Voices From the Dome: Marcos Blanco

As this is my first General Conference session, this will be the vision of a newcomer. Three things have made an impression on me during the first days of this session in Atlanta, and all of them are related to people as main characters.

First, the variety of colors has dazzled me. As a South American descendant of European immigrants, I am used to wearing a few basic colors: blue, gray, and perhaps black. However, last Sabbath I witnessed the wonderful grace of God manifested in more colors than I could imagine. People from every part of the world were dressed in reds, greens, and yellows in combinations that I least expected. Delegates are proud of their countries and cultures, and they are saying with their clothes: “Look at us, we are the protagonists of this session. We are here as representatives of all Adventists in our country.”

Second, delegates do not want to be just onlookers. They want to have the leading role. On Sunday morning, an amendment was proposed to change the election of departmental associate directors from the session to the General Conference Executive Committee during the first Annual Council following the session. The rationale was that this would allow the session Nominating Committee more time to focus on the other elected positions. The motion had a good reason: the Nominating Committee would work more efficiently. Opinions on the floor were divided, but many opposing this amendment argued that this would mean a transfer of power from the session to the Executive Committee. Delegates want to have the power of decision, even at the risk of losing efficiency.

Third, from listening to the reports it is clear that people play a crucial role in evangelism. People are the driving force in mission. Thousands of people who became members of our church in the past quinquennium themselves became missionaries, reaching out to their communities. I belong to a division that breathes evangelism, and I am delighted with the reports of baptisms in other divisions. Delegates—lay members, pastors, and administrators—are the main protagonists of this session.

Finally, let me pay a personal tribute: Thank you, Pastor Finley, for making us vibrate with your passion for mission. You are retiring soon, but your example and inspiration will remain with all of us.

Marcos Blanco is the editor-in-chief of South American Spanish Publishing House, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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