General Conference Proposes Year of Grace for Unions

On Thursday, the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference and Division Officers Committee (GCDO) will again consider the topic of unions that have voted to ordain women. While last week the recommended action from the office of the General Conference president was to dissolve the unions and attach them to the General Conference as missions, this week a rewritten “pastoral action” will propose giving the unions a year of grace, and will appeal to them to repent of their actions.

If approved by GCDO, the action will then go to the Annual Council meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee. The Unity Documents (both the 50-page original and the 17-page summary) prepared by the Secretariat as opinion statements for reference in discussion of the action will also be presented to Annual Council delegates. Minor editorial changes have been made to the documents, according to Adventist Review.

With a year of grace, there is more time to allow for the consultations that are outlined in the General Conference Working Policy. For instance, according to section B 75 30, when consideration is being given to adjust the status of a union, the first action to be taken is by the Division Executive Committee and the North American Executive Committee holds their year-end meeting later this month.

According to reliable sources, should the unions choose not to repent or ask forgiveness for their actions, the item will be brought back to Annual Council in 2017.

Image Credit: Adventist News Network

Bonnie Dwyer is Editor of Spectrum Magazine.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

There have been moments lately when I initially assumed that I had mistakenly logged onto “Barely Adventist” instead of Spectrum.


How generous of them! To extend a year of “grace” for all WO proponents to reconsider their position! Will they also be reconsidering their actions or is this a one-way proposal?

What if there is no change at all during the next year? Try, try again?
If at first you don’t succeed? Both sides will have time to become more certain of positions; and the WO supporters will have time to develop new armaments.

Truth is, the G.C. is a little reluctant to follow through the proposals and worried that the divisions may actually follow through.


Maybe they did a quick run through of the tithe given by these Unions, and decided to dial it back.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Why should any union “repent” for what is Biblically and theologically sound? We haven’t begun to address the GC’s use of a very flawed and fundamentalist ‘literalist’ view of scripture that simply doesn’t hold water.


Will the Unions now give the GC a year of grace?

So, nothing has changed. Simply more posturing. Or so it may be thought.

What we now have is a deadline, which didn’t exist before. Someone means business. And that someone won’t eat humble pie once the deadline has passed.

Divorce does not occur quickly. Look at most states laws. Look at brexit.


When people don’t want Gods way they are left with their way. Which is always degradation.

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The money is not generated in Silver Spring. In that light, perhaps the Unions–or better, the pertinent conferences–should give the General Conference a year of grace in order to facilitate repentance for what that entity is doing to injure–we hope not irreparably–our beloved church.

I stress, again, that I DO NOT favor imposing gender equality in ministry on any Adventist institution. I favor–after the large majority of Adventist scholars, from around the world, who agreed that this would work–permitting full gender equality where church divisions come to believe that 1. the Bible takes us in this direction and that 2. this move will enhance mission.

The papacy-evoking AUTHORITARIANISM of the current Adventist establishment must be resisted. This authoritarianism goes completely contrary to the Radical Reformation vision to which we are heir. We are dealing, let us remember, not just with biblical but also with historical ignorance.

The marriage of ignorance and arrogance does not become us.



That “someone” seems to have an ego problem.


Wait-not so fast.
Can one give what one does not have?

Unless the GC has some magical grace credits stored up somewhere in its brass vaults, I don’t see how they can, with anything resembling a straight face, characterize it as “giving grace”.
More like a strong-arm threat…toe the line, or else. Is it brinkmanship with an agenda? Are they baiting the Unions to preemptively defy them, so they can have some plausible defense? I can almost hear the dissolution discovery proceedings; “WE did not tear asunder what God brought together, it was that Union that was adulterous… Oh, by the way, we want the HOUSE, full custody, alimony, errr, double tithe. And the name. Yes, evict them…”

About that “repentance”, is that to those headship guys-or to God?
Perhaps the ability to forgive sin for a years worth of repentance is another secret power his headship now has acquired.

In the meantime, I am asking for forgiveness for my church, from God.
Care to join me?


Norway but Ted on notice. prudence rather than Grace would be more accurate. The dollars speaks louder than Ted’s understanding of either the 28 or his role. As president. there will be no Glacier View in his next four years… He blinked. TZ


Who they think they are? Only God and kings were giving grace. I can’t believe that I’ve read it. Is this Barely Adventist?
Is there any polite way to impeach and dethrone this king?


Ok, so they let the pressure off for 1 year. In 1 year we will be back at he same point we are today. I guess it gives one year to try to come to an agreeable solution but doubt that as my union votes approximately 80% in favor of Women’s Ordination which I support.

I guess I will see what our leadership has to say about this. I expect they will come to the same conclusion as I.


Repent? That would mean that there was sin involved. What sin did they commit? Not agreeing with the hierarchy? Unbelievable! Plus, since when can a human entity of any kind bestow grace? It sounds threatening. And at the end of the year, then what? This is so very sad. Ordain the women so that God’s Word can be spread


I wonder what form this is supposed to take? Do they need to write letters, emails, or pick up the phone, or if they simply bow their head’s and pray, will Ted hear them?


I think it would simply require that they come on bended knees take his hand and kiss the finger where the ring would be if he were not Adventist.


Is there an irony here? The law has been broken and the penalty is “death to the unions.” But, “where sin did abound,
grace did much more abound,” for a while at least. This is organizational suicide led by politically non-astute leaders who want to use whatever clout they can to bring the western/northern world unions (not all) into conformity with the southern/eastern unions on a matter that is, by all accounts, cultural and not theological. This “forcing” the issue is not the way of Jesus at all.


Year of Grace.
THIS IS SO FUNNY if it wasnt SO SAD!!!
And THESE are Grown Men, supposed to be MATURE both Mentally, Emotionally, and Mature Theologians!!! But it ends up that they have NO SENSE At ALL!!!
One would think they were Muslims or Living out fantasies as Little Dictators. NOT Churchmen, at least not in the 21st Century. Inquisition days, YES! Not 21st Century.
What can one say, [sigh] [sigh]
If the SDA Church is the Last and ONLY Chosen Church, MAYBE They [the Trinity] need to begin again. Forget 1844.

Christian Century and other Religious News Magazines can certainly have a LOT of Fun with this!

I think the Unions should just tell president Wilson and his Aides — We DONT NEED a year. We have ALREADY decided. Already Voted. It is what the members want. And this is how we are going to operate.


Equivalent of Congress and funding the government for a short period then back at it again.


I am amazed at the thinking process going on in here…because it is being voiced from a argument of literalism vs personal opinion or interpretation (which of course God says (as long as you believe what your reading) that prophecy (His Word) IS NOT left up to personal interpretation (opinion.)) So how do you figure out what the Truth is if in fact it is in continual flux as it has been for the last …oh say 50-60 years? So what is ok today might not be in another 50-60 years? And if what God supposedly said is not to be taken literal…then what about the Sabbath or state-of-the-dead or a temple in heaven or the judgment or a myriad of doctrines that have been held onto in the name of Seventh-Day Adventism? Just how many of the foundations can be removed before the building comes down? As a residential contractor I know from experience that once you fool with the foundation of the building it is no longer considered SAFE to be habitable. WO is now one more part that is being ‘fooled’ with and is being added to the MANY things that have been questioned, allowed and given a green-light in the face of this NEW AGE that we are living in and what was once the ‘right-thing to do’ (and in this case would have been and was considered a SIN) is now to be viewed as HOLY? So how many things will we change before the SOP (the very foundation of SDA) is no longer a pertinent voice but just something of a long past era of nonsense? Just saying!

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