2 May 2022 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy,
Is detaching the Ukraine Union from the Euro-Asia Division and attaching it directly to the General Conference a good thing? What impact will the change have?
According to the press release, “a 21-member Ukrainian Union Conference Oversight Committee, chaired by GC general vice president Artur Stele, will provide direct guidance and supervision from the GC for denominational activities in Ukraine.”
Aunty wrote a note to the General Conference for further clarification, and received this answer from Elder Thomas Lemon, another GC Vice President:
The attaching of Ukraine to the GC and detaching it from the Euro-Asia Division happened because of the conflict between the nations, of course. The conlict has been ongoing for about eight years, but now it is very intense. Right now any connections (real or imagined) between organizations across the country borders are illegal and subject to punishment. That has resulted in no travel between Russia and Ukraine directly—always a stop in a third country, even with trains. With the severe upratcheting that is the current “normal,” all forms of communication are subject to surveillance and consequences. While the future is difficult to predict, we hope this change will not be permanent.
Nothing necessitated by the suffering of war is a “good thing,” Aunty thinks, but this reorganization was necessary to carry on the work. Aunty is grateful for this statement by Arturo Stele, and hopes it is true of every Adventist in Russia and Ukraine:
We have the same Father. We are looking to the same heavenly Kingdom. Our people in ESD are members of the same family. They love each other, they care for each other, and wish the best for each other and plan to be together in heaven. Even with the change in structure, even while the horrendous situation has forced our people to be separated, they still pray for each other and look for a day when we all will be united with each other and will all together worship our Savior Jesus Christ face to face.
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