Inter-European Division Year-End Meetings calls for personal commitment, involvement.
Published on: 11-20-2023
The Year-End Meetings of the Inter-European Division (EUD) of Seventh-day Adventists took place November 2-6 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with mission as a central theme that cut across all reports, debates, and decisions.
Committee members and guests, representing EUD unions or major church regions, administration, departments, institutions, and services, welcomed General Conference (GC) secretary Erton Köhler, vice president Thomas Lemon, and associate treasurer Brent Burdick. In addition to devotionals, Köhler presented a keynote emphasizing the indispensable balance between church mission, identity, and structure, which according to him, implies a healthy effort in all three areas simultaneously for effective church growth.
In addition to the presentation of reports, the Year-End Meetings of the Adventist Church’s administrative levels includes planning and voting for the smooth operation of the denomination and an opportunity to praise the Lord for His blessings. 2023 was a year of growth in the number of members and in financial resources for the development of mission across the EUD, something displayed in the reports from the region’s Secretariat and the Treasury. Church leaders offered words of advice and encouragement to all officers for a greater effort in evangelization across Europe. It is a region of major challenges, both external, such as secularization, and internal, such as linguistic and cultural diversity.
The members of the Executive Committee also had the opportunity to attend and participate in a youth meeting of the Bulgarian Union during the Sabbath service. Köhler dedicated his sermon to the universal urgency of the Adventist Church’s mission, especially in nonpenetrated fields. He ended with an appeal that led to 12 decisions to serve Christ as ministers and missionaries. EUD youth director Jonatan Tejel addressed the group on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
One of the areas highlighted during the meeting was evangelism through media ministries. After an intense and participatory discussion on Friday, November 3, the meeting ended with a unanimous vote for a strategy at each church level, for growth and integration of means for digital evangelism. The document voted on is titled “Communication, Personal Ministries, Media Ministries: An Integrated Approach on Digital Disciple-making” and expresses the will of the fields across the EUD to organize themselves and invest in a more effective use of information and communication technologies at the service of mission. It is something that can be accomplished through the personal involvement of each member, church leaders said.
According to point 2.a. of the document, a priority objective will be devoted to “developing awareness and motivation among church members for the concepts of the digital disciple, as a current, regular, and necessary form of ministry.”
The meeting ended with a final reflection by EUD president, Mario Brito, calling for a life of intimate communion with God, leading to a meaningful existence and a willingness to share the gospel.
“God wants us to enjoy eternal life here and now,” Brito said. “This doesn’t mean that we expect to live here forever, in our current condition. We await and proclaim the Lord’s soon coming. But it means that we can and must live and share the loving principles of His kingdom, now and here, daily and with everyone.”