Spectrum Blog

Annual Council Diary III: Faith, Love and Satan

Traditional Sabbath worship services are held in the General Conference Chapel during Annual Council.  Sabbath School began with Carol Barron, an enthusiastic  chorister, leading the audience in clapping and saying hallelujah as they sang “If you’re happy and you know it.”

Annual Council: Tweeting The Meeting Live

Women's Ordination. Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation. Clarification on how Adventists define the Spirit of Prophecy. These topics and many more fill the 268 pages of the 2014 Annual Council. Now updates from the Annual Council come to readers in real time with Spectrum's Twitter coverage.

Getting Personal: Annual Council Diary II

Annual Council Diary II

While the members of the General Conference Executive Committee have gathered to attend to church business at Annual Council, the meetings began with what could best be described as continuing education. Known as the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Conference, this year the sessions were very personal, beginning with the health talks on Thursday evening. Friday’s topic continued that personal slant as speakers, case studies and skits focused on appointments and disappointments.

Sabbath Sermon: Adam and Steve

New Pacific Union College chaplain and PUC Church associate pastor Jonathan Henderson took the university’s week of prayer as an opportunity to deliver a message that has resonated deeply with LGBTQ Adventists and their allies.

On Wednesday night, October 8, Pastor Henderson took the PUC Church stage for the third night in a row in a series on relationships. Monday night he highlighted Adam and God; Tuesday focused on Adam and Eve; and on Wednesday, Adam and Steve were the focal point of the conversation.

And So It Begins: Annual Council Diary I

Annual Council Diary I

Every five years the Seventh-day Adventist church holds a General Conference session to elect officers, vote changes in the policies and practices of the church, and review beliefs and mission statements. The Annual Council session of the General Conference Executive Committee that vets all items for that meeting opened Thursday evening. Speculation about how the issue of women’s ordination will be handled has been swirling about since the completion of the Theology of Ordination Study Commission ended in a three-way divide over the issue.

Kellogg Sells Worthington and Loma Linda Brands

Today Atlantic Natural Foods, based in Nashville, North Carolina, announced it has bought the Loma Linda and Worthington brands of canned meat analog products, including FriChick, Choplets, Super-Links, Big Franks and Tender Bits.

Responding Theologically to Animal Ferocity and Suffering

I suspect that many readers will approach Osborn’s Death Before the Fall within the framework of the creation versus evolution debate that has long exercised churches and classrooms across the globe. Indeed, Osborn devotes more than half of his book to describing how the biblical literalism with which he was raised leads to scientifically incredible claims of a young earth and a prelapsarian deathless natural world, among other difficulties. While I affirm the importance of these and other “religion and science” discussions, my review will proceed in a different direction.

Applegate Fire Threatens Structures Near Weimar Institute in Drought-Parched California

Adventists in Northern California called for prayers Wednesday evening for Weimar Institute. A rapidly-moving vegetation fire posed a possible threat to the Adventist education center in Colfax, Northern California. According to Cal Fire, the Applegate Fire broke out in dry woodland at about 1:30pm local time and was only 10% contained as night fell. Mandatory evacuations remained in effect for surrounding areas as the fire threatened some eighty structures. Several media outlets showed images of burned out buildings as crews battled five separate blazes that spread to over 380 acres.

Before Annual Council, Damsteegt Attempts to Change Seminary's Headship Statement

Just days before the 2014 Annual Council, where women's ordination will be a topic of discussion, Gerard Damsteegt, professor of Church History at the Adventist Seminary at Andrews University, has spearheaded an effort to persuade seminary members to significantly revise their statement on headship. The Seminary's statement began "We, the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, affirm that Christ is the only Head of the Church (Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18).

Singing Through Our Tears: Adventist Music and Great Disappointments

The Sabbath morning “church service” portion of the 2014 Adventist Forum Conference in San Diego, “Singing Through Our Tears: Adventist Music and Great Disappointments,” began with music provided by Dr. Elvin Rodriguez, chair of the Music Department at La Sierra University, and his wife, Linette.  This talented couple performed both solos and duets on the piano and accordion as well as accompanied each other’s vocal renditions.  

Is There Hope for The Advent Hope?

Among Adventism's Great Stories is the story of the Advent Hope. It has in turn thrilled, comforted terrified and inspired generations of Adventists. Is there still hope for the Advent Hope? Where does it find expression today in the life of our faith community. Four speakers at the 2014 Adventist Forum Conference provided their approaches to the parousia, the Hope of God's Appearing.

The Status of Women's Ordination Ahead of Annual Council

Seventh-day Adventist leaders from around the world are on their way to Silver Spring, Maryland for the 2014 Annual Council. The meetings span six days, from October 9 to 15. Women's ordination, which current policy allows for deacons and elders, but not ministers, will come up on Tuesday, October 14.

Adventist Forum Awards Breakfast at San Diego Conference

Sunday morning in San Diego began with fellowship in the Fairbanks room as 2014 Adventist Forum Conference attendees gathered around tables and enjoyed breakfast and good company.

Laughter and merriment punctuated by lychees, strawberries, melons, chocolate truffles, fruit tarts and Worthington breakfast-patty biscuits and gravy prefaced Spectrum editor Bonnie Dwyer's taking the stage to recite poem “VI” from Wendell Berry’s This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979-2012.


Almost News: Representatives Provided With Their Conclusions on Women's Ordination ahead of Annual Council

2014 Annual Council organizers have stopped at nothing to make sure that delegates flying in from around the world for the October 9-15 General Conference-based meetings are adequately prepared for discussions of the council's agenda items.

What’s Next for the Children of the Disappointed?

Turn to metaphor and ambiguity.

Address the disappointments of others.

Don’t think we determine the time of Christ’s return.

Left out won’t do; never give up.

Late Sabbath afternoon at the Adventist Forum’s conference on “The Great Adventist Stories,” four speakers addressed the ongoing experience of a community familiar, from the very beginning, with disappointment.

Vision for the Medium: North American Adventism and Mass Media Today

If you’ve ever attended the Sonscreen Film Festival, you’ve likely been impressed by the creativity and ingenuity on display.

Kilby Killed It Sabbath at the Adventist Forum Conference

Sabbath morning at the 2014 Adventist Forum Conference began with sunrise over San Diego’s South Bay, color seeping into the marina, barely illuminating the city skyline. With the day beginning outside large picture windows that way, Elvin and Linette Rodriguez led a participatory singing of Joseph Addison's "The Spacious Firmament" with a melody inspired by "The Creation" by Joseph Haydn. Elvin Rodriguez brought Haydn's magnum opus to life brilliantly before the audience joined together singing.

Adventist Forum Conference 2014 Kicks Off in San Diego

Following a rosy San Diego sunset, the 2014 Adventist Forum Conference, celebrating “The Great Adventist Stories,” commenced this evening in the Fairbanks room of the Sheraton.

Male Headship Symposium Day Two: Satan is Behind Feminism

Laurel Damsteegt took the "Women's Ordination: History, Issues and Implications" symposium into unusual territory Thursday morning, making the case that Spiritualism (communication with evil spirits) is the root cause of feminism and the Women's Rights movement. Speaking from the "Secrets Unsealed" studio in Fresno, California on day two of the symposium sponsored by male headship proponents, Damsteegt said that gender issues are a direct outgrowth of "Type Two Spiritualism."

Why Stephen Bohr Wants Male Headship in the Adventist Church

Stephen Bohr's summation of the arguments for women's ordination? "They're based on faulty reasoning, faulty study of Scripture, partial evidence, redefining words, injecting contexts that are not there, and ignoring contexts that are there." That categorical dismissal of ordination equality came on the first night of the Fresno, California pastor's Women's Ordination symposium. In a two-hour marathon lecture, Bohr made the case that male headship is God's way--the right way. Really, the only way forward for the Adventist Church.

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