Infographic: Visualizing the San Antonio Delegates

(Spectrumbot) #1

A recently-released break down of delegates to the 2015 San Antonio General Conference Session reveals that the vast majority of delegates are male, and more than half (fifty-seven percent) are over 50 years old. Data has not yet been released on the numbers and percentages of delegates from various world fields, but as that information becomes available, we will provide the details.

Below is an infographic that provides one way of visualizing the delegates that will serve—and make some important decisions—at Session in July.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Thomas J Zwemer) #2

it does represent the leadership. It does not represent the membership. The issue is not primarily the gender of the delegates but their view of headship. The fear is that the multicultural make up with reflect the myoptic view of Pastor Ted Wilson. The problem from my perspective is not gender, but message, To cling to a totally discredited apology for 1844 distorts the Gospel to a farce. Tom Z


Does anyone, including the leadership, trust doing a vote/survey from the members before the GC session?
Since some/ many don’t attend church every Sabbath, maybe have some kind of vote for all of June and July …up to the event and quickly submit results so the delegates at the session have the voice of the people. I don’t really care one way or another…let 100% of pastors be female or male…the shaking will continue to take place anyway. The institution is suffering from Adventitis.

(Rheticus) #4

It does not show the real political clout of the groups.

For instance, is there any reason to believe that this will be the makeup of the nominating committee? Of course not.

What about the speakers. Any reason to believe this will be the makeup of the speakers? Of course not.

i.e. It is informative and misleading all at once.

(Peter Marks) #5


You are correct! The delegates are chosen from Adventist leadership, not Adventist membership. In the original blurb from Adventist News Network they go out of their way to define who can anticipate being selected. They say that as more women are functioning on Union and Division Executive Committees we can anticipate that the percentage of women delegates will rise.

I’m not sure why you fear people within the multicultural makeup of our global communion. They are just as intelligent as anyone else. What we need is for the leaders of our organizational entities undertake to put resources in the hands of their leaders and members such that they can come to an informed conclusion. In my June 2014 open letter to the GC Officers, featured on this website I plead for this to happen. I stated then that I believed the ECD Report to TOSC which stated that if such resources were not made available it would be counterproductive to even vote on this issue.

Further, just a few months ago I wrote to my Division President with the same plea. He replied promptly saying that the South Pacific Division was publishing the papers produced by the SPD BRC, all of which were in accord with Option 2 of TOSC ie. for the Divisions handling the issue. This book is still to see the light of day. It is likely to come hot off the presses in the next few weeks, but hardly likely to have much influence on the vote.

Still further, in my discussion with an SPD delegate to San Antonio, I have discovered that delegates from our part of the world have been provided with Options 1,2, and 3 summary papers from TOSC but no other material to inform their decision. Thankfully, at the moment this delegate has set aside this month to intensively investigate this issue.

Finally, the SPD have had a semi-official ban in place prohibiting discussion of the ordination issue. Early in 2014, I wrote to my Conference President and Executive Secretary offering to hold a 5 hour workshop at our September 2014 camp meeting on Ordination issues. I stated that I wished to canvas all perspectives on the issue and do so in an informative, not confrontational fashion. I also reminded them that I had authored a paper for the SPD BRC on same. They didn’t even bother to reply. Many months later I approached them about it, only to be told that the SPD didn’t want open discussion of the issue.

If the permissive policy emendation with regard to WO fails to carry in San Antonio, it will be almost entirely due to the fact that the GC and its Divisions have failed almost entirely to educate Adventist leaders and delegates in particular.

Brothers and sisters, it is not good enough for the GC and the NAD to discuss this issue and be informed by its scholars and administrators about WO over a 40 year period and then in the last 5 years allow for other Divisions to have input into the discussion. This is not the way to get the global communion to address the issue.

In the last 2 days I have noticed on YouTube a Diversity and Women’s Ordination Symposium held recently in London in mid-May 2015 and addressed by Drs Jan Barna, Daniel Dada, and others. Here is the weblink:

Jan Barna canvasses the various perspectives on Ordination in a very systematic way. Daniel Dada outlines in detail the case against ordination

(Michael Wortman) #6

Not sure what you mean by “Adventitis.” Do you mean Adventiasis (as in elephantiasis)?
-itis=inflammation of an organ -iasis= the presence or condition of an abnormal condition or disease



I am so glad you shared this video. And am looking forward to hearing what Dr. Jan, Daniel and others have to say.

Thank you.

(Michael Wortman) #8

Did you notice that in the infographic the woman symbol is wearing a long-sleeved dress? As my wife would say: “That is sooooo 1960s Grand Ledge (Michigan) Camp Meeting!”

(Peter Marks) #9


Think about it! I want a nominating committee to be filled with peers of the people being elected, who actually know many of the people they are nominating.

I’m convinced that there is a good cross section of speakers from all parts of the world, and tending to be younger, rather than older. And from a cursory investigation of who they are, they are from all sectors of the theological spectrum.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #10

I have no fears. I suggest there are vast cultural differences. Certainly Ted is well aware of those differences. I hope that the issue will be understood as cultural and not doctrinal and that each division or union can act accordingly. Tom Z

(Rheticus) #11

The nominating committee is where a knowledge of the candidates SHOULD be combined with a knowledge of the needs.

If one is not careful, one gets a group of people who merely think they know the needs.

(2nd Opinion) #12

It’s time that minimum percentages be placed on delegates nominated from each division by age and gender category. Delegations should be representative of the demographics of the church membership in each area.

(Brenton Reading) #13

Oh, that’s not a dress. It was never a dress. Just a longer cape!

(Jared Wright) #14

I’m not sure why the image is not displaying properly on this article–at least on my computer it isn’t. Here is the graphic for anyone else whose computer is not displaying the image:

(Peter Marks) #15

You are correct! Not working!

(jeremy) #16

i think the graphic works only in the original article, not the spectrumbot version…


This tells us all we need to know about the lack of representation by the membership in this failed church. This is not a sanctified gathering

(Ian Cheeseman) #18

It seems that this graphic works regarding the discrepancy between membership and leadership, and the supposed reasons for having such discrepancies. However, it also shows how far removed these leaders are from the average member in the local churches. That seems to be a great reason to restrict the power and authority of the higher levels and put more power and authority in the lower levels. At least the lower levels have a closer association with the real membership. Above the Union level, most local church members have little idea who any of their leaders are. Even at the Union level anonymity of the leaders is quite strong. Strength in the mission of the church should be at the lower levels not in the higher levels.

(Peter Marks) #19


It is of interest to note that both the East Central Africa Division and the North Asia Pacific Division committed themselves to a cultural understanding of WO in their respective reports to TOSC.

The ECD Biblical Research Committee saw in it’s Report to TOSC that the current modalities for ordaining people is in some senses unbiblical. And until this is rectified they seaw no point in expanding the reach of such a misguided paradigm. Further, they call for the development of cultural sensitive practices of appointment to leadership and recognize the fact that God in the past did not bypass cultural norms when communicating important messages.

The North Asia Pacific Division is based in the patriarchical society of South Korea. Until the end of 2009 the Seminary at Sahmyook University did not accept female students. Yet under the influence of the Chinese Adventist experience, our leaders in that Division have seen the value of some pragmatism where the mission context warrants it.

It is voices such as these that must lead the discussion on the floor of the Session. Neither the conclusions of the ECD or the NSD on this matter have been influenced by Western feminism.

Unfortunately, such leadership in the discussion from the two thirds world is not likely to eventuate. And chiefly because voices from Europe, America and Australia will predominate. I would be happy to be proved wrong. I heard it said once that each session seems to have it’s own pressure groups, whether it be Africans pushing for GC representation at VP level (10 or 15 years ago), or the Filipinos flexing their muscle on some other point at another time.

(Robert Sonter) #20

Is anyone able to confirm that a “delegate at large” is a delegate by virtue of their denominational employment? If that is the case, the the ratio of church employees to laypersons is 1:1.5 (or put another way, 39% of delegates are church employees.) That seems like quite a high ratio. Especially so as this 39% is able to act in a more coordinated fashion than the remaining 61%.

Could the church not come up with a better term to describe these denominational employee delegates? I do a lot of consulting to local government, including working with systems that administer companion animal bylaws. When a dog is “wandering at large” it is on the loose, in a place where it should not be off the leash, or unaccompanied by it’s owner.

I googled the definition of “at large”. This was the first meaning returned:

(especially of a criminal or dangerous animal) at liberty; escaped or not yet captured.
"the fugitive was still at large"
synonyms: at liberty, free, on the loose, on the run, fugitive;

If I was going to SA, I’d be a little concerned about those delegates at large :smile:.