Trans-European Union Discusses "Unity in Mission" Document During Year-end Meeting

Leaders in the Trans-European Division are united in mission. Watch them in discussions at the dinner table or in committee during their Year-end Meetings in Bečići, Montenegro, and you will see a positive exchange of ideas in progress. Together they are looking for positive ways to share the Adventist Message across the varying cultures that include communities from the extremely secular to the Orthodox, Catholic, or predominantly Muslim.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Excellent report.

Appreciate the focus on
–finding solutions,
–honoring conscience,
–sensitivity to young Adventists’ sense of equality,
–acknowledging those who are hurting,
–addressing legal issues about equity in employment, and
–calling meetings to continue the discussion at the highest levels.


I’m looking forward to how we will look back on all of this 10, 15, 20 years from now. What will our policies be then, and in what terms will we characterize Ted Wilson and his administration?


I am in agreement with Professor Kent but would take an even longer look forward to heaven. I cannot see Jesus coming around and greeting us but making a distinction between male and female believers in heaven. We are all sons and daughters of His now and then. We are all created by Him in an Edenic model at Creation. Jesus model of unity was in fact to reflect on our unique gifts regardless of gender. One of His most successful evangelists was the woman in John 4.

It seems that Elder Kamal is trying his best to be realistic and Christ-like in both his support of ALL believers and being true to the mission of the church.


How aberrant, anomalous, and absolutely alien that the Trans European Division, headquartered in St Albans, England would be in a delicate debate about GENDER EQUALITY, when Theresa May has just been elected the second female prime minister of the UK, (after Margaret Thatcher) and where much beloved QUEEN ELIZABETH, now in her sixty fourth year of reign ( since 1952j is also head of the Church of England!

The Queen’s official title in the Anglican Church: DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.

HARVARD law graduate, Mary Robertson, Ireland’s first female Prime Minister, ( 1990-1997 ), then served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, (1997-2002).

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ADVENTISM’S “human rights” when women’s rights are trampled and ignored ??

Much beloved Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reigned for thirty three years, ( 1980-2013).

The following countries in the Trans European Division have had female heads of state ( presidents/prime ministers ), some of them several times:

(Germany’s Angela Merkel did not make the list, since Germany is not part of the Trans European DivIsion).

France’s powerful female figure, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, excercises rigid control over the finances of all European countries, as president of the

How do you explain to Adventist young people, raised in such an egalitarian existence, that their church has retreated to a medieval morass of gender discrimination?

Given the dominance of powerful female political figures in their division, this whole TED debate is bizarrely banal and brutally brazen.


I think More and More we are finding this –
What has worked in the Ivory Towers of the General Conference Building itself in Silver Springs, MD
JUST DOES NOT have relevance in the Real World of North America, the Real World of the European Nations and their Territories.
As Japan and Taiwan become more Westernized, may not work there either.

It appears more and more that we are going to need 13 Distinct Policy and Procedure Manual for the Seventh day Adventist church. One for Each Division.
Similar perhaps, but genuinely different and distinct.


The church has never stated this was a theological problem. Then why try to impose “one size fits all” on the entire world?

There’s a powerful wind from the West which may soon reach a tsunami through the halls of the G.C. The millions of Christians who believe that both men and women are made in God’s image will not accept a church policy which subordinates women to all men. This was never God’s intention, but man has claimed headship over half the world in their attempt to control by policy what it cannot by love. The solution is coming, whether by divisions or the G.C., but it is coming, sooner than later.

@ezbord Add Angela Merkel to the list of women leaders. She is, today, the most powerful leader in Europe.


Doing WO will not bring any more members into the church in Europe. The boat has sailed.
If the gospel does not compel them to come in, societal issues will not either. Young people have not flocked to the churches in Europe that DO do WO, so why should they come to this one?

More emphasis on the message of God to the world at this end time would be more prescient.

The report has a kind of “grass root” flavour and clearly shows how the TED is struggling to be constructive in finding solutions. The problems are clearly identified. However, if any discussion of the issue is dismissed as “rebellion” it will be difficult to find solutions. Hence the other flavour I take from this report is a sense of helplessness…


Change might still come sooner around the world if each Union and local Conference/Mission constituency in every division would be given a chance to pray and study the TOSC documents for themselves. I would recommend in particular the TED TOSC paper/summary here:
On the basis of the entire study, the following recommendations are made to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in order to (a) strengthen the development towards a true priesthood of all believers, to (b) foster a reduced ceremonial and ritual emphasis in ordination, and to © remove hierarchic thinking and make ministry more efficient in all parts of the contemporary world, even in egalitarian societies:

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Our problem is a martinet whose arrogance has cost the church millions and DISunity. Until/unless he repents or resigns, Adventism is toast.


There is only one issue that could possibly be understood as unity. that isChrist is Lord! He is the New Adam, Our Rock, Our Shepard, and Our Advocate. Even the Rocks would cry out that message. How frail,how selfish, how wrong is a gender issue. Let us all sing the power of His name. TZ


I can not more agree than on this. But… Do statements mean any help for female pastors in TED? That’s why I agree a little bit more with @andreas that the most significant flavour of those division meetings is the sense of helplessness.
I don’t know if I can still have any hope for that meeting in early 2017. The only way that could make any improvement would be to let TED unions accommodate their approach of WO to their needs for mission. After that vote in SA 2015 Divisions are de jure not allowed to do it, but there is no explicit WP provision which would prohibit it for unions to do it. There’s only one problem: TED unions are so diminutive, some of them are smaller than some American university church and their leadership have justifiable fears for doing it in front of the big headquarters in DC.
Helplessness, despair, lethargy.
So in the end there is no room for anything else than another statement.


You will recongise that when working with issues of policy that the Executive Secretary plays a very important function. Be assured that the Trans-European Division are working towards solutions in a grace-filled, constructive and thoughtful way but that work has been significantly slowed down due to the recent untimely death of Lars Andersson, husband of TED Executive Secretary, Pastor Audrey Andersson. Her absence from the office and Year-end Meetings meant that we had to put some things on hold.

The TED is equally doing far more than making statements. Note that we are the only Division in the world to have a female officer. Quite a number of our Unions also have elected female officers. The MA in Leadership currenty running at Newbold College has a substantial number of female participants hand picked by their Unions. The TED continues to look at significant ways of encouraging and empowering women in ministry and leadership.


Yet again, you are spot on Andreas,

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#Spectrum edited this post; this is not what I said.

What is that something more?

It is worth exploring, I believe, because I have a sense that whatever is done, the steps will not be retraceable.

Is that “something more” about women in positions of power?

That is certainly what the headship ideology is about.

I certainly believe that women can serve well in positions of power, but do not see it as panacea, in any sense.

I applaud Kamal and his team. Diplomatic and cautious, while being gently bold. But the Titanic of Adventism keeps heading to its doom at least in certain parts of the world while nice words and hopeful attitudes are spoken to appease the beasts at the helm.

Adventism may have some aspects that appeal to a contemporary western educated thoughtful young adult of high values. Aspects such as health and wellbeing, valuing education, community and other quality ones. But unfortunately there is so much historical and even fast accruing contemporary baggage that are like barnacles multiplying on a ship that ultimately it is a losing battle to continue - and increasingly difficult to win quality people in these parts of the world.

There are so many ridiculous things that are part of the Adventist doctrinal package that are deterrents, even if they aren’t spelled out in the fundamentals. There is a way of being that treats Adventism as the truth then an expectation that we then find ways to back that up that is anathema to quality thinking. An attempt at GC level over the next five years to prescribe the one and only legitimate methodology to interpret the Bible. The ecclesiastical battles that range from big to small are ridiculous in the scheme of things - how to limit women yet claim to empower them, exact adherence to GC policy manuals, what one can and can’t do on Sabbath, music and worship wars and taboos, attacks on other faiths and philosophies, discussions about particular biblical proof texts that ultimately have little relevance to the wider world, prophetic dates, what is real Adventism, E G White and the Bible as rule books (which bits must be slavishly followed and which aren’t to be obeyed), Adventism’s mini hell where all the non saved are resurrected to be burned as punishment (the worst burning longer than the least of sinners), and so much more. There is baggage piled on baggage. Cultural, traditional, including that which is understandable and that which is nonsensical. A belief and attitude that we must be the same everywhere when our world has discovered the richness of diversity in nature, culture and ideas.

If I hadn’t been born and bred, educated and once employed in Adventism (in a family that has been this way for generations) I would never choose to have anything to do with Adventism. To try and tell any of my respected friends and colleagues of the manifestations of Adventism or get them to be a regular part of church is an embarrassment. Yes, to a particular quality event that is cultural or social but no way to anything designed to hook people in or talk about or constantly live among the crazy peculiarities of the folk religion known as Seventh-day Adventism.

I can hang around aspects of Adventism because I grew up in it and can shrug of the weird and crazy stuf that I had adapted to. But for those who haven’t been part of it why would they even want to squish themselves somehow into fitting into what they have no need or desire to?

While I am a supporter of women’s ordination, I don’t see that having full equality in Adventism in the western world will attract more to the church. It may repel people less. It may hold some adherents longer. But western Adventism is doomed. It’s now declining and aging except for some immigrant populations. It is a shrinking minority in global Adventism. Educated young people who think well, have a social and ecological care and justice set of values, and who don’t have a background in Christianity generally will find Adventism not something interesting or attractive to join. Perhaps a local group that has a strong sense of community and belonging with some healthy practices will engage them for a time - but will not have them signing up for life, nor wanting to be associated with an authoritarian policy-driven, global hierarchical organisation that expects and demands conformity, has many elements of poor quality thinking, is behaviourally constrictive and deals in guilt, shame and varying forms of passive aggressive if not aggressive punishment for nonconformity.

Farewell western Adventism. You will continue to decline no matter what happens with women’s ordination. But for ethics you must address it. And for every woman in the church who remains. This issue is far more than about ordination. It is about how women are viewed, treated and respected in all areas of life and church.

It is also about how all the varieties of people are viewed, treated, respected in all areas of life and church. The Adventist church has yet to discover healthy, life affirming ways to love, respect, include and treat with dignity transgender people, lesbians, gays, gender fluid and other non-dominant forms of gender identity and sexuality. As well as people of all ethnicities and cultures, especially indigenous people. As well as anyone who is from non-dominant groups and identities. Increasingly so, this list also includes well-educated people in a time where church members and administrators in certain places are showing anti-intellectual attitudes and actions.

There is life beyond Adventism. Abundant life. The abundant life Jesus promised and so much more than those in the Adventist cloister and even evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity realise. Come explore and adventure with me!


Since when in history has any division leader needed to make a statement like that. Such is the parlous state of the GC with some of its Divisions.

Perhaps the TED and its Union leaders need to do The 12-Step Program.
Step 1 is to recognize one is Helpless, Powerless.
One then goes through Steps 2 through 11.
When one does Step 12 one Become Powerful. No longer helpless. Has become Empowered.
The TED and its Union Leaders need to become Empowered. Empowered to preach the Good News of the Gospel. To Empower both the Men and the Women, formally, to preach. In whatever form that takes in order to facilitate the Action.



Probably the most ridiculous discussion in the year 2016 of our Lord Jesus Christ is about discrimination of women in His Church. When is this insanity going to stop? Ever?

A Christian Discriminator - isn’t it an oxymoron?
Hmmm, it seems that we have thousands of “oxymorons” in our Church. And even the top leadership has fallen for the idea that women are not as totally human as men are.

This is not just bad. This is a tragedy, an abomination among us!