September 17, 2012 – Miami, Florida, United States…Libna Stevens/IAD
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America is making plans to connect with thousands of its churches through a special live program which will feature a number of activities and initiatives that will revolve around greater impact in the community during what the church has coined as the Year of the Laity in 2013. Church boards across the 22 major church regions are expected to view the special online event scheduled for Oct. 27, 2012, from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the Inter-American Division’s Year-End Executive Committee meetings will be held.
In essence, the meeting will allow local church board members to connect with the top leadership for a closer partnership in celebrating laypersons in honoring those who have dedicated to lay evangelism and sprung a massive increase in the growth of the church in Inter-America as well, says Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.
“It is important to recognize our laity for what they have done all through the years by winning souls, keeping the souls going and letting the church move forward,” said Pastor Leito. “Because of the size of our division and the fact that our pastors have multiple churches it is important to honor our laypeople throughout our territory.”
The Year of the Laity will include many activities, celebrations, gatherings, special baptisms, evangelistic efforts and community impact events, says Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director and main organizer of the Year of the Laity.
“We want a different year in the life of the laity,” says Ferreyra. “One that’s right on schedule as the church throughout the territory has been intently recruiting and training one million active members in five areas: preaching, Bible instructors, witnessing, small group leadership, and global mission pioneer during the past eight months,” he adds.
Yet it’s not just about laypersons work in bible study, in evangelism, says Pastor Leito. “It’s about greater impact in the community,” he says. It’s about church members finding additional ways to impact their communities, not just impacting souls, he adds.
“We would like churches to respond to the existing needs in their communities, “ says Pastor Leito, “like what are you as a church doing to help your community live healthier? What are you doing to stop violence? To stop drug abuse in your community, and so forth?” he adds.
It’s about challenging the membership to study the needs in the community and empowering them to do more and work closely with their missions and conferences for coordinated efforts and impact, Pastor Leito says.
The two-hour special online event will take place on October 27, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. Honduras Time (or 5:00 p.m. Miami Time) live from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
For more information on Inter-America’s Year of the Laity 2013 activities and initiatives, visit http://2013.interamerica.org