Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists
- Columbia Union News
Silver Spring, Md.—After two hours of presentations from multiple levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as 90 minutes of discussion, delegates to the Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency Meeting today voted an historic motion—“That the Columbia Union Conference authorize ordination to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.”
This month the Columbia Union Conference published a special issue of the Visitor magazine themed “Weighing the Issues: Why We’re Advocating for Women’s Ordination.”
“The territory that comprises our great union is best viewed as a mission field that God has called us to reach,” says Frank Bondurant, Columbia Union Conference vice president for Ministries Development. “Accordingly one of the fundamental core values for our next quinquennium is to ‘impact our communities by revealing the love of Christ, sharing the distinct Adventist message and inviting people to accept Christ as their Savior.’”
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.
At its spring meeting Sunday, the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee voted two items that will propel the subject of women in ministry to the top of its agenda this year. They are as follows:
Hailing from southwest China, where she pastors a 400-church district, Rebekah Liu shared her testimony today with members of the Columbia Union Conference’s Executive Committee in Columbia, Md. Titling her presentation “He Dwells Among Us,” Liu dispelled the myth of the atheistic Chinese by comparing writings from ancient Chinese text with the Bible. She noted that both sets of texts include Messianic prophecies. She also charted China’s once deeply spiritual history to its decline with the advent of Communism.
Pop quiz. When you think of how your school or church treasurer adds value to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, what phrase comes to mind? (Pick one answer from below).
B. Providing timely information
C. Being a spiritual leader
D. Providing creative strategies
E. All of the above
“Last year we baptized 42,000 Hispanics, which represents about a third of the entire baptisms done in all of the North American Division,” shares Ricardo Norton, DMin, director of the Institute of Hispanic Ministries at Andrews University (Mich.). Norton is sitting in front of a class at the Columbia Union Conference’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., which just finished covering the ins and outs of developing and implementing small group ministries. In front of him are 29 Spanish-speaking students, most pastors of churches throughout the union, who have just completed one class toward their Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry.
On Sunday Seventh-day Adventists from all around the North American Division (NAD) joined 50 other faith and community organizations in responding to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! national health and fitness campaign.
“These ministry leaders are working tirelessly in their local churches to reach out and engage their youth and young adults,” said Frank Bondurant, Columbia Union vice president for Ministries Development. “To retain and enlist these youth and young adults in our local church ministries is one of the greatest challenges we as a church are facing, and I am grateful that [we] could support and assist these leaders in this important ministry.”