The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Netherlands has created a new website that places gender parity literally front and center. The home page of the website, www.womensordination.nl (also in Dutch at www.vrouweninzegening.nl), reads "Leaders *all genders may apply."
Since the vote at the San Antonio General Conference Session, in which delegates voted against allowing divisions to make provision for ordination within their territories, the Netherland Union Conference has been at the forefront of providing opportunities to promote women leaders. Almost before the ink had dried on the page declaring the outcome of the ordination vote in San Antonio, the church in the Netherlands issued a statement saying,
The delegates of the Dutch churches voted at their Session in the autumn of 2012 to ordain women in an equal way to their male colleagues. The vote took effect in June 2013 and will remain in effect. The decision of the General Conference Session in San Antonio does not change this. Female pastors will continue to be ordained in the Netherlands Union Conference. We thank God that he calls men and women to serve him. We want to enthusiastically confirm that call by the laying on of hands.
With the creation of the new website, the Dutch Church signals its clear intention to build upon that statement. In an introductory message from the Union's president Pastor Wim Altink reads:
It is with pleasure that I bring this site to your attention. I trust that you will enjoy the articles, which give a clear insight into the functioning of our church.
The site pays special attention to, and gives a clear insight into the role of woman in the local church congregations: such as deaconess, elder and pastor. You will also read about our connectedness with the world church.
I wish you much reading pleasure and God’s richest blessing.
On behalf of the Executive Committee and the pastors serving within the Dutch Seventh-day Adventist church.
Pastor Wim Altink, President
The website includes an FAQ page, a resources page with downloadable documents, a page entitled Women in Ministry that explains the Dutch Church's rationale for continuing to promote women leaders, a History of Women in Ministry page that provides historical context, and a Women's Ordination and Working Policy page.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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