Editorial: What Might Be

Thanks for all the good comments. To clarify, the Nominating Committee is NOT meeting now. The members of the committee will not be chosen until the first day of the Session in San Antonio–July 2. And while Loren is undoubtedly right that efforts are probably now being made to insure that supporters of the administration are chosen for the committee. Other efforts may also be underway in support of other candidates.


No, there should not be just one man “leading” the church. If we truly believe God is in charge, no one person should be put in the position where he/she is tempted to think they are speaking for God. The one man presidency needs to be replaced by representatives from each union; and decisions made within that group.

I suppose our system is a carry-over from the Catholic system. Ironic.


Doesn’t it perfectly describe this church: A dominating religious institution?

Just imagine if the U.S. congressmen and the VIP corporations that currently prepare bills, were to meet and nominate ONE individual for U.S. President and then the same people, VOTED him into office! Wouldn’t the American people rebel at such dictatorial policies? Do members really know or care? I’m not a member and I think it is disgraceful to “vote” with such Russian-like tactics. but who watches, who cares?


According to the SDA Yearbook there are 124 Unions. Every Union contributes one representative to the Nominating Committee (mostly it is its president). The rest of about 100 members of the Nominating Committee are representatives of different GC institutions and also some protégés of the incumbent GC administration. They are the very object of speculations and could be potential votes for someone’s interests.
Afterwards their influence and votes will be interpreted as results of earnest prayers. Who knows, it depends on the outcome of the vote and on the influence of the interpreters.


Seek and ye shall find


Most discouraging to me is that at several points in our history, we invited sophisticated management consultants to help us reorganize our structure. It needs “streamlinig” since it is incredibly inefficient, costly and unwieldy. Other church groups, relying on a very different model, do not have what we call conferences (and in some cases do not have unions). In every case, the General President (rumor has it) put the report in the file and said: “We can’t do that.” When have administrative leaders ever been willing to make change for the better when it might cost them their jobs? Volunteer organizations are all plagued by the weaknesses of a democracy (per Winston Churchill), especially one in which the citizenry or membership is uninformed about how officers are chosen or how dependent or independent they are vis-a-vis the General Conference president. In sessions like the one approaching, the more control leadership can exercise in advance, the more likely the outcome wished. Moreover, in the name of saving money, it must be as short as possible, minimizing reflection, discussion and research.

1901 is amazingly relevant!!!


A retired pastor from a division outside NA not long ago described on another forum his shocked discovery at a GC session that—just like in secular elections—wealthy individuals/groups promise support or threaten its withdrawal to influence the selection of their preferred candidate.


How can this be a thoughtful process? The selection of pastors & conference presidents is much more lengthy & complex.


This is so blatantly manipulative that I cannot see how it can possibly have escaped severe criticism for so many years… other than that the laity has been essentially brainwashed into thinking that the GC President really IS the “voice of God on earth” so of course no one would even consider displacing him before he died in office.

What this also says is that the committee has only a few short hours to come up with a recommendation for president to take to the delegates. Anyone with even half a brain should be able to recognize that it has taken a great deal of maneuvering behind the scenes before they got there so as to have certain ones who will be recognized by the chair first and who will put the name of the planned “chosen one” before the committee. With a few also well chosen and planted folk who will second it and call for the vote… yes… George’s estimate as to how long it will take to handle the whole process is probably quite accurate.

(And no… I have never been a part of the “inner circle” enough to have witnessed this first hand. But I have been in contact with some who are and who have… and this is essentially how they described “what happens”.)


This is the 21st century. People are learning how to handle information individually and with thoughtful consideration. This is one of the matters that need very much to be changed in the way our church “does business”!

Does anyone else agree?


Do the members of the nominating committee have any information about the candidates like CV’s or a 500 word personal narrative; anything concrete to go on?

I have taken part in interviews for complex technical roles. I would never have recommended any candidate that did not have a solid CV and did not communicate to me their ethical standards, thinking style, problem solving skills and ability to work in collaboration with others.

This position is for someone who will lead a multi-million dollar world wide enterprise, not a server at the local pancake house (though I have met many intelligent and capable servers at pancake houses).


One to Two days for Discernment for such an important role and position.
And we have a call right here in this group of comments to pray to God for a Discerning Miracle! A Voice from God to tell the Nominating Committee and the Delegates — This Is The Chosen One!
What can one say?


What Spectrum will be observing is classic Group Think in real time. Imagine a staff person being told 100 days before hand to pack their office prior to SA. Imagine the tension, worry, and lack of concentration on real work. My first career choice was to teach Biology in an Academy and later a college. my dad said, Get a profession then work for the Church if you wish, but be sure you can walk any day of the week. . Tom Z


Back to the makeup of the nominating committee. The delegates from each division are the ones who choose the members of the nominating committee. So, while the union conference presidents are the starting point and the presidents of GC Institutions (Andrews, LLU, AIAS) are included each division selects the other committee members in its allotted number.

It is then these division delegates on the nominating committee who caucus to nominate the division officers that are also selected during General Conference Session. So it will only be the North American Division delegates, for instance, who determine whether or not Dan Jackson is re-nominated as the president of NAD.

The nominating committee at large does have a lot of work to get done in a short amount of time. At the last GC session there was an item brought to the floor suggesting that assistant department directors be elected at a different time, to help cut down on the number of positions that the nominating committee needed to fill. The motion was defeated in the floor vote.

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As far as I am from the action, I see Dan Jackson as a prime candidate to replace Pastor Ted Wilson. Make Ted President Emeritus and Field Sec at large. Give him an office in Collegedale. Tom Z


Like Pope emeritus Benedict XVI? Only without the red designer slippers.



I would be surprised that, what I consider, the chief problem would even be put on the agenda or even considered the chief problem at the GC session… My selecting the individual,Jerry Page is the hint at what the chief problem is.

Another clue is the news item from Angola that just hit Spectrum.

Jesus, the apostles and the prophets understood this issue and countered it with words and/or in writing.

We are not really concerned about the “lot of work” that the nominating committee has on its plate.

What we notice is that the ONE most important… and pressing… with next to no time at all given for thoughtful analysis of the situation… task to be done is to get a name for the next GC President out to the floor … where it will be rushed through in a matter of minutes… probably as an interruption to something else that is being presented to the delegates… by some time Thursday.

Now there is one more thing that I think we need to consider… and this calls for the attention of any who were present for the President’s keynote address on the opening night of the Session… or who it watched on TV, as I did.

While Jan Paulsen started off with what sounded like a regular “State of the Church” speech… it fairly quickly, it seems at least in retrospect… that the tone changed to a very personal account of his lifetime faith and service journey… and ended with a poignant note that showed very plainly that he already knew that the nominating committee would not be bringing his name the next day… and closed with the Irish Blessing… “May the road Rise to Meet You.”

I looked to see if I could find his speech and especially the final song on-line. But alas, while there are other things preserved from the 2010 GC Session in Atlanta, not even a Youtube copy of Paulsen’s address could I find.

What I did find, however, is a simple version of the song itself… one that had what I believe are the additional words that seldom included, but that I recall from the close of Paulsen’s speech. I’ve brought the url here to share with all of you.

It was a very emotional moment… when he talked of what he “had thought” might have happened… and then gave his memoirs and goodbyes. But he was as gracious as ever right through it all.

And even the next day… when Wilson showed that he could not even be a “gracious winner” by insulting him so badly as Paulsen and Folkenberg sat there on the platform “in seats of honor”… Paulsen’s smile held… but it looked very weak.

I hurt for him.


FWIW, if the total number of union conferences/missions that either promote or oppose WO were any indication of TW’s chances of re-election, here’s my weather forecast:

Total number of unions voting Yes = 61

Total number of unions voting No = 72

Total union conferences/missions = 133 union conferences/missions

Yes - NAD (North American) 9 + 1 mission
Yes - IAD (Inter-American) 23 + I conference, 1 mission
Yes - TED (Trans-European) 11+ 1 conference, 1 mission, 1 section
Yes - EUD (Inter-European) 11
Yes - NSD (Northern Asia-Pacific) 3 + 3 missions
Yes - SPD (South Pacific) 4

No - SAD (South American) 16
No - WAD (West Central Africa) 10
No - ECD (East Central Africa) 11 + 4 fields
No - SID (Southern Africa-Indian Ocean) 9 + 1 mission
No - ESD (Euro-Asia) 10 + 1 mission
No - SSD (Southern Asia-Pacific) 9 + 2 missions
No - SUD (Southern Asia) 7 + 1 section, 1 field, 1 region

MENA (Middle East/North Africa) 3 fields + 2 regions
Israel Field


The large non-voting population of the U.S. who appear uninterested in their leaders, but let their representatives propose something that is not to their liking, they are sure to make it known.

It is a very expensive charade, but as a paid grand reunion for hundreds of church employees it is always looked forward to. It’s your tithe money at work!