Greetings again from St. Louis!
A foggy morning began with worship by Dwain Esmond (Associate Director at Ellen White Estate) called “The Rest of the Story.” We were challenged to preach and live the Three Angels Messages, including the “bad news.” High energy to motivate us to help Jesus finish the work with brave warnings and Livestream available. 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
I forgot to mention that about an hour was used up yesterday while some tried to get the Adventist statement about vaccines on the agenda. The attempt failed much to the dismay of the anti-vaxxers.
Statistical report was given by the GC Secretariat. Over 1 million members were added to the church in 2021. Unfortunately, losses are equal to about half of accessions. Current membership is 21.9 million. There are over 33,000 pastors and over 75,000 teachers serving the world. There are 367 missionary families currently serving, most are from the North American, South American and South Pacific Divisions. There was significant discussion about the need for more missionaries. There were also many questions for clarification on membership losses.
Erton Kohler was reelected as GC Secretary.
Paul Douglas was reelected as GC Treasurer.
Eight vice presidents of the GC were elected. Ella Simmons, the first and only GC VP is retiring. Unfortunately, there is still only one female officer out of the 11 chosen.
Church Manual changes … continued …
Most of the afternoon was spent on one item defining the work of a pastor. You had to be here to watch the discussion evolve and move. If you want to read it, click here and go to page 61-66, “Pastors and Other Church Employees.” It’s a lengthy proposal. To many, it seemed like an overreach of the GC into the specific work of the pastor. Also, the discussion went to Conference presidents required to be ordained. Personally, I think we need to respect the knowledge of the local pastor and not over-define how they are to minister. It was ultimately referred back to the Church Manual Committee to be brought back on Thursday. I would appreciate your insights if you have time to read it since it will be up for discussion again on Thursday. FYI: I do not support the GC reaching into the work of pastor and support the idea of making the role of Conference president open to all qualified candidates. You don’t need to agree with me!
Board of Elders. Page 67. Proposed to add this term to the Church Manual defining its term of reference. Passed.
Foster Bible Study (elders). Located on page 68. Further definition on the work of the local elder. Yes, believe it not, there was discussion! Passed.
Relationship to the Pastor (elders). Process where an elder can chair the church board. Page 69. Passed.
Nominating Committee and the Election Process. Page 70-72. Basically authorizing a standing Nominating Committee. Tabled until tomorrow.
Nominating Committee Report:
Associate Secretaries of the GC approved (7).
GC Auditing Services Committee
GC Departmental Directors
**An attempt was made to refer the Departmental Directors report back to the Nominating Committee because of the few women in these positions, but the motion failed.
Thanks for your prayers for your church. If you have any comments or questions, let me know.
Written by Elder Ron Carlson, president of the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.