Facing the challenges

Facing the challenges

The EUD Committee Members (C. Cozzi)

Sofia, Bulgaria [C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews]. November 21, 2014. The Inter-European Region (EUD) Executive Committee Meeting, held in Sofia from October 31 to November 4, 2014, presented not only department reports and institution issues, but also some very

November 21, 2014 | C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews.

Sofia, Bulgaria [CD-EUDNews]. November 21, 2014.

The Inter-European Region (EUD) Executive Committee Meeting, held in Sofia from October 31 to November 4, 2014, presented not only department reports and institution issues, but also some very challenging evangelistic projects that prove our Church's focus on missions.

Liberty today

Liviu Olteanu, Director of the Religious Liberty Department presented the first edition of the Liberty Today magazine. This magazine could be the answer to many church members asking for more resources presenting topics on Religious Liberty.

The magazine is a contribution from different EUD department directors, focusing on relationship between religious freedom and the different sectors of the church. This magazine is mainly directed to church members.

“We are surrounded by countless situations where respect for religion is misunderstood, mainly because of ignorance or lack of support”, wrote Bruno Vertallier, EUD President (Liberty Today, p. 5). “I pray and desire that this magazine may be an instrument of information and understanding, primarily helpful for Seventh-day Adventist members and their friends,” declared Liviu Olteanu (Liberty Today, p.11); “… This magazine should keep us aware of the value of liberty and religious liberty, helping us to be more responsible and vigilant and to better serve others”, concluded Olteanu.

Signs of Times – International magazine

Another publication related to the mission of the church was made by Iacob De Norel, Signs of the Times editor in Romania. The Magazine is well known to Adventists as a publishing support on moral and spiritual themes.

Bother De Norel offered to give an international upgrade to the publication. The challenge is ambitious, especially because of complications due to different languages and for the choices of subjects in a Europe that remains anchored to its different cultures.

The Adventist church should be interested in encouraging this publication, for two very specific reasons: to allow the reader to recognize the focus that the church puts on the most relevant issues in our society, and to take the opportunity to share what Adventists believe on these issues.

Although we already have Signs of the Times at the local level, the idea of producing an international edition allows greater collaboration and interaction between members of the different EUD countries.

Media Evangelism

The media seems to be the most pertinent way to communicate the message of the Good News.Internet offers unlimited possibilities and it is important to exploit these possibilities, to keep up with the times or be left behind.

Paulin Giurgi, Director of Strategic Development and Communication, EUD Media Center Stimme der Hoffnung, presented an ambitious project with a title inspired by the Adventist mission.

The concept was presented briefly, giving the idea of global mandate entitled “Proclaiming the three angels` message in postmodern society 2015-2020”. It is built on the idea of developing the so-called Logical Framework Matrix to plan and implement the projects.

Every project should be a thematic campaign made up of elements that catches the attention of the public because of its strong images and contents. The challenge is clear: to reproduce the famous three angels' messages of Revelation 14 in modern terms.

Why the focus on this message? And why this effort to contextualize it today?

“Because these messages talk about Creation, the worship of God, the final judgment, the invitation to come out of confusion, themes that are not far from public thoughts and opinions.” said Paulin Giurgi. “We would like to make people aware and warn everyone of the conflicts we encounter.”

In order to raise public interest, the EUD Media Center will realize different approaches: a creative and powerful TV commercial as a basic element; an online platform for exchange and coordination (website of “United Globe”); live shows in Hope Channel TV (Adventist worldwide Channel); Radio, Internet, etc.

“This is a huge project in terms of production”, said Giurgi, “but we trust that working these past five years will help us find partners to join us for this journey of faith”.

Included in the project there is also a special focus on the year 2017, the commemoration of 500 years from Martin Luther’s birth. This is an opportunity to visit historical venues that in some ways also influenced Adventism in Europe. A special European Adventist Heritage Tour is in process, and will be presented very soon. Visiting the sites where Adventism started in Europe and the venues were Protestantism developed will give a special emphasis to the whole project.

“Listening to the plans for the future, I’m encouraged. We have a real commitment to evangelism. We recognize that the Lord gave us a difficult mission, due to many aspects” commented Roy Ryan, GC Associate Treasurer. “But I’m encouraged that we continue to work and make plans, that people are not afraid and that the Lord is fighting on our side.”

Because the Executive Committee was held in Bulgaria, Ventsi Panaiotov, Bulgarian Union President, commenting on the future of Bulgaria in terms of evangelism, affirmed: “We are struggling somewhat. This Year-end Executive meeting held here in Bulgaria was a boost for us, it encouraged us to look with new perspectives and to develop different strategies.”

Pictures: 1. The first edition of the 'Liberty Today' Magazine. 2. Liviu Olteanu, Director of the Religious Liberty Department. 3. Paulin Giurgi, Director of Strategic Development and Communication, EUD Media Center Stimme der Hoffnung. 4. Some members of the Committee. (C. Cozzi)

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