"Stop being religious practitioners," says Kwon. Adventists urged to make a difference in their communities
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell | Thursday, March 30, 2017
The Adventist Community Service (ACS) Department in East Jamaica Conference were energized to make greater impact in the community after receiving words of inspiration and encouragement from ACS leaders from the General Conference (GC) and North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church over the past week-end.
The team included Dr. May-Ellen Colon, Director, Adventist Community Services International, General Conference of SDA, Dr. Sung Kwon, Executive Director Adventist Community Services, NAD of SDA and Dr. Sharon AKA, Associate Director, Adventist Learning Community, NAD.
The team were invited to the island by Pastor Adrian Cotterell, Adventist Community Services Director, and Jamaica Union Conference (JAMU), to share their vast experience with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica and to help our members improve their effectiveness in outreach ministries to the community.
On Sabbath March 25, 2017 both Dr. Mary May-Ellen Colon and Dr. Sung Kwon spoke at the Andrews Memorial SDA Church in Kingston under the theme “Adventists Transforming Communities.”
Dr. Kwon reminded the church that it was organized for mission and ministry to the community and chided members for remaining too often within the boundaries of the walls of the church to the exclusion of the people it was setup to serve.
Kwon was passionate as he spoke during the second service at the Andrews Memorial SDA Church which had Community Services leaders and members from across the EJC constituency.
“Our mandate is to reach out, we must go outside of the four walls of the church,” he said with great conviction.
Referring to the ministry of Christ, Kwon said that Jesus mingled with people and touched their lives and gained their confidence before he invited them to follow him. He said as a church we have become mechanical in practicing our religion without any interaction with people in the community. “This is not the example Jesus gave us,” he said.
“We must go back to the community and make a difference,” said Dr. Kwon. “We are the change agents, we are the difference makers.”
Kwon had a strong message for church people who were religious but who were not following the example of Christ. “Stop being religious practitioners and be a Christian that belong to God,” he said.
“We have become inward focused instead of outward focused. We have become a self-serving entity instead of serving God and his people. The gospel is not about preaching from the head, but it is about connecting to people heart to heart.”
Community Service Director in EJC, Pastor Wadsworth McAnuff offered
the pastoral prayer during the worship while Pastor Eric Nathan, President, EJC and Pastor Meric Walker, Secretary, JAMU brought greetings on behalf of EJC and JAM respectively earlier in the worship service.
On Sunday, Dr. Sharon Aka and the team met with Adventist Community Services leaders in EJC and North East Jamaica Conference at the Hagley Park SDA Church where they showed them how to access invaluable resources that could help them in their ministry through the Adventist Learning Community web portal of the NAD.
AKA was pleased to announce that the information was free and that all you had to do was to follow the steps to setup a login online in order to access loads of video and training material that would help to transform the way they now do community service in the island.
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