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Statements by Church Entities on the “Unity in Mission” Vote


Several entities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have issued statements on the Annual Council vote on the "Unity in Mission" document. What follows are excerpts with links (if possible) to the full statements. This page will be updated if additional statements are released. 

The North American Division states:

Discussion on the document from the floor of the General Conference auditorium resulted in many different statements both in favor of and in opposition to the proposed document. All nine NAD union presidents and a large number of conference presidents voiced their concern for more dialogue before the document could be approved.

Daniel Jackson, president of the North American Division, went to the microphone and referred to his own baptism in 1963. “When I was baptized, I joined the Adventist family, and because of that, I am part of a much larger group. I am an African; I am a Bolivian; I am an Asian. We all are part of something much bigger than ourselves. We are part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission….”

While stated that the document was generic in nature, many people can not help but tie it to the issue of Women’s Ordination. In response to the document and the concerned voices in his division, Jackson, expressed his desire to reinforce the position of the division on the role of women in pastoral leadership. “I want to share my strong support for the role of women in pastoral ministry. Voted church policy allows for women to fill this very important position, and this will never change within the North American Division. We want to recognize the calling that God has placed upon both men and women to spread our message of hope and wholeness to everyone that resides in the borders of our territory. We will do everything in our power to move forward with the mission that God has given us all.”

Trans-European Division responds to Unity in Mission document voted at Annual Council:

"TED Officers, working in partnership with the Unions, will carefully study the document and see how the general principles of the document can best be applied within the culture and mission context of Europe. The TED sees the document as a general guideline and recognises the need for sensitivity and discernment as what has been voted has direct implications regarding decisions made by some of our Unions."

Raafat Kamal, President of the Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division, states:

“While I have attended recently a number of our union executive committees and extraordinary sessions deliberating the subject of women’s ordination, our members and leaders wish to be part of the world church family and recognise that our strength comes from the Lord united as a world community.” Kamal emphasises, “We need each other to grow together. To build a healthy, diverse church requires that we provide opportunities for open dialogue and commend those who have the courage to discuss controversial matters, as well as having the determination to deal with them. We need to approach diversity with utter humility on our knees where we become again the learners if, in fact, we are to succeed in establishing diverse congregations of faith.”

The Pacific Union Conference states: "As with any substantive policy document that impacts our mission, the officers of the Pacific Union Conference regard this with great seriousness and will begin the process of conferring with our conferences and their leadership, our Executive Committee, and our constituents to formulate our response."

Although the document was presented as a generic recommendation on policy matters, not designed to address any one issue in particular, we understand that it is directly related to the Pacific Union’s support for women in ministry.

Elder Ricardo B. Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, expressed his confidence in the ministry of women throughout the Pacific Union: “We know that God has gifted the Seventh-day Adventist Church for effective global mission through every believer, and we continue to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who gifts people of every age, gender, and ethnic background according to His purposes.”

We also affirm the statement of Elder Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division, who spoke on behalf of the NAD after the meeting: “I want to share my strong support for the role of women in pastoral ministry. Voted church policy allows for women to fill this very important position and this will never change within the North American Division.”

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