I’m not even going to pretend that I will be able to blog every day this week about the Council of Elders meetings. With my Living University Final Paper and Final Exam still to be completed by 3AM Friday morning, a sermonette to prep for this Sabbath, and an article to write and submit for the Tomorrow’s World magazine a week from today (well, yesterday, now!), every spare moment is sort of already spent! But, still, before heading off to sleep for tonight I thought I would post a quick entry about the first day. Everyone’s comments, both here on the blog and on Facebook and elsewhere, have been so encouraging (thanks!) that I thought a quick comment might be nice.
And what a great “Day One” it has been! Mr. Roderick Meredith began things wonderfully with some inspiring comments that really set a great tone. The world’s direction is not changing and, if anything, it is speeding up on its way! God has given us the privilege of taking His message to the world at this time, and it’s exciting to be a part of a work that takes that so seriously and passionately.
We had regional reports from all over the world, and they were very inspiring! God is spurring so much growth among His people, calling new leaders to put their shoulders to the Work, and opening new and exciting doors, and the reports were very uplifting. To be sure, too, we are facing new challenges. For instance, it is getting harder and harder to speak out on topics such as the sin of homosexuality in some nations (such as in our neighbor to the north), such that you run the risk of having all of your literature condemned as “hate speech.” Still, the truth is the truth, and our task is to cry aloud and spare not! We may need the savvy and wisdom of a modern day Apostle Paul, but if we need it (and pray about it!), God will provide it. The Work moves forward!
The Living Youth Program was discussed, with an update from Mr. Monson concerning our three pre-teen camps (go, Missouri!), our teen camp, and our adventure camp (which sounds top notch!).
Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka was invited to talk to the Council and gave a fantastic report on where things are going in the Internet work, which I personally found very exciting. The fruit from our web efforts is moving in all the right directions and our impact is growing in objective and measurable ways: Huge increases in traffic along side huge decreases in costs — win-win! :) So much effort is going on in this area in ways that virtually no one sees, but our web team deserves massive kudos. More to come on this front…
Dr. Winnail gave a report to the Council from Church Administration that included a number of encouraging statistics and discussed the leaders God is clearly working with and bringing up in the Work.
Mr. Richard Ames discussed finances, future media projects, and astounding new doors opening, as well as explaining to the Council some of the details behind the wonderful upgrades we’ve been implementing in the television program and magazine. He also pointed out the finished editorial offices, which had been greatly needed given the growth the Work has been steadily experiencing. (BTW: I can personally attest to that! Used to be when I would come for telecast work, I could find an unused office here or there. However, with the growth we’ve been experiencing, that was getting harder and harder to do, and the last few visits before the office space was finished, I was crammed into the LU classroom off the library, which I had to vacate for on-site lectures. Then, when Mr. Robinson was added to Editorial, I didn’t even have that! Finally, there is a little breathing room. A growing Work — nice problem to have!)
That’s a very rough summary, but very rough summaries are all you get at 1:30-ish in the morning! :) I’d love to share more details, such as some of the things Mr. Ciesielka showed us, but that wouldn’t be my place and it’s best to let you see them when they’re rolled out! :)
Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful first day–and wonderful, too, to be back with fellow “comrades in arms” here on the Council. It is such a tremendously humbling privilege to think that the Eternal, Almighty God even allows us to do His Work on earth, let alone actively calls us and commands us to do it, and looking around in that room at the men present and being surrounded by a truly unified team of individuals who understand that privilege, call, and command and take it so passionately to heart… Please forgive the lazy 80s lingo, but it really is awesome.
[And for the record: Using my iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard to take notes instead of my (still-loved) PC laptop? Pretty great. That move is looking more and more like the right one.]
The next few days are likely to be too busy for any decent posting here on the blog, but your continued prayers for the rest of the meeting are appreciated!