Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Executive Committee Meets, Sets Guiding Values for Quinquennium

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

At their quarterly meeting today, members of the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee voted to adopt guiding values for the remainder of the quinquennium. Committee members also received reports of mission from around the territory. 

Pardon Mwansa, vice chancellor of Rusangu University (Zambia) shared a worship thought with tips for successful leadership.  

“Structural system problems must be fixed structurally,” said Mwansa. “Abraham and Lot loved each other, but they needed more land/space for their animals. That problem wasn’t solved like a personal one, but they solved it by adjusting their territories. You, as a leader, are in a position to identify what are governance problems and solve them by governance.” 

He encouraged the leaders to help their organizations continue to evolve and to embrace new ways of solving problems. 

Highlights from the meeting include: 

  • Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president, shared that the Ohio Conference is working to plant a church for Ukrainians in the Cincinnati area (more information coming soon).
  • Celeste Ryan Blyden, executive secretary, shared that the median age of members in the North American Division is now 48.
  • Emmanuel Asiedu, treasurer, shared that, as of the end of March, tithe in the union is down 1.86 percent. He noted, however, that 2021 was a record-breaking year in tithe and that the union is very conscientious in spending money strategically to make sure mission continues. This stewardship led to the union operating at 156 percent working capital.
  • James Lee, outgoing vice president and chief strategy and growth officer at Adventist HealthCare who has conducted and shared auditing reports for the last 17 years, gave his final report and said the union received unqualified (clean) reports.
  • Committee members set guiding values for the remainder of the quinquennium. (Read about them here.) 
  • José Espósito, assistant to the president for Evangelism at the Columbia Union Conference, said that so far this year he and Rubén A. Ramos, vice president for Multilingual Ministries, visited 25 churches in the Pennsylvania Conference and 15 in the Chesapeake Conference, encouraging members to start small groups, plant multilingual churches and win souls for Christ. 
  • Fred Manchur, CEO of Kettering Health, shared many ways the health system is impacting their community. The latest way is by becoming the official health care provider for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. 
  • Weymouth Spence, president of Washington Adventist University, shared that the university will continue to be accredited after passing their recent review. He also reminded attendees of the school’s recent fixed tuition rate for Columbia Union members. 

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