64th Session of the South England Conference takes off

64th Session of the South England Conference takes off

Sam O Davies, BUC Communications and Media

The lingering sunshine of September has provided added enthusiasm for delegates attending the 64th Session of the South England Conference (SEC), with most representatives dressed appropriately considering the weather forecast. The University of Essex is the location for the four-day conference that began on Thursday, 7 September, at the Ivor Crewe Hall of the University. Six hundred and fifty delegates and invitees are expected to conduct the quadrennial business of the South England Conference, the largest entity of the British Union Conference (BUC).

The incumbent SEC President Emmanuel Osei welcomed the delegates to the session with introductions of various guests, including the Parliamentarian for the session, Todd McFarland (Deputy General Counsel at the General Conference), Devotional Speaker, Dr Pardon Mwansa (Andrews University), Dr Daniel Duda (Trans-European Division President), Eglan Brooks (BUC President) and BUC field leaders and directors.

Delegates were then invited to a season of prayer and songs led by Paul Lee and Linda Asare, the SEC Prayer Coordinator, before the opening devotional was shared by Pastor Pardon Mwansa, former GC Vice President, who quoted Luke to elaborate on the importance of prayer for dealing with the diverse challenges that are prevalent in every generation.

The session's business began in earnest with the President's Report featuring various ministries implementing the theme of 'Making Disciples and Building Communities' during the four-year term. The first business session involved declaring the meeting open and the quorum attainment. Delegates were then seated, and three new churches, Oxford International, Watford Romanian and Prince Emmanuel, were accepted into the sisterhood of churches.

After lengthy deliberations, the delegates approved the recommendation for Administrative and Departmental Budgets. The Recommendations Committee was then tasked with selecting a Nominating Committee, Licences Committee, Plans Committee and Constitution Committee.

The second business session focused on two reports: The Reflecting Hope initiative and the Hay's Wood Retreat. The Reflecting Hope report captured the various events that have been happening since the initiative's launch in the different territories of the British Union Conference in January 2023. The Hay's Wood Retreat report garnered a lot of discussions ranging from praise to dissatisfaction.

The first day's business ended with a report from the Recommendations Committee announcing the names of the Nominating Committee members.

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