Baltic Church Elders’ Conference “Inspired for ministry”

From 26 to 28 April, a conference for church elders, organised by the Baltic Union, was held at the Jūrmala Spa Hotel in Jurmala. It was attended by about one hundred church elders and their spouses from all three Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Thanks to the newly acquired possibility for all translators to translate on the Zoom platform, it was possible to listen to the conference in five languages – English, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian and Russian. This was a great advantage in such a multilingual environment – without wasting time on translation, everyone could hear the information presented in their own language straight away.

At the beginning of the conference, on Friday evening, the President of the Baltic Union, Ivo Käsk, and the Coordinator of the Ministerial Association Department of the Baltic Union, Tālivaldis Vilnis, who was also one of the main organisers of the conference, gave greetings.

The welcome was followed by the conference’s introductory presentation, “A Model of Empowering Leadership”, given by guest speaker Dan Serb, president of the Adventist Church’s Irish Mission, which covers both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In short, he introduced himself to those present. It turned out that brother Serb is of Romanian nationality, served as a pastor in South Africa for some twenty years, did missionary work in the Amazon jungle, and now serves, as he put it, “in very secular Ireland”.

Conference participants were able to enjoy the rich and valuable information, as well as participate in group discussions, as they listened to brother Serb’s presentations on “Leading with Vision”, “Leading with Focus”, “Leading with Integrity” and “Leading with Purpose”. These presentations were filled not only with a deep and serious insight into the nature of ministry, but also with fascinating and memorable stories of his personal experiences.

No less important were three presentations by Julian Kastrati, a second guest speaker, Secretary of the Ministerial Association from the North England Conference, on the formation of sermons – “Sermon: Preparation, choosing a theme, gathering and using materials”; “Sermon: Choosing and interpreting a text, organising a sermon” and “Sermon: Introduction and conclusion, delivery”.

During these three days, the conference participants were able to enjoy healthy and tasty meals in the hotel restaurant, moments of relaxation in the bathhouse and pool, and exciting reunions with long-lost friends and colleagues. Each day, the conference participants were also able to enjoy a wonderful view – as the conference room was on the 11th floor, you could see the pine trees and the sea in the distance through the hotel’s panoramic windows and feel a little closer to the sky. Most importantly, this conference allowed us to rise spiritually as we draw closer to God and to the goals we must all achieve together!


Vineta Krauliņa

Elder in the Central Church in Riga and Coordinator of the Communication Department of the Baltic Union