Updated: March 29, 2021



                                 Fortuna Adventist Focus

Vol. 87 No. 4           Published by the Fortuna SDA Church       April 2021


From Pastor Dan

He’s On Our Side (Part Two) - The Lord is on my side… Psalm 118:6 (NKJV).

How can we be sure Jesus is on our side? Look at how He interceded for a woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned. “Neither do I condemn you,” He said to her. (John 8:11).

A young man was kicked out of the synagogue because he defended Jesus when He had healed his blindness. Jesus “heard that they had cast him out” and went and “found him.” (John 9:35). It took courage to stand alone, even his parents were afraid to speak.

One time a group of parents brought their children to meet and be blessed by Jesus. The disciples started to send them away and Jesus “was much displeased.” (Mark 10:13-14). He went to the defense of these mothers and children and said, “Let the children come unto me.” He ordered His disciples, “do not stop them.”

Jesus has always been and will always be on our side. Just as He helped and blessed people in their greatest time of need, He is still the same today. He says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me. (Hebrews 13:6).

Even through “the valley of the shadow of death” He promises to accompany us. (Psalm 23:4). He is on our side. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2).

God’s love for us is an “everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3). Nothing can ever separate us from it.

The Lord is on our side today and every day. He is on your side and He is on my side. In the book of Romans, Paul raises the question, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39). What a God! What a Savior! He is on our side.

During the U.S. civil war, Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was a man of deep, if at times, an unorthodox faith. At one point, one of the ministers said, "Mr. President, let us pray that God is on our side." Lincoln's response showed far greater insight, "No gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God's side." Today, God is on our side and let us be sure we are on His. May God richly bless you.

Pastor Dan


FJA News

Here are some dates for you to be aware of at FJA:

WORKBEE APRIL 18th. Watch for time and additional information.

FOL EVALUATION April 27th -28th. This was the evaluation that got postponed due to the pandemic and is no scheduled again. Pray for the team at FJA as they prepare.

The students continue to have both in-person and on-line school. The goal is to keep everyone, children and adults, health.


Church History #25

It was 1969 when Pastor and Mrs. Bruce Babienco left Fortuna to pastor the Pleasant Hill church, and Elder and Mrs. James L. Pogue became Fortuna’s new pastor. Elder Pogue was an active member of the Eel River Ministerial Association, serving three years as its secretary-treasurer. He did some brickwork, helping to put the finishing touches on the new north wing of school classrooms and the brickwork around the base of the big redwood sign at the school entrance by Ross Hill Road.

During this time the old school on Newburg road was sold and the Dorcas building on South Fortuna Boulevard was purchased and repaired. The church parking lot was paved and the new school kitchen in Landis Hall was completed, after having been used as a room for typing classes. As usual, almost all of these improvements were done by volunteer labor. All three school structures were now complete and in use and the school was dedicated debt free on October 3, 1971.

In 1971 the school parking lot was paved by Ed Stockton and his crew. That same year the Home and School association raised money for stage curtains that were installed in the gymnasium, the work being done by Derwood Palmer, Howard Silsbee, Jim Dyer, Ron Young and the new pastor, Elder Bill Hilliard.

The youth have always been an important part of the Fortuna church as evidenced by numerous youth programs, school activities, outreach, and the Pathfinder club. Fortuna Pathfinders through the years have been actively involved with fairs, regional and international camporees, parades, MV honors, campouts, community service, and backpack trips to the Marble Mountains and Trinity Alps. Rollin (Andy) and Lillian Anderson led the Pathfinder club for years followed by Chris and Debbie Miller the present directors.

Merlin Anderson


Fortuna Adventist Community Services

Continued prayers are needed for our Fortuna Community Services Center. They are going in to their second year of suspended programs due to COVID. The drug and alcohol program is a big chunk of their income and operating expense. The food bank continues to be open with limited contact, but the services that rent from the FCSC are not able to meet yet. What happens when the money is gone?? According to Rhonda, she says, ”God will get us through. He has before and He will again.” What a faith! Lift the center, the staff and the clients they serve up in your prayers. For its doors to close would impact our community negatively. 



APRIL 3 - Local church budget

APRIL 10 –Hope Channel International

APRIL 17 –Local Church Budget

April 24 – Local Conference Advance


Evangelism 2021

The prophecy of Hope meetings are every Fri./Sat./Sun. at 7:00pm through May 22nd. There is a link to the presentations on the church website as well as the lessons. Please pray for these meetings.


Thank You

Tim Whitchurch would like to thank the anonymous donor for their gracious gift. He would love to give you a thank-you hug, but he can’t. So whomever you are consider yourself hugged!!

Sue Carson wants to thank everyone for the cards, calls and baked goods that she received as she has been recuperating from her broken knee-cap.  


Prayer Ministry

Our “40 Days of Prayer” ends on April 8th. On Sabbath April 10th , women’s ministries will host our worship service. There will be music, praise and testimonies on how those that participated have been blessed. Plan to attend and see what God has done!


Community Garden

Our FCSC garden continues the relocating process. Some things have already been planted. Our workbee day was a day of ministry. A family had walked by and seen the garden. They came in and met Sean and Pastor Dan. THEY CAME TO CHURCH LAST SABBATH. This is not just a garden…..It is a ministry for growing souls to Jesus. Pray for continued funding for the paving and water system and greenhouse. We dream big because we have a big GOD For more information on the garden contact Sean at or Rhonda Lewis at











Church Chuckles  

A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute and yelled to the passengers that they better jump, and he himself bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.

The doctor grabbed one and said “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.”

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, “Not to worry Father. The smartest man in the world just took off with my back pack.”



                               Fortuna Adventist Focus

Vol. 87 No. 3           Published by the Fortuna SDA Church       March 2021


From Pastor Dan

He Is On Our Side (Part1)

Two Scottish school boys out for a hike one morning came to a cliff overlooking the sea. As they stood admiring the scenery and listened to the waves below, they heard in the distance the blast of a hunter’s horn, the barking of hounds and the hoof beats of horses. A hunting party looking for game. Soon a deer rushed out of the underbrush panting with fear – obviously the object of the chase.

The boys watched the terrified animal pause at the edge of the cliff. It was trying to figure out the way to safely escape. Suddenly it turned to one side and sped away along the edge of the cliff and quickly disappeared from sight. The boys knew the hunters would soon arrive and ask them, “Which way did the deer go?” The boys were touched by the deer’s situation and wanted to help him however they knew it would be wrong to lie to the hunters. How should they answer them? So they made a plan.

Soon the hunters with their horses and dogs arrived and asked the boys, “Which way did the deer go?” The boys looked at each other and then back at the hunters and answered, “It’s not fair to ask us, we are on his side.”

As I heard this story it made me think of the plan of salvation. The good news of the gospel is, Jesus is on our side. In Psalm 118:6 we read, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” What hope and comfort we can find in God’s words! We must read the Bible every day and claim all its promises.

When Jesus became a human just like us, He was able to experience all our sufferings and temptations. In Hebrews 2:17-18, Paul writes, “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Jesus knows what you are going through and is more than willing to help you in your sufferings and temptations.

Are you facing circumstances that are overwhelming you? Read what the angel Gabriel said to Mary. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37. God can help you and see you through all situations you face.

Do you battle with temptation and sin? Jesus can help you. In Jude 1:24 we read, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to

present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Jesus can keep us from stumbling and present us faultless before God the Father.

The Apostle Paul was in jail and was facing certain death. Was he angry? Did he regret following Jesus? Absolutely not. Read his own words in 2 Tim 1:12, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.”

Do you ever feel that God cannot save you? Read the words found in Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” God can and will save all who believe in Him.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul prays a beautiful prayer for all the members. Look at what he reminds them of a he prays, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Paul is reminding them and us today; God loves us and He is on our side! May God richly bless you as you read and study His word.

Pastor Dan



Dear Church Family,

It's hard to believe it is already March. We are excited to have "Let's Move Day" on the 14th. The students will spend the day learning about being healthy through exercise and enjoying some outdoor athletics.  This month is also spring break. We have recently opened up the playground for the students which they have been very excited about. We are looking forward to more nice weather and doing more outdoor activities with the students. We are so grateful to all who have donated time helping out this year and keeping the school a positive place to learn. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Also, we have two red-eared slider turtles, and they are outgrowing their home.  We would love to re-home one if anyone would like a large pet turtle, call the school at 725-2988

Jamie Burzo, & the FJA Staff


Church History  (#24)

Elder Bruce Babienco followed Malcolm Maxwell to become pastor of the Fortuna Church after being an associate pastor of the Grand Avenue Church in Oakland. While serving the church in Fortuna Elder Babienco organized three Voice of Youth Evangelistic Crusades. The first series was done by young adults in the Fortuna church and the second at the Scotia Theater by students in grades 7 to 10. A third series was held back in the church by the same age group. Pastor Babienco began broadcasting Words to Live By, a five-minute program broadcast every day at noon following the Paul Harvey News on the local radio station KNCR. Air time was purchased to broadcast The Voice of Prophecy and the station gave free time to broadcast Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue’s Your Story Hour. Miss Clarice Salsa, along with her mother, Mrs. Ezilda Salsa, came to Fortuna as our first Bible worker. Clarice was very active giving Bible studies and working with the church.

During the Christmas Flood of December 1964 the church was active in disaster relief operations in clothing preparation and distribution work. At Rio Dell, Clarice Salsa and Barbara Zumwalt organized clothing distribution in an empty building in the heart of town less than a block from the collapsed Rio Dell-Scotia bridge over the Eel River. These two ladies served many persons from the hard hit areas near Rio Dell, working in a very cold room (no fuel for heaters was available following the floods). At least a dozen homes and properties of Seventh-day Adventists were lost to the river and two members of the church, were listed as missing. At Fortuna an efficient welfare organization led by Mrs. Derwood Palmer and coordinated by Pastor Bruce Babienco became the official clothing distribution unit for the surrounding areas.

Merlin Anderson



Greetings to all:

I would like to ask for a special prayer for the FACS. God has always taken care of our needs here at the center but right now my faith is being tested. Our finances are in a really bad way. The HART client income is enough to make payroll but not much else. That means that for all of the utilities, building up keep etc., we do not have income to cover. The conference will not allow us to apply for PPP, or any other government grant to keep us alive while we wait for clients to recover their income so we can then recover our income. We are required to provide client services at $5 a month to those who have low or no income. On top of that our client load is down about 100 individuals. It would be a shame to lose all that has been built here and the services provided to our community. Please as we start our 40 days of prayer for health add FACS onto your list. Pray for the financial health of our programs here at the center.


Evangelism 2021

Those of you that attended the ZOOM “It Is Written” presentations can vouch that even though we were “on-screen” as it were, it was so good to just see faces or hear voices that we have missed!! I know I was blessed both by the message and by fellowshipping with our church family.

Starting Friday, March 12th, we will be hosting a series about finding HOPE in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. The meetings will be every Fri./Sat./Sun. at 7:00pm through May 22nd. We will be preparing a list of the topics and will distribute those prior to March 12th and also post them on the church website.

With Evangelism funds granted to us from the NCC, we have purchased materials and lessons to go with each night. In addition, Seminars Unlimited will be doing a mass mailing to the Fortuna area inviting our community members to these presentations. See if your friends and neighbors got their invitations and make it personal by asking them to attend. They should start arriving by the first week in March.

We would love to be able to hold these meetings inside, but be prepared to attend on-line. We are hoping to have a link on the church webpage that will direct you to Pastor’s presentation each night and we will have a way to make the materials available to pick up or print out. We will give you updated info as things are finalized.


Larry Harville

Larry Harville, a former teacher at Fortuna Junior Academy and member of the Fortuna, Church passed away Sunday, 2-21-21. Some of you may remember him or had him as a teacher. He was living in Bakersfield, CA at the time of his passing.



MARCH 6 Local Budget                     March 13 Adventist WorldRadio

March 20 Local Budget                     March 27 Local Conference Advance



As this edition of the FOCUS is being created, we are nearing the start of our 40 Days of Health Messages and prayer. This is the 3rd book in Dennis Smith’s prayer series. Sabbath February 27th we will have a special presentation to launch this book and the 40 days of prayer begins on February 28th and ends on April 8th. Sabbath, April 10th will be our praise and testimony Sabbath.

As part of the 40 days of prayer we will be offering a free health screening to all members that will help to evaluate your current health status at the beginning of the 40 days of prayer and again at the end. It is our belief that prayer plays a large part in achieving the goals you’ll be setting during this time and that the God we pray to not only hears but answers our desire for better health. He is a God of restoration and we pray that you will be blessed in the coming days in all areas of your health both spiritually and physically. Please plan to come to the Church Sunday morning, February 28th with your prayer partner between 10 and 12 to talk to one of our health coaches and to begin a wonderful journey to better health together. (All precautions will be used in this process and we encourage you to come prepared with a mask to wear during your assessment) If you need a health coach to come to your home to complete a health screening please contact Sarah Lundquist: 530-263-0953

For those interested in a basic blood panel to compare the changes you’ll experience during these 40 days please ask for more details at your screening.

If you reserved your book by the February 10th deadline, they are available here at the church. They will be put out at the parking lot service as well, and are individually bagged and marked with your name. Families may be in the same bag. The $15 donation can be put in the offering box and marked “women’s ministries”.

For those of you that did not reserve a book by the Feb. 10th deadline (wer’e sorry), they are available from both Amazon and the Adventist Book Center. In order to reduce the expensive shipping costs, we ordered only the bare minimum of books for those that had pre-ordered.


Susan Whitchurch

Susan Whitchurch wants to thank her church family for their love, prayers, cards and support after George’s passing. Her new address is 10583 W. Viewcrest Ln., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026. She would love to hear from you!

**The family does hope at some point to have a memorial service for George. We will let you know as plans develop.


For Sale

Julie Kelsey is selling her car. It’s a Silver-colored, 2011 Ford Focus. It is in excellent condition and well-maintained. 135,000 miles on it. For information and price, please call ANNA HAHN at 725-4379.


Community Garden

The relocation of the Fortuna Community Garden is coming to completion. The soil has been tilled, blueberry bushes have been transplanted, a fence is being built. Sheds have been moved to the new site. The plans that have been designed for this community garden are beyond amazing! NOW WE NEED YOU!!! This coming Sunday the 28th at 10:00 there will be a work bee at the garden. Sean would like to finish up the fence, plant some artichokes and some fruit trees. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED. Sean needs to have a rough count for lunch. So please let Cindy know by Friday if you can come out even for a little bit. Every hand helps.

This will be more than just a garden. It will be a place to minister to our community through the blessings of God’s bounty. It will be a chance to commune with Him and fellowship and witness for Jesus. For more information on the garden contact Sean at or Rhonda Lewis at



                                 Fortuna Adventist Focus

Vol. 87 No. 2           Published by the Fortuna SDA Church       February 2021

From Pastor Dan

More Power

Ralph Bergstrom tells this story: many years ago he was flying on an army transport plane in Africa. Suddenly, he heard the Captain yell, “We need more power!”

The flight mechanic growled as our World War II transport plane strained to get over the ridge. We were approaching the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, more than
11,000 feet high. Our plane had to reach 12,000 feet for a safe crossing, but it was obvious we were not going to make it.

We turned around and headed back to the airport. On the ground the engines passed every test revealing they had more than enough power to fly over the mountains. They even had a test flight where the engines flew perfectly the entire time. We re-boarded our plane and headed for the mountains.

Again, as the plane climbed higher the engines bogged down. We turned around and headed back to the airport. The flight mechanic sat down next to me and said, “I
don’t understand, everything checks out. The engine is running perfectly.”

I said to him, “I was on a plane in India where we had a similar problem. We had to use carburetor heat when flying at high altitudes. Do you think it may be the same
problem?” The flight mechanic spoke to the captain and immediately started working on the engine. The captain turned the plane around and headed back for the mountains. This time we made it over the Atlas Mountains with no problems.

Likewise, we need full power when we face mountains in our life – mountains of adversity, trials, temptations and doubt. These mountains are part of life and must be faced. By ourselves we lack the power to fly over them. However, we have the promise of Jesus, “Behold, I give you power . . . over all the power of the enemy: and nothing by any means shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19.

Jesus knew that in 2021, His people would need more than human ability to cope with life. Every one of us has problems and mountains to climb. We are all facing opposing forces with which we must contend. By ourselves we are inadequate to overcome. For real victory we must turn to Jesus.

This quarter, I have been preaching on Revival and how to experience a personal revival in our own lives. I want us to experience more power as we face the
mountains in our lives. Remember the closing words of the Lord ’s Prayer; “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13. Today, and every day, ask God for His power to help you soar over the mountains that come
your way. May God richly bless you and may you experience a revival in your lives.
Pastor Dan


Dear Church Family,
Here we are in February, halfway through the school year. We have enjoyed winter activities, whether class has been online or in person (every student has done both over the winter months!).  This year has already been eventful, and we are looking forward to many exciting things in the future.  This month we will have our yearly constituency meeting. It will be held on Zoom at 6 P.M. on the 13th. The Zoom code is (Meeting ID: 822 2376 8693   Pass code: school). I encourage everyone with an interest in the school and what's going on this year to join us. Thank you for all your prayers and support. Ms. Burzo and the FJA Staff
Jamie Burzo, & the FJA Staff

Church History (23)

The April 1963 issue of the Pacific Union Recorder carried the following announcement concerning the new school on Ross Hill Road - Fortuna Junior Academy:

Want to Buy an Airplane?

"Gifts of all kinds are always welcomed by our schools. One of the most unique gifts we have ever received is the gift of an airplane recently donated by a member of
the Fortuna church. The donor made the gift with the understanding that the entire proceeds should go to develop the library in the beautiful new school completed recently in Fortuna. So, if you want to buy an airplane and at the same time help Christian Education, here's your chance! The plane is a side-by-side Aeronca powered by a 75 h.p. Continental engine. Total time on the engine is 1415 hours with only 235 hours since a major overhaul. The fabric tests in high yellow and the tires are usable. The price is $600. Please contact Elder Malcolm Maxwell,  pastor of the Fortuna Church.”

There’s more to the story. A young airplane mechanic in the Army Air Force loved planes and took a few lessons toward a license. After his discharge and marriage he longed to have his own plane someday. He was given a speedboat by his dad and on a trip to the Sacramento Valley in 1953 at one of the little airports he visited he
found an Aeronca Chief that needed lots of work. He sold his boat for $200, borrowed $100 and bought the plane for $300.

He and his father-in-law brought the plane home on a trailer and refinished the fuselage and wings with fiberglass and refurbished the motor at the Rohnerville airport. Using his own plane, flying lessons would cost $45. A 1954 Christmas gift from his wife covered that cost and from that date on he was at the airport as often as possible. On Easter Sunday 1955 he soloed. He and his wife spent a lot of time in the air after that with their two small children, one on his wife’s lap and the
other in the baggage compartment.

Ed Burpee, the young man in this story, was killed in 1961 and his wife Dolores (Gardner) donated the money from the sale of the plane to be used for the school. The two young children were Cynthia and Lloyd Burpee. Harry Metaxes bought the plane for $600. Now you know “The Rest of the Story.”


Evangelism 2021

As this edition of the FOCUS is published we are in the midst of the IT IS WRITTEN, “No Limits, A Life of Power”. The messages, on reviving us personally and collectively as a church body, show us how bible reading, prayer, faith etc. are vital to our relationship with Jesus. After Feb. 1, the discussion guides and videos can still be made available to you if you are interested in having them on your own. Let Cindy Know.

Starting March 5 th we will be hosting a series about finding HOPE in the prophecies of Daniel and revelation. The meetings will be every Fri./Sat./Sun. for a total of 32 meetings. We will be preparing a list of the topics and will distribute
prior to March 1 st . We would love to be able to hold these meetings inside, but be prepared to attend on-line.

We will have a link on the church webpage that will direct you to Pastor’s recording. We will give you updated info as things are finalized.

Community Garden

The relocation of the Fortuna Community Garden is well underway and almost complete. There are so, so many people who have been working to get everything from needed permissions from the city to re-planting, fencing and tilling. It has truly been a “community” effort. Below is the link to an article regarding the relocation that we sent to the Lost Coast Outpost and Times Standard fortunas-community-garden-moving-cool-new-location/ Check it out! Remember for info and questions; contact Rhonda Lewis at the Community Center and not FJA.


Treasurer Report

Our church treasurer reports that even with 2020 being financially challenging too many of us, we ended the year only $3000.00 short. The Lord blessed your
giving and brought us through. Know that your prayerful giving continues to bless our church. Thank You.




We here at FACS are glad Christmas is over. We processed over 127 households, not including our homeless clients. That translates to over 490 individuals that we were able to minister to and who experienced a better Christmas.

I would also like to give a big thank you to the Whitchurches for all of the tangerines. A big thank you to all of you who donated the personal care needs and cold-weather outerwear for those in need. I have received several comments of appreciation for the new socks and gloves.

I would also like to let you all know a bit about what is happening at our new garden location. (See Article) If you drive past the school you will see some tilled up dirt, the beginnings of a garden. Coming soon will be the moving of the sheds up to that location Along with those, we will be attempting to move our blueberry plants from the  old space to the new. If you would like to help either by donations or your muscles, let me know and I will put you in connection with Sean Todd the                new garden manager.

I would also like to let the church family know we are very financially challenged. Many of the grants that are available we are not able to apply for because we use the churches non-profit number. This eliminates us from many avenues of financial help. If you do not feel you can assist us with cash directly please feel free to shop at Tabitha’s Place. At the moment they are what keep the dryer drying and the washer washing. God has always seen us through and if you want to be part of His hands please feel free.
With Prayer and Hope,


Prayer Ministry

We are excited to begin another “40 Days of Prayer”. On Sabbath, February 27 th , our prayer ministry team will introduce our next “ 40 Days” book, 40 Days of God’s Health Principles for His People. Pick your prayer partner and pick your five people to pray for. The 40 days will begin on February 28 th and end on May 8 th .
May 10 th will be our praise and prayer Sabbath. The cost of the book will be $15.00. The deadline for ordering the book is February 10 th . Please call and leave a
message at the church, 707- 725-6164 or with Lalita Brinckhaus at 707-777-9861 to get your name on the list for a book. You can mark an envelope 40 DAYS, and drop it in the offering box or mail a check to the church and note what it is for.


Thank You

We want to take this opportunity to thank our deacons, who for the last year set up our outdoor sound system. They make sure announcement boards and
handouts are put out for members to access. They help us tune in to the right radio station and make sure we can hear the service. Rain or shine they make sure we are
ready for our Parking Lot service. We thank you and appreciate all you do!!


Speaking Opportunity

If you have a special message in your heart that you would be willing to share with our members, please call the office or Pastor Dan and let us know. We always
need a speaker on the 2 nd Sabbath of the month, but we would make any Sabbath available for you.



                              Fortuna Adventist Focus

Vol. 87 No. 1           Published by the Fortuna SDA Church       January 2021

From Pastor Dan

The coronavirus pandemic, wildfires, and other tragedies remind us how quickly life can end. The Bible tells us that life is extremely brief; that ‘we spend our years as a tale that is told’; that it is ‘swifter than the weaver’s shuttle’; that it is like ‘grass that withers’ and as ‘flowers that fade.’ (Psalm 90:9; Job 7:6; Isaiah 40:7-8 KJV).

As we turn the calendar to a new year, we once again come face-to-face with the reality that our days on this earth are numbered. Yesterday is past. Its events are already in the books of God’s remembrance.

The older we become, the more insistent the clock seems to be. Millions of people go to work every day by the clock. There seems to be no pity and no mercy from the clock. People know the pressures of time: racing from engagement to engagement, fitting this in with that, giving five minutes here and 15 minutes there. Time haunts us all.

The Bible speaks of time this way: ‘What is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:14 KJV).

No thoughtful person can approach the New Year without some introspection. We look back over the failures, the mistakes, the missed opportunities, and we vow that we will make better use of our time during the New Year.

The prayer request all of us should make as we stand on the threshold of the New Year is this: ‘Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.’ (Psalm 90:12 KJV).

The only time we have is now. God’s forgiveness is now. The trouble is that although God says, ‘Today,’ we so often respond, ‘Tomorrow.’ We say, ‘Tomorrow I will begin a new life,’ or, ‘Tomorrow I will walk with God.’ Then when tomorrow comes, we are still saying, ‘Tomorrow’—and so the years pass. Will death come and find us still saying, ‘Tomorrow?’ Don’t say, ‘Tomorrow’; say, ‘Today I will receive Christ, today is the day of salvation.’ (2 Corinthians 6:2).

God has promised not only to live with us, but in us. God the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in our hearts now. Anyone who truly desires Him, who will meet His conditions, may receive Him. And He will take up residence now—today—in your hearts if we will obey the Scripture: ‘Harden not your hearts.’ (Hebrews 4:7 KJV).  What a glad farewell to the old year, knowing that all our sins and all our failures are gone! What fearlessness is ours when we realize all that the future may have in store?”

A little girl asked her father what salvation meant. Her dad answered by saying, ‘Darling, salvation is a gift – the most wonderful gift anyone can ever have. But it is not like a gift where you take off the ribbons and wrapping paper. Rather salvation is a person, and that person is Jesus. He is such a wonderful gift that you will never put Him away on a shelf or in a closet like you do with other gifts, but He stays with you every day, every moment of the day. He loves you so much that He wants to be with you now and for all eternity. Daddy, I want to be saved. Do you think Jesus will save me? Yes Sweetheart, there is nothing that can make Him happier than you allowing Him to save you.’

As we look forward to 2021, let’s start the New Year making Jesus very happy and allowing Him to save us. May God richly bless you! Stay safe and healthy. Happy New Year!

Pastor Dan

FJA News

Happy New Year Church Family,

This last year has had its challenges, but we have still had a great year.  We have been able to stay in the classroom this school year, and the students adapted well to the safety changes we had to make.  The students enjoyed making online Christmas skits as part of the church service December 19th, and have been active in creating small gifts of encouragement for those at Sequoia Springs, as we can't sing there this year.  Thank you for all of your prayers, and to our volunteers, thanks for all the time you have given. This year would have looked much different without you. We are looking forward to this New Year, and are praying that we will soon return to a more normal schedule. Another exciting thing that is happening here at FJA is that the Fortuna Community Garden (under the umbrella of the FCSC) is moving onto our field. We are excited to see the field be put to such a good use and to be involved in community outreach. May your year be filled with blessings!

Warm Regards,

Jamie Burzo, and the FJA Staff


Church History

By 1962 school enrollment had increased to the point where new and larger facilities were needed. Dr. Atteberry donated some land on Ross Hill Road and plans were made to build a school there. Again, Lloyd Landis' talents were used in drawing the plans. Construction of the new school was started and in 1962 grades 7 through 10 moved up to the new school on Ross Hill Road but left the lower grades at the old school on Newburg Road, thus operating a church school at two locations for a short time. Derwood Palmer, along with Al McManus, led out in the construction of the first wing. The school complex was built in three stages. First, the south wing was built, followed by the gymnasium, and finally the north wing.

In 1964 construction was started on the new gymnasium. Lloyd Landis had drawn the plans for the gym and started the construction, but because of illness he was unable to complete the project. Derwood Palmer, assisted by many church members, finished the project. The church named the new gymnasium "Landis Hall" in honor of Mr. Landis.

In June, 1968, under the direction of Pastor Bruce Babienco, the new north wing of six classrooms was started at Fortuna Junior Academy. The plans for the new wing were drawn by Kirby Palmer. Dudley Maxwell, a local builder, was hired to oversee the project. Three rooms were finished and in use when school started in September and the next three rooms were completed and in use the following year. Brick work and facing had yet to be finished but the building was in use. It was the first time that the church hired help for any building project.

Merlin Anderson



The thesaurus really has no other profound words to show gratitude, other than “thank you,” so that is what I’ll have to use.  I can’t thank the Cast and Crew of COVID 2020 Drive Thru Nativity enough for this year’s rendition. 

In order to keep our numbers of people down, we only did four of our nine scenes.  People filled out COVID symptom sheets in order to get their costumes. They stayed in their cars between shifts and food was delivered to them. When they were in the scenes, it truly was a beautiful sight. 

Because we weren’t sure we’d be able to pull it off, there wasn’t any advertising beyond posters put out four days before, and the sign on the church lawn.  There were some long stretches with no cars (very different than recent years!), but those who did drive through were SO thankful for some semblance of normalcy in this unpredictable year. 

God blessed us with incredible weather (one brief shower is incredible weather, folks!). Thank you for being willing to share with our community the coming of the Savior, our Hope for eternity.  Thank you for NOT wanting to cancel, and for setting the devil back, just a little bit more.   You delivered with incredible grace. Take care of yourselves and each other! 

Much love, Colleen

I also want to give a special thank you to the teacher and students at Fortuna Jr Academy.  They wanted to do a Christmas program, but when you can’t stand together, can’t sing, can’t touch other people’s stuff and don’t even have the option to perform for family and friends in person, what can one do???  That was precisely my question!  In spite of creative ideas, we had to redo and rework things up to the last minute in order to make it come together!  If you haven’t had a chance to go online and look at the three short videos we made for you, please do!  Turn up your volume and appreciate the flexibility of Angel, Kimberlee, Mauricio and Daniel and Ms Burzo!  Thank you, and great job!

In addition, our family would like to thank everyone for the love shown to us over the last few weeks in the form of cards, prayers and flowers.  A special thanks to Pastor Dan and Pastor Perry for braving a cold, wet day to bring comfort at the graveside service.  The kindness of all has meant so much to us during our adjustment to this loss.  The Family of Marie Hough

Much Love to all f or everything,

Colleen M Hough, RDN

***P.S. Colleen, we also want to thank you for leading out in these presentations. You powered through on the prayers of your church family during a very difficult time. We love you, your church family.


Evangelism 2021

We have been faced with many challenges that COVID has “blessed” us with. We had just started our Discovering Revelation series when we had to shut down.
During the shut-down we were introduced to new ways and technology (and parking lots) in order to continue to minister to our community and our members. The conference and other evangelists have rallied to come up with ways to continue to present the gospel of Jesus.

In 2021 we are hoping to incorporate some health meetings. (what health topics interest you?) We are going to begin a series in March and one that is coming soon in January.

From January 24 th -29 th . We will be presenting “No LIMITS: A Life of Power”, from It Is Written. This will be through ZOOM and will consist of us joining the meeting, watching the presentation DVD and then a “face-to-face” (via our screens) discussion after.

We would love to have women’s ministries present another “40 Days of Prayer” book as well. (hint, hint).

Even though Satan would love to stifle our attempts to spread the Word of God, we serve a God who is “greater that he who is in the world”. Watch for more information via e-mail, mail and parking lot service announcements.


Community Service Center

Happy New Year to all. We served over 110 families with over 430 individuals. COVID has caused us to feel a bit more crazy. We had food shipments that didn’t make it we had half shipments to figure. It has been an exercise in patience and flexibility.

I want to thank Tim Whitchurch for the donations of mandarins. It was a blessing to be able to give everyone several. we all know that one is not enough of those.

I also want to thank Kay Chapman for stepping up and filling in our meat order when all we could get was 50 of the 75 turkeys we ordered. If you see this Kay you are my hero and the young man sent to help with the Spanish speaking folks from the AmeriCorps was ACES.

God surely provides for all. Every year He comes through in new and creative ways.

Thank you to the other church members that helped, I don’t know who each of you are so won’t start naming names. You all rock!

To the staff and volunteers that worked above and beyond Cherie, Martha, Tara and Carolyn. I love you all and thank you for sweating and freezing and working so hard.

Thanks also to the Mel and Grace McLean Foundation for coming through with funding for the gifts we would have been short.

I am going on my “stay-cation’ with a heart full of gratitude for the people that work and volunteer here at Fortuna Adventist Community Services.



In Memory

We have had opportunities this year to celebrate the baptisms and additions of new members into our church family. We have rejoiced with them. But along with that, we want to remember and acknowledge those friends that we lost this year. Continue to remember and minister to these families as they navigate this journey of grief.

     Sonja Fritz

     George Whitchurch, Sr.

     Marie Hough

     Pastor Cecil Harlin



  One of the challenges that we have faced during COVID is being able to fellowship together. Even with our on-line and parking lot services, it is not the same. We miss one another and many of us are feeling a little down and alone. We are so looking forward to being able to meet, hug, fellowship and worship in person with no screens, masks or 6-foot distancing. If any of you would like to have someone come and pray with you and say hello, please call the office. In addition, we also want to offer communion for those that have not been able to participate in these ordinances. We will be masked, as far apart as we can be and in a well ventilated area. We can even have you come to the church one-one. Please call the office if either of these ministries is something you would like.



Please continue to mail, bring by, or turn in on Sabbath, your tithes and offerings. You may have noticed that there is now a wooden offering box on the steps during our Parking Lot Service. Blank tithe envelopes are on the side of the box. We know that 2020 has affected many of us financially. We are so grateful to our members for their continued giving. God Bless!








The 1st quarter 2021 quarterlies are here and available for you to pick up. They have been on the church steps for the last two Sabbaths and will be there this week as well. The bags are marked with your name. Tuesday and Thursday mornings you can drop by the office or send someone to pick yours up for you if you can’t get it yourself. We thank our friend MaryAnn who delivers many of them for me. 


Community Garden

The community garden transfer continues. The area on the FJA property is now fenced in and tilled up. We thank all of those who are coming out and volunteering. Pray that this ministry not only feeds our community in the physical sense, but that those interacting with us will be fed spiritually as well. That friendships will be formed and others will see something in us they desire. Remember this is a FCSC ministry and not under FJA. Any questions should be directed to FCSC. Thanks.