SILVER SPRING - The North American Division Executive Committee at its 2016 Year-end Meeting voted a response to the General Conference “Unity in Mission” document, authorizing the North American Division Administrative Committee (NADCOM) to create a path forward.
The statement was introduced by Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church in the Southeastern California Conference. The discussion resumed after having been tabled on Friday after a lengthy and at times impassioned discussion.
The full statement is as follows:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church exists to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Three Angels’ Messages. Nothing should impede this prophetic mission.
It is thus with grave concern that the members of the North American Division (NAD) Executive Committee witnessed the passing of the Unity in Mission document at the recent Annual Council. The implementation of this document will create--indeed, is already creating--a profoundly divisive and demoralizing reality in many parts of the NAD.
While we wish to register our vigorous disagreement with the intent of the document, we do not wish to respond impulsively. Therefore, in light of this document, we move to authorize NADCOM to appoint a subcommittee to craft a thoughtful path forward.
Furthermore, recognizing that the underlying focus and context of the Unity in Mission document was the ordination of women to ministry in two unions in our division, we wish to once again publicly affirm our unwavering support and steadfast intent to realize the full equality of women in ministry, in fulfillment of biblical principles, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In light of these realities, we do not want the Unity in Mission document to be a deterrent to the ongoing, proactive progress toward the full equality of women in ministry in our Division.
We invite earnest prayer for the leading of the Holy Spirit as we engage in this process.
The motion carried, 163 in favor, 35 opposed, and 1 in abstention.
Image credit: Pieter Damsteegt / NAD Communication
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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