BATTLE CREEK, Michigan — Having dealt with a controversial “compliance document” on the first day of the 2018 Annual Council, leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist world church focused on outreach on several fronts during the Monday, October 15, session.
Dr. Ganoune Diop, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the General Conference, reported on his efforts to help further the cause of religious liberty. This included extensive international travel to events such as the Global Christian Forum in Bogota, Colombia; Celebration of Religious Freedom Day in São Paulo State, Brazil; All-Africa Religious Freedom Congress in Kigali, Rwanda; and the office’s annual Religious Liberty Dinner, held in Washington, D.C.
Diop referenced a passage from Evangelism, by Ellen G. White, regarding how neglectful the church is when we do not actively connect with influential political and religious leaders. He included the caveat that we are to avoid embracing the paradigms and resultant beliefs of other folds and factions and those who represent them in an indiscriminate manner.
Nevertheless, Diop unequivocally emphasized how important it is to mingle and connect with these individuals in order to foster mutual trust, and these bonds, in and of themselves not a compromise of Adventism’s particular stands, will contribute to our overall mission moving forward.
Williams Costa, Jr., GC’s Communications Director, highlighted six primary components of the department’s activity:
- Visual Identity
- ANN (Adventist News Network)
- ALPS (Adventist Living Pattern System)
- GAiN (Global Adventist Internet Network)
- The adventist.org Promise
- ACT (Adventist Communication Training)
In short, this signifies how they are actively utilizing every tool available to more effectively disseminate the gospel.
Andy Weaver, alongside his wife Naomi, and their children, shared a testimony of how, from a devout Amish background, they became familiar with and accepted the Adventist message. The details of their conversion are available on several media platforms.
One point worth noting is that after processing the initial shock that comes from realizing the radical changes associated with joining this movement, they later determined that it was possible to adopt these newfound convictions and still retain many of the lifestyle elements of Amish existence without any tangible clash. To cap things off, they introduced us to their ministry to their Amish community in Northern Ohio. More information is available online at http://www.westsalemmission.org.
Another update covered the church’s strategic focus for the years 2020–2025, dubbed “I Will Go.” The plan exhibits a more balanced time and energy investment in missions, spiritual growth, and leadership development than what we have exercised in the past. The divisions and unions were encouraged to review the plan over the next several months before it becomes subject to next year’s vote.
In addition, there was a review of the recent advancements in the publishing work. The church has over sixty publishing houses worldwide, and the number of languages in which Ellen White’s books are printed continues to increase. On the domestic front, some of the new, worthwhile releases include an updated version of Seventh-day Adventist Believe, an increasingly comprehensive study of our twenty-eight fundamental beliefs; The Sanctuary and Salvation by Roy Gane; and Joys and Challenges of the Pastoral Family by Jonas and Raquel Arrais.
More reports and updates will be presented over the final two days, but even just today’s sessions reflect the various avenues through which the world church vigorously seeks to deliver the three angels’ messages to every nation, kindred, tribe, and people.