Religious news from around the world.

Religious news from around the world.

Total Member Involvement evangelism

Republic of Korea—At the Northern Asia-Pacific Division’s 2018 year end meetings, a new evangelistic plan for 2019 was shared with the delegates, involving 2019 reaping evangelistic meetings throughout the division. One thousand of those meetings are planned to be held in Korea, 770 in China (China has been seriously hindered by new government laws this year, greatly restricting the church’s ability to do outreach), 110 in Japan, 110 in Taiwan, and 29 in Mongolia.

All churches in the division are encouraged to plan on evangelism to build up to these reaping meetings. In particular, churches are encouraged to reach out to the community and make friends with nonmembers. This was the method that Jesus used: to make friends, have compassion on them, meet their needs, win their confidence, and, then, offer them the opportunity to follow Jesus (see The Ministry of Healing, page 143). [NSD Church Ministry Newsletter]

H.M.S. Richards Lectureship takes place at Andrews University

Berrien  Springs,  Michigan, United States—The annual H. M.Donald Sunukjian, preaches in seminary chapel, Andrews University.S. Richards Lectureship on Biblical Preaching, coordinated by Hyveth Williams, featured guest lecturer Donald Sunukjian of Biola University. Sunukjian’s lectures taught seminarians how to use their words to create pictures in the minds of their audience in order to keep them engaged and attentive. He highlighted the importance of doing this by noting that “today’s culture is dominated by images” and stressed that speakers have to know how to take hold of the mind’s eye.

Elaborating on this idea, Sunukjian presented three ways for this to be done:

1. Expand on the biblical author’s original images so that listeners can form a mental picture of them.

2. Create contemporary images similar to the author’s to convey the same meaning.

3. Describe contemporary situations and scenarios where the biblical truth “shows up” in the lives of listeners.

Attendees were reminded that these techniques were used by two of the best speakers in the world: Jesus and Paul. “Use your voice,” he encouraged, “like men and women of God have used theirs all through time. Forget PowerPoints and movie clips. Rummage through your life and the lives of others for relevant illustrations.” 

For Monday’s worship in the chapel, Sunukjian did just that. He artfully demonstrated the use of storytelling as an attention grabber and a handy exegetical tool. Seizing 1 Corinthians 10:13 as the basis of his sermon, “Quick as a Wink and a Snail’s Pace,” Sunukjian expanded the meaning of the text and discussed applicable contexts that highlighted the faithfulness of God and the relevance of the texts to the lives of the audience. During the second portion of his presentation, Sunukjian deftly shifted his presentation style, demonstrating the kind of speaking he had been describing throughout his lectures.

The lecturer-turned-storyteller held the audience in rapt attention as he used his words to re-create scenes from his own experience with temptation and God’s faithfulness. His was an experience that the seminarians could all relate to: ministry envy. The genius of his storytelling lay not in his transparency or humor but in his masterful use of story to explain the innards of the text he had so deftly pried open. Shifting again, the story-teller, now turned pied piper, ended by leading the unsuspecting congregation to feel the weighty sense of honor toward them that God has and desires to convey in every pre-weighed trial. The apostle Paul’s point was made. With that accomplished, Sunukjian was done, and after a brief pause, his audience erupted in sounds of praise to God and acclamation for having experienced such a meaningful and surprising treat.

DVDs of Donald Sunukjian’s presentations may be requested from Hyveth Williams at [email protected] [Esther Green, seminary student]

Adventists among National Honors recipients in Jamaica

Mandeville, Jamaica—Pastors Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Jamaica Union, and Aston Barnes, former treasurer of the West Indies Union, were among 206 individuals who were accorded national honors for 2018.

The appointments were presented to them by His Excellency, the governor general of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Patrick Allen at Kings House on National Heroes Day in Kingston, Jamaica, on October 15, 2018.

Pastor Brown was accorded the Order of Distinction in the rank of commander for outstanding contribution to religion, while Elder Barnes received the Order of Distinction in the rank of officer for contribution to the Ministerial Fraternity and to social development, welfare, and philanthropy in Jamaica.

“In accepting this award from the government of Jamaica, I do so with a sense of humility,” said Brown. “I am fully cognizant of the fact that this national recognition is just a reflection of the many lives that my service and ministry has touched through the opportunities given by the church to serve members and the wider society.”

Pastor Brown has served the church for more than 33 years in the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) as district pastor, evangelist, youth ministries director, executive secretary, and president.

He also serves as vice-chairman for the Bible Society of the West Indies, is a volunteer chaplain for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and is a justice of the peace for the parish of St. Catherine.

Pastor Barnes has served the Adventist Church in various capacities over the past 65 years. He served as a teacher, an auditor, the stewardship director, and the treasurer of West Indies Union from 1976 to 1980.

Pastor Barnes implemented and managed his brainchild—the West Indies Union Capital Development Fund. The fund provides assistance for capital expansion and improvements at low interest rates for churches and medical and educational institutions.

Full of practical knowledge and a passion for seeing to the adequate financing of the mission, Barnes was inspired to author the book Church Financing: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. This book offers a solution for financing education and health care in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is marketed both locally and overseas. [Nigel Coke/IAD Staff]

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January 2019

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