There’s an old joke about the pope and a rabbi.
The chief rabbi of the largest synagogue in Jerusalem goes to the Vatican to have a conversation with the pope. During their chat, the pope pulls out a telephone, dials a number, and has a very quick conversation.
After the call the rabbi asks, “Who was that?”
And the pope replies, “That was God. Do you want to call?”
The rabbi shrugs and says, “Why not?”
Well, the pope cautions, “Are you sure, it costs $50,000 per minute?”
The rabbi waves him off, “Never mind, that’s too expensive.”
A year later the pope visits Jerusalem. The rabbi picks him up from the airport and on the long drive to his home, the rabbi casually calls up God and all three of them chat leisurely.
When the rabbi hangs up, the pope says, “That was incredible. I’ve never spoken to God that long. How in the world can you afford it?
The rabbi replies, “Oh, it’s only 50 cents.”
The pope is doubly shocked. “How can that be?”
The rabbi replies, “Here it’s a local call.”
Global, but Local
What’s more important in religion, the global or the local? During the General Conference Session the globally dispersed Seventh-day Adventist Church assembles over 2,000 of its top administrative leaders in one place. As delegates, these folks gather to represent the rest of us laity and pastors. But do they? Do they really understand the local needs of our diverse global community?
In order to get a better understanding of the local, Spectrum is hosting online conversations with very interesting Adventists from around the world. In this episode, Adventists from South Africa, China, Brazil and the U.S. gather to explore what values they have in common? They also share frankly what they think needs to be on the church’s agenda and what changes need to be made. Spectrum will release Global Adventist Conversation video and podcast episodes with a wide variety of Adventists during the GC Session and for several weeks after.
Meet Your Conversation Partners for Episode 1
Andre Kanasiro is a biologist, biblical scholar, and he just completed an MA in Hebrew Biblical Studies at the University of São Paulo. He is the editor-in-chief of Zelota, an independent magazine that covers Adventism in Brazil.
Christie Chui-Shan Chow received her doctorate in religion and society from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Seventh-day Adventism. Her dissertation, Schism. Seventh-day Adventism in Post-Denominational China, has been recently published by University of Notre Dame Press.
Kendra Arseneaux is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and just received her MDiv from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. She is the host of the Imago Gei podcast.
S’duduzo Blose is an ordained minister in South Africa. He has served as Stewardship Director and an Executive Committee member of the KwaZulu Natal Free State Conference. He earned his BA in Theology from Helderberg College and his MTh in Biblical Studies, with a special focus in Biblical Interpretation from University of KwaZulu-Natal where he is currently pursuing a PhD.
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