European Union of Churches Raises Equity Questions

A significant motion was voted at the beginning of the General Conference (GC) Session. It was an action bought by a committee that was chaired by President Ted Wilson from the GC Constitution and Bylaws Committee. Since I once served as a conference secretary and as the chair of our constitution and bylaws committee, it is something that I noticed. It was the recommendation to vote new unions into the world sisterhood of unions. This is always a time of great celebration in our church because it marks growth and progress. Delegates will often clap to celebrate such an event. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The church still being segregated east of the Mississippi is a terrible look. That sort of structure needs to be torn down, not built up.


i understand how this looks, but maybe it was felt that due to low numbers, and a relatively weak voice in our world church, something was needed to give the European churches a stronger ability to represent their interests in a GC session and AC…

NAD’s regional conferences, on the other hand, are part of NAD, which already has an outsized voice in our world church…the regional conferences have the ability to make their views known by going through NAD channels…but the European churches don’t really have recourse through a strong divisional voice…

also, i’ve heard that the majority of membership in England, for example, is black…i’m not so sure Europe is really white anymore…

Jeremy I find your reasoning very curious. Are you saying that “black” adventist are incapable and/or unable to represent “European” Adventist, therefore Europeans must have a separate administrative structure created by the Adventist Church to represent themselves. Really? This is the same church that for decades has criticized African Americans for Regional Conferences, and voted down the proposal when they requested Regional Unions in 1978, when the same denomination had given Europeans that privilege beginning in the 1960’s. The hypocrisy is astounding. And that is the very point of my post. Everyone should have the same privilege of voice, vote, power and representation that has been exclusively given to European Adventists in this church. Asians, Haitians, Native Americans, and others all would like to have the same voice, power, and representation as Europeans and deserve the same consideration. And if all cannot receive it then none should.

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I have never heard of Unions of Churches. So, this is all new to me. Do they have their own administrative leaders and properties just like traditional NAD Unions have? Are there no established Conferences for the Unions of Churches in Italy, etc., to join? As the author describes it, they don’t become a conference and join a sisterhood of conferences (a Union), but instead become their own Union? And directly join a division? I’m obviously naive about church structure around the world… And I recognize the point of this article is ethics, not educating me about church structure. I wish our denomination (and our whole society) had always been, was currently, and would always be honoring of racial differences and relating with empowering integrity and ethics to its members. I’m pained about the failures.

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