Session included special guests from the Polish government and other institutions.
Published on: 06-06-2023
The quinquennial session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland brought a change of leaders in that Central European nation. The 23rd session of the Polish Union Conference took place May 25-27 under the theme, “I WILL GO to Change, Inspire, Create Bonds, Make Disciples, and Testify.”
The delegates to the session entrusted the office of the president of the Polish Union Conference (PUC) to Jarosław Dzięgielewski. Piotr Bylina, former secretary of the West Polish Conference (WPC), was elected as the new executive secretary of the PUC. The treasurer of the PUC in the new term will be Piotr Gołaszewski, who until now has been working as the treasurer of the South Polish Conference.
Dzięgielewski has served as the president of the WPC since 2018. He began his pastoral ministry 37 years ago in the Warsaw Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1994, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the WPC. Then, from 2000-2003, he was the senior pastor of the Pomeranian district. He continued his service as president of the East Polish Conference (2003-2011), then president of the South Polish Conference (2011-2013), and in other administrative positions. He has already served as union president from 2013-2018.
The church session is held every five years. Delegates to this event represent the three conferences of the Adventist Church in Poland: the West Polish Conference (based in Poznań), East Polish Conference (based in Warsaw), and South Polish Conference (based in Krakow).
During the session, delegates elected the main church officers for the next five years and voted to accept reports of the various department directors and institutions. They also voted to adopt the mission strategy in accordance with the guidelines of the world Adventist Church.
Administrative sessions of the session were held at the Higher School of Theology and Humanities in Podkowa Leśna. The Saturday service inaugurating the new term of office was held in the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Warsaw.
Representatives of the Trans-European Division (TED) of the Adventist Church at the session included president Daniel Duda, secretary Robert Csizmadia, and Ian Sweeney, director of the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty. Special guests from the Polish government included Andrzej Sosnowski, deputy director of the Department of Religious Denominations and Ethnic Minorities, and Monika Piszcz-Czapla, head of the Office of Legal Regulations of the same department.
TED leaders thanked outgoing officers for their service. They also welcomed other special guests, including Bible Society in Poland general director Jadwiga Zalisz.
The Adventist Church in Poland has about 6,000 baptized members in a population of 38 million. Church institutions include the Znaki Czasu (“Sign of the Times”) Publishing House, the Głos Nadziei (“Voice of Hope”) Radio and Television Center, and the Blisko Serca Christian Charity Service. The Adventist Church is one of only a dozen out of nearly 200 registered religious associations in Poland whose legal situation and relationship with the State is regulated by a Public Act.