Leaders of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists held a closed-door meeting yesterday with union presidents from the North American Division. The meeting was the first step in a five-part action plan created by the General Conference for dealing with what it views as instances of policy non-compliance. Though the GC has stated that the issue is not the ordination of women per se, ordination has been the subject of the GC's ongoing efforts to bring all territories into alignment, which for the GC means not ordaining women ministers as some territories currently do. The GC has framed the issue with the conciliatory language of unity and reconcilation. However, GC leaders have also explicitly stated that compliance with GC dictates is mandatory for all territories of the World Church.
Thursday's meeting marked the first step of the GC's action plan, which is described as taking effect when "executive officers or governing body become aware that there may be 'reason for concern regarding a subsidiary entity’s actions.'" The process calls for praying and listening as step one.
Following the meeting, the General Conference and the North American Division jointly issued a statement briefly summarizing the meeting and expressing their wish for whatever processes may follow. That statement follows in its entirety.
GC/NAD Statement on Unity Discussion
General Conference and North American Division leaders issue joint statement after day-long meeting.
The General Conference officers and the officers and union presidents of the North American Division met on Thursday, January 19, to discuss unity in mission as it relates to church governance and women’s ordination. The group affirmed their commitment to Christ through the Holy Spirit, the 28 Fundamentals Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, our prophetic end-time mission and worldwide church organization. After a candid and open discussion with frank interaction, the group agreed that there will be ongoing consultations to seek positive solutions to the challenging issues that the church faces.
It is our prayer that the church will move forward in unity and focus on mission to prepare the world for the soon return of our Lord.
General Conference Officers
Ted N. C. Wilson, President
G. T. Ng, Secretary
Juan Prestol-Puesan, Treasurer
North American Division Officers
Daniel R. Jackson, President
G. Alexander Bryant, Secretary
G. Thomas Evans, Treasurer
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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