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The Other Spring Meetings

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When the Executive Committee of the General Conference gathers in Silver Spring the occasion creates the opportunity for many kinds of meetings in addition to the official business sessions as ancillary boards and committees are convened.

 

With the Unity Oversight Committee’s commitment to meet with personnel from every division, a “listening session” was held Tuesday evening, April 10, with the North American Division representatives and all the union conference presidents of the NAD. President Ted Wilson, Unity Oversight Committee Chair Mike Ryan, and Secretary Hensley Moorooven as well as Thomas Lemon, a GC vice president, and Ray Whalen, from the General Conference treasury were present, too.

The union presidents were told that the subject of the meeting would be: “What should the consequences be to non-compliance to voted actions of the GC Session?” As at their previous meeting with Elder Wilson in February 2017, the union conference presidents stood united in their response rejecting the suggestion that consequences needed to be meted out. “Our (union) presidents stood 12 feet tall,” one of the NAD personnel present at the meeting said.

The recent quantitative survey of division and union personnel was also discussed. The results from the survey are being tabulated and analyzed by a team led by Archivist David Trim. How the information from the “listening sessions” will be analyzed was not addressed. Michael Ryan and Hensley Moorooven will lead the writing committee for a one page document that will be brought to Annual Council in October, but it will be released publicly ahead of time for review, according to two people at the meeting.

The union presidents told the General Conference personnel that the actions seeking “consequences” against the unions were producing adverse consequences for the General Conference among church members who had been asking how they could avoid having their tithe dollars sent to the General Conference. One union president who had been asked that question said he couldn’t answer it. He didn’t believe that was an appropriate response to the situation. Obviously, the unions are not presently out of compliance in continuing to return their tithe dollars given the strength of the North American tithe that had been touted earlier in the day as a key reason for a positive General Conference finance report.

The attendees said that President Wilson did not say much. He mainly listened and took notes.

No ideas for solution of the situation were offered. The union presidents expressed their desire to just be done with the issue. They are tired of being attacked.

 

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

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