Pacific Union President Ricardo Graham Announces Retirement

New President to be Elected at Constituency Session in August.

On May 4, 2021, Elder Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, announced his intention to retire from church employment. A new president will be elected at the union constituency meeting, August 15-16, in Tucson, Arizona.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11233

it would be nice to see sandra roberts as PUC’s new president…

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Yes, indeed…

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and it isn’t as if she isn’t qualified…my understanding is that SECC runs the biggest budget in PUC…i’m guessing that running a union is mainly about running a budget…

plus she has a missionary background, which could be useful in AC negotiations with delegates from overseas…

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What’s the point? Without any significant change in our bloated hierarchical administrative structure, would it make any difference to those of us who sit in the pews whoever replaces Elder Graham as long as there’s someone we can count on to stand up to Elder Ted Wilson?

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that’s the beauty of a sandra PUC presidency…she could just be herself and be making a constant statement to TW and others…she wouldn’t need to “stand up”, or take on anything confrontational…

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Exactly. Elder Sandra Roberts is a Godly leader. Obviously, @sokingcoo thinks “what’s the point,” but God gives spiritual gifts of leadership in times and places for His own reasons. Perhaps Dr. Roberts has come to leadership for just a time as this.

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roberts has been president of SECC since 2013, which i think gives her serious credibility for PUC’s presidency…had she been named NAD’s president, to replace jackson last year, that may not have been credible…but PUC’s presidency is credible…she could be very influential from this position…

as you say, she does seem to be, like esther, in the right place at the right time, and with the right set of gifts and experience…i think all other possible nominees should do the right thing and decline…

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Wow! What an idea! The Holy Spirit would certainly be involved if that happened. I like how you are thinking, Vandieman. :slightly_smiling_face:

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@vandieman… like a Queen Esther? or a Queen Elizabeth II? I agree Dr Roberts possesses the qualifications of a union president. Anyone will do, as far as I’m concerned.

this is really cynical, joselito…there must be some reason unions exist - to provide firewalls of protection against kingly power action on the part of the GC, for instance - which means there must be some advantage in selecting one person for a union presidency over another…

in the case of sandra roberts, given the implacability of the headship side - no agreement with biblical scholars, in tandem with knee-jerk alignment with well-known and documented misogynist cultures in africa, s. america, the carribean and elsewhere - her simple, continuous silent statement as a union president, doing a good job, wouldn’t really be susceptible to the kind of coordinated attack we saw at san antonio…

and why would the GC be up in arms over a union returning a hefty tithe, just because its delivered by a woman…would africa object to aid facilitated by a woman-run union…likely not…

SECC is where I sit in one of the pews of its ethnically diverse constituency. We were told there’s only one predominantly white congregation in the entire conference. A Romanian church in particular. Conveniently, administrative oversight is done mainly through regional ministries vice-presidents–Black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific. The system works well, the officers claim. As I see it, peace and order seems to be their primary objective. Keep warring factions at bay. More akin to policing than genuine pastoral oversight. My opinion, of course.

Inheriting the job of presiding over an organization that’s ideally situated – awash with tithe – may be meritorious, I’m not sure. Besides, it sounds as if each union conference can independently raise their own tithe revenue enabling them to pass a portion of the same to the next higher organizations, viz. Division and GC. May I ask: Could they lawfully do otherwise, meaning withhold and keep all the tithe received from local conferences, if they wished? Regarding direct inter-division aid by union conferences, I haven’t seen evidence of that in their annual budgetary provisions. I could be wrong.

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but i’m sure sharp eyes in africa and elsewhere are aware of where GC funds originate…or are you thinking anyone actually believes the GC - TW, in particular - originates any funds…or perhaps it has become the case that the GC - TW, in particular - believes it originates the funds it redistributes…

your point about there being only one white conference in SECC is interesting - and a romanian one at that, who knew…but who would go to pains to stress something like this, and for what objective, one wonders…my own assumption has been that whites give as regularly as other groups…

and if SECC administration is really a policing job, it wouldn’t be the first and only instance of racial diversity representing strife…

but i’m noticing a claim on the SECC website of adventist students in adventist schools outperforming their non-adventist counterparts in all areas…it sounds impressive, especially when combined with the reflection that the california conferences, collectively, represent 70% of PUC income, with SECC easily 43% of that 70% income…SECC really does sound like a successful conference…

Tell us how you REALLY feel, Joselito. :wink: :wink:

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Really? I’m not a conference insider. Well, I post with my real name. Once, shortly before Covid 19, I wrote the SECC about how I honestly felt about something… and hey, I received an official reply to my query from the conference treasurer :innocent:

I apologize. Please. I should give it more thought before posting a response.

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The Pacific Union is home to strong elements of headship promoters. I feel concern for the conflict they may create in the selection of Elder Graham’s replacement. And I feel concern for the role Ted Wilson may attempt to play in this. I don’t see him willing or able to support what has been the will of the Pacific Union constituency.

What we have learned since San Antonio is that Seventh-day Adventist believers in the heresy of male headship are either anti-Trinitarian, proponents of the heresy of Last Generation Theology, or white nationalists who idolize Donald Trump. I cannot think of one SDA who opposes women’s ordination who is not one of the three.

Ted Wilson and so many of his mindset are eventually going to die. But the church will continue.

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so peter, what role do think TW may attempt to play…if a union is an independent entity, as our founders envisioned, it ought to at least be able to select its president independently…i can’t see any of the conferences in PUC standing placidly by, and accepting a GC appointment of their union president…for that matter, i can’t see any conferences anywhere accepting this kind of intrusion, not to mention precedent…and what about rank and file members…do you really think having a union president forced on them by the GC is going to sit well with average people from arizona, or nevada, or utah…

keep in mind that sandra roberts was elected SECC president with a 72% majority in 2013, and to re-election with a 75% majority in 2018…her support isn’t going anywhere…and i can’t believe SECC values are so different from the values of other conferences in PUC…

personally, i see TW being many things, including many good things…but one thing he isn’t, and that’s politically obtuse…while i can agree that he may want to select PUC’s president in order to stave off a roberts presidency, which he may view as an unacceptable challenge to a GC vote, and therefore its, and possibly his, authority, what cards can he really play…anything he does is going to necessarily tip the scales towards a perception of arbitrary, unwarranted authority…i think he understands that he’s already being perceived in these terms by some…

as i see it, this ball is all in PUC’s court…it would seem perfectly natural to elevate the president of the conference that’s by far the largest money generator, even if there weren’t any statement about WO to make…but if there is such a statement to make, especially given the way the san antonio vote was manipulated, and even more especially given the way PUC was singled out, with CUC, for symbolic punishment at AC2018, i can’t think of a more opportune or effective way for PUC to stand up for its god-given right to be heard, and taken seriously, without being perceived as wanting to pick a fight…it could once and for all make perfectly clear that it isn’t going to be pushed around by scheming headship sectors of the world church where it’s own interests are concerned, and in a way that cannot be legitimately questioned…

something tells me many people in PUC are seeing this, and won’t miss this opportunity… :wink:

Southern and Central California Conferences have LatinX presidents who, to my knowledge, aren’t big supporters of W.O. Although there are commissioned PUC women pastors, I don’t know of anyone who has been assigned to any Asian-Pacific or Hispanic congregation. Not at SECC that I know.

WO isn’t about forcing anything on anybody who doesn’t want it…ultimately, and as i understand it, each church has a say in which pastors it will accept from their conference…

are you suggesting there’s push back to the election of sandra roberts to the SECC presidency, which requires ordination, which she underwent in 2012…salazar and cano may be latinx, but i find it hard to believe that conferences that contain cities like LA and San Fran would be havens of misogyny…my guess is their latinx constituents are americanized, and quite OK with the equality of the sexes, even if their countries of origin aren’t…i don’t recall either salazar or cano taking to the floor of San Antonio against WO…