Delegates from in and out of Africa converged in Cape Town to participate in the Risk Management Conference which has been intense but refreshing for all delegates. In a changing society, church leaders and congregations face the realities of legal restrictions and the threat of liabilities impacting the Church. This seminar has identified a number of those liabilities ranging from the use of the name Seventh-day Adventist to contracts, to affinity fraud, and others.
“While the work of (ARM) is often viewed as a business activity, this conference positioned it as a ministry that serves the other ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” As ARM President Bob Kyte shared the vision of this ministry, he further highlighted that the “heart” of the ARM is service and support for all SDA ministries worldwide. The work of ARM is committed Christians working together to minimize the risks to Church property, fiscal resources and its people. He said: “What is our greatest asset? Our Children! Our Students! Because they are the future of our church we must do all that is possible to protect them from dangers within and without our organizations.”
Other presenters at the Conference included:
- Arthur F. Blinci (ARM Vice President Chief Risk Management Officer)
- Dr William Chunestudy(ARM Education Resource Specialist)
- Dr R. Clifford Jones (SDA Theological Seminary Andrews University)
- Karnik Doukmetzian (General Counsel General Conference of SDA)
- Jonathan Valls (ARM Senior Account Executive & Gideon Dayak ARM Account Executive – Loss Control)
- Sharon Mabena (ARM Vice President Chief Accounting Officer)
- Seth T. Bardu (Treasurer of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist)
- Sihle Msengana (Vice-President for Student Services at Helderberg College and a practising Clinical Psychologist, specializing in Child and Family Therapy)
- Herbert Sibanda (ARM Account Executive)
- Gideon Dayak (ARM Account Executive – Loss Control)
Because the Seventh-day Adventist church functions through Board and Executive Committees it was important to understand the roles each member plays on those committees. While many events are organized by the church that requires arrangements to be made for accommodation and transport, it is equally important to ensure that every person is covered by insurance and the ascending liability reduced to the organization. Relevant issues such as property management and insurance were addressed while attendees have learned about liability issues in the health institutions and how to minimize exposure and damages by the use of some simple processes and techniques. It was agreed that careful understanding of sound safety principles along with proper management, maintenance and care of our physical resources will keep our ministries on track for their intended purposes without interruptions and losses.
Elder Goodwell Nthani (Chief Financial officer, Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division), in his response, expressed satisfaction that important issues that help the organization maintain its integrity have been discussed. He further appreciated the emphasis placed on the mission of the church as a reason to have checks and balances as we prepare a people to meet Jesus Christ when He appears the second time.
Accountant: Adventist Risk Management – Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division