9th May 2019
It’s not often ministerial staff from within the British Union Conference (BUC) come together, so this event, planned by the Ministerial department of the BUC was a welcomed occasion. Held from Friday 3 until Monday 6 May, this extended weekend gave ministers the unique opportunity to fellowship, socialise and be spiritually recharged. It was also an important opportunity for the minister and his or her family to spend quality time together. So up to 400 attendees including pastors’ children, from all Conferences and Missions within the BUC came to the Jurys Inn Hotel, in Leicestershire for this council under the theme, ‘Nurture, Retention and Renewal’.
What added to this much appreciated sabbatical weekend was the flexibility of the programme. With the main events held during the morning, the rest of the afternoon catered for free time and relaxation. With devotions held after breakfast, the first plenary sessions were taken by guest speaker Pastor Robert Folkenberg Jr. His messages touched on a deeper understanding of what being fully surrendered really means in response to Christ’s magnanimous love for us. As President of the Chinese Union he shared poignant experiences of the extent in which Chinese Adventist believers have to constantly face the challenges of the legal religious stipulations which invariably change.
Drs David and Beverly Sedlacek, professionals within the field of family ministry and counselling came from Andrews University to talk on topics such as ‘Sanctuary Sexuality’, ‘Managing Pastoral Family Stress’, and the ‘Power of Forgiveness’. Each of their topics touched on personal issues not normally expressed or discussed within the pastoral setting.
Pastor Calvin Preston, who serves as the Executive and Ministerial Vice President of the South Atlantic Conference in the USA, came with a vibrancy that kept everyone attentive. His messages expressed a deep understanding of the challenges ministers go through and by sharing his own experiences was able to provide valuable lessons he had learnt from over 43 years of ministry. Each of the sessions were accompanied by significant moments of meaningful prayer time and inspirational music led by the praise team.