General Conference President Elder Ted Wilson has requested that each division president of the 13 world regions, clarify the meaning of the vote taken on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. On July 10, North American Division President Daniel Jackson issued a Clarification of Roles on Women in Ministry. That same day, Trans-European Division President Raafat Kamal issued the following letter addressed to women in ministry. We have been forwarded a copy of the letter, which is provided in full below. -Ed.
Dear Colleagues, Women in Ministry,
There comes a time in the affairs of our people, when we are called to defend the integrity of our faith, its purpose and its calling.
There are times when we are invited to dance with the opportunities that emerge from disappointment.
There are times when our collegial unity is tested through irreconcilable inequalities, which we are called to transcend in love and concern.
There are times when we need the abiding assurance of our liberty and freedom, and the embracing warmth of Christ Jesus.
There are times when the expression of appreciation, confidence and commitment must not be left unspoken.
At this time, as leaders of the Trans-European Division, we unite in affirming our appreciation for your calling. We had every expectation that the affirmation conferred on pastoral workers in the Seventh-day Adventist Church would be designed to express parity of ministerial scope in our region of the world. It is with shared sadness that the gap between textual and narrative approaches to biblical interpretation was not bridged among us. This, coupled with cultural variances in approach, means that the world Church is not able to recognise leadership where trans-national follower-ship cannot be relied upon.
In this regard, we apologise for our part in creating expectations that have not been met and, to borrow the Gallic sentiment of Pastor Bruno Vertallier, 'we want you to know that we love you'. We want you to know that within our lands, our esteem for your service and its authority is not diminished. We want you to know that we regard Women in Ministry as essential to the furtherance of the Gospel.
Beyond these expressions of care we are determined to act as follows:
i) A retreat will be convened in the coming months for the purpose of reflection, solidarity and healing. ii) We will continue to encourage and engage women, who feel so inspired, to prepare for Gospel service. iii) We will confirm our confidence in the ministry and giftedness of women in every office of the local church, in the Conference, and in pastoral leadership. This will be done by word of mouth, through written word and expressed in our actions. iv) You can expect us to be protective in the face of those who would undermine your giftedness. v) We will persist in bringing application and meaning to the biblical assertion that 'we are all one in Christ'. vi) We will encourage and train you toward excellence, to offer the world field unequivocal witness of your worthiness.
For the sake of the Gospel, in this pain-racked world, we commit ourselves to be united with our sisters and brothers while being beacons for freedom, liberty, equity and hope.
Thank you for your friendship, professionalism, commitment and loyalty to 'the One' who has promised to pour out His Spirit on His daughters and sons in these last times.
With all sincerity,
Raafat Kamal President of the Trans-European Division on behalf of the TED Officers and TED Union and Attached Field Presidents in San Antonio
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6966