Scottish Mission Highlights Growth and Community Focus at the 12th Triennial Session

Scottish Mission Highlights Growth and Community Focus at the 12th Triennial Session

PerthSM Communications

The Scottish Mission of Seventh-day Adventists gathered in a spirit of unity and anticipation on Sunday, the 30th of June, for its 12th Triennial Session. Held in the ‘Fair City’ of Perth, the event brought together approximately 90 delegates, invitees, and observers. This pivotal gathering aimed to reflect on the achievements of the past three years and lay out a dynamic plan for the next triennium.

Celebrating Three Years of Growth and Achievement

In a world where many faith communities face decline, the Scottish Mission is thriving. Over the last three years, it has seen the baptism of 42 new members and the transfer of 50 individuals into its vibrant community. This period has been marked by a steadfast commitment to both personal and professional growth within the Mission, fostering a culture of excellence and multicultural inclusion.

The session was privileged to welcome Xander McDade, Provost of Perth and Kinross, who offered words of support and recognition. He highlighted the increasing influence of the Adventist Church amidst a broader trend of dwindling church attendance. His speech underscored the importance of understanding and addressing the diverse needs of the communities served by both the church and civic organisations.

Highlights and Initiatives

The past term was rich with notable initiatives, including the Mission's first Elders Symposium and the Reflecting Hope initiative. The latter saw eight pastors embark on a cycling tour across the Shetland Islands, distributing literature and connecting with local communities in a unique and engaging way. This, along with numerous departmental events and activities including training days, days of fellowship, retreats, health expos, camporees, and more, has significantly enriched the Mission's outreach and community engagement.

Strategic Investments and Renewed Leadership

The Mission’s strong financial position has enabled significant investments in communication and youth work. The appointment of Hellevi Walker as the part-time Communications Manager and the engagement of two Brazilian volunteers through the Adventist Volunteer Service exemplify this commitment. These efforts aim to enhance the Mission’s outreach and engagement, particularly among younger members of the community.

The Scottish Mission underwent a significant change in leadership and welcomed four new pastors, signalling a robust renewal of leadership across the region. Weiers Coetser ministers in Aberdeen and Bucksburn, Ratko Risteski covers Paisley, Faifley, and Irvine, and Fitzroy Morris serves in Edinburgh, Dunfermline, and Musselburgh. Wilfred Masih's arrival in Inverness and the Scottish Highlands in September 2022 has been particularly noteworthy, bringing a positive impact to a community previously without pastoral presence.

The following individuals were elected to serve on the Executive Committee for the 2024-2026 term:

The elected departmental sponsors for the 2024-2026 term are:

Strategic Anchors for the Next Three Years

The session's delegates were presented with a strategic framework for the upcoming three years, informed by insights from a comprehensive Church Vitality survey conducted in April. This survey, with nearly 200 responses, pinpointed three focal points: 1) community - compassion, 2) multicultural diversity - inclusivity, and 3) love - duty. These pillars will guide the Mission's efforts under the overarching theme of "Gratefully Received, Abundantly Shared."

The incoming Executive Committee will develop this framework to guide local churches in effectively implementing the presented strategic anchors at the local level.

Looking Ahead

Pastor Eglan Brooks, President of the British Union Conference, concluded the session with an inspiring address, envisioning a future where the Mission aims for excellence as a church, charity, and corporation. He emphasised the importance of embracing and sharing the profound grace of God with passion and purpose.

As the Scottish Mission of Seventh-day Adventists embarks on its next chapter, the positive atmosphere and shared vision from this triennial session set a hopeful and determined tone. With a clear strategy and dedicated leadership, the Mission is poised to continue its growth and make a meaningful impact in the lives of those it serves.

Photo credit: Weiers Coetser, Joy Banda