Well, the news in 2018 had a bit of everything.
There were plenty of stories—both good and bad, triumphs and tragedies, and events that caught the attention of the whole world.
We had international sporting competitions such as the Winter Olympics and the Football World Cup. The world held its breath to see if the Thai cave boys would be saved. The recent Indonesian tsunami was the latest in a string of natural disasters, including California wildfires, Japanese mudslides, and hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones. In many places persecution against Christians escalated.
The Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex held the attention of the world, including Christians who were impressed by Bishop Michael Curry’s fearless and stirring sermon.
Closer to home, Australian cricket suffered through the cheating scandal and we got another new prime minister, while New Zealand’s PM had a baby and Papua New Guinea hosted APEC.
A number of significant deaths occurred, as they do every year, but for Christians around the world, the death of famous evangelist Billy Graham prompted an outpouring of heartfelt tributes.
Here at Adventist News Online, we covered all the biggest news stories for Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific. Here we bring you a list of the most read online stories for the year. Not surprisingly, there is a lot about the recent compliance discussions, a focus on restructuring and the ever-popular positional changes stories.
Here’s a look at the Top 18 news stories of 2018.
18. PAU appoints first national deputy VC
In a significant step, Pacific Adventist University named Dr Lalen Simeon as its first Papua New Guinean deputy vice chancellor.
17. Pathfinder camporee makes a splash
Again in PNG, this story gained worldwide attention as a novel and amazing way to gather a large group of Pathfinders in the middle of some difficult and treacherous terrain.
16. International Children’s Care placed in voluntary administration
Not all news is good news. Last year, longtime independent supportive ministry International Children’s Care found itself in some difficulty.
15. New CEO appointed to Adventist Media
Adventist News Online readers love to know who’s who. When significant appointments like this one are made, it causes people to sit up and pay attention. This one’s particularly close to home.
14. Former Archaeological Diggings editor dies, aged 99
Pastor David Down was very well known in Adventist and archaeological circles alike. This article paid tribute to his amazing life.
13. Conferences and union begin historic ‘transformation journey’
This move was unprecedented, with all of the Conference presidents and the Union officers signing an agreement to work together as the results of the AUC structure review are revealed. Record hopes to bring you an update on where the process is up to very soon.
12. Sabbath school study guide now available anywhere, anytime, in multiple languages
It was a pleasure to spread the world bout this innovative app, as one of our own pastors developed it for people around the world. If you haven’t read about it yet, it’s worth finding out about.
11. Samoans and seminarians support family in wake of student’s passing
Unfortunately, some of the most read news reports deal with tragic circumstances. This online report about the death of a young father at Avondale was one of those.
10. Adventist student’s incredible story of survival
One of our favourite stories of the year—this amazing story of a young girl who survived the Kiribati ferry disaster is a must read!
9. Musicians needed for next General Conference session
We hope the popularity of this story results in great representation from South Pacific folk among the musicians at the GC 2020 session in Indianapolis, US.
8. Grounds for concern: Caffeine’s negative health impact
Groundbreaking research from our very own Australasian Research Institute (ARI) at Sydney Adventist Hospital confirmed the traditional Adventist stand on avoiding caffeine.
7. Urgent change needed: Church structure report
This important report hopefully signifies some improvements the Church in Australia can make to see more efficiency and effectiveness.
6. SPD remains committed to women’s ordination
Towards the end of 2018, there was much discussion within the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide about women in ministry. While the SPD remains compliant they did take this opportunity to affirm those women who are working in or feel called to work in ministry.
5. New president for South New South Wales
Another appointment story, South New South Wales will enter 2019 with a new president as Pastor Mike Faber transitions into another form of ministry in another state.
4. Avondale reduces staffing levels to help balance budget
Another difficult story as Avondale announced some changes going forward.
3. ‘Issue of compliance will not go away’: SPD president
Pastor Glenn Townend responded to the GC annual meetings held at Battle Creek, Michigan, giving the global story a local angle and flavour.
2. Australian first prostate surgery at the San
More groundbreaking firsts for our local medical/health field as this second most popular story detailed the advancements in cutting edge prostate surgery.
1. Australian church responds to GC compliance document; leaders call for calm, prayer
Our top news story for 2018 detailed how a local church in Queensland responded to the decisions made at the annual council meeting. The story provides a comprehensive overview of the compliance conversation and its relationship to the women’s ordination debate.
So there you have it—Adventist News Online‘s top 18 for 2018. What was your favourite?
Thank you for your feedback and news tips. Without you, our roving Record reporters, our job of covering news across the South Pacific would be impossible.
We look forward to bringing you more news in 2019.