The Pacific Union Conference’s President’s Council has voted not to submit their names for inclusion in the SDA Yearbook as a demonstration of solidarity with Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC), whose name has been left out of the Yearbook since her election in 2013. The President’s Council action has been affirmed by the PUC Executive Committee.
The Adventist Yearbook in an official General Conference publication which “presents information on entities, and on institutions established, owned, or controlled by officially recognized Seventh-day Adventist organizations.” Conference, Union, and General Conference presidents must be ordained per GC policy, and though Elder Roberts was ordained in 2012, the GC refuses to recognize both her ordination and her presidency because she is female.
Last year, at North American Division Year-End meetings, a motion was passed by the NAD Executive Committee to request the General Conference recognize Roberts’ presidency and include her in the Yearbook. That request went unanswered.
The November 9, 2017 statement from the Pacific Union’s President’s Council follows in full below:
Through God’s grace we have come to recognize that we only fully represent our shared faith and unity of purpose when we appreciate and respect one another. When the diverse perspectives and the dictates of conscience differ on important points this takes on heightened significance. As members of a faithful and complex community, our unity and mission of effective witness call us to faithfulness in all things, including how we demonstrate respect for one another.
Together we are finding that respect for the dictates of conscience, and respect for one another, are two sides of the same hand—extended in mission, ministry, and hope.
The following action was taken by the Pacific Union Conference President’s Council on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, and affirmed by the Pacific Union Executive Committee on Thursday, November 9, 2017:
Due to the continued absence of Elder Sandra Roberts’ name in the listing of the officers of SECC in the SDA Yearbook, the Presidents Council, consisting of the 7 conference presidents, 4 union officers, 3 ethnic coordinators, higher education presidents, and director of Education for the Union have chosen not to submit their own names for inclusion in the SDA Yearbook as leaders of their conferences or institutions. It was affirmed in this decision that each leader would exercise their own liberty of conscience on this matter.
The Union executive committee on November 9, 2017, received and affirmed this decision by the President’s Council. It is so noted in the Executive Committee minutes.
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Pacific Union Conference’s President’s Council…you are my new heroes! Doing the right thing is always best to do and supporting Sandra Roberts is spiritually and morally courageous. Thank-you and Godspeed.
Take a lesson from Parenting 101. To solidify PUC’s united stand they must put leverage to their word with the most effective way being to withhold any monies that flow up to the GC from PUC. By refusing to recognize SECC’s officers, the GC had already relinquished SECC’s obligation for monetary contribution to the GC. Why draw a red line in the sand without consequences?
Waiting to see what other SDA entities stand up for what is right.
Kudos to the Pacific Union for their solidarity with gender egalitarianism and in protest against the shabby, sleazy, contemptible treatment of ordained pastor,
and SECC President, Sandra Roberts, by the church hierarchy.
Every news item relating to church policy, church politics, or church administration has ODIOUS OPTICS these days.
From the shameful shenanigans at the last Autumn Council, to the manipulative machinations, and brazen blackmail by hateful homophobes of the Northern California Conference administration.
All this sleaze makes one want to hide one’s head in embarrassment to be Adventist.
President Donald Trump, rightly pleads : DRAIN THE SWAMP in Washington DC.
Should Adventists plead : DRAIN THE SWAMP IN SILVER SPRING ??
This is the attitude one might expect among elementary school students on the playground: “since we can’t play the game our way, we won’t play at all.” Unbecoming of church leaders.
Given the fact that she is not a legitimate president, having been elected contrary to church policy; to have recognized her as such by putting her in the yearbook, would have been aiding and abetting the rebellion. They have created their own fantasy world in parts of Kalifornia, but the rest of the world church does not have to accept their version of reality.
Article is not completely accurate.
She is listed under “Wills and Testaments” in the yearbook, a legally required distinction.
(edit to correct, quoting EChinnock), “On page 235 in 2016 Yearbook under "Property/Trust” she is listed. Makes the exclusion, on the SECC officers, even more strange!
According to Ca law (and possibly federal) persons who administer church related will and testament (actually "property/trust) affairs must be ordained…and listed.
Furthermore, and to be legally permitted by law to oversee property/trust, she must be ordained!
So when it suits the GC, she IS ordained-but only with respect to money and property.
this exclusion of sandra from the yearbook has gone on long enough to be seen as petty…there’s no reason a woman of her stature shouldn’t be recognized…someone by now should have realized that the anti-WO votes of GC sessions, delivered overwhelmingly by male delegates, aren’t workable in real life…a balanced, objective perspective at the helm of things should have been able to see that policy should have yielded to evidence on the ground long ago…
I don’t think it’s the Northern California Conference Administration that’s homophobic. Their letter (which I assume this comment refers to) simply states the SDA policy and the facts of the situation at the Chico church. It’s the “neighboring congregation” as Spectrum reported it that’s showing its homophobia. Seems to me that the conference is explaining why Chico’s actions are within the purvue of their congregation’s authority.
“This is the attitude one might expect among elementary school students on the playground: “since we can’t play the game our way, we won’t play at all.” Unbecoming of church leaders.”
And somehow not recognizing official titles because someone is a woman is not childish and petty behavior? Standing up for someone in a show of solidarity is not ‘unbecoming’. Since when is support for someone who is continually spurned and rejected for recognition when the powers that be ignore any sort of discourse on the subject, ‘unbecoming’? This is simply an argument for those who WOULD have their way and belittle the efforts of those to stand up for what is right.
Here we see the fear in the hearts of those who see in the appointment and ordination of Roberts, a treat to the stability of church governance believing that the whole structure will collapse under their watch. Changing the policy is the simple answer to the problem.
Brethren , It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God . This behavior and treatment of one another in the name of God , must stop. Only God holds the answer to the question , " What happens when an in movable object meets an unstoppable force ? " Are we witnessing a self fulfilling prophecy right before our own eyes ? There must be a middle ground . Other than that , we must ask ourselves , " What do we do with all the women in ministry now ? " Would it be better to commission , license , or ordain them ? Will GC remove certain powers away from conferences and divisions in order to get around this problem ? Let us pray for God’s church .
perhaps. I would think that, with legal counsel, a resolution by the appropriate conference committee, including her in coverage, would be a good step. the second would be to begin shopping for D&O liability insurance outside the gencon insurance agency. gencon does NOT provide insurance, it is simply the insurance agency that shops for insurance, albeit on a a massive scale. another thing to keep in mind is an insurance agency does what…COLLECTS INSURANCE COMMISSIONS!
First world problems. Sure got em there! Shall we have a flag football game on the field after school to see which team wins. That this was actually voted on in a committee meeting shows what a waste church politics really is. God help us all to focus on the suffering, the persecuted, the poor and the hungry. Such silly games. Grow up!
It’s about time. I wonder whether the NAD leadership will consider this option as well.
Ahem. Many women who preach ARE heavily discriminated against (I could list a handful of blogs wherein church members screech endless insults at female pastors and those who support them). Female pastors ARE currently paid. Women do undertake MANY of the jobs in the Church. And you’re not going to see any money, Linda; it’s hiding behind REALITY.