The Mid-Year Meeting of the Inter-European Division Executive Committee voted on the Nominating Committee Report and elected leaders for its departments, several appointed for the first time.
Norbert Zens,EUD Treasurer, will accumulate the offices of Publishing Ministries, and Trust Services and Planned Giving. In office since General Conference Session in 2010, in Atlanta, he served for nine years as the business manager of the Adventist Bogenhofen Seminary, in Austria. In 2004, became associate director for the Euro-Africa region, now Inter-European region, of the General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS).
Ventsislav Panayotov was elected the new Secretary of the Ministerial Association, Director of Adventist Chaplaincy, and Leadership Development. Pastor Panayotov, a Friedensau University graduate, has been the president of the Bulgarian Union since 2010, where he previously served also as youth director and director of the Bulgarian Theological Seminary.
As Director of the Ministerial Spouses Association, the Executive Committee elected Vartuhi Panayotova, also from Bulgaria.
The Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, and Adventist Mission offices will be held by Florian Ristea, who has been the director of those ministries in the Romanian Union since 2014. Pastor Ristea has a long experience in different fields of evangelism, working through Hope TV Romania, Bible Correspondence School, and other specific programs and projects.
For the Communication Department and the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, the Executive Committee voted for the nomination of Paulo Sérgio Macedo, who is the current PARL director and Education director in the Portuguese Union. He has a degree in International Relations and a Master in Strategic Communication, and has been working in the field of religious liberty since 2006.
Viriato Ferreira is the new head of the Health Ministries department. Dr. Viriato, who returns to this office after a first term between 2005 and 2010, is the president of the Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine, and the co-founder and director of VitaSalus Center of Lifestyle Medicine. He also has a long experience in medical practice and health, and lifestyle communication, especially regarding the role of health in the Adventist message.
The following officials will remain in their current positions:
Reto Mayer, who, before being elected as associate treasurer of the Inter-European Division in 2010, served as treasurer of the Swiss Union from 1995 to 2005, and as president of the “Fondation du Relais”, from 2007 to 2010.
Jonatan Tejel Subirada continues to serve as director of the Youth department, along with AMiCUS, the Adventist university students ministry. In 2002, Jonatan became youth director for the Church in Spain, where he stayed until 2005 when he was called to be an associate youth leader, specifically responsible for leading the Adventist Pathfinders (Adventist Scout organization) at the worldwide level.
In Education, Marius Munteanu continues in his role, being appointed also to the Spirit of Prophecy Service. Prior to being elected as EUD director for the Education department and for the Adventist Chaplaincy ministry in 2015, Marius served as president of the Romanian Adventist Theological Insititute in Cernica, from 2010 to 2015, and as president of the Romanian Union of Conferences, from 2014 to 2015.
Women’s Ministries will continue to have Dagmar Dorn as its director. Before being elected as Women’s Ministries Director, Dagmar served from 2009 to 2018 as deputy head of midwifery Spital Buelach, in Switzerland.
Rainer Wanitschek will continue to serve in the Family department and receives the responsibility of Children’s Ministries / Children’s Sabbath School, and Adventist Possibility Ministries. Rainer served before as president of the Bavarian Conference from 1997 to 2013, and as president of the Southern German Union from 2014 to 2015.
This Mid-Year Meeting elected the directors of departments and services only. The Executive Officers of the General Conference World Divisions will be nominated at the General Conference Session, in St. Louis, USA, in June 2022.
About the Inter-European Division
The Inter-European Division is a subentity of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It comprises 20 countries (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Vatican City) with a population of 338,333,000 people. 178,829 Adventist members gather in 2537 churches.
Picture: The EUD Headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. Credit: A. Mazza