Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Statement Regarding 2018 Annual Council Vote

The Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee issued this statement November 20.

It is with unwavering allegiance to and love for the mission, message and fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that we appeal to world leaders to reconsider the vote at the 2018 Annual Council to approve a document titled “Regard for and Practice of General Conference (GC) Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions.” 

This vote proposes to centralize authority at the GC and endorse an unprecedented level of control to bypass established policies, processes, constitutions and bylaws that address the situations we now face. It also conveys a concerning lack of openness to respond to missional needs in the local context as the church has intentionally and successfully fostered for more than 115 years.

We affirm the response of the North American Division Committee on November 6, 2018, which states in part: “The structure of the church is characterized by unity and diversity, as stated by Paul in 1 Cor. 12:12: ‘For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’ (ESV). Such unity in the body of Christ reflects a reality for which He prays in John 17. Honoring diversity in implementing the Seventh-day Adventist mission allows for effective response to specific conditions while still maintaining global values and identity, as exemplified in Acts 15.” 

With mission and biblical unity as our focus, we continue to seek opportunities to promote wider understanding of the needs in the mission field in which we have been called to serve. We earnestly seek God’s guidance and leading, as well as the opportunity for conversation and collaboration with our brothers and sisters around the world. 

We join with the North American Division and others who have appealed to the General Conference Executive Committee to rescind the vote on this matter. And we again appeal to church leadership to facilitate and pursue dialogue that plants seeds of understanding, promotes unity and seeks reconciliation.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation …” (2 Cor. 5:18, NIV).


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