In an effort to empower local Adventist congregations to better serve their communities, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in New Zealand recently collaborated with the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC) to host an inaugural “Community Champions Conference” over the weekend of May 28 to 30.
With at least one person encouraged to attend from every Adventist church in New Zealand, ninety representatives from Kaitaia through to Christchurch gathered at Tui Ridge Park in Rotorua for workshops and activities targeted at community engagement.
The weekend’s activities were primarily conducted by NZPUC ADRA director Keryn McCutcheon, health director Adrielle Carrasco, discipleship director Victor Kulakov and education director Dan Carrasco. Their practical workshops taught attendees how to design a community project, apply for project funding, partner with existing community organisations, identify community needs and values, and inspire others through sharing stories.
“The one key factor that stood out to me about the participants is that they are doers of the Word. They didn’t need motivating to go out and serve – they already are! In fact they were firing each other up, and learning from each other,” said NZPUC president Eddie Tupa’i.