Adventists Launch “Mission to Cities”
in South England Conference
Area, which includes London, is targeted for growth (Posted February 14, 2013)
BY KIRSTEN ØSTER-LUNDQVIST, SEC communication director, reporting from Watford, Hertfordshire, England
e need to mingle with people who don’t look like us,” declared Ian Sweeney, British Union Conference president.
His straightforward message reached the 800 people who had found their way to the South England Conference (SEC) Evangelism Expo at Newbold College on January 13, 2013.
The focus of the day, and what drew leaders from the Trans-European Division (TED) office, was the launch of “Mission to the Cities,” an initiative originating from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. London will be the TED city of focus for mission in October 2013.
GO AND TELL: Pastor Samuel Davis, South England Conference president, exhorts members at the recent Evangelism Expo. [PHOTO: SEC]
This evangelistic program is a combined effort of the division, union, and the conference, but rooted in the local community. With plans being made for a variety of evangelism initiatives across London, Janos Kovacs-Biro, TED evangelism director, presented the initiative and was thrilled to see members getting excited and their willingness to participate in Mission to the Cities. Recognizing this was the launch of the initiative, and for many the first they had heard about it, Janos expressed that members would need more training. It is expected that local churches will crystallize the program and make it practical for local communities.
The day was packed with an impressive diversity of workshops and presentations aimed at motivating church members to become involved in evangelism and sharing God. Pastoral intern Anthony Fuller found it refreshing to see and learn from ministries such as the Watering Hole in the Southampton area, pastored by Rosemary Lethbridge.
Sam Ouadjo, a pastor who recently moved to Holloway, had arranged bus transportation for his former congregations in Ipswich and Colchester as he recognized the importance of his members, and especially newly elected leaders in the churches, catching the vision of taking the gospel to London.
Maureen Rock, a pastor of both the Hanworth and Hounslow churches, was thrilled to see her members catching the vision for Mission to the Cities. Mani Cudjoe from Reading found the expo an eye-opening experience, both in how passionate people were about evangelism and also about the opportunities available to share the gospel.
Simon Martin, who pastors, and is planting a church, in the Luton area, set the bar high with his morning sermon, recognizing that “God may be missing in our culture today, but we are to make Him known.” He emphasized, “We make God known when we move out of our comfort zones.” Martin challenged the congregation with his sermon, and throughout the day you could hear the challenge become a consistently repeated catchphrase: “We need to make God known.”