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.
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.
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.
When the union conference presidents were summoned to a meeting at the General Conference on January 19 to discuss the governance issue surrounding women’s ordination, they spoke in a united voice of their support of women’s ordination while acknowledging “a significant minority of members who oppose ordaining women.”
In response to the General Conference document “A Study of Church Governance and Unity,” Adventist university religion professors voted a statement saying, “it is vital that we accommodate the conscience of those who may disagree over matters of church policy.” The scholars were meeting at the Adventist Society for Religious Studies in San Antonio last week.
With the strong US dollar affecting the exchange rate for the eight different currencies in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church receives funds, the General Conference showed a loss of just over $19 million as of December 31, 2015, according to Treasurer Juan Prestol-Puesan. In the first nine months of 2016, the value has stabilized but at a much lower rate, he added.