Unity Oversight Committee Survey Results are In !!

Results from a worldwide survey were presented by David Trim to the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference (GC) Unity Oversight Committee on March 20, 2018, during a scheduled meeting held at the world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

The six-question survey was designed and administered by the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR). The survey addressed issues relating to compliance with voted actions of the General Conference Session, the church’s highest decision-making body, and its Executive Committee, which meets annually between the quinquennial sessions of the General Conference. 

The survey provides quantitative data, allowing the committee “to more accurately judge where the world Church leaders and members stand on these issues,” according to Mike Ryan, chair of the committee. This information will serve as a guide to the Unity Oversight Committee in defining consequences for unions who have not complied with votes of the GC Session and of the GC Executive Committee.

The survey was sent to each president of the Church's 13 world Divisions and 137 Unions. 

“The union presidents answer directly to a grassroots constituency,” said Ryan. Additionally, union presidents are members of the GC Executive Committee with an overview of global church events and actions. Unions comprise the constituency of the GC.  

In his report, Trim stated that union and division presidents were requested to answer the six survey questions according to “what they believe is the view of the majority of members in their territory, as opposed to their personal opinion.” 

The Six Questions of The Survey

QUESTION 1: “Should the General Conference Unity Oversight Committee appoint a team to listen sensitively, counsel and pray with the presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 139 total votes (92%); 126 union president votes (92%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 90.56%.
  • “No” —    10 total votes (7%); 9 union president votes (7%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 6.28%.
  • Not answered — 2 total (1% ); 2 union presidents; percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.16%.
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QUESTION 2: “Should there be further organizational consequences for unions that do not comply with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 108 total votes (72%); 97 union president votes (71%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 83.93%.
  • “No” —    34 total votes (22%); 31 union president votes (23%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 12.17%.
  • Not answered — 9 total votes (6%); 9 union presidents (6%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.9%.
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QUESTION 3: “Should church leaders be asked to sign a document saying that they will follow voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee?”

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 72 total votes (47.7%); 65 union president votes (47.4%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 60.6%.
  • “No” —  77 total votes (51%); 70 union president votes (51.1%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 36%.
  • Not answered — 2 total (1.3 %); 2 union presidents (1.5%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 3.4%.

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QUESTION 4: “Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to speak (i.e. have voice) at meetings of the GC Executive Committee?”

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 76 total votes (50.3% ); 67 union president votes (48.9%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 34.3%.
  • “No” —   67 total votes (44.4%); 63 union president votes (46%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 60.9%.
  • Not answered — 8 total (5.3%); 7 union presidents (5.1%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 4.9%.

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QUESTION 5: “Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to vote in meetings of the GC Executive Committee?”

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 56 total votes (37.1%); 50 union president votes (36.5%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 26.8%.
  • “No” —  86 total votes (57%); 79 union president votes (57.7%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 67.9%.
  • Not answered — 9 total (6%); 8 union presidents (5.8%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 5.3%.

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QUESTION 6: “Should presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee be allowed to serve on standing committees or ad hoc subcommittees of the GC Executive Committee?

RESPONSE:

  • “Yes” — 40 total votes (26.5%); 36 union president votes (26.3%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 15.5%.
  • “No” —   100 total votes (66.2%); 91 union president (66.4%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 79.1%.
  • Not answered — 11 total (7.3%);  10 union presidents (7.3%); percentage of world membership residing in those unions: 5.4%.
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Conclusions

  • There is strong support for some kind of consequences for non-compliance.
  • There is also strong support for not allowing presidents of non-compliant unions to serve on standing or ad hoc committees of the GC Executive Committee.
  • There is pronounced support for not allowing presidents of unions not in compliance with voted actions of GC Sessions and of the GC Executive Committee to vote in meetings of the GC Executive Committee.
  • A majority of Church leaders oppose removing “voice” as well as vote from non-compliant union presidents.
  • Most Church leaders also oppose requiring union presidents to sign a document promising to abide by GC Session and Executive Committee actions.
  • This is good news for the SDA Church, providing insights into the sentiments of our worldwide grassroots members.

"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land" (Proverbs 25:25).
 

 

See more here.

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