A three-day conference, organized by 10 Seventh-day Adventist unions from across the globe, was announced this week. Scheduled for June 15-17, 2017 in London, the conference is “devoted to exploring the unity in diversity within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
The 10 unions involved represent four of the 13 world divisions (Inter-European Division, North American Division, South Pacific Division, and Trans-European Division).
Citing the early days of Adventism and the Sabbath Conferences of the 1840s, the conference organizers hope to bring people together to “explore the important subjects of church structure and authority, unity, and liberty of conscience.”
Per the conference website, the schedule is as follows:
Thursday: Authority and Structure
“The conference opens with a historical look at the creation of Unions, their purpose and original value to the church. The authority of the General Conference and Unions in relation to each other will be examined from different perspectives, and the significance of structure for mission will also be considered.”
“We will look at Ellen White’s understanding of unity and disunity and also examine Jesus’ statements on unity in John 17. The third session provides a more comprehensive understanding of the Biblical concept of unity that we hope will give a better foundation for future discussion by the church on this matter and will inform the panel discussion.”
Sabbath: Liberty of Conscience
“The radical reformation has provided us with a rich heritage in matters of conscience and religion. We will also consider what the Bible says about these important issues for the church today. And what of coercion? Is it ever justified? Day three will explore these important themes before asking the question, ‘Justice and Equality: Is God Interested?’ Here we ask the question regarding God’s nature and how this should inform the church’s attitude towards the important principles of justice and equality.”
Keynote speakers at Unity 2017 include:
Radisa Antic, Director of the Ellen G. White Research Centre, Principal Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Newbold College
Jan Barna, Senior Lecturer in Systematic and Biblical Theology, Newbold College
Lowell Cooper, General Vice President, General Conference (Retired)
Olive Hemmings, Professor of Religion, Washington Adventist University
Wendy Jackson, Lecturer in Ministry and Theology, Avondale College
George Knight, Emeritus Professor of Church History, Andrews University
Jiri Moskala, Professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology Dean, Theological Seminary, Andrews University
Barry Oliver, President, South Pacific Division (Retired)
Russell Seay, Assistant Professor of Theology, Oakwood University
Registration is open to, “Seventh-day Adventist Church administrators, theologians, and academics.”
More information and registration details can be found at the official Unity 2017 Conference website.
Alisa Williams is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image Credit: adventistunity2017.com
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