Annual Council Begins
The Adventist Review is again producing a daily news bulletin for Annual Council, which will be e-mailed to all world division and union offices at the end of each day's meetings. The bulletin will include short news notes highlighting the main events of the day and resolutions voted by the session's delegates.
What's the Purpose of Annual Council?
The General Conference Executive Committee, which convenes at Annual Council, votes policy items and statements on social issues, hears reports, elects and appoints personnel, and approves the church's world budget.
Who Attends the Session?
Two hundred and eighty-eight Executive Committee members and 65 invitees from around the world will gather for this year's Annual Council. Included in this number are 36 division officers, 26 GC officers, 102 presidents of union conferences and missions, 31 pastors and other frontline workers, 39 lay people, and 54 others who carry leadership responsibilities throughout the world church. Also invited are the approximately 58 conference presidents within the North American Division.
Because of GC president Jan Paulsen's commitment to encouraging participation of young adult professionals in the decision-making process of the church, after consultation with world division leaders, the names of six young adults under the age of 30 will be presented to the delegates to be considered for membership to the General Conference Executive Committee-three representatives from NAD, and one each from EUC, IAD, and SPD.
What's on the Agenda?
The General Conference Communication Department reports that one of the major aspects of this year's Annual Council will be presentations continued from GC Session on "Tell the World: A Vision for 2005-2010." During the first business session of the meeting, attendees will be briefed on how this program will impact various outreaches of church life.
Also scheduled is the appointment of a "Commission of Ministries, Services, and Structures," which is expected to fulfill an earlier mandate to church leaders to "review all the ministries and services of the [church's headquarters] to determine the most effective means of assisting the world church to fulfill her mission," as a 2004 Annual Council resolution called on leaders to do.
Delegates will also consider a reworking of the terms for church employees to serve overseas, a formal merger of the church's Global Mission office with the Office of Mission Awareness, and the appointment of church leaders who are not part of the election process during the GC quinquennial session.
GC positions appointed during Annual Council include director of Archives and Statistics; director and associate directors of Biblical Research Institute; director of Adventist Television Network; director and senior research scientists of Geoscience Research Institute; editors and associate editors of major church publications, including the Adventist Review and Sabbath school Bible study guides; and members of several GC committees and boards.
When Does It Begin?
The spiritual emphasis for the fall meetings will be set by GC president Jan Paulsen in his opening keynote address Friday evening, October 7, at the General Conference headquarters. His message is titled "Embracing the Unique."
General Conference Session Bulletins
The eight issues of the General Conference Session Bulletins and the GC Bulletin supplement are available free during Annual Council. Attendees can help themselves to a set of bulletins on the distribution tables in the General Conference atrium. For readers not attending the council, the free issues can be shipped for a fee of US$4 per set within the North American Division, or US$12 per set for international addresses.
To order, call 1-800-456-3991 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for credit card orders; or send payment to GC Bulletins, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740, USA. Shipment will not be sent until payment is received.