Sept-Oct 2024 IntraSyd

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intrasyd SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2023

Why has the cost of property insurance skyrocketed? P.18-19

FEATURES: GSC Director Named NAC President, Welcome BackPacks & Thriving Through Art

FROM THE PRESIDENT Alban Matohiti Soccer Socks Kick Up Evangelistic Efforts on Makira

PRESIDENT Alban Matohiti Editors

Joyce Taylor Lee Dunstan Lauren Bongard Graphics

Lynda G. Abreu Katrina Jorgensen Nathalia Valenca Other Contributors ADRA Australia Ashley Fell Dr Darius Jankiewicz Pr Jinha Kim Daniel Lavaiamat Peter Roennfeldt Brian Swanepoel Daniel Lavaiamat RMS

Next content deadline 04 DEC

Easter competition—they were unable to play without the socks. He went home to retrieve the bags of socks that had come with the shipPastor Alex Currie and his team ment. When he opened the bags, regularly send shipping containthe teams were absolutely amazed ers with supplies to the Solomon to find exactly what they needed. Islands. Last year, they were unHe was able to supply socks for all sure whether to send some donat- three teams. They could not wrap ed soccer socks because nobody their minds around how anyone wears long socks in the tropical in Australia would know that they climate of the Solomons. They needed soccer socks. decided to send them anyway. And so, the socks were shipped to The teams that received the socks Honiara. honoured the givers by renaming themselves the SDA Soccer Teams. Lency is a layperson who is given a small living allowance to work But the positive kickback was just for the church, giving Bible studies beginning. The chief of the village and running evangelistic meetwas so impressed with the gift of ings, in isolated areas of Solomon the socks that he told Lency he Islands. Lency went to Honiara was welcome to come into the and asked for some clothes to village anytime to run evangelistic take to his island. Normally, he programs. Lency has also been does not go to his own village offered land to build a church, and because he and his wife are the he is currently looking for timber only Adventists, and they are not to start building. On the 23rd of welcome there. Lency comes from April 2023, Lency started an evanthe village of Muipa, which is on gelistic series in the village, somethe northern coast of Makira, also thing he could never do before. known as Santa Christobel. The Already there have been baptisms, island has a population of about and people are having Bible stud54,000 people but only 200 Adies. ventists. The church had been trying On this occasion, Lency decided to for years to be able to run progo to his own village, which has a grammes in these closed villages, population of 300, with five bags without success. It is hard to imagof donated clothes to give out in ine how socks that almost weren’t the hope that this may soften peo- sent have done this and how evple’s attitudes towards his famierything was timed perfectly. None ly. After he arrived at his village, of this could be a coincidence, he heard that three adult soccer however, only a miracle. teams needed socks to play in the

October 2023






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The rising costs across the board are having a concerning impact on Adventist church communities and their ability to conduct mission and ministry, and unfortunately, insurance costs continue to rise. Page 18-19

22-24 Sep / Pathfinder Expedition 13 Oct / Youth School Worship Night 21 Oct / Growing Together Summit 27 Oct / High School Worship Night 28 Oct / Adventurer Rally More events at!



Serving the Community Meet the new president of the Northern Australian Conference, Pastor Simon Gigliotti, a strategic visionary leader poised to continue the kingdom narrative. Page 16

Pr Richard Reid honoured with Lemke Medal Discover the inspiring journey of Pastor Richie Reid and his outstanding contribution to chaplaincy in Adventist education, as he receives the prestigious Lemke Medal. Page 7 NEWS


ADRA October

Fountain in the City Explore how Fountain in the City achieved remarkable growth in Loving Relationships, fostering a more loving church environment that's making a significant impact. Page 6


Discover how ADRA is making a difference in the face of rising living costs and food insecurity. Join us this October in supporting ADRA's vital community projects. Page 10




FROM THE PRESIDENT Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ’plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” If the Lord can use humble pairs of soccer socks for mission, He can surely use you.

Alban Matohiti

editorials General Secretary

Cheonneth Strickland Here are some of the highlights from the Conference over the past few months. FROM THE CONFERENCE The Greater Sydney Conference Big Camp 2024 planning committee has been busy meeting to organise and plan for our very own big camp. This will be held from Monday, 22 April to Sabbath, 27 April 2024 at Adventist Alpine Village in Jindabyne. This is where the SNSW Conference holds their camp. They will set up the camp and run their camp meeting. GSC will then come in and run our camp, and then pack down. Speakers are being locked in right now. Over the last few months, the officers—Pr Alban Matohiti, Pr Cheonneth Strickland, Personal Ministries Director Pr Asofitu Leatuavao and Mission Coordinator for Local Churches Pr Travis Manners—have been doing a review of groups and companies. Currently we have 19 groups and 14 companies within our Conference. The pastors for these churches met with the officers to answer questions as to the group/company strategy, evangelism programs or initiatives they have done, number of attendees, baptisms, ways they are connecting with their local community and the like. This gives us a sense of what is happening with each of their groups. The Conference Office administration has been working with the individual departmental directors on

taking the five strategic foci and seeing how each department is going to fulfill these strategies. More info will follow. FROM EDUCATION Within our schools, there have been a number of weeks of worship or spiritual weeks of emphasis. These are events where schools have a spiritual program each day for one whole week. Some schools have continued the programs on Sabbath to showcase to parents what their children have been learning all week. What a fantastic evangelistic opportunity. Teacher retention and recruitment continues to be a challenge for the industry. Over the last 10 years, the independent school sector in NSW (AISNSW) is the fastest growing sector. The challenge is finding and hiring enough teachers to cater to the increased enrolments. According to AISNSW statistics, an average of 309 additional teachers per year since 2018 are required to meet this increase. FROM AGED CARE In Aged Care, the federal government has mandated a 15 percent increase to direct care workers’ wages. They have backed this up by totally funding this increase. This is a great relief for all aged care providers, including ours. Non-direct carers are receiving a 5.75 percent wage rise funded by the entity itself. These wage increases will come into effect the first full pay cycle after 30 June 2023. As you may have heard, aged care facilities across Australia are closing their doors. In the last nine months alone, 23 facilities have closed due to financial hardship. We are doing our best to support our facilities so that they can serve our elders, families and communities. Occupancy is an ongoing challenge. As of June, occupancy was 90.4% at Wahroonga and 88.6% at Kings Langley. We welcome new residents to our facilities, with staff working hard to bring in more residents. In December 2022, the government started a star rating system for aged care facilities. It measures in four categories: staffing, compliance, resident experience and quality measures. Star ratings are ranked out of five, but cannot

be higher than the facility’s compliance rating. Currently, our aged care facilities at Wahroonga and Kings Langley are sitting at 3-star ratings. Staff and management


NADELLE MANNERS From the beginning, God led in each one of us the role of stewardship. For Adam, God placed him in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over or guard it (Gen 2:16). For the team here at the Conference Office, that tending and guarding over ‘it’ is multi-faceted. Our administration team recently met with the owners and developers of 2-4 Cambridge Rd, Epping. This meeting was the first time that the current officers of the Greater Sydney Conference have met with the developers, and we were encouraged to hear the plans and timeline of this development and see the plans for the commercial space we have an option to purchase. This development has been a nine-year journey so far, and we look forward to working more closely with the developer over the next year or two as the project inches closer to the finish line. The finance team and real estate committee have commenced a review of the properties owned by the Conference, ensuring due diligence continues

are working to increase our star ratings, especially in the area of compliance.

regarding strategic maintenance, upkeep and use of these properties. While on the topic of real estate stewardship, two of our schools are amid building projects. Sydney Adventist Schools Auburn is currently building additional general learning (classroom) areas, as well as a library. This project includes much-needed upgrades, such as accessibility modifications and renovations to assist with the well-being of staff and students. It is exciting to see the construction work on the new middle school, stage-one building at Hills Adventist College, Kellyville campus. This, too, will include new classrooms, a staff room and more, which will certainly assist with the enhancement of the school’s learning spaces. The finance team have finalized their financial statements for all our church and school companies, and the audits on these financial statements have ended with unqualified audits (clear audits). The team is feeling very thankful that their focus can now rest on the current 2023 finances and team projects. The news from the federal budget that additional funding be provided to assist with the increase in salaries for direct residential care staff is a relief for the current 2023/24 budget; however, there are still significant challenges in the nationwide aged care sector. The Aged Care Board continues to work together with our Adventist Aged Care management team to strengthen the facilities under its stewardship. In amongst the intricacies of contracts, details in plans and the many meetings that have been held, the following Bible verse is central to all we do here as an office team: 1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works among all the peoples!” May this continue to be the reason why we exist as a movement in Sydney.


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If you would like to measure and improve the health of your church, talk to your pastor about running a Natural Church Development survey. Church: locations/christian-church-sydney-cbd/



ountain in the City Grows Loving Relationships

1. While most churches like to think that they are growing in love and friendliness, Fountain in the City has the data to back it up! In March 2021, the church participated in the Natural Church Development (NCD) survey, a process that it repeated in June 2023. This enabled the church to compare the results from the two surveys. Of the eight Quality Characteristics For latest updates, details regarding COVID-safe measures, or/and event contact information, be sure the check the events page at https://sydney. Have anything exciting or extraordinary to share? Email us at sydney@


of healthy churches outlined in NCD, Fountain in the City grew significantly in the area of Loving Relationships. This Quality Characteristic seeks to practically build and demonstrate real, magnetic Christian love to draw members and community members into the church and God’s kingdom. This August, 17-year-old Sunshine was baptised and became a member of Fountain in the City. Her eagerness to join the body of Christ and wanting to share Jesus with others is because she has seen His goodness personally in her family and felt His love through the loving relationships at her church. Whether it's at Sabbath services, CareGroup, weekday get togethers or just a call during the week, Sunshine is an example of how loving relationships can help our church grow disciples of Jesus. “This is such an exciting result,” said Pr Travis Manners, Mission Coordinator for Local Churches in the Greater Sydney Conference. “Traditionally, Loving Relationship has been the lowest minimum factor in many Seventh-day Adventist churches. It is so exciting to see the growth Fountain in the City has worked on and had in this important area, making it a more loving church.”

Charlene Tink, an artist and university student, won the Emotionally Thriving category at the third Ashrei Art Prize and Exhibition. The exhibition took place 14-20 April 2023 at The Woollahra Seventh-day Adventist Church, with artists showing paintings, photographs, and sculptures and taking home prizes including People’s Choice Award, Children’s Category Award and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award. The Ashrei Art Prize began in September 2018 after the success of the monthly Woollahra Painting Meetup that began in 2017 at the Woollahra Seventh-day Adventist Community Hall. Founder Pastor Daniel Przybylko started the

community exhibition and prize to promote art and emotional wellbeing through art, naming it “Ashrei” after a word in Psalms meaning “happy” or “blessed.” Charlene moved from the rural western Australia town of Manjumup to Sydney in 2020. After facing struggles throughout her childhood and early adulthood, she turned to art as a therapeutic practice to help her recover from trauma. She completed her winning piece, I just wanted to be loved, that’s all, just seven months after escaping domestic violence. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my church friends taking me in for safety,” she shared. Still, she says, the emotional scars remain. “Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and regularly endure EMDR therapy to process through my past.” However, those experiences and the healing process she’s going through have proven her true strength. Now, she is majoring in visual arts at the University of Sydney and using art as an outlet to find a fresh start, proudly displaying her work at the Ashrei exhibit. “From the lowest part of my life, I’ve been able to build myself up again and demonstrate that in this 3D artwork,” she says. “It’s the depiction of my journey trying to take control of my own health and life again.” Her winning piece is a 3D sculptural painting made from plaster, insulation foam, plastic sheets, fabric, and acrylic paint. “Just like the painting, I envision PTSD to be ‘sticky’ and my self-identity to be well embedded into my messy past that takes hold of my freedom, thus my ‘body’ being a part of the frame where it is glued, plastered, and coated in a deep, sorrowful blue,” she explains. “However, from this darkness, my true self love is learning to bloom again as is represented by the vibrant pinks and magenta dropping from the chest and eyes, and the flowers surfacing from the mess… Now I believe that I am a whole person with my own identity separate from my abuser. I have friends and family that truly care for me and with each healthy connection I get closer to being my true self, as shown by the iridescent bright lines connecting to the heart in the painting.” See more of Charlene’s art on Instagram at instagram. com/charlenetink_art. The church is planning a follow-up program geared

03 towards youth for later in 2023. Church: christian-church-woollahra/

3. PR RICHARD REID HONOURED WITH LEMKE MEDAL On 15-17 May 2023, education leaders from the South Pacific Division gathered in Brisbane for the Adventist Schools Australia (ASA) leadership summit. At the event, Pastor Richard “Richie” Reid, associate pastor and youth and teen pastor at the Wahroonga Seventhday Adventist Church, was honoured with the Lemke Medal for Distinction in Chaplaincy. “Rising to receive [a] citation recognising my outstanding contribution to chaplaincy in Adventist education… was a humbling and unexpected acknowledgement, mixed with a great sense of emotion and reflections on a blessed and enjoyable journey of pastoral care and service,” Pr Reid shared. “To those whom I have served as their chaplain and those staff [and] chaplains whom I have served with and continue to do so: ‘Once your Chaplain, always your Chaplain!’ To God be the glory.” Chaplains who have served in schools for more than 10 years can receive the Mel Lemke Medal for Service, given in honour of Dr Mel Lemke, South Queensland







04 Conference ministerial association director for Education, who passed away in 2022.

Church: https://sydney.adventist.



Hoxton Park Church has hit the ground running this year. Our Pathfinder Club membership has increased to 42 and Adventurers has 36 members. They have been on three campouts to Corrimal Beach, Cedar Vale Health Retreat and Thirlmere Hiking Expedition. In other news, ten people went forward in baptism, including two people from our Food Pantry. Another young man had a prison experience and has turned his life over to the Lord.

Papua New Guinea needs your help. Next year they plan to conduct at least 7000 evangelistic meetings throughout their country from April 26 to May 11. They are wanting preachers (both lay members, including young people, and ministers) to come to their country to share the good news of Jesus and His soon return. Preachers, including Elder Ted Wilson, are coming from around the world and from throughout the South Pacific Division to help them. Each preacher must pay for their own visa and return

airfare to the site in PNG where they will preach. The Church in PNG will care for the preacher’s food and accommodation. If you would like to come to preach please contact Pr Gary Webster at ( as soon as possible.

6. LIFESTYLE MEDICINE TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE At ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre we are celebrating the completion of our first 12-week Diabetes Clinical Program. The new and innovative centre at the Sydney Adventist Hospital opened in April 2023 and uses an evidence-based wholeperson health approach to treating the root causes of chronic illness.

Our clients are enjoying the benefits of implementing healthy lifestyle choices with less reliance on medications. “This program combines the medical science of weight loss alongside practical changes for an overall healthier lifestyle… Working with an interdisciplinary team has been amazing. I’ve spent years trying to lose weight,” said Danni. “Rather than aiming for ‘short-term’ results, it’s helping me to gradually lose weight. This makes me feel better physically and mentally, and reinforces that I’m doing the right thing, encouraging me to keep going.” Visit our website to find out how we can empower you on your journey to wholeness. Bringing health, healing and hope through the power of lifestyle medicine.


The St Mary’s Samoan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sydney held a three-week evangelistic campaign in July, titled Footsteps of Jesus. The series was fronted by Greater


Sydney Conference Evangelist Pr Asofitu Leatuavao. According to Pr Ramese Tupe, this was a follow-up series to one started in 2020. That event, in cooperation with Dr Erika Puni and the Avondale Theological Seminary, had to be postponed due to pandemic restrictions.

Footsteps of Jesus was a systematic journey to significant places our Lord had walked throughout His ministry on Earth. Through his messages, Pr Asofitu built a linking bridge from Jesus’ journeys and their significance to the times we are in today. It was refreshing to hear distinctive Adventist messages being powerfully preached once again. The attendance each night was evidence of the ongoing success of the program. The Samoan community was faithful in support and attendance, filling the venue. Online viewership also grew during the livestream each night.


The immense preparation by the St Mary’s Samoan Church was a highlight of every program. Although few in numbers and worshipping in a






news public-school facility, it did not lessen their commitment to a successful campaign, and their hard work fed souls spiritually and physically every night. Another highlight was the church’s praise team, supported by the Mt Druitt, Punchbowl and Minto Samoan Churches, which powerfully sang inspiring musical items. The program closed on the final Sabbath of July with 11 new members being baptised into the church. The series has now moved from a public campaign to personal Bible studies. Church: samoan-church-st-marys/

8. CYCLE OF EVANGELISM IN LOCAL CHURCHES GETS A FUNDING BOOST! When it comes to mission, the cycle of evangelism encourages individuals and local churches to think of evangelism more as a process instead of a single event. To reach people, one needs to prepare the soil, plant the seed, cultivate the plant and, finally, harvest the crop. Recently, due to a bequest that was set aside for evangelism, local churches in Sydney were invited to apply for a share of $80,000 worth of grants to help fund initiatives along the various stages of the cycle of evangelism. Twenty-five churches responded, and funds were allocated for many various projects. This included upcoming initiatives such as the following: - A prostate health seminar and support for the Ghanian community

- A community camp for Hindu interests - Mothers Embrace, providing practical and emotional assistance to Portuguese-speaking immigrant mothers who have recently given birth - Health expos - Initiatives to enhance the connection between the local church and our Adventists schools - Support for existing food distribution - Vacation Bible School - Homeless help - Youth-week outreach - Full-message evangelistic campaigns One of the more creative ideas came from Thornleigh church, which has started a chapel for students that are home schooled. “It was great to be able to help fund these initiatives as the local church connects with its surrounding community,” said Pr Travis Manners, Mission Coordinator for Local Churches in the Greater Sydney Conference. “We pray that these events that form part of the larger evangelism process will soften hearts and minds and help lead to a great harvest.” A similar round of funding is projected to be available for local churches’ cycle of evangelism initiatives to be run in 2024.

9. ADRA OCTOBER The increasing cost of living is putting more pressure on families than ever before. It doesn’t take much to push them over the edge into financial hardship, food insecurity or even homelessness.

ADRA operates over 100 community projects in Australia which are helping people who would otherwise fall between the cracks. For people like Perri, receiving assistance from ADRA was the difference between putting food on the table or going hungry. But with more people seeking assistance every week, we need your support to keep up with the demand. This October, there are many ways you and your church can support the ADRA Appeal. Give generously to the ADRA Community Projects Offering on October 7, register to doorknock, organise a fundraiser like a community concert, or donate directly to ADRA. To register or for more info, visit

10. FRESH CLOTHES AND A FRESH START: WELCOME BACKPACKS GIVE FORMER INMATES DIGNITY When incarcerated people are released at the end of their terms, most leave the prison with only the clothes on their backs. Usually, these are the same clothes they arrived in or donated castoffs. For many former inmates, these clothes are old, tattered, don’t fit, and remind them of who they were and what mistakes they were making when they arrived at prison. For former inmates who don’t have family or community support, leaving prison empty handed is a stressful and shame-filled walk, followed by the difficulty of fitting into a consumeristic environment with no money and no resources. Along with the common prison-tohomelessness pipeline, this can lead many to reoffend in desperation and be sent back to prison. However, thanks to the Welcome BackPack (WBP) program, introduced by the Metropolitan Special Programs Centre (MSPC) at the Long Bay Correctional Complex in Malabar, Sydney (NSW), and initiated by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) chaplain Bernard “Beez” Deojee, released inmates are now leaving with a bag of necessities and a sense of support. Welcome BackPacks are sports bags filled with items former inmates need when they’re released back into civilian life, such as clothes, shoes, and toiletries. They also include information about external support agencies. Each bag is tailored to the person receiving it; they meet with a chaplain, who determines what items they most need. The chaplain then purchases the items and packs them up so they’re ready when the inmate is released. The packs allow former inmates to leave shame and stigma behind them when they walk out of the prison

10 doors. Instead of being handed their old clothing at the end of their sentences—a reminder of who they were and why they came into prison—the backpacks and new clothes in them represent a fresh start, reminding them that they are now a new person with a new outlook and brighter future. One WBP recipient shared, “Instead of walking out of jail in an old t-shirt and work pants, I was able to walk out in new clothes which gave me confidence, respect and readiness to go forward thanks to the Welcome BackPack.” Another said, “I step out of the correction facility with pride. The initiative gave me a sense of comfort, pride and dignity while walking out… The new clothes will enhance me psychologically with great value and confidence about me while stepping out to face society.” These packs of hope, while not a huge financial investment, are an important investment in the futures of newly released. Often, the journey to assimilate back into society is a hard one, but this gift of a new start can help former inmates feel seen, cared for, and important. While Pr Beez is no longer a chaplain at CSNSW and has no current involvement is this initiative, it is a worthy one. If you are interested in getting involved with the Welcome BackPack (WBP) program, please contact our current CSNSW Chaplain, Pr Wellington Caqui-Bazan at







OCTOBER August february

2023 2021 2022

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The Northern Australian Conference appointments committee met on July 10 to prayerfully consider a new president. The appointed president is Pastor Simon Gigliotti, current youth director for Greater Sydney Conference. “Pastor Simon Gigliotti is a spiritual man,” said Pastor Terry Johnson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia. “He’s intelligent and a strategic visionary leader who will ably continue the kingdom narrative that successive presidents in the NAC have worked on.”

“I grew up in Ravenshoe in the Atherton Tablelands (North Queensland) and I’ve lived in Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay along the East Coast where I worked as a Plumber, and later a Pastor.

The outgoing president, Pastor Darren Slade, has accepted a call to be a local church pastor and church planter in the Greater Sydney Conference after seven years of leadership there and almost 13 years of presidential leadership having begun his administrative calling in Tasmania in 2012.

“It was in Cairns, at the age of 21, when I made a real commitment to Jesus as I studied the Bible with one of the Cairns church members. And, it was in Townsville that I was nurtured in my walk with Jesus, was re-baptised at 22, and made my decision to go into full time ministry.”

The conference appointments committee took the time to pray and by faith decided on a process to follow in the appointment of a new president. Pastor Johnson, chairman of the commitee, said “Our time together was bathed in prayer from around the entire conference as a request was made at the NAC Big camp 10 days prior, for all the members to pray that the Holy Spirit would lead and give wisdom on whom should be the new president for the Conference. It was clear with the tone and calmness with which the committee went about its duties that those prayers were answered.”

“Simon has 11 years of ministry experience, working as a Bible worker at local church to being a church pastor and then seven years of youth department leadership in the NAC, VIC and GSC fields,” said Pastor Johnson. “[He] will bring a strong passion for mission here and abroad.

The appointment means Pastor Gigliotti will return to serve the area he grew up in. “I feel honoured and humbled that I’ve been called to lead the Church in Northern Australia,” said Pastor Gigliotti.

“The church will be blessed by having a third Conference president under the age of 40 in the team of nine!” Pastor Gigliotti is married with one daughter. “My wife and I can very clearly see God’s hand in the call, and we are looking forward to His leading as we make the transition. “I’m excited to get around the Conference and meet the people on the ground and I’m looking forward to working with the church members, pastoral and departmental staff, office team, campground managers, and education staff, as we share the good news of Jesus Christ and His soon coming with the people in Northern Australia. “Please keep our family in prayer as we take on this new role.”


APRIL 22-27

a C ig m B 2 ntist




eV Alpin

PR Ian Sweeney



Dr Eric Walsh, MD & DrPH

Trans-European Division, Big Tent

US Public Health Clinician, Big Tent

PR Anthony Fuller

PR Rome Ulia

Washington Conference, Teens

S. England Conference, Youth + YA


Workshops, and more!INTRASYD

OCTOBER #sydneyadventists 2023


Why has the cost of property insurance skyrocketed? By RMS Staff

The rising costs of goods and essential services across the board is having a concerning impact on Adventist church communities and their ability to conduct mission and ministry, and unfortunately, insurance costs continue to rise. Likewise, Risk Management Service is affected by these cost increases. Every year the RMS team is faced with the challenge of negotiating the Church’s complex insurance program with the help of our broker partner. Together, we petition on the Church’s behalf for the best rates, and the most favourable terms and conditions we can obtain, collectively spending thousands of hours poring over policy documents to ensure the ministries of the Church are properly protected. We are deeply concerned by the financial pressure being experienced by our churches, schools, offices, manufacturing and healthcare institutions, and the impact that the cost of insurance is having overall. When we witnessed the start of the hard market in 2017 we could never have anticipated that it would be such a long and protracted

period of difficult conditions and unfavourable pricing. The RMS team is constantly challenging, questioning and testing the policies we manage to ensure we are providing the best value for the Church in today’s hard market conditions. For example, we conducted actuarial investigations into different pricing models resulting in RMS taking on a larger deductible (excess) to reduce the impact of the price increase in 2019/20.[i] By 2021, however, insurers and reinsurers had withdrawn much of their capacity in the market, tightening terms and conditions and reducing their appetite for certain risks. When negotiations on terms and conditions seemed impossible, RMS felt it was

time to conduct a broker review to find a broker that would help re-energise market interest in the Adventist Church’s insurance portfolio. After a thorough tender process, our new broker partner commenced with us last year. Factors influencing the cost of insurance rates are complex. Typically the insurance cycle peaks and troughs, like many other industries. However, what our Adventist church organisation is experiencing with insurance rates right now is exacerbated by four key factors: 1. The impact of increasingly severe catastrophic weather events, 2. An adjusted billing period to align with cover period, 3. Corrected reinstatement values through professional valuation, and 4. High-value buildings + changed member giving habits.

WHAT CAN BE DONE? The challenges are shared. There are steps we as RMS, can and have taken to ease the pressure as much as we can – that work will continue. And there are actions that your church and local conference can take too, to lessen the impact of rising costs of insurance and we strongly encourage you to read our article, Tips to Save Money on Insurance. Pricing challenges, though stressful, also bring the opportunity to tighten and improve your Adventist site’s risk control efforts and reduce its risk exposure. Whether or not you believe in climate change or end time events, significant

catastrophic weather events, inflation and external factors will continue to pose a threat to mission, so now is a great time to prepare. RMS has access to resources and expertise to help you build a more resilient Adventist community. Finally, we will continue to communicate with you and all our insureds the state of the insurance market through our website, e-newsletters, social media, Adventist Record, and our annual renewal letters. For a deep dive into each of these influences read the full article at You can reach out to Risk Management Service anytime by calling 02 9847 3375 or via info@ [i] For Adventist Church-owned property in Australia.






Help Aussies in need When Perri fractured her leg, she was out of work for 18 months. She didn’t know where her next meal was going to come from. That’s when she discovered ADRA. “I came in here in tears and left with food and a smile on my face.” – Perri

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