Through most of my ministry, the conventional wisdom, shared by people from all across the Adventist spectrum, was that we’d outgrown the union conferences. Union conferences had been established at a time when there were no telephones, no airplanes, no internet. At a time when it was believed that pastors needed bosses, who needed bosses, who needed bosses, who needed bosses at the very top—a whole chain of control.
Oliver Sacks, “In memoriam” (1933-2015)
“For this is what the LORD says: "To the “homosexuals” (eunuchs) who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant, to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.” Isaiah 56: 4,5.
Three of the most disturbing words to have to utter. "I don't know." We have an aversion to uncertainty and especially to admitting it to others. The advice is often given that young professionals should "fake it til you make it" and "never let them see you sweat". Essentially, even if there is uncertainty, act as if it doesn't exist.
[Roy Branson,“In Memoriam” (1937-2015)]
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is living an epochal cultural change incarnated with the demographical shift in these last fifty years. In 1962 the Church in the “Global South” had a membership of 818,716 (60 percent of world membership of 1,362,775). In 2012 that “Global South” membership shot up to 16,380,066, representing 92 percent of world membership.
I taught in NYC public schools. After completing undergrad, I went to the NYC Board of Education to apply for a job. They needed teachers—as long as you had a bachelors degree in anything, you could be hired! I was put in a classroom the very same day I went to the school. I had no time to prep. I taught one one class I was qualified to teach (science) and two others I wasn't (math and technology). We didn't have books the first half of the year! We never got materials for science lab or computers for technology class.
In the aftermath of San Antonio’s Women’s Ordination (WO) “No vote” there has been, unsurprisingly, considerable reaction. Emotion, speculation, criticism, defense—words have spilled out in prodigious quantity. Almost everything I have read concentrates on specific context, that is: women, ordination and church governance. Some attempts have been made to propose underlying rationale—mostly relating to cultural effects on the delegates’ mindset.
I’ve been reading Spectrum magazine for decades, and participating in it in as an online forum since—well, since it became an online forum. Spectrum has thought itself a loyal critic of the church, a place where dissenting points of view can be voiced, or underreported church news given an airing. At its best, it functions creatively and constructively.