With a new website, newsletter, and commitment to livestreaming of its sessions, the Executive Committee of the General Conference is amplifying its voice within the denomination. The website launched just in time for the Committee’s Spring Meeting this week on April 11 and 12, and it is where the livestream will be carried. It is also where one can read the newsletter and see the agenda for the meeting.
Posting the agenda and livestreaming the sessions demonstrate a refreshing new openness by the committee. It also makes attendance possible for members who are unable to travel to Maryland. As listed in the agenda, the committee has 202 members.
Mark Finley, assistant to the president, welcomed committee members to the first issue of the monthly newsletter in January. He said the GC Presidential Team encouraged readers to circulate the newsletter material widely: “Feel free to e-mail it, post it on line or publish entire articles and excerpts in your denominational journals.”
If it is the Presidential Team encouraging readers to share the newsletter, perhaps a member of that team edits the newsletter. No credit is given for the editorial and design production.
Each four-page issue, thus far, features one major article by someone from the General Conference. Finley kicked things off with an article about unity. In the second issue, Elias Brasil deSouza, director of the Biblical Research Institute, covered the biblical basis for church governance and authority. Myron Iseminger, undersecretary of the General Conference, provided a history of church working policy in the third issue. With 28 references to church authority in these articles, the importance of agreeing with the General Conference has been clearly made.
Finances are the major reason for Spring Meetings, and audit statements top the agenda, including an auditor’s report on compliance with policy. There are several positions open for election. The Nominating Committee will bring names to the larger body for Director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, Director of Youth Ministries, and a Field Secretary Position chairing Adventist World Radio. Earlier in the year, it was announced that Duane McKey would be leaving the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department. In January, the Board of Directors for Adventist World Radio elected McKey to be the new president of the organization, which, according to the agenda, is a position that must be voted on by the Body. McKey also retains the title Assistant to the President for Total Member Involvement.
Also noteworthy is that a “Statement on Transgenderism” will be considered. There is no listing for a report or update from the Unity Oversight Committee that was created at last fall’s Annual Council to deal with the unions in the NAD that have voted to ordain women.
Ganoune Diop, the church’s emissary to the United Nations, will give the 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) devotionals on Tuesday and Wednesday, with justice as his topic on Tuesday and “God’s Insights into the State of our World” on Wednesday.
The meeting will close, as has become a tradition under President Ted N.C. Wilson, with an extended reading from the writings of Ellen G. White. The selected passages this time come from Great Controversy pages 518-530 on the “Snares of Satan.”
Bonnie Dwyer is Editor of Spectrum.
Image Credit: Screen capture of Executive Committee Newsletter March 2017.
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