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Between the Lines: Your Editors at Work in Brazil, Cuba, and Zimbabwe

Editors at Adventist Review and Adventist World do much more than write and edit. Every year, the senior editors collectively preach more than 140 sermons, teach the equivalent of six full weeks of university graduate classes, and participate in at least 10 multi-day conferences around the world. The other staff members also have their hands full.

Here’s a look at staff highlights in April and May:

Bill Knott, editor and executive publisher

Bill Knott joined associate editor Gerald Klingbeil and associate publisher Claude Richli on a whirlwind visit to the Adventist Church’s primary South American publishing houses on April 5 to 10.

Knott and his colleagues were laying the groundwork for a possible new edition of Adventist World magazine for the South American Division that combines the international content of the magazine with news and articles from the division.

Bill Knott, center right, discussing printing issues with his Brazilian hosts near columns of paper drums at the Adventist publishing house in Brazil. Gerald Klingbeil is at the far right. (Claude Richli / AR)

Daylong discussions were held with top leaders at Asociacion Casa Editora Sudamericana (ACES), the division’s Spanish-language publishing house in Buenos Aires, as well as Casa Publicadora Brasileira, the Portuguese-language entity outside of Sao Paulo.

The three also spent an afternoon touring the Rede Novo Tempo de Comunicacao, the division’s major media center, also outside of Sao Paulo. The planned new edition of Adventist World for the South American Division is anticipated in early 2016.

Adventist World prints 50,000 magazines in Argentina and 100,000 in Brazil every month.

Along with associate editors Lael Caesar and Gerald Klingbeil, Knott also attended the semi-annual two-day meeting of the Biblical Research Institute Committee (BRICOM), held on the Loma Linda University campus on April 20 and 21. In addition, Knott joined the church’s Faith and Science Council Committee at LLU on Wednesday, April 22.

While in southern California, Knott made visits to key Adventist health educators to discuss possibilities for more coordinated publication of data resulting from the Adventist Health Study-2.

Knott has been a long-time member of the board of trustees of Adventist Heritage Ministry, and spent Sunday, April 27, at the semi-annual board meeting in Battle Creek, focusing on restructuring leadership roles for the organization.On April 27, he and Richli met senior leadership at Three Angels Broadcasting Association (3ABN) in West Frankfort, Illinois, for discussions about closer cooperation between the two ministries, and to tape a one-hour 3ABN program about the new-look, new-format Adventist Review.

In conjunction with the college graduation weekend for his daughter-in-law, Meagan (Thompson) Knott, on Sabbath, May 2, Knott preached at the dedication service for the 2015 class of Master of Divinity graduates at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. His Sabbath afternoon message, “The Clarion Call of Grace,” challenged those moving into pastoral assignments to focus their preaching and caring on rightly representing the grace of Jesus.

A bird's-eye view of the Adventist publishing house in Brazil. (Claude Richli / AR)

Gerald A. Klingbeil, associate editor

Two years ago, Klingbeil was invited by Oxford University Press to contribute an article on “Sacrifices and Offerings” to a new two-volume encyclopedia, and it just appeared. The title of the volume is The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, edited by Samuel E. Balentine.

“Considering our understanding of substitution and the importance of sacrificial activities for the day of atonement ritual, it was quite a privilege to be asked to contribute this important topic from an Adventist perspective,” Klingbeil said.

Read the article here (PDF)

Klingbeil also spoke at a German camp meeting at Camp Hope in British Columbia, Canada, on May 1 and 2.


Lael O. Caesar, associate editor

Lael spoke for the Sábado Joven worship hour at the Hollywood Adventist Spanish Church, in Los Angeles, California, on April 18. In the afternoon he presented a seminar on "Herejías Verdaderas” — misconceived responses to the issue of suffering offered by various speakers in the book of Job.

On April 20, he presented a paper on “The Sabbath at Creation,” to the Biblical Research Institute Committee meeting in Loma Linda, California.

On Friday evening and Sabbath morning, April 24 and 25, he spoke at the fourth Quadrennial Session of the Guyana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on the subjects “Grass and Glory,” and “Ahimaaz Was a Runner.” He also introduced his Guyanese Adventist audience to the redesigned Adventist Review.

On May 2, Lael preached at the Brinklow church in Ashton, Maryland, on the topic “Grace, Not Grass.”

From Sunday, May 24, through Sabbath, May 30, he conducted evangelistic meetings at the Ntshonalanga church in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, as part of a countrywide evangelistic series.

Lael Caesar introducing a Guyanese Adventist audience to the redesigned Adventist Review during the fourth Quadrennial Session of the Guyana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. (Courtesy of Lael Caesar)

Claude Richli, associate publisher and marketing director

Richli traveled to Cuba from May 21 to 25 with representatives of the General Conference’s communication department to speak at the first communication convention organized at the union level within the Inter-American Division.

“This was also a historical opportunity as we are starting a program of delivering Adventist World magazine to Cuba from a printing press in Mexico,” Richli said. “This is the first magazine the Cuban field is going to receive from outside the country in memory.”

Claude Richli traveled to Cuba to speak at a communication convention. (Claude Richli / AR)

Here’s a look at staff highlights in March:

Bill Knott, editor and executive publisher

Knott was the featured speaker at the Washington Conference’s one-day “mini-camp meeting” call “Re-fresh,” held at Sunset Lake Camp on the lower slopes of Washington’s Mount Rainer on Sabbath, March 14. His messages dealt with the healing power of Jesus in individual lives, and included an interactive dialogue time with the congregation after each of three sermons.

Knott also teaches at least one Doctor of Ministry intensive class each year for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, and this year’s installment was the Urban Ministry cohort, meeting March 25-29 in the heart of Chicago. Knott’s presentations and coaching sessions focused on helping experienced pastors prepare projects for professional growth and congregational change in the more than 20 urban areas represented in the cohort.

On March 29 and 30, he was the featured devotional speaker at “Beyond the Bottom Line,” an annual professional development seminar for conference, union, and division personnel, held this year in San Antonio, Texas. His messages there focused on the boldness that should accompany God’s last-day messengers, and the significance of Adventist education to the church’s overall mission.

Lael O. Caesar, associate editor

Caesar traveled to Montemorelos, Mexico, to record several five-minute videos for an Adventist Theological Academy series on “Scripture, Faith, and Life” on March 13. The recordings are meant to serve as a video version of a standard Bible dictionary.

On Sabbath morning, March 14, Caesar preached at the Montemorelos University
Central church. In the evening, he and other participants in the Adventist Theological Academy project were interviewed by university president Ismael Castillo on the significance and purpose of the recordings.

Gerald Klingbeil, front row, third from left, taking a group photo with participants of the Second Research Conference at the Adventist University of Africa in Ongata-Rongai, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Víctor Figueroa / AUA

Gerald A. Klingbeil, associate editor

Klingbeil served as the keynote speaker of the Second Research Conference at the Adventist University of Africa in Ongata-Rongai, Nairobi, Kenya, on March 26 to 28. The title of the conference was “Ethical Leadership for the 21st Century” and the title of his presentation was “The Joseph Files: A Biblical Foundation for Ethical Leadership in 21st Century Africa."

The conference had three keynote speakers and a total of 27 research presentations. About 250 registered participants attended from all over Africa, including a sizable number of current graduate students from AUA.

On Sabbath afternoon the conference voted a final statement titled “God’s Call to Ethical Leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

Read the statement (PDF)

From left, Raimond Luntungan, Thang Do Lian, and Pablo Rios meeting with Richli, unpictured, on the AIIAS campus. Photo: Claude Richli

Claude Richli, associate publisher and marketing director

Richli traveled to the Philippines to meet with Adventist World’s two webmasters at the AIIAS campus. Adventist World works together with the university’s business department to provide a scholarship to one of the students who, in exchange, serves as the magazine’s webmaster. After occupying this function for almost five years, Thang Do Lian from Myanmar will be graduating this year with a PhD in business. Adventist World’s other webmaster, Pablo Rios, arrived from Thailand, where he is director of marketing at Asia Pacific International University. Raimond Luntungan, who is a faculty member at the graduate school, supervises the program on behalf of Adventist World.


Here’s a look at staff highlights in February:

Bill Knott, editor and executive publisher

Knott traveled to his home area in central Massachusetts for a Feb. 7 sermon at the Gardner Seventh-day Adventist Church, into which his wife, Debby, was baptized in 1978.

He joined “Ministry in Motion” co-hosts Anthony Kent and Derek Morris on Feb. 12 in the Hope Channel studios to tape three half-hour television shows on pastoral topics he is passionate about: "Building a Support Network” "The Perils of Power,” and “Changing an Environment from Hostility to Harmony.”

Knott traveled to Fallbrook, California, on Feb. 14 to 16 to conduct a focus group with Adventist young adults about changes coming to the design and format of the Adventist Review“I was simply delighted by the quality of the comments and the committed Adventism of all the participants,” he said. “This was one of the best focus groups I’ve ever been privileged to participate in.”

Accompanied by Claude Richli, Adventist World associate publisher, and Juan Prestol-Puesan, undertreasurer of the General Conference, Knott traveled to Ilsan, South Korea, at the end of the month to participate in an annual legal meeting of the Adventist World management board, based at the headquarters of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division.This meeting reviews the yearly progress of the international journal of the church, votes budget recommendations, and assesses proposed initiatives in new regions.

Lael Caesar, associate editor

Caesar, right, visiting the grounds of the Samoas-Tokelau Mission compound with Owen Ryan and Ryan's wife, Anna. For AR

Caesar visited Fulton College on the South Pacific island of Fiji on Feb. 9 to 14, lecturing on biblical preaching to about 120 pastors and mission and union administrators from the various fields of the Trans Pacific Union Mission, which includes Fiji, Kiribati-Nauru, the Niue Attached Church, Samoas-Tokelau, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Caesar’s presentations included three seminars of 90 minutes each and four sermons that demonstrated the principles of his lectures.

On Feb. 15, he preached in Western Samoa, first to the combined churches of the Fusi-Vailoa district and later the same day at the mission headquarters church in Apia. He urged listeners to “put your money where your mouth is,” a message primarily focused on the spiritual surrender of everything natural and carnal in exchange for the “treasure hid in a field,” but one person was moved to contribute $1,000 after the sermon to a television and radio ministry that operates on the island.

Caesar later toured the TV and radio studio and is preparing a story about its owner, Owen Ryan, who was once shocked by 22,000 volts of electricity but lived to serve God.

Pastors taking notes during a seminar led by Caesar on the South Pacific island of Fiji.

Gerald A. Klingbeil, associate editor

Klingbeil traveled to Lima, Peru, on Feb. 26 and preached the culminating sermon of a Ten Days of Prayer initiative at Peruvian Union University. While much of the Adventist world church commemorated the Ten Days of Prayer in early January, the South American Division moved the event to late February because of January being a summer vacation month. Klingbeil preached at the main service (they usually have three services) before a full house of more than 2,000 members.

Klingbeil started his career at the university 20 years earlier when he and his wife, Chantal, arrived as young and childless missionaries, not speaking a word of Spanish. The couple spent six years here, and the first two of three daughters were born there. “It was an emotional moment,” Klingbeil said of his return to his old home. “I made a call at the end of the sermon, and hundreds came forward.”

Klingbeil preaching the culminating sermon of a Ten Days of Prayer initiative at Peruvian Union University. For AR

Claude Richli, associate publisher

Richli attended the inauguration of two major infrastructure developments in Rwanda in early February: a new eight-level office building for the Rwanda Union Mission in downtown Kigali, and a new Science and Technology Center at the Adventist University of Central Africa. He wrote a report about the projects for the Adventist Review.

Richli also spent some time in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, going over the details of launching the first Adventist World Digest edition in an African vernacular language, Amharic. A trip to Malawi helped him explore the possibility of creating an edition in Chichewa. The end of the month saw him attend a meeting of the Adventist World management board in Seoul, where he made a presentation on the developments of Adventist World activities around the world in the last eight months.

In late January, Richli traveled to Ghana to videotape a number of interviews with people whose lives have been changed by Adventist World. While there, he preached at the Garrison Adventist Church, a congregation of about 500 members located on the grounds of military base. He met Accra Mayor Alfred Vanderpuije, a former conference youth director.

Andrew McChesney, news editor

McChesney wrote six blog entries on the book of Acts for Revised By His Word, the Adventist Church’s daily Bible study initiative. The commentaries were featured online on Feb. 5 to 10.

McChesney, who joined the Adventist Review in 2014 after working 17 years in the secular media, including seven years as editor-in-chief of the only English-language daily in Russia, also offered tips on how local churches can better promote their activities in the secular media on “Ministry in Motion." The 30-minute program will air on Hope Channel and be available at ministryinmotion.tv.


Here’s a look at staff highlights in January:

Bill Knott, editor-in-chief

Knott spent the first weekend of the year, Jan. 2-4, with 5,000 Adventist youth and young adults at the annual Generation.Youth.Christ (GYC) convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Every year, the Adventist Review prepares and distributes a specially themed edition for the GYC convention and “unlocks” all Review website content for the week surrounding the convention to give full access to young readers. Knott divided his time between meetings with ministry leaders and recruiting young authors for both Adventist Review and Adventist World.

Knott spent the weekend of Jan. 16-17 with the Atlanta (Georgia) Romanian Adventist Church, preaching Friday night, Sabbath morning at worship, and Sabbath evening, as well as giving a one-hour presentation on Adventist history during Sabbath School. His sermons focused on overcoming fear through the gift of divine courage—for Jonathan and his armor bearer (1 Samuel 14); for the post-Pentecost Jerusalem church (Acts 4); and for Elisha and his servant confronting the Syrian army (2 Kings 6). The Friday night and Sabbath worship messages, with translation into Romanian, are in the videos below.

Bill Knott's message "Personal Courage" on Friday evening, Jan. 16.

Bill Knott's message "Fire and Rain" during the Sabbath worship service on Jan. 17.

Lael Caesar, associate editor

Caesar traveled to the town of Santa Elena, Venezuela, to gather information for a story on the first indigenous Adventist schoolteacher of the Pemon people in Guyana. The Pemon people's traditional lands surround Mount Roraima and stretch across a geographic region shared by Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil.

While in Venezuela from Jan. 12 to 18, he also attended a retreat of the Southeast Venezuela chapter of SIEMA, the association for ministers’ wives, in San Felix. He gave the opening address at the retreat on Friday evening; led a seminar on Sabbath morning during the Sabbath School hour; participated in a Q&A session; and preached during the divine hour. 

He gave a live radio interview on the “En Movimiento” program, sponsored by the Southeast Venezuela Conference.

Stephen Chavez, coordinating editor

Chavez flew to San Francisco on the weekend of Jan. 17-18 to participate in the filming of a short video feature by the General Conference’s Revival and Reformation Committee of the 1901 General Conference session, which was characterized by strong feelings between several Adventist leaders. Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White imagined a General Conference session characterized by repentance and humility, but her dreams went largely unrealized.

Chavez, playing the role of early church leader Stephen N. Haskell, joined several actors in period costumes and several dozen extras at the San Francisco Central Church to make a short film reflecting the spirit of reformation imagined by Ellen White.

Extras sitting in the pews during the session re-enactment. Photo courtesy of Stephen Chavez

Here’s a look at staff highlights in December:

Bill Knott, editor-in-chief

Knott traveled to the Thai/Myanmar border in early December to document the innovative humanitarian and development work being done by International Children’s Care Australia, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. During his visit, the organization was in the process of welcoming more than 70 Australian teens and young adults for a two-week “Big Build” construction project among the displaced Karen people along the border.

On Sabbath, Dec. 20, Knott preached twice at his home congregation, Spencerville (Maryland) Adventist Church, about the Biblical narrative of Joseph, father of Jesus.

For the sixth year in a row, he will also attend this year’s annual GYC convention in Phoenix, Arizona from Jan. 2-4, where 5,000 Adventist teens and young adults are expected and copies of a specially themed edition of the Adventist Review are distributed to all attendees.

Gerald A. Klingbeil, associate editor

Klingbeil attended a Dec. 4 and 5 pre-meeting of presenters for the upcoming Symposium on Ellen White at Andrews University on Oct. 15-18, 2015. Presenters read and critiqued one another’s papers. The title of the paper that Klingbeil co-authored with Chantal Klingbeil, associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate, is: “‘My Heart Is Faint in Me’ (Jer. 8:18): Emotions and Prophetic Writings in the Bible.”

In his role as research professor of Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern studies at Andrews University, Klingbeil participated on December 10 as an internal examiner in the defense of Eike Müller’s Th.D. dissertation titled, “Cleansing the Common: A Narrative-Intertextual Study of Mark 7:1–23.” The text has been used by some Christians to build an argument that no distinctions remain between clean and unclean foods today. Interestingly, Müller’s research prompted a visiting renowned external examiner from another Christian denomination to change her position on the text. The Adventist Review is preparing a summary of dissertation for publication.

On Dec. 20, Klingbeil preached at the Triadelphia (Maryland) Seventh-day Adventist Church a sermon titled, “He Isn’t Even Mine,” which offered a slightly different perspective of the birth story of Jesus.

Lael Caesar, associate editor

On Dec. 27, Lael preaches at the Emmanuel Brinklow (Maryland) Seventh-day Adventist Church on the topic, “Angels We Have Heard Down Low.”

On the final day of the year, he hosts a New Year’s Eve Thanksgiving and Reconsecration Fellowship service at his home for attendees of the Wednesday evening prayer meeting at the Beltsville (Maryland) Seventh-day Adventist Church.


Here’s a look at staff highlights in November:

Bill Knott, editor-in-chief

Knott presented the centennial worship service sermon at the Berrien Springs Village Church on Nov. 1. His sermon, “The Call of Stories,” focused on the significance of accurately remembering the lessons of the Adventist past.

Knott gave a keynote address to 220 health executives and community leaders at a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Kettering Medical Center in Ohio in early November. Knott focused on the moral and spiritual foundations of Adventist healthcare, particularly on the call to service without regard for rank or status. Kettering Medical Center and its network of eight hospitals in western Ohio trace their origins to gifts from the Kettering family in memory of Charles F. Kettering, the iconic American inventor of the early 20th century and General Motors executive.

Knott also preached twice on Sabbath, Nov. 8, at the Kettering College Church. His sermon, “A Healing Community,” envisioned the future of the Adventist Church as a caring, inclusive fellowship that welcomes, comforts, and provides guidance.

In addition, Knott preached three times at the Partnership Weekends of the Voice of Prophecy (Stevenson, Washington) on Nov. 9, and the It Is Written Partnership Nov. 21-23 in Orlando.

In early December, Knott will travel to Thailand to write a major feature story for Adventist World about the humanitarian work of International Children’s Care Australia.

KNOTT AT THE PULPIT: Bill Knott preaching at the Kettering College Church on Nov. 8.

Gerald A. Klingbeil, associate editor

Klingbeil participated in three conferences organized by the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Adventist Theological Society in San Diego, California, on Nov. 19 to 25. He gave two academic presentations: “'Between Innovate and Traditionalizing Forces’: Material Culture, Khirbet Qeiyafa, and Libations in the Biblical World” for the American Schools of Oriental Research, and "‘I Pour Out My Soul Within Me’ (Ps 42:4): Khirbet Qeiyafa, Libations, and the Power of Ritual” for the Society of Biblical Literature.

Lael Caesar, associate editor

Caesar preached an evangelistic, motivational sermon titled "This Year in Jerusalem" at the Southpoint Adventist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 8.

He also preached a sermon titled "Quien es Dios" in Spanish at the Sebring Spanish Adventist Church in Sebring, Florida, on Nov. 15. That evening he addressed a bilingual youth rally with a presentation titled "Where Do You Think You're From? Origins & Sanctification."

From Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, Caesar participated in the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Adventist Theological Society in San Diego, California. On Friday evening, Nov. 21, Lael served as the master of ceremonies for the annual combined dinner of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies (ASRS) and the Adventist Theological Society (ATS), where the presidents of both societies gave speeches. He also served as a panel member with other ATS theologians on the topic of “The Authority of the Church” on Sabbath, Nov. 22.

Claude Richli, associate publisher

Richli traveled to Puebla, Mexico, as part of a quest to improve the distribution of Adventist World in Mexico. He established a relationship with a local printer, through whom Adventist World will be able to print 35 percent more magazines, reduce delivery time from two-three months to two-three weeks, and save costs in other projects. The arrangements he made in Mexico will enable Adventist World Digest to launch, with the participation of the Mexican Chiapas Union and the North Central American Union in Guatemala, four new language editions: in Tojolabal, Tzotzil, Tzeltal and Qiché.

Richli preached in the Altos of the state of Chiapas (San Cristobal), where he was translated into the Tzotzil language.

He also traveled to Guatemala to organize a new Qiché edition of Adventist World Digest.

In late November, Richli traveled to India to follow up on new print and distribution agreements in the Southern Asia Division, where Adventist World Digest is produced in 12 languages. He also made arrangements for the launch of a new edition in the Khasi and Nepalese languages. This will bring the number of print editions of AW Digest around the world to 28 by mid-2015.

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