End of Year Messages from BUC Leaders
20th December 2018
Ian Sweeney – BUC President
While the Annual Council of 2018 will be most remembered for the discussions surrounding compliance on Sunday 14 October, another memorable meeting was that held on the following Tuesday with presentations given by the General Conference Treasurer Dr Juan Prestol-Puesán and Dr Ann Gibson (Professor Emerita School of Business Administration, Andrews University). While the presentations concerned financial and pastoral ethics integrity and transparency, words which stuck in my mind were when Dr Prestol-Puesán stated "The trust of our people who provide the resources is all we have..."
These words are so true and reminded me once again to express thanks for each and every member and supporter of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the British Union Conference (BUC). The Seventh-day Adventist Church exists in the British Isles because of the resources that you have freely given. Thank you for giving over £23 million in tithe for which I and other Church workers receive our monthly salary.
Thank you for returning offerings to your local congregations which has purchased and maintained churches. Thank you for volunteering your time which serves our children, young people, the elderly, caring for our properties, serving our neighbourhoods and community. Without your goodwill there would be no Seventh-day Adventist Church presence or influence in the British Isles… so on behalf of the British Union Conference, thank you, thank you, thank you!
John Surridge – Executive Secretary
Throughout 2018 BUC News has continued to be a key medium for informing church members about the great work which is being done around the BUC. The stories highlight the work of particular individuals, but more importantly, over time, they give a broader picture of what the Church is doing as a whole. Together, all of those individual stories add up to something much greater than the mere numerical sum. There is an amazing synergy within the Church, and it is based on everyone doing their part. Even if you haven't featured personally in any of the BUC News stories this year, the fact that you read them, and pass the information on within the Church, helps to create the positive momentum which carries the work forward.
Within the readership of BUC News there is a smaller subset who I would like to thank personally, and these are those faithful people who work in the 'Secretariat' departments of the church: Church Secretary (or Clerk), Designated Safeguarding Person, Disclosure Clerk, Health & Safety Officer, and the Data Protection Coordinator. Not all churches have named individuals for these responsibilities, but there's usually someone who does the work. It's not the most glamorous work, but it's really important. So, if you are one of these, please accept my thanks and best wishes for a happy, and safe, new year.
Thank you for supporting BUC News and the wider work of the Church, during 2018.
Maureen Rock – Principal, Adventist Discovery Centre
Thank you donors and Bible School coordinators.
The Adventist Discovery Centre (ADC) wishes to extend heartfelt thanks and well-wishes to all our donors and Bible School coordinators. Your contributions and enthusiasm have allowed us to share the gospel with many people across all backgrounds.
A few of the successes achieved in 2018 included the team providing materials on Bible and Health to 1,048 students across various backgrounds either directly or via local churches. These included fifty-eight prisoners most of whom were contacted by the NEC's Prison Ministries outreach programme.
Our Let's Explore course for 7-12 year olds was trialed across the Welsh Mission (WM) and led by Eileen McKenzie, WM Children's Ministries coordinator who succeeded in persuading every church in the Mission to undertake this form of Bible studies for over 100 children in the Mission of which eighty-eight graduated, so far. This approach was also promoted and undertaken across the UK and Ireland. To date a total of 242 children enrolled on the course and 142 students have already graduated. The remaining students are drawing near to completion. We pray that their enthusiasm extends to them registering for additional courses as they learn more about Jesus.
The ADC team was particularly excited to recognise Florence Kabambe, from Willesden Adventist church for leading the largest Discover Bible School in 2018 with forty-two students graduating on Sabbath 8 December. It was also a thrill to recognise Jayden Ditta from the London Asian Adventist church who was the 1,000th student registered for the year.
The ADC team could not have achieved these and many other successes without your donations, hard work and prayers. We continue to strive to reach the UK and Ireland with the gospel message of hope for all. In this season of goodwill we extend good tidings to you and your families and pray that 2019 will see us working together to reach even more people for Christ.
Season's Greetings and Happy New Year to all our donors and Bible School coordinators from the team at the ADC.
Sharon Platt-McDonald – Health Ministries, Women's Ministries and Adventist Community Services Director
My grateful thanks goes to God who has guided our journey, sustained our efforts and built our faith throughout the triumphs and trials of 2018. I would like to express appreciation to everyone who has supported the departmental work of Health, Women's Ministries and Adventist Community Services over the past 12 months. Your contribution has assisted in the progression of our goals and enabled us to accomplish much as we reach out to a waiting world with a message of hope for these times. On a personal note, I want to acknowledge those of you whose communications brought great comfort during my bereavement, on the loss of both my parents. Your understanding, thoughtfulness and prayers has been restorative. For the ensuing year, may God continue to be glorified in our lives, our work and ministry, as we partner with Him in the building up of His kingdom.
Kathleen Hanson – Education Director
Season's Greetings from the BUC Education Department. I must begin by thanking the leaders and staff in all of our institutions for their dedication and commitment to the work of educating our children and young people. It has also been wonderful to connect with the membership, running training and education days in the Conferences and Missions. Thank you for embarking on the journey to life-long learning with us. Your enthusiasm and growth mindset is inspiring.
We have established a BUC Education Fund (Sort Code 40-45-27 account number 9018342) and I am very grateful to those who have contributed so far. If you would like to give the gift of Adventist Education to a pupil in the UK, we would love to hear from you. Adventist Education is evangelistic in its purpose and central to the mission of the Church. It is broad in its remit and I am thrilled that many have signed up to our BUC home-education network established this year.
We have received positive feedback regarding our inclusive approach. We continue to drive school improvement and governance is a very important part of that. We recently organised strategic and succession planning training for our school governors and the feedback was excellent. I am truly thankful to all those who serve on our governing bodies. If you have a passion for Adventist Education and an area of expertise that you would like to share as a governor, please contact the department. We offer quality live and online training to facilitate effective governance. Finally, thank you for supporting the work of the BUC Education Department. We are always happy to hear from you and you are welcome to let us know your needs via the questionnaire on our website. I pray you will have a peaceful, restful and Spirit-filled holiday. We give God thanks for His amazing blessings and goodness. May His love continue to shine on and through you both now and throughout the coming year.
Paula Yunuen Carrillo – Information Technology Director
Living in a digitalised era, it is key to have the technology to support the work of sharing the gospel and bring hope. It has been a pleasure to provide support for the staff at the BUC to the church members with their websites and online students during 2018.
We look at 2019 with excitement and pray that God will connect us as a human network to share the hope in God.