Trans-European Division Recommendations to Encourage Greater Participation of Women in Ministry and Leadership

On Monday, May, 20, 2019, the Trans-European Division (TED) Executive Committee voted a series of recommendations to encourage the greater participation of women in ministry and leadership.

We share them below for your reference and understanding:

Introduction

The Trans-European Division affirms the biblical model of the priesthood of all believers exercised through various ministries, gifts and actions. All members minister on God’s behalf and need to be engaged in mission in order to fulfil the Great Commission. Although there are divergent opinions at all levels of the Church regarding the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, we believe that God calls and gifts all, both women and men, to serve and build up the Church, which is Christ’s representative on earth. Recognising that the full participation of women is necessary for the Church to fulfil its end-time mission, the TED Executive Committee has issued several statements affirming women in ministry and leadership. We recognise that actions combined with words are required to bring about change at all levels of the Church, therefore we recommend the following:

General Conference

• Diversity and Cultural Awareness Summit 2020

Although we are all members of the body of Christ and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we view the world from different cultural perspectives. These can influence how we serve and worship God. At times, our rich cultural diversity produces an environment for creative encounters and growth. Our cultural biases may also act as filters resulting in our understanding things differently. There is a risk for misunderstandings due to expectations, based on our cultural heritage. We recommend that the General Conference, in consultation with its divisions, hold a Diversity and Cultural Awareness Summit in 2020 to explore biblical models of diversity and learn how we can work together to achieve unity of purpose and mission. This could be replicated at union, conference and local church levels.

General Conference, Division and Union

• Exchange programmes

Institute a global exchange programme whereby teams can visit similar entities in other parts of the world in order to identify alternative ways of doing mission and evangelism, thereby growing cultural sensitivity and understanding. Create a reporting system of lessons learned, so that ideas generated will be shared with others.

• Provide greater opportunities for female theologians and educators

Intentionally identify opportunities for female theologians and educators to teach at seminaries and theological education colleges, in order to create positive role models for women preparing for ministry. In addition, make funding available for educating suitable candidates and sponsoring teaching positions. It may be necessary to recast hiring processes in order to provide appropriate opportunities.

General Conference, Division, Union, Conference and Local Church

• Lay representation on committees

As far as reasonably possible, ensure that there is equal representation between qualified men and women among lay representatives on all committees.

Division, Union, Conference and Local Church

• Educating

Provide easily accessible resources on official websites regarding the question of women’s ordination and the role of women in the Church. Prepare local churches to implement gift-based participation in the life of the Church. Further, encourage a more inclusive model of leadership and worship within local churches where young and old, women and men, may find their place in serving their Lord, the local church and their community.

This statement originally appeared on the TED News Network, the official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Photo by AZGAN MjESHTRI on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9643
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Trans-European Division kudos to you! Thank-you for supporting women and their spiritual gifts.

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Congratulating the TED for this step forward in the right direction. It’s time to end the retrograde sickness in our Church that has been promoted by the GC as it promotes and supports discrimination of women.

I also hope that several SDA institutions around the world are protecting themselves against the fierce attacks from the LGTarians and their attempt to overpower the true Gospel with their insane heresy of perfectionism.

Please remember that the threat represented by perfectionism has now the support of the GC President again. As it was at the time of prior presidents, Pierson, Neil Wilson, and Folkenberg, the danger is coming from the top - escalated by a few satellite ministries that are preaching perfectionism and discrimination of women very enthusiastically. The tentacles of this dangerous heresy are getting everywhere, destroying the true Biblical Gospel and deceiving thousands!

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Plaudits and kudos to the TRANS EUROPEAN DIVISION for encouraging participation of women in ministry.

The twenty two countries which comprise this division are notable for their plethora of women politicians, especially female presidents and female prime ministers.

This demonstrates that the populations of those countries are.not threatened by female authority figures.

Unlike our GC president who is so intimidated by the concept of a women holding an authoritative position, that he feels compelled to leave a blank space in the church yearbook after the slot for the only existing SDA woman leader on our planet : Sandra Roberts, the South Eastern California Conference President!

All prospective Adventist women who desire ministry in the church should heed this red flag / wake up call, that they will never, despite their best accomplishments, ever rise above pastoral level duties.

This “glass ceiling “ should be an effective warning for all who contemplate such future ministry.

Apparently a penis is the only requirement that ensures a higher echelon job in Adventism,

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More Conferences and Unions should elect more women leaders. This will lead to more blank spaces in the yearbook. At some point the balance will change or there will be a whole lot of blank* in the yearbook.

*Read “blank” as literal or as something that can’t be printed.

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Hey, if ALL workers are females, the Church may save lots of money since there would be no need to print the YB anymore… :innocent: :sunglasses:

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G –
When it is time for Nominating Committees to meet during the year, the women
hear from the Men that women, Biblically, are not supposed to have top positions
like Elders and Pastors.
Like good little sheep, they believe what is told and parrot back what the men say.
When I have suggested to women on the Nominating Committee at my church for
considering women Elders, I get that parroted male feedback.
Not long ago in my S.S. class that Biblical Doctrine was repeated in a passing
statement.
Women KNOW you can’t go against God’s commands.

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Steve, no wonder the young generation is not paying much attention to the Church. They are in a different mode than we were when were young, they couldn’t care less about the parroted Beautiful Statements they get from the “church leaders.”

In the girls’ case, they hear those demeaning statements and they just leave the room (meaning, the church). They don’t have to stay in a group that promoted/allows/encourages discrimination of women. Why would they?

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I wonder if it’s the penis or the genome that is usually associated with it? What if your genome is XY, but you didn’t develop quite right in the womb and so were born appearing female?

Now, in one sense you’re not actually female, but nor do you have a penis. So, do you qualify?

What if you have a penis, but your chromosome is XX? You’re not fully male, in this case. But you have a penis! Then what?

How about a eunuch? Is a eunuch male enough to be a pastor?

Oh, even better, what if you have one or two extra sex chromosomes? About 1 in 400 of us do, so many Adventists must as well.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/sex-chromosome-aneuploidies

Males have the Y chromosome. Assuming that’s what counts, then what if you have two or three X’s and a Y? Is that good enough to be a pastor? You won’t have a penis, but you have that special Y chromosome!

What if you weren’t born with a penis, but you had one made for yourself?

What if you were born with one, and then it was tragically destroyed, and then you had another one made for yourself? Is the new one good enough?

What if you were born with one but it’s really, really tiny?


The church’s position on all of this is simplistic, insufficient, and ludicrous.

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Thanks for your post Tim, BUT…, din’t we all actually choose what we wanted to be? Male, female, gay, w/ the P, w/o the P, etc?
I thought the Church had already resolved this issue. Maybe they need to make it the #29: We are what we chose to be! :innocent:

Careful with what you choose to be, you may eventually get it - says the Church…

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Well, you say that in jest I think, but in some sense - for some - it does come down to what they choose.

Something like 1 in 100 of us are not born exactly male or female, either genetically or developmentally in the womb. Others don’t develop their secondary sexual characteristics in the same way as most (without hormone therapy at the proper points in life they don’t go through puberty.)

These people - and others in other categories not just described - often have to decide if they are male or female and - in western society at least - they can also now decide they want to (remain) something in-between.

In all seriousness, the church’s position on gender and marriage (and service) should include everyone and not state an obvious falsehood - that we are either male or female, which we have known for decades is not factual.

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Just consider the disappointment of that Friday Afternoon and then compare it with the upper room at Pentecost. Now consider the 1844 disappointment with the Corn field vision. From the Gospel to perfectionism Christ shall return to end chaos not to honor perfection.
Our mission should be the same as Peters not one of boasting or self congratulation.

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How do people get this so twisted? That God is waiting for a generation to be perfect? And He will come for special honors for them and He won’t even consider coming until they are perfect? That is never the thrust of the messages of Christ in the Gospels. Over and over the emphasis is on “You shall know them by how they love one another.” Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you. For I give you a new commandment that you love one another. And from Paul: “The greatest of these is love.” That is the focus for sure.

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Of course my suggestion of “choice” was definitely a “thought provoking” challenge. :+1:

In my case, I don’t remember when exactly I choose to be a straight male. It must be just a flawed memory… :roll_eyes: :innocent:

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Harrpa,
Most than ever before, this issue about the perfectionism heresy is bugging me a lot right now. I always knew it’s a cancer in the Adventist Church, but now I am reading Milton Hook’s book, the Desmond Ford biography, and learning how the heresy was permeating the Church at a time when I was young and was not aware that it was happening in such an evident manner. Even as a seminary student I had no idea of the facts!

And when I consider how this heresy keeps undermining the Church’s structure in our days, I wonder why those perfectionists want to be more Catholic than Protestant in their religious beliefs. It is mind boggling!

Instead of resolving the existing problems, it is evident that the SDAC is pilling up problems,

  • The visions and the plagiarism
  • The 1844 “doctrine” fallacy"
  • The perfectionism heresy
  • The refusal to adopt the “Sola Scriptura” principle
  • And now, refusing to end discrimination of women, by even utilizing threats of “grave consequences”

I am becoming gradually speechless… :sunglasses:

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A flaw to be sure. Some will say Satan is involved. :slight_smile:

In all likelihood you didn’t choose. Few people report that they can choose, but instead that they’ve always been the way they are.

I think this heresy leads individuals to see others who are clearly sinning (“the gays”, for example), and jump right to a conclusion that they can fix themselves if they try hard enough. They can overcome their “sinful nature” and right themselves.

I’m starting to think it’s all nonsense. That there isn’t any such thing as “sinful nature”. It’s all made up.

Interesting thought. It deserves further consideration. It may, indeed, be a made up idea, with no support from science or even honest religion (if there is such a thing…). Let’s keep evolving this approach, it may become very interesting. :+1: :+1:

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Europe is the cradle of the reformation. It still has leading Gospel theologians. The recent past such as F.F. Bruce, John Stott, M. L.Jones, Packer, N.T. Wright. to name just a few.

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Our most brilliant SDA Reformer Theologian who preached the Gospel, Desmond Ford, is unfortunately silenced now.

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I heard it quoted in services today – “when the character of Christ is
fully reproduced in His people…”
Just WHO ARE His “PEOPLE”? And are OUR Definitions of “HIS PEOPLE”
really true?
When talking to His Jewish followers, Jesus said, He had “sheep” in other
“folds”. Does that still hold true in the 7 or so Billions of people on earth?
2000 years ago He told John to write in his Revelation letter, “I am coming
soon”, [KJV-- “quickly”].
Perhaps human dictionaries and God’s dictionaries are slightly different.

When Jesus was discussing His betrayal, the disciples murmured among
themselves – Is it I? with a certain amount of fear.
Same fear might be elicited among SDA members – Is it I that prevents Jesus
returning?

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