On November 6, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Greece v. Galloway, which tested the constitutionality of prayer as a component of government meetings.
In a unanimous vote, the Trans-European Division Executive Committee affirmed the 730-page Theology of Ordination report from the division's ad hoc Biblical Research Committee. Chief among the committee's recommendations was that "the Church should allow for an inclusive and gender-neutral ministry, which means that credentials will be granted to men and women on equal terms for all offices which require ordination, presently the gospel minister, the elder, and the deacon/deaconess."
In our quest to highlight the documents researched, written and presented by the different division’s Theology of Ordination Study Committees, we bring you this week excerpts from two reports on the issue of headship.
A third division has voted to recommend that the General Conference not discriminate by gender when ordaining pastors. The South Pacific Division vote, taken during year-end meetings held in Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia, follows similar votes taken by the Inter-European Division and the North American Division. Kent Kingston wrote this story for the Record:
A second division has voted to recommend that Adventist women pastors be ordained. In its recent annual meeting, the executive committee members from the 11 conferences (12 European countries) that make up the Inter-European Division (EUD) voted unanimously to recommend the ordination of women to pastoral ministry, taking into consideration the possibility of applying it according to the needs of the fields. There were no abstentions.
In the Philippines, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is growing more quickly than anywhere else in the world, according to a report at the recent Annual Council. 80,000 baptisms have been recorded since 2011, and there are more than 700,000 Adventist church members there, as well as several colleges and universities, a publishing house, and a medical center.
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.
Lawrence Geraty, Adventist Forum Board Member, recently offered to help a small group of volunteers write thank you notes to people who have generously supported Spectrum in the past. Here’s his account of how one thing led to another as well as a reminder of the gift and magic of friendship. Names of the friends have been changed to protect their privacy.
Seventh-day Adventist world church president Ted N. C. Wilson published this piece in the online Huffington Post yesterday. The article sets the Adventist church apart from "some religious groups in America" that "have repeatedly sought to influence various sectors of government to enshrine particular principles." It cites examples of how Adventists have been on the side of religious liberty since our church's founding 150 years ago.
General Conference policy opposes discrimination based on gender (as well as race and color), but then goes on to contradict itself. Dr.
SILVER SPRING - North American Division president Daniel Jackson issued a statement of clarification Tuesday morning at the start of the Year-end Meeting business session. Addressing the swift online response to news that on Monday, delegates voted in favor of women's ordination, Jackson sought to set the record straight. He reiterated that the vote did not signal a change in policy. Instead, the vote approved the recommendation of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee. The motion approved by delegates was as follows:
SILVER SPRING - After several hours of reports from the North American Division Theology of Ordination Study Committee and lengthy discussion, attendees of the NAD Year-end Meeting voted 182 to 31 in favor of accepting the motion stating,
On Friday evening, attendees to the NAD year-end meetings were invited to preview the documentary The Blueprint by filmmaker Martin Doblmeier. The one-hour film is scheduled to air on PBS in 2014. David George, coordinator of the film program at Southern Adventist University, wrote this review of The Blueprint for Spectrum.