Third Healthy Lifestyle leadership training course inspires pastors
Seoul, South Korea
Church leaders participated in a Healthy Lifestyle leadership training course at the Anmyeon Training Center in South Korea. The course was organized by the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), Korean Union Conference (KUC), and the five local conferences, from April 16 to 21, 2023.
The slogan “NEWSTART Lifestyle” was not just a theory, but practice. Participants engaged in aerobic exercise (walking), stretching, muscle training, and learning to prepare healthy, vegetable and fruit-based meals.
Park SangHee, Health Ministries director of KUC, highlighted why faith (“trust in God”) is the most important factor in the NEWSTART Lifestyle program, while local conference directors lectured on practical aspects of NEWSTART.
After participating in a bountiful breakfast and lunch, leaders were initially skeptical when they saw their light supper consisting merely of two bananas, but they realized the slow process of chewing made them feel full.
Jacob Ko, Health Ministries director of NSD, emphasized that God’s plan of redemption requires physical, spiritual, and intellectual restoration, which is why churches, hospitals, and schools were established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Attendees pledged to lead out in health reform as pastors in their local churches.
Leadership training emphasizes ethics and sexuality
April 11–16, 2023, pastors and lay leaders from throughout the Inter-European (EUD) and Trans-European (TED) divisions attended a Family Ministries leadership training event on the campus of Friedensau Adventist University in Germany.
While topics included Christian education and intergenerational worship, sexuality and ethics were heavily featured, with a whole weekend dedicated to the theme “Let’s talk about sex.” The event started Friday evening with “Sparks Talks” (15 minutes each) on the topic “What is so amazing about sex?” by Daniel Duda, TED president, Andreas Bochmann, professor at Friedensau, and Karen Holford, TED Family Ministries director.
Sabbath morning began with a devotion by Holford about Tamar and Judah. Study groups examined stories of sex in the Bible, such as Abraham, Hagar, and Sarai, Tamar and Amnon, drawing lessons for today.
Daniel Duda then presented a sermon, “God, Sex, the Bible, and Us.” Sabbath afternoon featured “Shame-Free Relationships” by Holford; “Dignity” by Helgi Johnsson from Iceland; “Consent” by Ansku Jaakkola, a female pastor from Sweden; “Current Issues in Sexuality” by Mary Jo Sandholm; and “Attachment and Sexuality” by Torben Bergland, associate director of Health Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
“Talking about sexuality is often hindered by the issue because the former generations did not talk about sex and made it such an untouchable topic,” commented Rainer Wanitschek, EUD Family Ministries director. All participants stated that these discussions were long overdue. For information about Family Ministries leadership resources, see https://family.adventist.org/. [Andrea Cramer/Rainer Wanitschek/Jeffrey Brown]
Young leaders inspired by Usain Bolt
Sprint sensation and world record holder Usain Bolt electrified attendees at the fifth Inter-American Division (IAD) Pathfinder Camporee in April 2023.
The eight-time Olympic champion was brought up in the Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica, where his mother and father are members.
Bolt was presented with the IAD presidential medal during his visit. In making the announcement, Al Powell, IAD Youth Ministries director, said, “The honorable Usain Bolt is a significant figure in Jamaica and across the world, and we want to share with him the Inter-American Division presidential golden award. Usain Bolt is used to getting gold medals, and we just want to show appreciation to him for his commitment to youth, not just in Jamaica, but around the world.”
In his response, the six-foot-five-inch runner encouraged thousands of young people at the camporee to “always work hard and never give up. Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams.” He concluded, “Enjoy the camporee,” and “God bless you!”
Amid the large crowd of Pathfinders and church leaders, Bolt took time to run 100 meters with two Pathfinders who challenged him, saying they could run faster than he could. Several young people followed behind. Bolt also took time to take group photos with every union delegation before he left the stadium.
Young people responded to a call for baptism from Andres Peralta, Youth Ministries associate director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “I have a burden in my heart tonight,” Peralta said. “I want one person who came to this camp, who is not a church member and is not baptized, to come forward, and I will pray for you.” One person responded—then another—and in a few minutes, more than 120 had come from their seats. [Nigel Coke-IAD News with Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher]