May 6, 2009

12CN: Inter-America: Church Cancels Its Mid-Year Executive Committee Meetings

Inter-America: Church Cancels its Midyear Executive Committee Meetings

BY LIBNA STEVENS, News Coordinator, Inter-American Division
capSeventh-day Adventist Church leaders at the Inter-American Division (IAD) have canceled midyear executive committee meetings that had been scheduled for May, in response to the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, or swine flu. There are now confirmed cases of the virus in four countries in the IAD territory, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
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MEETINGS CANCELED -- Midyear meeting due to be held at the Miami, Florida, USA, headquarters of the Inter-American Division have been canceled, the church announced May 4. Instead, video conferences and telephone conference calls will take their place, said Israel Leito, division president. [Photo: IAD]

"Due to the uncertainty of the present health challenge the world faces, especially in some of our countries, the division administration has decided to cancel all meetings scheduled at the time of our midyear meetings," said Israel Leito, division president.

Pastor Leito said it took administrators quite some time to study the issues and implications of halting the church business meetings before making the decision. The end-of-the-year executive committee meetings remained scheduled to take place in late October. Church officials also postponed a division-wide teacher’s congress set to be held in Cancun, Mexico, later this month. The congress has been tentatively rescheduled for September 6-10, 2009.
As far as church business that must be dealt with, Pastor Leito said that several video conferences with regional, or union, church administrators are planned to take place during the next few weeks.
Confirmed cases of this flu, a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses, presently numbers 1,085 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection in 21 nations, according to the WHO.
Mexico’s four major church regions canceled their services last week and through the weekend. Adventist schools and universities in Mexico remain closed following the federal government’s mandate to shut down large gatherings and all public and private schools through May 6.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America has more than 3.2 million members throughout the 33 countries and dozens of islands from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, and the French-Antilles Guiana territory.
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