, British Union Conference
Pleasant words may be as sweet as honey, but a Lithuanian church in London mixed the two together to make the day of the 40 employees who run the local conference office.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s South England Conference received a big surprise when the Lithuanian church plant in east London not only sent a heartfelt letter of gratitude for its support, but also a jar of organic honey from Lithuania for each of the staff members.
"We would like to encourage you to never doubt the importance of the work you do," the letter said. "It is greatly important, significant and essential. But for you this church would not exist today, and many of us would not have the opportunity to meet Jesus."
A feeling of appreciation was buzzing around the office when the letter and golden honey arrived on a recent day at the building in Watford, a town located 17 miles (27 kilometers) northwest of central London.
"It was very kind of the church; what a wonderful thing to do," said a smiling Valerie Pearce, sitting at her reception desk. "I've never known a church to do something like this."
Kirk Thomas, personal ministries and Sabbath school director, said that he had never seen such a gesture of gratitude in his 20 years of service.
"It was really surprising and exhilarating to see that a church would actually do this, and it was phenomenal to see such a gesture to so many people," Thomas said.
He added that the gesture was an inspiration for the work that he and others do.
"It also gave me hope that the gratitude of our members for what God has done is not lost and that the service we as a conference are providing is appreciated," he said.
The Lithuanian Simple church was started three years ago by two brothers, Dainius and Aurimas Jankus, along with their families.
"It is through their diligent missional work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that they added five more through baptism,” said Aristotle Vontzalidis, church growth and evangelistic director for the South England Conference. “The group continues to grow.”
Today, 25 to 30 people, of whom about a third are non-Adventist, gather every Sabbath for fellowship, a meal, and to read the Bible, pray and share. The church is also active in charitable work.
Each jar of honey delivered to the conference office carried a piece of paper that pointed to God: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103, NKJV).
But the gift also gave recipients a real-life reminder of the wisdom of Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Closing the letter to the conference staff, the Lithuanian church wrote: "Every time you take a spoon of this honey, remember you are important to God and to us."
British Union Conference, November 13, 2014: “Gratitude 'Buzz' at SEC Office”