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Revival and Reformation – EUD Mid-Year Committee

Revival and Reformation – EUD Mid-Year Committee

Krattigen, Switzerland. May 22-24. The annual Mid-Year EUD Committee started its three days of work on Sunday 22. This committee is the highest executive authority of the church in our territory, after the General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Worldwid

May 26, 2011 | CD-EUD - Photos Elí Diez-Prida

Krattigen, Switzerland. May 22-24. The annual Mid-Year EUD Committee started its three days of work on Sunday 22. This committee is the highest executive authority of the church in our territory, after the General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Worldwide headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. During these committee assemblies, important votes and recommendations, as well as plans, are taken under the direction of the President, Bruno Vertallier, assisted by the Secretary, Gabriel Maurer, and the Treasurer, Norbert Zens.
The work started with a devotional from the President, presenting one of the most moving episodes in Jacob’s life, the encounter with his brother Esau. He could not have survived meeting his brother after years of hiding for having cheated him, without a real reformation in his life. Jacob’s experience teaches us that it is not only possible, but desirable, for each one of us, in the process of reconciliation with the Lord, to experience a real reformation in his/her own life.

President’s Report
Revival & Reformation
Bruno Vertallier, Euro-Africa Region President, introduced his report by saying that “Particular

emphasis will be placed on the project Revival & Reformation during the quinquennium, (2010-2015), in order to invite all Adventist members to become aware of the time we are living in and complete the mission that Jesus left us, for the time of his return is drawing near.”
The President focused the attention of the committee members, about 44 among Union Presidents and Institution Directors of the Euro-Africa Region, on the promotion of the Revival & Reformation project launched last year in Atlanta, during the quinquennial World General Assembly of the church. Some good experiences came from the field, announcing the positive contribution of members who were invited to follow a strategic plan.
In Romania, as well as in Spain, for example, an interesting plan has been applied, following the criteria of free participation of all members, called to undertake the experience of reformation in their lives, before involving their neighbors, friends, relatives, etc. “What is important”, said Teodor Hutanu, Romanian Union President, “is to promote Revival & Reformation not as another church program, but as a lifestyle pattern”. Along the same lines was the report of Jesus Calvo, Spanish Union President, who said that the main point is “to highlight not the content, but the space to meet God. Every church should open for one hour everyday to give members and their friends the opportunity to come and enjoy the presence of Jesus with other members”, he said.
“Revival & Reformation is not a marketing program of spiritual life. It should be an answer to what our church members really need,” added Jan Paulsen, former Seventh-day Adventist President, “and this is a long-term process”.

Great Controversy Campaign

Included in this initiative is a big challenge regarding the diffusion of the book The Great Controversy, written by Ellen G. White. This book, focusing on the last day events before the Second Coming of Jesus, is a point of reference for those who want to thoroughly go into the burning issue of the end of the world. Some estimates were made worldwide related to the publication of the book. About 50 million copies will soon be printed and distributed.
The President and the Secretary have made recommendations, in order to include the distribution of this book in a larger strategic plan, whereby other E.G. White books may be included and a special project adhered to.

North Africa
In his report the President gave relevance to the Adventist presence in North Africa. In Libya, not one of our brethren has been touched by the war, but they have had no meetings since the beginning of the conflict. In other countries there are no difficulties in attending regular meetings. In Morocco, a Health Expo program, focusing on prevention and physical wellness, was a big success, thanks to the support of the Health Department of the Euro-Africa Region. The committee was invited to pray for the political situation and particularly for all our colleagues facing this difficult time.

“I would like to give a special thanks to all the members of our church” said Bruno Vertallier, “for their faithfulness and generosity”. In most of the countries belonging to the Euro-Africa Region, tithes have risen, in spite of a general crisis that has invested the whole world.

Secretary’s Report
Gabriel Maurer, Euro-Africa Region Secretary, presented the annual statistical

report, showing an interesting study on church growth in our territory. At the end of the year 2010 there were 177,668 members, celebrating worship and fellowship in 2,539 churches and 695 companies. Considering a balance between the members gained and lost during the year, we increased by 833 members. Of course, these figures could raise wonder and preoccupations, if we were to compare them with the population of our European country: 1 Adventist per 3300 habitants. It is true, there is an apparent stagnation of the church regarding its growth, but there is room for rising to the challenge that our church is called to face. We are not looking to increase the figures of our record books, but committed to conveying the message of salvation to those who have not yet had this opportunity, thus fulfilling the mandate of Matthew 28 where Jesus calls each of us to make disciples for His glory. “My wish” said Gabriel Maurer, “is that our churches would be such a visible witness of happiness, honesty and reconciliation, that thousands of postmodern, value-seeking people would desire to join this community of faith."

Treasurer’s report
A treasurer's

report is normally the presentation of numbers, expenses, incomes and budgets. Norbert Zens, Euro-Africa Region Treasurer, presented to the committee the church’s overall financial situation. The tithes in the Euro-Africa Region increased in 2010 by 1.8 percent to 99 million Euro. This demonstrates that despite the financial crisis that has hit some of our Unions quite substantially, our members have continued to cultivate their faithfulness and generosity. “The unemployment situation in some of our Unions makes us very concerned”, said Norbert Zens. The Euro-Africa Region continues its normal financial course thanks to careful management of church resources. We do not lack challenges, especially in the field of evangelization.


Supporting Ministries
One of the most important debates that animated the committee positively was related to the agreements on cooperation with the Supporting Ministries. Supporting Ministries are ministries run by lay members who, through their expertise and competences, support the spiritual mission of the church independently. Their full cooperation with the purposes and goals of the church gives a positive supplement, carrying out the gospel commission. ASI, Adventist Laymen's Services and Industries, is the umbrella organization uniting different supporting ministries that operate and support mainly for spiritual growth in the church and bringing together business people and professionals for fellowship, strengthening them for creative witnessing in their workplaces and providing a business network for Adventists.
At the end of the discussion a vote was taken in order to sign a memorandum of understanding with ASI Europe according to the regular policy of the church.


Departments' Report
The reports presented by the department leaders have been included in a special strategic plan for the next quinquennium. The President suggested a matrix that included the objectives of the World Church for this term, under the evangelistic chapter “Tell the World.” All departments presented their intention to promote and animate these three evangelistic purposes: reach up, reach across, reach out. Reach up means promoting a better spiritual relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Special attention should be given to the

model of worship we are called to respect both personally and in the community. Reach across means creating and promoting a spirit of unity within the church context. A spirit of collaboration and service that better qualifies the meaning of being a community. Reach out means promoting a spirit of determination to accomplish the mission given by Jesus, to announce the meaning of forgiveness and salvation offered by our Savior. It is easy to imagine what the family department proposed regarding worship in family contexts or what the youth department proposed: youth involvement in outreach settings. Despite the different proposals presented according to the nature of each department, one point came up: the necessity for the leaders to work more in synergy among themselves in order to empower each proposal and serve the church accordingly.


Leadership
As in every administrative meeting, part of the time is reserved for a study of a common topic of interest in church life regarding leadership. This time the topic was “The church's expectation of leadership”. Jan Paulsen was invited to present important items regarding church leadership.


A church leader is called to accompany and nurture his members in order to allow everybody to live an authentic spiritual lifestyle. But, “Sabbath morning becomes more and more difficult for our teens” claimed Jan Paulsen. The church should open the doors and operate with more tolerance toward an expected desire for change, rather than close the doors in the face of an apparent lack of a compatible Adventist lifestyle, which leads our youth to leave and never come back.
Leaders should provide sincere openness in order to allow dialogue amongst all members, especially with the youngest. This should contribute to building a climate of an intergenerational attitude.
Jan Paulsen used the parable of the tares among the good wheat. Nobody has the authority to cut uprooted weeds. “It is not our affair to determine who belongs to the world and who to Christ” said Jan Paulsen. “Only Jesus will be able to tell the difference in due time”. Leaders should guide the church to accomplish its mandate which is not to perform a selection. The risk is too high, and irredeemable mistakes have been committed in this regard.
Jan Paulsen quoted Ellen G. White in support of his position. “Although in our churches, that claim to believe in advanced truth, there are those who are faulty and erring, as tares among the wheat, God is long-suffering and patient. He reproves and warns the erring, but he does not destroy those who are long in learning the lesson. He would teach them; He does not uproot the tares from the wheat. Tares and wheat are to grow together till the harvest; when the wheat comes to its full growth and development, and because of its character when ripened, it will be fully distinguished from the tares”. (Testimony to Ministers, p. 45.2)
What the church expects from its leaders is not to repress members that are obsessed by the respect of values and principles. Leaders should give to the members, especially to the youngest, the tools to build up a lifestyle in the respect of values that are fully understood and are lived by accordingly. Leaders should encourage the church in a spirit of unity. The church has to be a symbol of refuge and not a symbol of an exclusive club. God loves without limits; this spirit of acceptance is the breath of humanity. To be such a leader will make the difference.

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