2011 Euro-Africa Division Annual Council Highlights: Officers reports

2011 Euro-Africa Division Annual Council Highlights: Officers reports

The Euro-Africa (EUD) 2011 Annual Council was opened by the message of John Thomas, Associate Secretary at the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Maryland, USA.

November 11, 2011 | CD-EUD Pictures C.Cozzi

November 6-8, 2011 Collonges, France [CD-EUD]. The Euro-Africa (EUD) 2011 Annual Council was opened by the message of John Thomas, Associate Secretary at the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Maryland,

USA. He invited the members of the executive committee to reflect on the existential question: Who are we? Focusing on a historical journey of the Adventist church, J. Thomas invited the participants to reconsider the mission that identifies the Adventist church announcing the Second Coming of Jesus. “We are the result of Bible study and prayer,” said J. Thomas in answer to his introductory question, as he once again highlighted the importance of continued dedication to these two spiritual practices.

President’s Statement
In addition to what J. Thomas presented, EUD President, Bruno Vertallier proposed a Statement for the 2011 Annual Council: “I salute the engagement of all of you. As we carry on our mission in unity and peace through the Holy Spirit we may discover that we still have a long route to go. Relating to people is not always easy but we are called to support each other in the love of Christ. As we interpret the time and the events, let us have humility and a spirit of service, walking towards Revival and Reformation and pleading for a transformation of heart in Jesus. Our desire to reach out must become a passion and ask that we experiment new venues with the help from above. Let us be confident that the Lord will provide for our needs and fill our lives with His joy.” This statement has been voted unanimously.

Secretary report
Executive Secretary Gabriel Maurer’s report went in the same direction pointing out the missionary nature of our church. Even if such a report has to present figures and statistics, the core of the message was clearly defined by the recognition of the work contributed by volunteers and missionaries, as well as by church members - children, youth and adults - who are strongly committed to the mission given by Jesus. “Shar

ing the Good News of the Second Coming of Jesus with the people living in our European territories,” asserted G. Maurer “is the core of our mission, and we are working for this.”
The EUD membership at the end of the 2nd quarter 2011 totaled 177’836 baptized members, attending 2’539 churches and 695 companies. “We have the joy to greet the 1001 new members who joined us over this last 18 months,” said G. Maurer. Unfortunately the trend of the church growth doesn’t match expectations: the continuously diminishing baptisms bring up serious questions about the future of the church. “For this reason,” urged the executive secretary, “we are working on a strategy that envisions three main areas: improvement of human resources; improvement of processes to make structures more efficient; improvement of Urban Evangelism.” There are more areas that need improvement, and with the help of God as well as a serious commitment of every member, the mission will be reached.

Treasurer report
Regarding finances, this Year-end Meeting (YEM) focused on the budget for the following year. Due to the current financial crisis and the effects of the EUD territory realignment, the budget has been reduced by 14 percent to 13.7 million Euro. More than three-fourths of the income has been reallocated to the various institutions, programs and Unions of the Euro-Africa Division.

In spite of the financial crisis, tithe income is growing in the EUD with 9’721’283 Euro in 2010, up from 9’558’481 in the previous year. However, in some Unions which are heavily-hit by the financial crisis, we are confronted with a decline in tithe-income. We want to thank our church members for their faithful support. Through this time of financial incertitude, the administrators continue to adopt a prudent and careful attitude towards church finances management. EUD treasurer, Norbert Zens said, “We have to carefully analyze the current expenses of the church in order to make sure that we invest the resources we are entrusted with in the most effective way.”
During the YEM, the executive committee members also approved the General Conference Auditing Service’s report on the EUD’s 2010 financial statements, based on the recommendation of the EUD Audit Committee (a committee which has a majority of lay members). Furthermore, Norbert Zens invited the executive committee members to seriously consider the subject of transparency and accountability in financial reporting. Material has been prepared on this topic and is available upon request.

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