On Sabbath, June 2, the Ministerial Development team began a four-day leadership workshop in Santiago, Chile. On Friday Clyde Kilough, president of the United Church of God, an International Association; Richard Pinelli, director of Ministerial Development; and Lyle Welty, pastor of the Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregations, arrived in Santiago. They were met by Leon Walker, regional director for the Spanish-speaking areas, and Saul Langarica, pastor of the congregations in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay.
Also invited to attend the leadership workshops were the ministers and wives from South America, deacons and wives and the only deaconess in South America, who is Chilean. In addition, several members from Argentina, Bolivia and Peru also were in attendance.
The Spanish Region has long recognized the need for ministerial and leadership development. As is the case in all other areas, our ministry is aging and preparation for the future is essential. When the Ministerial Development Program was initiated, the Spanish Region began planning for Mr. Pinelli and his team to come to Chile for the first part of what is expected to be an ongoing training effort in Chile and other areas in Latin America.
The Sabbath began with split sermons from Lyle Welty and Richard Pinelli. Mr. Welty presented the topic "Your Role in God's Plan," which was followed by Mr. Pinelli's presentation, "Developing a Steadfast Spirit." After a lunch recess, regular Sabbath services were conducted, with Mr. Welty giving the sermonette and Mr. Kilough the sermon. The attendance for the morning session was 254. The audience was mainly adults, who represent nonordained leadership of the Church in the region, as well as other adults who were interested in hearing the leadership conferences. Attendance for the afternoon Sabbath services was 390.
After sunset the Santiago congregation presented for the visitors an esquinazo. This was a presentation of traditional songs and dances from the region. The guests were impressed with the quality of the music and dances, as well as the enthusiasm with which they were presented. This show helped the visitors appreciate the folklore and customs of Chile.
The regular sessions of the leadership workshop began on Sunday for all adults who wished to participate in the conference. Mr. Pinelli opened the conference with a lecture explaining the purpose of the leadership workshops. This was followed by a lecture by Mr. Kilough, who explained several principles regarding the government of God in the Church, using the study paper "Godly Governance" as his basis. The attendance for the morning session was 198.
A buffet lunch was provided by the members between the morning and afternoon sessions for each day of the conference. This enabled all to be together and to be able to enjoy fellowship with one another—especially with the visitors. Members made every effort to use whatever degree of English they knew and the visitors did the same with their individual levels of Spanish. Of course, those who were bilingual helped by translating.
The Sunday afternoon conference began with a lecture by Mr. Pinelli on the topic of spiritual effectiveness. This was followed by Mr. Welty's lecture on understanding the differences in personality and temperament in self and others. The attendance in the afternoon was 207.
Monday was a workday for most members, therefore the attendance dropped. There were 143 members in attendance for the morning session and over 200 for the afternoon session. In the morning Mr. Pinelli spoke on biblical guidelines for elders and wives, with special attention for the nonordained leadership in the Church. This was followed by a lecture by Mr. Welty on split sermons and full sermons. In the afternoon Mr. Pinelli spoke on the one-point sermonette. Mr. Welty ended the Monday session with the topic of developing wisdom and judgment.
The final day of the workshops was Tuesday and it was resevered only for the ministers and deacons (and wives). The lectures were tailored for topics more of a ministerial nature. Mr. Pinelli began the morning session with a lecture on baptismal counseling. This was followed by Mr. Welty who spoke on premarital counseling. After lunch Mr. Kilough brought the conference to a close, speaking on the topic of the heart of a pastor.
Members' reaction to the conferences was enthusiastic and appreciative.
Wednesday was a free day so the party spent the morning shopping and seeing some of the sights of Santiago. Mr. Welty returned to the United States that evening and the Kiloughs, Pinellis and Walkers traveled to Lima, Peru, arriving at about 2 a.m. Thursday. Later they were joined by Manuel and Clara Quijano and Wilfredo Saenz (Mr. Quijano and Mr. Saenz are the ministers in Peru) for a tour of the city.
That evening the visitors joined a group of members for a typical Peruvian dinner. The visitors had the opportunity to meet the pioneer members of the Church in Peru who were invited to the dinner.
Sabbath services were conducted in the Hotel Crillon Convention Center. Mr. Pinelli gave the sermonette and Mr. Kilough gave the sermon. There were 130 members in attendance. After sunset the members presented a brief talent show, featuring typical Peruvian music and dances. Later that evening the Kiloughs and Pinellis returned to the United States.
Mr. Welty said: "It was a real honor to participate in the Leadership Workshop in Chile. This was my first time to travel to South America, and I found Chile to be a delightful place to visit. The members were very warm and friendly, but what impressed me the most was their desire to learn. Some of the members explained that since God has called them to be teachers in the world tomorrow, they were desirous of learning all they could about leadership. That attitude impressed me deeply."
Mr. Pinelli said he and his wife "were highly impressed with the pastors, wives and their dedicated and converted frame of mind. The people and their acceptance of our presentations and respect they showed for the material and for all of us was overwhelming. I guess the greatest thing was attitude among all the ordained and all of the members. I found their attitude toward the ministry and the government of God brought tears to my eyes."
Clyde Kilough concluded: "I always marvel at how God has called people from all over the world and placed them in the Body as He has seen fit. It was a great opportunity for Dee and me to meet so many of the brethren in Chile and Peru, and the visitors from Bolivia, Colombia and Argentina. Their desire to learn and grow, their attitudes and their commitment to following God was truly inspiring. We only regret that we did not have more time to spend with them. I would highly recommend that anyone looking for a new place to transfer for the Feast should consider any of the sites in South America—you will be richer for it!" UN