Initiative invites pastors, school principals to pray and fellowship online.
Published on: 01-23-2024
The Lake Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States benefits from the vital ministry provided by pastors in the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Sometimes, however, the region seems to lose track of the many other ways that ministry is provided.
Consider the ministries of academies and grade schools, health-care entities, literature, community services, outreach and engagement, and more. And, of course, a vital institution of higher education — Andrews University, with its main campus in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which is part of the Lake Union Conference.
In late summer 2023, the school created a new channel for communicating regularly with pastors across the Lake Union. This weekly virtual gathering with various small groups of pastors takes place via Zoom videoconference and is called “Friday Morning Fellowship with Andrews.”
During the “Friday Morning Fellowship with Andrews” meetings, three university leaders and about 10 pastors pray together, with one of the pastors sharing a devotional with the group. In turn, Andrews University representatives provide important spiritual, academic, and campus life updates with the pastors and engage in dialogue, answering questions.
Six of these fellowships took place last November and December, enabling interactions with more than 50 pastors. Follow-up surveys showed that pastors greatly appreciated this intentional outreach from AU and that pastors feel better equipped to share timely and relevant information about Andrews with their congregations following these discussions.
“I and other members of the Andrews leadership team have been so blessed by praying with our pastors and hearing their affirmation of our active ministries on campus — and by our ability to let pastors know directly how much we at Andrews value the contributions of these pastors who serve on the front lines of ministry across the Lake Union,” AU president John Wesley Taylor V said. “Friday Morning Fellowship with Andrews has exceeded our expectations in a variety of ways, including deepening our relationships with this vital group.”
The new winter series of Friday Morning Fellowship with Andrews is now underway most Fridays. Email invitations have been sent to interested pastors in each conference. In addition to pastors, interested academy principals and teachers may participate in these upcoming fellowships, AU organizers said. “We praise God for this collaborative ministry and the commitment to strengthened relationships as our leaders explore ways to amplify the ministry of one another in service to the Lord,” they said.