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Bonnie Dwyer

The Significance of Unity Now

The timing for the discussion of Unity in Sabbath School this week is fascinating, given that the materials for the lesson study guide are prepared several years in advance. And yet, here we are, post Annual Council 2016 when the topic of unity exploded within Adventism, post the London Unity Conference sponsored by ten unions as a response to what happened in 2016, and awaiting this year’s Annual Council when the topic will again be front and center.

Sabbath at the Unity Conference: Justice Takes Center Stage

Happy Sabbath. Gary Patterson concluded his worship series with a devotional about the joy that we are to experience in Sabbath rest. Certainly the Sabbath day in Heathrow would prove to be a joy as we gathered together for more conversation and presentations. By this time, people were beginning to know each other. The conversations at our round tables had created new friends as we discussed the questions that were circulated after each presentation.

Friday at the Unity Conference: Refreshed Understandings of Unity

How is church unity achieved? Can leaders create it? Is it a result of like-mindedness? Is it something that church members do? An agreement? Or, is unity a state of being with Christ? The presentations, questions, and conversation surrounding the word unity made for a lively day on Friday.

Thursday at the London Unity Conference: Transformational Moments in the History of Church Authority

And so it began, the Unity 2017 Conference, with worship, of course. Gary Patterson, retired General Conference field secretary, known to many in the room for his insightful interpretation of church policy, showed his pastoral side with a creative devotional on the book of John, on light in the darkness, on the women to whom Christ made his most significant announcements. It was the woman at the well to whom Jesus first personally declared his Messiahship. It was to Mary that Jesus appeared upon his resurrection.

London Unity Conference Set to Reframe Conversation about Church Authority

Which came first in Adventism, discussion of women’s ordination or discussion of unity? All three words seemingly have been worn out in the conversations about them, particularly in the last ten years, but really since the beginnings of the church in the 1860s. Does the conversation change depending on whether or not you are in a division conference office, or a union, or a local conference office?

With Apologies to Gary Kent, IIW Oceania Moves On

Donors to It Is Written Oceania gathered last weekend to meet with church officials in the aftermath of the program’s recent leadership change. Speaker/Director Gary Kent was removed from his position in May by the Adventist Media Center Board, according to a story in the South Pacific Division’s Adventist Record, regarding “conduct inconsistent with the responsibilities of the speaker/director.”

Financial Reports Top the Agenda at Spring Meeting

It was a relieved General Conference Treasurer Juan Puesan-Prestol who told the Spring Meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee that God had turned around the dire financial situation in which the church found itself last fall. Thanks also to a shift in financial markets, there was a $21 million swing in the church’s fortune. It went from a negative $20,180,003 in net assets at the end of 2015 to a positive $1,011,538 at the end of 2016.

General Conference Executive Committee Rising

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.

North American Division Proposes Way Forward Over Women’s Ordination Issue

When last they met in February, General Conference President Ted Wilson suggested to the North American Division officers and its union conference presidents that they propose a way forward on women’s ordination, given their ongoing disagreement over the issue.

Leadership to Change on Spectrum Website

On Wednesday March 1, Alisa Williams assumes the role of managing editor of the Spectrummagazine.org website, replacing Jared Wright who requested a part-time reporting position to allow for more time with his family.

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Sat, 08/05/2017
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