May 27, 2020

#weRtheCHURCH Sabbath Unites Adventists Across the South Pacific

Tracey Bridcutt, Adventist Record 

A special Sabbath event has united thousands of Adventists from around the South Pacific Division (SPD) as never before.

The #weRtheCHURCH division-wide Sabbath connected church members in a special way at a time when many churches are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was the first of its kind in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific. Hosted by SPD president Glenn Townend and Children’s Ministries leader Litiana Turner, it began on Friday evening, May 22, 2020, with a fellowship program. It continued on Sabbath with a morning family program and an afternoon mission program.

Among the many highlights were the inspiring reports and stories from around the region, showcasing how mission is continuing in new and creative ways despite the challenges of COVID-19. It was an opportunity to find out what is happening in other parts of the division while also enjoying beautiful worship music, encouraging devotionals, creative children's stories, and much more.

The programs, put together by the team at Adventist Media, were streamed across four time zones on three platforms — web, YouTube, and Facebook. The “chat” functions on these platforms enabled members to interact with each other while watching the programs. Many people left comments expressing gratitude for the opportunity to connect with other members and for the uplifting stories.

As Peter and Jan wrote, “Sorry to see this whole program end. How inspiring today has been. Thank you for the messages, stories, and beautiful music. We have truly been blessed.”

The programs were also aired on Hope Channel Fiji.

#weRtheCHURCH reinforced the importance of collaboration, and that despite our different cultures and languages, we are all united with the same mission.

SamLynne wrote, “Praise the Lord for His Church. There is power in unity. United we stand.”

Townend said he has received many messages of appreciation from those who participated in the #weRtheCHURCH Sabbath.

“It was wonderful to see the church come together in worship and praise and to share some of the ways in which we are making a positive impact in our communities during this time of crisis. The church and its ministry — through us as people — is alive,” Townend said.

“I have been inundated with text messages, phone calls, and emails from people saying how much they were blessed and inspired to be more active by the programs. I pray that this initiative is a source of inspiration and encouragement for our members as we continue to become a thriving Adventist disciple-making movement.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist Record.