It's been a few months since the Irish Mission Session, and I feel that an up-to-date report is due as a means of assessment, transparency, accountability on one hand and praise and prayerfulness on the other. I keep reminding myself that the work we are involved in and committed to is not mere business, to be evaluated with numbers, pie charts, and projections; it is part of God's church, of His Kingdom on Earth, a ministry with a prophetic destiny. However, taking stock is part of ensuring that our vision remains alive, our commitment is not misplaced, and our dependence on God fuels all that we do.
These are times of uncertainty and accentuated paranoia. Our world is destabilised while being swept by the yet-to-be-called a pandemic Coronavirus. People are stocking up on provisions, suspending their travel, and staying glued to the Internet for updates on the situation. This is why it is most important now to remind ourselves of that which should define our existence – our faith; and this is not the kind of faith that wishes for the best, but the relational kind which allows God to be God and trusts that His wisdom, love, and protection are sufficient for us always. Within this context, this short report is meant to be a source of encouragement as it looks at the way the Lord has led us thus far while keeping us focused on that which He puts before us.
Thanksgiving and praise
Let’s deal with the numbers first: in the last while, the Irish Mission met a number of landmarks, one of them being that it surpassed the 1,000 membership milestone. Also, we have been blessed by the Lord’s continued providing and the faithfulness of our members, and closed 2019 with a cumulative 4.2% increase in tithe returns (compared to 2018).
Another reason for praise is that on 16 January our solicitors informed us that the Charity Regulator has given the go ahead on re-registering the charity. This has been a strenuous process which lasted more than three and a half years. Pr. Jacques Venter completed the online application on 26 February and we are optimistic that the process will be finalised within a matter of days or weeks.
There are many other reasons for thanksgiving and praise, many which we probably take for granted from day to day. May each one of us take an inventory of His blessings and time to express our gratitude to Him daily.
Irish Mission Youth Pastor/Director
The Irish Mission is experiencing and enjoying the blessings of growth. Due to the demand this is placing on our leadership needs, the Mission is seeking to employ a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor who will join our dynamic pastoral team to serve as the Youth Pastor for the youth of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Irish Mission Youth Pastor (IMYP) will serve as a leader/mentor in young people’s spiritual development, and as an advocate for young people. The IMYP will coordinate the activities of the Irish Mission (IM) Youth Department in consultation with the local Church Youth leaders within the mission.
The IMY Pastor will also work in collaboration with the sponsors of the IM of other interrelated ministries such as Family Ministries, Public Campus Ministries, Pathfinder/Adventurer, Women and Men Ministries to ensure that young people will receive holistic support in their spiritual development.
For more information on this opportunity, please visit https://adventist.ie/who-we-are/jobs/job/go/-/irish-mission-youth-pastor/.
Also, as a token of our commitment to youth ministries and in order to facilitate opportunities for youth across the Mission to meet, we’ve purchased a 9-seater minibus which will currently be located in Northern Ireland and transport young people to and from various meetings and youth events.
2nd building in Dublin
This is another long-term project the Mission has been busy with for some time. As reported at the Session, the Administration and Executive Committee have identified a piece of land in Dublin 15 and we are currently part of a unique project that will see a number of churches and religious communities be assigned land to build places of worship and community outreach facilities. The latest news we have is that on 27 February the agent leading the project and the contracted architects have met with the Fingal Council Planning Department in order to effectively launch the project. Within a week, a masterplan layout of land assignment will be communicated to all parties involved. It is our desire to build facilities which would accommodate a 400-500 capacity sanctuary, 100-120 capacity youth centre, Irish Mission office space, and a Centre of Influence. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s leading in this vitally important initiative for the future of our Church.
This is the main 2020 Mission-wide initiative which seeks to communicate the heart of the Gospel, which is found in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19: “All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation”. Through the Forgiveness Project, each church is encouraged to seek and build peace-affirming relationships within and outside the church. This need has been affirmed by the latest statistics which suggest that over 70% of people leaving our churches do so due to unresolved conflict. Herewith below is a first draft of the Forgiveness Project layout to be discussed at the next Irish Mission pastoral team’s meeting on 19 March:
The Forgiveness Project 2020 Outline (Draft)
Irish Mission of Seventh-day Adventist Church
(Dates and specifics to be confirmed at the next IM workers’ meeting on 19 March.)
- Each participating church to focus on reconciliation-driven visitation and sermons.
- Publish list of Irish Mission qualified mediators – churches could make use of their services where mediation may be needed.
- Join the Centre for Conflict Resolution (La Sierra University) in the launching of the advanced mediation training seminar entitled “Apology and Forgiveness for Mediators”. The course will be a five-hour webinar broadcast from La Sierra University with world renowned speaker Peter Robinson of the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine University. Date: 28 May. (Proposed) Venue: Ranelagh Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dublin. Time: 3-8pm. On-location moderator: Dr. J-R Curtin. Participants: IM mediators, but open to any other interested people.
- Study the book and book guide: Forgive to Live. How Forgiveness Can Save Your Life by Dick Tibbits (AdventHelath Press to provide books at a discounted price) – small groups and church afternoon services.
- Make the Forgive to Live presentations available to the community: invite friends to the studies, offer it as a programme in schools, community centres, religious forums, etc.
- Open churches for the Forgiveness Project (rent displays from England - £400/each, see attachment); TED-like talks on Forgiveness (speakers to be identified) – Date:
- Assign a Forgiveness Sabbath with Communion services across the Mission. Date:
- Partner with 4Civility in cross-border programmes as part of The Peace Initiative. TBC
- Organise a Forgiveness Retreat (possible venue: Corrymeela, Northern Ireland). TBC
Other IM important dates:
Irish Mission Bible Workers’ orientation meeting: 15 March
Irish Mission Day of Fellowship: 12 September
Loma Linda University CRM trainers’ training: 10-12 November
For more information on upcoming events please check the calendar of events at https://adventist.ie/events/calendar-of-events/.
A summary of all Executive Committee meetings minutes is emailed to all elders within the Mission. If you are an elder and are not receiving this information, please contact Marci Neal at email@example.com to be added to the list.
Thank you all for your continued support and faithfulness to God’s work on this island.
Yours in His service,