference President Ted Wilson’s evangelism meetings in Indianapolis May 21-28.
Glynn Scott, Lake Union Treasurer
Year-to-Date (YTD) tithe for March 2022 was $19.5 million, this is an increase of $272,000 over YTD March 2021 or 1.42% increase. This is significant given the YTD March 2021 tithe of $19.2 million was $3.4 million over YTD March 2020 or 21.45%.
YTD March performance, total income is ahead of budget by $131,000 and total expenses are under budget by $485,000.
NAD policy required six months of operating reserves; March LUC reserves are 10.38 months.
The opening devotional was done by Lake Union Youth Director Ron Whitehead. He told the story of a young man, Levi Pemberton, who returned from the recently held Youth Congress to his local church in Evansville, Indiana and helped raise $18,000 for Ukraine. A local television news outlet reported on this achievement.
Debbie Michel serves as the Lake Union Conference Communication Director and the Lake Union Herald editor.