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Trans-European Division Votes for Equality in Conference and Union Leadership

According to the Trans-European Division news service, “today, forty-five delegates and twenty five invitees (union secretaries and treasurers). . .discussed a Motion on Women in Leadership. After prayer, the 91% of the delegates voted by secret ballot to express approval of the motion at the annual year-end executive committee meetings.”

Reporting on this historic vote for tedNews, Miroslav Pujic writes, “the committee expressed sadness and disappointment at the response of the Annual Council and recognised the Bible-based conviction that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a fellowship of the ‘priesthood of all believers’ and that the Holy Spirit calls and equips men and women with various gifts, including that of leadership. For many within the TED it is an ethical and legal matter that strongly affects their consciences.”

The vote goes farther than the North American Division move, and includes equality in union leadership. The report states: “the committee prayerfully voted to affirm that each union can apply parity between male and female pastors within the framework of TED’s existing policies and guidelines for ordained/commissioned minister credentials.”

And showing solidarity with the North American Division’s break from the General Conference on this matter, the TED report adds: “we understand their need for this and regret that Annual Council was unwilling to endorse their decision.”

Dr Bertil Wiklander, TED President says: “What works best for the TED at this time is to let all know where we stand and what we want regarding women in leadership, while doing all we can to promote women as pastors and leaders in our church within the working policy. We will continue to work with our unions to see how we can support and enable the many women who the Holy Spirit has clearly called to leadership.”

Photo: Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson talks briefly with Bertil Wiklander, president of the Trans-European Division, following the defeat of a request from the North American Division to allow commissioned ministers to serve as conference presidents. Wiklander later withdrew his request for his division to allow commissioned ministers to serve as presidents of conferences and unions. [October 11, 2011 photo by Ansel Oliver/ANN]

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