Sofia, Bulgaria [C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews]. November 21, 2014.
This year, the annual Inter-European Region Committee Meeting was held October 31 to November 4, in Sofia, Bulgaria's beautiful capital.
The decision to go to Bulgaria was to let the members of the local churches have a memorable experience. In fact, the committee, which usually meets on the first weekend of November, was introduced by a national conference on Saturday, November 1, and attended by about 2,000 Bulgarian Adventists.
Brothers and sisters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church overcrowded the Convention Center, located close to the city center. When the national conferences started at 9:30 a.m., the room was practically full. It was an active and well-organized meeting that will never be forgotten.
The presence of Pastor Ted Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), undoubtedly helped the positive turnout of the event. It was indeed a good decision to organize the administrative committee in conjunction with a dynamic activity of the church. In fact, among the administrative reports, statistics, ratings and recommendations, as well as mission statements and proposed projects, the most important thing for a committee is to get in touch with the local church members, all worshiping together, praising our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Right before the committee meeting, the Sabbath worship service impressed and amazed the nearly 80 members of the executive committee, coming from the Inter-European Region (EUD). Members of the committee were officers of the different national Unions, directors of EUD institutes, lay members and guests.
Friday, October 31, the business meeting started with President Wilson speaking on the characteristics of the leadership of the church. The invitation of the President to be attentive to the fundamental values of Adventism raised awareness of those present. In the panel that followed the presentation, President Wilson answered some relevant questions, including those relating to the discussion on ordination of women, which will be concluded in San Antonio, Texas, July, 2015, during the General Conference Session.
The EUD President, Bruno Vertallier, focused his report on the evangelistic work that is taking place in the region. He highlighted the intensive evangelistic efforts in the largest cities, in response to the Big City Campaign, launched by the GC. Big cities include Vienna, Geneva, Lisbon, Prague, Bratislava, Madrid, Valencia, etc, where intense outreach projects have been implemented.
"These projects have been organized to give a message of hope to those living in larger cities in Europe, in the grip of consumerism, secularism and materialism”, said Vertallier in his report. “Nevertheless, the secular mindset did not prevent hundreds of citizens from participating in the programs prepared exclusively for them."
The results will be seen in the future. These campaigns of "sowing" reach thousands of people, but only a few hundred agree to follow a thorough study of the Bible. This has not discouraged our young people, who are often in the front lines and fulfilling the mandate of Jesus, given to us 2000 years ago.
"I think it is a wonderful thing that so many Unions and local regions are focusing on the incredible challenge before us, especially in the big cities," said Ted Wilson. "Mission to the cities is one of the most important avenues of evangelistic outreach for the Inter-European Region because you have so many cities. Europe has a very complex culture. But God is working in a dramatic way to energize his church members in this Region to approach the many people-groups with different languages and cultural settings with the three angels messages. I know that God is doing something extraordinary in this region”, concluded the GC President.
At the request and wish of the EUD church members, Elder Wilson declared: "My fondest wish is for every church member to keep his eyes upon Jesus, who is the equalizer of all of us. The closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to each other. As the Inter-European Region focuses on its enormous task of 354 million inhabitants in its territory, God is going to give unusual wisdom through the Holy Spirit as to how this can be done in a practical, self-sacrificing and humble way. God is using His faithful people who are spread out in many different countries in this Region, He will help them make a real difference. I am sure that people will soon know that Jesus is coming, and coming soon. My fondest hope is that Christ and his advent message will be lifted up in a powerful way that we will forget challenges and problems, and rely totally upon Him, for He is capable of bringing His message to the great continent of Europe”.
Pictures: 1. The audience. 2. President Wilson addressing the audience. 3. Bruno Vertallier, EUD President. 4. The Committee hall. (C. Cozzi)