10 Jun

General Conference Session 2022 – Day 4

Thursday, June 9th, 2022 marked the fourth day of the hybrid General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, Missouri. It was also the final day of scheduled business meetings. The day began with a digital concert featuring linguistically diverse musicians from around the globe. The business session followed with a warm welcome from Stephen Apola, associate director of the GC. Charissa Torossian, Prayer Ministries Director from the North New South Wales Conference, virtually shared a compelling message entitled “The Life and Ministry of Mary Magdalene,” reminding listeners that when we are devoted to Jesus, we live for Him, learn from Him, seek to listen to Him, and long to be in His presence. She reviews the life of Mary, noting how Jesus was worth everything to her. Torossian asked the question, “What is Jesus worth to you?” The morning worship came to a close with a time of prayer.

Morning Business Section

A point of order was raised by Tim Standish who shared concerns of the limited time allowed for delegates to complete the registration process to share their opinion during discussion time, as he was unable to share his opinion regarding Nominating Committee Report #9. For this reason, Standish requested that the report be sent back to the committee. His request was denied as it was already passed.The morning business meeting was chaired by General Vice-President of the GC Guillermo Biaggi. The following agenda items were addressed:

Church Manual Amendments – Church Offices and Departments

  • Motion to delete section of “Ministry to People With Disabilities” in Chapter 8 from the Church Manual as a new section of Adventist Possibility Ministries has been added (item 420).
    • 1155 voted yes (95.1%); 60 voted no (4.9%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to allow the auditing of church membership records (item 428).
    • This item was sent back to the committee as delegates expressed concerns with the word “auditing” for a previous item.

Church Manual Amendments – Discipline and Christian Living

  • Motion to add a new chapter to the Church Manual in chapter 6 on making disciples (item 429).
    • Several delegates expressed a desire to refer this item back to the committee for review requesting clarification on the definition of “discipleship” and translation challenges.
    • Motion to cease debate and vote.
      • 1332 voted yes (93.7%); 89 voted no (6.3%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 10 of the Church Manual regarding making disciples to make this section consistent with the new mission statement of the World Church, voted by the 2018 Annual Council (item 430).
    • Motion to cease debate and vote on previous motion.
      • 1397 voted yes (96.2%); 55 voted no (3.8%)
    • Motion to accept item 430.
      • 1413 voted yes (95.9%); 61 voted no (4.1%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 7 in the Church Manual on “No Additional Tests of Fellowship” to simplify the language of this section (item 431).
    • Due to delegate concerns with terms in the suggested amendments, many referred items back to the committee.
  • Motion to amend chapter 7 of the Church Manual to clarify that written notice should be given prior to both the church board meeting and church business meeting before voting to discipline a member (item 432).
    • Motion to cease debate and voting.
      • 1396 voted yes (97.6%); 34 voted no (2.4%)
    • Motion to accept item 432.
      • 1364 voted yes (97.1%); 41 voted no (2.9%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 12 of the Church Manual to add a direct quotation from the Bible regarding Sabbath-keeping (item 433).
    • 1363 voted yes (94.6%); 78 voted no (5.4%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 13 of the Church Manual to add a new section regarding premarital education and counseling to emphasize its importance (item 434).
    • Motion to cease debate and voting.
      •  1292 voted yes (95.1%); 62 voted no (4.9%)
    • Motion to accept item 434.
      • 1333 voted yes (98.3%); 23 voted no (1.7%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 3 of the Church Manual on missionary purposes of organization to express the importance of finding new ways to reach the diverse cultures of the world with the Gospel, including the formation of new mission groups (item 435).
    • Delegates motioned to reconsider item 435 by referring it back to the committee for review.
    • Motion to cease debate.
      • 1280 voted yes (98.7%); 17 voted no (1.3%).
  • Motion to amend chapter 6 of the Church Manual allowing the church board to recommend the removal of a member from membership to a business meeting but without discussion, debate, or the need to vote (item 426).
    • 1289 voted yes (99.2%); 11 voted no (0.8%).


General Vice-President of the GC Geoffrey Mbwana chaired the afternoon’s business session, where the following agenda items were addressed:

Nominating Committee Vote for GC Corporation Board

The Nominating Committee presented the following votes for GC Corporation Board:

  • Vote to approve Ted Wilson (chair), Daisy Orion, Timothy Aka, Guillermo Biaggi, Dennis Carlson, Scot Coppock, Paul Douglas, George Egwakhe, Erton Köhler, Thomas Lemon, Geoffrey Mbwana, Hensley Moorooven, J Raymond Wahlen II, Josue Pierre, James Winegardner, Saw Samuel, Audrey Andersson as GC Corporation Board.
    • 525 voted yes (97.8%); 12 voted no (2.2%)

Three Angels Messages Project

A video presentation, hosted by Justin Kim, GC editor and assistant director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, recounted many individuals’ testimonies about how they encountered Jesus and now live to share the Gospel truth, the Three Angels’ Message, with others. It also shared several initiatives young people can become involved in to be part of this gospel sharing movement. We are the people who have been called to spread this message of hope before the end of time.

Resolution on the Holy Bible

Director of Biblical Research Institute Elias Brasil De Souza read the resolution of the Holy Bible found in the session agenda as item 124.

  • Due to the need for clarification and risk of possibly misunderstanding some sections of the statement, several delegates expressed the desire for the statement to be referred to the committee.
    • Motion to refer “Resolution on the Holy Bible” to the GC Administrative Committee.
      • 650 voted yes (59.1%); 449 voted no (40.9).
    • Motion to call the previous question (item 124) and cease discussion.
      • 1101 voted yes (88.9%); 137 voted no (11.1%).
    • Motion to reconsider the referral of the statement of the Holy Bible item 124.
      • 815 voted yes (62.5%); 488 voted no (37.5%).
    • Motion to cease all debate.
      • 1166 voted yes (91.3%); 111 voted no (8.7%).
    • Motion to refer item 124 to the committee.
      • 427 voted yes (31.9%); 911 voted no (68.1%).
    • Motion to call previous question and cease debate.
      • 1234 voted yes (94.1%); 77 voted no (5.9%).
    • Motion to approve item 124.
      • 1249 voted yes (88.8%); 157 voted no (11.2%).

Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen White

Associate Secretary of the GC Elbert Kuhn shared the GC Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen White as found in the session agenda as item 125.

  • Due to the need for clarity within this statement, a desire to refer the statement back to the committee was expressed by delegates.
    • Motion to cease debate.
      • 1052 voted yes (87.7%); 148 voted no (12.3%).
    • Motion to refer item 125 to the committee.
      • 507 voted yes (41.2%); 723 voted no (58.8%).
    • Motion to table item 125.
      • 642 voted yes (50.9%); 619 voted no (49.1%).
    • Motion to remove from the table item 125.
      • 1117 voted yes (82.0%); 246 voted no (18.0%).
    • Motion to cease debate.
      • 1224 voted yes (90.7%); 125 voted no (9.3%).
    • Motion to approve item 125.
      • 1189 voted yes (84.9%); 212 voted no (15.1%).

Biblical Hermeneutics: An Adventist Approach

Frank Hasel, director of the Biblical Research Institute, shared information with attendees about the book entitled Biblical Hermeneutics: An Adventist Approach. He noted the importance and value of understanding Biblical Hermeneutics and added that it is a helpful resource to consider adding to your library! Learn more about it here.

Constitution and Bylaws and Church Manual Amendments

Undersecretary of the GC Hensley Moorooven shared an updated and revised agenda after committee review which was sent to delegates via email regarding items 206 and 208. He made the following motions:

  • To remove the phrase “frontline denominational employee” for clarity and to add section 2 regarding minutes of the GC Executive committee (item 206).
    • Motion to cease debate and call the previous question.
      • 1155 voted yes (98.5%); 17 voted no (1.5%).
    • Motion to amend item 206.
      • 1166 voted yes (98.6%); 16 voted no (1.4%).
  • To amend item 208 allowing the GC Executive Committee to review and extend the postponement of GC Sessions and determine the timing for a subsequent session after a postponement.
    • Motion to cease debate and call the previous question.
      •  1066 voted yes (95.3%); 52 voted no (4.7%).
    • Motion to amend item 208.
      • 1054 voted yes (97.1%); 32 voted no (2.9%).

*All items regarding the Constitution and Bylaw Amendments have been completed. 


Due to a change in schedule, the evening session began with worship which included the deeply engaging message entitled “In the Beginning, There was Love.” Noemi Duran, director of the Geoscience Institute, recounted multiple examples of how animals’ capacity to be altruistic magnifies how the love of God is intended to be planted and demonstrated all throughout His creation. As a result, when we treat others poorly, we will never be able to reach their hearts. “Love, in contrast, can melt armors and turn walls into bridges,” she stated. This message was followed by a moment of prayer.

The meeting chair for the evening session was Thomas Lemon. The following motions agenda items were addressed:

Church Manual Amendments – Referred Items

Associate Secretary of the GC, Gerson Santos noted that all delegate comments regarding the referred items were taken back to the committee. As such, changes to the items were made and were again presented. He made the following motions:

  • To amend chapter 10 of the Church Manual to add the term “should be” in the place of “typically are” and “chosen” rather than arranged (item 405).
    • 899 voted yes (99.1%); 8 voted no (0.9).
  • To amend chapter 9 of the Church Manual regarding when and how the Nominating Committee is to be appointed, procedure for filling vacancies in the case of a standing nominating committee, and appropriate representation within members of church nominating committee (item 412).
    • 952 voted yes (98.6%); 14 voted no (1.4%)
  • To amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to allow for three-year terms of office in exceptional circumstances, if approved by the conference (item 413).
    • 948 voted yes (98.9%); 11 voted no (1.1%).
  • To amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual regarding several changes to the Youth Ministries section with the intent to clarify and simplify points including age changes for Adventurers (4-9) and Young Adults (22-30) (item 421).
    • Motion to cease discussion and call the previous question.
      • 958 voted yes (96.7%); 33 voted no (3.3%).
    • Motion to amend item 421.
      • 940 voted yes (93.6%); 64 voted no (6.4%).
  • To amend chapter 10 of the Church Manual updating the list of church departments that should be represented in the local church board (item 422).
    • 1029 voted yes (98.5%); 16 voted no (1.5%)
  • To amend chapter 6 of the Church Manual to add a new section on Redemptive Membership review (item 427).
    • 1013 voted yes (98.9%); 11 voted no (1.1%).
  • To amend chapter 6 of the Church Manual to change the word “audit” to “review” to make it consistent with the rest of the document (item 428).
    • 1052 voted yes (99.2%); 8 voted no (0.8%).
  • To amend chapter 6 of the Church Manual by adding a section on discipleship (item 429).
    • 1042 voted yes (98.5%); 16 voted no (1.5).
  • To amend chapter 7 of the Church Manual to simplify the language of this section (item 431).
    • 1047 voted yes (98.9%); 12 voted no (1.1%).
  • To amend chapter 3 of the Church Manual to add a section regarding reaching the diverse cultural groups of our world (item 435).
    • 1038 voted yes (99.1%); 9 voted no (0.9%).
  • To amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to include the use of electronic payments as a proper method of returning tithes and offerings (item 436).
    • 1017 voted yes (99.2%); 8 voted no (0.8%).
  • To amend chapter 1 of the Church Manual to allow for the principles in the manual to also be followed by a company without the need to repeat the word “company” throughout the manual (item 437).
    • 1052 voted yes (99.4%); 6 voted no (0.6%).

*All Church Manual items have been reviewed and voted on. 
The recorded livestream of today’s opening remarks, worship, and business meeting can be viewed on Youtube here. You can also access more information regarding GC Session, including the session agenda here. For information on the GC Session 2022 app, go to: https://adventist.news/news/2022-gc-sessions-first-official-app-goes-live.

This article was originally published on ANN website
photo courtesy of Tor Tjeransen Adventist Media Exchange


10 Jun

Adventist Church enjoys positive financial outlook despite turbulent times

On Tuesday afternoon at the 61st General Conference Session, GC CFO/Treasurer Paul Douglas delivered his Treasurer’s Report, giving an overview of the financial position and performance of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church over the past seven years.

Douglas began his presentation by recognizing how the present financial position of the Church would not be possible without God’s constant leading and providence—not only over the past seven years, but since the Adventist Church began in 1863.

“In 1863, when the General Conference was organized, the records tell us that there were 125 churches reporting a total tithe of $8000,” he began. “Nearly 160 years later, with more than 90,000 churches, the data shows approximately $2.7 billion in tithe, $1 billion in local church offerings, and $81 million in world mission offerings. This, my friends, is God’s money to be used for the mission He has entrusted us.”

“What a privilege is ours to partner with the Divine!” he said.


According to his report, the last quinquennium saw modest increases across world tithe and mission offerings, although considerably less than compared to the previous five-year period. While $12 billion was returned in tithe from 2015-2019, representing a 6 percent increase compared to 2010-2014, the previous quinquennium’s total world tithe increased by 32 percent. In comparison, $429 million was returned in world mission offerings from 2015-2019, representing an increase of 3 per cent compared to 2010-2014, although this previous quinquennium had an increase of 37 per cent.

“Giving for world missions has been on a steady decline over the years,” explained Douglas. “Today, for every dollar in tithe returned by church members, an average of 3.5 cents is provided for world mission offerings. In the 1930s, the peak of giving for world missions, the average was 60 cents.”

Despite only modest increases in tithes and offerings, the overall financial position of the Church at the end of 2019 was positive. At the end of 2019, the balance of cash and investments held by the GC was $344 million, a 7.9% increase from the start of the quinquennium in 2015. In addition, total assets increased by 5.6% to $513 million, and total liabilities decreased by 7.1% to $462 million.

Total revenues and gains for the quinquennium was an annual average of $243 million, of which more than 70% was from tithe and offerings. Meanwhile, total expenses were an average of $240 million, of which 32.3% was for appropriations to world divisions, GC institutions and the 10/40 Window. For a more comprehensive breakdown, you can read the full Treasurer’s Report.


After outlining the overall financial position of the church from 2015-2019, Douglas acknowledged the difficulties of COVID-19 for the first half of the new quinquennium—including the threat to life, widespread lockdowns and church closures preventing “the flow of tithes and offerings,” as well as the ability of many members to give due to business disruptions or job losses.

“The effect of the pandemic has not been limited to the threat to human life or economic well-being. COVID-19 has also been a threat to sustaining the fellowship of our Church, in that many buildings remain closed more than two years later,” he said, also acknowledging the many faithful members who “waited until the situation improved to remit their funds.”

Douglas acknowledged how Church leaders prayerfully sought wisdom in response to the pandemic and made the decision to “survive the crisis without affecting core mission.” Specifically, this meant not suspending financial appropriations to divisions, unions and institutions, but instead reducing administration costs across multiple strategies, including: suspending all travel, authorizing personnel to work from home, holding meetings on Zoom, postponing salary increases and reducing certain benefits, and reviewing and adjusting the operating budget, among others.

“We praise God that the core mission was not negatively affected in 2020 because the General Conference had preserved an adequate level of working capital and liquidity that allowed it to withstand the financial downturn,” said Douglas. “We praise God and give Him all the credit for giving us the guidance to have made it all possible!”


Comparing the financial situation of the World Church at the close of 2021 compared to 2019, Douglas highlighted the “picture of God’s blessings that comes into view,” and how the Church has rebounded despite the financial downturn during 2020.

The balance of cash and investments for 2021 was $414 million (20.3% increase from 2019), total assets were $594 million (15.9% increase), total liabilities were $62 million (23.1% increase) and total net assets were $532 million (15.1% increase). At the end of 2021, 69.6% and 77.8% of total assets and net assets were held in the form of cash and investments, respectively.

The total revenues and gains for 2021 was $270 million, of which approximately 60% were from tithes and offerings, while total expenses were $215 million, of which 32.4% was for division appropriations, GC institutions and the 10/40 window. This position is overall more positive than the average reported for the 2015-2019 quinquennium. In addition, the GC reported 97.61% of the recommended working capital and 112.61% of liquid assets as compared to commitments for 2021, both measures being higher than in 2019.

Finally, 2021 showed a positive gain of just over $29 million for the GC’s main operating fund. One of the key drivers for this was a large distribution from the life-estate of a member, savings from reducing operating costs during 2020 and positive increases in tithes and offerings.

Rather than using the windfall from this large distribution to balance the Church’s budget, Douglas explained how his team was “convinced that God was testing our resolve and testing our readiness to be bold about finding innovative and impactful ways to engage in mission.”

This conviction led to the birth of the “Mission Impact Fund,” which will support grassroots I Will Go initiatives around the world by granting financial resources for mission initiatives administered by local churches. To learn more about this Mission Impact Fund and how to apply, read our article here.


One emphasis of this year’s Treasurer’s Report was on the global nature of the Church’s financial and operational structure, including how funds are distributed for mission, and how currencies and global markets have impacted the funds received by the GC. These were discussed in turn.


Each year, the GC provides regular and special appropriations to support the work of its divisions and attached fields for work in their respective territories, institutions and activities within the 10/40 window. In 2021, $67.6 million was distributed and this amount has remained relatively stable each year of this quinquennium so far.

In addition to funding the work of divisions and institutions, the Global Mission Program administered by the Office of Adventist Mission is specifically aimed at reaching people who have not yet received the gospel message. From 2015-2019, 5,467 projects were funded by a total $50.7 million, utilizing 1600 missionaries each year who entered new territories. The funding was split between the GC (41%), divisions (17.6%), unions (15%), local fields (20.1%) and other sources (6.3%).

Douglas addressed the work of the GC’s International Personnel Resources and Services (IPRS), the human resources department for missionaries and liaison between the GC and divisions in employing international service employees (ISEs). He highlighted how the GC Mission Board recently voted a proposal to refocus the resources available to IPRS according to new criteria that will target unreached people groups around the world. For more information on this “Mission Reset”, read our article here.

In his report, Douglas also highlighted the important work of the General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS) across the globe, which requires the second-largest allocation of the GC’s budget—at 6.7%, or approximately $22.6 million per year. This is used to employ approximately 300 professionals in 45 countries that service institutions at all levels of the church, including schools and colleges, ADRA country officers and other projects.

Finally, the topic of tithe parity was addressed in the Treasurer’s Report, which was decided at Annual Council in 2019 and will affect all 13 divisions. Put simply, to offset the disproportionally high tithe rate historically required by the North American Division, a newly established global rate of 3% tithe per year has been implemented for the remaining 12 divisions, up from 2% at a 0.1% increase per year over 10 years. To learn more about this, read our article here.


Continuing to discuss the global nature of the church’s financial structure and outlook, Douglas presented a brief overview of the changes seen in global financial markets in recent years. The US dollar strengthened from 2015-2021, which meant that approximately 80% of funds received by the GC from certain countries were diminished by the behavior of six major currencies: the Brazilian Real, Mexican Peso, the Euro, Korean Won, Australian dollar and Philippine Peso. “This in turn decreased our ability to provide more support for the World Church,” he explained

Despite this, generally positive financial markets provided enough support for the Church’s financial operations throughout 2020-2021. Looking forward, however, the inflationary backdrop caused by government stimulus packages during the pandemic, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has changed the financial landscape and may pose future challenges.

“This was the start of an inflation cycle that is currently raging,” explained Douglas. “Labor costs, maintenance costs, operating expenses and materials have all grown more expensive for the Church as well as its members.”

Douglas also noted how the Ukraine crisis has placed increased stress on costs, and how the world seems to be “careening from one crisis to another, which surely, my friends, is a sign of the nearness of Time.”

“The Church is not immune to the prevailing economic realities and the turbulence these realities create as we engage in the Great Commission,” Douglas said. He then outlined five challenges the Adventist Church will face looking forward:

  1. Balancing growth and stability
  2. Ensuring sufficient working capital and liquidity
  3. Moving towards higher levels of self-support
  4. Dealing with uncertainties due to geopolitical conflict, currency volatility and changes in regulatory environments
  5. Understanding paradigm shifts brought about by crisis events, new technologies, and changes in generational thinking

Douglas finished his report by encouraging members that “regardless of the challenges enumerated and others that will emerge, we are assured that God is with us … As we partner with God, we have nothing to fear—not even failure itself. Jesus is coming my friends, let us get involved and finish this work, not by our might, nor by our power, ‘but by the Spirit, says the Lord’ (Zechariah 4:6).”

To read the full Treasurer’s Report for the General Conference Session 2022, you can download it here or watch the live stream here.

  • Angelica Sanchez contributed to this report.

This article was originally published on ANN website

photo courtesy of Tor Tjeransen Adventist Media Exchange

09 Jun

General Conference Session 2022 – Day 3

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 marked the third day of the hybrid General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, Missouri. The day began with a digital concert featuring linguistically diverse musicians from around the globe. The business session began with a warm welcome from Esther Knott, associate director of the North American Division (NAD) ministerial department. Morning worship included a powerful message by Dr Jongimpi Papu entitled, “What Will You Give Me and How Will I Inherit It?” where he left delegates with the question, “can you hear God’s voice in your busy schedule?.” “Yes we should go beloved, there’s a lot of work we need to do, but if going is going to replace sitting with Jesus and dining with Him, you will not go very far.” He added that those who sit and eat with Jesus will be ready to share with others. Gem Castor, prayer coordinator for the Advocates for Southeast Asians and the Persecuted Ministries (ASAP), led a moving prayer session.


The morning business meeting was chaired by GC Vice President Ella Simmons. The following agenda items were addressed:

  • Undersecretary of the GC Hensley Moorooven reviewed items that have been accomplished. Items 201, 202, 203, 204, and 205 were voted and approved. Item 206 was referred back to the Constitution and Bylaws committee regarding the definition of “frontline” and the voting of an annual council.

Constitution and Bylaw Edits

  • Motion to amend the Constitution and Bylaws to allow for removal of the phrase “for cause” while adding its definition which will be applicable for the GC Executive Committee (item 207).
    • Motion to divide the question on motion, regarding item 207, into two parts.
      • 935 voted yes (57.2%); 699 voted no (42.8%).
      • *based on the desire of the delegates, item 207 has been divided into two separate items.
    • Due to delegate misunderstanding, Moorooven clarified that the first part of the initial motion being discussed is the phrase “or from membership on the General Conference Executive Committee.”
    • Delegate comments expressed an opposition for this motion. Many worry it will provide GC with too much power to remove non-compliant members of the Executive Committee.
    • Motion to cease debate and vote.
      • 1531 voted yes (91.5%); 143 voted no (8.5%)
    • Motion to amend item 207, part 1.
      • 1319 voted yes (82%); 289 voted no (18%)
  • Motion to approve item 207 part 2 by adding phrase “theft or embezzlement or conviction of or guilty plea for a crime.”
    • Motion to cease debate and vote.
      • 1539 voted yes (95.2%); 78 voted no (4.8%)
    • Motion to amend item 207, part 2.
      • 1436 voted yes (90.2%); 156 voted no (9.8%)
    • Motion to vote adding the following GC positions in section 4 of item 207: president, secretary, treasurer/chief financial officer, and vice presidents.
      • 1365 voted yes (94%); 87 voted no (6%)
    • Motion to vote amending section 7 from item 207.
      • Motion to cease debate and vote.
        • 1452 vote yes (92.2%); 123 voted no (7.8%)
    • Motion to accept amendment above.
      • 1301 vote yes (81.3%); 300 vote no (18.7%)
    • Motion to vote the proposed new section 7 for item 207.
      • 1516 vote yes (97.1%); 46 vote no (2.9%).
  • Motion to vote to amend section 1 of item 208 allowing only one postponement of GC Session in the future.
    • Delegates requested further clarification on this item. As such, the meeting moved onto the next point.
    • Motion to amend section 5 in item 208 regarding voting practices to ensure the highest integrity.
      • 1583 voted yes (97%); 49 voted no (3.0%)
    • Motion to amend sections 6 and 14 in item 208 the addition of this section for clarity, defining the parliamentary authority of the GC Sessions.
      • 1386 voted yes (87.3%); 201 voted no (12.7%)
  • Motion to amend item 209 allowing several GC committees can convene online.
    • 1282 voted yes (96.3%); 49 voted no (3.7%)


GC Vice President Artur Stele chaired the afternoon’s business session, where the following agenda items were addressed:

General Conference Corporation Members Meeting

This meeting was chaired by Vice President of the GC Thomas Lemon. Associate Treasurer of the GC Daisy Orion made the following motions:

  • To appoint the 61st GC Session Nominating Committee to nominate the members of the Corporation’s Board of Directors.
    • 1106 voted yes (99.2%); 9 voted no (0.8%)
  • To adjourn the Members Meeting of the GC Corporation to Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 2:00 pm.
    •  Approved by common consent.

Nominating Committee Vote for Division Presidents (ECD, ESD, IAD, EUD, NAD, NSD, SAD, SPD, SID, SUD, SSD, TED, WAD)

The Nominating Committee presented the following votes for Division Presidents:

  • Vote to approve Blasious Ruguri (ECD), Mikhail Kaminskiy (ESD), Elie Henry (IAD), Mario Brito (EUD), Alexander Bryant (NAD), *Yo Han Kim (NSD), Stanley Edilson Arco (SAD), Glenn Townend (SPD), *Harrington Akombwa (SID), Ezras Lakra (SUD), *Roger Caderma (SSD), *Daniel Duda (TED), and *Robert Osei-Bonsu (WAD) as division presidents for their respective divisions.
  • The Nominating Committee shared a statement with delegates from ESD, requesting an extension of the term for the division’s current officers, including president Mikahil Kaminskiy, until Annual Council 2022 due to circumstances in the division.
    • 1489 voted yes (97.1%); 45 voted no (2.9%).


Constitution and Bylaws Amendment

  • Motion to amend section 5 (item 209) to replace the term “accredited delegates” to “credentialed delegates”.
    • 1319 voted yes (99.5%); 7 voted no (0.5%)
  • Motion to amend article XII and VII as found in items 210 and 211 to change the name of the Office of Archives, and Statistics to “Archives, Statistics, and Research”.
    • 1320 voted yes (99.6%); 5 voted no (0.4%)
  • Motion to amend to replace the word “mission” with “section” when referring to “union mission” or “local mission/field” to consider parts of the world where “mission” is a point of sensitivity which could inhibit the work of the church (item 212).
    • 1313 voted yes (96.9%); 42 voted no (3.1%)

Church Manual Amendments – Church Offices and Departments

Yesterday evening, item 412 was presented to delegates regarding the option to have a Standing Nominating Committee to provide leadership opportunities for new members between terms (not just at the end of the year), having proper representation of church population, and the ability for church boards to fill vacancies that occur between elections. Opportunity for discussion was brought up again.

  • Motion to cease discussion and vote
    • 1213 voted yes (94.2%); 75 voted yes (5.8%).
    • Item 413 was later skipped as it is co-related to the previous motion of item 412.
  • Motion to approve a directive to replace the word “reelect” with “elect to a new term of office” when discussing office nominations (item 414).
    • 1315 voted yes (99%); 13 voted no (1%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to include the assistance of members with special needs as part of the role of deacons (item 415).
    • Motion to cease discussion and vote.
      • 1289 voted yes (96.3%); 49 voted no (3.7%)
    • Motion to vote initial item 415
      • 1244 voted yes (96.7%); 42 voted no (3.3%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to include the assistance of members with special needs as part of the role of deaconesses (item 416).
    • Approved common consent.
  • Motion to amend chapter 5 of the Church Manual so that men and women can be voted into the local congregation as “company assistants” (item 417).
    • 1271 voted yes (97.9%); 27 voted no (2.1%)
  • Motion to add a new section to chapter 8 of the Church Manual regarding the importance of the Spirit of Prophecy and creates the position of a Spirit of Prophecy Writings Coordinator in the church, making clear that the Bible is the foundation and standard by which all writings must be tested (item 418).
    • Although there was great support for the motion, many delegates expressed concerns that the position could possibly pose a risk in misunderstanding Ellen White’s writings as superior to Scripture.
    • Motion to cease discussion and vote.
      • 1233 voted yes (86.4%); 194 voted no (13.6%)
    • Motion to vote item 418.
      • 943 voted yes (66.3%); 480 voted no (33.7%)
  • Motion to amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to reword and further define the work of Adventist Youth Ministries (item 419).
    • Motion to cease discussion and vote. This item will be taken back to the committee and will not be voted on.
      • 1308 voted yes (97.7%); 31 voted no (2.3%).
  • Motion to amend chapter 2 of the Church Manual to add a direct quotation from the Bible (item 423).
    • 1268 voted yes (98.7%); 17 voted no (1.3%)

Church Manual Amendments – Church Membership

  • Motion to amend chapter 6 in the Church Manual by removing the confusing term “retired membership list” to clarify that there should only be one membership record while highlighting the need for it to be current and regularly updated (item 424).
    • Motion to refer item 424 back to the Church Manual Committee.
      • 602 voted yes (46.3%); 697 voted no (53.7%)
    • Motion to approve item 424
      • Motion to cease debate
        • 1208 voted yes (96.6%); 42 voted no (3.4%)
      • Motion to approve item 424
        •  1147 voted yes (97.1%); 34 voted no (2.9%)


Due to a change in schedule, the evening session began with worship which included the deeply engaging message entitled “My God Did This!” shared by Chair of Earth and Biological Sciences at Loma Linda University Suzanne Philips where she used biology to reinforce and remind attendees that we serve a great and powerful God who can be trusted.

The meeting chair for the evening session was GC Vice President Abner De Los Santos. The following motions agenda items were addressed:

Church Manual Amendments – Church Membership Cont.

  • Motion to amend chapter 7 of the Church Manual to state the board can only take the final action to remove members from church membership at death or at member’s request (item 425).
    • 1267 voted yes (98.4%); 20 voted no (1.6%)

Nominating Committee Vote for Division Secretary, Division Treasurer, and GC Associate Directors

Dr. Lowell Cooper addressed yesterday’s concerns of the Nominating Committee’s consideration for representation when electing individuals for GC positions. 2021 general statistics for representation were also presented highlighting cultural, gender, and age demographics.

The Nominating Committee presented the following votes for Division Secretaries and Treasurers (ECD, ESD, IAD, EUD, NAD, NSD, SUD, SSD, SID, SPD, TED, WAD):

  • Vote to accept *Musa Mitekaro (ECD), Viktor Alyeksyeyenko (ESD), Leonard Johnson (IAD), Eduard Haydinger (SAD), Barna Magyarosi (EUD), Kyoshin Ahn (NAD), *Hiroshi Yamaji (NSD), *Ch. John Victor (SUD), *Wendell Mandolang (SSD), Gideon Reyneke (SID), Michael Sikuri (SPD), *Robert Csizmadia (TED), *Selom Kwasi Sessou (WAD) as Division Secretaries.
  • Vote to accept Jerome Habimana (ECD), Vladimir Tkachuk (ESD), Filiberto Verduzco (IAD), Marlon Lopez (SAD), Norbert Zens (EUD), Randy Robinson (NAD), *Joel Tompkins (NSD), *Riches Christian (SUD), *Jacinth Adap (SSD), *Hopekings Ngomba (SID), Francois Keet (SPD), Nenad Jepuranovic (TED), *Markus Mussa Dangana (WAD) as Division Treasurers.
    • Combined vote to accept both proposals
      • 1473 voted yes (96.4%); 55 votes (3.6%).

The Nominating Committee presented the following votes for GC Associate Directors (AD) and Associate Secretaries (AS):

  • Vote to accept *Samuel Neves (AD of Communication), Hudson Kibuuka, John Taylor, *Julian Melgosa, *Richard Apelles Sabuin (AD of Education), Zeno Charles-Marcel, Katia Reinert, and Torben Berglund (AD of Health Ministries), Pavel Goia and Jeffrey Brown (AS of Editor Ministry), Robert Costa (AS of Evangelism), Anthony Kent (AS of Elder’s Digest), Jennifer Woods (AS of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty), Nelu Burcea (AD of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty), Scot Coppock (AD of Planned Giving & Trust Services), Stephen Apola (AD of Publishing Ministries), *Justin Kim (AD of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries), Eric Barbe (AD of Stewardship Ministries), *Nilde Itin (AD of Women’s Ministries), Pako Mokgwane (AD of PCM and GC Youth Ministries), and Andres Peralta (AD of Pathfinders, Adventurers of Youth Ministries).
    • 1471 voted yes (98.3%); 25 voted no (1.7%)

The Nominating Committee has completed their responsibilities for this 61st GC Session and have filled 140 positions.


Church Manual Amendments Cont. – Church Offices and Departments

    • Motion to amend chapter 8 of the Church Manual to establish a new ministry called “Adventist Possibility Ministries” be inclusive for all members to be engaged in ministry (item 419).
      • Motion to cease debate and vote.
        • 1141 voted yes (99.1%); 10 voted no (0.9%)
      • Motion to accept initial motion,
        • 1045 voted yes (99.6%); 4 voted no (0.4%)
    • Motion to amend chapter 6 in the Church Manual to add a section on redemptive membership auditing, as recommended by the Nurture and Retention Committee (item 427).
      • Chairman agreed to table this motion considering delegate recommendation for the motion to be reviewed by committee.

The recorded livestream of today’s opening remarks, worship, and business meeting can be viewed on Youtube here. You can also access more information regarding GC Session, including the session agenda here. For information on the GC Session 2022 app, go to: https://adventist.news/news/2022-gc-sessions-first-official-app-goes-live.

This article was originally published on ANN website

photo courtesy of Tor Tjeransen Adventist Media Exchange

08 Jun

Mission a strong focus of Secretariat’s Report at GC Session

By Adventist News Network — St. Louis, Missouri … On Tuesday morning at just about 9:30 am at the 61st General Conference Session, GC Secretary Erton Köhler, accompanied by Undersecretary Hensley Moorooven, GC associate secretaries Claude Richli, Gerson Santos, Karen Porter, Gary Krause and Elbert Kuhn, alongside Director of the office of Archives, Statistics and Research (ASTR) David Trim, and VividFaith manager Fylvia Kline, presented the Secretariat Report, which celebrated the mission work executed across the global Adventist Church over the past seven years.

Presenting their report under the theme “Secretariat: Where the Heart of Mission Beats!”, Köhler began by introducing the role of the Secretariat and its associated departments, referring to them as the “Mission Family”. These include Adventist Mission, The Institute of World Mission, Adventist Volunteer Service, International Personnel Resources and Services (IPRS), ASTR, VividFaith and Adventist Membership Systems (AMS).

“We manage strategic information for mission, we coordinate processes for mission, we research how to improve the mission, and we recruit, prepare, send and care for people in mission,” Köhler said, summarizing their overall function.

Köhler further summarized the integrated purpose of these entities into a clear, three-way framework adopted throughout his presentation: Data, Mission and People. “Our main priority is to connect data and people to mission,” he said. “As the remnant Church, we are called, in these times so close to the end, to fulfill an urgent mission.”

Although coordinating mission work is the overarching purpose of the Secretariat, Köehler acknowledged that this was greatly challenged in 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with health issues, isolation and lockdowns making much of the work impossible.

“Isolation created all kinds of problems, but the Church looked for new ways to take care of people,” he said.

Joining Köhler, alongside the associate secretaries and other representatives from the Mission Family on stage, were the executive secretaries from each division, as well as Dr. G.T. Ng, retired secretary (2010-2021) and John Thomas, retired associate secretary (2010-2020). Köehler acknowledged and thanked both, as well as Matthew Bediako and G. Ralph Thompson who were not in attendance, for their leadership and contribution to this year’s Secretariat Report.


First to take the floor was David Trim, who presented a comprehensive overview of church membership and statistics over the past quinquennium, and beyond. “My part of the report is, of course, entirely data—but it is also about mission and people. Because ASTR is also a place where the heart of mission beats,” he began.

i. Accessions and deaths

Looking first at global accessions, Trim highlighted that while church accessions have generally “flourished.” 2019-2020 was the first time that membership dropped to less than one million accessions since 2004. This drop was from 1.32 million in 2018-2019, to 800,000—a decrease of more than 500,000. Nevertheless, this increased again in 2021 to again exceed one million, with 1,069,234 accessions.

While averaging more than a million accessions per year seems positive, Trim emphasized that the Adventist Church has also faced significant losses, warning that “there will be more to come, as membership audits—which we are now calling ‘membership reviews’—are implemented around the world.”

Illustrating his point on a chart showing membership changes from 2017-2021, Trim explained that a total of 5.9 million people joined the Adventist Church in that timeframe, even despite a pandemic. Nevertheless, 3.6 million people left the Church during that time frame, as well. In fact, 2019 was the first time that “living losses” (people who have left membership, are missing, or are removed during membership reviews) exceeded one million people.

“Even this has positive implications for mission,” Trim encouraged. “For in certain parts of the world, church leaders now have an accurate sense of their membership. And that means they can plan better both for outreach and for nurture and retention. And that means, in turn, that both outreach and in-reach can be done more effectively and impactfully.”

ii. Conferences, missions and unions

Narrowing his focus, Trim then shared statistics on the overall growth of conferences, missions and unions, comparing today’s statistics to 1970, for perspective. While the number of union conferences and union missions has increased by 54%—from 75 in 1970 to 138 in 2020, local conferences and missions have increased by 93%—from 379 in 1970 to 731 in 2020.

From 2015 to 2019 specifically, local conferences and missions increased by 76—or 11%, plus three new unions were added to the global Church.

Trim acknowledged that while some members may see the increase of organizational structures as evidence of the Church becoming bureaucratic, that local organizations are actually a powerful force for mission. “They provide leadership that is close to the local church and therefore responsive both to challenges and opportunities, and they also provide training, resourcing, and equipping of local church members,” he said.

iii. Other institutions—pastors versus staff

Finally, Trim shared statistics on the growth in numbers of educational and medical institutions, as well as pastors and church employees. Specifically, while church pastors have increased by 142% since 1970, church employees have increased at a slightly higher rate, at 159%. Trim again acknowledged that as the Adventist Church grows, it faces the danger of institutionalization, but that many members may overstate this fear.

“The difference in the two growth rates is relatively small across a period of 15 years which suggests that institutionalization is not currently as much of a challenge as some members and leaders may fear, though it is something we must be on guard against. It must be remembered, too, that our 75,000 teachers in schools and colleges are almost like pastors for in many places, schools drive dynamic church growth,” he said.


Following on from Trim’s presentation, Hensley Moorooven took to the stage to introduce the Secretariat’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, which has purposely customized the I Will Go framework to focus primarily on its leadership objective, seeking to promote transparency and organizational accountability.

He then introduced seven key strategic issues addressed by this plan, including mission strategies, ISE call process, missionary care, nurture and retention, membership audit, training and evaluation, and working policy. These were then the focus of presentations by the rest of the “Mission Family” during the Secretariat Report, beginning with training and evaluation.

I. Secretariat Evaluation

Presented by Claude Richli, associate secretary and officer in charge of secretariat evaluation, a focus of the GC Secretariat’s strategic plan is to ensure that the Secretariat across the Church’s 13 divisions is performing in an optimal environment and according to adequate standards. To do this the GC conducts on-site evaluations, anonymous questionnaires where honest feedback can be given, and through a range of review processes.

“I’m deeply impressed by the level of professionalism that we have witnessed around the world,” said Richli. “I thank the approximately 1500 executive secretaries, their associates, their assistants and their administrative assistants for their commitment to mission wfor their heart truly beats for mission.”

II. Discipleship, nurture, reclaiming

Presented by Gerson Santos, associate secretary and officer in charge of nurture and retention, another focus of the GC Secretariat is to strengthen pastoral care, spiritual growth and discipleship around the world. To do this, they are committed to providing data via membership review to identify shortcomings in the discipleship process. Santos highlighted various divisions—including the South Pacific Division, Inter-American Division and South American Division—that have innovated in this area.

“He counts and recounts the flock. He leaves the 99 within the fold, and goes in search of the straying sheep. He makes every effort to find that one lost sheep. We should have in mind that numbers do matter,” Santos said. “Counting is essential; it helps to see people behind the numbers. Accurate data provides excellent performance indicators for mission efficiency and pastoral care.”

III. Missionary care

Presented by Karen Porter, associate secretary and officer in charge of missionary care and IPRS, caring for missionaries is another focus of the GC Secretariat. She shared that since the last GC Session in 2015, 528 missionaries, or a total of 367 families left their homes in 66 different countries to serve abroad as missionaries in 82 different countries.

“During the pandemic, we saw God working miracles to facilitate visas, work permits and travel arrangements in spite of the lockdowns,” she said.

A short video then played, highlighting the sacrifices made by early missionaries and encouraging church members to adopt a sacrificial mindset—whether by becoming missionaries themselves or by supporting their work abroad, financially or otherwise.

Porter also highlighted the effect that the new Mission Reset framework will have on funding the work of missionaries going forward. For more information on this, you can read our article here. 

IV. Missionaries and Volunteers

The Secretariat Report then highlighted the work of missionaries and volunteers around the world, and the role of the Institute of World Mission, Adventist Volunteer Service, and VividFaith in making this possible.

First, Oscar Osindo, associate secretary and director of the Institute of World Mission, shared how the GC Secretariat has innovated a new online mission learning platform called “learnmission.org.” With lockdowns and travel restrictions preventing this training from happening in person, it has inspired and educated many missionaries and volunteers around the world.

After this, Elbert Kuhn, associate secretary and director of Adventist Volunteer Service, shared an inspiring story via video of William, a full-time volunteer who left North American to serve in the Middle East and work with refugees. “A volunteer missionary is the one that is willing to leave home to live among those who are still to find the way to the Father’s house,” commented the narrator of the video.

Finally, Fylvia Kline shared a video and information on VividFaith, a platform using innovative methods to connect organizations and institutions in need, with volunteers who want to serve either abroad, or also locally.

V. Adventist Mission

Finishing the Report, Gary Krause, associate secretary and director of Adventist Mission, shared how the GC Secretariat is focused on nurturing new groups of believers in unentered people groups and areas around the world by sending Global Mission Pioneers to work as “frontline church planters . . . among their own people and culture group … to follow Jesus’ method of ministry.”

Krause highlighted that since the last GC Session in 2015, Global Mission has planted almost 3,000 new churches in unreached communities. Specifically, a top priority of Adventist Mission is reaching people in the 10/40 Window.

“Outside the 10/40 Window we have one Adventist for every 136 people. Inside, we have one Adventist for nearly 2,000 people. You can see the challenge!” he said[MF14] .

Other challenges faced by Adventist Mission are reaching people in major cities and urban areas, as well as sharing the gospel with people from other major world religions. To combat this, Adventist Mission has established six Global Mission Centers around the world, each with a specific focus.

Krause also briefly shared Global Mission’s Total Employment Tentmaker initiative, which supports Adventists to find jobs and share the good news in challenging areas where missionaries can’t travel, as well as their new Mission Priority System, which helps Adventist Mission to strategically focus on areas where there is little to no Adventist presence.

While recruiting and supporting missionaries is one aspect, Adventist Mission’s other primary function is to inspire church members with what’s happening with their mission offerings.


“Well, this is the Secretariat report, brought to you in a unified way,” said Köhler, finishing the presentation. In wrapping up, he emphasized the need for Adventist missionaries—both locally and globally—and the need for a mission reset and refocus.

“Our heart strongly beats for a renewed missionary movement,” he said. “We rely on the inspired recommendations of Ellen White, who says that ‘Together they are to carry the work forward to completion’ (Acts of the Apostles, p 276).”

Köhler then finished by thanking the leadership of the Secretariat and Mission Family, as well as some of the executive secretaries and missionaries on stage.

You can watch the live stream of the full Secretary’s Report for the General Conference Session 2022 here.

– Angelica Sanchez contributed to this report; photo courtesy of Tor Tjeransen Adventist Media Exchange

This article was originally published on Adventist News Network website

Erton Carlos Köhler, Executive Secretary, General Conference (GC) gives the report from secretariat.
The 61st General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
07 Jun


Monday, June 6th, 2022 marks the commencement of the first hybrid General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, Missouri. The day began with opening remarks from Adventist World Church President Ted Wilson, Secretary Erton Kohler, and Treasurer Paul Douglas.

During the morning’s opening worship, Director of Ministerial Association Jerry Page led with prayer and introduced evangelist Mark Finley, Chaplain of the United States Senate Barry Black, and Senior Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Dwight Nelson, each shared messages under the worship theme of “Seeking the Holy Spirit Together in Prayer, Music and the Word”. There were also several moments for partnered and group prayer during morning worship.

Wilson provided a comprehensive summary of significant events of the World Church since the last GC Session in his President’s Report. He urged delegates to participate prayerfully through voice and vote as their responsibility is a sacred one. Those in attendance, both in person and online, also witnessed and celebrated the baptism of Philippine Army Colonel, Eric Guevarra, and his wife, Leah.

The world church also welcomed 10 new unions into the Sisterhood of Unions in Zimbabwe, Belize, Ghana, Netherlands, Malaysia, and Ethiopia.

Morning Business Session:

The morning business meeting was chaired by Vice-President of the General Conference, Arthur Stele. Secretary of the GC Erton Köhler led opening procedures, making note that the executive committee was in harmony with the GC Constitution (item 102). He also led the reading of the Mission Statement (item 104) and Undersecretary of the GC Hensley Moorooven provided a brief orientation for session delegates highlighting the ethical expectations, responsibilities, and session protocols.

The following motions were voted as approved during the morning session:

  • Köher moved:
    • To adopt the GC Rules of Order as a guide for the 61st GC Sessions (item 103).
    • To approve Associate General Counsel of the GC Todd MacFarland as parliamentarian for business meetings of the 61st GC Session.
    • To limit the time of delegate speeches due to time constraints of the Session.
    • To adopt the daily program (item 105) and Session agendas (item 106) of 61st GC Session.
    • To adopt both the Steering and Standing Committees (item 107-108).
    • To accept the nominating committee list (item 109).
    • To accept the 10 new and reorganized unions (items 111-116), making these unions official members of the Sisterhood of Unions and the GC, providing them the right to participate in the GC Session.

The subject of vaccination was brought up by delegate Jonathan Zirkle who requested to have the Church revisit its statement on vaccines as part of the GC Session agenda. No second was given. Stele encouraged leaving this point out of the agenda due to limited time. Motion was seconded and approved by common consent.

Grace Mackintosh from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada provided a second via Zoom for Zirkle’s request to appeal the discussion of the church’s stance on the Covid-19 vaccine. Elder Wilson urged delegates to stand united in refusing to put this issue on the agenda as it is not a constitution and bylaws issue, not a church manual issue, or a fundamental belief item. Wilson also reminded delegates that the Church’s stance is that individuals have the right to choose for themselves.

  • Vote was held to stop discussion and resume after lunch.
    • 1581 voted yes (84.5%); 291 voted no (15.5%).
  • Vote was held to add the issue of vaccination to the 61st GC Session agenda.
    • 1579 voted no (88.6%); 203 voted yes (11.4%).

Afternoon Business Session:

General Vice-President of the GC Ella Simmons chaired the afternoon’s business session, where the following agenda items were addressed:

  • Associate Secretary of the GC Karen Porter moved:
    • To recognize and record the dissolution of the former Trans-Caucasus Union of Churches Mission in the Euro-Asia Division, effective January 1, 2021 (item 117).
    • 1626 voted yes (99.6%); 7 voted no (0.4%).
  • Undersecretary of the GC Hensley Moorooven moved the following amendments to the GC Constitution and Bylaws regarding the following topics:
    • Phrasing and Language Edits:
      • To approve three editorial amendments of GC Constitution and Bylaws (items 201, 202, and 203).
        • Election (item 201) – to include the phrase“General Conference Executive Committee” instead of “Executive Committee”.
        • To alphabetize names of departments (item 202).
        • To use the phrase “electronic conference” rather than “telephone conference” (item 203).
        • 1544 voted yes (98.9%); 17 voted no (1.1%).
      • To approve the editorial amendments of GC Bylaws, Article IV – GC Undersecretary and Associate Secretaries (item 204) and Article V – GC Under Treasurer and Associate Treasurers (item 205).
        • 1563 voted yes (97.4%); 41 voted no (2.6%).
        • Language voted “Authorized Speakers—Only speakers worthy of confidence will be invited to the pulpit by the local church pastor, in harmony with guidelines given by the conference.* The local elders or church board may also invite speakers, in consultation with the pastor, and in harmony with conference guidelines. Individuals who are no longer members, or who are under discipline,  should not be given access to the pulpit.”
      • To approve the editorial amendments of GC Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution Article VIII—GC Executive Committee (item 206).
        • Simmons asked that this item, along with delegate discussion and comments be taken back for review and revision.
        • Mooroven agreed to set a time for the Constitution and Bylaws Committee to meet and review this agenda item.
  • Associate Secretary of the GC Gerson Santos moved the following amendments to the Church Manual regarding the following topics:
    • Church Services and Meetings Edits:
      • To amend chapter 10 regarding Unauthorized Speakers (item 401) to clarify who may be invited to speak in the church and address the confusion caused by the implication that a layperson can not preach because they do not hold credentials.
        • 1336 voted yes (90.7%); 137 voted no (9.3%)
      • To amend chapter 8 regarding the confusing term “union school board,” replacing it with “multi-constituent school board” (item 402).
        • 1502 voted yes (99.4%); 9 votes no (0.6%).
      • To replace the phrase “baptismal ceremony” with “baptismal service” to make terminology more consistent throughout the Church Manual (item 403).
        • 1478 voted yes (97.9%); 32 voted no (2.1%).
      • To amend chapter 10, allowing church board members to participate electronically in church board meetings (item 404).
        • 1450 voted yes (98.9%); 16 voted no (1.1%)

Evening Business Session:

The meeting chair this evening was General Vice-President of the GC Abner de Los Santos. The following motions agenda items were addressed in Monday’s evening session:

  • Santos moved:
    • Church Services and Meetings Edits Continued:
      • To amend chapter 10 to clarify some of the organizational aspects of the church business meeting (item 405).
        • Francois Louw, SID delegate, asked to place the motion on the table for appropriate consideration of it prior to voting.
        • Santos agreed to take back this item to the committee.
      • To amend chapter 8 to promote the consistency of wording between the sections on elders and deacons/deaconesses and to address some confusion in areas where women are ordained as elders (item 406).
        • Motion to refer the motion to the committee was made.
        • Several delegates spoke in favor and others against the referral of the motion back to the committee.
        • Vote to cease all debate and begin voting.
          • 1251 voted yes (92.3%); 105 voted no (7.7%).
        • Vote to refer the initial motion (item 406) to the committee.
          • 617 voted yes (43.9%); 787 voted no (56.1%).
        • The initial motion was returned to the floor.
        • Vote to cease all debate once again and begin voting.
          • 1278 voted yes (88.5%); 166 voted no (11.5%)
        • Vote to approve the initial motion.
          • 1088 voted yes (75.7%); 350 voted no (24.3%)
      • To amend chapter 8 regarding ordination service for deaconesses (item 407).
        • Vote to refer item 407 back to the committee.
          • 577 voted yes (39.5%); 885 voted no (60.5%).
        • Initial motion was returned to the floor.
        • Vote to cease all debate and begin voting.
          • 1476 voted yes (95.7%); 67 voted no (4.3%)
        • Vote to approve initial motion.
          • 1274 voted yes (82.9%); 263 voted no (17.1%)

The evening session ended with the arrival of the nominating committee report naming Elder Ted Wilson as nominee for President of the General Conference, followed by the vote, which went in his favor.

  • Delegate vote: 1284 voted yes (74.9%); 431 voted no (25.1%).

The first day of the GC Session concluded with evening worship from Timothy Standish entitled, “I Believe!”

The recorded livestream of today’s opening remarks, worship, and business meeting can be viewed on Youtube here. You can also access more information regarding GC Session, including the session agenda here. For information on the GC Session 2022 app, go to: https://adventist.news/news/2022-gc-sessions-first-official-app-goes-live.

This article was originally was published on ANN website

Photo courtesy of Tor Tjeransen / Adventist Media Exchange

07 Jun

Ted N.C. Wilson Re-Elected as President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for Third Term.

By Adventist News Network — St. Louis, Missouri … During the final minutes of the business session on Monday, June 6, the Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted to re-elect Ted N.C. Wilson as president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church. This will be Wilson’s third term.

Ted N.C. Wilson has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a variety of roles throughout his nearly 50 years of ministry. He began as a pastor in the Greater New York Conference in 1974, and quickly moved into administrative and foreign service roles.

Wilson holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Religious Education from New York University; a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University; and a Master of Science degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University. As president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, this education has served him well as he visits schools, hospitals and various church organizations around the world.

While attending Loma Linda, Wilson met his future wife, Nancy, a physical therapist, and together they raised three daughters, Emilie, Elizabeth, and Catherine, while working for the Church in New York; West Africa; Russia; and Maryland. His administrative experience led the Church in business session to elect him as a General Conference vice president in 2000—a position he held until 2010 when he was elected president.

During the past 12 years of Wilson’s leadership, the Church has adopted ministry initiatives rooted in personal revival and corporate reformation. The Total Membership Involvement (TMI) initiative, a full-scale evangelistic thrust spearheaded in 2016, sparked mission efforts around the world involving every member, every church, in personal and corporate outreach. This has resulted in thousands of people embracing the gospel through the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s understanding of the three angels’ messages.

Under Wilson’s watch, the Church’s strategic plans have focused on church members reaching the world, and inspiring and equipping them to use their God-given spiritual gifts in witness and service for Christ. The current strategic plan, “Reach the World: I Will Go,” outlines specific suggested goals to meet in the Church’s mission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19, 20).

Wilson, along with fellow officers and church leaders helped lead the church through extremely challenging times, especially during the novel coronavirus pandemic that plunged the world into chaos. Leaders were forced to make difficult decisions to best meet the changing needs of the World Church. These included reducing and eliminating staff travel, establishing public health protocols for employees, reassessing finances and budgets, postponing General Conference Session, promoting virtual meetings, and more. Throughout this ordeal, Wilson has been a reassuring presence with his encouraging weekly videos to the Church, pointing members to Jesus.

That seems to be the overarching theme for Wilson’s life and ministry. As he so succinctly stated in a brief life sketch: “You don’t need to know what the General Conference is or who the president is. All you need to do is know the Lord, attend your local church, be involved in mission, be in relationships, and love people—telling them about God’s love and Christ’s soon coming.”[i]

The Wilsons covet member’s prayers as they continue in their leadership roles within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

This article was originally published on ANN website; photo courtesy of Outlook Magazine

[i] https://adventist.news/news/profile-ted-n-c-wilson

13 Apr

GC Executive Committee Votes to Temporarily Attach Ukrainian Union to the General Conference

By Adventist News Network and Adventist Review – Silver Spring, Maryland … During its annual Spring Meeting, the Executive Committee of the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists voted unanimously on April 12 to attach the Ukrainian Union Conference (UUC), the church’s administrative region covering the country of Ukraine, directly to the GC, until other comprehensive arrangements can be made. The GC is the administrative body located in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, that oversees the world church.

Previously, the UUC was part of the General Conference’s Euro-Asia Division (ESD).

According to the action voted by the GC Executive Committee, the attachment of the UUC to the GC is effective immediately and comes as a result of the “current geopolitical matters [that] are causing administrative and mission challenges for the Ukrainian Union Conference and the Euro-Asia Division.”

“In the context of current events,” Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the GC, said, “it has become very apparent that the Ukrainian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists should be detached from the Euro-Asia Division and temporarily attached directly to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Please pray for God’s leading in His work in Ukraine as the church follows in Christ’s footsteps of ministering to people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually during very challenging times.”

According to the GC Executive Committee’s voted action today, a 21-member Ukrainian Union Conference Oversight Committee, chaired by GC general vice president Artur Stele, will provide direct guidance and supervision from the GC for denominational activities in Ukraine. In addition, according to the voted action, the UUC’s attachment to the GC will be reviewed periodically “to determine the best way forward for organizational and mission advancement.”

“The structure of the church must always serve the mission of the church,” Stele said. “Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The current tragic situation in Ukraine simply requires a change in the operational structure for the mission to be accomplished. We have listened carefully to our leaders in Ukraine as well as the leaders in ESD, and it has become obvious that change was necessary,” he said.

“The traumatic and tragic events that have taken place recently in Ukraine have deeply affected the world,” Wilson said. “Our hearts are greatly saddened and burdened by the terrible violence and loss of life in Ukraine. We earnestly pray for an end to the bloodshed and for peace to again come to Ukraine and to Russia and are very grateful for the outpouring of Christian love and care by so many church members in Eastern Europe and around the world regarding this tragedy of so many refugees fleeing their homeland.”

The ESD will continue its work of administering activities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the rest of its assigned territory.

“Please pray for God’s blessing and guidance on this important region of God’s great worldwide church, especially during these very challenging times,” Wilson said.

Stele noted that it’s important to remember that even in these circumstances, we are all God’s children and want to be together when Jesus returns. “We have the same Father. We are looking to the same heavenly Kingdom,” he said. “Our people in ESD are members of the same family. They love each other, they care for each other, and wish the best for each other and plan to be together in heaven. Even with the change in structure, even while the horrendous situation has forced our people to be separated, they still pray for each other and look for a day when we all will be united with each other and will all together worship our Savior Jesus Christ face to face.”

–Adventist News Network and Adventist Review; photos by iStock and Ukrainian Union website

Ukrainian Union Headquarters

This article was originally published on the Adventist Review Website https://adventistreview.org/release/executive-committee-of-the-adventist-church-votes-to-temporarily-attach-ukrainian-administrative-office-to-the-general-conference/

20 Jan

Special General Conference Session Delegates Approve Constitutional Amendment

By Adventist Review, and Adventist News Network — Silver Spring, Maryland … Delegates to a Special General Conference (GC) Session voted to allow the inclusion of a new section to Article V of the GC Constitution that will allow delegates to participate by digital means in a future GC Session in the event that unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances arise. The unanimous vote took place during a one-day, one-item session at the Adventist Church’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, on January 18, 2022.

The GC Constitution amendment vote would allow delegates to participate in the upcoming GC Session to take place June 6-11, 2022, even if they could not physically travel to the venue in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, church leaders said.

Due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, the delegates for the special January 18 Session were chosen using primarily individuals who currently work at the GC headquarters in Silver Spring. These delegations were approved by each division and consequently voted by the General Conference Executive Committee on September 16, 2021.

The recommended amendment, voted by the GC Session delegates, reads as follows:

Article V. Sec. 4. Generally, regular or specially called General Conference Sessions are to be held in person and onsite. However, delegates when requested by the General Conference Executive Committee may participate by means of an electronic conference or similar communications by which all persons participating can hear each other at the same time, and participation by such means shall constitute presence in person and attendance at such a meeting. Votes cast remotely shall have the same validity as if the delegates met and voted onsite.

The GC Executive Committee (EXCOM) would still have to make a decision at the appropriate time based on the current circumstances whether the GC Session would be held virtually, in person, or as a hybrid of the two.

Background to the Vote

The January 18 Special GC Session had been voted on April 13, 2021, by the members of the GC EXCOM. It was at that time that the January 18 date and the venue at the church’s headquarters were selected.

At the time, Adventist Church undersecretary Hensley Moorooven had detailed some of the factors considered in presenting this proposal. According to Moorooven, the GC Constitution stipulates that GC Sessions and all voting must take place in-person and onsite. Additionally, Article V, Section 1 of the constitution states that postponing a GC Session should not “exceed two years” beyond a regularly scheduled date. The possibility of another delay because of the ongoing worldwide impact of the pandemic would put the General Conference out of compliance with its governing document. Moorooven then had explained that amendments to the GC Constitution and Bylaws can only be done by the delegates at a regular or special GC Session. All in all, Moorooven said, the church leaders’ proposal stays within the appropriate provision of the GC Constitution and Bylaws.

In 2020, a meeting of the GC EXCOM had already voted to propose an amendment to the GC Constitution that would allow for virtual participation when specifically requested by the Executive Committee.

Based on the authority granted to it in Article V of the Constitution to reduce the total number of delegates to a GC Session for reasons of a “major crisis within the Church or international arena,” GC EXCOM had also voted on April 13 to reduce the total number of regular and at-large delegates to the January Special GC Session to 400 people for this specific meeting. The allocated quota of delegates for the GC, 13 divisions, and two attached unions was approved as well. The motion included a request that divisions unable to send their allotted quota of delegates due to travel restrictions or other reasons be allowed to reallocate their unused quota back to the GC. The GC Administrative Committee then designated these positions to individuals currently working at the GC headquarters, primarily from the divisions which shared their quota.

Feedback from Delegates and Leaders

During the January 18 Session, and after GC secretary Erton Köhler read and moved the amendment to Article V of the GC Constitution, several delegates approached one of the two microphones placed in the auditorium to weigh in on the motion proposed.

Murray Carson, a delegate representing the South Pacific Division, commented that in general, he agreed with what was being proposed. “It’s good to be able to vote remotely,” he said. “What I would like to present is that the part that’s being [changed] is fairly straightforward, fairly layman in nature. The part that we are inserting is more of a legalese.… I don’t particularly appreciate that…. [But] I think this is good for right now.”

GC education director Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, on the other hand, said she appreciated the solution found, given the circumstances. “Things are going to get worse as we get to the end of time. This allows us to stay organized as we move forward,” she said.

After the vote and on the sidelines of the January 18 Session, GC executive secretary Erton Köhler commented how he felt after the vote. “I was impressed by the strong support the delegates gave to the motion,” he said. “In situations like these, it is usual to get different opinions, but we received just a few observations. This shows to me that the church is united for mission.”

Köhler explained that the issue at hand was rather technical, unrelated to doctrinal or philosophical issues. “Still, it was important to approve it; otherwise, the work of the church may be hindered,” he said. “From the unanimous vote it was clear that delegates want the church to move forward.”

According to him, the vote also showed that the Adventist Church understands the times it’s living in. “I saw in delegates a clear interest in adapting our structure and processes, in making adjustments that may help the church to streamline its operations,” Köhler said.

GC general counsel Karnik Doukmetzian also weighed in on the January 18 Special GC Session, explaining the importance of the vote taken. “The vote to amend was significant in that it makes provision for the future in case meetings of the General Conference Session cannot be held in person to allow for individuals to be ‘present,’” Doukmetzian said. “World conditions may not allow for delegates to travel to be present in person, and this provision allows those delegates to participate and represent their territories even if they cannot physically travel to the site of the session.”

Doukmetzian explained that worldwide representation is important for a GC Session. Accordingly, “this provision will allow this to occur regardless of conditions which would prohibit travel or attendance,” he said.

–Adventist Review, and Adventist News Network; photo supplied

This article was originally published on the Adventist Review website

26 Oct


Adventist News Network – Silver Spring, Maryland … This document has been produced by the General Conference Administration, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference Health Ministries, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, General Conference Office of General Counsel, and Loma Linda University Health. It builds on the immunization statement voted in April 2015 and affirms both this latter statement, and the information on the COVID-19 vaccines shared on December 22, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest public health crisis in a hundred years. It has devastated populations around the world and severely affected physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational health. In its wake isolation, recurrent surges, economic disruption, and death are all ongoing. We are confronted with mitigation measures such as masking, social (physical) distancing, handwashing, early detection, testing, and contact tracing that have become part of our daily lives.

In the midst of this time of crisis and disruption the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to the mission of lifting up Christ, His Word, His righteousness, and the proclamation of His Three Angels’ Messages to the world in preparing people, through the Holy Spirit’s power, for Jesus’ soon coming. The health message is the right arm of the gospel and therefore a healthy lifestyle has been an important part of the beliefs of the Adventist Church since its early years and remains so. We are still committed to live, share, and promote healthy living as expressed by the wholistic Adventist health message entrusted to the Church. The Adventist health studies have confirmed the unequivocal benefits of increased longevity and quality of life through implementing such health practices. These include a balanced vegetarian diet, exercise, drinking adequate volumes of water, regular exercise, careful exposure to sunshine, fresh air, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances, adequate rest and sleep, and importantly, trust in God. These practices enhance and maintain healthy immunity. Beyond those benefits of healthy lifestyle principles and preventive public health practices, the Church affirms and recommends the responsible use of vaccines as an important public health measure, especially during a pandemic. At the same time, the Church respects the rights of individuals’ freedom of choice for those who choose not to be vaccinated. https://www.adventist.org/official-statements/immunization/

The current position of the Church on immunization and vaccines, including COVID-19, builds on the insights of the comprehensive health message Seventh-day Adventists have endorsed early on with ample support in Scripture and the writings of Ellen G. White that refer to the importance of disease prevention. As a denomination, we have advocated the synergy of a healthy lifestyle and responsible immunization for more than one hundred years. In the light of the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability, and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, we encourage our members to consider responsible immunization and the promotion and facilitation of the development of what is commonly termed herd immunity (pre-existing community immunity of approximately 80 percent of the population or more as a result of previous infection and/or vaccination). We are aware that vaccines may have side effects, and these can be severe in a small percentage of cases, including death in rare situations. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. Therefore, our decisions need to carefully take into consideration the risk of taking the vaccine compared to the risks of being infected with COVID-19. The immunity conferred by both the natural infection and the vaccine are time limited and the administration of “booster” doses may be needed. Acquiring a booster shot, upon recommendation from one’s health care provider, may further promote personal and public health. The need for such a booster shot does not indicate the “failure” of a vaccine but reflects the nature of antibody levels that may drop over time.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church respects each individual’s freedom of choice to make responsible decisions regarding their own health. Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are Christ’s both by creation and redemption, we should personally seek God’s will about COVID-19 vaccinations. The decision whether to take the vaccine or not is not a matter of salvation, nor is it related, as some may suggest, to the mark of the beast. It is a matter of personal choice.[2] We firmly believe that in matters of personal conviction we must be guided by the Word of God, our conscience, and informed judgment. In weighing the various options, we should also take into consideration that the benefits of vaccination extend beyond oneself and help to protect the local and global community at large. After personally researching all sides of the question, considering one’s own unique health situation, seeking medical counsel, and praying, individuals should then, in consultation with their medical advisor/doctor, make the best choice possible (see 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 11:14; James 1:5; Isaiah 58:11). As the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ information on COVID-19 vaccines released on December 18, 2020, and predicated on the 2015 Immunization statement confirms:


Countries and societies around the world have previously faced public health mandates in various forms. These have been put in place as a protection, recognizing that the health of the community is a major determinant of individual health and disease susceptibility. Public health practices have been mandated from the time of Moses and, probably, earlier. More recent examples of mandated public health practices include the banning of smoking on aircraft, and the use of safety belts as a general requirement for all motor vehicles. Over the past 120 years, mandated smallpox vaccination has been implemented in the United States general population and in countries around the world, resulting in a smallpox-free world at present. Numerous other infectious diseases have been brought under control by vaccinations and have also been subject to mandates (e.g. polio, measles, diphtheria). Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in the 1930s were instructed by the Church, as their employer, to receive the smallpox and typhoid immunizations. These requirements have been shared widely over the years in the Church’s official publications and acceptance of this requirement by Church members has been positive overall. The requirements for missionaries to be appropriately and responsibly vaccinated continue today. Ellen White did not comment on the issue of religious liberty in connection with vaccination mandates in her lifetime. She clearly understood the wholistic health message entrusted to the Church better than most.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not opposed to public safety and government health mandates. Submission to government authorities is a biblical principle unless it conflicts with obedience to God (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7). In many cases the Seventh-day Adventist Church has supported government mandates in support of health and safety issues. When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, we believe individuals have the right to state and defend their conviction whether to be vaccinated or not. Mandates usually allow exemptions for individual religious convictions or health conditions. With widespread personal testing available, individuals may choose instead to submit to regular testing if required.

The Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the General Conference (PARL) regards COVID-19 as a Public Health crisis and views connection with vaccines accordingly. PARL provides support and assistance for members who are standing for the religious teachings and doctrines of the Church, as expressed in its system of beliefs and policy statement (and also for other faith groups). We recognize that at times our members will have personal concerns and even conscientious convictions that go beyond the teachings and positions of the Church. In these cases, the Church’s religious liberty leaders will do what they can to provide support and counsel on a personal basis, not as a Church position, even at times assisting members in writing their own personal accommodation requests to employers and others. To avoid confusion, however, about the Church’s own positions, it will often be the case that in such circumstances the Church will not wish its support or advocacy for the member to be reflected in public correspondence or communications. It is important that the Church preserve its ability to speak to issues that are central to its system of beliefs and identity, and that its influence not be diluted by pursuing personal convictions and agendas that are not central to its Gospel and prophetic concerns.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in consultation with the Health Ministries and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty departments of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is convinced that the vaccination programs that are generally being carried out are important for the safety and health of our members and the larger community. Therefore, claims of religious liberty are not used appropriately in objecting to government mandates or employer programs designed to protect the health and safety of their communities.

This has generally been the position of the Church for the last century, since the modern vaccine program was developed. If we use our religious liberty resources in such personal decision advocacy efforts, we believe that we will weaken our religious liberty stance in the eyes of the government and the public. Such efforts would make it less likely that these arguments will be heard and appreciated when they are used for matters of worship and religious practice. We understand that some of our members view things differently, and we respect those convictions. They may at times have rights that can be pursued under the law, and we will point them towards materials and resources for doing so but cannot directly undertake this personal effort for them.

How has Loma Linda University Health (LLUH), one of our fine denominational health universities, and its school of medicine responded during the pandemic? Currently, 90 percent of our LLUH students are vaccinated as are 97 percent of our doctors. Religious declinations are offered at hospitals for those who feel strongly about not getting the vaccine, but must be accompanied by weekly testing. As a result, COVID-19 reports among students and staff have significantly declined since December 2020.

What will really count during this pandemic and beyond is how we treat each other, particularly within the Church but also within our wider communities. Anger, stigmatization, or vilification should not reside within the body of Christ. We need to relate to each other with respect, love, and compassion.

Instead of focusing on our individual convictions, we should draw more closely together in relationship with Christ and with each other. We should practice encouraging one another and bringing hope to the people of the world as we share God’s important Three Angels’ Messages and the anticipation of Christ’s soon return. We should work on becoming more active in our churches and not create divisions within the wider Church body. As Adventists we are to be an example to others, keeping in mind that the universe is watching.

It is important to care for one another, taking others into account in our practices. This includes the prevention of the spread of deadly disease and, in considering the vaccine or not, having love for one another and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Then, together, we may move forward in faith, “bearing with one another in love” and heeding Heaven’s counsel: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2, 3). Christ calls us to not be afraid and to place our assurance in Him as nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8; also John 16:33) Let us put our hope in Jesus and be encouraged in Him for He has overcome the world!

References and Sources:

[1] (Title) The process for this document has included wide consultation from different Church entities and specialists representing the World Church.

[2] We would do well to remember that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice in the Garden of Eden, although that choice resulted in significant consequences.

This document was originally published on the Adventist News Network website.

22 Feb

Adventist Church Leaders move General Conference Session to St. Louis, Missouri

By Adventist News Network – Silver Spring, Maryland … The Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted Wednesday, February 17, to move the 2022 General Conference (GC) Session, the quinquennial business meeting of the denomination, from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri, also located in the United States. The vote comes after GC Management was unexpectedly informed by the city of Indianapolis that the space in Indianapolis, was no longer available for the June 6-11, 2022 dates. These dates voted by the General Conference Executive Committee will remain the same.

“The announcement to us that the dates in Indianapolis were not available came as a complete surprise since we had taken this information to the GC Executive Committee,” said President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church Ted N.C. Wilson. “The officials in Indianapolis have been gracious but found they were unable to provide the verbally confirmed dates. We felt badly about not continuing the wonderful collaboration with the Lake Union Conference, Lake Region Conference, and the Indiana Conference.

“However, God had already foreseen the problem and through helpful contacts with the St Louis Convention Center, the exact same dates of June 6-11, 2022, were provided. God always is going before us to open the way,” he said

The Adventist Church Executive Committee had originally voted during the 2016 Annual Council to return to St. Louis for the 2025 GC Session.

This new development comes after a January 12 vote from EXCOM members to postpone the GC Session originally scheduled for late June of 2020, for a second time, due to continued challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the GC Session will now be held in St. Louis, which is within the Mid-America Union, instead of the Lake Union Conference, the two unions will join together to collaborate in evangelism and mission ahead of the meetings.

Gary Thurber, president of the Mid-America Union, also expressed his desire to work together during the upcoming GC Session. “When we learned this exciting news about the General Conference Session, our thoughts turned to the greater St. Louis area, which is divided by the Mississippi River,” he said. “ In actuality, there are two unions and four conferences covering this territory: the Mid-America Union with the Central States and Iowa-Missouri conferences, and the Lake Union with the Lake Region and Illinois conferences.

Thurber continued “Because of this, we are happy to be inviting the Lake Union to co-host the GC Session with us. The Lake Union has already prepared in a big way for the Session that was to be held in Indianapolis, so they will bring much experience and help to the table. We are thankful they are willing to work with us to impact the entire greater St. Louis community with the Three Angels Messages. It is always a privilege and honor to host a General Conference Session!”

Wilson also expressed his confidence the 2022 Session will be a time for Adventists to come together to share Jesus with the world. “Leading up to the General Conference Session, we look forward to a marvelous evangelistic working relationship with the Mid-America Union Conference and the Lake Union Conference which both encompass the greater St Louis region,” he said. “ What a privilege to proclaim the three angels’ messages and Christ’s soon coming in a united way in Total Member Involvement. As our 2022 GC Session theme says, ‘Jesus Is Coming! Get Involved.’”

–Photo by pixabay

This article was originally published on the Adventist News Network website