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[photos: Dan Sabatier]7 November 2013 | Bracknell, United Kingdom [Kirsten Øster-Lundqvist, BUC News] The One project, a gathering of Adventists that focuses on the primacy of Jesus in their lives, has hit Britain for the first time in its three-year history. The weekend of 1-3 November saw almost 200 people gathered at Newbold College to dialogue, listen and refocus on Jesus Christ as the centrality in the Adventist faith. A group of 12 pastors, lecturers and one nurse all preached on the theme of 'Jesus-All'. "The Christ-centred message" observes Dr Brown, "is compatible with the Newbold College mission statement, so Newbold was a natural place to have the first One project gathering in the United Kingdom."

 

Preachers included several South England Conference pastors, lecturers from Newbold College and speakers from the USA. It was positive and intentional that this gathering had a strong local flavour.

Pastor Sam Davis, South England Conference President was one of the preachers who asked the gathering "Are we so focused on doing church that Christ is overlooked? That we do Bible study on prophecy but miss seeing Christ?"

There were plenty of short sermons, but what makes this a different gathering is that each presentation is followed by 'round-table discussion' where leaders and laity, students and retirees meet to dialogue around the centrality of Christ in so many aspects of the Church and faith. "This dialogue is an integral part of the gathering", explains Pastor Kirsten Øster-Lundqvist, SEC Communication director. She has attended several gatherings. "Each dialogue is unique to each table, but the presence of the Holy Spirit clearly guides in the open ended discussions as similar thoughts and discussions echo throughout the room."

Those watching on live stream did express that "you probably had to be there" but were nevertheless blessed by the messages. They will shortly be available on demand, thanks to the efforts of the Newbold church media team.

"It's always good to be home and be able to connect with people who have impacted my life," stated British-born pastor, Japhet De Oliveira, chaplain at Andrews University and co-director for the One project. "It was an overwhelming result, as people shared with me how much this gathering has renewed their faith, not only in Jesus but also in the Adventist Church."

With his guitar Pastor Nicholas Zork led in worship, and the hall was filled with passionate voices singing 'In Christ alone' as well as old favourites such as 'What a friend we have in Jesus'. It was a thoughtful mix of old and new songs.

Mervyn Weir, who facilitated a table discussion stated, "We need more of this emphasis. If this was the filter for everyone to go through to become a member, our church would be more effective." Edit Liebhart added, "It's been good to meet people and discuss important stuff." Several attendees expressed that it had been refreshing to refocus on Jesus.

The weekend culminated in a communion service with a blessing prayed over each person. Executive Secretary for the Trans-European Division, Pastor Audrey Andersson concluded, "It has been a real blessing to be here. I just wish everyone could have the opportunity to come to the One project." To learn more about the One project and to find out about the next gathering, visit their website: the1project.org. [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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