Following the General Conference session for the world church in Atlanta in June, 114 church members from across the South Pacific travelled to Wahroonga, NSW, to complete the work of appointments for the South Pacific.
Church leaders, employees and lay members from Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and 9 other South Pacific countries met as the church’s new Executive Committee for three days. They voted on management, business, and ministry plans for the next 5 years.
According to Division president, Dr Barry Oliver, the Church’s mission statement is best summarised in the single word “discipleship”
Forty members of the committee are new, four of them being younger than 30: Kara Dale (Newcastle), Clansi Rogers (Canberra), Natasha Matoto (Tonga) and Desmond Yaninen (Port Moresby, PNG).
DEPARTMENTAL RESTRUCTURE & APPOINTMENTS
A new initiative announced at the meetings means seven departments will be grouped into two clusters:
- the new Church & Community Ministries Cluster includes ADRA, Adventist Health and Global Mission with three full time directors and associates;
- the new Church & Life Ministries cluster with five full time directors and associates, includes Family Ministries, Women’s Ministries, Children’s Ministries and Youth Ministries.
As in the past, the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department will continue with a liaison person between the General Conference and the four Unions within the South Pacific. And now, in addition, the Ministerial, Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, and Stewardship departments will also have a liaison role.. Three other departments will continue to operate as before: Education, Publishing and Field Secretary (theology).
New positions appointed at the session included Dr Malcolm Coulson (Adventist Education), who is still to confirm his acceptance of the invitation, Dr David Tasker (Field Secretary & Ministerial liaison), Dr Branimir Schubert (Leadership and Professional Development), Danijela Schubert (Assistant to the President), Pr Joseph Talipuan (PNGUM President), Pr Leigh Rice (PNGUM General Secretary), and Francois Keet (TPUM Chief Financial Officer).
Pr Joseph Talipuan (Papua New Guinea Union Mission President)
COMMITTEE MEMBERS CHALLENGED
According to Division president, Dr Barry Oliver, the Church’s mission statement is best summarised in the single word “discipleship”. He said that in Matthew 28: 20, Jesus’ command to “make disciples” is an imperative. He added, “The other three verbs “go”, “baptise” and “teach” are participles. They are important, but secondary to Jesus’ core commission for us to make disciples.”
General Secretary Lawrence Tanabose told committee members that while there are 420,844 baptised members across the South Pacific, on any given Sabbath, there are probably more than a million people attending church. There is one Seventh-day Adventist church member for every 86 people living in the region.
However, in some places like Papua New Guinea, where there is dramatic growth, a large number of people are leaving the church as well. From a high number of 5000 in 2006, there are still 3000 people per year who stop attending. Committee members stated that nurture and proper places for worship will help.
Pr Waisea Vuniwa (Trans Pacific Union Mission President)
Chief Financial Officer Rodney Brady reported that following many years of tithe increase, the increase has slowed in the past 12 months. Nevertheless, the total tithe being received every year is heading towards AU$100 million. On average, Australian and New Zealand members contribute about $1,000 of tithe per baptised member each year.
Highlights from the various entities included:
- Sanitarium has 42% of New Zealand’s cereal market well ahead of Kelloggs who have 25% of the market;
- Sanitarium makes 700 million Weet-bix biscuits in Australia every year making it the number one breakfast cereal;
- Adventist Media expects to receive 20,000 requests for Bible studies through its various ministries in 2011;
- The number of baptisms resulting from people studying courses through Adventist Media make up about 10% of the Church’s growth in Australia and New Zealand;
- Enrolments over the last 5 years at Avondale College have increased by 40% to 1300 students;
- 22 students are currently enrolled at Avondale in the new doctoral program and 14 are completing research masters’ degrees;
- Avondale College is looking towards full university status by 2016 and university college status before that;
- Avondale’s mission is to be the preferred Christian private university in Australia;
- The relocation of Fulton College to Sabeto, near Nadi, Fiji, has received the largest financial contribution by the world church of any 13th Sabbath offering project;
- 20 hectares of farmland on the new Fulton College site has been established and planted, making it the largest farm on the western side of the Fijian main island of Viti Levu;
- revenue at the Sydney Adventist Hospital has increased by 40.8% over the last 5 years;
- According to a Press Ganey Survey, Sydney Adventist Hospital has the highest inpatient satisfaction rating of all other 300+ bed hospitals in Australia;
- In the 2010 feedback survey, the church’s own health fund—ACA Health— received an 88.5% satisfaction result from its Customer Survey feedback;
- Pastor Ray Coombe waspresented with a citation for 43 years of service to the church. Ray will continue in retirement as the voluntary director of Global Mission.
Church & Community Ministries: (4)
ADRA Director: Greg Young
PM/SS/Stewardship Liaison: Pr Kevin Price
Adventist Health Director: Pr Kevin Price
Adventist Health Associate: Dr Chester Kuma
Global Mission (volunteer): Pr Ray Coombe
Church & Life Ministries: (5)
Family Ministries Director: Pr Trafford Fischer
Women’s Ministries Director: Erna Johnson
Children’s Ministries Director: Julie Weslake
Youth Ministries Director: Pr Nick Kross
Youth/Children’s Ministries Associate: Litiana Turner
Adventist Education: Dr Malcolm Coulson
Adventist Education Associate: Ken Weslake
Field Secretary: Dr David Tasker
Ministerial Secretary Liaison: Dr David Tasker
Publishing Director: John Brereton
Publishing Associate: Tony Wall
Vice Chancellor PAU: Ben Thomas
CEO, Sydney Adventist Hospital: Dr Leon Clark
Deputy CEO, Sydney Adventist Hospital: Phil Currie
CEO, Adventist Media Network: Neale Schofield
Director, Health Food Department: Kevin Jackson
Manager, Risk Management Services: Steve Andrews
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Liaison: Dr Brad Kemp
Corporate Services Secretary: Ron Herbert
Assistant to the President: Danijela Schubert
People Services: (3)
General Manager: David Potter
Leadership & Professional Development: Dr Branimir Schubert
Union Mission Officers:
PNGUM President: Pr Joseph Talipuan
PNGUM General Secretary: Pr Leigh Rice
PNGUM Undersecretary: Pr Blasius Managos
PNGUM CFO: Solomon Agdon
PNGUM Undertreasurer: Joshua Wambillie
PNGUM Associate CFO: Rex Rosas
PNGUM Associate CFO: Praveen Saggurthi
PNGUM Associate CFO: Riches Christian
PNGUM Associate CFO: Vic Bonetti
TPUM President: Pr Waisea Vuniwa
TPUM General Secretary: Pr Paul Cavanagh
TPUM CFO: Francois Keet
TPUM Associate CFO: Matthew Brown
TPUM Associate CFO: Mac de Mesa