'Dealing with Today's Giants' – A BUC Communications and PARL Retreat

'Dealing with Today's Giants' – A BUC Communications and PARL Retreat

BUC Communications

Walking the delicate path of discussing contemporary issues of relevance – dubbed 'Dealing with Today's Giants' – was the focus of a weekend retreat by the British Union Conference (BUC) Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) Department in collaboration with the BUC Communication Department at Leonardo Hotel, Hinckley from 10 to 12 May.

Over seventy delegates from across the British Union territory who attended the weekend retreat received informed presentations as they, in turn, demonstrated a keen appetite for engagement with the topics that the astute guest speakers shared. The main speakers were Dr Ganoune Diop, General Conference PARL Director; Elder Paulo Macedo, Inter-European Division PARL and Communication Director; and Dr Brighton Kavaloh, South England Conference (SEC) PARL Director and the devotional speaker being Mrs Dusanka Rancic, Messenger Editor.

In his opening address, BUC President Pastor Eglan Brooks welcomed participants by saying we embark on this educational and inspiring weekend together and said, may this training be a source of growth, inspiration and a means of equipping each one of us to be effective communicators and advocates for religious freedom in our communities and beyond. He also welcomed the field leaders in attendance: North England Conference President, Pastor George Kumi; Scottish Mission President, Pastor Jimmy Botha; and Welsh Mission President, Pastor Graham Allcock.

The programme comprised plenary sessions by the three main speakers, seminars with tracks for Communications and PARL participants and a panel discussion with the presenters.


The plenaries included topics such as 'Dealing with Giants in Today's World: 'Dare to Be A Daniel' by Dr Brighton Kavaloh, in which he drew from Daniel's engagement in the government of his day to help shape governance while still resolute with his faith in God. Elder Paulo Macedo of the Inter-European Division deliberated on 'Foundations of Personal Freedom'. He linked our personal freedom to three components: 1. Jesus Christ as the foundation of our Identity; 2. Dependence is our need to depend on God, as opposed to contemporary views of autonomy and independence of God. He said we cannot be free without God; 3. Purpose, our identity in Christ and dependence on God, as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, our ultimate role model, gives us purpose in life.

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion involving all the presenters on Sabbath afternoon regarding 'Facing Our Giants: LGBTQIA+ and its impact on the Church' stimulated enthusiastic engagement from attendees and the panellists. The participants requested an extended time, almost twice the allocated time for the discussion. The session ended with examples of our duty to reach out to all humanity and uphold what the word of God says by reading the Seventh-day Adventist position on the topic.


Dr Ganoune Diop shared his message on Sabbath morning about 'The Jesus We Preach' as a model for our relationship and interactions. He spoke again on Sunday by discussing 'Restoration of True Worship'.

Besides the presentations, three seminars on PARL and Communications were held throughout the weekend retreat, in tracks that dealt with the 'Why', 'How', and 'What' of PARL and Communications.

Dr Diop and Elder Macedo led the two tracks in three sessions to deal with:

  1. Why? • PARL 'Foundations and Functions’ • Communications 'There is no Mission with no Communication'
  2. How? • PARL 'How Do We Equip People to Witness?'  • Communications 'A Communication Strategic Model'
  3. What? • PARL 'Foundations and Functions' cont’d • Communications 'The Content of Church Communication and its Challenges'

Delegates attending the retreat expressed their gratitude for the informative and inspiring presentations. They appreciated the efforts put into organising such an enlightening event. They requested that more be done to further enlighten our ministry to the communities we must interact with and reach them with the good news of the gospel message of Christ.

The BUC President's office, under the leadership of Pastor Eglan Brooks, SEC PARL Director, Dr Brighton Kavaloh and the BUC Communication Department, led by Pastor Sam Davies, jointly organised and led the weekend retreat, ensuring a successful and enriching experience for all participants.