The official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church



23 September 2021 | St. Albans, UK [Vanesa Pizzuto]  

From 21 to 22 September 2021 staff from the Trans-European Division (TED) and leaders from across Europe enjoyed the latest edition of the TED Wellbeing Webinars. The initiative started in January this year to help people maintain mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Today, there are over 20 webinars available for free on the TED website, covering a variety of wellbeing topics including: Toxic Stress and Resilience, Healing Generational Trauma, and The Journey of Joy. This week’s instalment included two presentations: “Relational Crisis: What to do When Wellbeing is Challenged” by Augustus Lawrence, and “How to Deal with Disappointment” by Daniel Duda.

Relational Crisis: What to do When Wellbeing is Challenged

The first webinar was presented by Augustus Lawrence who is the Family Ministries Director at South England Conference.

Augustus LawrenceLawrence used Hagar’s story, her distress at the sight of her dying son, Ishmael, to illustrate the nature of a relational crisis. Then, he emphasised the importance of having people who are “there for us” to help us cope, people who are accessible, responsive, and engaged. Lawrence then showed how God Himself intervened in the story of Hagar, becoming accessible, responsive, and engaged. By stepping in the emotional landscape of Hagar and Ishmael, God was saying, “Look, I am not absent, I am not distant from you, I am with you.” Lawrence believes this “is the challenge we have as a church, walking alongside people. Not doing the work for them but holding their hands… walking with them in their pain”.

Lawrence closed his presentation offering two simple tips on what not to do when someone is going through a relational crisis: 1. You don’t have to answer the ‘why’ questions, and 2. Now is not the time for a theological debate.

It is the ability not to shy away from the pain and suffering of others what truly has the power to heal relationships, Lawrence concluded.

How to Deal with Disappointment

Daniel DudaThe second webinar this week was presented by Daniel Duda who is a Field Secretary for the Division and is also responsible for the Education Department and Adventist Mission.

Duda started his presentation by stating that living in a broken world means dealing with disappointment. He further explained that “as Christians, the temptation is to use religion to avoid disappointment.” However, having a slot-machine view of religion will cause Christians to be disappointed not only in the unfairness of life, but also in the God who allows it. Duda offered five healthy ways to deal with disappointment:


  1. Do not take things personally: Don’t be too quick to blame yourself, there may be more things outside of your control than you realise now. Accept that life involves some degree of randomness.
  2. Talk it over with someone close to you: Don’t deny your feelings or push them away. Instead, find a good friend and learn to lament.
  3. Adjust your expectations: Disillusionment is not a bad thing; it is the loss of an illusion. While it is painful, disillusionment can set us free from wrong ideas about God, ourselves, and others. In fact, disappointment can draw us closer into the mystery of God.
  4. Refocus on what you still have in your life: Don’t let the one thing you do not have prevent you from seeing all you do have. Open your eyes and find grace in unexpected places.
  5. Disappointment will happen if you go out of your comfort zone: Being disappointed may be a sign of growth, a sign that you are willing to be emotionally and intellectually honest.

Duda concluded his presentation affirming that “God is never disappointed in you”. He believes that God is gently pushing people out of their comfort zones because He is “more interested in your growth than in your comfort.”

Each of the webinars has been recorded and is available to view on the TED website and YouTube channel.

tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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