In conjunction with Mid-America Union Conference’s year-end meetings, the MAUC Executive Committee convened at union headquarters on Nov. 17, 2022, for the purpose of receiving reports, voting ordination recommendations and reviewing the union’s proposed budget for 2023. The 31 committee members in attendance represented all six conferences in the union.

Year-end meetings is a time when all ministry teams come together to discuss advancement of mission and better ways of serving. The meeting, chaired by MAUC president Gary Thurber, focused on upcoming events, membership numbers and financial recommendations coming from the North American Division year-end meetings held last month in Maryland. Wendy Eberhardt, a vice president of the NAD, was a guest attendee.

The tone for the day was set by Simon Liversidge, lead pastor of the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, who concluded his worship series for the week on the various roles outlined for Christians in Scripture by focusing on the role of “friend of Jesus.” Even though Jesus calls us friends we are still in the middle of a spiritual battle zone where we will face challenges. Jesus doesn’t promise us safety, Liversidge said, but we can know He is with us because He is calling us, like Esther in the Bible, “for such a time as this.”

The Numbers

Thurber’s presidential report highlighted upcoming events including the NAD Teachers Convention scheduled for August 2023, the International Pathfinder Camporee to be hosted in Gillette, Wyoming, in 2024, and the General Conference Session slated for St. Louis in 2025.

Hubert J. Morel, Jr., vice president of administration for MAUC, shared that membership stands at 65,243 as of Sept. 30, 2022, which is slightly higher than the same period for 2021. The union’s financial report showed a slight operating gain compared to the same period in 2021. MAUC vice president for finance, Dave VandeVere, gave an update of how the funds set aside from last year (including categories of evangelism, training, a media studio, Union College Wellness Center and cyber security) have been put to use so far.

“Tithe is essentially flat across our territory,” said VandeVere, “yet we are thankful for God’s people across the union who continue to tithe faithfully.”


Discussions during the financial report included suggestions on how to restructure the tithe percentages that are shared between each level of the church. The need for accountability at all levels of the church for the management of resources was re-emphasized by multiple individuals.

The Mission and Ministry

Vinita Sauder, president of Union College, reported that although enrollment was up last year, it is down for the current school year. This is the case in some other Adventist schools well, she said. Sauder stated that one way Union College is working to increase enrollment is by launching three new graduate degrees (public health, occupational therapy and leadership). “There’s a great spirit on campus,” added Sauder. For more information about Union College visit

AdventSource director Brad Forbes shared that 40 years ago—before North America became a division—Union College stepped out and started a brand new ministry. This ministry has morphed over the years into a major resource center that is under the umbrella of the NAD today. “AdventSource is producing a lot of resources, particularly for various children’s ministries, Sabbath school, Adventurers and Pathfinders,” said Forbes. “Our biggest challenge is letting churches know what is available.”

In his departmental report, Tyrone Douglas, MAUC Church Ministries director continued the theme of service in youth ministries. “The stakes are high,” he said, emphasizing the need to focus on building relationships.

The People

Sincere thanks was expressed to Rhonda Karr, retiring treasurer of the Iowa-Missouri Conference, for 50 years of service on various committees at the union. “She has served both long and admirably,” said VandeVere during his remarks, “and we are thankful for her valuable contributions.”

Three ordination recommendations for pastors were approved, along with six applications for scholarships/internships. One of these was a business internship application for the Central States Conference headquartered in Kansas City.

Near the conclusion of the meeting the Excellence in Communication Ministry award for 2022 was presented to Ron Carlson, president of the Kansas-Nebraska Conference, in recognition of his dedication to prioritizing and utilizing various avenues of communication during his 16 years as conference president.

The next MAUC Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for April 20, 2023.