Union Adopts Values, Priorities
Story by Taashi Rowe
On Sunday at the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee in Hershey, Pa., members voted to adopt the following values for the 2011-2016 term: Christlikeness, unity, respect, excellence, equality, integrity and service.
Paula Barnes, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s Calvary church in Newport News, Va., said she was particularly excited about embracing Christlikeness and respect as unionwide values. She explained that “to be Christlike we need respect for children, youth and women, which will help us work together to create healthy churches.”
The committee also voted to adopt six priorities:
1. Youth/young adults: Engage and partner with youth and young adults to further the mission of the church
2. Evangelism: Impact our communities by revealing the love of Christ and inviting people to accept Him as their Savior and sharing the distinct Seventh-day Adventist message.
3. Education: Foster excellence in spiritual and academic development in Adventist schools and support programs that promote affordability and increased enrollment
4. Local Church Revitalization: Promote healthy churches by uniting members through personal spiritual renewal and active engagement in ministry
5. Innovation in Church Ministry: Embrace innovation in ministry to respond relevantly to the changing needs of our church and community
6. Leadership Development: Maximize the vitality of the church by supporting leadership development, promoting effectiveness and assuring equality
“These parameters will guide our work, and we will dedicate our time, talents and monetary resources toward implementing them,” said Dave Weigley, union president. “They are broad enough for varied adaptation at each level of the church, but will feed into our overall vision to see members across the Columbia Union become more engaged in the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
Julie Staats, a member of Ohio Conference’s Stillwater church in Dayton, said she was most passionate about evangelism. “Jesus should be the priority of the church,” she said, “because the most important thing that we do as a church is reveal Christ’s love and invite others to accept him.”
Frank Bondurant, union vice president for Ministries Development, noted that, “being united in mission is not just a byproduct of healthy churches but it is the key that unlocks all the other priorities.”