Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists


For the past year, pastors, such as Daniel Royo of the Piney Forest church in Danville, Va., along with teachers and staff, have been discussing what social justice means from a biblical perspective.

For many, social justice is a volatile subject. Some feel the time for open and honest, even painful, discussion has not yet arrived. As followers of Christ, our privilege is to create an environment where we can discuss and live out a biblical perspective of justice. As theologian Russell D. Moore says, “The gospel drives us to an understanding that the ultimate accounting of justice doesn’t rest with the state, or with ourselves, but with the Judgment Seat of the kingdom of God.”

Photo from Pixabay

Mortified. That’s how my mom, Vicki (Curtiss) Bernard, recalls feeling as she sat in Chemistry class at Mount Vernon Academy where her dad, Leon Curtiss, was the teacher. “If we got what we deserve, we’d all be grease spots,” he’d say, trying to lighten the mood while navigating tough subjects like science and math. A fixture at Ohio Conference’s longtime school (now closed), my grandfather was known for his corny jokes and one-liners. 

We live in a fast-paced digital age. News is distilled into soundbites. Thirty-second commercials leave us feeling that a two-minute video is long. We expect our internet service to be max speed. We grow impatient even as our microwave ovens quickly warm up our food. Electronic devices are all around us—we use them for work, play, learning, relaxation, communication, relationships and even worship. What is the impact of all of this on our church-going experience?

Photo by Bruce Guenter on Flickr

The other night, while searching the online Visitor archives, I got caught up reading the carefully chronicled history of our Columbia Union people. From the headlines, articles, photos and captions, it appears that our predecessors were some of the most Bible-knowing, Ellen White-quoting, ministry-supporting, missionary-loving, church-planting, potluck-hosting, camp meeting-going, organizing and evangelizing people you’ll ever meet.