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Adventist Possibility Ministries Global Advisory

Adventist Possibility Ministries Global Advisory

(zoom screenshot)

Nearly 200 people participated via Zoom.

July 16, 2020 | EUDnews, Andreas Mazza, Corrado Cozzi.

 On July 14, 15, and 16, 2020, a global committee of the Adventist Possibility Ministries, the Ministry dealing with ‘disabilities’ of the Adventist Church, was held on three different days, in which nearly 200 (196 precisely) people participated via Zoom. A completely unusual and unexpected number, almost a record in this regard.

The meeting was preceded by a meditation by the world president of the Adventist Church, Ted Wilson, who was also the creator and inspirer of this ministry. Pres. Wilson wanted to emphasize the great privilege that all those working in this ministry have in carrying out the mandate of Jesus in its most concrete form - practical help for the weakest people. (Matthew 25: 35-44). It was Christ Himself who, through His example, wanted in some way to inspire a service such as the Adventist Possibility Ministries is performing sensitively and effectively throughout the world.

Ted Wilson also wanted to thank the global leader of this ministry, Pastor Larry Evans, and his collaborators, who are acting with great passion and intensity to make the Church (and beyond) aware of the needs and demands of people with disabilities/possibilities.

Pastor Evans introduced the work, highlighting the fact that the Ministry is called 'Possibility Ministry' and not 'Disability Ministry'. Why? "Because even people with obvious physical and psychological problems are always ‘diverse able’.

"After all," Evans stressed, "we all have more or less obvious disabilities and barriers. We all face mental, emotional, and spiritual problems on a daily basis - no one excluded.”

Evans concluded his introduction to the work by highlighting the strategy of this Ministry, namely: "Awareness, acceptance, action": The aim is to increase the Church's awareness of disability/possibility issues, to create a climate of acceptance for all forms of diversity and to act accordingly, through a series of programs and activities aimed at inclusion and sharing.

Pastor Evans also recalled a quote from the Seventh Day Adventist Church co-founder, Ellen G. White:

"I saw that it is in the providence of God that widows and orphans, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and persons afflicted in a variety of ways, have been placed in close Christian relationship to His church; it is to prove His people and develop their true character. Angels of God are watching to see how we treat these persons who need our sympathy, love, and disinterested benevolence. This is God's test of our character. If we have the true religion of the Bible, we shall feel that a debt of love, kindness, and interest is due to Christ in behalf of His brethren; and we can do no less than to show our gratitude for His immeasurable love to us while we were sinners unworthy of His grace, by having a deep interest and unselfish love for those who are our brethren, and who are less fortunate than ourselves."-Testimonies for the Church 3:511.

The participants then divided into working groups (Zoom rooms), according to the 7 branches of the Ministry: The Blind, The Deaf, Mental Health and Wellness, Orphans & Vulnerable Children, Caregivers, and Bereavement of Spousal Loss. The working groups were led by their team leaders.

When the work of the seven groups was concluded, the participants gathered in a single  'zoom room' and the various team leaders gave a summary of the ideas and proposals born in their group. The coordination work of the moment was managed by the Inter-European region (EUD) referent of this ministry, Pastor Corrado Cozzi.

We collected some thoughts and ideas, listed below:

"We need to organize more local meetings on these issues to make all church members aware of them". 

"It is necessary that those who suffer give their testimony in their local church, so that understanding, sharing, and unity are created".

"We must act like Christ; our church must be a Christ-like church. Jesus was totally drawn towards the most vulnerable, the weakest people”.

"It is necessary that the structure of our churches be more welcoming and adapted to the needs of the ‘disabled’. We must carefully evaluate the needs of all”.

"We need a paradigm shift from a program-oriented church to a people-oriented church”.

On Wednesday, a management working group met to work out the various suggestions arising from the various breakouts. Each of them proposed a list of suggestions that a group of writers and readers then elaborated for a final reading in plenary session.

The plenary session of Thursday, July 16, continued the work, specifying and deepening the ideas, proposals, and priority themes of this ministry. The world coordinator, Larry Evans, concluded the meeting in this way: "We are driven by our relationship with God. We are the voice of God's compassion!"

Corrado Cozzi, the Inter-European regional coordinator of the Adventist Possibility Ministries, commented: "We wrote a page of the Adventist Church history. This is not the first time that we have spoken about ministries for the disabled but, this time, we have spoken about it with greater attention, highlighting the dynamics of a vision: that of making the Church more aware of its mission towards these people that Jesus himself constituted as a testing ground for a concrete, practical spirituality, invisible to the eyes of pride but visible to the eyes of compassion, the same that Jesus felt. With the work carried out by the different task forces (the seven ministries), we have not invented the wheel, but we have once again determined the importance of making it work well, for the benefit of all."

Leaders and collaborators have promised to disseminate, share the work done both at management level and in the local churches, globally. The new edition of the Church Manual will include the recommendation that each local church elect a coordinator of the Adventist Possibility Ministry.

More about Adventist Possibility Ministries

Adventist Possibility Ministries (APM) is a life-changing ministry! It is sometimes referred to as “Special Needs Ministries.” The motto of this ministry states clearly an underlying principle on which its existence is based: “All are gifted, needed and treasured!” APM is about caring and inclusivity. Included in APM are seven broad ministry categories: The Deaf, the blind, the physically challenged, the emotionally and mentally challenged, orphans and vulnerable children, the widowed, and caregivers. 

This is a ministry about caring by promoting attitudes and practices of inclusivity. It is a personal work that Jesus would have prioritized. It is about helping individuals, regardless of physical, emotional, or mental limitations, discover their untapped “possibilities.”

Adventist Possibility Ministries is a grassroots movement with organizational advocacy by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

To learn more about Adventist Possibility Ministries, please visit this web page.

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