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Connect Ministries: Expanding a Community of Worship & Fellowship Across the Pacific Union

By Ally Romanes on April 4, 2024

Connect Ministries at Pacific Union College is an outreach ministry consisting of several individual teams of students passionate about Jesus and sharing His love by providing a worship experience. Their vision is Connecting One another, Nurturing New friendships with Everyone, and Collaborating Together in Ministry.The mission is to reach out to communities in the Pacific Union Conference and minister to them through praise, worship, and the word of God by uplifting their spirits and letting them know that PUC is supporting them. Each team can provide services such as leading out in church services, youth events, and other programs where they can inspire other young people to become worship leaders themselves. The goal is to connect with young people and showcase PUC’s presence and complete support.PUC Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Communication Gene Edelbach tasked Enrollment Counselor and Connect Ministry Director Glanelle Marie Ejurango to take on this ministry this school year. Ejurango was perfectly suited for this task—with her mother a pastor, she was trained in ministerial work from a young age and didn’t stop her involvement in multiple ministries until she attended PUC.Applying all her years of training and ministry involvement, she laid the foundations for how...
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Meet PUC’s 2023-2024 Student Association President: Kaitlyn Nakanishi

By Ally Romanes on March 15, 2024

Senior Kaitlyn Nakanishi has previously been a member of the Student Association at Pacific Union College. With a deep love for the college, she wanted to help make a difference in student’s social life following the COVID-19 pandemic where so many students were online and campus culture vanished. Motivated by that feeling, she ran for Student Association president last school year and has been serving that role since the start of the 2023-2024 academic year. Nakanishi believes the most important part of her role is facilitating discussions between the administration and students. “I want to ensure that PUC continues to be student-centered because that is what initially made me fall in love with this school,” she shared. Being SA president involves many meetings and conversing with different students, which she enjoys. Another important part is ensuring that the many operations of SA run smoothly, providing students with safe spaces to grow socially and spiritually. She loves her SA team and feels blessed to be surrounded by such talented and hardworking individuals.SA executive Vice President Olivia Brown provides Nakanishi with fantastic support; they are often sounding boards for each other. They have had many long talks in their shared office, and...
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PUC on Broadway: Bringing People Together

By Ally Romanes on March 13, 2024

From February 3-4, PUC on Broadway was showcased at St. Helena High School Performing Arts Center. People braved the winter weather to watch, but the cast believed it was well worth it. PUC on Broadway is the product of people coming together to try something new. The show was a production where performers sang songs from different Broadway musicals. Where a musical has one cohesive plot–they took Broadway songs and put them out of context. This musical show is the brainchild of PUC’s Student Association President Kaitlyn Nakanishi. Just two weeks after the Jericho Road musical showcased at the college campus, she put up posters advertising auditions. She invited PUC student Leila Beltran as co-director to help choose songs, coach the performers, and be the musical director. From there, they hit the ground running and created the program. Nakanishi was the co-director, producer, and choreographer for PUC on Broadway. She choreographed every single movement and production of the show. Ronnie Zanella, a PUC music professor, and Mika Palitang, a junior biology and music major, were their accompanists; with Jeremy Hadley and his team as the sound and lighting crew.They held auditions two weeks before Thanksgiving break, had rehearsals in between Thanksgiving...
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PUC’s Student Association Opens The Shed with Affordable Outdoor Gear

By Ally Romanes on December 11, 2023

The Shed is an outdoor gear rental facilitated and funded by SA and the SA Senate. They rent athletic and outdoor equipment to the student body, such as mountain bikes, paddleboards, and backpacking gear. The initial equipment, like several REI mountain bikes and paddle boards, was funded through an SA Senate bill several years ago and was the utilization of the equipment.Daniel Randall, student manager of the Shed, has been involved since the end of last year. He loves all things outdoors and sharing that with others. “PUC is located in such a great spot for outdoor activities, with many recreational options and places within such a short distance away!” says Randall. “I want everyone at PUC to have the opportunity to take advantage of this if they want to!”The goal of the Shed is to make more outdoor recreational activities available to PUC students by offering a wide range of outdoor gear for rent at affordable prices to students and faculty. They have mountain bikes for exploring the trails of the Back 40 and inflatable kayaks and paddle boards for convenient transportation to places like Lake Berryessa. Safety equipment like bike helmets and lifejackets are required. They also offer...
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PUC Represents at the Society of Adventist Communicators Conference

By Ally Romanes on November 30, 2023

The Society of Adventist Communicators Conference (SAC) is three days of engaging keynotes, workshops, performances, and networking sessions. They also have local media tours, Sabbath afternoon activities, and amazing food. This year, SAC was from Oct. 19-21 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has been several years since PUC has been able to attend this conference, outside of attending virtually during COVID.General sessions consisted of a TechTalk with Bryant Taylor, a keynote address by industry professional Erin Byrne, and an evening with filmmaker Martin Doblmeier (documentary on the Sabbath). There is an awards ceremony for students and professionals, but PUC unfortunately had to miss the event. Some of the workshop offerings included: PR and Social MediaMastering Public SpeakingTips for Student Job SeekersIntegrated Communication, Podcasting, and PhotographyHow Personal Connections Make a Difference (A Hollywood Story)Participants attended the main sessions and the workshops. Students also had a lot of time to connect with industry professionals and companies for potential internships and jobs after graduation. PUC's communication department hopes to submit student and faculty work for the awards next year. Communication professionals (students, faculty, and staff from marketing departments) are welcome to submit to journalists, marketing professionals, podcasters, etc. It is a great way to connect...
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PUC Students Give Back to Community for Service Day

By Ally Romanes on November 17, 2023

On October 19, students at Pacific Union College had the opportunity to partner with community agencies to give back to the local neighborhoods. During Service Day, students volunteer at service locations to assist residents with various community needs. Service Day began last year to raise awareness about PUC and encourage student engagement in the community. This campus program implements service learning, where students can get involved in the food pantry, homeless and hospital ministries, and other service-learning activities at the college. Service Day is just one dimension of PUC’s commitment to community involvement.Since last school year and throughout the summer, Director of Student Involvement Niq Ruud and Service Learning Director Tuwan Ussery White have been planning this event. With many elements that Service Day entails, Ruud facilitated the internal aspects while White dealt with the external elements of the program. One of White’s responsibilities was connecting with community partners to inform them about Service Day and express students’ eagerness to perform service duties at their agencies. White and his team anticipated having many students involved—which they did with an incredible turnout.PUC collaborates with several agencies, such as UpValley, Providence Health, St. Helena Hospital, Napa Resource Conservation District, Tug McGraw Veterans...
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Week of Worship Brings PUC Closer To God

By Ally Romanes on November 7, 2023

Pacific Union College held Week of Worship from October 9-13. Students led out in praise, sharing the theme song “Yet Not I But Christ Through in Me” with PUC Chaplain Arturo Lopez speaking to the campus. He spoke on topics such as commitment, uncertainty, and distractions- and reminded students that PUC is a community and place where they can reach out and ask for help. Lopez received the invitation to preach for Week of Worship right after becoming PUC’s chaplain. With two months to prepare each message, he jumped into it right away. Since the theme for the school year is “All In,” he focused on how Jesus can help break down the barriers that hold people from fully committing themselves to Him. Every day, Lopez took a Bible story that related to these barriers and challenged the students to let Christ be a part of their lives. “My main aim was to help students feel the Spirit touching their hearts and to reassure them that they're not alone in their struggles,” said Lopez. “I wanted them to understand that Christ is right there with them throughout their journey, whether things are going great or when life gets chaotic.”From Monday...
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New PUC Pastoral Team at PUC Church

By Ally Romanes on October 31, 2023

Pacific Union College is thrilled to announce that Nate Furness, Arturo Lopez, Garrison Chaffee, and Lem Garcia are the college’s pastoral team.If you were to ask each pastor what one of their favorite things about PUC is, one word is always said: community. They all love the campus community that makes the college so beautiful. Besides the miles of nature, mountains, and stunning views of Napa Valley- the people make PUC home. PUC Lead Pastor Nate Furness has a passion for Adventist education, which led him to accept this position last school year. “I want to be part of preparing young adults to serve Jesus in their context,” said Furness. “We want to prepare nurses, psychologists, filmmakers, teachers, pastors, and others to share the love of Jesus with everyone they encounter.” His goal is to prepare young people to be missionaries in their professional context, to disciple and mentor young people, and to demonstrate that life is joyful and that we are better in the community. Youth and Associate Pastor Garrison Chaffee graduated from PUC in 1999 with a bachelor's in fitness management and a teaching credential. He joined the pastoral team this summer and is honored to have the opportunity to...
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PUC Theology Relocates to PUC Church to Foster Collaboration & Relationships

By Ally Romanes on October 24, 2023

After over 40 years, the theology department at Pacific Union College moved this summer from the basement of Graf Hall to the church offices. The change intends to highlight the central role of PUC’s faith, be more present with the students, and collaborate better with the pastors and chaplain. In 1982, the department moved to the basement of the oldest dorm on campus as “a temporary measure” when the front half of Irwin Hall was torn down. Irwin Hall had been the center of campus, so a basement hallway was quite a demotion. Over the years, PUC has explored ways to put the department back at the center of campus life for practical and symbolic reasons, but nothing panned out. Theology faculty recognized that a larger building project could be years away, and in the meantime, they wanted to seize every moment to serve students. When Lead Pastor Nate Furness invited them to share the church office complex with the pastoral team, the move made sense. “We are excited to have the college theology department sharing office space with the church pastoral team,” said Furness. “We believe that working in close proximity will enhance collaboration, church ministries, and student involvement. The Holy Spirit...
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PUC is “All In” for The 2023-2024 School Year

By Ally Romanes on October 3, 2023

Another school year has started at Pacific Union College. “All In” is the theme for this year that the Student Association has chosen. The theme reminds everyone that there is support in this PUC community and that working together can accomplish anything. New students were given a warm welcome on Wednesday, September 20, with coffee and pastries as they moved into their residence halls and family sessions to know what resources are available to them and their students. Pastors, faculty, staff, and the Student Association dedicated students and prayed for families at the PUC Church in the afternoon, followed by the president's welcome dinner to end an eventful day. Niq Ruud, director of student involvement, was in charge of running Fusion. Everything went smoothly as this was his first year running the program with the help of the Fusion leaders, who spoke highly of the incoming class. The Student Association organized events, such as facilitating an Olympics-style tournament between the 16 Fusion groups. Events included a tower building with uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, a dodgeball, and a fruit-balancing race.Fusion orientation week continued with a Pioneers pancake breakfast thrown by Director of Athletics Hernan Granados, athletic coaches, and student-athletes before new students had a filled...
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