Faithfulness in Christian Lifestyle Theme of 2019 Annual Council — Day 1

With a marching drum corps demonstration, hymns of holiness, and the New England Youth Ensemble playing Vivaldi, the 2019 Annual Council meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee opened Thursday evening, October 10, 2019.

Quick profiles of International Youth Department Initiatives were featured in the evening program — One Year in Mission, Global Youth Day, Youth Alive — along with statistics about membership in Pathfinders (1.7 million), Adventurers (1.5 million), and Ambassadors (482,161). The General Conference Youth Department is putting on the LEAD Conference that always opens Annual Council and continues through Friday.

The 138-page meeting agenda was posted on October 9 to the Executive Committee website. Included in the document were the materials for the four agendas of the meeting: the General Agenda, the Policy Agenda, the Constitution and Bylaws Agenda, and the Consent Agenda.

The policy agenda has 34 separate items to consider with changes being proposed for model constitutions and tithe policy to be reviewed before being sent on to the 2020 General Conference Session in Indianapolis.

Tithe parity will be on the docket for discussion during consideration of the General Conference’s finances, specifically the amount of tithe that each division sends to the General Conference. In November 2018, the North American Division’s Executive Committee voted to request parity in the amount of tithe sent from each of the Divisions. Currently NAD gives 6.10% while the other divisions give 2%. In discussions earlier this year, the other divisions showed no interest in raising the amount of tithe they send to the General Conference. However, the proposal in the Annual Council Agenda calls for parity to be reached at 3% in 2030, and for the North American Division to be down to 3% as early as 2024.

While news that the Compliance Committees voted into existence at the last Annual Council meeting may be disbanded, the fireworks around compliance issues promises to return with proposals to move directly to sanctions without the committee process. The topic is slated for discussion on Tuesday, also the day that the committee will take up the new statement on abortion that has been drafted by the Biblical Research Institute but not yet released to the public.

It is the morning devotionals that seem to carry through the theme for the year: Faithfulness in Christian Lifestyle. Weimar President Neil Nedley, Michigan Conference Health Ministries Director Vicki Griffin, Australian Physician Ross Grant, and Berrien Springs Village Church Pastor Ron Kelly are set to speak at the 8:00 a.m. hour during the business sessions of the committee next week. Nedley’s topic is “Wholeness in Christ and Our Commitment to His Health Principles.” Griffin will address “God’s Leading in My Life and Yours.” Lifestyle Choice will be Grant’s topic. Kelly will consider complete restoration in Christ.

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image Credit: Brent Hardinge / GC Communication, courtesy of the Adventist News Network on Flickr.

The live stream schedule for Annual Council can be found on the Executive Committee website here: https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/live/

Join the live discussion on Twitter with the official hashtag #GCAC19. Spectrum will be tweeting throughout the meetings. Find us here: https://twitter.com/spectrummag

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9934
1 Like

LIEFESTYLE –
Another Set of RULES from our August General Conference Committees.
Will ALL Members have to Sign on the Dotted Line at the Bottom of the
Many page manuscript???
If we show Saint Peter where we have signed in to the Rules, will he
let us in the gate???

9 Likes

One would recognize this as an SDA event even without the Annual Council title attached. We must trumpet rules on eating right, looking right, and behaving right, even while debating very weighty matters. It’s reminiscent of growing beards and wearing costumes. Talk about “fiddling while Rome burns.”

19 Likes

So true, Elizabeth.

Focusing on health and lifestyle…shaking my head. :roll_eyes:

5 Likes

After the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon they developed a lifestyle religion which was well honed by the time Christ began His ministry. Pharisaism was a lifestyle system with literally thousands of rules - 1,500 or so for Sabbath keeping alone.

And yet, unless our righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

9 Likes

I see nothing on the agenda regarding hermeneutics as voted at GC 2015.

Did I miss something or is the leadership of the church ignoring a resolution by “God’s highest authority on earth” (the GC in session)?

11 Likes

I wonder how many Ellen White quotes will be referenced? :thinking:

9 Likes

Would it be asking too much of Union or Conference leaders to publicly express their support of the non recognized female conference president and nicely demand that her rights be fully recognized and granted?

15 Likes

Only if there were some concessions.

Agreeing to transition gradually to full parity as early as 2024 should also include immediate acceptance of recognized elected officers such as the president of SECC. Are you listening NAD? It is time to stand your ground and show some backbone.

15 Likes

Hans –
GC 2015 – THAT was Old Business. 4, yes, FOUR years ago.
Most people’s memories at that level of the Church are VERY Short.

4 Likes

Michael –
Would probably find a “reprimand” in their Mailbox when they arrived home.
Questioning their Allegiance to the ones who approved the printing. I won’t
name names.

2 Likes

Elmer –
Too much Fear and Trembling.
Remember the General Conference is the “Highest Authority on Earth”
Right under God.
At least Moses is not here. We would all get spotted white with leprosy.

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Let us not forget “the” most beloved Ellen G White.

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Well Steve, maybe there will be something new about EGW’s proposed lifestyle. Maybe she will get more momentum during this AC, we never know. Maybe this time her rules will be officially added to the Bible … :thinking:

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Not going to happen. They won’t have enough time to “pray about it”… :roll_eyes:

2 Likes

I see this mothballing of the hermeneutics issue as a compliance question by a non-compliant leadership. But since they control the agenda for both the Executive Committee and GC, they are immunized from any consequences.

So the only mechanism is the nominating committee. Perhaps it could nominate Sandra Roberts as the next GC President.

7 Likes

George –
Will we be allowed to have an oyster roast?

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Steve, I just laughed out loud and startled the dog. Last weekend at the beach there were signs for an oyster roast this weekend on the Eastern Shore. The assembled Ex Comm brethren could get there in about 3 hours from Silver Spring. Brilliant.

3 Likes

Elizabeth –
If George thinks hard enough he will understand where that
question was coming from. LOL!
Hint – ocean voyage that went across the Date Line, 1890s.

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… except from my ignoring everything they come up with. They can’t throw everybody out without jeopardizing income - spelled T I T H E.

3 Likes