Fulcrum7 will use this page for regular updates from Fall Council. Check this page for the latest updates, beginning around 2 PM eastern time.
- The issue of Wayward Unions will probably come up around 3-3:30 PM eastern...
- Delegates being presented with two competing cities for GC 2025: Indy & St. Louis...
- Indy giving strong presentation. After this will be St. Louis. By 3 PM we move into a little bit of background for the afternoon led by Elder Wilson...hen some reports followed by the "unity" discussion
Then some reports followed by the "unity" discussion
- Now onto St. Louis. A little less flash, a little more realistic and straigthforward...
- St. Louis pitch includes scenes of wild rock concerts and beer taps
The Mayor of St. Louis would have loved to be here but he was a little busy because of something you may have watched on TV Sunday night ;. That's what they said from the front
Mayor calls us "General Conference of the Seventh-day"...
- Tom Evans NAD-Used to be at our union there. Liked the dome but the labor situation was bad. Couldn't even bring our own boxes in. Labor unions are a problem.
- 5 cities were originally considered for the 2025 GC. Minneapolis is the other serious consideration.
Mbwana describing convention center differences. St. Louis is all under one roof. Indianapolis it simply connected.
- Indy offers great deal: Rent free (about 1 million dollars worth) if 80% of hotel rooms used.
- St. Louis gives rent-free. No tricks.
- Question-Airport based on 2005. Had to wait in aircraft for 90 min, missed connection. Air traffic problem overload.
- Question on Taxes & Mandatory Gratuities, Paid Parking.
- Answer-both cities state tax exempt. Still have to pay city tax.
- Question on food. St. Louis had some of the most criticized.
- Question from Bradley Kemp (SPD)...
- St. Louis looks more
- But close vote
- Delegate Kern Tobias (IAD)-Security in both cities
- Mbwana: I don't know about security in American cities, I'm from Nigeria
- Question from MN Conf Delegate on Minneapolis not getting chosen
- Those are from earlier
- Now cmt deciding how to deal with vote
- Motion being made
- Motion for St. Louis
- The vote carries. St. Louis it is !!
Unity and Wayward Unions
- Here we go
- Unity and Mission procesa
- "We'll be talking for a little while"
- Discussion of who is present...
- He forgot press but we're here
- Tom Lemon moderation
- Elder Wilson introducing topic
- Down on the floor
- Elder Wilson lists cities in the world
- He loves them all
- Precious church members everywhere
- "God's church we know will be united in the end of time"
- References 3 Angels Message...
- Elder Wilson going through background. Bible as rule of faith...
- Clarifies working policy is not same as 28 fundamental beliefs
- But God is God of order...
- We need unity and collective approach
- 2 Cor. 5:18,19 - Ministry of reconciliation
- "General Conference in session constitutes the highest authority as representative of the world body and they make decisions for the world body" (paraphrase of Elder Wilson)..
- people reading these updates all over the world, Hong Kong, Cape Towm, Wuxi...
- "We don't have the urim and the thummim and don't have a living prophet either."
- Quoting Ellen White on "voice of GC as voice of God" when in error
- "At times there are disagreements and frustrations and how is it we should deal with those?
- We are told we should humble ourselves before the Lord and each other (includes me says Elder Wilson)
- Elder Wilson about to finish
- Earnestly appeal to all members to support and vote in favor of the proposal that will be placed before us in just a few moments
- Proposal already voted by GC Officer group. Committed to redemptive process to keep us together as a world family.
- "Well brother chair that's kinda the way I look at it, others might have a different opinion...but at the appropriate time, Brother Chair [Mike Ryan] will help explain various aspects of the propsal and give us a little clarity to the process"
- Copies of document being passed out now....
- Delegates reading
- Older version is here http://www.adventistreview.org/assets/public/news/2016-10/114G_Unity_in_Mission--Procedures_in_Church_Reconciliation-2.pdf
Elder Santos now up
Document now being read...
About halfway through the reading of the 'discipline document.'..
Appears to be Gerson Santos reading / GC Associate Secretary
It has been finished reading and moved
Ryan going through the idea of non-compliance. This isn't just about "one issue" he says.
- Mike Ryan now up
- Praising the ability to stream
- Ability to watch world church "work"
- Growing need to have a document that will deal with non-compliance
- Data showing this problem
- "We know what the issues are"
- the issue of non-compliance, the future indicates that we may have some discussions on many issues
- Describing document as handy tool
- Ryan going through the idea of non-compliance. This isn't just about "one issue" he says.
- All division presidents plus a few others
- Hard to have the conversation go very far without havings some comments on women's ordination
- WO may be the best for this document
- Several basic principles/values that came out of these discussions
- 1-What we do has to be redemptive (compassion understanding). We are in the business of adding unions not subtracting them.
- Writing groups going on far awhile. Miami, ASI Phoenix, etc.
- Elder Wilson suggested possibility of slowing process down. *Concessions to rebellious unions?
- Says don't have a document until this unity document is voted
- Telling story of 28th Fundamental Beliefs' Draft #17 with Angel Rodriguez (that's how the church works he says)
- 2-Should be dealt with at lowest level possible (local church/conference?)
- 3-Needed time to build consensus
- Now onto the discipline
- Some here want consequences
- they will come but they haven't been discussed yet
- We've sent surveys still getting information, wide opinion on what needs to be done in a non-adherence situation
- Range from some who feel we need to be very forceful. Other who are just on the opposite side. Feel we just continue to talk. (true)
- Haven't found center of discussions in terms of consequences. THAT has NOT been determined (emphasis from observation)
- Responsiblity of this house is to listen to this body and find out what they are saying and what they are thinking
- that's what needs to be placed in the document that is called for. Not someone's personal opinion.
- Mike Ryan announces his support for this document
- Don't want a process less than Christian, less than kindness
- Need to come directly to discussion
- Discussion on MANY issues for this document
First up is David Ripley-NAD-Commends session and for removing "inflammatory language", making it about many issues not just one challenge (WO)
Lacks an attitude of listening, wants rebellious union conferences opportunity to be heard by body. He only has voice, but can't make motion.
Wifi issues. Will abandon bullet points.
- Deborrah Jackson (NAD)Jackson-Looking at implications. Shouldn't we have implications and different cultures/situations?
- Kathryn Proffitt (GC Lay delegate)-Had privilege to be a Pacific Union Conference constituency meeting. Studied and prayed after looking through bylaws (constituents have authority to change bylaws ONLY if they remain in harmony of model constitution). Feeling that I don't have the right to deviate from actions taken by world church
- Regardless of personal views I have to set them aside for the unity of the church
- Blasius Riguri (ECD)i-Document is good but recommendation #2 pg. 3, shouldn't put year. Should read "next annual council".
- Jiri Moskala (SDA Seminary Dean)-Specific Phrase that working policy same as fundamental beliefs is problematic
- Calls for another study
- 3 points 1-FB 14 against discrimination on basis of gender yet ordination 2-John Huss put to death because he didn't conform to church policy ..Didn't get to 3
- In line are largely western leaders likely opposed to the document
- Mike Ryan clarifies they aren't equal. But we need to deal with non-adherence
- Werner Dullinger (EUD)-supports reconciliation process. Wonder if realistic to start process for every non-adherence.
- Those opposed to document seem to be describing it as if the church leaders are forcing this down delegate's throats as opposed to reconciliation
- Dave Weigley (NAD)-Makes analogy to beards as required policy. Says policy shound't be forced like this. Wants more time (to stall likely). Odd analogy.
Ron Smith (NAD)-Wants to vote document down. NAD leaders seem united in rebellion against world church. Says we just need to get back to Jesus.
Ray Hartwell (NAD)-careful how we define "non-compliance", *was very involved in attacks on Elder Wilson last year in San Antonio.
William Miller (NAD)-Potomac Conf. President. Laughs from audience "Hopefully this will not be a great disappointment" he retorts
Says B95 already has policy for these kind of issues
- William Cox (NAD)-Frustrated by process used didn't get to speak at GC San Antonio. Had committee (TOSC) on WO. No consensus.
- Brings up young adults, Issues of time
- Thomas Muller (TED)-Diminishing EGW by using quotes selectively.
- Accuses leadership of preparing document hastily. Wants it to go back. None of us "wants" to be rebellious *More stalling
- Ian Sweeney (TED)-How to deal with error, must treat the erring to the glory of God. Says we are serving as catalyst to the shaking. Says this should not be. Says "poor leadership"
- "Room about ready to riot"
- Says if we don't get this right we will have divided church
- Point of Order*-Can the chair please help me understand the issue
- Kenaope Kenaope had that point of order
- David Spencer (SID)-Opposed to idea that fundamental beliefs & working policies together
[Editor note, Pray that God will reveal the root of this rebellion]
- Rick Remmers (NAD)-Appreciate introduction between scripture and function of policy. Appreciate guidance provided by policy. Sometimes needs to adjust it. This group meets year after year and longest items is changes in policy. Document is not static. It goes through changes. Appeal to 1-make sure compliance comes about 2-how can we adjust policies to be more effective. Doesn't say yay or nay on vote.
- Ryan responds to point of order "document for time to respond to call/discussion for listening". Document NOT about women's ordination. It's one of the tests.
- Dan Jackson in line....
- Reidar Kvinge (TED)-from Norway -- President of Norwegian Union (published very rebellious statement)
- Says document not on Bible, Fundamental Beliefs, focus is on policy. Therefore he speaks against it. Doesn't "want" to be rebellious, however "religious freedom and matters of conscience" are of greater importance.
- Randy Roberts (NAD)-talks about history says document may be right vote but needs to allow room for spirit.
- Larry Moore (NAD)-Glad we got circumcision issue out of the way before "mission to the cities", references 1888 on different issues. People get mad, want civil, decent discussion. Opposed to document (says he wants to wait).
- Goran Hansen (TED)-Heavy work with document as written today. Need unity via Christlike forbearance.
- Dan Jackson (NAD)-next
- Goes back to his baptismal story becoming a member of world church. I am an African, an Asian, a Bolivian and a Canadian & an American. The family asked me to be the "Steward" of the NAD
- "I have become the Columbia Union, The Pacific Union, and a member of every union. Has concern we make sure in what we do we will be able to answer the question "has this decision contributed, really contributed to the unity of the church"
- Dan Houghton (GC)-Extremely puzzled. Speaks in favor of motion. It seems 90% has been re-litigating what happened in San Antonio. Lots watching with different ideas. Does a vote in General Conference session mean anything?
- Do not undermine the authority and unity of this church" Dan Houghton.
- Natasha Dysinger-Echoes Dan & Mike Ryan. Feels we are going back to San Antonio. This isn't about WO. WO is the "elephant in the room" but this is bigger.
- Andrea Luxton (GC)-My feeling this needs more revisions.
- Tom Evans (NAD)- Divided loyalties historically. Supposed to vote. Compares to Nancy Pelosi on healthcare bill (*this doc is 3 pages that one was several thousand). Makes prediction "within 10 or 15 years we will be ordaining women in Nairobi"
- G. Alexander Bryant (NAD)-Concerned after much prayer. Will cause people to leave the church because of the backdrop. Makes analogy to racial issue. Policies used to be in line with Jim Crow. Maybe this policy is?
- Clinton Wahlen (GC) - "Difference between local policies and policies voted by the GC. Situation is unprecedented. Events leading to San Antonio were not accidental. Deliberate actions by Conferences & Unions. Time has come to take action. Choose solution policy provides. B 05.3, faithfulness to church policies needed. Constiuent in rebellious union/conference-I feel my local church/conference are the ones with the kingly power."
- Ed Zinke (GC)- Referenced Annual Council appreciation to North America to budget allocated to other divisions. Assume this manuscript is going back since has issues with Biblical principles being same as fundamental beliefs. Or it can read we are only going to have a discussion where within those documents there is a Biblical principle.
- Chair ruling no more names.
- Mark Johnson (NAD)- talking about leading a church with a lot of immigrants. Need to focus attention.
- Ricardo Graham (NAD)-only person who is always right is God. Opposed to document.
- Gary Thurber (NAD)-need accountability to decisions against what we vote. Makes analogy to local churches work on discipline. Good discipline takes a lot of time.
- GT NG (GC)-jokes he's from "custodial service". Then goes to prophecies being uttered. Says prophecy this document will split church not in Bible. What is on trial is not this document but our belief in spirit of prophecy.
- Biaggi (GC)-issue of English speakers feeling more comfortable. Supports document.
- Kenaope Kenaope (SID)-references working policy and administrative voice of the church. Need to act as global body.
- Solomon Maphosa (SID)-Problem goes back to pioneers. Governance with representative approach. Opposed to democracy. Prefers chiefs.
- Daniel Matte (ECD)-concerned document not as it should be. Recommends delay.
- Lowell Cooper (GC)-good to work towards procedure for reconciliation. However says document too quick. Needs more discussion. Threatens motion to amend but says should have document on policy development.
- Don Livesay (NAD)-Favored hymn of this discussion "I shall not be moved". Matthew 18 process for our church is absolutely essential. In favor of the "spirit" of this document, however moves to amend to remove on pg. 3 lines 11-21.
- Amendment has been supported. Lines 11-21
- Leslie Pollard (NAD)-Opposes amendment. Wants entire document to be reconsidered.
- Ted Wilson-Speaks against the amendment.
- Voting on amendment / Amendment fails
- Leslie Pollard (NAD)-opposes document still. Pollard-we don't understand what we are doing. Focuses on compliance.
- John Freedman (NAD)-Opposes document--thinks it needs more time and more work. "What to do if policy changes again?"
- Ron Carlson (NAD)-Conference currently stands out of compliance with a major church policy [Union & Division both said don't worry about it]. Deals with use of tithe. Opposes document that has to say we talk & pray together. Says this is a quick reaction to what a few unions have done.
- Robert Dulay (SSD)-Document follows Biblical principles. Time frame and steps are in there. Supports document.
- Bethuel Matshiyane (SID)-Asks about consultation with wider group pg. 2 line 12, 23, other places. Who is "wider group"?
- Gladstone Knight (NAD)-Document looks good on face but trying to achieve unity at expense of conscience. Need flexibility. References youth & young adults.
- 4 speakers left in line--almost done.
- Jay Gallimore (NAD)-Supports document. Redemptive discipline takes time. If we go down way of pluralism it will be more painful in the end. This document gives us the "start". Document starts world church on dealing with issue.
- "Saustin Mfune (GC)-Document could divide church. How do we define unity? Are we honestly a "united" church? We need a different kind of the Holy Spirit"
- Jose Cortes (NAD)-Last Speaker from NJ Conference. All of us love this church. Concern is difference between doctrine, Fundamental Belief and a policy. Grandmother told him "You are a pastor, not the owner of the church" "We don't own the church, the church belongs to Jesus"
Speaking is over. Time to make the decision.
- Now over to Secretary for direction on collection of ballots. Mike Ryan suggests stopping to pray. Dave Livermore (NAD) is going to pray. Ray Hartwell (NAD) is going to pray (a leader of the rebellion).
- Vote Counting . . .
Finalizing numbers -- 315 could vote
58% in favor / 42% opposed.
- Elder Wilson now speaking. Says plan to work with divisons. Speaking of John 17 on unity. Says "Church is not on a witchhunt." Apparently the NAD will be obligated to to implement and participate these redemptive disciplne steps.
- Elder Wilson says he disagreed on some issues but didn't go on campaign against church. Asks dissidents to do same.