Many thanks to all of our readers for making last week one of Spectrum’s best.
Our coverage of the conference on sexuality in South Africa sponsored by the General Conference brought 31,062 visits to our website, a 14% increase over the previous week. We had 18,652 unique visitors. And they stayed to read. There were 71,729 page views, a 24% increase over the previous week.
In the teacher’s edition of this week’s lesson study, there is an exercise titled “Jesus Chairs the Nominating Committee.” The instructions are to write the list of current church offices, such as children’s Sabbath School teacher, social activities director, elder, deacon, greeter, church clerk, etc. on a white board for a discussion of how essential these positions are to the mission of the church, and what would Jesus do with a list like this?
With Black Friday shopping winding down, Giving Tuesday approaches. Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? It is a national day for sharing that follows the shopping days: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thus, Giving Tuesday this year will fall on December 3. It is a day set aside to give back to the community.
To Spectrummites all over the world, we invite your participation on Tuesday.
Bringing together Adventist academics and church administrators for the Summit on Nurture and Retention produced a fascinating mix of presentations and conversations. With recent membership surveys in nine of the world divisions, there was data to inform program reports. Graduate student Katelyn Ruiz talked about nonverbal behavior in a case study of the welcoming program at a local church.
It was just so ironic. At the summit called to address why the Seventh-day Adventist church is losing one-third of its members out the back door, the one presenter who is known to be gay was disinvited at the last minute. And while he was told he was welcome to attend, he could not present his paper which had nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality. It was not because he is gay that he could not present, he was assured, but “because of the views you have publicly espoused on this subject."
With one third of baptized Seventh-day Adventist church members slipping out the back door, officials at the General Conference have decided it is time to address the issue in a major way. To do so, academic researchers and church administrators are meeting this week in Silver Spring to discuss the data and suggest a strategy to reverse the trend during the “Summit on Nurture and Retention, 2013: Discipling, Retaining, and Reclaiming”.
Amidst the avalanche of material that has been written on women’s ordination in the past several years, the North American Division Report presented this past week distinguishes itself as a comprehensive document that covers all the important aspects of the topic, includes material from multiple viewpoints and presents a way forward for the church.