Celtic Connections

Christ for Europe activities and initiatives have also reached the Irish Mission.

Irish Mission, Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review
Celtic Connections
A group of Newmarket-on-Fergus and Limerick members share tracts in downtown Limerick. [Photo: Irish Mission]

The Trans-European Division (TED) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been putting out a series of reports about the Christ for Europe missionary initiative. Here’s a brief description of multiple evangelistic and outreach activities that have taken place across the church’s Irish Mission (IM) in 2023.

Injecting new life into the missional spirit of pastors and church members across the IM, evangelistic and outreach events took place in eight locations across Ireland under the theme “Reflecting Hope.” From Cork, Ennis, Limerick, and Tralee in the west and southwest to Baltinglass, Drogheda, Dublin, and Portlaoise in the east, the focus of these events was to build relational bridges with the community.

The meetings in the southwest of Ireland were led by a team from the Central California Conference, United States. In Ennis, the county town of Clare, Norwegian pastor and evangelist Daniel Pel presented the seminar “Religion — What Went Wrong?” Both members and community guests wish for the seminars and talks to be regularly repeated, because during this current initiative, eight people committed their lives to God through baptism.

Over in Dublin and eastern locations, the focus of the outreach events centered on family matters, with seminars led by Jeffrey Brown, associate ministerial secretary for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and a family specialist, and Karen Holford, TED family ministries director and a family therapist.

Other initiatives are planned for the autumn in Northern Ireland with Shawn Boonstra, director and speaker of the Voice of Prophecy ministry. Plans are underway for an evangelistic series in Belfast.

Impact Limerick, Cork, and Tralee

From April 15 to 22, a team of six people from the United States joined local pastors in the west and southwest of Ireland to support the mission of their church communities through public meetings, health expos, and literature distribution.

On Sunday, April 16, in the heart of Limerick, Adventist members from multiple churches in the west of Ireland came together to distribute books on health and hope. Along with books such as The Power of Hope, Health, and Wellness, they distributed invitations for a series of health seminars at the Limerick church focused on mental health and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, in Cork, local church members made themselves visible by distributing flyers for a series of meetings called “Facing the Giants in Your Life.” The series focused on the reality of these metaphorical giants and how they can only be conquered through Christ.

In Tralee, a group also went out on the streets with booklets and flyers for a series focusing on the family. These meetings were a great opportunity to strengthen family relationships and to be a living example of God’s instruments of grace.

When Other Christians Learned About the Sabbath

During the series “Religion — What Went Wrong?” the big surprise was when a group of members from another Christian denomination in the town of Ennis, County Clare, attended the meetings and were moved by the message of the Sabbath. Their local church pastor canceled his church’s program so that they could attend the meetings. In addition, another church leader streamed the seminar to thousands of his social media followers.

When asked how they found out about this seminar, the pastor replied, “We received a Celtic Connection book during the St. Patrick’s parade in Ennis, and then we saw the advert on the front page of the local newspaper by the same group. We knew that through attending these meetings, we would hear the truth.”

“It was such joy to know that the Lord had blessed all the work that we had done,” Daniel Wilson, member of the Newmarket-on-Fergus church and part of the organizing team, said. “Handing out pamphlets and free books months earlier, as well as the local newspaper advertisement, helped it all come together for the Lord to use.”

Family Matters

With the aim of serving the local communities and helping families to experience wholistic relationships, organizers held “Relationships & Family Seminars” in the Greater Dublin area May 20-26. Brown and Holford shared their knowledge and experience with members and visitors alike. A huge blessing to everyone attending the meetings, the presenters made a positive impact on the listeners, participants said.

To round off this teaching ministry week, three young people (Richard, August, and Michael) made their decision to follow Jesus and have been baptised.

Instagram Talks for Youth

Adventist Youth Ireland has introduced an Instagram live Christian podcast, hosted by youth sponsor Jefferson Melki, featuring Holford and Brown. The podcast focuses on the significance of a healthy multi-ethnic church and addresses the health of young people in a multi-ethnic community.

Reflecting on her experience, Holford commented, “We experienced the tangible power of God in every meeting, and I enjoyed the one-to-one conversations after the presentations. We expanded people’s perceptions and experiences of God’s love or helped them to find new and inspiring ways to think about their relationships.”

Mobile/Cell Phone Evangelism

The Mobile/Cell Phone Evangelism project is an initiative developed by Adventist World Radio (AWR) and is also part of the Reflecting Hopeinitiative. Introduced to the IM by Gideon Pelser, a special training took place in Belfast and Dublin and then was introduced to the members of Cork and Tralee. Each of these locations has its own local project emphasis with a campaign team.

Cell phone evangelists work directly on the Digital Missionary app, which they use to contact members of the public who send in prayer requests. They can share the gospel with others and pray for people. Through the app, people feel listened to and are open to learning more about God’s Word.

Commenting on the IM report, Catherine Anthony Boldeau, British Union Conference Reflecting Hope coordinator, said it is a reason to be grateful. “We praise God for the outreach and evangelistic initiatives in the Irish Mission over the last few months to fulfill the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through this unique initiative,” she said.

Deborah Lessa contributed to this report.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.

Irish Mission, Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review