Seventh-day Adventist Church
Begins Annual Council
BY Elizabeth Lechleitner, Adventist News Network with Adventist Review staff
ome 300 leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will spend six days chiseling out grounds for agreement on issues ranging from tithe distribution to mission funding while gathered at world church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland for Annual Council, one of the church's biannual business meetings.
Pastor Jan Paulsen, world president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is expected to deliver a keynote address for the session during Sabbath morning worship on October 13.
The Annual Council draws church leaders from around the world, and is the forum where votes are taken to approve the world church’s annual budget, as well as approve policies.
World headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, site for the 2007 Annual Council of world church leaders. [Photo: Adventist News Network]
Reinforcing the church's united front for mission will be a major undercurrent driving the agenda for the October 12 to 17 meetings, says Larry R. Evans, the world church's undersecretary. Evans says the church's effort to stay connected and pool its resources has long been one of its greatest strengths.
"Exciting things are happening in the [Adventist] Church and keeping such a rapidly growing movement united and focused on mission does not happen by chance -- it demands full participation by leadership with opportunity for and give-and-take dialogue," Evans says.
Delegates representing the global Adventist Church will hear reports from the church's Office of Adventist Mission as well as its Secretariat and Treasury departments. The church's Commission of Ministries, Services and Structures is also expected to report on its progress in determining possible adjustments of church administrative structure.
While the church's budget report might seem less than riveting, Evans admits, it's nonetheless an important indicator of the church's priorities. He says delegates will hear of opportunities for mission work, particularly the “Tell the World” initiative in regions where the Adventist message has little foothold.
The “noteworthy” naming of a new associate director for the church's Biblical Research Institute is also on the Annual Council schedule, Evans said. “This appointment really underscores the church's commitment to find Biblical answers to pressing current issues in a changing social environment.”
Evans says delegates will also address steps the church can take when anti-discrimination laws require the church to consider hiring those who practice alternative lifestyles.
Adventist Review Online, along with church information entities such as Adventist News Network (http://news.adventist.org), will carry continuing updates of Annual Council events.