South Pacific Division Responds to Compliance Action

South Pacific Division Church leaders have reaffirmed their support for women in ministry following the General Conference Annual Council meetings where it was resolved to issue warnings to six Unions for practices related to ordination.

Warnings are to be issued to the Danish Union of Churches Conference, Norwegian Union Conference, Swedish Union of Churches Conference and the North German Union Conference. The Executive Committee also voted to issue warnings to the Columbia Union Conference and Pacific Union Conference. This was an amendment to the original recommendation that the presidents of these two conferences be publicly reprimanded. Click here for more information.

South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend said he is glad no reprimands were issued. “I don’t think anyone really wants to see individual leaders who represent constituencies publicly shamed.

“Most speeches were against the warnings, but the votes were always about 60 per cent in favor and 40 per cent against,” he said. “This is the pattern for the whole quinquennium when this issue is discussed in some form.”

As reported in November 2018, the South Pacific Division asked the General Conference to put the issue of women’s ordination back on the agenda for the 2020 GC Session. However, this was denied because no other division within the world Church has supported the SPD request.

“There are at least four other divisions who definitely want to see women ordained and at least another two divisions who would be supportive — this is from my personal discussions,” Pastor Townend said. “I ask them, why their hesitation? Their answers are all about timing. I understand but I may not agree.

“Realistically, the SPD is a small division and we just have to continually try and influence people from other divisions when in contact.

“In the meantime, the SPD will continue to encourage the women who are in ministry. We have more per capita of women in ministry than any other division and now have Dr. Danijela Schubert who, as part of her role, is supporting those women in ministry.

“I would encourage our members to keep this matter in their prayers.”

President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, Pastor Jorge Munoz, also restated his support for women in ministry and leadership positions in the Church.

“I understand and sympathize with the frustrations and disappointments felt by those who would like to see this issue move forward,” Pastor Munoz said. “We feel it’s important to work within the democratic processes of the Church. At the same time, we want our women serving as ministers to know we value them and recognize the wonderful work they are doing as Church leaders and bringing people to a relationship with Jesus. I will continue to use my influence to advocate on this matter.”

Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga said: “For me, we should not allow the decision made at Annual Council to be our focus of attention; there are many ways to support our women in ministry and this is my focus. I want to support them and use them where God is gifting them and talk more on how the Spirit is using them in a special way.”

New Zealand Union Conference president Eddie Tupai said he acknowledged the decision by the majority of the world Church at this time. “Our best course of action is to proactively encourage, nurture, and develop opportunities for all women in our churches to live out their giftedness in every community of the SPD,” he said.

This article was written by Tracey Bridcutt and originally published by Adventist Record, the official news and lifestyle magazine for the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is reprinted here with permission.

Photo credit: Brent Hardinge / GC Communication

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9977
3 Likes

That’s because 60% of the world is still living in the dark ages. Why would we trust an issue of human equality be an issue to be voted on. Majority vote placed Jesus on the cross and pardoned Barabbas.

16 Likes

All this. “sound and fury “ from the SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
is pablum— meaningless —
until that Division actually starts ordaining their clergywomen .

LONG OVERDUE , !!

11 Likes

It is nice to see they support women’s ordination, but I hope they go one step further, and do what the Unions who have been warned have done, either ordain women pastors, or ordain neither men or women. Such a move would show more substantive support than just expressing support and asking for the issue to be taken up at the next GC Conference. It is time for more unions to step up with real action.

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Agreed! SPD needs to step up and “walk the talk” - it’s time their unions vote to ordain equally.

9 Likes

i’m disappointed to read that SPD requested that WO be taken up at Indianapolis2020, but received no support…where is everybody…obviously this is something that should be taken up again…maybe somebody could finally divulge to the voting delegates that the bible points to a dual policy solution, and not a winner take all one, on a subject like WO…

it’s frustrating to know what the obvious answer to a huge problem is, and see absolutely no mvt in that direction…munch says it all:


Image result for munch the scream painting

6 Likes

A golden opportunity missed.

SPD could have made this an issue before or during the Annual Council to put valence on their proclamation. Why now? Could it because a river is calmest when it is deep and makes noise when it is shallow. Please tell me I’m wrong.

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The SPD do support women in ministry as long as it in compliance with Church Manual. Recognition in pastoral is by way of commissioning suitable candidates.
Though, their statements have never said they support ordination if women. Nor have they made any comment about the action of “warning” those in non-compliance.
Thus, this latest statement is a “nothing statement” about recognising equality in pastoral ministry.

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why would TOWNSEND ask to put WO back on the agenda?
who instructed him to do that ? that seems self appointed authoritative by a few

Supporting Women?

The statement by the SPD was certainly designed to appear as a true support for women. But it is not. It is meaningless and lack content. It’s like playing double agent: “Tell members we support women, but show the GC that we don’t act.”

Just malarkey. Until we see Unions authorizing WO, it’s all just baloney! I hope they do not expect us to fall for that, right?

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Townsend self appointed power vs church vote and GC following the church in a GC session
there is no point having GC sessions anymore

stubborn stiff necked ?

Indeed, the report about the reaction is quite “nice” - as in “meaningless”, well intentioned and perhaps even authentic in a futile attempt to comfortably sit on the fence. Two comments:

  1. There is - from all I can see - no official statement by the SPD, just a few reactions here an there.
  2. The issue of publicly disciplining 6 unions as a form of “church governance” is not addressed at all, but an important indicator of where our church is heading - WO is just a symptom in this process.
8 Likes

That’s what I’ve been saying for a long time, that the GC is irrelevant. It’s gradually becoming like a terrorist group, now literally terrorizing Unions. First the GC tried to steal the current authority of the Unions over ordination issues (SA2015); and now threatening them for exerting their authority freely - as it is supposed to be.

I hope that soon (2020) the whole GC milicia will be voted out, including the Kommander-in-chief. There are “grave consequences” for behaving as a dictators and for dirty politicking. At least I hope so…

The GC thinks that it owes the Church. Well, I got new for them, it’s the Church that owes the GC. And it’s time for the Church to get rid of the GC by just dissolving it.

If I ever became the GC Prez (:roll_eyes:) I would have dissolved it within no more than 6 months! (I am not running this time, in 2020… :laughing: )

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Andreas,
Fake news say that the GC’s next step will be the cleansing of the educational institutions, targeting especially teachers who dare to criticize any SDA institution… The first region targeted will be Europe, starting with Germany … :wink: :innocent:

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Townsend is on our side, folks. We’re dealing with a church process that has become bureaucratic and politicized, with no single strategic path forward. I’m pleased the SPD clearly supports the role of women in ministry, regardless of whether they label it “commissioned,” “ordained,” or whatever. Let’s appreciate the SPD’s support and express gratitude for it, even if we believe there are more effective approaches to achieve equality.

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Andreas @andreas come and join us at the Nutcracker Clinic if and when TW goes after the academic professionals. :rofl: we’ll refer all the GC personnel to your practice.

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We shouldn’t. It’s a bad idea, but one promoted by Supreme Leader, who seems to have an axe to grind.

In a functioning democracy, the needs of the few and/or oppressed must be protected from the mob majority. In this case, women, who have been sidelined both by policy and a popular vote, should have been protected and promoted by leadership instead of being thrown under the bus by them.

But our church isn’t a democracy. Our leaders are effectively elected by committee (followed by a kangaroo court sort of vote yes/no for that one person), and then that self-elected leadership carefully selects and promotes issues to be voted on at annual meetings and the circus that is the GC in session.

It has been some years since I have considered the General Conference as the voice of God.

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My point is there is no point to have any GC
because the people like SPD don’t care
They are above a GC session vote
And where against it prior so that is what I mean there is no point when rogue elements just do as they please in there own eyes.
Instead of a few statements we in the SPD want to know why ?
And who in the SPD is asking ? No one questions no question at there meetings . They are scared to question ?
Yes george its broken
To be honest I grew up in Australia and have never herd of TOWNSEND there just a few old Australian families with power within the SDA
Its all politics and corruption
And Australia still is suffering from the DES FORD issue that I never knew about
There are many church boards with factions
This is one big mess and the division and unions are just fuelling this more
Who cares they will be judged by GOD and also the GC for not doing anything
This is serious stuff .
Laodesea to omega uprising?

Ellen g white had massive opposition, when she was asked to go to Australia did she complain when some in the GC wanted to push her to the side out of the way ?
We see a opposite spirit working to ellen g white

Whoever described “the General Conference as the voice of God” made it in a self-serving maneuver to generate credibility. Even the greatest of all, Moses, never claimed to be the voice of God. Why would anyone believe anyone lesser than Moses?

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General CONFERENCE Is appointed by GOD and they are obligated by the GENERAL SESSION vote
If they don’t do anything they are just as bad as those who divorced themselves .
This isn’t about throwing people out of the church . Who wants that ?
Elmer just read ellen g.white on parenting
I don’t have children, parents will be judged by GOD for not being proper parents and discipline

This all revolves around discipline and the action of it . How many new age books on parenting have flooded this world
Hate to be judgmental but division leaders follow something else