Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Members Prepare for 60th General Conference Session

Members Prepare for 60th General Conference Session
Story by Beth Michaels

Seventh-day Adventist Church members from around the world will converge in San Antonio, July 2-11, for the church’s 60th quinquennial General Conference (GC) Session themed “Arise! Shine! Jesus is Coming!” Hosted at the Alamodome and Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, leaders, delegates and members will unite to discuss, vote and worship together. Here are some other specifics:

Session Agenda

The session agenda will include elections of president, secretary, treasurer, vice presidents and some department heads for the world church’s headquarters and its 13 divisions. There will also be numerous reports from various organizations and entities (i.e., comprehensive health evangelism, Mission to the Cities initiative), as well as evening reports from each division.

Other items of discussion include recommended changes to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, including causes for church discipline, such as sexual misconduct and pornography. Proposed updates to the church’s fundamental beliefs will include a stronger position about our belief in a literal six-day creation. There will be proposed changes to the constitution and bylaws, including the ownership of Oakwood University (Ala.) and the Pacific Press Publishing Association (Idaho). Another major item of discussion will be a five-year strategic plan for the church.

Can Divisions Decide?

Leaders expect to spend a full day prayerfully discussing this headlining item. Their discussion will be dedicated to the question voted at the 2014 Annual Council meeting, which reads in part, “Is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No.”

To read the church’s official “theology of ordination; the full, multi-faceted question being sent to session; and the Theology of Ordination Study Committee’s three position statements, visit

If a yes vote is reached, “Every division will have the opportunity to explore what ordination means in their division and have the ability to decide whether it is appropriate if we move forward, whether gender inclusivity will move the mission forward in their division,” says Dave Gemmell, associate director for the North American Division Ministerial Association.

New Bible Revealed

Friday, July 10, there will be a special evening presentation to mark the publishing of a new translation of the Bible into modern-day Russian, a project spearheaded by Michael Kulakov (pictured), religion professor and director of the Bible Translation Institute at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., in partnership with the General Conference and Euro-Asian Division. Read more at

Columbia Union Booth

The Columbia Union Conference’s booth, number C1658, will feature our many ministries. Stop by and get your picture on a mock cover of the Visitor, collect free souvenirs and participate in a video about what it means to you to “experience the mission.”

Visitor Coverage

To get vote results, updates and news from the session, follow the Visitor daily on Facebook and Twitter using #GCSA15 and #ColumbiaUnion; receive special Visitor News Bulletin email reports by signing up at; and visit the website daily.

May2015VisitorCover_400pxRead and share these articles from the May 2015 Visitor:

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