Adventist Members Gather, Celebrate in Orlando
verybody in the world is coming out of the closet – except us,” said Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Walter L. Pearson, Jr., director and speaker for Breath of Life Television Ministries and a general field secretary for the North American Division, in a provocative challenge to the more than 700 Seventh-day Adventist lay members who registered for the second “Festival of the Laity” event held September 26-29 in Orlando, Florida.
Pearson’s declaration came as part of a call for Adventists to “be more bold” in proclaiming the Gospel message, noting that various segments of society are “up front” about their agendas and goals. He said Adventists have a good story to tell, and should share it.
That theme of sharing with others was a central element of the event, a successor to a 2002 session that also aimed at getting church members active in their communities.
“Our purpose is to convene a training, motivational and networking celebration and opportunity for people who are serious about using their spiritual gifts in ministry, in cooperation with the Lord’s agenda,” said J. Alfred Johnson II, adult ministries director for the church’s North American Division.
He said the event’s goal was to “expose members to the dual offerings of the Holy Ghost to us. The fruits of the Spirit are not all [there is]; the balance is the baptism of the Holy Spirit on us for the capacity for ministry that builds up the church.”
That theme of building up the church was evident in three days of workshops and presentations on various forms of lay ministry. José Vicente Rojas, volunteer ministries director for the North American church, reminded audiences that it was not only pastors who were going to “finish the work,” noting, “there aren’t enough of them.” He said the onus was on church members to pitch in and assist, a theme echoed by other speakers at the event.
“Who is standing in front of you? They’re your opportunity for witness. Don’t let them go,” urged Sabbath evening speaker Diane Halverson.
One participant said the event had an impact: “I will definitely try to do the best I can to let others know [that] salvation is free, it is offered to everyone,” said Luther Hinds of Ellenwood, Georgia.
Johnson said the event will reconvene in August 2008 at the Southwest Union’s training session in Dallas, Texas. More information can be found at www.nadadultministries.org, he said.
--Mark A. Kellner/AR
Oakwood College announces a specially called constituency meeting for 1 p.m. Sunday, December 2, 2007, on its campus in the business and technology auditorium for a one item agenda, namely, to consider the recommended institutional name change. Call the office of the provost at (256) 726-8399 for further information.