by TED News

The Olympic torch is being carried by runners across the United Kingdom (UK) these days. The 2012 London Olympic Games will begin July 27. Although sport is the focus of the Olympics, the festival is much broader than that and Seventh-day Adventists are involved in many ways.
 
A video camera is being passed from volunteer to volunteer as the torch run proceeds. You can see the current progress of the torch at www.lifeconnect.org.uk, the secular outreach web site operated by the Adventist Church.
 
A church member in Nottingham, 16-year-old Leon Squire, ran as one of the torch carriers. In Faifley, Scotland, the church youth choir was invited by the local council to sing gospel music as the torch went through town.
 
Youth cafes for the community have been opened in Adventist churches in Chatham, Kent, Walthamstow and Central London. The general public is invited to relax, watch the games on television and enjoy refreshments. Church volunteers prepare and serve food and drink, maintain the facilities and are available for a friendly chat as needed.
 
Adventist congregations are sponsoring sport and fitness programs during this season. These include a Basketball Camp in Islington, a bike ride in Edmonton, netball and soccer in South London, as well as sports days in Chelmsford, Chatham, Oxford, and Bournemouth.
 
Music and drama activities are also scheduled. Church members will be singing in the Olympic choir during the opening ceremonies. On the first two Sabbaths in August special days of fellowship will occur in many local churches around the themes “Ignite the Flame” and “Torch Bearers.” Mervyn Weir, commissioned by the South England Conference, has developed a theatre performance on Gospel themes entitled “Beyond Gold.”
 
Many members and congregations will join an Olympic Green Sabbath promoting the idea of both health and service. They will walk at least one mile to and from church that day. Churches are using this event to improve their environmental stewardship through collecting recycled clothes, sharing automobiles and walking instead of burning fuel. The aim is to “produce many more ‘Eco-Christians’ as we care for our bodies and our environment while reaching out to our communities.”
 
The Adventist Church in the UK organized an Olympic Outreach team long ago and has been preparing for the biggest evangelistic outreach in the denomination’s history in this country. Some 30,000 copies of a special edition of the Adventist outreach magazine, Life.Info have been published. Every local church has been challenged to organize at least some local activities.
 
More information about the Adventist presence at the London Olympics is available at:  www.live-uk.org