Empowering Publishing Ministries

Insights from the European Tri-Division Workshop

News February 27, 2024

22 February 2024| Collonges-sous-Salève, France [Vanesa Pizzuto with EUDnews]

Over 50 publishing leaders and special guests gathered at the stunning campus of the Adventist University of France in Collonges-sous-Salève from 18-22 February to explore best practices and share inspiring testimonies. The European Tri-Division Publishing Workshop brought together leaders from the Trans-European Division (TED), Inter-European Division (EUD), the Euro-Asia Division (ESD), and the Uranian Union Conference (UUC) under the theme “It’s Our Time – Today, Not Tomorrow.”

The purpose of the workshop was to inspire “everyone to continue exploring methods and strategies to involve every Adventist in sharing literature,” said Almir Marroni.
The purpose of the workshop was to inspire “everyone to continue exploring methods and strategies to involve every Adventist in sharing literature,” said Almir Marroni.

According to Almir Marroni, Publishing Ministries Director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), the workshop aimed to “Enhance collaboration among publishing institutions and literature ministry coordinators across Europe, including the Euro-Asia region.” Open dialogue about the opportunities and challenges encountered by various publishing houses can “promote unity and integration… Inspiring everyone to continue exploring methods and strategies to involve every Adventist in sharing literature.”

“May God help us achieve strategic synergy,” said Paulo Macedo, EUD Communication Director."
“May God help us achieve strategic synergy,” said Paulo Macedo, EUD Communication Director.

The agenda was packed with divisional reports spanning the last quinquennium (2019-2023) and seminars exploring the three main pillars of Adventist literature distribution: Church Members, Literature Evangelists, and Student Evangelists. Paulo Macedo, EUD Communication Director, presented a particularly commented seminar on fostering strategic synergy across Church departments. “With the current trends in Communication and Media, the Church has a challenging, yet promising, task to do: to bring structures together in vision and cooperation for Mission,” said Macedo. “As a former Editor and current Communication leader, it’s a privilege to work towards that goal… Publishing Ministries have invaluable experience and powerful content. Communication and Media have means and tools that could enhance this beautiful ministry. May God help us achieve strategic synergy.”

The programme wasn’t all business; attendees also enjoyed educational outings exploring the legacy of reformers in streets of Geneva, Switzerland, and the profound narratives at Torre Pellice and the Waldensian Museum, Italy. Reflecting on the visit to Torre Pellice, Trevor Johnson, Stanborough Press Sales Manager, shared, “What resonated most for me is the importance of not allowing time to erode in our minds the sacrifices made by those who valued the truth of the word of God even more than life itself.”

Publishing leaders at the Waldensian Museum, Torre Pellice, Italy.
Publishing leaders at the Waldensian Museum, Torre Pellice, Italy.

As the workshop drew to a close after six days of fruitful discussions, Marroni distilled five key recommendations for Publishing leaders: 1. Foster higher synergy in all areas of the Church, 2. To explore innovative and intentional distribution initiatives that Church members can get involved in, 3. To seek opportunities to strengthen the work of Literature Evangelists, 4. To explore the unique niche for digital and printed publications, and 5. To explore initiatives to mobilise youth in literature distribution. “Publishing Ministries exist to support the Church, not the other way around,” said Marroni, underscoring its prophetic origins and enduring significance.

Reflecting on the workshop, participants highlighted its role in strengthening connections among publishing houses and facilitating the exchange of best practices. “It was nice to meet with old friends and make new ones in this first official publishing meeting after the pandemic,” said Mario Martinelli, President of Safeliz Publishing House (Spain). “The volume of materials produced in recent years is staggering… I’m personally inspired to continue advancing God’s work through the means of printed words and digital media, alongside collaborative efforts within our Church community.”

One of the most moving moments of the workshop! Pavel Liberanskiy (Publishing Director ESD) hugs Kulaha Vlacheslav (Source of Life Publishing House, Ukraine). “Thank you, all Divisions, for the support given to Ukraine,” said Vlacheslav.
One of the most moving moments of the workshop! Pavel Liberanskiy (Publishing Director ESD) hugs Kulaha Vlacheslav (Source of Life Publishing House, Ukraine). “Thank you, all Divisions, for the support given to Ukraine,” said Vlacheslav.

Norbert Zens, EUD Treasurer and Publishing Ministries Director, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the prophetic foundation and pivotal role of Publishing Ministries in the Church’s mission. “Knowing where we come from, we realise the certain future we have – with a central role to play in the Mission of the Church,” affirmed Zens.

António Carvalho, Manager of Servir Publishing House (Portuguese Publishing House) was not sure what to expect from the meeting. However, taking part he said “This programme has been a source of motivation and inspiration for me. To paraphrase the title of a famous work by Aldous Huxley,¹ I can say the “Brave World of Publishing” is going onwards! God be praised for what you are doing through the printed pages all over the world!”

“It’s been an enriching week of dialogue,” added Kristinn Odinsson, Manager of Dansk Bogforlag (Danish Publishing House). Reflecting on the unique challenges in Denmark, where door-to-door sales are prohibited, making traditional Literature Evangelism work impossible, Odinisson added “Publishing still has a future, but we need to find new ways to distribute. Going forward we need to find innovative ways of getting our books out. And we surely need to collaborate with our Media and Communication Departments.”


 

[Photos: Vanesa Pizzuto, Adventist Media Exchange, CC BY 4 & courtesy of Almir Marroni].

Featured image: European Tri-Division Publishing Leaders’ Workshop in Collonges-sous-Salève, France. The Adventist University of France sits on a hill overlooking Geneva in the background.

¹Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. ‘Brave New World’ (1932) is one of his best-known works.

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