Fifth Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference session, June 27, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

Proceedings (Church Manual Only)                     [PROPOSED CHURCH MANUAL]

GERRY D. KARST: Now we are going to move into a section of our agenda book that deals with the Church Manual. The Church Manual can be changed or amended only at a General Conference session, and you have an entire section near the back of your book that deals with the Church Manual. I am going to call on Elder Miranda, who is the chairman of the Church Manual Committee, and Homer Trecartin, associate secretary, who is secretary of this committee, to lead us into these items on the Church Manual.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As we all know, the Church Manual is the most important document for the administration and operation of the local church. We are going to share the background on how we proceeded to make the re-edited version of the Church Manual. Let me tell you that we are going to introduce to you 95 new changes in the re-edited Church Manual.

Lines 6-40: “For many years the Church Manual has had pieces added, deleted, or changed in different parts of the book and by various committees and editors. Some felt that it no longer read like a cohesive volume but was more like a patchwork or collage of writings—related in content but not unified inn style. Then in October 2008 the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee took the following action during its meetings in Manila, Philippines:

“ ‘VOTED, That the General Conference appoint a small study group to look at the Church Manual to determine whether it would be beneficial to write a new Church Manual.’

“The General Conference Church Manual Subcommittee was given this assignment and took their work very seriously. They appointed a reading committee of seasoned administrators, editors, a pastor, and two women and proceeded to carefully reorganize, re-edit, update the language, shorten sentences and paragraphs, and even reduce the size of the manual itself. Their goal was to accomplish all this without changing the actual content of the manual.

“This has been an intense and time-consuming process. The proposed re-edited version of the manual has gone through a number of rounds of prayerful reading and editing by various individuals, groups, and committees. Church Manual amendments that have accumulated through the regular process during the quinquennium have been included in this re-edited version. Input has been received from General Conference and division officers as well as from General Conference departmental directors.

“The General Conference Executive Committee has twice reviewed drafts, discussed concepts, and voted wording. In addition, committee members have each received at least two updates by e-mail allowing them to give guidance and correction during the process. Finally, the full Executive Committee met one more time just before the start of the General Conference session in order to make sure they were comfortable with what was being proposed to the delegates.

“The full copy of the proposed re-edited version of the Church Manual was released to the session delegates in mid-May to allow them ample time to review the proposal before the discussion takes place.”

GERRY D. KARST: You can imagine that this was a monumental task that was assigned to the committee. They’ve worked hard and diligently to pull this together, but we have 95 proposed amendments. I will turn now to Homer Trecartin to begin the process.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Every attempt was made during the process not to change the content but just to reorganize and re-edit. But there were 95 of those items that have moved through the normal process and are included here, and we want to look at each one of those and take an action on each one of them as we go. And then as we finish a chapter we will take an action on the entire chapter. There will be a few slight changes that I will mention as we go that were made by the Executive Committee the day before the General Conference session started, but mostly we will be just dealing with each of the 95 items in which we feel content has changed. The rest of the items are merely a reorganization or a rewording, and contain no content change. Mr. Chairman, with that explanation I think we will start going through the items. And I would like to direct everyone’s attention to the first page. A paragraph has been added emphasizing the importance of order in the church. I’d like to read that paragraph with you. “God is a God of order as evidenced in His works of creation and redemption. Consequently, order belongs to the essence of His Church. Order is achieved through principles and regulations that guide the Church in its internal operations and in the fulfillment of its mission to the world. In order for it to be a successful ecclesiastical organization at the service of the Lord and humanity, it needs order, rule, and discipline.” [The motion to accept the addition was made and seconded.]

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Do you have any questions about this? Now let me suggest that in terms of our process we will entertain the suggestions you have, but I will be reluctant to do a whole lot of major editing on the floor. If there is something that is of significant importance that needs to be changed or added, we would rather refer that back to the standing Church Manual Committee at this session and then let them think about it and bring back a recommendation to the floor.

RENO PAOTONU: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to congratulate the sub-committee for reviewing the Church Manual. It’s not an easy job. I’m supportive of the amendments that they have made, but I would like to add 1 Corinthians 14:40 at the end. I’d like to move that.

GERRY D. KARST: That would be an amendment to the motion we have in front of us. Is there support for that?

[The motion was seconded and approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, there’s been an addition clarifying the difference between the notes and the main manual. “The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is to be followed by every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variations in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guidance and examples, appears as Notes at the end of the Church Manual.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition. [Motion was seconded.]

FINN FRODE ECKHOFF: I must say that receiving this revised document has made me impressed that my church has taken on the challenge of revising this document that has been so carefully worded through the years. The little statement that we are reading here, that the document is to be followed by every church organization, congregation, and member, is a brave statement. And I remember the words of Dr. Jan Paulsen as we discussed this at the winter meeting at the Trans-European Division last November, when he said that in some places the Church Manual is regarded as the Bible and in other places it is not regarded at all as something we should follow. That’s a sad situation. I believe we need a Church Manual that should really be followed. But I think it is worth noting that this manual still contains quite a lot of material that many people in different parts of the world will regard as not mandatory. So I think more needs to be put it in the notes section as nonmandatory. Otherwise, I wholeheartedly support the changes that have been put forward.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you very much.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Mr. Chairman, I’ve read through the manual several times, and I’m afraid that I didn’t catch the significance of the phrase “every church organization.” I’m afraid that that could give opportunity for a very wide latitude of interpretation. I’m wondering if there was a specific range of church organizations that we had in mind with that statement.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Through the revisions and recommendations and suggestions, somebody suggested that we add the words “church organization” to emphasize the fact that sometimes some organizations don’t recognize the authority of the Church Manual.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, in the current Church Manual it says “every church.” It doesn’t say “every church organization.” And as Elder Cooper has pointed out, that could be misunderstood. It was not the intention. Maybe we should go back to saying it is to be followed by “every church, congregation, and member.”

GERRY D. KARST: We would be open to an amendment on that point. You are moving that one? Thank you. Is there a second? [Motion was seconded.] [The chair called for a vote, but there was a question over the procedure.]

RAY HARTWELL: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I stand to speak in opposition to this motion. I am very much in favor of the Church Manual. I am very much in favor of using the Church Manual, and that it should be used and should give great guidance to churches and members. However, Mr. Chairman, this statement is categorically stating that the Church Manual has to be followed, and there are times that churches can find new ways and new methods of doing ministry, as Ellen White says in Welfare Ministry. At those times, when those churches may find effective ways for mission, there will be some who will state that it’s not found in the Church Manual and will therefore try to restrict churches from being able to use structures that will be more effective in mission than what is currently outlined in the manual. For that reason I would recommend that this wording be sent back and reconsidered carefully.

HOMER TRECARTIN: As we have mentioned, our goal as a Church Manual Committee was not to shortcut the normal process of Church Manual changes. Where things went through the normal process and were approved at each of the levels, we incorporated them. But where they didn’t, we didn’t feel that it was our place to make changes in the Church Manual. There will be future changes. There are already things that will begin to be worked on for the next Church Manual. The current Church Manual contains an action that was taken by the General Conference session in 1877, and that action is in the current manual, and so we carried that thought over into this proposed manual. It says, “Resolved, that the highest authority under God among Seventh-day Adventists is found in the will of the body of that people, as expressed in the decisions of the General Conference when acting in its proper jurisdiction; and that such decisions should be submitted to by all, without exception, unless they can be shown to conflict with the Word of God and the rights of individual conscience.” We decided that it was not our place to make that change in the manual. And so we’ve included that concept here. That is a change that could be proposed and worked through the system for a future time, but we felt it wasn’t our place to include it here.

GERRY D. KARST: Curtis Robinson has a point of order.

CURTIS (RANDY) ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The chair identified a process at the beginning of this discussion with respect to how we were going to proceed in the discussion of each separate item. And I’m concerned that with the first two items we have had to go through lengthy discussions about each specific item and asking those that have gone through this process to describe and discuss their rationale. I think we are going to get into trouble over the course of this discussion if we continue along those lines, and I would ask the chair to continue to follow the process that we had initially identified—that if there is an issue, let’s just simply refer it back, rather than taking a lot of time to go through each explanation. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Ray Roennfeldt.

RAY ROENNFELDT: I would like to recommend that in that highlighted section the wording be changed from “is to be followed by every church organization,” etc., to “is to provide guidance.” Because I think that is the way the manual is actually used, rather than being like the Bible for some people.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Kenaope Kenaope.

KENAOPE KENAOPE: If something like this is proposed, it needs to be referred back to the committee, because it is a major change.

GERRY D. KARST: We’ll take that comment and then see if the body wishes to refer this item back.

KENAOPE KENAOPE: I just needed clarification on that highlighted note. I personally appreciate this document; it was sent to us prior to this meeting. We have gone through it, and it is my assumption that those who received it have gone through the changes. As we refer it back I would like the committee also to reconsider the fact that a situation in which you would have a local church with a small entity such as a school may not be able to be handled exactly the same as a larger church and school. When the supervising body raises questions, that small entity may say, “No—according to the Church Manual we are not bound by this.” In that case, what will the supervising body of the organization do? I am trying to alert us to the fact that in some parts of the world there is a growing concern that people are comfortable with setting aside the Church Manual. Over and over we are doing our best as supervising bodies to teach our members the value of unity in following the Church Manual inasmuch as it does not conflict with what was read to us earlier. So please, let’s be aware that if we categorically exclude other entities we have to have in place some provision to cater to them.

GERRY D. KARST: I see several other names coming up. I think after we have listened to the next couple we need to move on. We had 95 items to deal with, and this has gone through a fairly extensive process with consultation with every world division. It may be that we have overlooked something, but if it’s simply a pet choice of words or something else of that nature, I would encourage you to say, “Can I live with this so that we can move on?” But I don’t want to rush the process if indeed you have something that has to be dealt with. I have three more speakers: Ray Hartwell, we are back to you. I have Robert Stewart, and Virdil Hibner. We will take these and then decide whether we are going to refer this item back or vote on it.

RAY HARTWELL: I move that we refer this back to the standing committee and request the chair to inform us where the committee meets and whether or not we should meet with the committee. But I do move that we refer this back.

GERRY D. KARST: There is a motion for referral; is there support for it? There is support. Any discussion on the referral? All in favor indicate with your uplifted card. Any opposed, with the same sign. The motion is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 3, lines 4-14, there is an addition that explains more of the role of the Church Manual. I will read that paragraph. “The standards and practices of the Church are based upon the principles of the Holy Scriptures. These principles, underscored by the Spirit of Prophecy, are set forth in this Church Manual. They are to be followed in all matters pertaining to the administration and operation of local churches. The Church Manual also defines the relationship that exists between the local congregation and the conference or other entities of Seventh-day Adventist denominational organization. No attempt should be made to set up standards of membership or to make, or attempt to enforce, rules or regulations for local church operations which are contrary to these decisions adopted by the General Conference in session and which are set forth in this Church Manual.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It has been moved and seconded. The chair recognizes Steve Moran.

STEVE M. MORAN: We are a church that is old, relatively. We take something like the Church Manual and we add, and we add, and we add, and we add. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen any kind of body start taking things away. I think part of what we ought to be getting with these major paragraphs is at least some sort of summary. I look at this particular issue; it looks like it’s something that is designed to be a hammer to enforce behavior. When you look at our church history—where we came from, where we fought so hard not to have an organization that dictates from the top—I worry that we are moving closer and closer to that.

HOMER TRECARTIN : The actual paging we can’t totally determine at this point, but this version has reduced the number of pages in the Church Manual. We have done that by eliminating some duplication and a number of other things so that it will be somewhat shorter. If you would like, we can give a brief reason for why that paragraph was included.

GERRY D. KARST: All those in favor of this addition, please show with your cards. Any opposed, by the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 3, line 35, there’s an addition of a few words explaining the role of the notes section. I will read the first sentence of that paragraph, starting on page 3, line 33: “The 2000 General Conference Session authorized the reclassification of some existing Church Manual material, into the Notes section as guidance and examples rather than mandatory material, and approved the process for making changes. “Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It is moved and seconded. All those in favor indicate by the uplifted card. Any opposed, by the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, there’s an addition that outlines a method for making nonsubstantive editorial changes to the main manual. This was not here before, and so we have added this as a way of making nonsubstantive changes. Let me read the paragraph: “The Church Manual Committee reports proposed non-substantive editorial changes to the main content of the Church Manual to an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee, which may give final approval. However, in the event the Annual Council determines by one-third vote that an editorial change substantively alters the meaning of a passage, the proposed change must go to the General Conference Session.”

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of the addition. [The motion was made, seconded, and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, there follows several explanations of terms. And I will just go through each of those and then make a motion on that total section.

“Church—For editorial and printing economy, ‘Church,’ with capital ‘C,’ in these pages is used in place of the full term Seventh-day Adventist Church and refers to the overall Church organization rather than to a local church or congregation, with the exception of when it is referred to within a quotation.

“Conference, mission, section, delegation, field, union of churches—For purposes of editorial and printing economy, ‘conference’ in these pages means ‘conference, mission, field, section, delegation, or union of churches,’ as the administrative context indicates. Generally, each congregation is a member of the sisterhood of churches known as a conference, but until the local organization achieves conference status, under General Conference Working Policy it may be identified as a mission, section, delegation, or field. In some world divisions, unions of churches in a particular country function as a conference for local-church purposes and as a union [and I would strike the word “conference”; that was an editorial mistake] conference for other Church organizational purposes. (See Chapter XX, Church Organization.)

“Pastor and minister—Most areas of the world Church use ‘pastor’ to identify a member of the clergy, so that term is used in these pages rather than ‘minister,’ regardless of the responsibilities assigned by the local conference. Use of the term here is not intended to mandate that usage where the custom is to use ‘minister.’ Pastors referred to in this manual are those who have been appointed by the conference to oversee the affairs of the local church or district.

“Abbreviations of Ellen G. White’s books follow the ‘Key to Abbreviations’ found in the front of most of her books and are listed in the Spirit of Prophecy Index on p. XX. [And in the final manual that page number will be inserted there.]

“Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated, with the exception of when referred to within a Spirit of Prophecy quotation.”

Mr. Chairman, I move approval of those explanations of terms beginning on page 4, line 35, and ending on page 5, line 22.
GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded. Just clarifying how we’re using the terms. [The motion to accept the explanation of terms was voted.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that completes chapter 1. So I would move approval of chapter 1 as presented and adjusted here.

[Motion to accept chapter 1 was made, seconded, and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, on page 7, lines 30-33, is the addition of a Bible text, and, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I need to read that. It’s simply a Bible text that’s been added. Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of the addition of that Bible text.

GERRY D. KARST: Seconded. Microphone 5, Clifford Gleason.

CLIFFORD GEASON: Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Our new General Conference president referred to the concept from the Spirit of Prophecy that our greatest need and most urgent work is to seek revival. As I look over the quotations and material for this chapter, I find no reference to that in regard to God’s view of the church. I feel that adding 1 Peter 2:9 only seems to enhance the concept that the church is doing very well—that we’re moving right ahead to accomplish this next section called Complete in Christ. So I would move that we refer this addition back to the committee to have the committee look at replacing it with a section for this chapter that would be brief but would refer to the need of revival in the church, and it could quote Revelation 3, where Jesus talks about our need. And then the passage that our new General Conference president referred to from Selected Messages—I feel that this would not only alert the church in general that this should be our first need but it would also open the door wide for our General Conference president to lead us into this very experience that we need so much. Thank you.

GERRY D. KARST: Clarify your motion. Are you asking that this be replaced or that something be added to it?

CLIFFORD GLEASON: Replaced.

GERRY D. KARST: And it’s a motion to refer this back?

CLIFFORD GLEASON: It is.

GERRY D. KARST: Is there support for that motion? I see support over here. Now, any discussion on referring this back?

ARMANDO MIRANDA: I have a comment. The title of the chapter is “Church of the Living God.”And this text was added for the purpose of highlighting that we are just this kind of church. And let me tell you also that the new General Conference president has been the vice chair of the Church Manual Committee. He has been really involved in the process. And we have nothing against the amendment, but we think that it’s covered.

GERRY D. KARST: Yes, the subsection in here is “Supreme Object of Christ’s Regard,” speaking of the church. And so we have the motion before us to refer this back, for the elimination of the scripture reference. So if you support the motion, you will vote in favor of it. If you do not support the motion, then vote against it. Thank you, the amendment is lost.

We now come back to the main motion. [The main motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that brings us to the end of chapter 2, and so I would move approval of chapter 2 as presented here. [The motion was seconded and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, there is an addition highlighting the interconnected relationship of church organizations. Let me read the whole paragraph.

“There are several organizational levels within the Church leading from the individual believer to the worldwide organization of the work. Membership units in each of these levels periodically convene formal business sessions known as constituency meetings or sessions. (The constituency meeting or session of a local church is generally referred to as a business meeting.) In Seventh-day Adventist Church structure, no organization determines its own status nor does it function as if it had no obligations to the Church family beyond its boundaries.”

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition.

GERRY D. KARST: The motion is before us and seconded. Does anyone wish to comment on this section?

STEVE M. MORAN: I have a question on the last portion of this particular item. It says, “In Seventh-day Adventist Church structure, no organization determines its own status nor does it function as if it had no obligations to the Church family beyond its boundaries.”

Can you explain why we need that? Have things changed? If so, how?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I’m not sure that it’s because anything has changed, except that there have been several issues that have been dealt with in different areas where it needed to be clear that a local church does not vote itself to be a local church as part of that conference sisterhood of churches. That is voted by the conference. Just as a local conference can’t vote itself into existence, and say we are now part of the sisterhood of unions. Or a local union can’t vote itself into the sisterhood of unions in a division. And so there have been several issues, and it was felt that this clarification was needed to say that no organization in the Seventh-day Adventist Church votes its own status, but also to remind everyone that they have a responsibility to the world church and not just to their own territory.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Another thing, Mr. Chairman. We are trying to protect the church, because of some attempts in some places to name a church Seventh-day Adventist church, when it does not belong to the organization.

STEVE M. MORAN: May I add to that? The concern I have on it is that this seems awfully broad. So I would make a motion that we refer this back to tighten it up.

GERRY D. KARST: Is there support for that motion to refer this item back? I saw a second. Does someone want to speak to this motion?

DAVID KOKIONG: I’m just reading the motion again and again, and I’m thinking, “Could we not use double negatives?” I’m trying to read it, and I’m not sure if everyone’s going to understand what it’s saying.

GERRY D. KARST: Are you speaking to the amendment to refer back?

DAVID KOKIONG: Either if it needs to be referred back, or if it could just be phrased positively here.

GERRY D. KARST: The motion on the floor is for referral. And that’s what we’re looking at now. [The motion to refer was not approved.]

We now come back to the main motion.

EMMANUEL MWALE: This section that we are trying to add here is very important for the church. I am coming from a place where we have people who are trying to become congressional, and this statement solves that problem of local churches usurping their authority of their conference session. Local churches are trying to work as though they operate without the entire church. They are on their own. In other words, this would protect the church from congregationalism, which some churches in parts of the world would like to assume.

GERRY D. KARST: All in favor indicate by lifting your cards. Any opposed to the motion, by the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 12, lines 22-25, is an addition that clarifies the definition of a conference. Let me read that paragraph. “Local Conference—A group of local churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by action of a division executive committee at midyear, yearend, or division council meeting, official status as a Seventh-day Adventist local conference/ mission/ field and subsequently accepted, at a union constituency meeting, into the sisterhood of conferences/ missions.” Mr. Chairman, I move approval of this addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It’s been moved and seconded. Is there any discussion on this point? All those in favor indicate with the uplifted card. Any opposed, by the same sign. The motion is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Page 12, lines 28-30, contains an addition to the definition of a union of churches. “Union of Churches—A group of churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted, by a General Conference Session, official status as a union of churches with either conference or mission status.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It is moved and seconded. All in favor indicate with your uplifted card. Those opposed, by the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 12, lines 33 and 34, there is an addition clarifying the definition of a union. “Union Conference/ Mission—A group of conferences, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by a General Conference Session official status as a union conference/ mission.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It is moved and seconded. All in favor indicate with your uplifted card. Those opposed, by the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On the bottom of page 12, lines 37 and 38, is an addition clarifying the definition of the General Conference and its divisions. Let me read those first couple of sentences. “General Conference and its Divisions—The General Conference represents the worldwide expression of the Church. Its constituent membership is defined in its Constitution.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It’s been moved and seconded. A point of order has been called.

ISRAEL LEITO: I would like to be educated in what we should do if we are seated far away from the mike and we want to speak and the voting goes so quickly that we don’t have a chance to speak. I wish it could be a little slower. If you see anybody standing, at least give us a chance to manifest ourselves.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you, Elder Leito. We’ll slow down a little and give you time. We also do that for translation. I don’t see anyone making a move. If you are away from the mike and you are wanting to speak, wave your card, and we’ll be able to see that. All in favor, hold up your card. Any opposed, by the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 13, lines 4-11, are some additions further explaining the role of the General Conference session and the General Conference Executive Committee. Let me read that paragraph: “The General Conference in Session determines the fundamental beliefs of the Church, authorizes establishment of unions and the attachment of field units, revises the Church Manual, elects General Conference and division leadership, performs other functions as outlined in its Constitution and Bylaws, and considers items referred to it by its Executive Committee. The General Conference Executive Committee between Sessions is empowered by the Constitution and Bylaws to act on behalf of the constituents. Thus Church organizations around the world recognize the General Conference as the voice of the Church.” I would move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: It is moved and seconded. The chair recognizes Robert Brauer.

ROBERT BRAUER: The statement says that the General Conference in session determines the fundamental beliefs. I believe it would be clearer if it said, “The General Conference determines the stated fundamental beliefs.” We do not actually make the beliefs; we simply declare what we believe. Move that we add the word “stated.”

HOMER TRECARTIN: I don’t think there is any problem with that.

GERRY D. KARST: Can we accept by common consent that we will put in the word “stated”? The chair recognizes Suranjeen Pallipamula.

SURANJEEN PALLIPAMULA: The motion changes the church structure from being largely federal to being central and giving importance to the General Conference. This is being done now in the fifty-ninth session. I just want to know if there is anything that led to this thinking.

HOMER TRECARTIN: There is no intention of changing the structure of the church. The practice all along has been that our stated fundamental beliefs are approved by the General Conference in session. But the Church Manual didn’t say that. The General Conference session has always elected division leadership and some of these other things, but the Church Manual didn’t say that. And because of various situations that have been arising, we felt it was important that those be clearly stated. It’s not changing anything; it’s just writing down what has been done all along.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Nikolaus Satelmajer.

NIKOLAUS SATELMAJER: Mr. Chairman, I think the word “determines” belongs there, but there is something that is missing. It’s not the General Conference that determines our fundamental beliefs; it’s the Scriptures. I think we need to start with different wording—the Holy Scriptures determine the fundamental beliefs; the General Conference summarizes or agrees to the main ones. Not having the Scriptures as the first part would be a grave omission. I move to refer that back to the committee.

GERRY D. KARST: There is a motion to refer this back to the committee. Is there support for that? It is seconded. Is there any discussion about the referral? If you support referring this back to the committee, show it with the uplifted card. Those who are opposed, by the same sign. The motion for referral is passed.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 13, lines 22-24, there’s an addition including legal language to limit ascending liability.

[The delegates discussed the paragraph and received input from the General Conference legal counsel. By a vote of 740-539, the paragraph was referred back to the Church Manual Committee for further clarification of the wording.]
The next addition is on page 14, lines 24 and 25. It stipulates that when organizations review the decisions of other organizations, they do not assume responsibility for the liabilities of those other organizations. Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of that addition. [Motion was moved, seconded, and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of chapter 3, except for those items that we’ve referred back to the committee.

GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded. [Motion was approved.]
We will conclude discussion on the Church Manual at this point now, at the conclusion of chapter 3.


Session Actions (Church Manual Only)

WHY A CHURCH MANUAL? - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, page 1, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

God is a God of order as evidenced in His works of creation and redemption. Consequently, order belongs to the essence of His Church. Order is achieved through principles and regulations that guide the Church in its internal operations and in the fulfillment of its mission to the world. In order for it to be a successful ecclesiastical organization at the service of the Lord and humanity, it needs order, rule, and discipline. Scripture affirms that “all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40).

CLARIFYING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MAIN TEXT
OF THE CHURCH MANUAL AND THE NOTES SECTION
(AUTHORITY AND FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH MANUAL) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To refer back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, Authority and Function of the Church Manual, pages 2-3, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Since then, the content of the Church Manual is divided into two types of material. The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is to be followed by every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variations in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guidance and examples, appears as Notes at the end of the Church Manual. The Notes have subheadings corresponding to chapter subheadings and page numbers of the main text.

ROLE OF THE CHURCH MANUAL (AUTHORITY AND FUNCTION
OF THE CHURCH MANUAL) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, Authority and Function of the Church Manual, page 3, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The standards and practices of the Church are based upon the principles of the Holy Scriptures. These principles, underscored by the Spirit of Prophecy, are set forth in this Church Manual. They are to be followed in all matters pertaining to the administration and operation of local churches. The Church Manual also defines the relationship that exists between the local congregation and the conference or other entities of Seventh-day Adventist denominational organization. No attempt should be made to set up standards of membership or to make, or attempt to enforce, rules or regulations for local church operations which are contrary to these decisions adopted by the General Conference in session and which are set forth in this Church Manual.

ROLE OF THE CHURCH MANUAL NOTES (MAKING CHANGES) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, Making Changes, pages 3-4, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The 2000 General Conference Session authorized the reclassification of some existing Church Manual material, into the Notes sections as guidance and examples rather than mandatory material, and approved the process for making changes. Changes in the Church Manual, except for the Notes and editorial changes, can be made only by action of a General Conference Session, where delegates of the world Church have voice and vote. If a local church, conference, or union conference/ mission wishes to propose a Church Manual revision, it should submit its proposal to the next constituent level for counsel and study. If that level approves the proposal, it submits the suggested revision to the next level for additional evaluation. If the various levels approve the proposal, it eventually comes before the General Conference Church Manual Committee, which considers all recommendations. If the Church Manual Committee approves a revision, it prepares it for presentation at an Annual Council and/ or General Conference Session.

METHOD FOR MAKING NON-SUBSTANTIVE EDITORIAL
CHANGES TO THE CHURCH MANUAL (MAKING
CHANGES) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, Making Changes, page 4, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The Church Manual Committee reports proposed non-substantive editorial changes to the main content of the Church Manual to an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee, which may give final approval. However, in the event the Annual Council determines by one-third vote that an editorial change substantively alters the meaning of a passage, the proposed change must go to the General Conference Session.

USE OF “CHURCH” IN THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the explanation for the use of “Church” in the Church Manual revision, to read as follows:

Church—For editorial and printing economy, “Church,” with capital “C,” in these pages is used in place of the full term Seventh-day Adventist Church and refers to the overall Church organization rather than to a local church or congregation, with the exception of when it is referred to within a quotation.

USE OF “CONFERENCE” IN THE CHURCH MANUAL -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the explanation for the use of “conference” in the Church Manual revision, to read as follows:

Conference, mission, section, delegation, field, union of churches—For purposes of editorial and printing economy, “conference” in these pages means “conference, mission, field, section, delegation, or union of churches,” as the administrative context indicates. Generally, each congregation is a member of the sisterhood of churches known as a conference, but until the local organization achieves conference status, under General Conference Working Policy it may be identified as a mission, section, delegation, or field. In some world divisions, unions of churches in a particular country function as a conference for local-church purposes and as a union for other Church organizational purposes. (See Chapter XX, Church Organization.)

USE OF “PASTOR” IN THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the explanation for the use of “pastor” in the Church Manual revision, to read as follows:

Pastor and minister—Most areas of the world Church use “pastor” to identify a member of the clergy, so that term is used in these pages rather than “minister,” regardless of the responsibilities assigned by the local conference. Use of the term here is not intended to mandate that usage where the custom is to use “minister.” Pastors referred to in this manual are those who have been appointed by the conference to oversee the affairs of the local church or district.

USE OF ABBREVIATIONS REFERENCING THE SPIRIT OF
PROPHECY IN THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the explanation for the use of abbreviations referencing the Spirit of Prophecy in the Church Manual revision, to read as follows:

Abbreviations of Ellen G. White’s books follow the “Key to Abbreviations” found in the front of most of her books and are listed in the Spirit of Prophecy Index on p. XX.

NEW KING JAMES VERSION AND THE CHURCH MANUAL -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the explanation for the use of the New King James Version in the Church Manual revision, to read as follows:

Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated, with the exception of when referred to within a Spirit of Prophecy quotation.

CHAPTER 1 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – AMENDMENTS

VOTED, To approve Chapter 1 of the revised Church Manual as presented and adjusted except for the one item referred back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta.

SUPREME OBJECT OF CHRIST’S REGARD - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 2, Church of the Living God, Supreme Object of Christ’s Regard, page 7, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The apostle Peter writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

CHAPTER 2 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – AMENDMENT

VOTED, To approve Chapter 2 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

CHURCH ORGANIZATION TODAY - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Church Organization Today, page 12, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

There are several organizational levels within the Church leading from the individual believer to the worldwide organization of the work. Membership units in each of these levels periodically convene formal business sessions known as constituency meetings or sessions. (The constituency meeting or session of a local church is generally referred to as a business meeting.) In Seventh-day Adventist Church structure, no organization determines its own status nor does it function as if it had no obligations to the Church family beyond its boundaries.

LOCAL CONFERENCE (OUTLINE OF DENOMINATIONAL
ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, page 12, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Local Conference—A group of local churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by action of a division executive committee at midyear, yearend, or division council meeting, official status as a Seventh-day Adventist local conference/ mission/ field and subsequently accepted, at a union constituency meeting, into the sisterhood of conferences/ missions. (See p. XX.)

UNION OF CHURCHES (OUTLINE OF DENOMINATIONAL
ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, page 12, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Union of Churches—A group of churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted, by a General Conference Session, official status as a union of churches with either conference or mission status.

UNION CONFERENCE/MISSION (OUTLINE OF DENOMINATIONAL
ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, page 12, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Union Conference/ Mission—A group of conferences, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by a General Conference Session official status as a union conference/ mission.

GENERAL CONFERENCE AND ITS DIVISIONS (OUTLINE OF
DENOMINATIONAL ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, pages 12-13, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

General Conference and its Divisions—The General Conference represents the worldwide expression of the Church. Its constituent membership is defined in its Constitution. To facilitate its worldwide activity, the General Conference has established regional offices, known as divisions of the General Conference, which have been assigned, by action of the General Conference Executive Committee at Annual Councils, general administrative oversight for designated groups of unions and other Church units within specific geographical areas.

ROLE OF GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSION AND THE GENERAL
CONFERENCE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (OUTLINE OF
DENOMINATIONAL ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To refer back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, page 13, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The General Conference in Session determines the fundamental beliefs of the Church, authorizes establishment of unions and the attachment of field units, revises the Church Manual, elects General Conference and division leadership, performs other functions as outlined in its Constitution and Bylaws, and considers items referred to it by its Executive Committee. The General Conference Executive Committee between Sessions is empowered by the Constitution and Bylaws to act on behalf of the constituents. Thus Church organizations around the world recognize the General Conference as the voice of the Church.

ROLE OF INSTITUTIONS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To refer back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Role of Institutions, page 13, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

No Church organization or institution assumes responsibility for the liabilities, debts, acts, or omissions of any other Church organization simply because of its Church affiliation.

GENERAL CONFERENCE THE HIGHEST AUTHORITY - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, General Conference the Highest Authority, page 14, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

When differences arise in or between churches and conferences or institutions, appeal to the next higher constituent level is proper until it reaches an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee or the General Conference Session. Between these meetings, the General Conference Executive Committee constitutes the body of final authority on all questions. The committee’s decision may be reviewed at a General Conference Session or an Annual Council. When organizations review decisions of other organizations, they do not assume responsibility for the liabilities of any other organization.

CHAPTER 3 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – AMENDMENTS

VOTED, To approve Chapter 3 of the revised Church Manual as presented except for the two items referred back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta.



Sixth Business Meeting

59th General Conference session, June 28, 2010, 9:15 a.m.

Proceedings (Church Manual Only)



LOWELL C. COOPER: We will return now to the Church Manual agenda, and we will ask Elder Armando Miranda and Elder Homer Trecartin to lead us to the items in the agenda and begin.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are glad that we did well yesterday. We covered 19 of the 95 items of the Church Manual. That means one every six minutes.  If we keep that rate, it will take seven and a half more hours.

Let me tell you also that we have three items that were referred back to the Church Manual Committee. I would like to invite those who have concerns to give us, in writing, your comments or ideas. We are open to receive your comments in order to do the best for the Church Manual. Elder Trecartin, please lead us into the next item.

HOMER TRECARTIN: [After explaining Church Manual procedures, the undersecretary continued.] We’re at chapter 4, which has no content changes. I would make a motion that we accept chapter 4 as presented in the agenda book. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

LOWELL C. COOPER: Please proceed.

HOMER TRECARTIN: We’re at page 20, and I will read from lines 19-27. “When the nucleus has voted on all potential members, the church is a complete entity and ready for election of officers. Members then should choose a nominating committee, with the officiating pastor serving as chairperson. The nominating committee brings in nominations to fill the various church offices. When these have been elected, the elders should be ordained, unless they have already been ordained as elders. A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and induction for deaconesses. Deaconesses may be ordained in divisions where the process has been approved by its executive committee. The church then is fully organized and ready for service.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition. [Motion was seconded.]

LOWELL C. COOPER: Pastor Miranda, you wanted to make a comment.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to be clear that the attempt of the Church Manual Committee is not to bring to the discussion the issue of ordination of women to the gospel ministry. This section, as well as the rest of the Church Manual, hasn’t dealt with that. We are just bringing this recommendation to the body because it focuses on deaconesses. We would like to share with you this quote from the Spirit of Prophecy, and you may see that it is specifically to the deaconesses. “Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessities of the poor. They should be set apart to this work by prayer and laying on of hands. In some cases they will need to counsel with the church officers or the minister; but if they are devoted women, maintaining a vital connection with God, they will be a power for good in the church. This is another means of strengthening and building up the church” (Review and Herald, July 9, 1895).

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you. We are ready for discussion of the motion. It looks like we have about 14 people lined up at the microphones. We will turn first of all to Dr. John Brunt.

JOHN BRUNT: Thank you. I am a local church pastor, and what we vote on this issue will not affect the actions of our congregation. Long before I got there 17 years ago, under the pastorate of Morris Venden, our congregation quit having deaconesses. They said that since in Romans 16 Phoebe is simply called a deacon, not a deaconess, they would have deacons. So we have deacons. Half are men. Half are women. All are ordained. But even though this present action will not affect us as a congregation, it certainly will affect attitudes in our congregation. Our church is going against the grain. The myth is that young adults and young families are leaving the church, but our local church is filled with young adults and young families. I wish I could take credit for that, but most of it has come because of God working through some amazingly gifted young women associates. Our family ministries has grown because for six years a dedicated young woman has nurtured that part of our church, and now that she has left to become the director of the conference summer camp, another young woman is developing it even more. Our young adult ministry has grown because of a multitalented young woman who came to our congregation five years ago. At that time there were six young adults in the young adult division, and now there are more than 200, who every week are studying the Sabbath school lesson quarterly. She also has instituted a program to educate them about the structure of the church, and although the myth is that young adults will give only to projects and not systematically, we have an amazing number of young adults who are regularly returning tithe.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Dr. Brunt, can I appeal that we speak to the motion.

JOHN BRUNT: OK. Though this action won’t affect the actions of our congregation, it will affect the attitudes of these young people. Even now they don’t understand why the women who minister to them are not recognized in the same way as the men. I have five male and two female associates right now. The young adults don’t understand that, but if we were to vote down something as innocuous as this, I tell you it would discourage them. And for our congregation they are not the future of our church, they are the present of our church, and we need them. And I think that the church as a whole needs them, if North America is going to have a real future in Adventism. And so I plead with us not to discourage these young adults, who need to be encouraged.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you very much. We will appeal to all those who are standing at the microphone to try to limit the time they speak, otherwise we may have to take an action about that. We will turn to Robert Brauer from the North American Division.

ROBERT BRAUER: I beg the indulgence of the chair. We just a few minutes ago voted chapter 4 of the Church Manual. There is a paragraph in chapter 4 that is not being abided by in any part of the world. It says that “in order that enemies of the Church may not gain access to our pulpits, no one should be allowed to speak to any congregation unless he/she presents a current denominational credential or license.” I would recommend that that be reworded to recognize the many laypeople who preach on a regular basis, who hold no credentials.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you, Brother Brauer. Perhaps we can just ask the Church Manual Committee to take a look at that. The motion that we are discussing is the insertion on page 20. [The insertion concerns the possibility of the ordination of deaconesses.] We will go to Ray Hartwell.

RAY HARTWELL: Mr. Chairman. I stand in favor of the motion as presented. I appreciate so much that the Church Manual has presented a clear statement from the Spirit of Prophecy. Not knowing they were going to present that, I too had that statement ready. We have definite inspired counsel from the servant of the Lord that this is a practice we should follow and observe in our churches. We are not looking at a Roman Catholic view of ordination; neither are we looking at a cultural view of ordination. In this instance we are only recognizing individuals who have a definite gift to minister in a local setting, and this service would recognize that as a church—that these individuals are used by God and are setting them apart for that ministry. So again, Mr. Chairman, I stand in favor of this motion.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you very much. We continue with Reno Paotonu from the South Pacific Division.

RENO PAOTONU: I just want to clarify the discussion on the amendment. Basically whatever decision that we make in regard to this amendment, it will actually affect the amendments on page 61.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I intended to make that a part of my motion. We should be voting this and also where it appears on page 61.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Samuel Sinyangwe from the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division.

SAMUEL SINYANGWE: Mr. Chairman, I stand to speak against the motion, for the reason that it appears to me that the direction the church is taking is that of division based on regions. But we are looking at the world church here. We may say this is not women’s ordination, but what is the difference between deaconesses’ ordination and women’s ordination?

HOMER TRECARTIN: We are not in any way talking about ordination of any group except deaconesses. Let me read to you from the current Church Manual, page 58. It says, “The church may arrange for a suitable service of induction for the deaconess by an ordained minister holding current credentials.” In many parts of the world that suitable service of induction has been interpreted to allow for the ordination of deaconesses. And from the quote that we have from Ellen White, we feel that we should make it clear that that induction service wasn’t required to be ordination but did allow for ordination.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you. Can we move on? [There was a lengthy discussion concerning the amendment.]

We will proceed to Jeroen Tunistra from the Trans-European Division.

JEROEN TUNISTRA: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask whether the Church Manual Committee could explain to me the difference between the types of ordination. The reason for that is that what we create here is a theological problem on which we define ordination for deaconesses, elders, and women as completely different types of ordination, which I believe is unbiblical. We have already voted, in the past, that elders, female elders, are allowed to be ordained. I would like to make an amendment to the motion to actually change the sentence in front of what we are looking at now in chapter 20 into the following, “A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and deaconesses,” and then leave the rest out of the manual. I so move.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you. You are amending the sentence in line 24 so that we would not be dealing with the sentence that is the one under discussion, am I correct?

JEROEN TUNISTRA: Mr. Chairman, we are discussing the chapter in full, so any amendments would be amendments to the motion on the floor.

LOWELL COOPER: Yes, I understand. I just want it to be clear that amending the one statement would have the result of removing the second statement.

JEROEN TUNISTRA: Yes, sir, that is correct.

LOWELL C. COOPER: OK. Is there support? [The motion for the proposed amendment was seconded. A lengthy discussion followed.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you. It seems to me that this is not an amendment. It totally changes the original motion.

LOWELL C. COOPER: The thought here is the proposal is hostile to the original motion. Perhaps we better have the body decide on that. The question is whether the proposed amendment is hostile to the original motion. [A vote indicated that the body felt the proposed amendment should be allowed.]

The proposed amendment is therefore before us to consider. Elder Satelmajer, are you speaking to this item?

NIKOLAUS SATELMAJER: Yes, point of order. Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that we are not amending these proposals from the floor, but are referring them back to the committee. Is that what we are doing?

My understanding is that we refer the item back and we do not make major amendments here. I’m not speaking for or against it; I’m asking a procedural question.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you very much. I think we had agreed at the outset that we would ask the Church Manual Committee leadership if an item needed to be referred. If it was a minor amendment, we could take it here. And maybe we need to ask them if this, in their view, is an item that should go back to the Church Manual Committee.

NIKOLAUS SATELMAJER: Or perhaps the body should vote.

LOWELL C. COOPER: All right, thank you.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Yes, Elder Miranda.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: If it be the will of the people just to refer back, we accept that.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Is there any objection to us letting this item go to the committee with the comments that have been shared with us?

[After further discussion, it was voted that the item should not be referred back to the Church Manual Committee.]

So with that I believe we are back at the point that we accepted as a nonhostile motion the rephrasing of a sentence beginning on line 24.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Would you like me to read that, Mr. Chairman, as it would read?

LOWELL C. COOPER: Would you please read that to get it before us again?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Starting on line 24, it would say: “A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and deaconesses. The church then is fully organized and ready for service.” [It was discussed how this would affect page 61.]

ISRAEL LEITO: [Introduced a motion to table the discussion for now, considering the amount of time it was taking. This motion did not succeed. The discussion returned to the proposed amendment.]

LOWELL C. COOPER: We have another point of order, Alvaro Sauza from the North American Division. [Discussion followed on how to proceed; it was decided that discussion of the proposed amendment would continue. Several speakers made points of order before the discussion drew to a close.]

Are you wishing to speak to this item?

EZEKIEL ADELEYE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I stand to emphasize that whether the motion on the floor is amended or not, the issue at stake is ordination of a deaconess. I am speaking against it because it has been bothering my heart. Our church believes that ordination is the granting of higher responsibilities. The deaconesses we are planning to ordain—what responsibilities do we want to grant them that they do not already have? Is it to join a couple in marriage? No. Is it to baptize? No. Those are not the issues. They are already serving. But to ordain them is to go against the Scriptures.

LOWELL C. COOPER: We will have to conclude this session before 11:00. It doesn’t mean we need to conclude the discussion. We go to Karen Allen from the North American Division.

KAREN ALLEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I stand in support of the motion. I guess I am saddened as I listen to the discussion.  Think about the Bible, and you think about Deborah, you think about Zacharias’ wife, you think about all the women who were uplifted by inspiration to give us direction for opening the door for ordaining women as pastors, elders, and now deaconesses.  There are a lot of women in this church.  I am not going to ask you for the percentage of women versus men. There also a number of churches in which only women are serving. So they need to have that ordination. So in view of that, I would like to move that we vote in support of this amendment.

LOWELL C. COOPER: There is a motion before us that, if approved, would require us to vote on the matter before us. And I see that the motion is seconded and it is not debatable. Therefore, we will ask you to vote.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we will now be voting on the amended material starting on line 24. “A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and deaconesses.  The church then is fully organized and ready for service.” [The amendment was voted, and subsequently the original motion, that the Church Manual henceforth would allow for service and ordination of deaconesses, was voted.]

LOWELL C. COOPER: We have five or six minutes left. We turn back to Elder Miranda and Elder Trecartin.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 21, lines 3-7, we have an addition that expands the purposes for establishing a company.  Let me read that paragraph. The highlighted areas in your book are what is being added to the paragraph.

“Where a number of isolated believers reside near one another or where they belong to a small group, house church, or church planting core group, they should consider forming a company of believers for fellowship, worship, and mission with the objective of growing into an organized church or multiplying house churches in that geographical area.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

Mr. Chairman, I think that we have time for one more—on page 21, lines 10-12. There is an addition highlighting the need for guidelines for organizing companies.  Let me read the paragraph, beginning on page 21, line 9.

“Company status is approved by vote of the conference committee, which, should it become necessary, may subsequently dissolve the company. The division and/or conference should have written guidelines for organizing companies within its territory.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of this addition. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

LOWELL C. COOPER: We understand that a number of people who had lined up for an earlier action left their badges at the registration point for the speakers’ line. We have someone at the microphone, Ray Hartwell.

RAY HARTWELL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As a delegate to Utrecht, to Toronto, to St. Louis, and also here, it appears to me that the world body needs some help in dealing in a united way with the question of ordination. I would like to suggest a motion that we ask the Steering Committee to consider bringing back to the body the request that I made earlier, and that the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University be commissioned to research and present a detailed theology of ordination based on the Holy Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, with input from Adventist Bible scholars from all other parts of the world field. This theology of ordination would be presented to the General Conference Annual Council by the year 2013.

LOWELL C. COOPER: Thank you, Brother Hartwell. I think our procedural understanding at the beginning of the session and in voting of the terms of reference for the Steering Committee would imply that a new motion of this kind would go first of all to the Steering Committee. And the Steering Committee would report back to the session regarding the processing of such a proposal. So I don’t think there’s anything we need to vote on here, because we voted that as a process by which we would deal with new items that were introduced. I noticed there were several people who were willing to second your motion, but with the understanding of what we agreed to do in the beginning of the session, we will take that as a referral to the Steering Committee. I think we have approached the 11:00 hour. We will suspend discussion at this point. The business meeting continues to be in session, for we expect that we may be hearing from the Nominating Committee following the next presentation according to the program guide.

PASSMORE HACHALINGA: [Prayer.]

    AGUSTIN GALICIA, Secretary
    CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor
    REINDER BRUINSMA and LARRY COLBURN, Assistant Proceedings Editors


Actions (Church Manual Only)

CHAPTER 4 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION
VOTED,  To approve Chapter 4 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

DEACONESSES (ORGANIZING A CHURCH) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION
VOTED,  To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Church, page 20, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

When the nucleus has voted on all potential members, the church is a complete entity and ready for election of officers.  Members then should choose a nominating committee, with the officiating pastor serving as chairperson.  The nominating committee brings in nominations to fill the various church offices.  When these have been elected, the elders should be ordained, unless they have already been ordained as elders.  A similar but shorter service should take place for ordination of deacons and deaconesses.  The church then is fully organized and ready for service.

PURPOSE FOR ESTABLISHING A COMPANY (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION
VOTED,  To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 21, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Where a number of isolated believers reside near one another or where they belong to a small group, house church, or church planting core group, they should consider forming a company of believers for fellowship, worship, and mission with the objective of growing into an organized church or multiplying house churches in that geographical area.

THE NEED FOR GUIDELINES FOR ORGANIZING A COMPANY (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION
VOTED,  To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 21, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Company status is approved by vote of the conference committee, which, should it become necessary, may subsequently dissolve the company.  The division and/ or conference should have written guidelines for organizing companies within its territory.

Prayer was offered by Lowell C Cooper, General Vice President of the General Conference.

     Lowell C Cooper, Chair
    Agustin Galicia, Secretary
    Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
    Tamara K Boward, Recording Secretary



Seventh Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference session, June 28, 2010, 3:00 p.m.

Proceedings  (church manual only)

GERRY D. KARST: Now we are going to continue with the Church Manual items, and I will turn to Elder Trecartin and Elder Miranda to tell us where we are in the process and what item we will take up next. [The chairman and secretary of the Church Manual Committee guided the delegates through a large number of Church Manual items, which were voted upon, item by item. At a point in this discussion an item regarding letters of transfer in certain cases was introduced.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Page 37, lines 13-17. This concerns qualifying statements to accompany a membership transfer in the case of child abuse. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to read the entire paragraph, beginning on page 37, line 11.
“Letters Granted Only to Those in Regular Standing. Letters of transfer are granted to members in regular standing, never to a member under discipline. Qualifying statements are out of order, except when the pastor or board of the granting church has factual or proven knowledge that the member has been involved as a perpetrator of child abuse. In that case, for the safety of children, the pastor or elder should provide a confidential statement alerting the pastor or elder of the congregation to which the member is transferring.”

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: We have the motion and the second. And now I see Gerson Perla at the mike.

GERSON R. PERLA: We may be leaving ourselves a little bit open for some liability of a different kind. Example, defamation, or not having the actual definition of what is proven knowledge or factual knowledge, as the language suggests. I’m wondering if we might consider amending this language, keeping the spirit of the language but clarifying the person as one who would be someone convicted of a child abuse crime. There have been cases of allegations that have not been proved, and I think legally the best thing is to have a conviction instead of just factual knowledge. So I would propose to amend this to say, leaving most of the language, “has factual, or proven knowledge that the member has been convicted of a child abuse crime.”

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, we sought counsel when we were dealing with this item, and we had the advice of a general counsel. We would like to ask if Brother Doukmetzian has anything to add to this.

GERRY D. KARST: We have Karnik Doukmetzian, general counsel for the General Conference, going to the microphone to perhaps provide some context for this. Thank you for your question. Just remain there while we have this comment.

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. While I agree with my fellow colleague, there are times that convictions may not occur for a variety of reasons. So the words “factual or proven knowledge” were inserted to provide a little bit of latitude for a church organization to act in this manner.

GERRY D. KARST: Is that helpful?

GERSON R. PERLA: It’s helpful. My intent is also to protect the church from being sued by someone who has not been convicted, and to avoid a case in which the facts did not end up with a conviction.

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: Mr. Chairman, my preference is likewise that the church not be sued, but I would much rather defend the defamation action than have a child abused.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you very much. Moises Sanchez.

MOISES REYNA SANCHEZ: Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment on this expression. This can be a two-edged sword. We can actually tag a person forever even if that person has been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. I feel glad that we are protecting our children. I think those indications are already in chapter 8, where we have all the steps and processes of how we need to take care of our children. But if this person has received all the assistance that the church provides—psychological assistance, for instance—and if that person has been transferred to another church, I don’t think it’s necessary, or convenient, to tell the elder of the other church what the individual’s past experience was. I think the expression was OK, but I don’t think we should give that recommendation. Thank you.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Karen Flowers.

KAREN FLOWERS: I do not think that it is the intent of this motion to deny forgiveness, or the power of God to work in the life of someone, even someone who has perpetrated abuse against a child. However, with some actions that are so grave and so far-reaching in their effects come consequences that are permanent. And I believe the church is taking up its responsibility when we protect children from any possibility of abuse at the hands of someone who has already demonstrated a weakness in this area. So I would like to support very strong wording in terms of the protection of children.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Karen Flowers has spent years in family ministry. Lois Peters.

LOIS PETERS: I also would like to support this motion. I’m a pediatric nurse, and with anyone who has molested or hurt a child, the information needs to be passed on to the next group that that individual becomes a part of. It then behooves the leadership to help this person through prayer, friendship, and support. And we’re not saying that the person would not be accepted for membership. It’s just to protect the children in the area near this person. Even in the public sector, if you move to another area you need to be registered. So I support this motion.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. We have three more speakers. Perhaps after the third speaker, if we have spent enough time on this point we can call for a vote. But first of all, Abram Setsiba.

ABRAM MPAPI SETSIBA: Mr. Chairman, this is an applaudable attempt. However, in the light of the potential consequences of a suit, given that yesterday we were discussing ascending liability, there’s no doubt the church would like to protect itself from such occurrences.

GERRY D. KARST: Mr. Doukmetzian, any response to that?

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: This is not really an issue of ascending liability. This is an area in which we need to protect our children. We also have to be consistent in our statements. You’ll recall that a public statement was released yesterday on the nurture and protection of children. In fact, let me read a paragraph from that statement. It says, “Because of the complex nature of the problem of child sexual abuse and violence against children, intervention and treatment of perpetrators requires resources beyond the scope of ministry provided by the local church. However, the presence of a known perpetrator in a congregation calls for the highest level of vigilance. While perpetrators should be held fully responsible for their own behavior, the supervision of persons with a history of inappropriate behavior is necessary to ensure that such persons maintain appropriate distance and refrain from all contact with children during church-related activities.” We need to be consistent. And all this paragraph in the Church Manual says is that, if such an individual is in our congregation and moves to another congregation, we need to make sure that the new congregation is aware of what has transpired so that the full intent of our public statement and our internal church operations are relying on each other. [Several speakers commented on legal and other aspects before the item was put to a vote. All proposed changes were voted and approved.]

[Ensuing Church Manual discussion included, on page 44, “Reasons for Discipline,” which included “sexual abuse of . . . youth,” “promiscuity,” and “the production, use, or distribution of pornography”; and other Church Manual amendments.]

[There was considerable debate about the addition of a few lines urging caution when reinstating members that have been disciplined because of sexual abuse. After a few additional adaptations made by the Church Manual Committee after the agenda book was printed, the text now reads as follows: “With respect to perpetrators of sexual abuse, restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious violation. For their own protection and the safety of vulnerable individuals, while attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines, a person convicted or disciplined for sexual abuse shall not be placed in a role which may put them in contact with children, youth, and other vulnerable individuals or in a position which would encourage vulnerable individuals to trust them implicitly.” It was moved to approve this paragraph by the Executive Committee. However, a delegate’s request to put the text on the screen proved impossible, so the statement was reread. Subsequently it was decided that the item be tabled until the words could be projected onto the screen.]

[The discussion moved on to the aspect of administering discipline.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, page 50, lines 9-12, contains an addition clarifying the appeal process in cases of discipline. I think I should read the entire paragraph, even though there’s only a small insertion. Starting on line 4: “Right of Appeal for Reinstatement—While it is the right of the church to administer discipline, this does not set aside the rights of members to seek fairness. If members believe that they have been treated unfairly by the local church, or not had the right to be heard fairly, and the church is unwilling to reconsider the case or if the officers refuse to consider their applications for reinstatement, the former members have a right to appeal in writing to the church for a hearing. The church should not neglect or refuse to grant such hearings. If it does, or if the former members still feel unfairly treated by the church after the appeal, they have the right to a final appeal for a hearing to the executive committee of the conference.” [After a short discussion, the motion to make the change was seconded and voted.]

[Next were a few issues dealing with the giving of tithe by local church leaders. One point stipulated that this tithe must be given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, rather than an organization of one’s own choice.]

[After additional Church Manual amendments, the method for changing the Church Manual was explained.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: The Church Manual says that if there is to be a change, if we see something and we have a burden that there needs to be an addition or a deletion, we should take that to our conference’s executive committee. We should take the recommendation to our officers, and the officers of the executive committee will look at it, study it, pray about it, and if they feel this is a change that is significant, they will vote a recommendation to the union’s executive committee. This body will look at it, study it, and pray about it, and then vote a recommendation to the division to be passed on to the General Conference’s Church Manual Committee and then to the last Executive Committee prior to the General Conference session and then to this delegation.

Obviously, this is a long, slow process. All of us would like to speed things up and jump over some of those levels, but this is a safety for us at every level of the church to be looking at, praying over, and studying recommended change. If a change makes it all the way through to this body, we can be sure that many people in many places have thought and prayed about it.
So, Mr. Chairman, I would encourage each of the people here to take note of it. That will be useful for further sessions.

[A delegate expressed his wish to introduce a new topic, but it was reconfirmed, through consulting the body, that this was not permissible.]

[The text of the item about the restoration to membership of perpetrators of sexual abuse was then put on the screen. The discussion on this item then resumed.]

GERRY D. KARST: We have at the microphone Jeroen Tuinstra.

JEROEN TUINSTRA: Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest that we go back to the original text and to take out the addition since we’re dealing here with perpetrators of sexual abuse and it is known that they often are manipulative. Therefore we should protect victims of sexual abuse at all times, including during our church services. Meaning that if a sexual perpetrator is attending a church service at which a victim is present, the perpetrator may try to get in contact, if even only to apologize or something like that, and that may not be appreciated by victims. So I would move to take out that portion that was added by the committee and to leave it as you suggested originally.

HOMER TRECARTIN: His amendment is to remove the added portion, which said “while attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines.”

Mr. Chairman, if that passes, I would rather that we take this back to the committee than to try to deal with it here, because there is other language in here that would conflict with that. It talks about contact with children, with youth, with other vulnerable individuals, not just the victim. We don’t have any language in here specifically dealing with the victim.

GERRY D. KARST: Would you be in favor, brother, of a motion to refer this and let the committee work on it, rather than attempting to make the adjustment here?

JEROEN TUINSTRA: Yes.

[It was so moved, seconded, and voted. Subsequently a vote was taken to approve the changes in chapter 7.]

[More Church Manual discussion followed, and actions were taken regarding the marriage ceremony and local laws, and the responsibility of elders to be spiritual leaders and supporters of conference policies. There was a motion to refer back the section concerning deacons and deaconesses, and to attempt to make the language more gender-inclusive. It was seconded, but the motion failed.]

GERRY D. KARST: That is going to conclude our business session on the Church Manual for today.

GARY PARKS: [Benediction.]

GERRY D. KARST, Chair

AGUSTIN GALICIA, Secretary

CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor

REINDER BRUINSMA and LARRY COLBURN, Assistant Proceedings Editors


Session Actions (Church Manual Only)

FORMING COMPANIES THROUGH A MOTHER CHURCH
(ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 21, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Church members who are part of small groups or house groups may form the nucleus of a new company. Membership of all those who want to be part of a company should be held in either the conference church or a local church (mother church). If membership for those who want to be part of a company is to be held in the conference church, the conference committee will vote their membership transfers to the conference church and indicate that they are part of the new company.

COMPANY LEADERSHIP TEAM SHOULD INCLUDE CLERK
(ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 21, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

When the conference committee approves establishment of a company, a leadership team should be appointed, including a leader, a clerk, and a treasurer. The appointment should be carried out by the district pastor, or other pastor appointed by the conference committee, in counsel with the group being established as a company.

COMPANY LEADERS SHOULD BE MEMBERS OF THE SEVENTH-DAY
ADVENTIST CHURCH (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 21, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

All other company appointments should be made by vote of those who are part of the group that is forming the company. The district pastor or other person authorized by the conference committee shall preside at such a meeting. Only members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in regular standing shall be appointed.

THE WORK OF A CLERK IN A COMPANY (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, pages 21-22, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The clerk of the company shall keep record of all activities and meetings of the company and shall send regular statistical reports to the mother church or the conference executive secretary. These reports should include statistics on attendance and activities of the company, including outreach ministries conducted during the week or on Sabbath.

MEMBERSHIP TRANSFERS NOT HANDLED BY COMPANY (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 22, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

If the members of an organized company are members of the conference church, the company does not possess the right to administer discipline or transfer or receive members. All such matters must be referred to the conference committee, which constitutes the board of the conference church. The conference president is the elder of the conference church.

COMPANIES FORMED THROUGH A MOTHER CHURCH (ORGANIZIING A COMPANY) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Organizing a Company, page 22, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

If the conference organizes a company through a neighboring mother church instead of through the conference church, the functions listed above (such as reporting and membership) would be cared for by/ through the mother church.


CHURCH STATUS (DISSOLVING OR EXPELLING CHURCHES) –
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Dissolving or Expelling Churches, page 23, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Church status is not necessarily perpetual. A church may be dissolved or expelled from the sisterhood of churches for the following reasons:

1. Loss of Members—No changes were made to the rest of this section in the Church
Manual Revision

UNION OF CHURCHES APPEAL PROCESS (DISSOLVING OR
EXPELLING CHURCHES) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Dissolving or Expelling Churches, Discipline, page 25, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

2) Appeal to the union executive committee, or to the division in case
of a union of churches, to arbitrate on behalf of the church.

MEMBERSHIP HELD IN CONFERENCE CHURCH (CARE OF MEMBERS, RECORDS, AND FUNDS) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Care of Members, Records, and Funds, page 25, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Loyal members of a dissolved or expelled church may desire to retain their memberships in the Church. To ensure their welfare, their memberships shall be provisionally held for up to one year in the conference church to allow opportunity for those who desire to have their memberships in the conference church confirmed or transferred to another church. Their standing shall be evaluated by the conference committee, and, if satisfactory, the conference committee may recommend them for membership in the conference church or churches of their choice.


CHURCH RETURNING TO COMPANY STATUS (CARE OF MEMBERS, RECORDS, AND FUNDS) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Care of Members, Records, and Funds, pages 25-26, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

In cases where discipline is not involved, an alternative to dissolving or expelling a church is to return it to company status. Such a decision will be made by a majority vote of the conference committee, following consultation with the district pastor and members, and conveyed to the church by the pastor or conference representative.

COMPANIES INCLUDE CLERK IN LEADERSHIP TEAM (CARE OF MEMBERS, RECORDS, AND FUNDS) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 5, Organizing, Uniting, and Dissolving Churches and Companies, Care of Members, Records, and Funds, page 26, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

At a business meeting (see p. XX), letters of transfer may be voted to all remaining members in regular standing to the conference church or to other churches in the cases of any members who wish to transfer. At the same meeting, the pastor, in counsel with the local members, shall appoint from the members of the new company a leadership team including a leader, a clerk, and a treasurer. For details of other organizational matters relating to a company, see “Organized Companies” on p. XX.

CHAPTER 5 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – REVISIONS

VOTED, To approve Chapter 5 of the revised Church Manual as presented and adjusted.

BAPTISM (MEMBERSHIP) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 6, Membership, page 26, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The apostle Paul writes: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3, 4).

REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED (MEMBERSHIP) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 6, Membership, page 26, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Luke also reports: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ . . . ’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:38, 41).

BAPTISM - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 6, Membership, Baptism, page 27, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Membership in the Church is only possible in those churches included in the sisterhood of churches recognized by a conference.

BAPTISMAL VOW AND COMMITMENT - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 6, Membership, Baptismal Vow and Commitment, page 28, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The pastor or elder should address the following questions to the candidate(s), whose reply may be by verbal assent, raising the hand, or other culturally appropriate method.

LETTERS GRANTED ONLY TO THOSE IN REGULAR STANDING -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 6, Membership, Transferring Members, Letters Granted Only to Those in Regular Standing, page 37, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Letters Granted Only to Those in Regular Standing—Letters of transfer are granted only to members in regular standing, never to a member under discipline. Qualifying statements are out of order except when the pastor or board of the granting church has factual or proven knowledge that the member has been involved as a perpetrator of child abuse. In that case, for the safety of children, the pastor or elder should provide a confidential statement alerting the pastor or elder of the congregation to which the member is transferring.

CHAPTER 6 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – REVISIONS

VOTED, To approve Chapter 6 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

SEXUAL ABUSE AND PRODUCTION, USE, OR DISTRIBUTION
OF PORNOGRAPHY (REASONS FOR DISCIPLINE) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Reasons for Discipline, page 44, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Sexual abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults, fornication, promiscuity, incest, homosexual practice, the production, use, or distribution of pornography, and other sexual perversions.

USE OR MANUFACTURE OF ILLICIT DRUGS (REASONS FOR
DISCIPLINE) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Reasons for Discipline, page 45, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The use or manufacture of illicit drugs or the misuse of, or trafficking in, narcotics or other drugs.

PROCESS OF DISCIPLINE - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Process of Discipline, page 46, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Votes of censure must not carry any provision involving removal of membership in case of failure to comply with any condition imposed. Assessment should be made at the expiration of the period of censure to determine whether the disciplined members have changed course. If their conduct is satisfactory, they may then be considered in regular standing without further action and shall be notified that the censure has ended. If their conduct is not satisfactory, the church again should consider appropriate discipline. Any return to church office must be by election.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE MEMBERS - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Process of Discipline, Fundamental Rights of the Members, page 47, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Fundamental Rights of the Members—Members have a fundamental right to prior notification of the disciplinary meeting and the right to be heard in their own defense, introduce evidence, and produce witnesses. No church should vote to remove a member under circumstances that deprive the member of these rights. Written notice must be given at least two weeks before the meeting and include the reasons for the disciplinary hearing.

REINSTATING THOSE REMOVED FROM MEMBERSHIP - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To refer back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Process of Discipline, Reinstating Those Removed From Membership, page 49, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

With respect to perpetrators of sexual abuse, restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious violation. For their own protection and the safety of vulnerable individuals, a person convicted or disciplined for sexual abuse should not be placed in a role which may put them in unsupervised contact with children and other vulnerable individuals or in a position which would encourage vulnerable individuals to trust them implicitly.

RIGHT OF APPEAL FOR REINSTATEMENT - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Process of Discipline, Right of Appeal for Reinstatement, page 50, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Right of Appeal for Reinstatement—While it is the right of the church to administer discipline, this does not set aside the rights of members to seek fairness. If members believe that they have been treated unfairly by the local church, or not had the right to be heard fairly, and the church is unwilling to reconsider the case or if the officers refuse to consider their applications for reinstatement, the former members have a right to appeal in writing to the church for a hearing. The church should not neglect or refuse to grant such hearings. If it does, or if the former members still feel unfairly treated by the church after the appeal, they have the right to a final appeal for a hearing to the executive committee of the conference.

CHAPTER 7 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL – REVISIONS

VOTED, To approve Chapter 7 of the revised Church Manual as presented and adjusted except for the one item referred back to the Church Manual Committee of the General Conference Session in Atlanta.

SETTING TITHING EXAMPLE - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, General Qualifications, Setting Tithing Example, page 53, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Setting Tithing Example—All officers shall set an example in the matter of returning a faithful tithe to the Church. Anyone who fails to set such an example shall not be elected to church office.

NOT DELEGATES EX OFFICIO - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, General Qualifications, Not Delegates Ex Officio, page 53, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Not Delegates Ex Officio—No church officer is a delegate ex officio to a conference session. If the church wants an officer to serve as a delegate, it must elect that officer as a delegate.

RELATIONSHIP TO THE PASTOR - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Elders, Relationship to the Pastor, page 55, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Relationship to the Pastor—If the conference committee assigns a pastor or pastors to the congregation, the pastor, or senior pastor if more than one, should be considered the ranking officer and the local elders as assistants. Since their work is closely related, they should work together harmoniously. The pastor should not assume all lines of responsibility but should share these with the elders and other officers. The pastor serving the church regularly acts as the chairperson of the board. (See p. XX.) There may be circumstances, however, when it would be advisable for an elder to act as chairperson. The pastoral work of the church should be shared by the pastor and the elders. In counsel with the pastor, the elders should visit members, minister to the sick, foster prayer ministries, arrange or lead out in anointing services and child dedications, encourage the disheartened, and assist in other pastoral responsibilities. As undershepherds, elders should exercise constant vigilance over the flock.

CONDUCTING CHURCH SERVICES – CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Elders, Conducting Church Services, page 56, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual – Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Conducting Church Services—Under the pastor, or in the absence of the pastor, an elder is responsible for the services of the church and must either conduct them or arrange for someone to do so. Communion services must always be conducted by an ordained/commissioned pastor or local elder. The pastor usually chairs the business meeting. In the absence of the pastor, and with approval of the pastor or the conference president, an elder should serve as chairperson.

MARRIAGE CEREMONY - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Elders, Marriage Ceremony, page 56, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Marriage Ceremony—In a marriage ceremony, the charge, vows, and declaration of marriage are given only by an ordained pastor except in those areas where division committees have approved that selected licensed or commissioned pastors who have been ordained as local elders may perform the ceremony. (See p. XX.) Local laws may require that persons conducting marriage ceremonies also hold state licensure/permit to do so. An ordained pastor, a licensed or commissioned pastor, or an elder may deliver the sermonette, offer the prayer, and give the blessing. (See Notes, #X, p. XX.)

TO FOSTER BIBLE STUDY, PRAYER, AND A RELATIONSHIP
WITH JESUS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Elders, To Foster Bible Study, Prayer, and a Relationship With Jesus, page 56, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

To Foster Bible Study, Prayer, and a Relationship With Jesus—As spiritual leaders, elders are responsible for encouraging members to develop a personal relationship with Jesus by strengthening their habits of personal Bible study and prayer. Elders should model a commitment to Bible study and prayer. An effective personal prayer life of every member, supporting all ministries and programs of the local church, will enhance the church’s mission. Elders may ask the board to appoint a council to assist in this role of development and encouragement.

TO COOPERATE WITH THE CONFERENCE - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Elders, To Cooperate with the Conference, page 57, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

To Cooperate with the Conference—The pastor, elders, and all officers should cooperate with conference officers and departmental directors in carrying out approved plans. They should inform the church of all regular and special offerings, promote all the programs and activities of the church, and encourage all officers to support conference plans and policies.

ASSISTANCE AT COMMUNION SERVICE - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Deacons, Assistance at Communion Service, page 60, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Remaining bread and wine should not be consumed, but disposed of in a respectful manner by deacons and deaconesses following the Lord’s Supper.


Gerry D Karst, Chair
Agustin Galicia, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Rowena J Moore, Recording Secretary


Eighth Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference session, June 29, 2010, 9:15 a.m.

Proceedings (Church Manual Only)

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We would like to again move into our agenda. I believe that we are still discussing the Church Manual items. I know that we have much material to cover. The session business time is ticking by, but we want to take time to consider the items carefully. It’s not the intention, I think, of anyone here to rush the discussion, but I have been told by those who have taken major responsibility for work on the Church Manual that of the items remaining, some are merely editorial. Such items hopefully can be dealt with quickly, and so I am hoping that today we can move though these issues with this in mind.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me tell you that we are making very good progress. We have only 42 items left, so that means that we have covered 53 of the 95. I am going to read the recommendation on page 61, lines 14-20: “Board of Deaconesses—If a church elects several deaconesses, it should organize a board of deaconesses chaired by the head deaconess and another deaconess serving as secretary. This board is authorized to assign duties to individual deaconesses and cooperates closely with the board of deacons, especially in welcoming members and visitors and in home visitation. . . . It also provides a training ground where new deaconesses are instructed in their duties.” I move this recommendation.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It has been moved and seconded. Is there any discussion on the floor?

The chair recognizes Phil Gai.

PHILIP GAI: Mr. Chairman, did I not hear yesterday that this section on deacons and deaconesses was supposed to be merged together and come back to us as a joint section? Why are we discussing it separately?

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I believe it was voted down, but I am going to ask Homer Trecartin give you a statement on that.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Yes, that motion was made, but it was voted down, so we are not taking it back to the committee.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: The chair recognizes Jeroen Tuinstra.

JEROEN TUINSTRA: I believe, when we voted yesterday on previous pages dealing with deacons and deaconesses, it was stated that page 61 would be sent back to the Church Manual Committee. Yesterday a vote was taken concerning the merging of two chapters. That was defeated; however, it was stated before the vote that page 61 would go back to the Church Manual Committee for the changes to take effect, which was voted through.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I think there are portions that aren’t affected by that, but we will turn to those who are organizing this and hear their statement.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: You are correct; but we are referring to lines 24-31, the only section we are referring back because of the vote we took on the deaconesses. The only section affected on page 61 is lines 24-31.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Very good. Those in favor of approving this, please show it by raising voting cards. And those opposed, by the same sign. That is carried.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Now we are going to lines 36-38. “Greeting and Visiting Guests and Members—In many churches, deaconesses assist in greeting guests and members at meetings and in visiting members in their homes when they cannot attend services.” I move this inclusion.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It has been moved and seconded.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Let me tell you, Mr. Chairman, that this is a regular practice of many churches around the world, but now we’re adding this paragraph officially.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: The chair recognizes Jeroen Tuinstra.

JEROEN TUINSTRA: I was wondering why is this part was not included with the deacons, as I expect deacons also to greet and meet people at church.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I’m hearing someone say that that’s on page 60.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Page 60, line 10, says, “Assistance at Services and Meetings—Deacons are usually responsible for welcoming members and visitors as they enter the church,” and we felt that that needed to be in both places.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Those in favor of this, please show it by raising your voting card. Those that are opposed? That is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 62 there is an addition on lines 19-21 including care and maintenance of property as a possible part of the duties of a deaconess. Previously it’s just been in the deacons’ section. “Care and Maintenance of Property—In churches where the responsibility for the care and maintenance of church property is not assigned to a building committee, deacons and deaconesses have this responsibility.”

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It’s been moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Page 69, lines 9-13, includes an addition regarding background checks in order to protect children. “Everyone involved in work with children must meet Church and legal standards and requirements, such as background checks or certification. Local church leaders should consult with the conference which will ascertain and advise as to what background checks and certifications are available and/or required.” I move the addition of this paragraph on page 69 and also where it appears on pages 80, 87, 88, and 89.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: The chair recognizes Herbert Giebel.

HERBERT GIEBEL: I’m wondering, for the sake of brevity and not being redundant, if we could just leave it here on page 80 and then eliminate the other paragraphs in the pages to follow, since the same paragraph is repeated three times.

HOMER TRECARTIN: It’s actually repeated five times, but it was felt that a person may not look at the children’s ministries section. It is such a significant issue that it needs to be included in each of those sections.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Those in favor of approving this, raise your voting card. Those opposed, by the same sign. That is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we are recommending something that wasn’t in the previous manual. It’s simply a reference that there are resources available and that those resources will be listed in the notes. Because the resources change periodically, we don’t want them listed in the main manual. I would move that we approve the inclusion of this reference to the notes at each of the places it occurs through the rest of the manual.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That has been moved and seconded. We have had a request to slow our voting down just a little bit to assist the translators, so we will try to do that. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: The next item, on page 71, line 26, is an addition reminding the readers of the Church Manual that divisions are tasked with establishing policies on the role and function of school boards in their territory. I would move that addition. [The motion was approved.]

Mr. Chairman, in the next item, on page 73, lines 17-29, there are additional Ellen G. White quotes to be included in the family ministries section. I would move that we approve those three quotes.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: There is a motion and a second. [Discussion ensued that did not materially change the recommendation. It was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the next item, page 73, lines 32-35, contains some additions clarifying the role of marriage in the family, society, and the church. Let me just read that paragraph: “The objective of Family Ministries is to strengthen marriage and the family. The family was established by divine creation with marriage at its center. As the primary setting in which values are learned and the capacity for close relationships with God and others is developed, its health is vital to the Church’s disciple-making mission.”

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of those additions.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: There is a motion and a second. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 74, line 17, there is an addition acknowledging that there may be situations in which complete confidentiality should not be maintained. Let me read the paragraph so that we have the whole flow of the thought there:
“Family Ministries Leader(s)—An individual or married couple may be elected to serve as family ministries leader(s). They should model strong and growing family relationships and exhibit a sincere interest in fostering the well-being of all families. In order to be effective, the family ministries leader(s) must have an understanding of God’s redemptive plan for dealing with the brokenness in relationships which sin has brought. The leader(s) also must maintain,” and in the past it just said “confidentiality,” but now it is being recommended that it must maintain “appropriate confidentiality and know when and how to encourage individuals in critical situations to seek professional counseling.”

Mr. Chairman, I would approval of the addition of that word.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It has been moved and seconded. Are there comments? We do have someone at microphone 4.

NEVILLE HARCOMBE: Regarding the words “married,” “marriage,” “married couple.” It does not identify that it is a marriage between male and female. These days in some countries marriage can be between the same sexes. I am just wondering whether the Church Manual, on this particular point, should identify “marriage” more completely.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you for that comment. We will take a response.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we will be coming to an item later that clearly identifies what the Seventh-day Adventist Church position is on marriage, and I think that will be very clear, but anywhere in this book marriage is between one man and one woman.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: The chair recognizes Jeffrey Brown.

JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, Mr. Chairman, my question is more on page 74, line 6, regarding family ministries. So often in the church there is a large group of individuals that feel very omitted when it comes to family ministries. They comprise the largest number of individuals, namely, singles. And they actually despise family ministries—they don’t look forward to family ministries days, because they feel excluded, and family ministries includes singles. In this line it says: “Ministry to families in the local church focuses on . . .” And it begins with those who are engaged. Then it goes on to those who are married, to marriage strengthening, and then to the parents.

Whether it is something that I should address privately with the Church Manual Committee or not, I feel that it is a grave omission that singles are not included in the statement on family ministries.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you for that comment.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that was not part of our motion simply because it is not a change. It is exactly what has already been in the Church Manual. If there is a desire that there be a change there, I would say that that would probably need to be carried through the normal process of change.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: OK, I didn’t really hear a recommendation that would be considered, but a comment was made. I think we just carry that as part of the information that we would consider. Again, microphone 4.

TADAOMI SHINMYO: Yes, Mr. Chairman, line 12. “Elected to serve as family ministries leader(s)” and again, “leader(s)”: the (s) should be deleted.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you for that. I think that I am hearing that you are correct and they have missed that one. Again, to microphone 4.

MOSES ONYENDU OKAI: My concern is on that word “appropriate.” Can you please explain what that means? Thank you very much.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, there are times that someone is suicidal and counseling with an individual, and for the sake of saving their life, it might not be appropriate to maintain confidentiality. There are times that a child’s life is in danger, and the people involved in that counseling would be doing the wrong thing to maintain strict confidentiality. So that is why the word has been inserted.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you for that explanation. Any further comments on this? Donna Richards.

DONNA RICHARDS: Thank you. Earlier it was mentioned that the paragraph regarding the protection of our children was stated five different times because people might refer to Pathfinders or to some other department, and so the statement needed to be there several times because they may not see it in another area of the manual.

So I am in agreement with a previous speaker who suggested that the definition of marriage be placed in this section. Because even though you have stated it someplace else in the manual, I think it is also important to be placed here.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we would be very comfortable with that. That is not part of this current motion, but it could be a motion after we finish this one.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Let’s just deal with the current motion that we are dealing with—the word “appropriate.” I think we have had the explanation of that. I am not seeing anyone else at the microphone on the current motion. So I am going to call for the vote. [The motion was approved.]

DONNA RICHARDS: I would like to make a motion that the definition of marriage be placed here in the family life section of the manual.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Now this will come as a recommendation to the Church Manual Committee. So you are making that motion, or that recommendation, that this go back and be included in that paragraph.

DONNA RICHARDS: Yes.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you.

HOMER TRECARTIN: I am just making a note so that I don’t forget it when I go back to the Church Manual Committee.
On page 75, lines 29-37, there’s a change. The current Church Manual refers repeatedly to choir directors or choir leaders. The recommendation is that we change that to music coordinators, music leaders. [Motion was made and seconded.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We have a point of order. The chair recognizes Boitirelo Kabo.

BOITIRELO KABO: Are we now at liberty to address anything in the Church Manual, not particularly those that are highlighted? Previously we had been told that we should address only those things that were highlighted. If we are at liberty, then we are free to bring other items.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We’re at liberty to suggest things that come to the Church Manual Committee, but it’s with the understanding that they will go back to the Church Manual Committee for consideration and possible rewording. The chair recognizes Lois Peters.

LOIS PETERS: I thought Donna Richards made a motion. If so, we did not vote on that motion—to add the definition of marriage to the manual.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I was taking that as a suggestion that will go back to the Church Manual Committee.

HOMER TRECARTIN: It will go back to the Church Manual Committee.

LOIS PETERS: We just needed to be aware, because you did ask for a motion and she made a motion.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Our understood procedure from the floor is that for things that are not on the agenda that we have agreed upon and voted to discuss, we would certainly take the suggestion back to the committee and it would be considered. The chair recognizes Rudy Otoniel Mendez de León.

RUDY OTONIEL MENDEZ DE LEƠN: Speaking about adding the word “matrimony” and clarifying that it’s between a man and a woman would mean finding the word “matrimony” in the whole manual and making the same clarification. I believe then it would be more appropriate to be done in the section in which the terms are clarified.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I think there is a place to make this comment, but this is not a point of order, so I will interrupt this on the basis that it’s not a point of order. The chair recognizes Jay Gallimore.

JAY GALLIMORE: We did vote earlier to stay with the highlighted parts. If we open this up to dealing with anything in the Church Manual, we’re still going to be here next year. So I want to plead with the chair to stick with the previous voted action of dealing with the things that have been highlighted.

If there are things that could be referred back to the committee as a comment, then they can take that under consideration. But to plunge this body into a discussion over anything is not going to be manageable.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That is what we have voted. If there are other side comments, they will go back to the Church Manual Committee. The chair recognizes Rudy Otoniel Mendez De León.

RUDY OTONIEL MENDEZ DE LEƠN: In the section of clarification of terms, we can include the word “matrimony” and that it would refer to the matrimony between a man and a woman.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That will be considered by the Church Manual Committee.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The section on page 75, lines 29-39, is replacing “choir” with “music.” Instead of choir leader or choir director, it will say music leader or music director. Mr. Chairman, I move approval of that change.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It is moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 77, lines 5 and 6, there’s an addition including evangelism and nurture of members as part of the work of the publishing ministry. That’s lines 5 and 6. “The mission of Publishing Ministries is the evangelism and nurture of church members. Ellen White encouraged members to ‘sell or give away our literature.’ ” I move approval of that addition.

[Motion was seconded.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN: The chair recognizes Vivencio R. Bermudez.

VIVENCIO R. BERMUDEZ: It is good to remind ourselves that in 1848, just 12 years before this church was legally named and organized, there was already a vision about the publishing work to be started, revealed by God to Ellen White. And yet the modern church today seems to give less attention to the publishing ministry. We are reminded that the church will scatter our truth-filled literature like the leaves of autumn. And so we are here not only to approve policies and guidelines, but to challenge the church leadership for the full implementation of this.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you. I’m going to call for the vote. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, page 77, lines 5-15, concerns two Ellen G. White quotations that have been added, and I would move approval of this recommendation. [Motion was seconded and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, I will read the next recommendation, page 81, lines 4-11: “The Sabbath School expense offering and the mission offering where the calendar of offerings is being used shall not be taken as one offering and divided according to an agreed-upon formula or percentage. The offerings may be taken as combined offering where the church is operating under a division-approved combined offering plan.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of those additions.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: It has been moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 82, line 36-40, there is an additional Ellen G. White quote that’s been placed here, and I would move approval of that.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: There is a motion and a second to include that Spirit of Prophecy quotation. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I will read the next recommendation on page 83, line 4: “It includes the proper care and use of the body, mind, time, abilities, spiritual gifts, relationships, influence, language, the environment, and material possessions.”

Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of that addition.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That’s been moved and seconded. Any comments?

JEROEN TUINSTRA: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would like to make an amendment to include in the sentence; “It includes but is not limited to,” followed by the rest of the sentence. So I’m amending with sentence 3 on page 83 to “It includes but it is not limited to . . . ” [This motion was approved along with the amendment.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman. The next item, on page 85, lines 33 and 41, is the addition of a new program that is part of the youth ministries, and that’s the Ambassador Club, and so throughout the rest of the document, wherever that needs to be inserted, we have inserted “Ambassador Club” or “Ambassador,” and I would move approval of that insertion here and on the remaining pages of the Church Manual.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That’s a motion and it is seconded. I see that Robert Folkenberg, Jr., is wanting to talk to this item.

ROBERT FOLKENBERG, JR.: I have no problem whatsoever with the Ambassador Club concept, the Adventist Youth Society, and other items that are in the Church Manual. My concerns comes back, Mr. Chairman, to what our Brother David mentioned about an hour ago regarding the lack of youth involvement in the meaningful leadership and involvement in the church. What I see happening is that oftentimes we have created these clubs, these societies, for the involvement of youth, which are good, but we have, in a sense, sidetracked or disenfranchised them from real leadership in the local church and even the conference at different levels. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was started, think of it, by young people. You will see that as part of the AYS initiative. The Church Manual says that the goal of AYS should be to involve all youth in activities that will tie them more closely to the church. The Church Manual states that there is to be an active AYS in every church, and now we are adding the Ambassador Club. It is important that the youth program not be isolated from the rest of the church. The problem is that much of our youth ministry efforts do not include the youth in the leadership of the church. And I would like to recommend that as part of David’s recommendation to the Steering Committee, we get beyond just creating programs for youth and instead find ways to recommend or even require that a certain percentage of our boards, our committees, our leadership, be made up of real young people who are buying in and investing in the church that they are a part of.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We will now call on the next speaker.

HISKIA ISRAIL MISSAH: Mr. Chairman, I would like to propose a change in regard to the name Ambassador Club. This is a service of the Youth Ministries Department to meet the needs of our young people ages 16-31. It is not a club but a ministry, so I would like to propose the change of Ambassador Club to Ambassador Ministry.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: We received this proposal from the Youth Ministries Department, so if they are now changing their mind, that’s all right with us. But this proposal came from the Youth Ministries Department. [There was a good deal of discussion regarding the Ambassador Club that resulted in the item being referred back to the Church Manual Committee and the Youth Ministries Department, with the understanding that the item would be brought back to the floor.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that brings us to the end of chapter 8, and I would move approval of chapter 8 as presented, with these modifications and with the exception of those items referred back.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: There’s a motion and a second. It is to approve those things that we have approved. That would not include those things that have been referred back. Are there any final comments?

STEPHEN LOGAN: Just a point of clarification. Where does the modern high-tech evangelism come into our plans? Are Web sites and TV considered publishing? Are they considered communication? What office do they come under?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we will be dealing with the communication angle of it later in the manual. Certainly there is some overlap in some of the different ministries.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you for that comment. I’m not seeing anyone else at the microphones. Those in favor of accepting it as it has been voted, excluding those things to be referred back, raise your cards, please. Thank you. And those opposed? That chapter is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the next item is on page 91, lines 34 and 35. It’s not highlighted because what I need to bring to the attention of the body is a section that’s no longer in the manual. We have taken it out and put it in the notes. I will read this section:

“The list of officers to be considered by the nominating committee may vary with size of membership. A larger church may determine it needs more officers. A smaller church may have fewer. The committee deals with all leadership positions except Sabbath School teachers, who are recommended by the Sabbath School Council and approved by the board.”
Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of moving that list of possible officers to the notes section.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That has been moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I would make a motion that we approve chapter 9 as presented. [The motion was seconded and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, the next proposal, on page 100, line 6, is clarifying that Sabbath School should promote local and worldwide mission activities, not just the mission offering. It reads as follows: “Sabbath School should promote local and worldwide mission activities, the mission offering, and significant time for Bible study.”

Mr. Chairman, I move approval of that addition. [The motion was seconded and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, the next item, on page 103, is an addition clarifying that unfermented wine is grape juice. That’s a request that’s come from some parts of the world where translation was a little bit challenging. So we are just including “grape juice” in parentheses after “unfermented wine.” Mr. Chairman, I move approval of that addition. [The motion was seconded and approved.]
The next item, on page 6, lines 29-33, is an addition clarifying the relationship between the business meeting and the board of the local church. This particular section was also changed by an action of the Executive Committee just before the General Conference session began. It reads as follows:

“The local church operates within defined roles in Seventh-day Adventist Church structure. Within the context of those roles, the business meeting is the governing body of the local church.” [A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the phrase “governing body,” which has different meanings in different countries. Some countries require each individual church to be registered. The matter was also raised about a quorum for a business meeting. The discussion resulted in a motion to adopt the recommended wording. It was seconded and approved.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I see that we have probably 30 seconds left, and I think we’ll end our morning session now. When I first moved to Maryland, I began to attend the Spencerville church, and Rob Vandeman was our pastor. Rob, would you go to the microphone and have our prayer of dismissal?

ROBERT VANDEMAN: [Closing prayer.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN: [Benediction.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN, Chair

ROSA T. BANKS, Secretary

CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor

GARY B. PATTERSON and FRED G. THOMAS, Assistant Proceedings Editors


Session Actions (Church Manual Only)

BOARD OF DEACONESSES - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Deaconesses, Board of Deaconesses, page 61, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Board of Deaconesses—If a church elects several deaconesses, it should organize a board of deaconesses chaired by the head deaconess and another deaconess serving as secretary. This board is authorized to assign duties to individual deaconesses and cooperates closely with the board of deacons, especially in welcoming members and visitors and in home visitation. (See p. XX.) It also provides a training ground where new deaconesses are instructed in their duties.

GREETING AND VISITING GUESTS AND MEMBERS - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Deaconesses, Greeting and Visiting Guests and Members, page 61, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Greeting and Visiting Guests and Members—In many churches, deaconesses assist in greeting guests and members at meetings and in visiting members in their homes when they cannot attend services.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Deaconesses, Care and Maintenance of Property, page 62, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Care and Maintenance of Property—In churches where the responsibility for the care and maintenance of church property is not assigned to a building committee, deacons and deaconesses have this responsibility. (See Notes, #X, p. XX.)

CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES COORDINATOR AND COMMITTEE -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Children’s Ministries, Children’s Ministries Coordinator and Committee, page 69 (also included on pages 80, 87, 88, and 89), of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Everyone involved in work with children must meet Church and legal standards and requirements, such as background checks or certification. Local church leaders should consult with the conference which will ascertain and advise as to what background checks and certifications are available and/ or required. (See Notes, #X, p. XX.)

REFERENCE TO AVAILABLE DEPARTMENTAL RESOURCES -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the addition of reference to available departmental resources in the Church Manual revision (see pages 69, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, 82, 83, 84, 89, 151, and 152).

CHURCH SCHOOL BOARD - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Education, Church School Board, page 71, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Church School Board—The administrative body of every elementary (primary) school and junior academy (partial high school) operated by one church shall be a church school board elected by the church or a school committee appointed by the church board. Thus this body may be a separate school board, the church board, or a school committee of the church board appointed for this purpose. Division working policies explain the functions of school boards.

QUOTATIONS FROM SPIRIT OF PROPHECY (FAMILY MINISTRIES) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Family Ministries, page 73, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes) and to move the paragraphs to page 74 at line 10:

“Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home . . . There is no missionary field more important than this . . . By many this home field has been shamefully neglected, and it is time that divine resources and remedies were presented, that this state of evil may be corrected.”—AH 35.

“God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family in heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God’s plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character and for the advancement of His work.”—6T 430.

“The mission of the home extends beyond its own members . . . Far more powerful than any sermon that can be preached is the influence of a true home upon human hearts and lives.”—MH 352.

ROLE OF MARRIAGE IN THE FAMILY, SOCIETY, AND THE
CHURCH (FAMILY MINISTRIES) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Family Ministries, page 73, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The objective of Family Ministries is to strengthen marriage and the family. The family was established by divine creation with marriage at its center. As the primary setting in which values are learned and the capacity for close relationships with God and others is developed, its health is vital to the Church’s disciple-making mission.

ADDITION OF SINGLES TO FAMILY MINISTRIES SECTION

VOTED, To request the Church Manual Committee at the General Conference Session in Atlanta to look at the idea of including singles in the Family Ministries section of the Church Manual.

FAMILY MINISTRIES LEADER(S) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Family Ministries, Family Ministries Leader(s), page 74, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Family Ministries Leader(s)—An individual or married couple may be elected to serve as family ministries leader(s). They should model strong and growing family relationships and exhibit a sincere interest in fostering the well-being of all families. In order to be effective, the family ministries leader(s) must have an understanding of God’s redemptive plan for dealing with the brokenness in relationships which sin has brought. The leader(s) also must maintain appropriate confidentiality and know when and how to encourage individuals in critical situations to seek professional counseling.

DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE

VOTED, To request the Church Manual Committee at the General Conference Session in Atlanta to include the definition of marriage in the Family Ministries section, or at the end of Chapter 1, where terms are clarified.

SELECTING MUSIC COORDINATORS - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Music, Selecting Music Coordinators, page 75, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Selecting Music Coordinators—The church should take great care in selecting music leaders, choosing only those who are thoroughly consecrated and provide appropriate music for all church worship services and meetings. Secular music or that of a questionable nature should never be introduced into our services.

Music leaders should work closely with the pastor or elders in order that musical selections harmonize with the sermon theme. The music leader is under the direction of the pastor or elders and does not work independently. The music leader should counsel with them about the music to be rendered and the selection of singers and musicians.

PUBLISHING MINISTRIES - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Publishing Ministries, page 77, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The mission of Publishing Ministries is evangelism and the nurture of church members. Ellen G. White encouraged members to “sell or give away our literature.”—Ms 126, 1902.

SELLING THROUGH LITERATURE EVANGELISTS - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Publishing Ministries, Selling Through Literature Evangelists, page 77, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Selling Through Literature Evangelists—“God calls for workers from every church among us to enter His service as canvasser evangelists [literature evangelists].”—CM 20.

GIVING AWAY (SHARING) BY CHURCH MEMBERS - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Publishing Ministries, Giving Away (Sharing by Church Members), page 77, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Giving Away (Sharing) by Church Members—“Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time.”—CM 21.

SABBATH SCHOOL OFFERINGS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, Sabbath School Offerings, page 81, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The Sabbath School expense offering and the mission offering, where the calendar of offerings is being used, shall not be taken as one offering and divided according to an agreed-upon formula or percentage. The offerings may be taken as combined offering where the church is operating under a division-approved combined offering plan.

STEWARDSHIP MINISTRIES - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Stewardship Ministries, pages 82-83, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Stewardship ministries encourages members to respond to God’s grace by dedicating all they have to Him. Stewardship responsibility involves more than just money. It includes, but is not limited to, the proper care and use of the body, mind, time, abilities, spiritual gifts, relationships, influence, language, the environment, and material possessions. The department assists members in their partnership with God in completing His mission through the proper utilization of all of His gifts and resources.

When the Spirit of God takes possession of the life, “Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ, will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence—all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel.”—AA 71.
AMBASSADOR CLUB

VOTED, To refer the actions regarding Ambassador Club to the Church Manual Committee at the General Conference Session in Atlanta to determine whether it is called Ambassador Club or Ambassador Ministry.

CHAPTER 8 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 8 of the revised Church Manual as presented, with the exception of the items that have referred back to the Church Manual Committee at General Conference Session in Atlanta.

WORK OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 9, Elections, Nominating Committee and the Election Process, Work of the Nominating Committee, page 91, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes), and to place the same list of officers in the Notes:

The list of officers to be considered by the nominating committee may vary with size of membership. A larger church may determine it needs more officers. A smaller church may have fewer. The committee deals with all leadership positions except Sabbath School teachers, who are recommended by the Sabbath School Council and approved by the board. See Notes, #X, p. XX, for a list of possible officers.

CHAPTER 9 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 9 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

SABBATH SCHOOL - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Sabbath School and Worship Services, Sabbath School, page 100, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Sabbath School should promote local and worldwide mission activities, the mission offering, and significant time for Bible study. (See Notes, #X, p. XX.)

UNLEAVENED BREAD AND UNFERMENTED WINE (GRAPE
JUICE) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Communion Service, Unleavened Bread and Unfermented Wine (Grape Juice), page 103, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Unleavened Bread and Unfermented Wine (Grape Juice)—“Christ is still at the table on which the paschal supper has been spread. The unleavened cakes used at the Passover season are before Him. The Passover wine, untouched by fermentation, is on the table. These emblems Christ employs to represent His own unblemished sacrifice. Nothing corrupted by fermentation, the symbol of sin and death, could represent the ‘Lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19.”—DA 653.

BREAD AND WINE - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in the Chapter 10 Notes, paragraph 4, Bread and Wine, page 156 of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Bread and Wine—(See p. XX.)—A hymn may be sung during the reassembly of the congregation as the officiating pastors or elders take their places near the bread and wine (unfermented grape juice) and the deacons and deaconesses take their places.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BUSINESS MEETING AND LOCAL
CHURCH BOARD (BUSINESS MEETINGS) - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Business Meetings, page 106, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The local church operates within defined roles in Seventh-day Adventist Church structure. Within the context of those roles, the business meeting is the governing authority of the local church. Members in regular standing are encouraged to attend and are entitled to vote. A member under censure has no right to participate by voice or vote.


Michael L Ryan, Chair
Rosa T Banks, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Tamara K Boward, Recording Secretary



Ninth Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference Session, June 29, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

Session Actions (Church Manual Only)

GERRY D. KARST: So we are ready for Elder Trecartin and Elder Miranda to take us through the next items.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, we would like to make an announcement to those who are members of the Church Manual Committee. We are going to have a meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. It is in room B-301.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I would refer to a question that was presented this morning about the difference between the baptized members’ class meeting and the business meeting. This will be clarified as we discuss the next item, on page 106, which concerns business meetings. The first proposal is to state that business meetings shall be held “at least once a year.” The change is to add the words “at least once a year.”

This should clarify the difference between the baptized members class and the business meeting of the church.

So, Mr. Chairman, we are recommending that a business meeting shall be held once a year. I move this addition. [The motion was seconded.]

GERRY D. KARST: We have a motion and a second before us. I see a number of people standing at the microphones. First we have Rachelle Chapman.

[At this point, several delegates stated that there were no translations in some languages.]

I’m sorry. Is there some way we can get this taken care of? [The chairman declared a brief recess to have the problem fixed.]
At every session we do have some firsts, and I think the translation equipment failing is a first at a session that I can remember. Let’s now resume. The chair recognizes Rachelle Chapman.

RACHELLE CHAPMAN: I have some general comments, and I wanted to make them before a motion is on the floor. My understanding of what the Church Manual Committee has been asked to do is to determine whether it would be beneficial to write a new Church Manual. I would like to say that I understand the difficulty and why more major changes haven’t been made to the manual. But some of the more sensitive issues haven’t been adjusted. The sections I’m referring to are on youth, dress, music, recreation, and entertainment. I believe that what is contained in those sections is based on sound biblical principles. But I think some of the specific examples have become culturally irrelevant. I think that in the future there might be a need to include more appropriate examples.

I also question the validity of us voting on chapters as a whole. I understand there is a reason we are not questioning the whole chapter, but I would like to raise that concern. Is it valid for us to vote on whole chapters if we are not permitted to question anything other than the highlighted sections?

GERRY D. KARST: The issues you first addressed have a right to come through the process, and the process is a fairly lengthy, complicated one, but you start by voicing your concerns through your local conference, which refers them to the union, then to the division, and then it comes to the Church Manual Committee at the General Conference. That’s the way the highlighted items come to us. They have been worked through committee after committee until it reaches this level. Because this is a document we amend only at a General Conference session, that’s the way to do it. In previous sessions we have supported the idea that we will deal only with the highlighted items. Someone may see, in another section, items they feel are important, but we haven’t had time to think them through or process them. If we try to process them here on the floor, we may not have the best outcome. If there is something in another section of the manual that is not highlighted, I would request that you put that into the normal process through your conference, and then they will pass it on through the channels.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The reason that we need to vote on entire chapters is that they are not in the same order that they were in before. There are not the same number of chapters, the material in them is not in the same order, and much of it has been reworded. So what we are saying is “Yes, we are OK for this chapter to go into the new Church Manual.” We may all wish that there were more changes. Those can and will come through the process, and will be ready for our next session. But we do need to approve the overall chapter as is reworded and reorganized.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Before we go to the first item this afternoon, I would like to repeat the announcement I made at the beginning. It’s regarding the Church Manual Committee meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in room B-301. The members of the Church Manual Committee are found on page 17 in your agenda book.
On page 106, line 35, we have the sentence “Business meetings shall be held at least once a year.” Mr. Chairman, I move this.

GERRY D. KARST: We have a motion and a second. Microphone 4, Nestor Alberro.

NESTOR ABEL ALBERRO: In this morning’s session the paragraph that states that the business meeting is the highest authority in the local church was approved. Now I will repeat what I was beginning to speak this morning.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Just a minute. Mr. Chairman, that is not what was voted.

NESTOR ABEL ALBERRO: It seems to me quite awkward— Yes?

GERRY D. KARST: Excuse me, the motion that is on the floor deals only with line 35.

NESTOR ABEL ALBERRO: Yes, but it’s closely related. I am going now to line 35.

GERRY D. KARST: If you are speaking to line 35, then continue.

NESTOR ABEL ALBERRO: Exactly. It seems to me quite awkward to declare that the business meeting is the governing body of the church, the highest authority of the local church, and then to require that body to meet just once a year. My recommendation is to reword this line 35 as follows: “Business meetings shall be held once a quarter or at least twice a year.” We could require a business meeting to convene at least twice a year to deal with mission programs or the whole program of the church.

GERRY D. KARST: I think you have a response back here.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much. In the current manual it says “may be held monthly or quarterly according to the needs of the church.” We think that if we say “at least once a year” it is open to as many business meetings as you need, but at least once a year.

GERRY D. KARST: Let’s go to microphone 6.

SWITTA STEVENS: Many may understand that their church business meeting is supposed to meet once a year. If that is going to be an understanding of local church members, there are many church activities that are going to be affected. I have one request: to give an explanation of this paragraph, so that the members will understand.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you very much for your comment.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, the only thing we are trying to reinforce is that at least once a year a local church should have a business meeting. But they can have all the business meetings that they need to have; we are open to the idea.

GERRY D. KARST: Let’s come to microphone 3.

SAMUEL DAVIS: There are many churches that have business meetings only once a year. I think that would give license to those leaders to have business meetings only once a year, and so I would like to make an amendment to the motion, in the interest of good governance within the local church, to read “at least four times a year.” I so move.

GERRY D. KARST: Is there support for that motion? Yes. OK, we have a motion on the floor.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we will do whatever the body votes. The current Church Manual doesn’t require any business meetings. It was interpreted by some to mean that they did not have to have one, but it said that they may hold one monthly or quarterly or annually, according to the needs of the church, and we were trying to tighten that up and say, “Look, you can’t go year after year with no business meeting,” as some were interpreting the current manual. So the attempt was to say that there had to be at least one business meeting a year. Now, if we want to amend that, it’s up to this body.

GERRY D. KARST: OK, I would think that typically under normal circumstances congregations have their business meetings once a quarter, but in instances in which that is not occurring, the attempt here was to have one at least once a year so that they don’t go on for several years without having one. Is there anyone wanting to speak to the amendment to have it held “at least four times a year”? Microphone 1.

JURRIEN DEN HOLLANDER: Mr. Chairman, I would like to speak in opposition to the amendment. If I have to ask the members to be present once a quarter, nobody will come.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Microphone 1 again.

PETER LARSEN: Mr. Chairman, only one question. What will happen if they don’t meet four times a year? Will you send the police? What will you do?

GERRY D. KARST: That is a very good question, my friend. Microphone 4, Nilton Amorim.

NILTON DUTRA AMORIM: Mr. Chairman, I also speak against the amendment. I believe that this will tie the hands of many pastors.

GERRY D. KARST: OK. We’re refraining from applause during the business session. Microphone 4.

GEORGE CRUMLEY: Yes, the amendment that we have before us almost forces you to have meetings when you don’t need them.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Reno Paotonu.

RENO PAOTONU: Mr. Chairman, I speak in opposition to the amendment. I think it puts pressure on the church logistically to hold business meetings.

GERRY D. KARST: I’ve got about eight or 10 other names wanting to speak on these words.
From the speeches I’ve been hearing, the amendment, “at least four times a year,” doesn’t seem to have that much support, but only you, the delegates, can tell whether it will or will not carry. Let me try microphone 1, Stain Liyanda.

STAIN LIYANDA: As a person attending this session for the first time, I am shocked by the fact that we seem to be attempting to bring the standards to a lower level, rather than raising the people to a higher standard. In my view it’s good governance for these meetings to be held at least quarterly. Thank you.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Microphone 3. Are you speaking to the amendment?

JACOB EDOGAMHE UMORU: Mr. Chairman, the first word that I had from our new president was that this is a time of revival. If we want our church to be revived, we need to have more time to meet with the members. To share ideas. If we agree that the business meeting is the highest governing body of the church, the more time the governing body is able to meet, the more we are able to carry the church alone. So I support the idea that we have business meetings at least once a quarter.

GERRY D. KARST: Microphone 4, Gernot Kopa.

GERNOT KOPA: I would like to speak against the amendment. I think that regular business meetings are important, but during July, August, and September it doesn’t make sense to have a business meeting, and therefore I think the number four is a bit arbitrary. And therefore I speak against this amendment. Thank you.

GERRY D. KARST: Microphone 2.

MAHEATA TARUOURA: I speak against the amendment. I think the words ‘at least’ should apply only to “at least once a year.” It gives the freedom to each local church to meet three times, four times, or 10 times during the year.

GERRY D. KARST: A question on the motion has been called. Would you like to vote on this now, or continue discussion? I see people wanting to vote on this issue. The amendment before us now would say, “at least four times a year.” If you support the amendment, please raise your cards. Thank you. If you are against the amendment, please raise your cards. The amendment is lost. So we go back to the original motion, which is before us now.

If anybody still wants to speak to the original motion, we will do so. Microphone 4.

JOAN SAUNDERS: I know that we don’t really want to prolong the discussion on this issue, but I think the Church Manual is used for best practice. And I think we’ve already voted “at least four times.” But I personally don’t think that once a year is best practice. So my proposal says, “at least twice a year.”

GERRY D. KARST: Are you making that as an amended motion?

JOAN A. SAUNDERS: I am.

GERRY D. KARST: Is there support for that? I see quite a number. Now we have to address ourselves to the new amendment, which says, “at least twice a year.” So I’ll have you speak to that. Microphone 2, Karl Archer.

KARL ARCHER: Sir, I intended to make that very amendment, so I support it.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. Microphone 3.

LUISITO TRINIO TOMADO: Four times a year is too much, but I don’t feel a church should have only one business meeting in a year. That’s why I am supporting twice a year.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Lewis Ondiek.

LEWIS ONDIEK: What we should know is that the local church is like the roots of a tree, which feeds all parts of the tree. And if we liken it to the General Conference, which has Annual Council once in a year, I think we’ll not be fair to the local church. What happens is that we go out as a local church to evangelize, and we should report back. And the reporting—it can be done only in a business meeting. At least at the end of each quarter we should evaluate ourselves, we should give reports to the church members.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Goliath Naini.

GOLIATH MAUNGA NAINI: If the issue is a regular business meeting, I want to speak in favor of the amendment for at least twice a year.

GERRY D. KARST: Let me propose a procedure that you may wish to endorse. On any given topic, would it be beneficial if we set 15 minutes for discussion? When we get to the end of the 15 minutes, we can ask you: “Are you ready to vote? Or do you want to extend it by another 15 minutes?” That way the body can determine whether it’s ready to vote or if it wants to continue the discussion.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: I move the limit of 15 minutes.

GERRY D. KARST: It’s been moved and seconded. All those in favor of this, raise your cards. Any opposed, by the same sign. That is carried. We’ll start the clock for 15 minutes. If we have not completed our discussion at that point, I will pause and inquire, “Do you want to vote, or do you want to extend discussion for another 15 minutes?” The chair recognizes Christian Goltz.

CHRISTIAN GOLTZ: In my country, which is Germany, there are many churches that have a business meeting only once a year. And inasmuch as I desire a revival for our churches, I cannot see that a revival comes through business meetings.

GERRY D. KARST: We have together agreed that we would have up to 15 minutes. If somebody wishes to call a question, that’s a parliamentary procedure that is open, and the chair would consider it. The chair recognizes Jurrien Den Hollander.

JURRIEN DEN HOLLANDER: When the members have a solid vision and a solid mission, they can go on and perform the things they have to do.

As a pastor, I’ve had the training of five years in theology; I have not been trained to be a chairman of business meetings. I’ve been trained to be a pastor. And I’ve been trained to make sure that the church is really doing its work. What happens now is that I have to perform twice a year a business for four churches together, with all the board meetings for these churches. Which means I will be a chairperson instead of a pastor. I believe that is no good and that we should actually reduce the number of meetings in our churches in order to be effective.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Moses Okai.

MOSES ONYENDU OKAI: I’m suggesting that we should maintain at least two times a year so that in case they fail in one, they can get to the other one. Our people we should learn to be meeting together, to evaluate ourselves, to talk to ourselves. I think at least twice a year is not too bad.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Lawrence Tanabose.

LAWRENCE PITA TANABOSE: I think that we have to look at the bigger picture than just our local churches. There are parts of the world in which church members are miles and miles away from the church. The statement that we have that says “at least once a year” gives ample meetings. Any church who wants to have more can have them. The church that can meet only once a year can function effectively and practically. Therefore, I want to call question at this time.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: Seconded.

GERRY D. KARST: A question has been called and seconded. All those in favor of ceasing discussion, raise your cards. Any opposed to that, by the same sign. Discussion ceases. We come now to vote on the amendment that it be at least twice a year.
All those in favor of the amendment, please raise your cards. Those who are opposed to the amendment, please raise your cards. The amendment is lost. We now come back to the main motion. Do we have anybody still wishing to talk to this? We’ve been around it several times. Bradley Kemp.

BRADLEY KEMP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I’ve listened to the discussion, it appears that we are trying to combine two ideas. We have one part of the world that is needing a little more clarity on a quarterly meeting, and we have another part of the world that says that’s too binding and that once a year is adequate. So I am wondering if there is a way of expressing those two ideas in this one concept. One suggestion would be that “business meetings should be held quarterly, but no less than once annually, or once a year.”

GERRY D. KARST: It has been moved and seconded. We have this amendment on the floor, and now I have a list of speakers who want to address this amendment.

GORDON BIETZ: Mr. Chairman, I move the previous question. [The motion to cease debate was seconded and approved.]

GERRY D. KARST: Now we come to a vote on the amendment, which says, “should be held quarterly, but not less than once a year.” [The amendment was not approved.]

We’ve tried three amendments. What is in your book has gone through all the divisions. All 13 divisions of the world field have had their input on this. So we now are back to the main motion, which is in your book. OK, question on that motion has been called. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we have an addition on page 107, lines 4-9, clarifying the role of the business meeting. It reads as follows: “Major items should be decided at a regular or specially called business meeting.

“The business meeting has authority over the board and may delegate responsibilities to the board in addition to those already assigned by the Church Manual.” Mr. Chairman, I move approval of that addition. [The motion was seconded and approved.]

Mr. Chairman, on page 107, lines 21-24, there are further additions allowing union officers to attend church business meetings. Let me read that paragraph. “Conference and union officers (president, secretary, treasurer) may attend without vote (unless granted by the church) any business meeting of any church in their territory. An action to allow voting is not required if the officer is currently a member of that congregation.” Mr. Chairman, I would move approval of those additions.

GERRY D. KARST: We have the motion and the second. I see there are those who wish to speak.

SHIRLEY CHANG: Would this also include the new union of churches, or does that need to be specified here?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that would include the new union of churches, because in our introductory remarks at the beginning of the manual it says that the word “conference” includes union of churches in those settings.

Mr. Chairman, the current wording in the Church Manual, on page 89, says, “The officers (president, secretary, treasurer) of the conference/mission/field to which the church belongs may attend without vote (unless granted by the church) any church business meeting within the conference/mission/field territory.” The intent here was not to change that (it’s been there for a long time), but to include union officers in the group along with the conference officers.

GERSON PERLA: Mr. Chairman, the concern I have is the material in parentheses right after union officers. Could we consider putting something like “including” or “for example, president, secretary, treasurer”? There are other conference and union officers who may want to attend these meetings. Let me give you an example. In some conferences we have Hispanic coordinators. Some matters are better handled by them, and they need to attend, but they do not qualify as a union officer. And so I would like to propose an amendment that says “for example, president, secretary and treasurer,” which would allow a Hispanic coordinator to attend the meetings.

GERRY D. KARST: That would have to be done without the word “officer.”

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, if we were to go that route, I think that would need to go back to the Church Manual Committee for further review and thought.

GERSON PERLA: One other suggestion might be conference and union officials.

GERRY D. KARST: If this were the case, it probably would be best to refer this item back to the committee.

HOMER TRECARTIN: If there’s a motion to do that, I’m not sure if the body would want to refer it back or if the body would want to vote on what’s here.

GERSON PERLA: I was just hoping that there was a word you might be able to suggest that does not require sending it back and still addresses the concern.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I do understand the concern, but the Church Manual Committee has already discussed that wording for a significant amount of time and has had the same thoughts and concerns, but was not able to reconcile them, so I hesitate to do it here on the floor. I think it would need to be done in the Church Manual Committee.

GERSON PERLA: All right. In that case, I move to send it back to the Church Manual Committee.

GERRY D. KARST: There is a motion to refer this section back. Is there support for that motion? I see several.

NIKOLAUS SATELMAJER: I think it would be helpful to change it slightly. From a practical perspective, I have attended such meetings as a conference officer and as a ministerial secretary. The average church member doesn’t really care. You are representing the conference. And I think it would be well just to change the wording slightly. Just as you don’t prevent education people from attending local school boards, you shouldn’t prevent ministerial people or coordinators. So I support that we refer it and make a minor adjustment.

JEROEN TUINSTRA: Mr. Chairman, I would vote against this referral, which intends to allow other representatives besides the officers. You will create a problem in the rest of the Church Manual. The reason for that is that officers have certain duties that departments do not have, and at this point you will give them a certain power that they originally have not had in the Church Manual. So it would create a lot of discussion in other areas of the Church Manual.

GERRY D. KARST: The motion is for referral. It will come back to us at this session. [The motion to refer was not approved.]

KENAOPE KENAOPE: I think, personally, as a conference president, I don’t see any problem with union officers attending. And I don’t know whether the provision for union of churches is there.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the union of churches is included there, and if I could also comment on that last section, this wording allowing conference officers to come has been in the manual for some time. And there’s been discussion about a local church where perhaps the conference treasurer holds membership and attends the meeting. Perhaps somebody doesn’t like the way the treasurer is thinking, and they say, “You can’t vote unless we vote it.” But the treasurer can vote in the business meeting because that treasurer is a member of that church, not because of any position as a conference officer. So this last section is just to clarify that if an officer holds membership in a local church, there does not need to be an action to allow that officer to vote.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Just a clarification. If you look carefully, it says: “Conference and union officers (president, secretary, and, treasurer) may attend.” It is not mandatory.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. I call on Wellington Zemba.

WELLINGTON ZEMBA: I’m proposing that we add “or their designee.” In the event that the issue being discussed requires the union or the conference officers to attend the local church, I am proposing that if in case they are busy, they can designate any other available personnel in the office to attend at the business meeting.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, we haven’t a problem with that, if they consider this will help. We have no objections to that.

GERRY D. KARST: So it would read: “conference and union officers or their designee.” Is that right?
Is there support for that amendment? Yes, I saw a number of cards going up. That may clarify and take care of the problem that some were talking about.

JAY GALLIMORE: Mr. Chairman, this is a very practical amendment. I hope that it will be passed. As a conference president you need at times to be able to send your ministerial person or someone like that into these situations. I really hope that this will pass. [The motion to approve the amendment was approved.]

GERRY D. KARST: We come back now to the main motion. [The main motion was approved.]
Now we come to this special item. We have Elders Fred Kinsey and Mike Tucker, and they are going to spend a few minutes sharing some interesting information with you. [Fred Kinsey and Mike Tucker presented a special program regarding the Voice of Prophecy.]
I want to thank these leaders for the ministry that they conduct, and I’m just curious: How many here today have ever taken a Bible course from one of these ministries? Now, the next question: How many are here today because of the ministry of either the Voice of Prophecy or Faith for Today? Without them you would not be here. Can I see your hands? Would you stand up, please? Just stand up so that we can see you. Thank you so much, and gentlemen, may God continue to bless you. Now we will continue with our next item.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, our next item, on page 107, lines 28 and 29, is an addition regarding the church board. The Executive Committee a few days ago added one word.

GERRY D. KARST: We do have a point of order. Nilton Amorim.

NILTON DUTRA AMORIM: Mr. Chairman, I have a concern about the practice that we have implemented today, because other chairpersons have not accepted that we just say “question” or “question on the motion.” Our Rules of Order are very clear that we have to move the previous question, which has to be voted by two thirds of the delegates. So, Mr. Chairman, I just would like to ask you to implement the Rules of Order and probably instruct those who do not understand.

GERRY D. KARST: Our Rules of Order do indicate that when you call “question” it simply means you are ready to vote. If the entire body wishes to do so, somebody has to move the previous question, have it seconded, and then the entire body decides if they’re going to cease discussion. So thank you for reminding us of that.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the one word that’s been inserted is “functioning,” so that the paragraph reads, “Every church must have a functioning board whose members have been elected during a church business meeting.” Mr. Chairman, I move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: We have a motion and a second. And I see Larry Boggess at the microphone.

LARRY BOGGESS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There seems to be a conflict between this addition and the statement on the next page, in which it says, “The board is elected by the members at the time of the regular election of officers.” It’s my understanding that the church board is elected, at least in most of the areas that I have been in, during the election of officers, which is not called a business meeting. So I need clarification as to understanding what the insertion of this line would really mean. If it means that you have to have a business meeting to have an election, I would like to recommend that we strike that line.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, in the Church Manual in the section on election it says that the Sabbath morning meeting, which is where the election actually takes place, is called a business meeting of the church.

GERRY D. KARST: I see no one else at the microphones. We have the motion before us. All in favor, hold up your cards. Those opposed, by the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 108, line 34, there is an addition of the church music coordinator in the list of possible board members, and on page 109, lines 7 and 8, it says, “In some cases where membership is small, the board may not include all of this list. In larger churches, the church may elect additional members of the board.” I would move approval of the inclusion of the church music coordinator and the clarification that it is a flexible list.

GERRY D. KARST: We have a motion and a second. The chair recognizes James Berglund.

JAMES BERGLUND: Perhaps some simpler wording could be “In some cases depending on the size of the church, the board may not include all of the list, or may elect additional members to the board.” That would reference some of the larger churches, which have issues over the size of the board. For example, my church has 14 elders; another may have 48 elders. To include all of the elders would be very difficult in the sizing of the board for larger churches. Also, in addition by changing that, it would include as well smaller churches that wish to elect to their board an office such as youth advisor that could be included in a small church. So I move that as an amendment to the motion.

GERRY D. KARST: Could you repeat the exact change?

JAMES BERGLUND: “In some cases depending on the size of the membership, the board may not include all of this list,” and then, “or may elect additional members or positions to the board.” Basically, striking “where membership is small” and “in larger churches, the church” and incorporating those two as one sentence.

GERRY D. KARST: It seems to be an improvement on what’s there. All in favor, hold up your cards. Any opposed, by the same sign. The amendment carries. We come back to the main motion. All in favor, hold up your cards. Any opposed, by the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 109, lines 16 and 17, there is an addition clarifying the work of the clerk—that it’s not just preserving the minutes of a meeting, but also recording and presenting those minutes. I would move that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded. All in favor, hold up your card. Any opposed, by the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: That finishes chapter 10. So I would move approval of chapter 10 as presented and amended.

GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded. All in favor indicate with the uplifted card. Any opposed, by the same sign. That is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 114 there are a couple of additions that are referencing the General Conference Working Policy. Those are in regard to tithe percentages. In the past the Church Manual said that the local conference sent a certain percentage to the union, which sent a certain percentage to the division, and some divisions sent a certain percentage to the General Conference. Those percentages change at times, and we are recommending replacing that with a reference to the Working Policy, as well as on lines 23 and 24, where it talks about tithe sharing. When those percentages have fluctuated, the manual is outdated, so we are recommending that they just reference the General Conference Working Policy. I would move those additions.

GERRY D. KARST: It is moved and seconded. Are you ready to vote on this one, or do we still have some discussion? [The motion was approved. Wellington Zemba wished to speak after the vote.]

WELLINGTON ZEMBA: When it comes to the local church, we just mention the whole church board as officers, who then draw up the agenda. Is it just the elders alone, or does it have to include the church clerks, the church treasurers, the head deacon, head deaconess? Who are regarded as the church officers? Who are the executive officers or the administration?

GERRY D. KARST: Let’s get a response on that.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the Church Manual Committee wrestled with that for quite some time, because in the current Church Manual there were two or three or four places that refer to the officers of the church in different ways. In one place it was referring to the head elders, treasurer and secretary, and in another place it referred to the entire list of the board, so there was conflict within the wording of the current manual, probably because of revisions that had been made along the way. Since the Church Manual is clear that the pastor is the chair, unless that pastor designates someone else, and since it’s clear that the pastor works with the elders as assistants, and that the board is the group that leads out in the work of the church, we felt that it was appropriate simply to use the wording from the part of the manual that has officers referring to the entire list of the board. It is clear that the pastor working with the elders and the church board is the leader and the elders are the assistants. They have been elected as officers of the church.

GERRY D. KARST: What is the next item?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, it has to do with use of tithe. On page 114, line 31, there is an addition clarifying that there are some exceptions spelled out in General Conference Working Policy. It’s talking about the use of tithe. Let me read the whole section. That may answer some questions. “How Tithe Is to Be Used—Tithe is held sacred for the work of the ministry, for Bible teaching, and for the support of conference administration in the care of the churches and of field outreach (missionary) endeavors. Tithe shall not be spent on other work, on paying church or institutional debts, or on building programs, except as approved under General Conference policy.” Mr. Chairman, as this was being worked on, it was recognized that in the tithe policy there are some exceptions. For instance, there are Ellen G. White quotations that allow tithe to be used in newly developing areas where the work is just being begun. Some tithe may be used for building in some of those places, so there are there are a few, a very few, exceptions that are listed in the tithing policy, and we just wanted to clarify that there are those exceptions. Tithe should not be used on these other things unless it is part of the tithing policy as an exception. I would move approval of that addition.

GERRY D. KARST: We have the motion and the second before us.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I forgot that there has been a Tithe Commission that’s been meeting, and as we were working on this document we knew that they were working on guidelines, and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t put something in that would be contrary to what the Title Commission came up with.

GERRY D. KARST: I call on Bill Roberts.

BILL ROBERTS: Yes, Mr. Chairman, my thought is that today’s tithe payers would be helped if where it says “approved under General Conference policy” we could put something in the notes that would let church members know where to look to understand exactly where the money goes and how that policy works. Today’s church members seem to feel the need for more understanding of the whole process. I think that including that note might help the process.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, there would be no problem with us adding a reference line there saying where the policies on tithe could be obtained.

GERRY D. KARST: We have line 31 on page 114. Pastor Trecartin, that is the motion on the floor.

HOMER TRECARTIN: That’s correct.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Frank Sam Barden Chirwa.

FRANK SAM BARDEN CHIRWA: We frequently refer to the General Conference Working Policy. There are very few working policies that the church body can refer to. If we have more working policies delivered to the unions, local churches could have access to them. It could be appropriate for reference to that case.

GERRY D. KARST: That’s a good point; thank you. The chair recognizes David Potter.

DAVID POTTER: I’m speaking to the words “General Conference policy.” Is that referring to the Working Policy, as expressed on line 24? If so, should we not therefore be consistent in the wording?

GERRY D. KARST: Our 15-minute block has run out. And at this point I’m going to ask you if you want to continue discussion or cease discussion. If you are in favor of ceasing discussion, raise your cards. If there are any opposed, by the same sign. Discussion ceases; we’ll take no more speeches. All in favor of this motion, raise your cards. Any opposed, by the same sign. That is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 115, lines 17-20, there’s an addition acknowledging that more than one offering plan has been approved for use in the world field. Beginning on line 17:
“In addition to the traditional Calendar of Offerings program where each offering taken is for a specific purpose, the General Conference has approved the Combined Offering system and the Personal Giving Plan. The division committee is authorized to determine which plan will be used in its territory.”

GERRY D. KARST: That’s moved and seconded. Microphone 6.

JEAN-PIERRE MULUMBA TSHIMANGA: I would like to know if it could be possible for the committee that worked on the Church Manual to explain the two systems, so that people can vote with understanding of what it means exactly—the two systems that are stated over there.

HOMER TRECARTIN: There are actually three systems, the Calendar of Offerings, the Combined Offering system, and the Personal Giving Plan. Those have all been approved by the General Conference Executive Committee. They just were never mentioned. They’ve been in existence for some time, but not mentioned in the Church Manual, so we wanted to make it clear that a division that has adopted one of those plans is not in violation of the Church Manual. The specific details are fairly extensive, and we would have to get someone from Treasury to come in and explain that, but that wasn’t the purpose here.

GERRY D. KARST: The chair recognizes Andre Amsen.

ANDRE AMSEN: On lines 19 and 20, “division committee is authorized to determine which plan will be used in its territory,” I want to replace “division” with “union” because it’s the local church that decides what’s going to happen with the offerings. The amendment will be that we replace “division” with “union.”

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It seems to me that that is not possible, because the division is the entity in charge to review and to provide the policies for the entire division. If the division allows that in their executive committee, it will be OK. But at this level we are dealing with the divisions, not the unions, so it seems to me that this is not something that is acceptable.

GERRY D. KARST: The division determines those policies. The chair recognizes the General Conference treasurer, Bob Lemon.

ROBERT E. LEMON: I think there may be some misunderstanding as to what the three offerings systems are. Just in real short form: Our Calendar of Offerings—every week in the year the loose offering is designated for church expense or the conference, or Adventist World Radio, or whatever it is for. An individual under any of the three plans can put an offering in designated for a specific purpose, as long as it’s recorded as that on the envelope.

When you come to the Combined Offering, if you put your offering on the Combined Offering line on the envelope or if you put it in loose during the church service or the Sabbath school service, there’s a predetermined percentage that goes to each level. For example: 50 percent to the local church, 20 percent to the General Conference for the world offerings and Sabbath school offerings, a percentage to the conference—usually 20 percent—and the other 10 percent is divided between the union and the division.

With the Personal Giving Plan, which is the third option, you have percentages, but you really have three lines. You have the World Budget, which is the mission offering. You have the local conference offering, and then you have the local church offering. At the local level, individuals can give to whatever they wish to, but as a system that is promoted within a division, it is best for us to have a single system of promotion. However, the divisions have the authority to choose multiple systems within the division.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you, Elder Lemon. Microphone 4.

TADAOMI SHINMYO: Mr. Chairman, is it possible to tell us how many divisions among the 13 are having a Combined Offering system or the Personal Giving Plan?

GERRY D. KARST: Elder Lemon, could we invite you back to the microphone to respond to that question? How many divisions are participating in these plans?

ROBERT E. LEMON: The Personal Giving Plan is in the North American Division. And I think that six or seven divisions participate in the Combined Offering plan.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. We are going to vote on that amendment to change “division” to “union.” [The amendment was lost.] So we are back to “division,” with the original motion before us. Microphone 4.

WILFREDO SUMAGAYSAY: I have seen that the spirit of this statement is to give flexibility. Because the statement in line 20 says, “The division committee is authorized to determine which plan—that is singular—will be used in its territory.” So is it understood, Mr. Chairman, that a given division is allowed to adopt only one plan?

GERRY D. KARST: Elder Trecartin?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I think Pastor Lemon would need to respond to that.

ROBERT E. LEMON: Mr. Chairman, I believe that all the divisions that have gone off of the Calendar of Offerings to the Combined Offering have done it division-wide. But that may have taken a number of years to phase in everywhere. So there probably have been times that they had some areas of the division on one plan and some on the other. But I would remind you that under all three plans, if an individual designates their offering for a specific item, that is recognized, and the plan does not override that. So there is always the personal choice in the offering plan.

GERRY D. KARST: Brother Sumagaysay.

WILFREDO SUMAGAYSAY: So if that’s the case, I think we must rethink the singular use of “plan.” Because when we plan, we are recommending to the division to come up with only one plan. The statement might be revised to allow a combination of plans out of the three recognized giving plans.

GERRY D. KARST: So are you wanting the manual to say “the division committee is authorized to determine which plan or plans will be instituted in its territory”?

WILFREDO SUMAGAYSAY: It would give a leeway to the division and not limit them to only one plan, because the intention of this paragraph is flexibility.

GERRY D. KARST: Let me get a response from Elder Trecartin.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, we would be comfortable with putting an “s” in parentheses at the end of “plan,” if that’s OK with the General Conference Treasury. We were under the impression that there could be only one plan, but if it’s OK with the General Conference Treasury we’d be happy to add an “s” at the end.

GERRY D. KARST: We’ll give the microphone to Elder Lemon to respond to whether putting an “s” in parentheses after “plan” would help it.

ROBERT E. LEMON: Mr. Chairman, I believe most divisions would choose a single plan, but it’s certainly not a problem for us if they choose in one part of their division to have one plan and in another part to have another. It may be a challenge for their stewardship department in promotion, but we have no objection:

GERRY D. KARST: OK, can we by common consent simply add an “s” in parentheses behind that?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Yes.

GERRY D. KARST: I notice our clock has run out on this particular item.
[It was voted to end the discussion.]
We’re back to the main motion now. All in favor of the main motion, please lift up your cards. Thank you. Any opposed, by the same sign. That is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 116, lines 20 and 21, you will notice that we have removed the sample church budget that used to be in the main manual and we have put it in the notes, because it is very flexible and the sample doesn’t fit all parts of the world. It’s a sample. So, Mr. Chairman, I would move that we approve moving the sample church budget to the notes sections.

GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that completes chapter 11, and I would move approval of chapter 11 as presented and amended here.

GERRY D. KARST: We have a motion and a second for chapter 11. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 120, lines 11 and 12, there is an addition that expands the type of communication that affects our lives, and similar passages are on pages 125 and 126. Let me read just those couple lines, starting on line 11. “In a time when a flood of communication pours forth from the printed page, radio, television, the internet, and other mass media, when thousands of voices plead for hearing, we must.” And it goes on with what has been there before. Mr. Chairman, I would move that we approve expanding the types of media that affect us. [Motion was seconded.]

[A question was asked about the highlighted material on page 119.]

GERRY D. KARST: Did we miss something on page 119?

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, the highlighting on page 119 was a mistake.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you for clarifying that. OK, we have this motion before us on lines 11 and 12, page 120.

HOMER TRECARTIN: And also pages 125 and 126, the expansion there.

GERRY D. KARST: It has been moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on page 121, lines 22-34, there are some additional Ellen White quotations that have been added there, and I would move approval of those additional quotes.

GERRY D. KARST: Moved and seconded to include three Spirit of Prophecy statements in this section.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: This is the section on Sabbathkeeping.

GERRY D. KARST: Does anyone want to speak to this? I see some at microphone 1.

FINN FRODE ECKHOFF: Mr. Chairman, the present motion is to add these suggested quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy. I have reason to believe that this comes as part of the suggestion from the Norwegian Union through the system, together with a series of other suggestions, and I am glad that they are here before us today. However, there was an additional part to this specific suggestion from the Norwegian Union that is not included in the motion before us. This concerns lines 40, 41, and 42. The suggestion was to quote the Bible instead of attempting to express the meaning of Isaiah 58:13 by using words other than those found in the Bible itself. By selecting other words, we find that the manual is saying that we should not think our own thoughts on the Sabbath day. I cannot see that Isaiah 58:13 expresses such an idea, and I cannot see that it is possible to go through a Sabbath day without thinking your own thoughts from time to time. So therefore, Mr. Chairman, the suggestion is to delete the words, beginning with the last word on line 40, the whole of line 41, and the five first words on line 42. Let me read the words that are suggested to be deleted. Starting with the last word on line 40, “Our own pleasure, words, business, and thoughts should find no place in the observance of the Lord’s day.” These are to be deleted. Instead of these words, the text as it is found in the Bible should be used, and I suggest that the New International Version be used in this instance. Let me read it as it will be from the beginning of line 40. “The Sabbath hours belong to God and are to be used for Him alone.” And then the quote, “Honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words.” End of quote. I move this amendment to the motion, Mr. Chairman.

GERRY D. KARST: I realize this came from the Norwegian Union, and through the system. But sometimes not everything that you run through the system ends up with approval through the committee. And I understand what you are attempting to say here, but we had agreed together that we were going to deal only with the highlighted items, and you may have to make another run at this through the system, because you’ve got part of it, but the other didn’t come.

FIN FRODE ECKHOFF: Mr. Chairman, could I comment on that?

GERRY D. KARST: Yes,

FIN FRODE ECKHOFF: This body will not have the possibility of reacting to this if it’s let down after having been through the system. I think it is unfair when we point out a biblical-based suggestion and have to be turned down, have to wait another five years to be presented.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, I agree with your comments regarding the way the new proposals need to be referred or channeled. But in this case it seems to me that it is very easy to insert just a Bible text that will reinforce the thought that we are trying to strengthen.

GERRY D. KARST: Well, I’m wondering if it might meet the mind of the body. You’ve heard our brother from Norway say that they had included some additional things that didn’t get in here. If you are willing to make an exception to that and refer this item back to the committee and bring it to us before we leave here, then you can appear before the committee and see what comes back in. Would that meet your mind? I am just trying to find a way through this because I know you have a strong conviction on this, and it didn’t end up the way you wanted it.

FINN FRODE ECKHOFF: Well, definitely it’s better than not having it presented. But to my understanding, it’s a biblical verse that is made right in front of this parenthesis, and I’m just pointing out that there is a thought that is not supported in the Bible text itself. And I think we are much stronger by using the Bible text as it is in the Bible and not trying to use our interpretive words. That is my point. But if you are ruling that I have to appear before the committee, I will do so.

GERRY D. KARST: Just remain there; we have a point of order on microphone 5.
JAY GALLIMORE: Mr. Chairman, there are lots of people that have intense feelings about different things in the manual; but again, we voted to deal only with recommendations from the committee, and there is a process by which these issues can be dealt with. I think you announced that the Church Manual Committee was going to meet tomorrow, so I wish we could stay on our task.

HOMER TRECARTIN: I didn’t bring my notes from the Church Manual Committee, so I don’t remember these particular items exactly. I do know that we received items from divisions. It wasn’t always indicated where they had come from, and we would have to look at that and see. I don’t remember a decision not to include something and to include another. We’d have to look at those notes. I would say that when the Church Manual Committee meets tomorrow, we will not be dealing with anything that has not been specifically referred back. We won’t have time. We will deal only with the items that have been specifically referred back to that committee. So if this doesn’t get referred back, we won’t be dealing with it. This—by the way—is wording that’s been in the manual for some time. We didn’t change anything here at all. It’s exactly as it is in the current Church Manual.

FINN FRODE ECKHOFF: I have a problem. How can I refer something back that is not allowed onto the floor? So help me in this instance.

GERRY D. KARST: I think this would have to end up being some new business referred to the standing committee.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The Steering Committee or the Church Manual Committee?

GERRY D. KARST: The standing Church Manual Committee. We’re at a little impasse here at this point in time, because we have agreed on our procedure and I do understand your concern. We have another point of order.

KENAOPE KENAOPE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to ask the chair what motion we are discussing right now. Because it’s my understanding that we are dealing with a recommendation.

GERRY D. KARST: That is correct. Our brother has been appealing for the consideration of something that is not on the recommendation. We are dealing only with recommendations.
I have three other speakers. Ray Roennfeldt wishes to speak.

RAY ROENNFELDT: I’m concerned just a little that we are adding a lot of material from Ellen White. Now, I highly value Ellen White as a guide for the church. But we are people of the Book, and I wonder why we are not adding some very important scriptures in this regard, rather than our Spirit of Prophecy writings. And some of the quotations seem to be redundant.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, that’s a valid comment.

GERRY D. KARST: Silton Browne wishes to speak, and then I would like to bring this to a vote.

SILTON BROWNE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I really want to applaud you for your patience with us in the processing of things fairly. However, I also want to emphasize that there is value in the position that has been voted upon and taken in referring all these new matters back to the committee. Whereas I thoroughly sympathize with our brother from Norway for bringing the point, and it could be simply inserted, I think we need the proper counsel of the Church Manual Committee on this matter, since the text recommended came from the New International Version. We have some folk in my conference who have broken off because they do not want the NIV quoted in Adventist literature. We will seek to give them guidance; but for all these reasons we do well to respect the process that has been established and not to depart from it for now.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you. That was the last speaker before us, and I see no one else at the microphone. I’m going to call for a vote on the highlighted areas. [The motion was approved.] At this point, we’re going to stop the Church Manual items.

GERRY D. KARST: Let’s stand together for the closing prayer.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: [Benediction.]

GERRY D. KARST, Chair

AGUSTIN GALICIA, Secretary

CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor

GARY B. PATTERSON and FRED G. THOMAS, Assistant Proceedings Editors


Session Actions (Church Manual only)


BUSINESS MEETINGS HELD ONCE A YEAR (BUSINESS
MEETINGS) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Business Meetings, page 106, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Business meetings shall be held at least once a year. The pastor, or the board in consultation with and support of the pastor, calls the meeting. Business meetings typically are announced a week or two in advance at the regular Sabbath worship service, with detail as to time and place. The pastor, an elder arranged by the pastor, or in some cases, the conference president, serves as chairperson of the business meeting.

AUTHORITY OF THE BUSINESS MEETING (BUSINESS MEETINGS) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Business Meetings, page 107, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Major items should be decided at a regular or specially called business meeting.

The business meeting has authority over the board and may delegate responsibilities to the board in addition to those already assigned by the Church Manual. (See p. XX.)


UNION OFFICERS MAY ATTEND BUSINESS MEETINGS AND
CONFERENCE AND UNION OFFICERS MAY VOTE AS
MEMBERS OF THEIR LOCAL CHURCH (BUSINESS
MEETINGS) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Business Meetings, page 107, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Conference and union officers (president, secretary, treasurer) or their designee may attend without vote (unless granted by the church) any business meeting of any church in their territory. An action to allow voting is not required if the officer is currently a member of that congregation.

DEFINITION AND FUNCTION (BOARD AND ITS MEETINGS) -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Board and Its Meetings, Definition and Function, page 107, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Definition and Function—Every church must have a functioning board whose members have been elected during a church business meeting. Its chief concern is the spiritual nurture of the church and the work of planning and fostering evangelism in all of its phases.

MEMBERSHIP (BOARD AND ITS MEETINGS) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Board and Its Meetings, Membership, pages 108-109, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Membership—In addition to conference-appointed pastors, the church should elect a representative board which includes the following officers:

Elders
Head deacon
Head deaconess
Treasurer
Clerk
Interest coordinator
Adventist Men’s coordinator
Adventist Youth Society leader
Adventurer Club director
Bible School coordinator
Children’s ministries leader
Church music coordinator
Communication Committee chairperson or communication secretary
Community services and/ or Dorcas Society leader
Education secretary
Family ministries leader
Health ministries leader
Home and School Association leader
Pathfinder Club leader
Personal ministries leader and secretary
Publishing ministries coordinator
Religious liberty leader
Sabbath School superintendent
Stewardship ministries leader
Women’s ministries leader

In some cases, depending on the size of the membership, the board may not include all of this list, or may add additional members. The pastor appointed by the conference to serve the church always is a member of the board.

OFFICERS (BOARD AND ITS MEETINGS) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Board and Its Meetings, Officers, page 109, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The clerk serves as secretary of the board and is responsible for recording, presenting, and preserving the minutes of the meetings.

CHAPTER 10 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 10 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

TITHE - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 11, Finance, Tithe, page 114, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Tithe shall not be used in any way by the local church but held in trust and remitted to the conference treasurer. Thus tithe from all the churches flows into the conference treasury and percentages are forwarded to the next higher level in accordance with General Conference and division working policies to meet the expenses of conducting the work of God in their respective spheres of responsibility and activity.

SYSTEMATIC BENEVOLENCE AND UNITY - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 11, Finance, Tithe, Systematic Benevolence and Unity, page 114, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Systematic Benevolence and Unity—The financial plan of the Church serves a larger purpose than appears in its financial and statistical reports. The system of sharing the funds with the world fields, as outlined by General Conference Working Policy, serves a wonderful purpose of unifying the Church’s spiritual work throughout the world.

HOW TITHE IS TO BE USED - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 11, Finance, Tithe, How Tithe is to be Used, page 114, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

How Tithe Is to Be Used—Tithe is held sacred for the work of the ministry, for Bible teaching, and for the support of conference administration in the care of the churches and of field outreach (missionary) endeavors. Tithe shall not be spent on other work, on paying church or institutional debts, or on building programs, except as approved under General Conference Working Policy. For more information on the use of tithe, see Notes #X p. XX.

OFFERINGS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 11, Finance, Offerings, page 115, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

In addition to the traditional Calendar of Offerings program where each offering taken is for a specific purpose, the General Conference has approved the Combined Offering system and the Personal Giving Plan(s). The division committee is authorized to determine which plan(s) will be used in its territory.

CHURCH BUDGET FOR LOCAL EXPENSES - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 11, Finance, Offerings, Church Budget for Local Expenses, page 116, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes) and move the sample budget to the notes:

Church Budget for Local Expenses—The most satisfactory method of providing for church expenses is the budget plan. Before the beginning of the new budget year, the board should prepare a budget of expenses for church activities during the next year. The budget should include all income and expenses, including those related to all departments. It should provide for such projected costs as utilities, insurance, maintenance, janitor service, funds for the poor and needy, and church school expense. (See Notes, #X, p. XX, for sample budget.)

SAMPLE ANNUAL BUDGET - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in the Chapter 11 Notes, paragraph 1, Sample Annual Budget, page 160, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Sample Annual Budget*—(See p. XX.)

Church Proposed Operating Budget

Estimated Receipts—
Sabbath School Expense Collections 1,500.00
Church Fund for the Needy 375.00
Combined (Church) Budget Giving 27,055.00
Welfare Fund 300.00
Total Receipts 29,230.00

Estimated Expenses—
Repairs and Painting Church Building 2,250.00
Fuel 2,350.00
Janitor and Supplies 1,475.00
Insurance on Building and Furnishings 750.00
Church Fund for the Needy 1,450.00
Sabbath School Supplies 1,250.00
Emergency Expense 2,000.00
Light 3,220.00
Water 360.00
Gas 550.00
Stationery and Supplies 500.00
Laundry 75.00
Church School Subsidy 8,000.00
Welfare Expense 1,000.00
Evangelism and Church Planting 4,000.00
Total Proposed Expenses 29,230.00
Balance 00,000.00

* Additional columns (such as Last Year’s Budget and Last Year’s Actual) should be included for comparison, but have been left out of this sample due to space constraints.

CHAPTER 11 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 11 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 12, Standards of Christian Living, Bible Study and Prayer, page 120, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Spiritual life is maintained by spiritual food. We must maintain the habit of devotional Bible study and prayer if we are to perfect holiness. In a time when a flood of communication pours forth from the printed page, radio, television, the internet, and other modern mass media, when thousands of voices plead for a hearing, we must close our eyes and our ears to much that seeks entrance to our minds and devote ourselves to God’s Book, the Book of all books, the Book of Life—the Bible. If we cease to be the people of the Book, we are lost, and our mission has failed. Only as we daily talk to God in prayer and listen to His voice can we hope to live the life that is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3) and finish His work.

MODERN MEDIA - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 12, Standards of Christian Living, Modern Media, pages 125 and 126, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Like our bodies, our inner beings need wholesome nourishment for renewal and strengthening (2 Cor. 4:6). Our minds are the measure of our persons. Food for our minds is of the utmost importance in developing character and in carrying out our life’s purposes. For this reason we should carefully evaluate our mental habits. What we choose to read, hear, and watch, whether by book or magazine, radio or television, the internet, or other modern media shapes and impacts our character.

Books and other literature are among the most valuable means of education and culture, but these must be well chosen and rightly used. There is a wealth of good literature, but equally there is a flood of literature, often in most attractive guise, that damages minds and morals. The tales of wild adventure and of moral laxness, whether fact or fiction, however presented, are unfit for Christians of any age.

“Those who indulge the habit of racing through an exciting story are simply crippling their mental strength, and disqualifying their minds for vigorous thought and research.”—CT 135. Along with other evil results from the habit of reading fiction, we are told that “it unfits the soul to contemplate the great problems of duty and destiny” and “creates a distaste for life’s practical duties.”—CT 383.

Radio, television, and the internet have changed the whole atmosphere of our modern world and have brought us within easy contact with the life, thought, and activities of the entire globe. They can be great educational agencies through which we can enlarge our knowledge of world events and enjoy important discussions and the best in music.

Unfortunately, however, modern mass media also can bring to their audiences almost continuous theatrical and other performances with influences that are neither wholesome nor uplifting. If we are not discriminating, they will bring sordid programs right into our homes.

SABBATHKEEPING - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 12, Standards of Christian Living, Sabbathkeeping, page 121, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

“The Sabbath—oh!—make it the sweetest, the most blessed day of the whole week.”—FLB 36.

“The Sabbath . . . is God’s time, not ours; when we trespass upon it we are stealing from God . . . God has given us the whole of six days in which to do our work, and has reserved only one to Himself. This should be a day of blessing to us—a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven.”—HP 152.

“We are not to teach our children that they must not be happy on the Sabbath, that it is wrong to walk out of doors. Oh, no. Christ led His disciples out by the lakeside on the Sabbath day and taught them. His sermons on the Sabbath were not always preached within enclosed walls.”—HP 152.



Gerry D Karst, Chair
Agustin Galicia, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Tamara K Boward, Recording Secretary



Twelth Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference Session, July 1, 2010, 9:15 a.m.

Proceedings (Church Manual Only)

PARDON K. MWANSA: Thank you. The point is taken. Let me proceed to make my introductory remarks. The scope of our work this morning is the Church Manual items. We do hope that we will finish all the Church Manual items in the remaining hour and 22 minutes before 11:00, at which time we will turn our attention to the ministry of the Word again. After we are done with those, our chairman for the Church Manual Committee, Elder Miranda, and the secretary, Elder Trecartin, will bring to us nine other items that were referred back but are now ready to be brought to your attention. I would like at this point to invite our chairperson for the Church Manual Committee, Elder Armando Miranda, and his team to lead us in these agenda items.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning to everyone. I would invite you to pay attention our next recommendation, which I’m going to read.
“Music is one of the highest arts. Good music not only gives us pleasure but elevates our minds and cultivates our finest qualities. God often has used spiritual songs to touch the hearts of sinners and lead to repentance. On the contrary, debased music breaks down morality and draws us away from our relationship with God.” Mr. Chairman, I move the recommendation.

PARDON K. MWANSA: Before it is seconded, I see a point of order is being raised. I would like to encourage the delegates to ask yourselves, before you raise a point of order, “Is it a point of order, or is it something that really is a discussion item?” Once somebody raises a point of order, I as a chairperson have to stop at that point. But what I’m expecting at that time is somebody to say, “Mr. Chairman, somebody has collapsed here,” or “There is no translation going on. We can’t hear.” In other words, I’m expecting that something has happened that should interrupt the meeting. That would be a point of order that would help us do the business of the Lord. Much of what is being raised as points of order is in fact discussion. I appreciate your help on that.
[The motion was seconded and voted.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With this we are coming to the end of chapter 12, and I move that we accept the whole chapter.

PARDON K. MWANSA: We have a second for that. Any discussion?

RACHELLE CHAPMAN: I would like to move that this item, to accept chapter 12, be referred back to the Church Manual Committee with the suggestion that some of the culturally irrelevant or not universally relevant material be included in the notes.

PARDON K. MWANSA: Is the motion seconded? Yes. I need to remind delegates that we are running out of time, and items that are referred will not be able to be brought back to the floor.
[Discussion on the motion ensued; a motion to end discussion was made, seconded, and voted. The motion to refer chapter 12 was not accepted. The motion to accept chapter 12 was voted.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, I will read the next item, on page 128:
“These evils have become more open and threatening to the ideals and purposes of the Christian home. Adultery, pornography, abuse of any kind (including sexual abuse of spouses, children, and the elderly), incest, and homosexual and lesbian practices are among the perversions of God’s original plan and illustrate the brokenness of humanity.”
Mr. Chairman, I move that we approve those additions.

PARDON K. MWANSA: It is seconded. [The motion was voted.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 129, line 24, one word, the word “can,” is being added. It’s to acknowledge that not all items in the list always suggest an atmosphere contrary to Christian standards. I’ll read the paragraph:
“Our homes are by far the best places for social gatherings. In large centers where it is impossible to hold such gatherings in homes and where there is no social center of our own, we should secure a place free from influences destructive of Christian standards, rather than a place ordinarily used for commercial amusements and sports, such as social halls and skating rinks, which can suggest an atmosphere contrary to Christian standards.” I would like to give an explanation for the insertion of that word. It is to cover us in meetings like this. This particular venue is a commercial site, normally used for amusements and sports, and yet we’ve been blessed spiritually here, and it is not an atmosphere contrary to Christian standards. So that word has been inserted to allow for cases like this. I move it.

PARDON K. MWANSA: It’s been seconded. Those in favor, show by raising your voting cards. Opposed, by the same. It’s carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 131, lines 36 and 37, is an addition emphasizing that marriage is to be between one male and one female. I will read lines 36 and 37.

“Marriage, thus instituted by God, is a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between one male and one female.”
I move approval of that addition.

PARDON K. MWANSA: We have a second. The chair recognizes Jeroen Tuinstra.

JEROEN TUINSTRA: I believe the text at hand, as we have it here, is too much open for abuse. In the development of this General Conference session, in which we have taken statements on sexual abuse of children and the abuse in general of women and children, I believe the text at hand is too much open. The text here leaves it open for child marriages and marriages that are forced. I believe this is an open church, not a closed church. We’re creating an atmosphere in which we close our Church Manual to people. I would like to move an amendment that will read as follows:
“Marriage, thus instituted by God, is a monogamous, loving relationship between two mutually consenting adults.”

PARDON K. MWANSA: It is seconded.
[A lengthy discussion ensued, and the amendment failed to pass.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: What we are voting at this point is the original motion, which is what you have in your agenda notebooks. I will read it:
“Marriage, thus instituted by God, is a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between one male and one female.”

PARDON K. MWANSA: All those in favor of the motion, show by raising your voting cards. Opposed, by the same. It is carried.


Session Actions (Church Manual only)


MUSIC - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 12, Standards of Christian Living, Music, page 127, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Music is one of the highest arts. Good music not only gives us pleasure but elevates our minds and cultivates our finest qualities. God often has used spiritual songs to touch the hearts of sinners and lead to repentance. On the contrary, debased music breaks down morality and draws us away from our relationship with God.

CHAPTER 12 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To not refer Chapter 12 of the revised Church Manual back to the Church Manual Committee at the General Conference Session in Atlanta.

CHAPTER 12 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 12 of the revised Church Manual as presented.

PORNOGRAPHY AND ABUSE ARE PERVERSIONS OF GOD’S
PLAN (SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 13, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage, Social Relationships, page 128, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

These evils have become more open and threatening to the ideals and purposes of the Christian home. Adultery, pornography, abuse of any kind (including sexual abuse of spouses, children, and the elderly), incest, and homosexual and lesbian practices are among the perversions of God’s original plan and illustrate the brokenness of humanity. As the intent of clear passages of Scripture (see Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:22, 29; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10; Rom. 1:20‑32) is denied and as their warnings are rejected in exchange for human opinions, much uncertainty and confusion prevail. Since ancient times and civilizations, Satan’s plan always has been to cause people to forget that God is their Creator and that when He created humankind in His own image, He created both “male and female” (Gen. 1:27).

ATMOSPHERE CONTRARY TO CHRISTIAN STANDARDS (SOCIAL
RELATIONSHIPS) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 12, Standards of Christian Living, Social Relationships, page 129, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Our homes are by far the best places for social gatherings. In large centers where it is impossible to hold such gatherings in homes and where there is no social center of our own, we should secure a place free from influences destructive of Christian standards, rather than a place ordinarily used for commercial amusements and sports, such as social halls and skating rinks, which can suggest an atmosphere contrary to Christian standards.

LIMITING DISCUSSION

Since so many delegates were lined up to comment on the marriage item, it was

VOTED, To limit speakers to the item on marriage, to one minute, with a time limit on the discussion of ten minutes, after which a vote will be taken whether to continue to discussion or call for the vote.

DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE IN THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To not change the definition of marriage in the Church Manual, Chapter 13, Standards of Christian Living, Marriage, page 131, to include a relationship between any two consenting adults.

MARRIAGE - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 13, Standards of Christian Living, Marriage, page 131, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

God intended the marriage of Adam and Eve to be the pattern for all future marriages, and Christ endorsed this original concept: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:4-6). Marriage, thus instituted by God, is a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between one male and one female.

Pardon K Mwansa, Chair
Claude Sabot, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Tamara K Boward, Recording Secretary



Thirteenth Business Meeting

Fifty-ninth General Conference Session, July 1, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

Proceedings (Church Manual Only)

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Thank you, Elder Nix. At this point I am going to call Armando Miranda and Homer Trecartin to come forward to pick up where we left off earlier on the Church Manual. As we ended the previous session we had someone who wished to speak.

TOR EIGIL TJERANSEN: Thank you, Madam Chair. My concern was simply to recognize, at the conclusion of the work of the Nominating Committee, that at several points delegates have voiced a concern over the lack of female representation. I am wondering if a motion to ask for a percentage representation would be a way for the body to express its wish.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Well, obviously you are looking at the possibilities of bringing some balance, not attempting to achieve a representative quota, which would be close to 70 percent. So you are actually asking that perhaps leadership or the General Conference administration consider possibilities for increasing female representation. That would be an item that would go to the Steering Committee, as opposed to our entertaining a specific motion at this point. You will receive a report back as to the direction that the General Conference administration can take in approaching and addressing your concern.

TOR EIGIL TJERANSEN: If I may say so, I think you have served with distinction in your role of chair.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: I appreciate your confidence; thank you. All right, are we ready for the Church Manual items? It is obviously one of our favorite agenda items, because we keep returning to it.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: We are glad we are close to the goal. We have only three more items, but also remember that we have nine that were referred back. These we will present to you after we finish these last three.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: And before you do that, Pastor Miranda, I have just been handed a two-page report with those items, and I would like to be assured that the delegates have this same information.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Madam Chair, we have that on the screen.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We will move forward with what you have.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Madam Chair, we have finished chapter 13, and so I would move approval of chapter 13 as presented. [The motion to accept chapter 13 was seconded and voted.]
Madam Chair, you may find this surprising, but we did not do anything with chapter 14, “The Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.” Those are exactly as they have been before, and so there are no changes in chapter 14, and so I would move approval of chapter 14.
[The motion was seconded and voted.]
Madam Chair, the next item has to do with the Notes section. Remember the Notes are here as guidance or suggestions. They are not part of the main Church Manual. They are normally voted at an Annual Council, not at the General Conference session, but since we are here and since this is part of an entirely reedited reorganized Church Manual, we wanted to include them in the action. This section is an addition that’s giving ideas or suggestions that a local church could put into place to help them safeguard the children of their church. Madam Chair, I would move that we approve inclusion of that section in our Notes section of the Church Manual.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: It has been moved and seconded. You have had these items for your review, and there have been references to these as we have moved along. Is there a need for discussion? I see there are several who wish to speak. [A number of items in the Notes section were discussed.]

HOMER TRECARTIN: We have the language that we have discussed, and part of it was sent back, part of it we voted in the Church Manual dealing with safeguarding children. But those were general statements. This is a much more specific one, which has been placed here in the Notes section.

ANNE-MAY WALLAN: May I say that in many countries, at least in Europe and the country I represent at the moment, we have to follow these things by law. And I suggest that each country really needs to follow this if this is stipulated in their country’s laws.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Thank you very much for that very important observation, and I think that is the spirit in which this is offered, because the laws of the various nations do vary. We’re saying that we want to keep our children safe and our people safe. So what we’re saying is that we advise you to do this, and you can go beyond this in assuring safety.
I believe we’re ready for the vote. All in favor, please show your voting cards. All opposed, with the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The next few highlighted items we have already acted on when they came up the first time that we had a reference to resources.
The next item that we need to vote is on page 156, lines 15-17 and lines 36-38. It’s in two places. There are additions urging hand washing after the foot-washing service and before the rest of the Communion service. I would move that we approve those additions.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have a second. We’re ready for the vote. All in favor, please raise your cards. All opposed, same sign. That is carried.
I have to say that this body has convinced me that there are a number of people who do read the Church Manual from cover to cover.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Madam Chair, the next item was not in the current manual. It is just an addition suggesting additional columns that could be put into a church’s budget. I would move approval of those additions. [The motion was seconded and voted.]
Now, Madam Chair, I would move approval of the Notes section of the Church Manual. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Before we go to the items that were referred back to the Church Manual Committee, let me tell you that we had a very good time with the committee, and we had a group of people who came to the meeting. Among them were some conference presidents, pastors, and laypeople. Let me tell you that we received very good suggestions.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Madam Chair, we do have sections ready to put up on the screen. Let me read to you what the standing Church Manual Committee has recommended for this particular paragraph:

“The Church Manual is divided into two types of material. The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is applicable to every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variations in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guidance and examples, appears as Notes at the end of the Church Manual. The Notes have subheadings corresponding to chapter subheadings and page numbers of the main text.”

Madam Chair, I would move approval of this recommendation from the Church Manual Committee. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

Madam Chair, let me read to you the paragraph regarding the next item.
“The Bible is the foundation and source of belief and practice, on this basis the General Conference in Session determines the stated fundamental beliefs of the Church, authorizes establishment of unions and the attachment of field units, revises the Church Manual, elects General Conference and division leadership, performs other functions as outlined in its Constitution and Bylaws, and considers items referred to it by its Executive Committee. The General Conference Executive Committee between Sessions is empowered by the Constitution and Bylaws to act on behalf of the constituents. Thus Church organizations around the world recognize the General Conference in Session as the voice of the Church.”

Madam Chair, I would move approval of these recommendations from the Church Manual Committee.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have a motion with support.

JOHN M. FOWLER: Madam Chair, I would like to move a very brief editorial correction.

HOMER TRECARTIN: That would be fine. I think we could take that by common consent unless there’s a concern with that.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: It was a motion.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion, we have support. All in favor with this slight adjustment included, raise your cards. Anyone opposed to that adjustment, raise your cards. [Motion was voted.] Now we move to the main motion. All in favor, please raise your cards. And all opposed, the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The next item we would like to ask the General Conference legal counsel to address.

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: By way of explanation, we had a long discussion on this matter before it was referred back. But by way of explanation, there are many times church officials serve on many boards and committees by virtue of their positions on organizations other than their own. Discussion takes place on those boards and committees that affect those organizations. Just because some union or division committee talked about something in their meetings or recorded it in their minutes, we don’t want that to be dragged into a lawsuit. By way of explanation, I could give you a couple instances in which this sort of thing has occurred, and why the proposal comes forward in the form that you see it.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Maybe just one, as an illustration.

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: We recently had a situation that involved an airplane crash, in which a number of individuals were tragically killed. A number a lawsuits ensued from that crash. Not only was the manufacturer sued, but also all the various church organizations from the conference to the General Conference. “Why,” you ask, “would they do that?” The General Conference and the division all had policies dealing with aviation. As a lawyer started to investigate, those bringing suit said, “Oh, the church has policies on aviation. Because you make the policies, you must be involved in this decision-making. And therefore, we are going to include you in the lawsuit.” Our attempt here is to ensure that as lawyers start to dig through church manuals and church policies, they see that just because we’re together as a Seventh-day Adventist Church, we do not necessarily accept the legal obligations of others. Church organizations don’t automatically assume the obligations of related organizations. There has to be some positive action on their part to accept that obligation. Just because we have policies does not necessarily mean we are together in this. There has to be some positive activity in accepting that responsibility or that liability. We tried to come up with additional wording to make it simpler to understand. Our concern was that if a lawyer were to get hold of a simpler language they would see around that language, and so we were content to bring back to the floor the language that was originally presented in its form that you have before you.

HOMER TRECARTIN: I move that we retain the language that is in the agenda notebooks, which is the same as what you see on the screen.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion, and there is support. All in favor, please raise you cards. Those opposed, the same sign. The motion carries.

HOMER TRECARTIN: As the Church Manual Committee looked at the next item, we decided that it was going to require more thought and research than we would be able to care for during this session. Since it was not part of the highlighted material and no content was changed from what’s in the current Church Manual, we decided that we would recommend leaving it as it is in the current manual and in your agenda notebooks and recommend that any future changes to that section be brought through the normal channels. I so move.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: Second.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: The motion is that there will be no change in this section. All in favor, please raise your voting cards. Thank you. All opposed, raise your cards. It’s carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 49, lines 31-36, we do have some recommendations. Let me read the passage to you. “When dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse, it should be remembered that restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious violation. While attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines, a person convicted of or disciplined for sexual abuse shall not be placed in a role which could put them in contact with children, youth, and other vulnerable individuals. Neither shall they be given any position which would encourage vulnerable individuals to trust them implicitly.” I move approval of that recommendation from the Church Manual Committee.

AGUSTIN GALICIA: Second.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion and support. All in favor, please raise your voting cards. All opposed, raise your cards. It’s carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The next section is page 61, lines 22-31. That section is on the screen now. It has two paragraphs, and I will read those. “Ordination Service for Deaconesses—Such a service would be carried out by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference. The ordination service should be characterized by simplicity and performed in the presence of the church.”

Now the second: “If they retain church membership, deaconesses do not need to be ordained again if they move their membership to other churches. When the term for which they were elected expires, they must be reelected if they are to continue to serve as deaconesses.” I move approval of the recommendation of the Church Manual Committee.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion before us with support.

HOMER TRECARTIN: The Church Manual Committee recognizes that our original action is different from the wording under the deacons section. Under deacons it says that they must be ordained before they can perform their duties. The action that we took earlier in the week says that a similar but shorter service should take place for the ordination of deacons and deaconesses. There is much more flexibility in this than there is in the section on deacons, and the wording selected here allows for some flexibility in areas in which that would be a challenge.
Madam Chair, remember that in the initial part of our Church Manual we added a definition that said that “conference” in this manual includes “conference,” “mission,” even “union of churches” when the context would so indicate.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Microphone 4, Bert Haloviak.

BERT HALOVIAK: Madam Chair, I’d like to address an element of this issue that I don’t believe has been addressed yet. We celebrate a long heritage on this question of women having a very prominent place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We came from a religious background that fostered that kind of heritage. Ellen White herself participated in services and in examinations of the receiving of the ministerial license for women. And there was no scriptural authority for such participation, but I think Ellen White knew how to read the Scriptures, and so she felt that this was more a question apparently of church polity, the practical way the church moves forward in things that are not explicitly condemned in Scripture but make good sense for the fostering of the gospel, and then when she made her ordination statement in Australia in 1895 an important aspect of that statement mentioned people, women who participated in ministry both privately and publicly. Privately meant that they were volunteers in the local church, but publicly participating in this ministry meant that they were paid by tithe funds.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Thank you so much for your observation. We want to try to vote on this recommendation. Thank you very much. Dr. John Brunt wishes to speak.

JOHN BRUNT: The recommendation says such a service would be carried out by an ordained pastor currently credentialed. Would that exclude a woman pastor in a conference that makes a distinction, where men are ordained and women are credentialed? If the senior pastor of the congregation is a woman, would she then not be able to carry out this service?

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Madam Chair, our understanding is that only ordained pastors may perform this ceremony.

JOHN BRUNT: It just seems to me that would be difficult for women who are duly elected or duly appointed by the conference pastor of that congregation.

HOMER TRECARTIN: Madam Chair, this is not new language. We have kept the same language that’s used in the rest of the manual. That may be a point that needs to be visited at some point in the future, but I don’t think we should try to change it here today.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: If we can separate the two thoughts, we certainly do not want to lose Dr. Brunt’s concern, and at the same time we could move forward with the progress that we can make today while we continue to work on the other item. Microphone 5, Jim Lawrence.

JAMES LAWRENCE: Yes, Madam Chair—I’d like to move to the question.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: All in favor, please raise your cards. And all opposed, the same sign. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: on page 74, lines 6-9, there was another paragraph, and as the Church Manual Committee looked at it, they felt as though the change would require more thought and research than we could provide during this session, and since it too was not part of the material that had been highlighted, it was not part of the content changes recommended in this manual, the recommendation of the Church Manual Committee was that it be left as it is in your agenda notebook and that any suggestions for future changes be brought through the normal channels. I move the recommendation of the Church Manual Committee.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion with support. All in favor, please raise your cards. Thank you. All opposed, the same. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: On page 74, lines 11-18, we have made some suggestions for change. It was recommended that we put in the definition of marriage in this paragraph, and the committee decided, instead of putting in the entire definition of marriage, to put a reference to the page on which the definition of marriage is located. You will see that parenthetical statement inserted there. “See page 131 for the church’s definition of marriage.” I move approval of the Church Manual Committee’s recommendation.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We have the motion—with support. All in favor, raise your cards. All opposed, raise your cards. It is carried.

HOMER TRECARTIN: We referred back everything that had to do with the Ambassador Club because there was some confusion as to whether we should use the word “club” or the word “ministry.” We checked with the Youth Department and with others, and the Ambassador Club concept was approved by all of the relevant committees as “Ambassador Club.” Materials were then sent out to the divisions and are in use, and it was felt by the Church Manual Committee that it would not be appropriate for us to suddenly, in midstream, cause the confusion of making a name change. If a name change is needed, the Youth Ministries Department will work that through the appropriate committees, and when it is changed, then the Church Manual Committee will adopt that change for our next time. But for this time, on pages 85, 87, 108, 111, and 153, we are recommending that the words remain as “Ambassador Club.” I move that.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: The motion is before us with support. All in favor of this motion, raise your cards. Those who oppose the motion, please raise your cards. It is carried. The chair recognizes Armando Miranda.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: We’ve come to the end of item 401 on the Church Manual agenda, and now would like to proceed to move to item 402, the editing and reorganizing of the Church Manual. On page 73 we find the recommendation. This recommendation comes from the Annual Council.
The recommendation is: “To approve the editing, reorganizing, and restructuring of the current Church Manual which includes the following: change the order of chapters, reorganize paragraphs and sentences, eliminate duplicate quotes and wording, introduce new glossary terms, including new approved programs such as the Ambassador Club and including ‘union of churches’ wording, add selected texts and quotes, add references to department resources and websites to the Notes, and update wording to include modern media forms.”

ELLA S. SIMMONS: OK, it has been seconded. Microphone 1.

FRENSLY R. PANNEFLEK: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to know if new terms such as Ambassador Club and union of churches have been officially approved?

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Union of churches, the terminology, the concept, the item, the construct, has been approved, yes. I think we are ready to take action on this item. All in favor, please demonstrate such with the uplifted card. All opposed, with the same sign. That is carried.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Madam Chair, and thank you to each one of you. All the delegation, you did an excellent work.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: We express appreciation to the Church Manual Committee, and the committee expresses appreciation to the body. Now, there are several individuals remaining at the microphones. If you have brief general comments pertaining specifically to the Church Manual, we will take those now. We have one other item that will deserve appropriate time. At microphone 5, Gerson Perla.

GERSON PERLA: I would like to move that for the next General Conference session the Steering Committee consider the protection of children who are being forced to marry in other countries, so there is proper study and wording that is introduced in the next five years on that topic.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Your direct statement makes it clear that it is appropriate for you to refer that item of concern to the Steering Committee. We do not need to take action on that at this time. I will make sure that it will get there.

GERSON PERLA: Thank you.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: There is a point of order.

WELLINGTON ZEMBA: Thank you, Madam Chair. I think that we have dealt with all the issues, passage by passage, chapter by chapter, in the Church Manual. And we also have voted the authorization of the organization, and I don’t think it would appropriate for the chair to still allow people to comment on the issues of the Church Manual. Anyone wishing to say anything, I would propose they can follow the appropriate order on which the church has established. Thank you.

ELLA S. SIMMONS: Thank you very much. That last item pertained to an issue that emerged from the discussion this morning and is a separate issue that the presenter wanted to pass on to the Steering Committee.


Session Actions (Church Manual Only)

CHAPTER 13 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 13 of the revised Church Manual as presented.


CHAPTER 14 OF THE CHURCH MANUAL - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve Chapter 14 of the revised Church Manual as presented.


SAFEGUARDING CHILDEN - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in the Chapter 8 Notes, paragraph 7, Safeguarding Children, pages 150-151, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

7. Safeguarding Children—Church should be a safe place to bring our children.  Everyone involved with children who are minors must meet all Church and legal standards and requirements.  In order to safeguard our children, churches are encouraged to adopt policies which would provide a measure of safety and protection for children.  Such policies should include the following:

a. Two-Adult Policy—Have two adults present in children’s classrooms  or activities.

b. Open Door—Discourage private or one-on-one contact and encourage an open door policy in all situations. Where an open door is not possible, station a second adult at the door.

c. Volunteer Screening—Have all volunteers complete a volunteer information form, check their references and, if required by law, do a police background check.

d. Six-Month Policy—Require a waiting period of six months for newly baptized or transferring members who have indicated a willingness to work with children.

e. Training—Provide regular training for teachers and volunteers to help them understand and protect children and how to nurture their faith.

Local church leaders should consult with the conference in order to ascertain conference procedures and requirements including local legal requirements for individuals working with children.

Additional resources are available from Adventist Risk Management at www.adventistrisk.org.


FOOT-WASHING - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in the Chapter 10 Notes, paragraph 3, Foot-Washing, page 156, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

All should thoroughly wash their hands before returning to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Those leading out in the service should do this publicly for hygienic purposes.


BREAD AND WINE - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in the Chapter 10 Notes, paragraph 4, Bread and Wine, page 156, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Usually most of the bread to be served is broken ahead of time, with a small portion left on each plate for the elders and/ or pastors to break. (All handling the bread must wash their hands thoroughly before returning for the communion service.) The pastors and elders hand the plates containing the bread to the deacons, who then serve the congregation, though in small congregations the pastor or elders may serve all participants.


SAMPLE ANNUAL BUDGET - CHURCH MANUAL NOTES
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in the Chapter 11 Notes, paragraph 1, Sample Annual Budget, page 160, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Sample Annual Budget*—(See p. XX.)

Church Proposed Operating Budget

Estimated Receipts—
Sabbath School Expense Collections 1,500.00
Church Fund for the Needy 375.00
Combined (Church) Budget Giving 27,055.00
Welfare Fund 300.00
Total Receipts 29,230.00

Estimated Expenses—
Repairs and Painting Church Building 2,250.00
Fuel 2,350.00
Janitor and Supplies 1,475.00
Insurance on Building and Furnishings 750.00
Church Fund for the Needy 1,450.00
Sabbath School Supplies 1,250.00
Emergency Expense 2,000.00
Light 3,220.00
Water 360.00
Gas 550.00
Stationery and Supplies 500.00
Laundry 75.00
Church School Subsidy 8,000.00
Welfare Expense 1,000.00
Evangelism and Church Planting 4,000.00
Total Proposed Expenses 29,230.00
Balance 00,000.00

* Additional columns (such as Last Year’s Budget and Last Year’s Actual) should be included for comparison, but have been left out of this sample due to space constraints.


CHURCH MANUAL NOTES - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the Notes of the revised Church Manual as presented.


CLARIFYING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MAIN
TEXT OF THE CHURCH MANUAL AND THE NOTES
SECTION (AUTHORITY AND FUNCTION OF THE
CHURCH MANUAL) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 1, Why a Church Manual?, Authority and Function of the Church Manual, pages 2-3, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The Church Manual is divided into two types of material. The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is applicable to every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variations in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guidance and examples, appears as Notes at the end of the Church Manual. The Notes have subheadings corresponding to chapter subheadings and page numbers of the main text.


ROLE OF GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSION AND THE GENERAL
CONFERENCE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (OUTLINE OF
DENOMINATIONAL ORGANIZATION) - CHURCH MANUAL
REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Outline of Denominational Organization, page 13, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

The Bible is the foundation and source of belief and practice; on this basis, the General Conference in Session determines the stated fundamental beliefs of the Church. The General Conference in Session also authorizes establishment of unions and the attachment of field units, revises the Church Manual, elects General Conference and division leadership, performs other functions as outlined in its Constitution and Bylaws, and considers items referred to it by its Executive Committee. The General Conference Executive Committee between Sessions is empowered by the Constitution and Bylaws to act on behalf of the constituents. Thus Church organizations around the world recognize the General Conference in Session as the voice of the Church.


ROLE OF INSTITUTIONS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 3, Organization and Authority, Role of Institutions, page 13, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

No Church organization or institution assumes responsibility for the liabilities, debts, acts, or omissions of any other Church organization simply because of its Church affiliation.


CREDENTIALS AND LICENSES - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 4, Pastors and Other Church Employees, Credentials and Licenses, page 18, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

In order that enemies of the Church may not gain access to our pulpits, no one should be allowed to speak to any congregation unless he/ she presents a current denominational credential or license. It is recognized, however, that there are times when congregations may be addressed by government officials or civic leaders; but all unauthorized persons should be excluded from the pulpit. (See p. XX.)


REINSTATING THOSE REMOVED FROM MEMBERSHIP -
CHURCH MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 7, Discipline, Process of Discipline, Reinstating Those Removed From Membership, page 49, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

When dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse, it should be remembered that restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious violation. While attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines, a person convicted or disciplined for sexual abuse should not be placed in a role which could put them in contact with children, youth, and other vulnerable individuals. Neither shall they be given any position which would encourage vulnerable individuals to trust them implicitly.


ORDINATION SERVICE FOR DEACONESSES - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Deaconesses, Ordination Service for Deaconesses, page 61, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Ordination Service for Deaconesses—Such a service would be carried out by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference. The ordination service should be characterized by simplicity and performed in the presence of the church.

If they retain church membership, deaconesses do not have to be ordained again if they move their memberships to other churches. When the term for which they were elected expires, they must be reelected if they are to continue to serve as deaconesses.


FAMILY MINISTRIES - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Family Ministries, page 74, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Ministry to families in the local church focuses on premarital guidance for couples, marriage strengthening programs, and the education of parents. Ministry to families also gives attention to the special needs of single parents and step-families and provides instruction in family-to-family evangelism.


FAMILY MINISTRIES LEADER(S) - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Family Ministries, Family Ministries Leader(s), page 74, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Family Ministries Leader(s)—An individual or married couple (see p. XX for the Church’s definition of marriage) may be elected to serve as family ministries leaders(s). They should model strong and growing family relationships and exhibit a sincere interest in fostering the well-being of all families. In order to be effective, the family ministries leader(s) must have an understanding of God’s redemptive plan for dealing with the brokenness in relationships which sin has brought. The leader(s) also must maintain appropriate confidentiality and know when and how to encourage individuals in critical situations to seek professional counseling.


ADVENTIST YOUTH MINISTRIES COMMITTEE - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Youth Ministries, Adventist Youth Ministries Committee, page 85, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Adventist Youth Ministries Committee—The Adventist Youth Ministries Committee is the umbrella organization in the church for the general planning of the youth ministry program. (See p. XX.) It includes the elected officers of the Adventist Youth Society (AYS) plus the personal ministries leader, youth Sabbath School division leader, health ministries leader, Ambassador Club director, Pathfinder Club director, Adventurer Club director, principal of the school, the sponsor, and the pastor. The AYS leader, who is a member of the board, chairs this committee. The committee should meet as necessary to develop short- and long-range goals and plans for a successful ministry.


AYS COMMITTEE - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Youth Ministries, AYS Committee, pages 85-86, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

AYS Committee—The AYS Committee is responsible for senior youth activities and works in coordination with the other youth entities through the Adventist Youth Ministries Committee. If there is no Ambassador, Pathfinder, or Adventurer program, the AYS will include these younger members in a junior society.


AMBASSADOR CLUB - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 8, Local Church Officers and Organizations, Youth Ministries, Ambassador Club, page 87, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Ambassador Club—The Ambassador Club provides a specialized program to meet the needs of youth, ages 16 through 21. It offers young people in this age group organization and structure, and promotes their active involvement in the church, locally and globally. The club is designed to strengthen the current senior youth/ young adult ministry of the Church. It challenges them to experience and share a personal relationship with Christ, helps them develop a lifestyle that fits their belief system and vocational interest, and provides them with a safe venue for wholesome development of lifelong friendships. Its activities are to be carried out in accordance with conference policies and in coordination with other youth/ young adult ministries of the local church. The Ambassador Club has a director and associate director(s). The associate director(s) may also serve as the secretary and treasurer. The director is a member of the Adventist Youth Society Council.


MEMBERSHIP (BOARD AND ITS MEETINGS) - CHURCH
MANUAL REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Board and Its Meetings, Membership, pages 108-109, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Membership—In addition to conference-appointed pastors, the church should elect a representative board which includes the following officers:

Elders
Head deacon
Head deaconess
Treasurer
Clerk
Interest coordinator
Adventist Men’s coordinator
Adventist Youth Society leader
Adventurer Club director
Ambassador Club director
Bible School coordinator
Children’s ministries leader
Church music coordinator
Communication Committee chairperson or communication secretary
Community services and/ or Dorcas Society leader
Education secretary
Family ministries leader
Health ministries leader
Home and School Association leader
Pathfinder Club leader
Personal ministries leader and secretary
Publishing ministries coordinator
Religious liberty leader
Sabbath School superintendent
Stewardship ministries leader
Women’s ministries leader

In some cases where membership is small, the board may not include all of this list. In larger churches, the church may elect additional members of the board. The pastor appointed by the conference to serve the church always is a member of the board.


AMBASSADOR CLUB MEETINGS - CHURCH MANUAL REVISION

VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraph in Chapter 10, Services and Other Meetings, Youth Meetings, Ambassador Club Meetings, page 111, of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Ambassador Club Meetings—Ambassador Club meetings provide specialized programs to meet the needs of youth, ages 16 through 21, and promote their involvement in the Church. Its meetings and other activities are to be carried out according to conference policies and in coordination with other youth/ young adult ministries of the local church.


SAMPLE LIST OF CHURCH LEADERS - CHURCH MANUAL
NOTES REVISION


VOTED, To approve the inclusion of the following paragraphs in the Chapter 9 Notes, paragraph 1, Sample List of Church Leaders, page 153 of the Church Manual revision, to read as follows (see 400GS Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual - Church Manual Revision, as attached to the official copy of the minutes):

Sample List of Church Leaders—(See p. XX). The nominating committee selects members to serve as officers in a variety of positions. A small church may have a short list of officers. A large church may have a long list of officers. Here is a list that may be considered:

Elder(s)
Deacon(s)
Deaconess(es)
Clerk
Treasurer and assistant(s)
Interest coordinator
Church board
Church school board

Adventist Junior Youth Society leader and assistant(s)
Adventist Youth Society leader and associate(s)
Adventist Youth Society sponsor
Adventist Youth Society secretary‑treasurer and assistant
Adventist Youth Society music director
Adventist Youth Society pianist or organist
Adventurer Club director
Ambassador Club director
Bible School coordinator
Children’s ministries coordinator
Church chorister or song leader or music coordinator
Church organist or pianist
Communication secretary or Communication Committee
Community Services director
Dorcas Society leader
Dorcas Society secretary‑treasurer
Education secretary
Family ministries leader(s)
Health ministries leader
Ministry to People with Disabilities coordinator
Pathfinder Club director and deputy director
Personal ministries leader
Personal ministries secretary
Prayer ministries director
Publishing ministries coordinator
Religious liberty leader
Sabbath School superintendent(s) and assistant(s)
Sabbath School secretary and assistant(s)
Sabbath School division leaders, including leaders for the adult and extension divisions
Sabbath School investment secretary
Stewardship ministries leader
Vacation Bible School director
Women’s ministries leader

Additional personnel considered necessary

Home and School Association officers (leader and secretary-treasurer): If only one church supports a school, the church nominating committee makes recommendations to the school board, which then makes the appointments. If more than one church supports a school, the school board conducts the whole process. (See p. XX.)


401-10GS EDITING AND REORGANIZING THE CHURCH MANUAL

VOTED, To approve the editing, reorganizing, and restructuring of the current Church Manual which includes the following: change the order of chapters, reorganize paragraphs and sentences, eliminate duplicate quotes and wording, introduce new glossary terms, including new approved programs such as the Ambassador Club and including “union of churches” wording, add selected texts and quotes, add references to department resources and websites to the Notes, and update wording to include modern media forms.




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