For the past two-and-a-half days, the Association of Adventist Women has been meeting on the campus of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. Ella Simmons, first woman general vice president of the world church, was the keynote speaker for the annual conference, with the theme of Women Mentoring Women.
LOMA LINDA - Dr. Gillian Seton and Dr. James Appel, Adventist Health International missionary doctors to West Africa, told stories and gave recommendations concerning the Ebola crisis to an overflowing audience at Loma Linda University's Frank Damazo Amphitheater Friday evening. Loma Linda University's Global Health Institute hosted the vespers program as part of its 2014 Global Healthcare Conference.
There were some ah ha moments in the Annual Council deliberation on how to handle women’s ordination on Tuesday. One ah ha came early, during the morning devotional by Dr. Peter Landless as he described Jesus encounter with the woman at the well. “The woman proved to be a more effective missionary than Jesus’ disciples,” Landless said, and an audible ahhh rose from the audience.
Other ah ha’s have come to me in the hours since the meeting as I have thought and talked with others about what was and was not presented during this tightly scripted day.
Adventist neurosurgeon turned political figure Dr. Benjamin Carson now places second in an Iowa straw poll behind 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Carson has taken the first steps to running for president of the United States. via The Washington Post.
We can no longer think of the Bible as a helpful guide for humanity. It is full of contradictions. It is an engine of violence. At the same time it is a conversation stopper, and so, like totalitarianism, it shuts down the avenues to moral progress and human betterment.
That’s my summary of a perspective increasingly commonplace in popular culture. If you pay attention to the New Atheists and their ilk, you hear it a lot. And for anyone who loves the Bible, it’s a blow to the ear and the heart alike.
SILVER SPRING - At approximately 5:37 local time, Annual Conference delegates voted to approve language crafted by The General Conference and Division Officers (GCDO), that will now go to delegates at the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas. The language from GCDO came in the form of a question, posted below.
Delegates will be asked,
After your prayerful study on ordination from the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the reports of the study commissions, and;
The house was packed for Mark Finley’s Monday morning devotional, and he preached with fervor describing the love that is at the heart of the Three Angels messages in Revelation. In closing he told the story of George Frederic Handel’s encounter with God while writing The Messiah. Handel said the heavens opened up for him as he penned the Hallelujah Chorus and he saw Jesus’ face. Then Finley invited the audience to sing the one-word song Hallelujah with him. The day was off to an inspiring start.
SILVER SPRING - In the final hours before General Conference Executive Committee members from around the world take up the issue of ordaining women at the 2014 Annual Council meetings, there are some things we know, and some things we don't. Annual Council delegates are expected to take most of Tuesday discussing the language they will send to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas.
SILVER SPRING - Delegates considered and discussed several changes to the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs during Sunday's afternoon business session at the 2014 Annual Council.
General Conference Executive Committee members heard proposed changes to several Fundamental Beliefs that would change language to be more gender inclusive.
SILVER SPRING - During a meeting of young adult delegates at the 2014 Annual Council, young church leaders received first-hand information about the upcoming women's ordination discussion and several more agenda items.
Approximately twenty young adults (numbers shifted slightly as some came and went), serving as members of the General Conference Executive committee for the 2010-2015 Quinquennium, gathered in a small room on the General Conference building's second floor to talk with Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) chair and GC General Vice President Artur Stele.
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.
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.