19th January 2017

A historic service of consecration was held at the Camp Hill Seventh-day Adventist church in Birmingham. The service was 'historic' in that it was the first of its kind. This was a service of thanks and dedication for the newly appointed directors, sponsors, and workers of the North England Conference (NEC). The service was filled with pastors, friends, and family and those who were curious on what a 'consecration service' entailed.

In his sermon, British Union Conference President Pastor Ian Sweeney started his sermon by asking who the world's greatest athlete is. He went on to say that despite how fast Usain Bolt is, nothing beats the effectiveness of a team. He then went on to explain the mechanics unspecified99of the relay race and how four Jamaican runners were faster than the South African record holder of the 400-metre race. On average the Jamaican relay team are each faster than Usain Bolt's world record. When people run and hand over the baton they run better and quicker. Even for those who were not sports enthusiasts the message was clear. The survival and the success of Adventism with the North England Conference rests on working together as a unit. It is all about teamwork.

NEC President Pastor Richard Jackson further reiterated the sentiments by saying "We call for the Church to rise morally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. People on a mission must never settle for mediocrity as our God of Missions will continue to open doors for us. We should adopt a business-like attitude as missionaries and cut loose of idlers, avoid distraction and put an end to self."

He reminded the congregation that "The last four years had its fair share of success, achievements and challenges. unspecified999We are able to look back and praise our Father in heaven for His mercies, for we saw tangible evidence that 'The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge' (Psalm 46:7). We look forward with confidence that the same God who was with us in our challenges is still with us and He is still able to pilot us through the challenges that this new Quadrennium will bring."

It is a new day in the North England Conference. In the words of Pastor Sweeney in his charge to the directors and sponsors "Christ has called you as leaders to run this leg of meeting our purpose for sharing the everlasting gospel across our territory, run well, run fast, run hard, run noting that the baton you hold needs to be handed on because God recognises that no one runner can run as effectively as a team. May God bless the North England Conference as it unitedly runs to meet its mission, goal and purpose."

[Lungani Sibanda]


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