Tweeting the Meeting: Day 7, Women’s Ordination

Tweets are flying at the Alamodome in San Antonio as delegates, attendees, and media share insights about the proceedings. Here is our Twitter roundup from Day Seven:

Day seven was dedicated solely to the issue of women’s ordination in the church. Delegates and attendees expressed much anticipation leading up to this day. The delegate section was full for the first time all Session, as was the audience section in the Dome. Many were actively engaged on Twitter as well.

I don't tweet much, but I try to tweet when it matters. And this matters. #GCSA15 #womensordination #Adventist #praying

— Milli Mike (@ThisisMilli) July 8, 2015

@AWWritesStories @spectrummag @ItsRachelLogan Great reporting you two. This old man is tweeting because of you.

— Kent Hansen (@kentahansen) July 8, 2015

I will say this. Today is the most invested I've been in this church in ages. Millennials do think & we do care. #GCSA15

— Melodie Roschman (@roschmachine) July 8, 2015

Throughout the day, delegates and tweeters alike discussed the women ministers who have made a difference in their lives.

#GCSA15 I wouldn't be in the faith without the #ministry of #women . #Ordain them. #MyChurchToo

— David Burnie (@BrotherDave82) July 8, 2015

John Brunt NAD: For past 15 years as, he has had five women associates, says 5 women have had more baptisms than 14 male associates #GCSA15.

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) July 8, 2015

Sandefur gives moving speech. female pastor brought him into church, he was ordained the next year. She's waited 40 years. #GCSA15 #WO

— Alisa Williams (@AWWritesStories) July 8, 2015

The Chair, Mike Ryan, and many delegates expressed frustration that points of order kept interrupting the proceedings, taking away time from delegates who wished to speak.

Check-out this picture. Only 40 people spoke on the motion! But 35 points of order. SMH #GCSA15

— Chad Stuart (@chadNstuart) July 8, 2015

In the afternoon, Elder Paulsen, former GC President, took to the mic to express his desire for a "yes" vote. Many delegates booed as he spoke passionately in support of ordaining women ministers.

Sitting near Elder Paulsen I believe there r tears in his eyes after the way the church he loves just treated him. Shame on us! #GCSA15

— Chad Stuart (@chadNstuart) July 8, 2015

@AWWritesStories The lack of respect for someone like Jan Paulsen who has given has a very broad view of our church is heartbreaking

— Yung Lau (@yrlau) July 8, 2015

Clapping not allowed. Booing allowed. #GCSA15 #irony #PaulsenForPresident #MyChurchToo #JesusWins

— Vibeke Wærn (@IntimacyChrist) July 8, 2015

At 4:30 pm, after hours of delegate discussion, it was time to vote. The vote was taken by secret ballot since the General Conference scrapped the electronic voting system last week.

Remember that time we use paper and Tupperware bins to vote on the biggest issue of our generation? Yeah, In 2015. That time. #GCSA15

— Garrison Hayes (@Garrison628) July 8, 2015

Voting bins brought to you by Home Depot. Home Depot: Trying to help houses stay together #GCSA15

— seth pierce (@sethjpierce) July 8, 2015

While we waited for the votes to be cast and counted, music played as anticipation built.

They brought a band in for this. This is just getting weird #Vote #GCSA15

— Vince MacIsaac (@VinceMacIsaac) July 8, 2015

Something surreal when praying w father who has served Church for over 40 years & he softly weeps for Spirit's guidance. #GCSA15 #GC15NW

— Christian Martin (@martincrmartin) July 8, 2015

Hymn singing and secret ballot counting go hand in hand like Adventism and corporate awkward moments #GCSA15

— seth pierce (@sethjpierce) July 8, 2015

@AWWritesStories @ItsRachelLogan @heatherlmoor @SpelldLikeDevon well whatever the outcome, we could all use courage

— Richard Patchett (@RCPatchett) July 8, 2015

Though many were not surprised by the “no” vote, many were shocked by how close the vote came and the implications of this split.

What this vote truly reveals is our church is more split than perhaps we realized. 41% yes, 58% no, 1% abstained #GCSA15 #WO #MyChurchToo

— Alisa Williams (@AWWritesStories) July 8, 2015

After the vote, those in support of women’s ordination took to Twitter to express their heartache and discontent.

One of my greatest mentors and spiritual guides is a woman pastor. (Gayle Tucker). I believe she's fully ordained by God. I am #977

— Greg Batla ™ (@BatlaG) July 9, 2015

"We wept, and wept, till the day dawn.” Hiram Edson on the Great Disappointment. I feel the echo. #GCSA15

— Vince MacIsaac (@VinceMacIsaac) July 9, 2015

We, the young people, see you, Church. We see you and we are not okay with it. #GCSA15

— Natalia LopezThismon (@nlopezthismon) July 8, 2015

To tell some, "You're second class citizens," and then to call for unity around that reality is an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

— Randy Roberts (@RandyLRoberts) July 9, 2015

You can tell one's true character by the way they handle their defeat/victory. Graciousness & love vs. hurtful words & gloating #GCSA15 #WO

— Alisa Williams (@AWWritesStories) July 9, 2015

The #vote today gives a harsh warning to the #Millennial generation: if we keep leaving the church, nothing will ever change. #GCSA15

— Michael Polite (@bpolite4life) July 8, 2015

"We've been wandering for 40 yrs in the wilderness over this issue & I really hoped we'd find our way out by now." -My Mom. #WO #GCSA15

— Alisa Williams (@AWWritesStories) July 9, 2015

Even a well-known Christian leader from another denomination joined in with encouraging words for our Adventist female ministers.

Love & prayers to all the women hurting over the #GCSA15 ordination decision (SDA) today. No one can take your call away. No one. (Lk 10:42)

— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) July 9, 2015

Others decided to take a light-hearted approach to help ease the pain.

@heatherlmoor @SpelldLikeDevon @AWWritesStories @ItsRachelLogan I have no shame tonight!!

— Richard Patchett (@RCPatchett) July 8, 2015

@heatherlmoor @SpelldLikeDevon @AWWritesStories @ItsRachelLogan @sampy47 Proud of the #977!! #ChocolateCuresAll

— Richard Patchett (@RCPatchett) July 9, 2015

The Spectrum Magazine staff attended the NAD meeting after the vote, where there was an uplifting spirit toward our women called to ministry.

Tears in our eyes but smiles on our faces because the women in the NAD meeting recognize this is #MyChurchToo. #GCSA15

— Alisa Williams (@AWWritesStories) July 9, 2015

Prayer: Let our women pastors know we support them 110% & we know you have called them" *Crowd says amen* #NADMeeting #GCSA15 #MyChurchToo

— Rachel Logan (@ItsRachelLogan) July 9, 2015

Praying over woman in ministry at the NAD after-meeting. I respect Dan Jackson so much for his encouraging words #WO

— Jessica J.W. Beans (@jweavez) July 9, 2015

Rachel Logan is a Intern, and a member of the General Conference reporting team in San Antonio, Texas.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I really appreciated the even-handedness of our Chairman during the discussion and the vote. The anominity and transparency of the vote is also to be commended.

Yet, I believe that refinements in the process of handling the discussion could have raised the quality of the discussion, helped all delegates to focus on the issues and perhaps have produced a different outcome.

May I suggest several refinements.

  1. Points of order could have been communicated directly to the Chairman and/or Parliamentian by electronic means and possibly also have been put on the large screens… This would have required several computers to be set up in the meeting house. Points of order that could be sustained would have been read out to all delegates by the Chairman and acted on. This would have saved considerable time.

  2. Because many delegates were not able to speak, and some Divisions and their viewpoints were very poorly represented. Thus I would propose that

i. The alternation of YES speeches with NO speeches be maintained.

ii. The speeches be made in a round robin pattern moving through each of the 13 Divisions. (This would entail 2 round robin cycles - one for YES people, and another for NO people).

iii. That the number of intending speakers be calculated ahead of time and that sufficient time be allotted so as to hear from the bulk of these people.

iv. That intending speakers be assisted by officials to have an on screen presentation of the points they are making. (Such visuals would need to be made ahead of time).

v. That all delegates be given the opportunity to have the points they would like to make, made up into a visual presentation by officials before the discussion and that such a visual presentation for both the YES response and the NO response be featured at some appropriate point in the proceedings.

vi. The Chairman at his discretion could have called for people to focus on different dimensions of the whole issue at different times throughout the discussion.
eg. Part I - The various indications of the biblical support or lack of biblical support.
Part II - The theology of ordination allows/ does not allow for the ordination of women.
Part III - The impact of WO would be positive/ negative on the church and its mission.
Part IV - Stories of women in ministry.

Hindsight is a great teacher I know. But I believe we should stretch ourselves to make the discussion that of the highest quality but any and all means possible.