The 60% to 40% split vote in favor of the General Conference Administrative Committee’s recommended compliance document at annual council last Sunday in Battle Creek, MI created challenging times for pastors and members on both sides of the issue. Some are rejoicing in the vote and others are hurting. Please allow our ministerial team to speak words of encouragement to specific groups who may be hurt and disappointed.
Pastors, it is no doubt these are challenging times to be a spiritual leader, and even though it appears we are at a crossroad in the Seventh day Adventist Church in North America, I’m still encouraged that we can stand on the promises of the Author and Finisher of our Faith. I’m encouraged because we can act as Micah declared, to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with our God. I’m am also encouraged by your faithful witness to stand for right though the heavens fall. If you are not encouraged, I just want you to know you do not walk alone. We stand with you and more importantly the Creator God of the Universe will empty heaven just for you. – Ivan Williams
Women Clergy, I know we all are feeling the after effects of yesterday's meeting in Battle Creek. You are not alone - we are all in this together! WE LOOK UP and find strength to get up! "In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what man can do unto me.” “I will cast my burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain me. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.” We have important work to do, and by God's grace we can confidently move forward knowing that we have been chosen and called by God. Continue to be intentional about mentoring and increasing our numbers-We will expand the Kingdom! - Brenda Billingy
Pastors, There are millions of people in our cities, towns, and neighborhoods who need to experience the gospel through our lifestyle of compassion and our message of deliverance that sets them free today and offers them the hope of the second advent and the resurrection. This is not the time to walk away, we owe it to the God who called us to ministry and to the people in desperate need of a Savior, to gather our courage and continue to share the transforming love of God and the compassion of Jesus in practical ways. Our unprecedented church planting movement and our missional awakening across our territory cannot be quenched. More than ever before, this is a time for all hands, feet, and hearts on deck, male and female, young and old, together sharing Jesus with actions and words in North America. - Jose Cortes Jr.
Husbands and Children of Women Clergy, I can only imagine what you as a husband or child of a woman who has dedicated her life to God’s service, must be feeling the day after the General Conference Annual Council voted the compliance document. Though I believe that many Adventists within our division are deeply troubled by it, only God can understand the injury that you may have experienced and only He can heal the wounds that this may be causing you. Please know that you are being held up to God continually at this time in prayer. May the God of all comfort, comfort you in this present time. - Donna Jackson
Pastors, after yesterday’s GC council vote we don’t know what the future holds for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. I’ve heard a variety of speculations. But in any future scenario, your pastoral leadership is needed now more than ever. Your people need a pastor. Your people need hope in Jesus. Your community needs to experience the grace of God. Don’t bolt. Instead, double down on your faith in Jesus. –Dave Gemmell
Everyone, even though we the women clergy, who are affected the most by this decision, have largely been left out of the conversation, I thank God for the men of principle who continue to be our voice. I thank God for the hundreds of Holy Spirit empowered women clergy, who against all odds, are having an ever-widening circle of pastoral impact. We at NAD Ministerial are committed to equipping and supporting them as our numbers grow. – Esther Knott