A Conspiracy in North America

What if our Adventist Churches across North America began a conspiracy? What if we decided in harmony with all the other churches across Bermuda, Canada, United States and the islands of Guam and Micronesia that we are going to love our cities like Jesus did? What do you think would happen if we ventured outside the walls of our churches, asked people about their needs, and did something transformational for individuals and communities?

What if our local churches conspired together to do the following?

  • Respond to disasters in the community (fires, earthquakes, storms, tornados).
  • Feed the hungry.
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Mentor children after school.
  • Minister to prisoners, and also minister to their families.
  • Visit and pray for the sick in the community regularly.
  • Offer FREE Marital Counseling (married couples) and FREE Pre-Marital Counseling (engaged couples).
  • Offer FREE Parenting Classes for parents.
  • Donate space, FREE of charge, for community weddings and funerals.
  • Advertise the Services of the local Adventist Pastor to conduct Weddings, Dedications of Babies, and Funerals, FREE of charge for the church’s community.
  • Provide manicures and pedicures for battled women
  • Celebrate communion with the homeless and bring them in when it is cold.
  • Lead Toy Drives during Christmas.
  • Stand against modern Slavery and the abuse of women, children and the elderly (not a silent church).
  • Teach FREE Financial Management Classes (How to budget? How to buy a house? How to become debt-free? Financial Freedom, Income Taxes)
  • Hold FREE Fitness classes.
  • Connect with governmental leaders and work with them to support good causes regardless of their party affiliation.
  • Hold a reception for community business owners and pray for their success.
  • Promote and facilitate the adoption of children.
  • Co-sponsor and organize concerts with well known musicians in some of our very beautiful, historic, landmark buildings, rather than having these buildings closed to the public most of the time.
  • Organize and sponsor celebrations during special days and recognized holidays such as: New Year’s, Superbowl, Valentine’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and others.
  • Partner with the city and other organizations to serve as volunteers in events such as: marathons, fairs, festivals, and others.

What would happen with our churches if we would venture to open our doors more often, rather than just Saturdays, for a few hours, and Wednesdays for an hour? After all some other churches who don’t have the beautiful and powerful message we have, keep their doors open all the time. What if we dared to distribute flyers in our communities, not with beasts on the cover, but offering the few services mentioned above and many others? What if we did this, not just for a day, or for a season right before the evangelistic meetings, but on a regular basis as a lifestyle? What do you think would happen?

1. A Relevant Church is never empty. Jesus was surrounded by people constantly, He did not preach to empty pews, there is a reason why He always had a crowd.

2. A Relevant Church reaches and reclaims its community. Jesus did that on a regular basis. He went to the synagogue, sat and read, and then went out to reach and reclaim His community.

3. A Relevant Church retains its members. When a community of people are active and happy doing something good, which they enjoy, they don’t leave; the total opposite happens, more people come, youth, young adults, adults, and children, believe me it can be viral. Jesus went viral, and that’s why our church is here today because of what He did.

It’s time for a Conspiracy of Compassion in our Adventist Churches in North America!

Pastor Jose Cortes Jr., is an Associate Ministerial Director and Leads Evangelism for the Adventist Church in North America.

Memorial Day Message

Boy-memorialdayMemorial Day gives us the opportunity to remember those who have given their lives in service for our nation; the selfless men and women, whom through their ultimate sacrifice, have helped to secure our personal and spiritual freedom, as well as an unparalleled way of life. It is because of them that we are able to live without terror, worship without fear, give without restraint, and serve without limit.

Today, we honor our fallen heroes, among whom we count many Seventh-day Adventists, who proudly served our country. We pray for the comfort and hope of their surviving families and encourage our members to reach out with compassion to these fathers, mothers, boys, and girls, letting them know how much we appreciate their sacrifice and that of their loved ones.  On this Memorial Day, I encourage you and your church to make a call, sign a book, hug a family member, and say thank you to those who have served, still serve, or mourn the loss of one of our heroes.

We also look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus, the time, when deployments will end and war will be no more, when death will ultimately be defeated, and peace will reign forever. 

– Pastor Jose Cortes Jr.

Honoring Our Moms on Mother’s Day and Always

On this day we honor our mothers with love and gratitude, recognizing that each one is a precious, vital, and irreplaceable gift of God to humanity. We congratulate women, who may have not given birth to a child, yet true mothers who have made a difference in the lives of kids, teens, and young adults. You are treasured, loved, and not forgotten. Your commitment and dedication to service and ministry are noticed and very valuable to us and to God. Without you, our world, communities, schools, and churches could not be.

We also cherish the great memories of mothers, who gave us so much love for many years, and are no longer physically with us. We miss them and long for the Second Coming of Jesus, when we will see them face to face.

Today, we pray for comfort for our mothers who will not receive a hug, a gift, or hear the words “I love you” from a child that has passed away. We pray that our merciful and compassionate God will embrace you with His love and peace, and the hope of a better day.

Together we would like to call on sons and daughters everywhere, to love, respect, and be the Eyes, Heart, Hands, and Feet of Jesus to moms, not only on Mother’s Day but every single day. We also call on each mother to be an example of love, truth, and faith to the children and grandchildren that God has put under your care. That this verse, which was written to Timothy, can also be true in your lives and the lives of your children: “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.” (II Timothy 1:5)

With lots of love today and always!!!

Pastor Jose, Joanne, Jose III, & Joel Cortes

CortesFam2015

September 11 Statement from Pastor Jose Cortes Jr.

daughtermomseptember11Today 13 years later, the Adventist Youth and Young adults of the Atlantic Union Conference join with the rest of our nation as we commemorate another anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the City of New York and our country. We also remember those fallen on that day. On September 11, 2001, we lost several of our beloved Youth and Pathfinder Leaders: Lissy Martinez, Michelle Nelson, and Maxima Jean-Pierre; we also lost Steve Buning and Jorge Velasquez. We miss them dearly and will always remember them with love till the beautiful resurrection morning.

 

On this day and often, we think of the first responders, several of whom were and are Adventist young adults; like Felix Hernandez, who sacrificed his life, and others who still live but sacrificed their health, in their heroic efforts to save many and recover the remains of the fallen at Ground Zero. We honor these heroes today, some rest awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus. We also join in prayer for those who still struggle with their health.

 

september11I would like to encourage each youth and young adult group, and each Pathfinder and Adventurer Club across the Atlantic Union, and especially in New York, to use this time to minister hope and to touch those around us with Compassion. On an individual level, I would like to urge you to Hug someone, Pray with someone, Help someone, and Encourage someone today, and always.

 

God Bless You!

Always remember, actions are better than words, and they speak louder too.

Blessings and Love!

 

Jose

Pastor Jose Cortes Jr., Director

Adventist Youth Ministries Department

 

Independence Day 2014

On July 4, 1776, the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, making this day a most memorable and festive for our Nation.

On July 4, 2014, I invite you to make a Declaration of Independence from bad habits, hatred, jealousy, unfair criticism & treatment of others, religious legalism, and toxic company which hurts your life. We can do this by making a Declaration of Full Dependence on Jesus.

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International Women’s Day 2014

As we celebrate the International Women’s Day I thank God for the awesome talented women He has put in my life: especially for my wife Joanne, my mother Celia, my grandmothers Celia and Rita, my mother-in-law Berta, my sisters Joyce, Patty, aunts Elsa and Olimpia, cousins Esther, Reina, Enedys, Huldita,Belinda, Katherine, Christine Natacha, Chantelle, Patricia, Berta,Priscilla, Sara, Rebecca, Daniella, Becky among other Australian cousins and aunts, and my nieces Kasey, Nadia, Emma. I love each one dearly and pray God will continue to bless you and use you to be a blessing to many. I also thank God for colleagues in ministry and dedicated women who give of themselves daily to make our church what Jesus intended our church to be. You do such an awesome job, our church is in urgent need of more people like you. And I also think of the many women, whom have been born into adverse circumstances in places where the community and even the church around them cannot see their real value, beauty, and intrinsic worth. I pray that as members of humanity and of Christianity we will continue to do our part, as Jesus did as He walked this earth, to love, value, and respect the women whom God created, whom Jesus died for, the women whom God uses daily to give and sustain life, care for millions, and to help our world to keep going.

“We Are All One”

There is a quote taken from the famous speech “I Have a Dream” given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Many things have changed since this quote was eloquently uttered by Martin Luther King. The United States of today is a much different place. Though many of the things that Martin Luther King peacefully fought for have been accomplished, yet there are areas of growth where improvements are needed. Prejudism of all types, (racial, against women, children, youth, ethnic groups which are not large enough to be recognized, and even reversed prejudism) still exists in our society and many times among Christians.

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Happy Birthday Joel!

Happy Birthday handsome son! What a joy you are! We love you so, so much! From the day we knew we were pregnant with you, we loved you! We just couldn’t wait to see you and hold you and give you lots of love!!!! On the day you were born, you changed our lives forever. We are so grateful to God for you! You have brought us joy, happiness, lots of blessings,  a little silliness at times, some sleepless nights, and so much love! Now you are seven years old, and time continues to pass, but our love for you keeps growing, and the joy you bring us reminds us daily, how blessed we are!

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