Annual Council Business Session Day 1 — What Shall Be Done?

On Sunday, Oct. 10, precisely at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time), President Ted NC Wilson opened the business meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee. The historical precedence for Sunday business meetings at Annual Council comes from the pre-COVID era, when an effort was made to make the best use of time for the Executive Committee members who were traveling internationally. This year, when those international participants were Zooming in for the meeting instead, the Sunday session proved not to be as convenient. For whatever reason, there was only about 50% participation by the Committee members who total 342 in number. Early in the day, there were 198 who voted in the Election Buddy system test. Four hours later, 30 or so had slipped away. Included in that 342 number were 40 new members, primarily newly elected leaders from unions and divisions around the world.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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What struck me most about the first business day’s session was the repeated calls for prayer , unity and Bible study… It was emphasized repeatedly in the session, particularly by President Wilson. In fact I recalled distinctly the words prayer and unity being mentioned in the prayers on Sabbath morning service, by others apart from Wilson and the need obey and follow - which was summarized under the theme of marching orders by Dr Carlton Byrd in his presentation.

Listening to Mark Finley’s reading of the EGW 1888 letter was also moving and at one point, I could almost sense some of the delegates were emotional, perhaps to the point of tears.
However, listening to and viewing the presentation, I have an uneasy calm about this session. It was as if each speaker was there to perform his or her role, then depart from the stage as quickly as possible. Perhaps I am wrong, but I could sense sadness emanating from some of the speakers. Yes they spoke perhaps as bravely and as confidently as they could- but behind it all, what was the true emotional state of these speakers- inclusive of the President?
I got the distinct impression that many of them were worried, deeply worried about the state of the church in relation to very many issues and this seemed etched on some faces. Yes, many were worried about the global effect of the pandemic on the church, but this concern seemed deeper and more profound than concern about a pandemic!

It was amazing to see how well each speaker delivered his or her presentation, all united in the common theme- united in the same emotional display, Some would say perhaps the entire session was very well scripted to produce specific effects- I do not know for sure.
But not much was said about repentance, particularly corporate repentance. Will organizational repentance be placed on the agenda? Would corporate repentance lead to the forgiveness, acceptance, and love necessary for unity and revival within the membership?

These comments are particularly insightful. One must now wait to see what would emerge in the remaining days of the Council.




Is not a convenient time for everybody. It will be late in the evening or middle of the night for most of AsIA and the Pacific.

[quote=“Andrew123, post:2, topic:22060”]
“Listening to Mark Finley’s reading of the EGW 1888 letter…”

Hmm. Another steamroller coming up?

My husband had some ideas…differing from the views taken by his brethren… I was shown that however true his views were, God did not call for him to put them in front before his brethren and create differences of ideas…. (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 24.1)

Sounds like EGW wished to shut down discussion by wishing everyone would agree with each other. This is a loss of freedom of speech and respect for the opinions of others.


I don’t know who pays for these surveys. As I have attended a number of SDA churches in my area–it is clear that attendance is down and active outreach of the church is limited. Under these conditions many will slip away unnoticed. Many have grown indifferent in regard to their practice of faith.

Sadly it seems that any realistic view of the condition of the church cannot be presented at the Annual Conference.

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If they were saying “hey, we need to vote on something, can we please stop and ask God to lead us here?” that’d be great! Seriously! We’d need to applaud that.

But it feels way too much like the prayer is “God needs to rally people around this decision we already made.”


The prayers for “guidance” at church board and business meetings have always been a sham.

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Reminds me of a “prayer” last December. Conference asked churches to go virtual for a couple of months due to a bad COVID wave.

Decision goes to a church vote. Elder gets up front and “prays” that “we will be able to continue to meet here next week” and for the leaders to wake up “because we’re in the end times” (for the last 175 years).

It was really gross, but his facial reaction when the vote to go virtual won anyway was worth it.

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Sadly, that is the way many people in leadesrhip positions think . It amounts to nothing more than asking God to rubberstamp what they already decided.


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