The two major regions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe announced new and re-elected department officers at the end of regional Mid-Year Meetings on May 24, 2021.
The executive committees of the Trans-European Division (TED), with offices in St. Albans, United Kingdom, and the Inter-European Division, with headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, voted their officers for the 2022-2025 period.
Most of the elections were for department directors and other elected positions. The three main regional officers in each division — president, executive secretary, and treasurer — are not up for election until the General Conference Session scheduled for June 6-11, 2022.
TED voted on two new departmental directors for the regional leadership workforce. The new Stewardship Ministries director is Maureen Rock, and the newly elected Youth Ministries director is Dejan Stojković.
Maureen Rock currently serves as principal of the British Union Conference’s Bible school, the Adventist Discovery Centre (ADC). Her four years there have seen innovation with new and updated courses, an emphasis on online learning, and a development of strong links between the Bible school and the local church. She also comes with a rich business background, working first as a training director and then director of the Milton Keynes Racial Equality Council, and finally director of a consultancy before sensing a strong call to ministry. Rock started in pastoral ministry in 2010 and then joined the ADC in 2017. According to church leaders, this rich wealth of experience gives her a good background to serve as TED stewardship director.
Dejan Stojković is known to love youth ministry and serves with a strong ability to reach across boundaries, seeing each person as a child of God. Stojković started ministerial life on a church revitalization project in Cornwall, United Kingdom, before serving as a youth pastor at Stanborough Park church. In 2012 he became Teen and Youth ministries director at the South England Conference (SEC) before being voted as British Union Conference youth director in 2017. He has been described as an innovator, a fast thinker, and a deeply spiritual man. His love of gadgets and technology doubled his workload during the COVID-19 pandemic as, among other things, he developed online learning for Pathfinders. His love of media will also be a strong asset as he takes on the role of TED youth director.
Currently serving as Education director, Adventist Mission director, and Field Secretary, Daniel Duda is also well known for his teaching skills and engaging theological discourses. Adjustments mean he will swap Adventist Mission for an emphasis on theological and Bible training. This focus will include pastoral and elders’ education, church members’ Bible training, and mobilization.
Karen Holford is elected for a second term as Family Ministries director, adding Children and Women to her portfolio. With extensive education and experience, Holford is a practicing family therapist and former SEC Family and Children’s Ministries associate director. She is both a networker and a rich provider of resources.
Patrick Johnson is also elected for a second term, caring for Ministerial, Sabbath School, Personal Ministries, and Chaplaincy. A pastor of pastors at heart and in practice, Johnson has worked closely with both Family and Health ministries over the past five years to provide resources and training for pastors, with a particular emphasis on wellbeing. He will also continue his development of the seven competencies for ministers and church elders.
Communication and Media director Victor Hulbert is currently working with reduced capacity for health reasons. Currently, the TED president delegates communication duties as appropriate. The TED officers are keeping the matter under review and will provide a direction based on consultation with the field presidents.
A media think tank to be held in August 2021 and the future appointment of a Media and Online director will help to focus the supportive nature of the department, leaders said.
With work on the strategic framework still developing, the aim is that by November 2021, the appointments of a Health director, a field secretary, a Media and Online director, and a Mission and Evangelism director will be completed.
Until the leadership election at the General Conference Session in June 2022, TED president Raafat Kamal will keep Public Affairs and Religious Liberty and Nenad Jepuranović keeps Trust Services as part of their portfolios. TED executive secretary Audrey Andersson, who has a strong background in publishing, will also serve as Publishing director.
Four associate officers were elected to office for a further term: associate executive secretary Dean Papaioannou; and associate treasurers Giles Barham, Mack Tennyson,andWederly Aguiar.
TED president Raafat Kamal thanked God and everyone involved in developing a new strategic vision for the region and electing new leaders. “I thank the Lord for the team we have worked with over the past six years, both in the office and around our eleven unions and three attached fields,” he said. “And I thank all those who have been involved in the current process through think tanks, consultations with the union presidents and others, and most recently, the work of the nominating committee.” The committee as a whole recognized the service to those who have retired or who are stepping back from their current service.
After a series of online meetings of the EUD Executive Committee, the new and re-elected church officers for the EUD region were voted on May 24, 2021, as follows.
Associate Treasurer, Reto Mayer, confirmed in this position.
Ministerial Association, Adventist Chaplaincy, Leadership Development, Ventislav Panayoptov, current Bulgarian Union President, new in this position.
Ministerial Spouses Association, Varthui Panayotova, new in this position.
Family Ministries, Children’s Sabbath School, and Adventist Possibility Ministries, Rainer Wanitschek, confirmed for Family Ministries, but new in the other two positions.
Communication and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Paulo Sérgio Macedo, current PARL and Education director in Portugal, new in this position.
Education and Spirit of Prophecy, Marius Munteanu, confirmed in the first position, new in the second one.
Health Ministries, Viriato Ferreira, current president of Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine and director of VitaSalus, in Portugal, new in this position.
Publishing Ministries and Planned Giving and Trust Services, Norbert Zens, confirmed in second position, new in the first one.
Sabbath School and Personal Ministries (SSPM) and Advent Mission (AM), Florian Ristea, current SSPM and AM in Romania, new in this position.
Women’s Ministries, Dagmar Dorn, confirmed in this position.
Youth Ministries, Jonatan Tejel, confirmed in this position.
Stewardship, to be determined.
Ethnic Group coordinator, to be determined.
EUD president Mario Brito thanked those concluding their service for the church at the regional headquarters, including Paolo Benini, Ioan Campian, Corrado and Elsa Cozzi, Valérie Dufour, Liviu Olteanu, and Elvira Wanitscheck.
Brito closed the session with a call to all leaders and members to be united in mission. “Unity is a challenge,” Brito said, “that, humanly speaking, is impossible to achieve. But as we struggle to be united, we grow. I dream that we can grow in understanding each other.” Brito concluded by reminding the Executive Committee that “only if the Holy Spirit abides in our hearts will we be able to work together.”
Victor Hulbert, Corrado Cozzi, and Paulo Macedo contributed to this report.