ABC managers come together to network and learn

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Worship time at the ABC managers' meetings, held at JumBunna Lodge in Yarra Valley, Victoria.

Adventist Book Centre managers from all over the Pacific came together in Victoria’s Yarra Valley for a weekend of sales and marketing training and fellowship.

While their bookshops may have very different locations—from Wewak in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea to Auckland, New Zealand—the passion that drives them to sell Adventist books is about more than just sales and marketing. They know their products can change lives.

“A key aspect of the weekend was to bring Adventist Book Centre managers together from a diverse range of cultures, to be united in the vision of using Adventist literature to make a positive impact on people in their community,” said Tim McTernan, Adventist Media’s marketing and sales manager. “It was a great opportunity to encourage one another in this important work and to thank God for His blessings in this ministry.”

Accreditation awarded for the Solomon Islands ABC shops.

The weekend kicked off with the launch of Living 28, the new book from Adventist Record. On Sabbath morning, the managers travelled down to Melbourne to help out with the service at North Fitzroy church, one of the first Adventist churches in the South Pacific Division and a place that Ellen White preached when she was living in Australia.

A number of the group were involved in the service—the Pacific managers sang a beautiful special item; Signs of the Times magazine editor Kent Kingston facilitated the Sabbath School lesson; Signs Publishing book editor Nathan Brown introduced the group; and Adventist Record editor Jarrod Stackelroth preached on the character of God.

After the service and fellowship lunch, the group took an Adventist heritage walk around the area. The group also took opportunities throughout the weekend to do some sightseeing and shopping in Melbourne.

Sunday was filled with presentations of new products from Signs and the Pacific Press representative who attended, Doug Church. Mr Church also shared trends he saw in the publishing industry in North America and some of the unique methods that some American ABCs were trying.

Mr Stackelroth also ran a writing workshop with the group so they can share stories of the exciting things that are happening in their ministry areas.

The training in different areas of expertise continued with the group until Wednesday. Monday was a highlight for Signs staff and ABC managers, as the annual kilo sale took place in the Signs Warehouse, with the managers filling up pallets with some of the written-off stock that they are charged by weight to sell in their shops.

Max Lassah, Central Papua Conference CFO carrying a box of books during the “kilo sale”.

“The conference provided a unique opportunity to acknowledge the work of Adventist Book Centre managers from around the South Pacific Division,” said Mr McTernan. “Training sessions were designed to support the stores’ work in reaching out to their communities with life-changing literature. The chance to worship and fellowship together was also a real highlight.”

The representatives from ABC stores in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will all return home with books to sell and encouragement from spending time with others who work in similar contexts.

Dr Peter Roennfeldt, author of new book Following the Apostles’ Vision, also led some worships for attendees.