[Photo: Unsplash/IAD]
Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

C reation was the main focus on Sabbath, October 24, 2020, as the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America transmitted a special online worship service across the vast church membership. The special program, designated as “Creation Sabbath” and held on the fourth Saturday in October around the world church, represented the first online worship service organized by the Inter-American Division to highlight the works of creation and the plan of salvation as outlined in the Bible, top church leaders said.

“We as Seventh-day Adventists believe that God is the Creator of all life and that the Bible gives us a reliable account of His creative activity, and that is why we are together to take time to worship, study, and look at what God has done,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America, at the start of the online program.

It was an important time to bring about a united focus on creation throughout the more than 23,000 churches and congregations in the territory that, for months now, are mostly relying on online services due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pastor Henry explained. “We have the urgent message of the Three Angels Message to proclaim, and studying about the Creator is crucial for every member to be in readiness for His second coming.”

The two-hour service featured presentations and messages by experts at the church’s Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) and world church leaders, as well as videos, music, and available resources for members to engage in and share in their communities.

During his weekly Sabbath address, Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the World Church, encouraged members to be lights in the world. He motivated leaders and members to learn more about creation. “In order to fully understand the Creator, it is important to be out in nature where we can observe and appreciate His creation.”

Dr. Ronny Nalin, director of the Geoscience Research Institute, delivered the sermon message.

“From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reveals to us bad news and good news. The bad news is that we live in the midst of a terrible conflict, and the good news [sic] that God has won this conflict,” said Nalin. “Every human being to benefit [sic] from this good framework that God established, and in spite of the millennial [sic] of evil, we will move in this framework that the Lord gave to us.”

He pointed to the fact that part of ravaging disasters like floods, pandemics, earthquakes, and hurricanes may seem to be beyond control. “We must realize how, in modern times, humanity has reached a point where we are actively aggravating and intensifying the growth of creation through our lifestyle and behavior. What is our message and responsibility as we live in these different times of trouble and corruption of God’s creation?” said Nalin.

The church must have a message of restoration. Dr. Nalin challenged leaders and members to find practical ways to be bearers of the message of restoration, a force at work for good, instruments of healing in a broken world, and proclaimers of the coming of the victorious Savior.

The Creation Sabbath program marked the first time that a special online worship service emanated from the IAD Headquarters, and it had a major impact throughout the territory, said Dr. Marcos Terreros, academic vice president of the Inter-American Theological Seminary and the IAD representative in the Geoscience Research Institute Board. Although the special day has been celebrated across local churches in the IAD territory since it was established around the world more than ten years ago, top church leaders wanted to ensure the church joined together in worship.

Major church regions in Inter-America linked the online program to their online worship services on October 24, from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to Colombia and Venezuela.

In the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, the program was shared in the morning worship service as well as in the afternoon through their Facebook page to its more than 203,000 church members. In Venezuela, the church carried the live program through their websites and the 28 church-operated radio stations across the country. In the same way, Central and Southeast Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, and Colombia carried the program through their YouTube and Facebook accounts.

“Creation Sabbath is about motivating church leaders and members to celebrate and focus on God’s power and grace as Creator and Redeemer and share Bible truths to everyone in their communities,” said Terreros.

Plans are underway for a special celebration on Creation Sabbath from the IAD Headquarters on October 23, 2021.

To find resources for your church or community for Creation Sabbath and other related activities, visit grisda.org

This article was originally published on the Inter-America Division’s website 

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