Herbert Blomstedt, Adventist Conductor,
Honored by Sweden’s Monarch
Maestro Herbert Blomstedt’s home country of Sweden recognized the veteran musician for his notable career as a symphony conductor.
King Carl XVI Gustaf recently awarded the Seraphim Medal to Blomstedt, a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist. A June 15, 2012, announcement from Sweden’s Royal Palace stated Blomstedt was recognized for “highly outstanding contributions within Swedish music.”
The medal is one of the country’s highest civilian honors. Bestowed directly by the king, it recognizes “outstanding services of a humanitarian nature or of general benefit to society,” according to the Swedish Royal Court.
“I am of course delighted,” Blomstedt told the Adventist Church’s Swedish Union Conference, adding that while he typically downplays such recognition, this time is an exception.
Blomstedt conducted his first performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954. During his career he held posts as chief conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Danish and Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras, Dresdner Staatskapelle, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years Blomstedt has generously contributed to the Adventist Church’s musical landscape, as well as its educational system. Blomstedt also used his public spotlight to share his faith in God.
“We who know Herbert personally also know how he has always seen his music as a way to bring glory to God and as a witness to the grace and majesty of our Creator,” said Bertil Wiklander, president of the church’s Trans-European Division (TED).
“He has more than once testified to how the secret of his success is his Christian faith and, in particular, the blessing of the Sabbath, which has brought him rest and recreation,” Wiklander said.
Blomstedt was unable to attend the June 15 medal ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm because of a prior conducting appointment. The 85-year-old continues to maintain an active career, having led the National Symphony Orchestra, in Washington, D.C., in a series of concerts earlier this year, among other appointments.
To read Herbert Blomstedt’s cover story in Adventist Review visit: www.adventistreview.org
—reported by Rainer Refsback/TED News
Adventist Leaders Get Risk Management Insights
Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders representing 18 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe met in Cape Town, South Africa, in June to share ways to be better stewards of the resources of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Hosted by Adventist Risk Management (ARM), a church-owned company, the 250 attendees engaged in discussions and participated in seminars on practical risk-management issues such as coverage for church employees, volunteers, and activities, as well as transportation risks, internal controls, and fire safety. The ARM leadership team also presented specialty topics on legal, medical professional, and governance and executive liabilities.
The technical presentations, by R. Clifford Jones, associate dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, focused on Christian leadership and integrity.
“The focus of the entire conference was centered on stewardship and Christian leadership in managing all of the church’s resources,” said William Chunestudy, an ARM resource education specialist and conference organizer. “There was a strong emphasis on the human resources of the church—how all ministries can work together to achieve the mission of the Adventist Church.”
ARM president Bob Kyte during his welcome address entitled “It’s All About Ministry” encouraged church leaders to strive to find better ways to be wise stewards of the church’s resources and to find better ways to care for their staff and property.
“We live in challenging times. Weather is unpredictable. Problems challenge the church in many ways,” said Kyte. “We must always take advantage of opportunities to learn how to better protect the resources of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
Kyte said ARM’s ministry was to protect the ministries of the Adventist Church through resources such as the international risk management conference.
Babcock University Opens Medical School
A new Seventh-day Adventist school of medicine in Nigeria is the denomination’s first in Africa.
The Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., School of Medicine and Babcock University Teaching Hospital was inaugurated in June during commencement services at church-owned Babcock University (BU) in Lagos, Nigeria.
Adventist education and health ministries officials say the new school signals a growing commitment by Africans to build self-sufficiency in addressing the sweeping public health challenges faced on the continent.
The launch of a medical school in Nigeria, while not an immediate fix, is “a clear start” toward a “health-care delivery system yet unrivaled in Africa,” said BU president James Makinde.
The School of Medicine operates out of Babcock University College of Health and Medical Sciences, which also includes Schools of Nursing and Public Health. Administrators say Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry are on the horizon. The school is accredited to grant a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree, the first professional degree a medical student can earn studying at a university that follows the British model of post-secondary education.
The 37 students currently enrolled in the M.B.B.S. program have been studying since January, when Babcock University administrators first requested a public inauguration for the fledgling medical school. But at the time, the official launch was prevented by yet unmet accreditation requirements and unrest after the Nigerian government lifted a gas subsidy, said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Education Department director for the Adventist world church.
“We needed to verify that [accrediting] conditions had been met. They have now been substantially met,” Beardsley-Hardy said. The infrastructure for the medical school is now nearly complete, she added.
Education Department officials worked closely with the world church’s Health Ministries Department to set benchmarks for the medical school.
Health Ministries Department director Allan Handysides, who has supported medical mission work in Africa for decades, echoed Beardsley-Hardy’s endorsement.
“I have seldom seen such remarkable progress in such short time at any of our other institutions. The team at Babcock has taken the suggestions and guidance given seriously, and the result is outstanding,” Handysides said.
Chairing the proceedings was Iheanyichukwu Okoro, BU senior vice president and provost of the College of Health and Medical Sciences, where the School of Medicine resides. Conspicuous among the assembled guests, and honoring the assembly with words of commendation and a commitment to continued partnership, was Kabiyesi Oba Michael Olufemi Mojeed Sonuga, king of Ilishan, the one who donated the land on which the medical school now stands.
Presenting the full endorsement of Nigeria’s National Universities Commission for BU’s new undertaking was Julius Okojie, executive secretary of the commission. His affirmation was illustrative of BU’s excellent relationship and close cooperation with its various publics, further indicated by greetings received from the chair of county local government Femi Adeniyi, the presence of the permanent secretary for the minister of labor and productivity Chief Wogu, as well as representatives of other state and private universities from around the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all across the African continent.
—reported by Lael Caesar, Adventist World associate editor, and Elizabeth Lechleitner and Ansel Oliver, Adventist News Network