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The Society of Adventist Philosophers is inviting submissions for papers and panels to be presented at its annual symposium. The title of the November 21, 2013, conference will be: Essentialism: Adventism and Questions of Race and Gender.
The keynote speaker this year is George Yancy, Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University and the editor of the book Christology and Whiteness: What Would Jesus Do?
The society invites presenters to submit abstracts or papers that address the metaphysics of race and/or gender and its epistemological and ethical implications. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, addressing Adventism and its relation to:
Find out more here.
In a recent NewsPoints press release, Elder Daniel Jackson, President of the North American Division, and G. Alexander Bryant, NAD Secretary, "videotaped a short message concerning the reasons behind the decision to close the Adventist Media Center in Simi Valley, Calif."
Read more on the decision here.
The following "statement regarding equality and ordination" was voted at the Danish Union session, May 12, 2013.
According to the Seventh-day Adventist Church's belief in creation, as witnessed in the Bible, God has created mankind – man and woman – in His image and therefore equal.
Because of sin, God instituted a special priesthood reserved for men. This special priesthood with its sacrifices and functions found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. There is no longer any special priesthood. Jesus Christ is our only true priest, the exalted high priest in the true temple in heaven. Now all have free access to God (Hebrews 4-5).
All of Christ's followers – both men and women – were lifted up to be a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, to declare His praises" (1 Peter 2:9).
This royal priesthood has a common purpose, namely to proclaim the gospel.
This ministry is based on the spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives equally to men and women (1 Chor 12). Paul mentions some specific grace based ministries in the Church, including apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (i.e. pastors), and teachers (Eph 4:7-16).
With background in this biblical understanding, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denmark will not distinguish between genders when appointing pastors, and wishes to see equality between genders in all areas of responsibility. As a result, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denmark will suspend the ordaining of any new pastors until the General Conference session in 2015.
Now a seasoned baker, Marcus Heisler remembers his first loaf of bread: “It looked like it had warts.” The basic white bread recipe may have been specific to bread machines, but not for Heisler’s appliance that he and his college roommate, Kirk Baker, had picked up on a whim at a yard sale. Seeing the machine’s condition, a friend offered them a backup bread maker, which they accepted.
Together, the two bread machines were the foundation for the friends’ bread “factory.” At first, it only catered their breaks from late-night study sessions at Canadian University College. “It was a bonding moment,” Heisler says. He would slice a few pieces off their favorite rosemary bread (easy to prepare, the results improved after the first attempt), open bottles of olive oil and vinegar for a simple vinaigrette, and dip bread together with Baker.
“It’s sort of primitive, a little vulnerable,” muses Heisler. “Perhaps it’s the nature of dipping bread with your fingers into the same bowl of oil, with the oil on your fingers all over the place, no computers or phones getting in the way.” He adds, “We could share anything, conversation wise—about girls, life—and not feel judged.”
After adjusting to the bread machine’s eccentricities, the roommates began turning out loaves more frequently, and the unexpected aroma of freshly baked bread began diffusing throughout their dorm. The arrival of other male students, and the jealousy of the girls in the other wing, prompted the friends to begin selling bread to both genders, with a small profit margin. (Two of CUC’s residence halls are co-gender; male students and female students live in separate wings, and share the center space for common use.)
“This [was] the very beginning of our loafing around in college,” says Heisler, who graduated summa cum laude in 2010. When he was accepted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and moved in with new roommates, the original bread machine joined them, as did Heisler’s optimistic plans to bake bread instead of purchasing it. However, after only three or four loaves got made during his first year in medical school , the bread machine visited his parents’ closet for a year. Now in his third year of medical school, the bread maker has returned to Heisler’s countertop, along with renewed interest in baking. It again facilitates fresh loaves and conversation.
Baking bread has become a Friday evening tradition, a Sabbath rest. “It’s an end-of-the-week celebration,” Heisler says. He is thinking of trying cinnamon rolls next.
It is time to get a new appliance, he says. “The sides of the inside pan are supposed to be nonstick, but now have many scrapes on the inside, scratches from where I had to use improvised birthing tools to extract the loaf. We’ve performed C-sections to get the pan out,” he adds, in the natural language of a student doing medical rotations.
Marcus Heisler is a third-year medical student at Loma Linda University. When he's not baking or studying for an upcoming exam, he can be found rock climbing or Skyping with his girlfriend in Canada.
This week’s recipe for Jo’s Rosemary Bread from allrecipes.com is Marcus Heisler’s favorite bread recipe. He suggests that offering visitors loaves of this bread may have helped him and his college roommate win a “best dorm room” contest.
Jo’s Rosemary Bread
Prep time: Varies (depending on individual bread machine)
Makes: 1 ½ lb loaf
1 c water
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. white sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. dried rosemary
2 ½ c bread flour
1 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select white bread cycle; press start.
1. New director of the North American Division's Office of Volunteer Ministries, plans a barrage of marketing and recruiting at all North American Adventist colleges.
2. Southern Ghana Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church plans to construct 40 churches in rural areas.
3. The biannual Avondale College of Higher Education Offering raised $144,000, which is giving Music and Greer Halls on the Lake Macquarie campus a much needed facelift.
Work of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee moved ahead this week with the issuing of two draft documents and announcement of plans for the coming months. The 64-page paper “Toward a Theology of Ordination” reviews Biblical texts and Ellen G. White statements about ordination with the intention of being an introductory document for the committee’s discussion. Secondly, a 700-word consensus statement on the theology of ordination gives a glimpse of what the committee intends to produce as a summary of its work.
Accompanying the draft documents was the announcement from the steering committee that it has decided, “in order to be as transparent and open as possible to select a working group of ten people who are not members of the steering committee and have been participating in the writing of the consensus statement, to review all the recommendations we have received from the TOSC members and Division Biblical Research Committees.” However, the names of the ten have not yet been released.
The group of ten is to include five people who support women’s ordination and five people who do not support it. Geoffrey Mbwana, the vice-chair of the TOSC, will chair the working group. And their work will begin immediately. They are set to meet at Andrews University May 21 and 22. Their first task will be to review recommendations from TOSC members regarding the two draft documents, and to come up with a second version of the consensus statement.
In June, the steering committee will review the work of the reading group, and prepare for the July meeting of the entire 100-plus member committee. “Our hope and prayer is that we will reach a consensus when we all meet in July this year,” TOSC Chair Artur Stele wrote in his message to the members of the TOSC.
The consensus statement as drafted uses gender inclusive language to leave open the question of the ordination of women to the ministry and not to support or oppose it, according to a note at the top of the document.
It describes the gospel ministry as “a special calling from God who in His grace chooses individuals and equips them with gifts in order to lead and nurture His people. . . . The quality of the life of such individuals evidences the fact that the Lord has called them to gospel ministry, and the church acknowledges this calling through the rite of ordination. Therefore, ordination is an act of commissioning that acknowledges God’s call, sets the individual apart, and appoints the person to serve the church in a special capacity.”
—Bonnie Dwyer is the editor of Spectrum.