The weekend of September 21-23 was packed with activities surrounding NY13, the evangelistic initiative scheduled for the metropolitan area of New York City in 2013. It began on Friday afternoon with a brief visit with the mayor’s senior advisor to share information about the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s health message, the events planned for New York City, and to show support for the mayor’s initiative to cut back on sugary drinks in his fight against obesity.
Then, on Friday evening, Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders joined members from local congregations at the North Bronx church in Bronx, New York, for a Satellite Evangelism and Prayer Rally to kick-off the Revelation of Hope evangelistic meetings scheduled for next year.
Five programs were presented in two days, including one in Spanish. The rally was hosted by the Greater New York Conference, with Gerson Santos, the conference’s executive secretary, as committee chair. Throughout the programs, time was allotted for prayer and short interviews about NY13. “In Greater New York Conference, we have 25,000 members. We are training Bible workers and health ministries leaders who will go out and touch the lives of people,” said G. Earl Knight, Greater New York Conference president.
“We have 52,000 members, 35,000 who live in the New York City. We accept the challenge of our world church president to reach the masses. Our churches will conduct 200 meetings,” said Daniel Honoré, Northeastern Conference president.
“We have 65,000 members in New York, and we plan to conduct more than 400 campaigns that will take place at churches in New York, Northern New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. This initiative involves five conferences (Greater New York, Northeastern, Southern New England, Allegheny East, and New Jersey). This  will be a banner year for our church,” said Donald King, Atlantic Union Conference president and chair of the NY13 Steering Committee.
Messages were presented by Carlton Byrd, Breath of Life Ministries speaker/director; Ted Wilson, Seventh-day Adventist Church president; Robert Costa, General Conference Ministerial Association associate secretary; and Abraham Jules, Mount Vernon church pastor. The programs were broadcast live on Hope Channel, Hope Church Channel, and Esperanza TV and streamed on the Internet on auam.tv and praizevision.com. 3ABN carried a delayed broadcast of the programs. The online audience was engaged using social media on the NY13.org Facebook page.
Rallying the crowd with the Friday-night message, Byrd said, “The work of God cannot be stopped. The gospel will go forth. Souls will be saved with or without you. . . . Let’s take New York by storm!”
On Sabbath morning, Wilson, who wants to reach 650 cities around the world, New York being the first, said, “I am absolutely amazed that so many divisions have caught the vision of reaching the millions in the cities and are making serious plans. This just thrills my heart because it’s a fulfillment of what God has intended for a long time. Much work has been done in the cities and yet there’s so much more to be done. The Lord says when we do it according to His plan, there will be a mighty movement in these huge metropolitan areas.”
At the end of the morning service, a team, including Wilson, King, Knight, Honoré, and Whitford Shaw, Southern New England Conference executive secretary; went door to door in the neighborhood distributing The Great Hope and praying with people in the community.
In his message during the closing program on Sabbath evening, Jules said, “We will not know what is going on in the community if we go to church once a week. We must meet people at their point of need, not at our point of need. . . . We must be a ‘going’ church if we are to be a growing church.”
In the final event for the weekend, nearly 1,000 participants and volunteers gathered on Sunday morning in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York, one of many sites participating in the annual Let’s Move Day, to promote physical activity for people of all ages. This event is part of the Adventists InStep for Life initiative that aims to curb childhood obesity by promoting exercise and better nutrition. Katia Reinert, North American Division Health Ministries director, said, “As a church we have long talked about the importance of not just healthy minds and hearts but also healthy bodies. Our culture is coming to grips with its health crisis and we have a message for our times.” Everyone finished the 5K, including a 103-year-old who walked to the finish line and praised God for His gift of life and health.
Ednor A. P. Davison is the editor of the Atlantic Union Gleaner and assistant to the president for communication in the Atlantic Union Conference.
To view photos of the event, visit the NY13 Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/NY13.org.