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2018 Religious Liberty Summit

Rather than hosting its annual Religious Liberty Summit in Washington D.C. this year, the North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA) is leaving the nation's capital and hosting a regional Religious Liberty Summit in southern and southeastern California, April 27-29.

We're inviting you to come with us to the Inland Empire on our search for Justice! Christ-like justice. The kind that in the very same moment espouses mercy. Something we can only dream to achieve through a daily walk with God. While NARLA is a religious freedom advocacy organization, we believe that social justice and freedom of conscience are core components of the same gospel ministry, and so this year we’ve chosen as our theme “Doing Justice,” based on Micah’s admonition to the people of Judah. We look at our world today and see people similarly oppressed and taken advantage of, and a need to Do Justice on their behalf.

This Religious Liberty Summit will be different than our national Summit in that there is no advance registration, and no cost to attend. Come Do Justice with us!

Our opening session will be a Friday evening vespers held at the Kansas Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church in Riverside, CA. The devotional, music, reflections, and spoken word performances will commemorate the 50th anniversaries of the assassinations of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, two men who bravely, publicly stood for justice. Pastor and social justice advocate Jason Ridley will deliver the evening's devotional message and the young people of the Kansas Avenue Adventist Church will provide our special music and spoken word selections.

Our Sabbath divine worship and afternoon seminar speakers will be spread out across several churches around southern and southeastern California, highlighting a variety of topics ranging from homelessness, human trafficking, the polarization of society, the global refugee crisis, and international religious freedom. See a detailed list below of presenters, locations, and topics. Check back frequently as we continue to update this information.

On Sunday morning you'll have the opportunity to learn and train in hands-on grassroots advocacy efforts.

Are you ready to Do Christ-Centered Justice? Join us April 27-29!


Friday, April 27, 7:00 p.m.
Kansas Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4491 Kansas Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507
Reclaiming the Torch of Freedom: Lessons from the King and Kennedy Assassinations 50 Years Later
Speaker: Pastor Jason Ridley. Pastor Ridley serves as Youth Director for the Allgheny West Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
All are welcome, no advance registration required. Please join us for this inspirational event.

Sabbath, April 28
Emphasis on “Doing Justice” with guest speakers in several area churches, some including afternoon seminars.

Riverside Indonesian SDA Church, 5430 Ridgeview Ave, Mira Loma, CA 91752-2218
Speaker: Dwayne Leslie, Esq. Dwayne is an Associate Director in the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty and Director of Legislative Affairs for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, where he serves as the worldwide Church’s liaison to the United States Congress, White House and other executive agencies. Additionally, Dwayne serves as Deputy Secretary General for the International Religious Liberty Association.
Sermon Title: "Why Silence is Not an Option"
Afternoon Program: "Conflict of Rights and the Battle over Religious Freedom in the United States"

Waterman Visayan SDA Church, 882 S Waterman Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92408-2301
Speaker: Jonathan Cherne, Esq. Jonathan is of counsel to the Church State Council, representing employees who have suffered from religious discrimination.
Sermon Title: "Liberty in Jesus"
Afternoon Presentation: "Religious Liberty Update"

Victorville SDA Church, 16070 Lorene Dr, Victorville, CA 92395
Speaker: Melissa Reid. Melissa is Executive Director of the North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA). She additionally serves as an Associate Director of the NAD Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department and the Associate Editor of Liberty Magazine.
Sermon Title: "Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, and Humbly Walking with God"
No afternoon presentation.

Orange SDA Church
, 1310 E Walnut Ave, Orange, CA 92867
Speaker: Alan J. Reinach, Esq. Alan serves as Executive Director of the Church State Council, the religious liberty educational and advocacy arm of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He is also a Seventh-day Adventist minister who speaks regularly on religious freedom topics, and is the host of a nationally syndicated weekly radio broadcast, Freedom’s Ring, devoted to religious liberty issues.
Sermon Title: "The Obligations of Love"
Afternoon Seminar: "Homelessness-What the Church Can Do/Is Doing"

Hollywood Spanish SDA Church, 657 W. 18th Street, Los Angeles CA 90015
Speaker: Elder Lincoln E. Steed. Elder Steed serves as the Editor of Liberty Magazine and an Associate Director of the North American Division Public Affairs & Religious Liberty department.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation:

Campus Hill SDA Church, 11057 Hill Drive, Loma Linda, CA 92354-2725
Speaker: James Standish, Esq. James serves as Associate Director of the Columbia Union Conference's Public Affairs & Religious Liberty department. He is the former Executive Director of the North American Religious Liberty Association.
Sermon Title: "Words"
Afternoon Seminar: "Religion and Politics, and All the Other Things You Aren’t Supposed to Talk About in Polite Company"

Hollywood SDA Church, 1711 N Van Ness Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Speaker: Elder James Lee. Elder Lee serves as the Vice President of the Southern California Conference and the head Public Affairs & Religious Liberty ministry.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation: "Doing Justice Through Community Service"

Perris Spanish SDA Church, 22905 Alviso Dr, Perris, CA 92570
Speaker: Elder Carlos Camacho. Elder Camacho is Executive Secretary of the Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and a passionate religious liberty advocate.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Seminar: "Why Vote?"

Riverside Spanish SDA Church, 3625 Ottawa Ave, Riverside, CA 92507
Speaker: Daniel Rodela. Daniel's commitment to serving the Hispanic community led him to establish the first Latino NARLA chapter in Los Angeles. He is a graduate from Cal State Bakersfield and holds a degree in Political Science and Philosophy.
Sermon Title: "The Battle for the Kingdom"
Afternoon Presentation: "Getting Involved In Immigration Justice"

Fallbrook SDA Church, 1200 Old Hwy 395, Fallbrook, CA 92028
Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Miller. Dr. Miller serves as Director of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty for the Lake Union Conferece of Seventh-day Adventists. He additionally serves as Professor of Church History and Director of the International Religious Liberty Institute located at the Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Dr. Miller is the author of several books, the most recent being "500 Years of Protest and Liberty: From Martin Luther to Modern Civil Rights."
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation: "Caught Between Liberty and Equality: How to Make America Great Again"

Santa Ana Spanish SDA Church, 117 E McFadden Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92707
Speaker: Fabian Carballo. Fabian has been a Board Member of NARLA-West since 2005 and its president since 2014.  Fabian has been an AP Government and US History (12th and 11th grade respectively) teacher at Bloomington High School for the past 13 years.  Fabian has been an Associate Professor of American Government and Politics at Riverside Community College and Norco College since 2017. As a first-generation immigrant and a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist, Fabian is well acquainted with disappointment.  He has made it his mission to turn disappointment into hope and a life-long struggle for Justice.
Sermon Title: "Sowing the Roots: Looking at Our Adventist Past in Order to Bring Justice"
Afternoon Presentation: "Should Adventists Vote or Be Involved in Politics?"

Juniper Avenue SDA Church, 7347 Juniper Ave, Fontana, CA 92336
Speaker: Pastor Gregory W. Hamilton. Pastor Hamilton has served as President of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA) since 1998. NRLA is a nonpartisan government relations and workplace mediation program that champions religious freedom and human rights in the legislative, judicial, civic, academic, interfaith, ecumenical and corporate arenas. Established in 1906, NRLA continues to be recognized as the premier religious liberty advocacy organization in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Pastor Hamilton is the recent author of “Soul Liberty: Celebrating America’s First Freedom,” and author of a forthcoming book on Sandra Day O'Connor's judicial philosophy on the role of religion in public life. 
Sermon Title:"A Clash of Kingdoms: Love, Power, and Betrayal in the Upper Room"
Afternoon Seminar: "America's Christian Nation Debate" 

San Bernardino Community Church, 1696 N G St, San Bernardino, CA 92405
Speaker: Lawrence Hellmann, Esq. Lawrence has for years been deeply and passionately involved in matters involving parents and children, and the struggle for fair custody arrangements. He is an attorney specializing in matters of child custody, visitation, support, paternity issues and marital property rights, including high conflict custody cases. His is Vice-President of NARLA-West. He has worked with civil rights groups involved with race relations, and been involved in political activity since the 1960s.
Sermon: "My Kingdom is Not of This World"
Afternoon Presentation: "What is Liberty?"

Emmanuel Spanish SDA Church, c/o Anaheim Business Center, 1520 S Lewis St, Anaheim, CA 92805-6423
Speaker: Jonathan Zirkle
Sermon Title: "What Religious Liberty?"
Afternoon Seminar: "Why Religious Liberty?"

Apple Valley All Nations, 14933 Wakita Blvd, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Speaker: Amireh-Al Haddad. Amireh serves as the Director of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty for the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation:

Mentone SDA Church, 1230 Olivine Ave, Mentone, CA 92359
Speaker: Jeanice Warden Washington. Jeanice is a Chief Consultant for the California State Assembly.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation:

Paradise Valley SDA Church, 2701 East 8th. St., National City, CA 91950
Speaker: Ed Farguson. Pastor Farguson is the Assistant to the President at the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the former Director of Government Relations for the Church State Council.
Sermon Title: "Religious Freedom Around the World"
Afternoon Presentation: "Q& A on Religious Freedom in Today's Complex World"

San Diego Spanish SDA Church, 4222 Eta St. San Diego CA, 92113
Speaker: Dennis Seaton. Dennis Seaton, Director of Government Relations for the Church State Council, served for 20 years in Central California Conference Administration, handling human resource functions, pastoral placement, trouble shooting issues and a variety of administration duties. He is  excited about the opportunity to represent Christ in the legislative and interfaith communities, and to help members with their Sabbath/religious problems.
Sermon Title: "I've Been Waiting For You"
Afternoon Presentation: "Know Your Rights" A seminar emphasizing immigration and workplace issues with presentations by:

      • Immigration -  Sam Hernandez, an immigration attorney
      • Employment – a  staff member from the California Fair Employment and Housing Department

Arlington SDA Church, 8778 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA  92503-4413
Speaker: Pastor Gary Jensen. Pastor Jensen serves as the Senior Pastor at Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Sermon Title:
Afternoon Presentation:

Sunday, April 29, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
La Sierra Spanish Church, 5885 La Sierra Ave, Riverside, CA 92505
"Know Your Rights"
A seminar emphasizing immigration and workplace issues with presentations by:

      • Immigration -  Sam Hernandez, an immigration attorney
      • Employment – a  staff member from the California Fair Employment and Housing Department

Sunday, April 29, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Glendale Adventist Academy, 700 Kimlin Dr, Glendale, CA 91206
“Doing Justice: Advocacy 101”  
Learn how to be an effective advocate and agent for change.

Savonna Greer – Immigration Past to Present and What We Can Do
Vanessa Greer - Homeless Who Are They and How We Can Help
Melissa Reid – Public/Private Partnerships How Liberty Magazine and NARLA Helps Create Those Partnerships
James Standish – How Our Voices Can Be Heard Through the Legislative Process
Patti Lawrence – An Interview With the Newest NARLA Member and How God Is Using Her to Create Public/Private Partnerships