Reworking Policy and Funding Missions

Harmonizing the documents of the General Conference Working Policy was the major task of the GC Executive Committee on October 12, and not just the words. In a masterful presentation that summarized over 100 pages of documents, Undersecretary Hensley Moorooven also showed the committee how the internal numbering system worked. Items numbered by fives indicate sections that already exist within policy. Items with odd numbering — 11, 13, 17, 19 — indicate new items. Revision of the six different kinds of model constitutions in the Working Policy was the primary point of discussion. In presenting the changes, Moorooven shared more numbers: the number of union conferences (63), union missions (68), union of churches with conference status (11), union of churches with union status (5), conferences (419), and local missions (219). Add in the 13 divisions and you have the total number of structural elements in the church organization.

The major proposal on the table for all those model constitutions was to allow for electronic participation in regular and specially called constituency meetings when requested by the executive committee, and if permitted by local law in that geographic location, if all persons are able to hear and participate at the same time.

Discussion of the item during this Zoom meeting demonstrated one of the challenges of electronic participation. Chair Thomas Lemon asked if anyone wanted to speak to the motion. Seeing no indication of a response, he kept going. Later after other items were presented, it became clear that some people had wished to address the motion, but had not been able to get through to the officials at the church headquarters where the electricity had gone out for a few minutes. When Lowell Cooper, a recently retired vice president of the General Conference and an expert on the Working Policy, finally was unmuted, he said that over the past thirty years the General Conference has taken more and more authority over the Division and Union Committees that has shown a diminished trust in them. “It is unhealthful and unhelpful,” he said.

Moorooven replied that executive committees of each organizational unit do have to direct how to carry out the measures. But he also said that he had taken note of Cooper’s concern and that the Working Policy committee would address it.

Earl Knight wanted to know when this policy would be effective. Immediately was the answer. GC Attorney Karnik Doukmetzian added, however, that the items would first have to be voted into the documents of each organizational unit.

Also presented was a change in documents to reflect the vote of the Executive Committee in July to move the Public Campus Ministries program into the Youth Department and out of Chaplaincy Ministry. Nana Nimako registered his disaffection with the change saying that he thought the Department was already suffering because of the decision. In further explanation for the change, it was pointed out that the Chaplaincy Department trains individuals for accreditation as chaplains, rather than dealing directly with people in need. The PCM program fits better within the structure of the Youth Department.

One remuneration item that was also addressed, stipulated that the difference between the salary for a division president and a pastor should not be more than 25%.

All of these policy items were voted as a block with one vote that was overwhelmingly positive: 194 yes; 18 no. And that concluded items that will be voted with the Election Buddy system for this Annual Council. Over the next two days, members will simply be asked to affirm various items.

The next item elicited lively discussion. In a moving video presentation, Gary Krause told the story of his visit to Chad in 2003 where he found the church thriving despite the dire poverty of the region. Mission offerings, he said, help the church grow in places that we’d never visit or know about. He said they are like a river flowing around the world, and he urged church leaders to promote regular and systematic giving with the many materials that have been prepared by Adventist Mission. Given the decline in world mission offerings described in the treasurer’s report earlier in the week, it was an important message.

Randy Robinson expressed concern because the next generation does not tend to give to one big open bucket appeals, they want details. He suggested that we need to do a better job of telling the story of need. Delbert Baker added that we also need to include in those stories the blessing that comes from giving. Offerings are two-sided blessings, he said. Mark Finley said he was deeply moved by Krause’s presentation and he challenged the Executive Committee to lead by example and each year select a special project that they support with their funds. To provide more clarity and transparency about mission offerings, Norbert Zens suggested that a detailed report be compiled and shared regularly like the recently introduced tithe report.

The final report of the morning concerned the upcoming General Conference Session that is scheduled for May 20-25 in Indianapolis. George Egwakhe, Sheri Clemmer, and Silvia Sicalo gave detailed information about the three different versions of the plan for seating of delegates and committees within the Lucas Oil Stadium, that they have drafted given COVID restrictions that include seating people six feet apart. The stadium is only allowed to use 13% of its total capacity. That is why only the 2,713 delegates will be allowed in business meetings; there will be no public attendance. However, the event will be live-streamed.

Travel and public health conditions will be reviewed by the General Conference and Division Officers after the first of the year, the committee was told. That concluded the business for the day.

 

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image credit: Video still.

 

Further Reading on the 2020 Annual Council:

#LEAD20 Conference Focuses On “I Will Go” Strategic Plan — October 6 Report

Electronic Participation of Delegates Approved for General Conference Session — October 7 Report

Addressing the Financial and Other Headaches of COVID — October 8 Report

Family Worship at Annual Council 2020 — October 10 Report

 

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10784
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Make sure the decision who to ordain into the ministry remain with the unions and not be “moved.” I don’t trust the GC no matter how they paint themselves. Not one iota.

6 Likes

That’s laughable.

The Higher Level Good Ol’ Boy Suits have more generous “allowance perks” in addition to the “salary”.

Show the itemized pay stubs.

From “Conference” to “Union” to “Division President” to the “GC President”.

2 Likes

Elmer, there are certainly many reasons, but what is your main reason for not trusting the GC?

Well Randy, otherwise, what would be one’s motivation to climb higher taking responsibilities that are much more serious, more important, than a mere pastoral work in a local church? If the work is harder, shouldn’t it be paid better?

Remember that a pastor can move from here to there during his daily routine. Those poor black suited guys working upstairs are often confined into unending meetings, which is very unhealthy because they sit all the time. There must be a $ compensation for such sacrifices, don’t you think? WDYT?

3 Likes

A couple of parakeets, who are training under a prophet with an unbroken string of prophecies, told me the secret to predicting the future is to look in the past. So I did and sure enough discovered that at the same time this GC is forming Compliance Committees, other discrepancies such as financial mismanagement and fake educational degrees are being tolerated as in the SID area. When unannounced bulletins are released after meetings or constituents presented with the agenda minutes before meetings are more evidence of what bodes in the future. Must I go on?

Based on the past of how this organization operates, it’s pretty easy to see what their response will be, and how they will behave. It’s not rocket science, just common sense. I’m always surprised when others are surprised, by the actions of this .org. Or, can’t see how things will play out, because they always play out the same way.

Same things, just different days.

2 Likes

Now you have uncovered our prophet-in-residence George @GeorgeTichy hidden talent. :joy: :rofl: :innocent:

It’s soooo obvious what they do. They never disappoint in their consistency! :scream: :wink: :rofl:

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I agree.

They are extremely consistent with their inconsistencies.

Sounds like a great idea for reality TV series… “The MANageMENt of the cloth”.

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" …other discrepancies such as financial mismanagement and fake educational degrees are being tolerated as in the SID area."
Did you also notice, EC, that GC Auditing Services are being cut by 15.9% in the coming year?
Ironic in the extreme!!
The GC is failing to deal with financial mismanagement (and worse) in certain Divisions; jurisdictions that are not only under its direct control, but are part of its own corporate body.
It appears that TW and the GC are negligent in “cleaning their own house”, and only too eager to direct/force unions to fall into line on WO; compliance on GC determined areas and terms.
Talk about motes and beams in decision-makers’ eyes. Some people are masters of distraction strategies and ‘pulling the wool over constituents’ eyes’.
Sad indeed.

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While not disagreeing with electronic voting, WHEN WILL ANYBODY IN A UNION CONFERENCE STAND UP AND JUST SAY NO TO TO THE GC EFFORTS TO CONTROL THEIR LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

The GC is actually totally worthless. It’s existence does not represent one single benefit to any local church - other than, of course…, giving the churches the blessed opportunity to contribute financially to the GC’s existence/functioning.

This why I advocate to DEFUNCT :open_mouth: :innocent: that completely irrelevant agency.

It’s hilarious! This is the same GC that now says to be concerned with Domestic Violence! Seriously? Do they really believe that what they do is not noticed by the church members? “Power & Control” is the basic fuel of domestic violence. It’s certainly the fuel of “church violence” too. It’s all ironic, especially considering the WO fiasco.

The black-suited GC people should all be shipped to MARS, because apparently they already live there anyway… What a happy “back home” experience would that be!!! :laughing:

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