5th October 2017

On Sabbath 9 September 2017, Dundee Seventh-day Adventist church hosted the Scottish Mission Family Ministries Day, which was attended by church families across the Mission. Throughout the day the British Union Conference Families and Children Ministries director, Pastor Les Ackie assisted by his wife Irma delivered and led the discussion on 'Healthy Relationships are Intertwined with Conflicts'. The programme started off with congregational singing that was led by Eddie Mwiinga, with Victor Igwe and Lynn Retallick playing the piano. The congregation was also inspired by special music from the group Testify, and David Sonder and Victor Igwe.

Les and Irma covered a wide range of relationships including couples, parent and child, and church family relationships. As part of their presentation, they shared the truth that where there is more than one person in any relationship, there will be some form of conflict. It was stressed that conflict mainly arises from personality clashes, which may be associated with the society norms we were brought up in, or some significant past event that left a mark in one's life. These sources of conflict present a challenge and it takes some spiritual maturity to embrace that conflict and deal with every situation in a godly manner.

The congregation was encouraged to learn and develop the ability to say sorry, and to forgive each other. The discussion about forgiveness, stirred up some debate about who benefits from it and who should initiate it. This was a tricky subject to untangle, but it became clear that the one who feels strongly about whatever has happened should initiate the process, because the other person may not be aware unless someone showed them. Les and Irma emphasised that forgiveness benefits the one who forgives as the one who is forgiven, "…forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" according to Matthew 6:12. They added that one must always remember that the Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" in Romans 3:23. However, Les and Irma warned against spiritual abuse, where some may use prayer to force submission. They encouraged respect and a timely 'talk' between those involved so that wrongs can be made right.




[Tarzan Bhebhe]


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