28 September 2022 | Reykjavik, Iceland [Ian Sweeney with tedNEWS]
The Iceland Conference (IC) may be one of the smallest in the Trans-European Division (TED) territory, with just under 500 members. However, the expectation was palpable on Thursday 22 September as the forty first Triennial Conference Session officially opened. Helgi Jonsson and Brynjar Olafsson chaired the meetings, which ended on Sunday 25 September, with delegates present at the Hafnarfjordur church, Reykjavik.
As soon as the Session business commenced, the Organizing Committee (OC), comprising of delegates from all six of the Iceland Conference congregations, recommended and approved nine delegates to serve as the Nominating Committee (NC). While no other business was conducted on Friday, the NC met all day to provide a report to the Session on resumption of business, Sunday morning.
Early into the Sunday morning business session, however, a motion was made requesting that an independent panel be formed to produce a report regarding a much-discussed mining venture which the IC is exploring on the church-owned property Litla-Sandfell, in partnership with Eden Mining company. With the motion approved, a report prepared by the IC on the matter was postponed with the following statement released regarding process:
“At the forty first session of the Iceland Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, meeting in Hafnarfjordur, Reykjavik, from 22-25 September, it was voted to extend the term of the existing officers: Gavin Anthony, president, Thora Jonsdottir, executive secretary, and Judel Ditta, treasurer, together with the Executive Committee until 11 December. They will continue to have the legal authority to act for the church during this time. The constituency will reconvene in Hafnarfjordur to conclude the business of the session.”
The two main items for delegates to consider at the 11 December meeting, will be the independent panel report, and the report from the NC.
“Some delegates approached the Session with expectation, while others with trepidation,” commented Daniel Duda, TED president. “The predictions written in the local newspapers about what will happen in the Session proved to be false, and we are all thankful that the Christian spirit prevailed, providing a good spiritual atmosphere for the gathering. God was clearly at work.”
“Being my first ever visit to Iceland, I was not sure as what to expect,” said Ian Sweeney, TED Field Secretary. “I found the church members to be friendly, warm, and passionate about their church and faith. I left with the conviction that the church in Iceland has great potential and can build on its current successes, and I look forward to being a part of their even greater future.”
For many, the highlight of the session were the spiritual meetings and times of congregational worship. Two insightful reflections were led by Daniel Duda, and Ian Sweeney also shared a powerful message on the meaning of Christian perfection. Beautiful and inspiring music brightened the Friday and Sabbath services. Audrey Andersson, a general vice-president of the General Conference, preached on what it means to be a follower of Jesus, fulfilling his Great Commission. Over two hundred people participated in Sabbath worship, culminating with lunch and an opportunity to fellowship together in the Reykjavik Adventist primary school.