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Towards Unity and Progress

Towards Unity and Progress

On May 25-27, 2009, leaders of the Euro-Africa region (EUD) convened for the regular spring committee meeting at the traditional place in Krattigen, a beautiful location in central Switzerland. The group included about forty committee members representing

June 04, 2009 | CD EUD

On May 25-27, 2009, leaders of the Euro-Africa region (EUD) convened for the regular spring committee meeting at the traditional place in Krattigen, a beautiful location in central Switzerland. The group included about forty committee members representing eleven regional Unions (in most cases each representing a country), thirteen institutions (missionary, educational, publishing, healthcare), administrators and departmental directors of the Euro-Africa Division (the regional office of the church’s General Conference), and several guests.

Each day of the committee was “tuned up” by a lecture presented by Dr. Lilianne Doukhan, Associate Professor of Music (music history and musicology) at the Andrews University. Her series of informative and inspiring lectures entitled Liturgy for Unity dealt primarily with the use of music in our worship services. The same music which was meant to unite and uplift the community of faith can easily become a subject of contention and discord. In seeking a deeper level of unity and understanding in the church, we cannot bypass questions concerning liturgy in a large sense and music in particular. The broad knowledge and rich personal experience of Dr. L Doukhan made her presentation eye-opening and very practical.

For the first time the committee meeting was chaired by Bruno Vertallier, the EUD president elected during the previous committee session. His easygoing and welcoming style facilitated the involvement and participation of all the committee members. The statistical report that Gabriel Maurer, the EUD secretary, presented to the committee aroused a substantial discussion about the current situation of the church in Europe and its prospects of progress. As an outcome from this discussion, the need emerged for a thorough analysis of the current situation and its causes as well as the evaluation of methods employed by our church and their effectiveness.

Committee members became acquainted with an important document prepared earlier this year by the General Conference of the church titled Roadmap for Mission. This document points out several areas of concern pertaining to the outreach methods and practices used today in our church.

The EUD treasurer, Peter R. Kunze, presented a detailed financial report of 2008. He stressed that, “Only transparency and cautious financial management can build trust and encourage support from the church members especially during the times of downturn in the world’s economics”.

Among many departmental programs and plans, the upcoming European Youth Congress drew special attention. About 3.000 young people from all of Europe are expected to participate in this rally which will take place in Munich, August 5-9, 2009. (For more information visit: www.aycongress.org.)

The Children’s Ministries Department presented a promising initiative called Kids in Discipleship. This is a new and innovative program to lead children and their parents to a meaningful spiritual life.

The Women’s Ministries Department presented a new service intended to deal with the problem of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Assistance and support especially for the victims is offered through a new web site (www.itfaces.me). It is carried out by a large group of collaborators in a number of countries and offers communication in several languages.

Matthias Mueller, the director of the Media Center Stimme der Hoffnung, familiarized committee members with the progress of the TV programs Hope Channel in German and other languages. He also demonstrated the growing popularity of the NetAdventist platform among local churches and other denominational entities. This program allows people to easily create and maintain attractive web sites.

As the EUD president, Bruno Vertallier, stated in his closing remarks: “The church in our region has again experienced God’s gracious leading and abundant blessings. This fact should motivate all church leaders and members to pursue true unity in the Spirit and to work towards the progress of the church in all areas.”

Photos by Elí Diez-Prida and CD EUD

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