NAD Administration Shares Information Regarding COVID-19 and Division Response

On March 4, 2020, during the North American Division monthly staff meeting, NAD administration invited Tim Northrop, president of Adventist Risk Management, and Dr. Peter Landless, Health Ministries director of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to present on what the church is doing in regard to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They shared best practices on how to help prevent the spread of the virus, such as washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, not shaking hands, and regularly wiping down common areas with disinfectant. They also encouraged entities who are holding meetings with large numbers of people to consider alternative options in case the virus continues to spread. (Resource material links from ARM and GC Health Ministries are listed below.)

GC president Ted N.C. Wilson, in a March 2 communication to church leaders, responded to the growing health challenges COVID-19 has caused. He wrote, “In the past few days, the situation has been highly accelerated by the identification of an increasing number of people with the virus in various places around the world. This has resulted in governments and airlines restricting travel and activities.… A few weeks ago, we asked our world church to pray about this situation, especially in relation to China. I have just asked the church to pray again.”

Wilson shared that questions have arisen about what may happen with the upcoming General Conference Session, scheduled for June 25 to July 4, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana, in light of the COVID-19 situation.

“We will share with you at SM [spring meeting] what possible alternative plans may be recommended. Let’s pray that none of that will be needed. God is in control. We certainly do not want to cause any unnecessary alarm or concern but felt it was necessary to issue a call to prayer and a statement indicating that at this time the plans for the General Conference Session in Indianapolis are as have been planned.… We place this in God’s hands.”

The NAD administration is restricting international travel for its employees at this time. No one is authorized to travel to countries that have been placed on any travel bans or travel restrictions (level 3 and higher) by the U.S. government and federal health authorities. It is recommended that persons visit the U.S. Department of State website’s travel advisory page for a list of countries under travel advisory (listed below).

In a message to NAD employees, administration said, “The NAD is monitoring the situation daily to determine on-going response as warranted, endeavoring to monitor things with a balanced approach. We are following the GC administration and GC Health Department’s lead in these matters.”


Adventist Risk Management’s webpage link:

General Conference Adventist Health Ministries article by Dr. Peter Landless:

U.S. Department of State travel advisory page link:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 link:

World Health Organization COVID-19 link:

CDC COVID-19 Resources for Households link:

This article was originally published on the North American Division website. Photo by Pieter Damsteegt, courtesy of the NAD on

Further Reading:

General Conference President Ted Wilson Calls for Prayer, Says GC Session 2020 Will Still Happen Amdist Coronavirus Scare

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Perhaps it is time to exercise an abundance of caution:

Advice to Local Church: Stop passing offering plate down the row. Provide hand sanitizers throughout the church building. Provide plenty of soap and paper towels in restrooms. Stop potlucks, due to commonly touched food spoons and unknown condition of food source. Have a checker at church door to send home anyone with flue like symptoms, no exceptions. Prohibit children from touching money after children’s story. Before and after service wash down with soap and water–all chairs, hand rails, door knobs and common surfaces. Stop hand shakes and hugs–100%. ETC.

Helping those who have contacted the virus: Do not request church donations from anyone who has suffered work loss due to illness or isolation. If this spreads, families that need 2 income to pay the mortgage could be trouble, with compassion return their tithe and offerings to them, if they are in great need. This is what God would want us to do.

Advice to NAD and Conference’s: God is calling you to trim your overhead, sell real estate and downsize. Send Division & GC personal into Pastoral positions. When many people are suffering, the church must not look like parishes of the Middle Age, where clergy are fat with land and money.


I am with you, good ideas. My step is to stay home. Tithe and Offerings are sent online anyway.

Let’s not panic, but we surely need to brace for impact. This CoronaVirus is no joke. It is bringing chaos to the whole world. Nobody can predict the final outcome. We only know that it will be ugly.

Regarding the GC session, well, my suggestion is, again, that when this term expires for the current administration, an INTERIM President should be installed and stay in charge until elections can be properly conducted. It would be unacceptable and unethical to just extend the mandate of the current administration indefinitely.


GC and NAD should be coordinating their efforts to come up with a solid rationale for cancelling the 2020 GC meeting. The top three issues should be:

  1. Events and conventions like this are being canceled because attendees and exhibitors cannot travel safely.
  2. Events in highly impacted areas are being canceled
    Beyond that nobody knows. If we give in to panic, the snowball effect could be catastrophic for the church. If we are not aware of where to go ahead safely with the GC meeting, we expose our attendees to high health risks.
  3. Many events are pulling the plug because of potential liability.

NAD may have to be the “adult in the room” and initiate cancellation procedures.


Actually, only the delegates’ presence matters. The GC could have them all come traveling with special masks, or they could just vote electronically, online, from their homes. We know what the record is like for the latter… :roll_eyes::sunglasses::sunglasses:

Since there is no true election, or choosing among candidates, what difference would it make anyway?


Out of ignorance I ask this question: Can we assume that delegates from developing countries have the capacity to vote electronically “from their homes?”

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Would the delegates be in contact with their leaders so they could tell them how to block vote?


Well, probably not since they can’t vote electronically even when they are gathered in the same building… :wink:

I suggest then that the Russians be hired to “assist” those with voting difficulties… :open_mouth:


Surely the vested interest of some church leaders will not be allowed to over ride the health and well being of the church members in general. The compassion showed by the mayor of Austin in cancelling SXSW could not be greater than the compassion of the under shepherds for their Master’s flock?

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The GC should promulgate these ideas!

I agree. Yet it was not be in the best interest of the GC to do anything that would appear to slow tithe & offering and perhaps lessen Church Attendance. These ideas will have that effect in the short term. Should the Virus continue to spread the church will be seen as a safe place to worship or be a vector for disease.


What the Church leadership has thus far failed to do, the world is doing in regards to COVID-19. President Trump has just put in place a “worldwide travel ban” Baring Europeans from coming to America thru April and that will be reassessed accordingly. Public gatherings of 250 people or more are now being restricted in parts of America until further notice.

I’m reminded of a movie that was about a tail wagging a dog; it supposedly turned things around from what we would expect to make them backwards.

I wonder what Ellen White would think of us today?

I now state plainly, Bro. … has been exalted, praised, deified. Why? Because of his unselfish labors to bring the work and cause of God up where it is? Is it because of his sacrifice of self, his untiring efforts for the cause of God? No; but because he pleased a certain class who were blinded as to the spirit of the work and what God requires of his people, both parents and children, for this time. These teachers apprehend no special cause of alarm in the present condition of the professed people of God, in their assimilating to the world, and in their lack of love and lack of exercising forbearance toward their brethren. These consider the character of the church generally in a flourishing condition. Therefore they prophesy smooth things, and cry, Peace, peace; and those who want to have it so take up the cry, Peace, peace. They believe their report, and in the place of being alarmed, are at ease in Zion. They have not sought after idols or graven images to worship and bow down before them, but they have idolized one another. Poor, frail, erring man has been petted, praised, exalted, and, saith God, “Where is My honor?” These men are seeking to bring in a different order of things. They would, by their precept and example, lead the people in a path that God has not bid them to travel. They advocate principles and customs directly contrary to the teaching of the Spirit of God, which has been appealing to the people for the last thirty-six years. God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. His children are children of the light. In all ages the obligations and works of the children of God have been at variance with the world. Their calling, their character, their prospects, are peculiar; and it is these peculiarities that distinguish them from the world, and separate them in spirit and practice from the people of the world. The contrast is most decided. The words of inspiration specify the difference between the children of the light and the children of darkness. And as we near the close of time, the demarkation between the children of light and the children of darkness will be more and more decided, they will be more and more at variance. This difference is expressed in the words of Christ, “Born again,” “created anew in Christ,” “dead to the world and alive unto God.” These are the walls of separation that divide the heavenly from the earthly, and describe the difference between those who belong to the world and those who are chosen out of it, who are elect, precious in the sight of God. The members of this body are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Jesus abides in them, and they abide in Jesus. There is no room for idols, no place for concord with Belial, no place for friendship with the world. {PH155 2.1}
It is not a form of godliness that will constitute a living stone in the spiritual building. It is being renewed in knowledge and true holiness, being crucified to the world and made alive in Christ. These walk in love and follow Christ as dear children. The labor of love engages the affections and inspires the prayers. When they trust alone in God, they are divinely assisted by the Spirit of Truth. They are not permitted to seek the friendship of the world, or to co-operate with wicked men. When we comply with the conditions specified in the word of God,–come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean,–then we are acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. The principles of His righteous, moral government never change; therefore the same measure of guilt will receive the same measure of punishment. {PH155 3.1}

totally agree. the chaos is already going on and is already ugly. no idea what would happen but i totally agree with you sir on not panicking. IMO, panic is doing alot more damage than virus itself. Not saying that the virus is nothing to be worried about, but all the hype and fear and panic around it is something abnormal in my opinion.
eating right delicerecipes com with right exercise regimen is always the best anti virus or any other ill that’s threatening us. fear and panic is the best solution for bringing chaos and ultimately a really bad outcome.

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However, when I see the inefficiency and disdain by this federal government, I am almost panicking! The US citizens being neglected as we are being now is unacceptable.
Please VOTE! This is our only defense.

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No doubt, God is on control. But if we do not exercise that which he has created and deposited in our skulls, we will pay the price.

Decisions are to be made depending on the risks/benefits involved at a certain time. At this point in time, the decision regarding COVID-19 and upcoming GC is a no brainer. What more is there to say?


Agreed! The God familiar to me is an Enabler… not a Fixer. He always answers the prayer “… walk along with me, and show me the way…”


“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty, walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” Genesis 6:9.

Both Abraham & Noah were blameless. What was the difference? I once heard a rabbi say, to get a proper perspective of Abraham & Noah, consider a father with two sons, to the older cognitively matured son, he says, “walk before me” and to the younger immature son, he says “come walk with me.”

We need leaders who have developed and exercised the talents God gave each of us to the extent that they are able to make decision and walk ahead of God, in spite of COVID-19. That is what leaders are for.

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You are assuming that COVID-19 will not interfere with the election. That is yet to be seen.

I suspect that the GC will be cancelled, and I do not expect America to have any more elections for President before Christ Comes. That could be an assumption on my part, but we won’t have long to wait to see if it is just my opinion or if my opinion is based on a sound study of the word of God.

Amen! leaders who will follow God’s leading and walk with God wherever He leads!

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