• 12/14/2016
  • Oxford SDA Church
  • BY Admin

First SEC Diversity Conference

12 December 2016 | Oxford, UK [Victor Hulbert / Natasha Mirilov]

In a Europe that has increasingly become a global village, the South England Conference (SEC) organised its first Diversity Conference at Oxford Seventh-day Adventist church, Friday and Sabbath, 25-26 November 2016.

In preparing for the event, Sophia Nicholls, SEC Diversity and Disability Ministries director, noted that a church should be a place where everyone feels a sense of purpose, belonging and ministry. “This”, she said, “must include open and frank discussions around diversity.” That is exactly what happened in a series of meetings that covered the issues of diversity in biblical and Adventist history, how the Church relates to equality issues in current legislation, how theological diversity works in practice, and a somewhat controversial discussion around issues of diversity, the Church and sexuality.

Even the worship periods demonstrated diversity – both in the mix of singers and the varied choice of music. At one point a contemporary version of ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ even included a cleverly constructed piano duet. Prayer time encouraged the church to write their prayers on their hands, and the whole day was ‘signed’ for the hearing impaired, recognising that diversity also includes those who often find themselves excluded from full participation in worship.

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