Lake Balaton, Hungary—More than 320 Seventh-day Adventist members representing 17 countries converged on the shores of beautiful Lake Balaton in Hungary for the Trans-European Division’s (TED) first joint Great Commission and Laity Festival July 15–20, 2014.
The aim was to motivate and empower church members for greater service with focus on Mission to the Cities within its region. Following the theme of “Modelling Jesus’ Loving Caring Compassion,” guest presenters inspired and challenged delegates to follow the example of Jesus in practically demonstrating compassion in their communities. Pastors Maureen Rock and Simon Martin, both from the British Union Conference, opened and closed each day with thoughtful and inspirational Christ-centered devotions. Plenary and workshop presenters included Gary Krause, Adventist Missions director of the General Conference, who challenged attendees to become more concerned for the increasing urban population of the European cities.
A welcome reminder of God’s creativity was presented by renowned musician and choir director Ken Burton. His inspirational style lifted the spirits of all. A beautiful complement to this music was the creative use of drama in presenting the gospel. This was very professionally presented by Pastor Geert Tap from the Netherlands, who currently pastors in Central London.
Guest presenters from TED included Communications and Media director Miroslav Pujić, addressing the subject of cultural intelligence and evangelism; Women’s and Children’s Ministries director Clair Sanches-Schutte, dealing with women and children in mission; and Youth director Paul Tompkins, who reinforced the urgent need to involve more youth in outreach. The congregation joyfully acknowledged the large number of youth who were present and directly involved in ministry in their local churches.
Learning was enhanced by a variety of workshops including topics such as beginning and advanced church planting; the use of music and drama in witnessing; involving lay members; the use of social media; involving youth, women, and children in witnessing; how to use the Bible in evangelism; and instruction on establishing Centers of Influence.
Attendees expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet and learn with other Seventh-day Adventist members who share the same passion for involvement in the mission of God. The spirit of unity and commitment was very evident throughout the five days of meetings, and delegates left with keen anticipation of further such meetings in the future. [Michael Hamilton/ tedNEWS]
Vanuatu Mission launches first feature film
Port Vila, Vanuatu—Australian High Commission first secretary David Momcilovic joined ADRA and Adventist church representatives at Port Vila seafront on July 20, 2014, to launch Vanuatu Mission’s first feature film, Nogat Taem.
Produced by the church’s Communication department, in partnership with Local Bread Media Production, the film highlights the common social issues facing families in Vanuatu.
The Australian government provided funding for the project through the Vanuatu Church Partnership Program—an initiative that seeks to “[improve] governance and service delivery at national and local levels.” [Adventist Media: Vanuatu]
White Estate to feature enhanced visitor center
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—The estate of Seventh-day Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White is scheduled for an eight-month remodeling project that will result in an enhanced visitor center. The renovations should be completed by mid-April 2015.
The estate currently features a research library, many of White’s original manuscripts, and art specifically created for the estate. Leaders said the redesign will offer more interactive displays and exhibits. “We want people to have an enhanced museum experience and come away from it knowing something they didn’t already know about Ellen White,” said estate director James Nix. “We also hope it will motivate people to read more of her writings,” he said of White, who is still widely published nearly 100 years after her death in 1915.
Upon reopening, the estate will offer a tour that teaches visitors about the beginnings of the church with exhibits, a timeline of White’s life, information about her overseas missionary experiences in Europe and Australia, and a mural with narration in five languages.
One exhibit will highlight her ministry as a writer. Nix said the display will include copies of White’s book Steps to Christ in more than 100 languages. Also, a room will be recreated to demonstrate the way that many Adventists in former Communist countries translated her books in secret to avoid detection by police who often listened for typewriters.
The final stop on the tour will feature a small chapel with a video that challenges visitors to be a part White’s mission of spreading the gospel.
“We’re also hoping people see themselves as part of this movement that God sent a messenger to,” Nix said. “She was a real blessing to this church.” [Ansel Oliver/ANN]