General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson led out in a special dedicatory service and official opening of refurbishments at the administrative office of the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia, on May 18, 2022.
Speaking via Zoom, Wilson presented the morning devotional, during which he challenged the SPD team to focus not only on the renewal of the office but also on the renewal of mission.
“What a privilege it is to be with you, to be able to attend this special dedication of the renewal of the office,” Wilson said. “I appeal to all of you who will now work in a renewed setting that you also renew your commitment to the mission of the church.”
Around 170 people — more than half on Zoom — witnessed the online plaque unveiling ceremony and prayer of dedication by Wilson.
The Wilson family has a long history with the South Pacific Division. Wilson’s father opened extensions to the office in 1988, and his grandfather was a former president of the SPD.
The refurbishments include a new entry and reception, light-filled and spacious work areas, contemporary furnishings, new meeting rooms and staff amenities, and an elevator for disability access.
Division Property Trust manager Lorin Bradford said the refurbishment was important for staff wellbeing, as the previous 1980s-style interior was dark and oppressive and not conducive to collaboration and good office communication.
“Previously we had limited, crowded meeting rooms and big offices; now the offices are smaller, and we have 14 meeting rooms,” he said.
“We’ve also ensured that the building is much more energy efficient with the installation of LED lighting, lots of big windows to let natural light in, and new air-conditioning replacing an old system with cooling towers,” Bradford said. “We have plans in place for a new solar system. We expect to see savings on our energy bills of 30 percent.
“The renovation has been good for staff morale and good for the environment,” he said.