Riga, Latvia. December, 2005.
16 members of the BAUC Executive Committee and Douglas Clayville, Associate Secretary of the GC, and Don McFarlane, TED Field Secretary, met in Riga in BAUC winter meeting. Members of the Executive Committee listened and accepted BAUC president’s, Conference and Mission Field president’s reports, BAUC secretary’s and treasurer’s reports. Executive Committee also accepted budget project for the next year.
Andrejs Āriņš, secretary: during this year 194 new believers joined our Church, and 183 members were taken off the church membership list, thus church membership has grown by 11 church members, and on September 30 there were 6,652 Adventists in the Baltic countries.
Zigurds Laudurgs, treasurer: Tithe has increased by 24.05%. Finally there is possibility to raise salaries for the ministers in Latvia and BAUC to compensate extremely high inflation rate in Latvia during this year.
Andrejs Āriņš, Global Mission co-ordinator: We’ve had 19 evangelism projects in 18 cities and towns during this year in the Baltic countries. Because funds for these projects haven’t increased and expenses have grown, we plan to have 15 projects next year.
Guntis Bukalders, Communication department: We have translated subtitles for 10 LIFEdevelopment.info programs on DVDs (in all three languages), and in co-operation with the TED next year in April we plan to have big LIFEdevelopment.info program presentation seminars in all three countries. We had several news writing training seminars in Latvia.
Ruta Zilgalve, Women and Children ministries: Our department has organised special courses how to prevent violence in the family. Women have organised special prayer and ministry days three times during this year. Special emphasis is on women education. We’ve started to implement 3-step education plan from the General Conference Women Ministries department.
- To accept evangelism program “Tell the World” (TED objectives for 2006–2010), organised by the Trans-European Division of General Conference. This program envisions spiritual growth, community involvement, personal witness and city outreach, church planting, evangelistic programming and media ministry:
- To establish 100 small groups for outreach.
- To plant 10 new churches.
- To run 200 public evangelistic meetings, 10% of which will be run by youth.
- We will use friendship evangelism and LifeDevelopment.info concept in order to connect with the unchurched people.
- To pledge a commitment to prioritise the discipling of men, women and children, young and old within and outside the Church, following LIFEdevelopment.info discipleship pathway.
- To create materials and seminars to deepen spirituality.
- To encourage members to work on their spiritual nurture of daily Bible study and prayer.
- To pledge a commitment to 2,000 members in our Union to bring one person to Jesus.
- To train and equip 120 leaders, pastors, church planters and witnesses in our Union for effective mission and witnessing.
- To retain 70% of our youth and children in the church. For this purpose we will use KIT three step program, to run children Sabbath schools, organize pathfinder clubs, to involve the youth in evangelism, involve youth in the church leadership, to create loving atmosphere for young people in the church.
- Radio, TV, Internet, Church newsletters, Newspapers, Bible Correspodence school, Personal witnessing, Small groups will be used to share our faith with the world around us.
- We will encourage our members in building bridges of hope with the local community by being reflections of the community-building God whom we worship. This will be achieved by showing personal example in working place, school or university. Pastors should make friendship with pastors of other denominations, Christians should care for local city and local community needs.
Meeting was closed with the joint prayer. In it’s conclusion BAUC president Valdis Zilgalvis said: “I am thankful to our friends who joined us and gave advices. I am thankful to my collegs – Union staff for friendship and good spirit. They really are working hard and trustfully. Most of all I am thankful to God for help we receive, that church can work in ways which we could not work before.”
Baltic Union Conference co-ordinates church mission in the Baltic countries through the local conferences and mission field, uniting more than 90 local Adventist churches in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Baltic Union Conference is part of the Trans-European Division of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Baltic Union Conference Communication Director