Third Business Meeting
Fifty-ninth General Conference session, June 25, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
MEASAPOGU WILSON: [Welcome.]
ZIVAYI NENGOMASHA: [Opening prayer.]
GABORII: [Worship in music.]
EUGENE HSU: Good afternoon. Welcome to the afternoon session of the second day of the General Conference session. This afternoon will deal primarily with Treasury items. But before we begin I would like make one brief announcement.
The Inter-American Division has graciously provided a translator for all Spanish-speaking persons. So if you are speaking at the microphone in Spanish you do not have to bring your own translator.
Brother Robert Lemon will now present the Treasury report, which is in your agenda book, number 121. [See Bulletin 2, p. 18.]
ROBERT E. LEMON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and delegates. The treasurers are glad to be able to bring the report of the last quinquennium. Since this is coming just after lunch when everybody is still coming in, I’m kind of reminded of the preacher who went to a small church out in the country. It was a wintry day with snow on the ground, and there was only one person that showed up, a farmer. And the preacher asked him what he should do, and the farmer said, “Well, if I go out with a truckload of hay to feed the cattle and only one cow shows up, I don’t leave without feeding the cow.” So the preacher preached a great sermon and at the end asked the farmer what he thought. And the farmer said, “Well, if only one cow shows up I don’t unload the whole truck.” We will unload the whole truck because we want to go through the whole report. But we’re glad that you’re all here.
To begin with, I’d like to introduce the treasurers that we work most closely with: the division treasurers and the General Conference Treasury staff. First of all we have Philip Philipsen, from the East-Central Africa Division. He has served since 2006 and comes from Denmark. Next we have Billy Biaggi from the Euro-Asia Division, treasurer since 2000. He comes from Argentina. Then we have Peter Kunze, Euro-Africa Division. He also has been treasurer since 2000 and comes from Germany. We have then Filiberto Verduzco from the Inter-American Division. He has been treasurer since 2000 and comes from Mexico. We have Tom Evans from the North American Division, and he is also an associate treasurer of the General Conference. He’s been treasurer since 2007, and he comes from the United States. I would mention just one special thing about the associate status of the North American Division treasurer and the North American Division secretary. You will notice that when the nominating committees for the divisions bring in their report, there will be two positions voted relative to the North American Division treasurer and secretary. They will be voted also as associate treasurer and secretary of the General Conference. Some people may wonder why we have that. When the General Conference and the North American Division split into having two separate organizations, the General Conference in 1990 kept all the institutions: Loma Linda, Andrews, Oakwood, Review and Herald, Pacific Press, etc. So the North American Division has none of the institutions that every other division has. But becasue the North American Division secretary and treasurer are also associates of the General Conference, they have a direct relationship with these institutions.
We move on to Clyde Iverson from the Northern Asia-Pacific Division. He’s been there since 2008. And he is from the U.S.
We then have Marino F. Oliveira from the South American Division. He has been there as treasurer since 2000, and he comes from Brazil.
Next we have Goodwell Nthani from the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. He has been its treasurer since 2008, and he comes from Zambia. We then have Rod Brady from the South Pacific Division, treasurer since 2000, and he comes from Australia.
We have Keith Heinrich from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, treasurer since 2005, and he’s from the U.S.
We have Robert Clive from the Southern Asia Division. He’s been there since 2005, and he comes from India.
We have Johann Johannsson from the Trans-European Division. He has been their treasurer since 2004, and he’s from Iceland.
We have Emmanuel Manu from the West-Central Africa Division. He’s been the treasurer there since 2008, and his home country is Ghana.
Then, coming to the General Conference, we have Juan Prestol, who has been undertreasurer of the General Conference since 2007. He comes from the Dominican Republic.
We have Jim Nyquist, who is our external auditor from Maner Costerisan, certified public accountants. Juan Prestol will introduce him a little more later.
We have George Egwakhe, who has been associate treasurer of the General Conference since 2005. He comes from Nigeria.
And we have Jose Lizardo, who has been associate treasurer at the General Conference since 2002. He’s from the Dominican Republic.
We have Daisy Orion. She has been an associate treasurer of the General Conference since 2005. She hails from the Philippines.
We have Roy Ryan, associate treasurer since 2002, and he’s from the U.S.
We have Paul Douglas. He’s the director of the General Conference Auditing Service, and was elected in 2007. He comes from Jamaica, and we’re glad for the services of the General Conference Auditing Service. We have Sheri Clemmer, who is the associate meeting planner. She’s from the U.S.
We have Verland Erntson, who is controller of the General Conference, and he is from the U.S.
We have Eugene Korff, who is associate controller of the General Conference. He is from South Africa.
We have Dean Rogers, who is an assistant treasurer, and he is from the U.S.
And we have Ray Wahlen, who’s a special assistant to the treasurer and director of Sun Plus Systems, and he also comes from the U.S.
Mr. Chairman, it’s great to work with this team.
I also see that we have Elder Bob Rawson in the back of the room, there on the last seats. I want to acknowledge Bob and Carolyn being with us. Bob Rawson was formerly the treasurer of the General Conference here. And Bob, we welcome you.
I missed one person: Ken Rasmussen. He is the associate investment manager.
I also like to acknowledge all of the other levels of treasury staff who contribute to the great work of treasury throughout the world field: the General Conference and division treasury staff who are not among the elected ones, but who serve as accountants and in various positions; the union treasurers and their staff; conference, mission, and section treasurers and their staff around the world; institutional vice presidents and their staff of our institutions at every level; the auditors at every level. All of these contribute tremendously to the work.
But I would also like to thank, in a special way, those who work on a voluntary basis as local church treasurers. The local church is the highest body in making certain decisions on membership and similar issues, but they are also the core of where the treasury work happens. I have had the privilege of being a local church treasurer. I would like to ask all those here who have ever served or are currently serving as a local church treasurer to stand. We would like to honor you. This report is a tribute to each of you.
For the report this afternoon we will first of all be watching a short video of 12 minutes. This has been worked on by Juan Prestol, who has led out in this project. Williams Costa, Jr., and Ansel Oliver from the Communication Department and others have worked with him on this, and I want to express my appreciation. Then we will spend some time going through the report itself and looking at PowerPoint graphs in order to try to understand the finances. After that Juan Prestol, undertreasurer, will introduce the auditor, who will express the audit opinion on the financial statements, and then we’ll be able to take any questions.
[Video was viewed.]
When you return your tithes and contribute mission offerings, you are having a part in every part of the world. It all goes together. Many are going to be very surprised when they get to heaven and have the opportunity of people coming up and saying, “You’re part of the reason I am here.”
Elder Juan Prestol will now introduce the auditor. But let me first mention that it is our intention to go through the pages of the audited statement. We have tried to touch all of the high points in graph form. The auditor will read the auditor’s opinion, and then Juan will make a motion to accept the audited financial statement. At that point we will be open for any questions.
JUAN PRESTOL: Mr. Chairman, the financial statements that you have in your hands have been now certified by the firm of Maner Costerisan. They are an independent auditing firm, and we have here today the partner in charge of the audit, who will present the auditor’s opinion. Jim Nyquist will present that opinion.
JAMES E. NYQUIST: Thank you. Our opinion on the financial statements appears on pages 1 and 2. [See official audit report.]
JUAN PRESTOL: Mr. Chairman, I move the approval of the combined statements of the financial position of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as of December 31, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005, as presented, and the related combined statements of activities and cash flows.
EUGENE HSU: It has been moved and seconded, but before we begin any discussion on this, I have been told that the Nominating Committee is now ready to render a report. It has been suggested that when the report is presented to the floor, a brief introduction of each nominee be made to the congregation before we take the action so that you will be familiar with the individual in case you are not.
ROBERT KYTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman; we’re ready to submit two portions of a partial report of the Nominating Committee. The first is for secretary of the General Conference, and the secretary of our Nominating Committee, Cindy Tutsch, will read that report at this time.
CYNTHIA TUTSCH: The Nominating Committee recommends the name of G. T. Ng for the position of secretary of the General Conference to serve for the next term of office. G. T. Ng has been a professor and the dean of our theological seminary at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines. He has been in Secretariat for the past 10 years, most recently as associate secretary at the General Conference. G. T. Ng speaks both Chinese and English.
EUGENE HSU: All right. So you have heard the nomination.
CYNTHIA TUTSCH: I move it.
EUGENE HSU: It’s been moved and seconded. Any comments or questions on this nomination? I see no one. I will give you a little time this morning. I was told we moved a little too fast, so if anyone would like to speak, but really I don’t see anyone at the mike.
[The motion was voted.] It appears that the vote is unanimous.
ROBERT KYTE: Mr. Chairman, Dr. Ng and his wife are with us, and we would like to ask them to come to the platform at this time.
G. T. NG: Ladies and gentlemen, it is a very humbling experience for me to stand in front of this august congregation. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever imagine that I would ever be put in this position of responsibility. But the Lord has His ways, and with His help and with the support of my colleagues and my dear roommate we are going to accomplish the mission of the church. May God bless us.
ROBERT KYTE: Mr. Chairman, we are now prepared to have our secretary, Cindy Tutsch, present the nomination for General Conference treasurer.
CYNTHIA TUTSCH: The Nominating Committee recommends the name of Robert Lemon for the position of treasurer of the General Conference to serve for the next term. Robert Lemon speaks English, Swahili, and French; he has served as the North American Division undertreasurer; he has also been a General Conference associate treasurer, as well as the General Conference undertreasurer, and since 2002 he has been the General Conference treasurer. [It was moved, seconded, and voted.]
EUGENE HSU: For those of you don’t know Robert Lemon, he is the one who just gave a very detailed report.
ROBERT KYTE: Mr. Chairman, we would like to ask Robert Lemon and his wife to come to the platform.
ROBERT E. LEMON: It’s a real privilege and an honor to be able to work with all of the treasury staff around the world and to be able to serve the church. As I mentioned a few minutes ago in my report, not by might nor by power, but by God’s Spirit. We can’t do anything on our own. We have to rely on the Lord, and every night we sleep only because we know that high above everything from His calmness God sees everything. I want you to pray for each of us, not just Sherry and I, but I want you to pray for every member and every worker around the world, that we may remember that what we need to do is change the soft currency of this world into the hard currency of eternity—cash into souls, that’s what we all need to do, and my prayer is that we may all work together for that. And I thank my wife, who stands by my side and has been such an inspiration to me. We have been married for 40 years, and every day she is on her knees praying for me, praying for you. May the Lord bless each one of us. Thank you.
TED N. C. WILSON: I thank each of you for giving such strong support to my fellow officers, to those who will be helping to lead God’s church during this next quinquennium. Pastor G. T. Ng is a man who believes in God’s Word. He has a vision for mission; he has a love for people. And his precious wife, Ivy, will work closely, of course, in supporting his activities in Secretariat. Pastor Bob Lemon and his wife, Sherry, you know well, you know the expertise that Bob Lemon has, his breadth of knowledge, and his skills in Treasury. But I want to tell you, brothers and sisters, these individuals are fellow officers, your fellow servants. They are not only experts in administrative, technical, academic areas—they are men and women of God. And they will help to establish a setting in which we humbly seek God’s leading in revival and reformation and the asking for the Holy Spirit so that the latter rain can fall. By God’s grace this quinquennium will be one filled with miracles from God. By God’s grace, we will be in heaven soon. Thank you for your support for these officers, and pray for the Nominating Committee as they continue to serve in a very special way.
I want to thank, in a unique and pointed way, Elder Matthew A. Bediako and his wife, Elizabeth, for their fine service over so many years to God’s church. They are both precious friends, and they will continue to be so, and you can certainly know that God is going to continue to bless our brothers and sisters who have served well. Thank you again for your confidence in this team, and by God’s grace we will move forward under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Thank you very much.
[The Treasury report continued.]
EUGENE HSU: We have reached a climax; I wish we could adjourn now, but I do realize that we still have actions to take, and there may be some comments or questions. But because of the shortness of time, I think we may need to set some procedural rules. Our secretary, do you have any recommendation?
HOMER TRECARTIN: Mr. Chairman, because of the approach of the Sabbath and the need to prepare for that, I would move that we limit discussion to two minutes per person and that we cut off discussion at 4:00.
EUGENE HSU: It’s been moved and seconded. [The motion was approved.]
Now we are ready to entertain questions or comments or observations. [There were a number of technical questions asked; these were answered by Robert Lemon.]
We have come to 4:00, and we still need to take two actions. The first one is to vote the audited financial statement. [It was moved, seconded, and voted.]
Second, we need to take an action to receive the treasurer’s excellent report. [This was moved, seconded, and voted.] Thank you very much for your participation, and have a blessed Sabbath.
EMMANUEL ONYEMMUOBI ADAELU: [Benediction.]
EUGENE HSU, Chair
HOMER TRECARTIN, Secretary
CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor
REINDER BRUINSMA and LARRY COLBURN, Assistant Proceedings Editors
Since so many delegates were lined up to comment on the Treasurer’s Report and the Audited Financial Statements, it was
VOTED, To limit speakers to two minutes, and to end the discussion at 4:00 p.m.
VOTED, To accept the report of the General Conference Treasurer, Robert E Lemon.
AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
VOTED, To approve the audited financial statements for the General Conference for the years 2005 to 2009, as presented by the General Conference Treasurer, Robert E Lemon, and Undertreasurer, Juan R Prestol, and as approved by independent auditor, Jim Nyquest, of Maner Costerisan, Certified Public Accountants.
King-Yi Eugene Hsu, Chair
Homer Trecartin, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Rowena J Moore, Recording Secretary