God answered our request for His Spirit to be among us as the Pennsylvania Conference conducted business at their triennial constituency session on Sunday, November 11. As a delegate, I was a bit tense for the proceedings as I knew the nominating committee struggled with the position of president. Our incumbent, Elder Ray Hartwell has been very helpful throughout my chaplaincy career, I was feeling a personal loss. The chair was asked to take the present nomination back to committee, which he did.
Of course there was much business to do while the nominating committee was out and that business kept us busy for the afternoon.
Many of us prayed for the committee's discernment and many of us also stood before the committee to be heard. they heard us. When the name of Ray Hartwell was brought to the floor there was a round of applause. The chair, Elder Dave Weigley had to remind us we needed to now use our "left brains" to vote. Once counted and Elder Hartwell was voted in, another round of applause went up. My husband and I were so pleased, as Elder Hartwell has been a great supporter of the teachers and Christian education.
I know that God was moving the hearts and the attitudes of His people toward the mission of the PA conference, that of Revealing Jesus, Making Disciples. Grace and graciousness were evident as people spoke.
I know you want to hear what was said about women in ministry. Women in ministry was only discussed in pockets of people during the lunch break. Some are for it, some are not. It is an issue that for now in PA is better left for 2015 General Conference Session, unless Jesus shows us otherwise. For now our focus is on spreading the gospel of Jesus soon return! Maybe that will be before 2015, I know that would be my hope ... and my joy.
Barbara Rutt is currently the manager of the pastoral care department at Lehigh Valley Health Network. She was the first Seventh-day Adventist to attend Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Penn. The Association for Professional Chaplains Board Certification certified Rutt to chaplaincy in August 2004, and the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists commissioned her June 19, 2004.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4872