Better connections sought between ministries

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Dr Branimir Schubert organised the Connect Conference.

Educators, health administrators and Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders were among approximately 80 people who gathered for a day of worship, prayer and discussion at the inaugural Adventist HealthCare Connect Conference.

Held at the Clinical Education Centre at the Sydney Adventist Hospital on May 20, the aim was to bring together the Church’s preaching, teaching and healing ministries to see how they can better work together to further the mission of the Church.

Organiser Dr Branimir Schubert, director of Mission and Culture at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, said the three ministries have tended to operate “in their own little silos” and the conference was all about generating discussion and ideas to create better connections into the future.

“We are all in one mission, just doing different things to fulfil it,” he said. “We want to maximise understanding between all the entities of the role they play in preaching, teaching and healing.”

Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, Avondale College of Higher Education, the South Pacific Division and the Sydney Conference were among the Church entities represented.

"We are all in one mission, just doing different things to fulfil it."

Guest speaker was former US presidential Honor Guard Dr Terry Johnsson.

“Although we did have specific presentations there was also quite a bit of open conversation about what we do, how we do it and what can be done better,” Dr Schubert said.

“It was really a testing of the waters to see whether there is a desire to have something more regular in this space.”

Following plenty of positive feedback, planning is now underway to make the conference an annual event.

“We can do so much more when we are connected in vision, strategy and relationships,” one attendee commented. “Every person and institution needs to grow in some way . . . none of us have arrived. Best practices call for shared values, vision, strategy and action.”