BUC President – Pastor Eglan Brooks
Interactions of Love.
Centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Herein lies a message of love, sacrifice and hope.
God's plan to sacrifice His Son He loved so much to save the people He loved so much changed the destiny of humanity. His interaction of love changed the world.
We are in a beautiful season when the name of Jesus is on the lips of millions of people around the globe. It is a time for reflection about God's goodness, a time to share your gratitude for the year's blessings and a time to prepare for hope in the year to come.
This year, the celebration of Jesus' birth may be obscured by the glitz, glamour and razmataz of the festive season, in conjunction with fear of yet another lockdown and the resignation to the all-familiar feelings of anxiety, loss and uncertainty.
What can we do as Adventists?
Can I suggest that while some of us will be comforted with the presence of our loved ones and family, we could spare a moment to look out for those around us who are in need? That single person, single-parent family, poor member, homeless person, and bereaved who will spend Christmas alone. Can we reach out to them and provide an interaction of love? Let's give that member a piece of cake or a gift to somebody who will not expect it. Let's pick up the phone and call someone. We could give attention to a widow in our neighbourhood or a gift to a child. Check up on your friend whose only understanding of Adventism is the witness they see in you. Just a simple interaction of love.
The prophets also foretold His second coming, so let's look forward with anticipation to that day, when the Prince of Peace will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Let's begin to make our interactions of love a matter of prayer.
Let's fully embrace the General Conference's call to Prayer and Fasting on January 1 and the Ten Days of Prayer and Fasting that will start the new year.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
May you feel the warmth of Jesus, and may His presence be with you as you demonstrate your 'Interactions of Love powerfully' during this holiday season.
I want to fully endorse the General Conference's call to 2022 Prayer and Fasting on January 1 and the Ten Days of Prayer and Fasting. See the links are below, and a schedule of prayers that we can easily adapt for our Union.
I encourage all members to find time to participate in these faith-building activities.
and also the Ten Days of Prayer and Fasting:
For the Ten Days of Prayer, we would like to make the prayers focused on this field at the BUC. Please find the details below:
Day 1 – Pray for personal revival. For the Spirit of the Lord to be evident in your life and witness during 2022.
Day 2 – Pray for your family members.
Day 3 – Pray for your Pastor and their family in their leadership role.
Day 4 – Pray that your local church will be a beacon of hope and healing in your community.
Be aware that during the pandemic, many in your local congregation and the locality lost loved ones and jobs and have experienced some hardship.
Day 5 – Pray for the leaders in your local Conference or Mission.
Day 6 – Praying to produce godly books, magazines, and good internet content for our members is a mammoth task. Pray for the work of the Stanborough Press.
Day 7 – Pray that the courses offered by the Adventist Discovery Centre will enable more people to come to know Jesus through these studies.
Day 8 – Pray for education work throughout the BUC – Stanborough Schools, Dudley House, Fletewood, Harper Bell, Hyland House, Newbold and Eden.
Day 9 – Pray for the newly elected or re-elected Administrators and Directors of the BUC that God will provide them with wisdom and a unique vision that will impact the British Isles with the gospel.
Day 10 – Pray for the people of the British Isles – England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Millions are affected by the pandemic, thousands have died, and everyone has experienced a loss of some nature. Pray for the leaders of these nations that God will grant them compassion and that His will may ultimately be fulfilled in their lives.
Welsh Mission President – Pastor Graham Allcock
On behalf of the Welsh Mission team, may God's blessing of joy satisfy your heart; may His blessing of peace quiet your soul; may His gift of love refresh your spirit and may all the blessings He's given us in Christ fill your Christmas and the coming year with many reasons for rejoicing.
This Christmas season will bring stark reminders of loved ones no longer with us. Let us be sensitive and mindful of how we can support those who are grieving, as well as those fighting life-threatening illnesses.
The Christmas season reminds us that our Saviour left His throne above to come to this sin-sick world to give us hope, assurance and the promise of something better. Let us unite in love and purpose and finish the work Jesus has given us to do, preparing a people for His Second Advent.
South England Conference President – Dr Emmanuel Osei
Looking forward with optimism for 2022
In 2021, we experienced lockdown, and our churches were closed. We witnessed many businesses fold and many members losing their jobs. Worst of all, we laid many of our loved ones to rest primarily due to Covid-19.
Despite all that took place in 2021, we are alive. The Lord, in His mercy, has allowed us to see the end of 2021, for which we are extremely grateful. As we enter the festive season, I would encourage us to take time with our families and loved ones and appreciate them.
We look forward with optimism for 2022. Although we hear about the new Omicron variant spreading unprecedentedly, our trust and confidence are in the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 2:22-25:
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
I pray that the Lord will be with us all in 2022.
Scottish Mission President – Pastor Jimmy Botha
As we approach the end of 2021, I am inclined to feel that spirituality in our country is higher now than probably two years ago, before the pandemic started. There is a renewed search for meaning and fulfilment of the prophecies in our churches. Our folks want to see Jesus return now.
As we enter this time of reflection at the end of the year, may I wish you pleasant family time, meaningful interaction with your loved ones and with your church family. Our members in the Scottish Mission have worked hard this year to put food on the table and make our churches work. Ongoing services brought our members together. We mourned the loss of some of our loved ones, but we know the Lord was still with us.
I pray that the presence of the Lord in your life will so continue, also in 2022.
North England Conference President – Pastor George Kumi
Be an Instrument of God’s Peace
Today's greatest tragedy is not the commercialization but the trivialization of the incarnation story of how God became a man and lived in our neighbourhood. He is the reason for the season.
On the ancient parchment recorded by the Prince of Prophets, Isaiah takes the indelible ink and pens the timeless sacred scripture“for unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: ‘Wonderful‘, ‘Counsellor‘, ‘The Mighty God‘, ‘The Everlasting Father‘, ‘The Prince of Peace‘.” Today those last few words of our text strike a chord in my mind. It is the knowledge of Jesus’ birth, His Life, His death, His resurrection that paid the price for my sins. His mediation in heaven that sustains us and the awesome promise of His soon return gives us courage in the peace ravaged world we are journeying in.
Friends, the only peace that will last forever is the peace of having Jesus as Lord and Master of our lives. Doing His will and serving others brings that peace of fulfilment. He is still the Prince of Peace even when the peace we seek has become like a mirage.
This festive season I want to challenge you to be an instrument of God's peace and a blessing to a world that is desperately seeking peace.
”And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning ‘Saviour’), for he will save his people from their sins. This will fulfil God’s message through his prophet.”
Enjoy the season with the great expectation of the coming of the Lord.
Irish Mission President – Pastor Dan Serb
The other day I sat down with someone who'd been through a rough time and asked how she was doing. Her answer: "The best way I can describe it is…a pond!" It took me a while to understand what she meant, but I saw it in her eyes too—contentment, stillness, peace, hope.
Many people have experienced uncertainty, fear, loss, and confusion this year. The pandemic has given us several false starts, but we seem to be back to square one. 'Life' and 'normal' have been altered. There's news that the situation may redefine reality itself with a retreat in the virtual (I'm sure you've heard of the metaverse).
While we may not be able to stop the flow of progress (and why should we?) and while the world seems to continue to slip deeper into uncertainty and tumultuousness, I encourage us all to strive to be the voice of hope, to be a pond to a troubled world: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
make our churches work. Ongoing services brought our members together. We mourned the loss of some of our loved ones, but we know the Lord was still with us.
I pray that the presence of the Lord in your life will so continue, also in 2022.