Editor’s Note: On September 18, 2018, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists released two statements: The first concerns updates to the GC’s document “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions” which will be voted on at Annual Council in October. The second statement clarified questions regarding the GC’s compliance committees that were officially announced last week. Both statements follow in full below:
Administrative Committee Continues to Refine Unity Document
Following its vote on July 17, 2018, of a preliminary document outlining a process addressing non-compliant entities, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Administrative Committee (ADCOM) voted updates to the document during its meeting at the church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 18.
This latest action of the committee follows the regular process of vetting and refining a document before being presented to the General Conference (GC) Executive Committee at its Annual Council in October.
“The updates came as a result of responses suggesting clarification and defining time frames for the voted process,” according to Hensley Moorooven, ADCOM secretary. “These suggestions are for clarification and improvement, as time has taught the church that this vetting process produces a better document.”
Standard Church procedures inform the Church that the updated document voted today is subject to further refinement, including by the GC and Division officers (GCDO) before reaching the floor of the Annual Council, where it is still open for revision before a vote is called.
“Transparency always facilitates contribution and input. It is important to have as wide input as possible on a document such as this,” Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stated. “As a body of believers, we work together, developing mutual understanding and agreements applicable to the church worldwide. We hope that through this process, this movement will become stronger in its God-given mission of sharing the Three Angels’ Messages and bringing the good news of Christ’s soon return.”
ADCOM refers to Compliance Committees
During a discussion of the General Conference Administrative Committee on Sept 18, 2018, it was recognized that a procedural oversight was inadvertently communicated, which stated that an in-house General Conference committee would be established by the General Conference Executive Committee, and that committee would report directly to the General Conference Executive Committee. In the normal course of establishing General Conference in-house operational Committees, those committees are established by and report back to the Administrative Committee of the General Conference. The General Conference Administrative Committee established and determined the terms of reference and membership of the five Compliance Review Committees. The Terms of Reference for the Compliance Review committees state that these committees carry-out their responsibilities and report their findings back to the General Conference Administrative Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee will then consider the report and may recommend through normal processes actions to the General Conference Executive Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee regrets any misunderstandings that may have resulted from this oversight since the ADCOM members understood, at the time of the voting, that it was a Committee appointed by and reporting to ADCOM.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on September 18, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference (GC) Administrative Committee (ADCOM) voted to ask two of its newly created compliance review committees to look at some areas of perceived non-compliance.
In line with their terms of reference, the subcommittees will explore perceived areas of non-compliance and will report their findings and recommendations to the GC Administrative Committee.
According to the September 18 ADCOM action, the two areas to be considered by the subcommittees are briefly introduced below:
1. It is vital for the Church to have an exemplary conduct in financial matters. It has come to the attention of the GC that some entities have had noted non-compliance to the same financial core policy (S 90) for several years. GC ADCOM has voted to request the General Conference Compliance Review Committee with General Conference Financial Core Policies – S 90 to exercise their Terms of Reference regarding entities that have exhibited a pattern of repeated non-compliance. The committee will use existing policies and structures to recommend to ADCOM how to lead these entities toward compliant behavior.
2. The 2015 General Conference has taken an action ‘to not allow division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.’ It has been brought to the attention of the General Conference Administrative Committee that some unions have not complied with this General Conference in session action. ADCOM voted to request the General Conference Compliance Review Committee with Doctrine, Policies Statements, and Guidelines for Church Organizations and Institutions Regarding Issues of Ordination to exercise their Terms of Reference exploring solutions and assessing the reaction of the church in relation to ordination policy and guidelines.
Today’s action was predicated with a season of prayer and was approved with unanimous support from the GC ADCOM.
General Conference Issues Statement on Compliance Committees, Sept. 11, 2018
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