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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve ever attended the Sonscreen Film Festival, you’ve likely been impressed by the creativity and ingenuity on display.
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.
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."
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.
Hospitality is only truly hospitable when freely offered, at least initially, without condition. As Jacques Derrida notes, if one already knows whether a midnight knock on the door is likely to be a familiar wayfarer seeking mutual refreshment or a selfish thief with nefarious intentions, the door will only be opened to a short list of insiders while keeping unfamiliar strangers in the dark. Therefore, unconditional hospit
At the end of June 2013, 15 months ago, Alexander Carpenter wrote a farewell message on the Spectrum blog — this blog that he started and nurtured and made into the must-read destination it became. He handed it over to me as interim editor — a job I reluctantly accepted. I never dreamed more than a year would go by until I could write my own farewell note.
Thank you, Spectrum readers. You have made possible the next big step in the history of our organization. Jared Wright begins his work as the full-time managing editor of the Spectrum website today.
With the successful fund raising campaign of the past year, the Adventist Forum Board of Directors decided to invest the additional resources into the growth area of our audience on the web site.