For several months our Federation was preparing for one of the most important administrative aspects: the quadrennial General Assembly. There will be presentations of the reports and balances of the previous mandate, but also the team that will support the local churches for next four years will be elected.
On Sunday 9 June and Monday 10 June 2019 some 180 delegates were gathered together in the building at the Ernest Allardstreet to constitute this big meeting under the theme: “Called by Your love.”
However, it would have been a shame to confine ourselves to the administrative aspect without taking the time to reflect together and to share our common heritage: the Word of God. To guide us in these reflections, the Federation asked Pastor Jean-Claude Verrecchia, currently a professor at Adventist College Newbold. With sensitivity, humor and kindness, he showed how we are all called to (re) form the Church of God, despite our sometimes obtuse sides, despite our shortcomings, despite the defects we detect in others.
For the first administrative vote, the Assembly had the privilege of welcoming two new churches within the Federation: the Spanish-speaking Church of Bethel and the Romanian Church Harmony, both in the Brussels region.
During the presentation of the activity reports, three committees also worked hard: the Credentials Commission under the supervision of Mario Brito, President of the Inter-European Division; the Planning Commission under the leadership of Reinder Bruinsma, former President of our Federation and finally the Nominating Commission chaired by Rúben de Abreu, President of the Franco-Belgian Union.
Our Federation is composed of many facets, personalities and sensibilities, it is not surprising that some debates took time. It should also be noted how difficult it is to talk about sensitive topics while respecting both the people involved, the principle of confidentiality and the independent work of a committee.
After two days of intense reflection, the Assembly was able to welcome its new team. This is composed of Jeroen Tuinstra, incumbent president and re-elected by a clear majority, Edouard Ajinça, currently pastor in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and new secretary general and Christian Sabot who accepted for the 6th time the responsibility of treasurer. The departement for Training & Mission has been entrusted to Ricardo Pereira, whose missionary experience will certainly add to his new responsibility. Philippe Leduc has been reappointed to the department for Youth & Family; he will be able to continue the many projects he has started to develop since his arrival in 2015.
The members of the new Federation Board who will strengthen the federal team are: David Carballo, Verena Cools, Gerrit Decock, Ion Georgescu, Claudiu Gorbanescu, Jackie Mubedi, Giuseppe Ruocco and Igor Myagchev. The transition from the old to the new Federation Committee is scheduled for June 23rd.
At the end of a term, it is also important to thank all those who have agreed to take the risk of accepting responsibility. It’s often a lot more work than one imagines at the beginning, filled with challenges but also very beautiful moments. Among all these people, our thanks are particularly extended to Christian Bultinck and Carlos Rivero, both members of the Administrative Committee, for whom the ministry will continue in another form.
Let us also thank the administrators of the Union and the sister Federations who lent a hand in organizing this event.
May God bless the new team and inspire them with wisdom and discernment in the accomplishment of their task. May he also put his spirit in each of our hearts to work together to proclaim His love and His return.