Fifteenth Business Meeting
Fifty-ninth General Conference session, July 2, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

NATHAN OIRERE: [Opening prayer.]

NORTHERN CARIBBEAN UNIVERSITY CHAMBER CHOIR: [Worship in music.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Good afternoon, and welcome to the last business session of the fifty-ninth session of the General Conference. We have been here for nine days. But we are enjoying every moment. We have been blessed every time we have gathered here. You will remember that this morning we had an item that we didn’t finish, but before we proceed we are going to have two announcements. The first one is regarding those who are visiting us in the different areas of the dome. We are glad that they are here, but I would like to invite them to help us by not talking loudly. We are also requesting that those who are not on the floor refrain from applauding. And now I would like to ask Rosa Banks to share the second announcement.

ROSA T. BANKS: I actually have two announcements. The first one has to do with the delegates who do not want to carry the excess poundage that they have gathered while here onto the airplanes with them. We will have disposal bins outside the E gate for unwanted materials. You may place your notebook, and even its contents, in the bins. We will find a way to reuse the notebook. The second announcement has to do with the purchase of delegate bags. We have ended selling the bags for today, but tomorrow night after 9:00 they will be on sale again in front of the registration office, where they were on sale today. The price is still $30. Thank you.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Dr. Banks. And now I would like to invite Elder Mike Ryan to take the chair in order to finish item 217.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We had a very good discussion this morning, and I think not to prolong this. We’re on item 217, and you will find that material on pages 56 and 57. I would like to invite our people at the desk to take their places and to have a repeating of the motion that is on the floor. You recall that we also have an amendment that is on the floor. So we will have first the motion stated, then the amendment, and then we will come to the comments on the floor.

LARRY R. EVANS: The motion is listed on page 57, lines 2-8. Lines 2-5 (point 2): “Not less than fifteen and not more than twenty additional members selected by the General Conference Executive Committee from denominational retirees and current employees including pastors, teachers, and other frontline employees.” Line 7 and 8 (point 3): “Not less than fifteen and not more than twenty members selected by the General Conference Executive Committee from laity including young adults.” The original motion.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That actually is the amendment, I believe.

GERRY D. KARST: The original motion was to approve item 217 the way it was read, and then amendments that were put on the floor altered lines 7 and 8. I will read the way the amendment came through. It was “Not less than fifteen and not more than twenty lay members selected by the General Conference Executive Committee from youth and young adults.” This is the amendment that is on the floor at the pres­ent time. We had a good discussion on this before lunch. Some of you were in favor of it; some were opposed to it. And on the spur of the moment, when amendments come to us we don’t always have time to think through the consequences. We’ve taken another look at this, and perhaps for several reasons we should vote down this amendment and stay with the original language.

First, the General Conference has discretion over only this category of seats. We have no discretion over any others.

Second, point 2, at the top of the page, provides for a category of denominational employees.

Next, in point 3 we attempted to put “young adults” in there in an effort to increase the representation of our young people. But there is a group of individuals that we have historically and traditionally tried to accommodate in this section that we would lose if we vote the amendment. At times there are countries of the world that have been closed, and they haven’t been able to attend. And sometimes we see countries open up, and a delegate can come, or somebody can represent that area. We would not want to exclude them from the life of the church.

Other times there are high-profile laypersons whose heart is in the work, and after looking at all the members that have been elected by different categories, we notice that somebody who really would be of benefit to the General Conference Executive Committee has been overlooked. This allows us just a couple of seats. But it leaves a little window open for the General Conference administration to accommodate some of these kinds of individuals. The intent of point 3 is to open it up to provide for more young people, but not to exclude this other important category, which would be disenfranchised.

Inasmuch as I helped forward the amendment in the earlier session, I would, after further thought, encourage this delegation to vote down the amendment and approve the original language.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I want to take a little additional information from Elder Paulsen, who has been dealing with this for many years.

JAN PAULSEN: If you would indulge me just a moment, before I come specifically to this issue: We voted earlier the ordination of deaconesses, and that gives rise to a lot of discussion, such as what does it mean? It will be addressed, and they will present the report. It’s only a question of what the outcome of that will be. We’ll have to wait and see.

The administration is saying to us, “This is a complex issue before us. We want to be obedient to the Word of God. And we are going to address it.”

Another action addresses the decision allowing the full Executive Meeting at Annual Counsel to make timely decisions with regard to the structure, departments, staffing, and functions that we have, so that it gives the church leadership the possibility to make the best management decision. They will report back to you. They will seek your approval and endorsement, and therefore, it does not in any way lessen the integrity of you as the constituency of the church, because the matter will come back to you.

Now to the item immediately before us: I’m pleased that you are entertaining the concept that you will place in the Constitution and Bylaws a provision that will bring in young men and women as members of the General Conference Executive Committee.
At the beginning of the term just ending, we didn’t have this provision in the Bylaws. But we were able to place, on the Executive Committee, eight or 10 young men and women. They carry a huge commitment to this church and the Lord of this church, and they want to use their resources and talents for the good of the church and the mission of the church.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Let’s come back to the comments that we have. The chair recognizes Lisa Choi.

SANGSOOK (LISA) CHOI: I move this amendment because young people are very important to our future and our church.

GERRY D. KARST: Mr. Chairman, I think that it is still important for us to clarify this issue. I want it to be clear that we are not talking about a General Conference session delegation—we are talking about members to the Executive Committee, and I gathered that some speakers may have had the two confused.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Microphone 4.

DAVID KOKIONG: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Do the Bylaws define what the age range for young adults is? Because if it is not defined, I have a suggestion.

GERRY D. KARST: Mr. Chairman, as far as I know, we don’t define that term, and sometimes in the Bylaws we like not to nail it down so tight, so as to allow a little flexibility, and “young adults” obviously doesn’t refer to those of us sitting up here or talking. I think we tend to have a general idea when we mention young adults. We are thinking of those who are perhaps 18-35 or somewhere in that range, but I am not aware that it is defined in the Bylaws.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I think part of the discussion there is that I have gone to places where I have listened to a young adult who is 12 years old who was actually preaching an entire evangelism series. I met a little boy who has brought seven people into the church, etc. In other areas of the world, that would almost be unthinkable because of the culture. The local environment would define that a young adult is maybe a little different age than that. But I think we know that we are talking about a certain window.

DAVID KAKIONG: I was speaking to the person who made the motion, and because this is the General Conference Executive Committee, I would feel uncomfortable allowing someone under 18 to be part of it. I would prefer that we leave the people mentioned as young adults instead of youth and young adults, and the person who made the motion agrees with me. So regardless of whether we put down the motion or whether we accept it, I would still want my point to be heard that it’s young adults instead of youth and young adults.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I would assume you are speaking against the amendment. We cannot entertain another amendment.

DAVID KOKIONG: I am speaking against the amendment.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Microphone 5.

ROGERS KUK: I want to talk about what a gentleman said in regard to excluding the word “laymen.” The Adventist Church will never grow if there are no laymen. Some are lawyers, some are accountants, some are advisors, etc., but they make up a church, and if you leave this word out, the church will never stand, because the strength of this church is the laity. A pastor preaches from the pulpit, but the laity build the church. I am against this motion.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We will now call for the vote on the amendment. All in favor, raise your cards. Opposed, the same. The amendment is lost. We’re now back to the motion on the floor. Microphone 2.

CATHERINE MC DONALD: I note on line 34 that the director of the International Health Food Association has been deleted from the Executive Committee, and I understand that there is a very good rationale for that. However, the health food ministry makes a valuable and unique contribution to the overall mission of the global church, and so I believe it would be beneficial if a representative from one of the world health food industries could serve on this committee. I so move, Mr. Chair.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: OK, so you are moving an amendment that would change the wording a little bit. You’re saying from one of the institutions, is that correct? I do see a second. We’ll take an explanation from the desk.

GERRY D. KARST: Thank you for that comment. I understand the intent there, but representatives from the health food factories can be elected by their divisions to serve as members of the Executive Committee. This recommendation of eliminating this department from the General Conference was the result of the world commission that dealt with ministries, services, and structure. And so that recommendation is here, and so when we vote on this as a whole you need to be aware that we are also voting to eliminate one department that has been at the General Conference for a number of years because it was felt in the world survey that divisions can adequately care for that ministry within their territory. The point that was made I understand clearly, but provision for any of those individuals to serve on the Executive Committee is still at the discretion of the divisions.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We’ll take another comment, please.

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: Mr. Chairman, I would urge that we vote against this amendment. The institutions that are listed requiring representation on the Executive Committee are institutions of the General Conference. That’s why those organizations are specifically listed. The health food organizations are not institutions of the General Conference, but rather institutions of their respective divisions or unions or conferences. That’s why this section is the way it is.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: I don’t see anyone at the microphone to talk to that amendment. I would like to call for the vote. Those in favor of that amendment, show it by raising your cards. Thank you, and those that are opposed, the same. That amendment is lost. We’ll come to microphone 5.

STEVE M. MORAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Looking at page 56, lines 41 and 42, I know that we as a church have this history, this tradition, of being concerned about a concentration of power, although I would acknowledge that 300 people on the Executive Committee probably is hard to argue as a concentration of power. However, it looks to me, as I read this, that there is an absolute cap on the number of laypeople who are on this committee. We have 39 from the various divisions, plus a maximum on 20 on the other provision. And so I would propose that we change that language to read “one additional layperson” and strike “church pastor or other frontline denominational employees,” because it really is the laypeople that help to get outside input and not have an enclosed society. And so that comes to you as a motion.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Is there a second? I see a second. Do we have any comment or explanation from the desk?

KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: Mr. Chairman, this is a new item, and if it is to go anywhere, it should go back for restudy before it is inserted, because it will have implications throughout the document, so my recommendation is that if this suggestion is to be put forward, it should be put forward as a study item by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Thank you. And we do have, in the Constitution and Bylaws, that new business to this floor will go to a steering committee for consideration. And so I think we can take that back to them. Thank you.

GERRY D. KARST: Mr. Chairman, that steering committee is a standing Constitution and Bylaws Committee that functions between sessions.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Yes, so that will not just wait until the next General Conference session, but will be dealt with as soon as it can come to that agenda. Microphone 4.

LYNDON GALLIMORE: Mr. Chairman. I currently serve on an executive committee, and I think it would be a good place for young people to go, but honestly, I don’t think that it is going to appeal greatly to a large number of young adults. The fact is that the most exciting place to be is on a committee that is actually formulating things to come to an executive committee for approval. And Justin McNeilus, a young person, gave us good counsel. He said if you want to really get young people involved, get them together, give them some money or some mission, point them in a direction, and let them go. I would like to see that we give them representation on the Executive Committee, but whatever policy we set here is going to filter all down to the division, to unions, to conferences, and I don’t want to see us handicap lay involvement from the broad spectrum of the church, to cater simply to one group. I think we can as a church give them power and direction and take their counsel in constructive ways. The other thing that we have found is that a lot of youth, young adults, are in school. They have schedules that are not always flexible, and the last thing we want to do is have lay positions that are not populated at these meetings. So I am in full support of the motion as it stands, and I would like for us to look at, starting from the General Conference, creating a committee that would be populated by young people that would then bring recommendations to the Executive Committee and maybe have the leaders of that subcommittee serve on the Executive Committee.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: Good counsel; thank you very much for that comment. Microphone 4 again.

LYNDON GALLIMORE: And last, I would like to call the previous question.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: That will end our debate, if that is so desired by the body. First we need to decide if we want to call the vote, which will require two thirds of the body to agree. Those who support a motion on the previous question, I would ask that you would raise your cards. Those who are opposed, the same. That is carried. We will begin to take an immediate vote on the motion before us, and it’s been pri­marily the discussion that has focused on pages 56 and 57. Those who favor the motion, I ask that you raise your voting cards. Those who are opposed, the same. That motion is carried. I will now turn the chair back over to Elder Miranda.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Elder Ryan, for helping us with this very interesting exercise. It’s really very important. And I’m still hoping that we can finish the agenda, because we have only one hour and 15 minutes left. So I’m confident that we are going to do it. So now we are going to move to item 218.

LARRY R. EVANS: Mr. Chairman, every suggested change there is editorial. We are simply adding General Conference to define Executive Committee. I would move that.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s been seconded. [The motion was voted.]

LARRY R. EVANS: Items 219 and 220, if we could take those two items together. The wording is exactly the same. We’re talking about the requirements to amend the Bylaws and Constitution. I would move that.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s been seconded. [The motion was voted.] Microphone 5.

JAY GALLIMORE: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to move that given the constraints of time, we stay with the underlined proposals and not deal with other things in the Bylaws or other issues.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: I said that we are going to continue in that direction. Thank you very much. Let’s move to 221.

LARRY R. EVANS: Item 221 is speaking of territorial administrative arrangements. You will notice, in lines 16 through 23, that we’re simply talking about the boundaries of these divisions being subject to adjustment at Annual Council of the General Conference. There are times we need to make those adjustments, and not only at session time; and we’re simply saying, at Annual Council of the General Conference. Then below, we find line 32, “Administrations of all organizations and institutions within a division’s territory shall be responsible to their respective executive committees/boards and operate in harmony with division and General Conference Executive Committee actions and policies. General Conference institutions and fields without division affiliation shall operate in harmony with the General Conference Executive Committee and its policies.” I would move that.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, the same sign. [The motion was voted.] Let’s move to 222.

LARRY R. EVANS: You have someone at the microphone.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: You want to speak on 221?

IHUNANYA K. ONYENSO: Yes. When I look at the intent of lines 21, 22, and 23, it appears to me that we are giving much power to the General Conference Executive Committee. Is there any intent, any idea in the future, that we may want to suspend the general sessions? Otherwise, a modification to empower them to go ahead and then present it to the General Conference session for authentication is probably my thought on this.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: A response from the desk.

LARRY R. EVANS: What is at stake here is, as you’ll notice in line 17 and on, that we have divisional territories, the boundaries within those. Circumstances change in which those alignments may need to be made to facilitate the work of the church. What we are saying here is that that kind of facilitation can be taken at the Annual Council of the General Conference. Does that help?

IHUNANYA K. ONYENSO: It does help, but my issue here is that we are trying to expunge the power that belongs to the General Conference in session, and give it to the Executive Committee. I have no problem with that, but when I consider this in the totality of some of the changes that were made earlier today, it appears to me that we are trying to say that we may no longer want the General Conference in session to be making such decisions.

LOWELL C. COOPER: There is no intention to curtail the authority of a session. The language that is currently in the Constitution says that these decisions can be made only at General Conference sessions or at Annual Councils. So the provision was there to make it at Annual Councils, and the feeling was if that permission was given to Annual Councils, let it reside there.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: We have one more comment, from Joanne Davies.

JOANNE DAVIES: I just sense so much suspicion for our church leadership. I’d just like to remind us all that our conference presidents, our union presidents, our division presidents, our treasurers, and our secretaries are all elected by laity. They are chosen by us to represent us. If we are going to finish the work of reaching the lost, we have to work together.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Let’s move to item 222.

LARRY R. EVANS: The issue here is who can chair meetings of the Executive Committee in the absence of the president. And it is clarified on line 20. A general vice president of the General Conference shall, in the absence of or at the discretion of the president, chair meetings of the General Conference Executive Committee. And the other item on line 27 is simply editorial, making it gender-neutral. I would move that.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s been moved and seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, the same sign. It is carried. We’ll go to 223.

LARRY R. EVANS: What we’re doing here is reorganizing the Constitution to keep General Conference positions together and division positions together. We’re not changing wording. The first indication of that is found on page 63 of your agenda books, in which we are speaking of the undersecretary as the General Conference undersecretary.

LARRY R. EVANS: What we’re going to see now, on page 64, is a lot of cross-outs. And you’ll notice on line 18, for example, that it identifies it as each division secretary. What we’re going to do is cross that out and now bring up the undertreasurer, we’re speaking of the General Conference undertreasurer, and we’re going to take that division secretary part out of here, and we’re going to put it in a little bit later word for word. We’re simply reorganizing. On line 29 and following you will find a description of the General Conference undertreasurer’s responsibilities. We’re not changing the wording that’s already there. When you turn to page 66, you’ll notice that on line 13 we are now talking about the division secretaries. It’s crossed out here because we’re moving the undertreasurer of the General Conference work, which we’ve already taken care of in
another place. Now below, you begin to find the division secretary’s responsibilities. Line 39, you begin to find the first few words there, “Each division secretary.”

So what we’re doing is simply reorganizing; we’re not changing the wording. I would move it.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It is seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, the same sign. It is carried.
And now we are going to move to item 226.

LARRY R. EVANS: Here we’re answering the question To whom does the director of auditing report? It says regarding the auditing services: “Report to the General Conference Executive Committee, through the General Conference Auditing Service Board, on the overall audit program in the Church and the trends/issues that appear in the global picture of financial and policy administration.”

So what we’re saying here is we’re moving the reporting to the Executive Committee, of which the president, of course, is a part.

I would like to make a correction down on line 46. We have “unions; unions of churches.” I noticed that today as I was reading through that. This was older language; now that we’re using the inclusive term of “unions,” it automatically includes “unions of churches,” so I would suggest that we simply cross out “unions of churches,” because it is included in the term “unions.”

Then on the next page the only other addition that is of significance is on line 4, but I’ll begin reading on line 3: “Exceptions to the above global requirements shall be by specific action of the General Conference Executive Committee.” We’re speaking of simply the global perspective. I would move this.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, the same sign. It is carried.

LARRY R. EVANS: I would like to suggest that we take items 227 and 228 together. I would move that.

ROSA T. BANKS: Seconded.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, same sign. It’s carried.

LARRY R. EVANS: We could have done number 229 with that too. On line 27 you’ll notice that a comma has been added. Beginning on line 24: “It shall not be within the prerogative, therefore, of the General Conference Executive Committee, the General Conference Treasury, nor of any agent or agency of the denomination to lend these funds to private individuals, to endorse notes, . . .” Now notice the next few words: “. . . sign bonds or other securities,
. . .” That’s linking those together to the signing process. “. . . or in any other way to divert funds of the General Conference . . . ” I would move this.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow cards. Opposed, the same sign. It’s carried.

We still have two more items. We have the supplemental Constitutional and Bylaws agenda. The two items are 230 and 231.

LARRY R. EVANS: All we’re doing to this is editorial, and that is simply adding “General Conference” in front of “Executive Committee.” Then at the bottom of the page is something that could have easily been done in editorial, but we’re bringing it here. Apparently there is a hyphen—Sec. 1.-b—that should not be there. We’ve noticed that, and we’re removing the hyphen. There is no word change. I would move that.

ARMANDO MIRANDA: It’s seconded. All in favor, raise your yellow card. Opposed, the same sign. It’s carried.

GERRY D. KARST: The International Health Food Association for the past number of years has been administered through a General Conference department, with a director living in the Inter-American Division carrying on responsibilities there as well as around the world. Knowing that this plan was coming to an end, they’ve prepared a five-minute video giving us a little review and history of what the International Health Food Ministry has done at the General Conference level. And so if our technical people are ready, we’d like you to see this brief history.

While the DVD is being set up, I want to pay tribute to the outgoing director of this department, Mr. Joel Zukovski, from the Inter-American Division. Joel, if you are here, could you stand up and be recognized, please? Let’s give him a round of applause.

Now, inasmuch as this responsibility is now being transferred to the divisions, I did want to say just a word about the untold story of the International Health Food Association, which later was named the International Health Food Ministry. This organization has done a tremendous work for the church, but quietly and somewhat behind the scenes. In many parts of the world it has contributed a huge amount of resources to the mission of the church. And so we respect them, we take our hats off to them, and we trust that this kind of work is going to continue and that we will benefit as a church from the resources as well as the projects that they provide for us.

[The International Health Food Ministries/Association video was shown.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Brother Joel Zukovski, for this excellent video about the International Health Food Ministries. I would like to invite Elder Mike Ryan to present the last item.

MICHAEL L. RYAN: We are at the close of the business session, and I realize that the Sabbath hours are drawing on. I don’t intend to make this a very long report, but we are gathered here in this place because we are passionate about mission. We need to look frankly and honestly at the challenge that lies before the church in mission. I know that Elder Paulsen in his comments talked about mission challenges. I also am aware that in the secretary’s report there was quite a section that talked about the analysis of mission challenges, and it was also mentioned by Treasury. So you’ve had quite a bit of feedback already. But as we close this session I think we should be aware that we need to keep the promise of the Lord firmly in mind, because that’s where He has led us, and we should never forget it. And it’s because of that that we can have the courage to face the future. It’s thrilling to me to go to certain areas of the world and to realize that when you go to certain countries in Africa about one out of every 25 people is a Seventh-day Adventist. In Papua New Guinea it’s one out of six, or five in terms of the family units. And I can point to divisions that are approaching 3 million in their membership. I am thrilled as I see that progress and how God has led. And yet we realize that we have indicators that it’s all not sunny in regard to mission, that we face challenges, and I want to talk about that just a little bit in this report. Tomorrow there’s going to be a presentation made called Tell the World. We have heard about that in the past quinquennium. In this next quinquennium there are some special emphases that we’ll be focusing upon.

These have largely been organized into three main areas.

First, we want to talk about the quality of spiritual life in our church. Second, the unity within this church. And third, we want to talk about the growth within this church.

Just very briefly, as we talk about quality of life, we are specifically referring to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Why would we emphasize Bible study and prayer and the reading of Ellen White’s writings and the faithful studying week by week of our Bible study guides? Why would we name those things as priorities for the church? Well, I need to tell you that in the past 10 years there have been two world surveys conducted, one as recently as just three years ago—the results are coming in. And there’s some indication that as a church, we need to be a little concerned that only half of the membership reads the Bible. About 50 percent of the membership are involved in personal prayer, family prayer, and corporate prayer. That’s a concern to us.

I’ve had many people say, “What’s the greatest challenge in the church?” There are many things that we could point to, but what would it be like in our church if we had 75, 80, 90 percent of the people passionate about Bible study, about having that prayer relationship with heaven, about faithfully reading portions of Ellen White, studying that material, taking the Bible study guides and being active in that study? This should concern the church. It’s our first priority and our challenge.

Ellen White says that our first priority is the subject of revival. It’s the first business of the church.

A second area is the area of unity. The nurture of members. I think it doesn’t come as a surprise that we are a church that’s heavily involved in outreach, and as these new members come into the church, we are aware that there is a higher percentage than we are comfortable with that leave within a short period of time. What is our nurture program like? Are we consistently passing the ownership of mission to the next generation? How thrilled I am to see the actions that have been taken and the agreements made at this General Conference session to increase ownership among young people and women. I think we have an obligation in the area of unity to concentrate on nurture and the retention of people who have been baptized as Seventh-day Adventists.

And then, of course, we have the area of growth. There are many challenges in this area. The data of the world survey indicated that only 29 percent of Seventh-day Adventists around the world are involved in any way in their community. It’s the lowest percentage that we’ve seen. I also think of the need to continue to extend an invitation to people to accept Jesus Christ and not to slacken in our efforts to take this message to the ends of the earth. We need to con­tinue with evangelism events that would include public evangelism; but there are many other things that can be evangelism events. We need to continue with church planting. We need to continue with our emphasis on urban ministries. Half of the world’s population now live in cities, and more people are moving to cities every day.

We need to continue our emphasis on the 10-40 window. Yes, in the past 20 years we have grown 254 percent in the 10-40 window. During the same period of time, the rest of the world grew at 85 percent. We’ve done what we said we would do. We’ve placed the emphasis on the 10-40 window, but you know, as I do, that there are massive populations there in cities. And I know that our records indicate that in cities of 5 to 10 million we might have two members there.

We face that challenge. This is the family that can talk about that. We can come together, unite. And because we know how God has led us in the past, we will meet that challenge in the future; not through our power, not through our wisdom, but through that of the Holy Spirit. We need to be passionate about distributing truth-filled literature. We need to be concerned that every Seventh-day Adventist church in the world has a growth plan. You know, all of our challenges that we look at for mission are relational. The relation is that if we have that relationship with heaven, the rest of the plan will take care of itself.

I have mentioned several challenges that will be outlined further tomorrow in a program called Tell the World. I will end it with the thought that tomorrow you will be handed a statement made by Ellen White—one that we are very, very familiar with. It says that we have absolutely nothing to fear for the future except if we forget how God has led us in the past.

What a thrill it has been to be at this session here. We have a bright future in this church. We have a message for the world. And as we have gathered, talked, prayed, you’ve heard presentations and reports. We do that because we believe in that future. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness, and then Jesus will come again. He’s coming again. Do we still believe it? Amen. [Applause.]

ARMANDO MIRANDA: Thank you very much, Elder Ryan, for this wonderful presentation. We agree that we are living at the end of the time. We need to prepare. We need to be ready. We need to be ready also to be instruments in God’s hands to reach the people, to share the good news, to bring the people to the Lord. And as we come to the end of this fifty-ninth General Conference session, as we come to end of the business session, we would like to praise the name of the Lord. We would like you to maintain the wonderful spirit, the concern to do the best for the Lord.

United in Christ, we’re going to accomplish the task, and wherever we go, what­ever we do, do it for the glory of the Lord. Go ahead and preach. Let’s go forward together, join our hands with Jesus Christ, and soon, very soon, we will see Jesus coming. So as we conclude our business today, and we approach to the hours of the Sabbath day, we are going to pray, asking the Lord for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The only way that we can finish and fulfill the mission of the Lord is through the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe in that, and we are sure that the Lord is ready to help us, and I am praying—and I am sure that you are doing the same—that at the conclusion of this session there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I hope that tomorrow will be a special day, not only because it is the day of the Lord, but because we are going to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and finish the work.
When we return to our different countries, let’s continue to ask the Lord for the power that comes from above. So I would like to invite Elder Gerry Karst to lead us in the closing prayer, and after that, we will take formal action to close the session. Please stand, and let’s pray.

GERRY D. KARST: Eternal God our Father, we rejoice and give thanks to be a part of Your great family around the world, and as the delegates to this fifty-ninth General Conference session. We have worked together, we have prayed together, we have voted together, we have discussed together, and now we pray that Your Holy Spirit will go with us together. As we enter into the hours of the Sabbath shortly, we long for the refreshing that comes from fellowship on the Sabbath day. Bless others who may yet be traveling to arrive here this weekend, and as our people return to their home countries and their home churches and their homes, we pray that they will carry the blessing of this session with them, that the Holy Spirit will infill each life so that we can be about our Father’s business, so that we can finish the work and Jesus can come. Help us all to be ready and faithful, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

ARMANDO MIRANDO: Please be seated for a moment.

ROSA T. BANKS: Mr. Chairman, seeing that we have completed all the items of the agenda, I move that we adjourn the business meetings of the fifty-ninth business session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. [The motion was seconded and voted.]

MICHAEL L. RYAN and ARMANDO 
 MIRANDA, Chairs
ROSA T. BANKS, Secretary
CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editor
GARY B. PATTERSON and FRED G. 
 THOMAS, Assistant Proceedings Editors


Session Actions

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

205-10GSd EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS 
AMENDMENT
The following proposal amends the General Conference Constitution to enumerate the composition the General Conference Executive Committee.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution, Article VIII—Executive Committee, to read as follows:

ARTICLE VIII—GENERAL CONFERENCE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Sec. 1. The Executive Committee of the General Conference shall consist of:
Ex Officio Members—

1) Those elected as provided for in Article VI, Sec. 1. except the director and associate directors of the General Conference Auditing Service and the associate directors/secretaries of General Conference departments and associations.

2) Presidents of unions, past presidents of the General Conference holding credentials from the General Conference, the president-executive director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, the president of Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, the editor of Adventist Review and Adventist World, the editor of Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, the president of Adventist Risk Management Incorporated, the president of Adventist University of Africa, the president-executive director of Adventist World Radio, the president of Andrews University, the director of Archives and Statistics, the director of Biblical Research Institute, the president of Christian Record Services Incorporated, the president and the board chair of Ellen G White Estate, the president of Hope Channel, the director of Geoscience Research Institute, the president of Griggs University and International Academy, the president of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, the editor of Ministry, the president of Oakwood University, the president of Pacific Press Publishing Association, and the president of Review and Herald Publishing Association.

b. Elected Members—

1) Three laypersons and one church pastor from each division without regard to membership size up to 500,000 members. One additional church pastor or other frontline denominational employee for each additional 500,000 members or major portion thereof. The above laypersons, pastors, and other denominational employees shall be selected by each division executive committee from individuals recommended by the union executive committees and shall be Seventh-day Adventists in regular standing.

2) No fewer than fifteen and no more than twenty additional members selected by the General Conference Executive Committee from denominational retirees and current employees, including pastors, teachers, and other frontline employees.

3) No fewer than fifteen and no more than twenty members selected by the General Conference Executive Committee from laity including young adults.

209-10GSE OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT
The proposed amendment clarifies that it is the General Conference Committee that is being referenced by the term “Executive Committee.”

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution, Article IX—Officers and Their Duties, to read as follows:

ARTICLE IX—
OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

Sec. 1. The officers of the General Conference shall be a president, vice presidents, a secretary, an undersecretary, associate secretaries, a treasurer, an undertreasurer, and associate treasurers. It is the duty of these officers, in consultation with one another, to carry forward the work according to plans and programs voted by the General Conference in session and according to plans and policies agreed upon by the General Conference Executive Committee.

Sec. 2. Executive Officers: The president, secretary, and treasurer - No change

Sec. 3. President: The president is the first officer of the General Conference and shall report to the General Conference Executive Committee in consultation with the secretary and the treasurer. He or his designee shall preside at the sessions of the General Conference, act as chair of the General Conference Executive Committee, serve in the general interests of the General Conference as the General Conference Executive Committee shall determine, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to such office. The General Conference president shall be an ordained minister of experience.

Sec. 4. Vice Presidents: Each vice president shall assist the president - No change

Sec. 5. Secretary, undersecretary, and associate secretaries: The secretary, in the performance of the executive responsibilities, shall report to the General Conference Executive Committee after consultation with the president. The secretary shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of the proceedings of the General Conference Sessions and meetings of the General Conference Executive Committee, for maintaining correspondence with church organizations, and for the performance of such other duties as usually pertain to such office. The undersecretary and associate secretaries shall assist the secretary in this work.

Sec. 6. Treasurer, undertreasurer, and associate treasurers: The treasurer, in the performance of the executive responsibilities, shall report to the General Conference Executive Committee after consultation with the president. The treasurer shall be responsible for providing financial leadership to the General Conference which will include, but not be limited to, receiving, safeguarding, and disbursing all funds in harmony with the actions of the General Conference Executive Committee, for providing financial information to the president and to the General Conference Executive Committee, and for the performance of such other duties as usually pertain to such office. The undertreasurer and associate treasurers shall assist the trea­surer in this work.

211-10GS BYLAWS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment establishes a higher threshold of the number of votes required in order to enact, amend or repeal the Bylaws at a General Conference Session.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution, Article XII—Bylaws, to read as follows:

ARTICLE XII—BYLAWS

At any regular or special session of the General Conference, the delegates may enact, amend, or repeal Bylaws by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates pres­ent and voting. Such actions may embrace any provision not inconsistent with the Constitution.

212-10GS AMENDMENTS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment defines the majority vote necessary for amending the Constitution.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution, Article XIV—Amendments, to read as follows:

ARTICLE XIV—AMENDMENTS

This Constitution or its Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates present and voting at any session provided that, if it is proposed to amend the Constitution at a special session of the General Conference, notice of such purpose shall be given in the call for that special session.

213-10GS TERRITORIAL ADMINISTRATION - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment changes when territorial boundaries of Divisions may be adjusted and outlines administrative lines of responsibility for organizations and institutions within a division.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article I—Territorial Administration, to read as follows:

ARTICLE I—
TERRITORIAL ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 1. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, hereinafter - No change

Sec. 2. The duly organized divisions are: East-Central Africa Division, Euro-Africa Division, Euro-Asia Division, Inter-American Division, North American Division, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, South American Division, South Pacific Division, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, Southern Asia Division, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, Trans-European Division, and West-Central Africa Division. The boundaries of these divisions shall be subject to adjustment at Annual Councils of the General Conference Executive Committee.

Sec. 3. If a territorial adjustment is made at an Annual Council, it shall be made only provided each division and other territory affected is represented at the council by at least one of its officers, or in the case of an unorganized territory, by a senior church leader from that territory. An exception to the requirement of such representation shall be made in a condition of emergency. In such a case, the General Conference Executive Committee shall make whatever adjustments are necessary for the conduct of the work in the territories affected.

Sec. 4. Administrations of all organizations and institutions within a division’s territory shall be responsible to their respective executive committees/boards and operate in harmony with division and General Conference Executive Committee actions and policies. General Conference institutions and fields without divisional affiliation shall operate in harmony with the General Conference Executive Committee and its policies.

215-10GS GENERAL CONFERENCE VICE PRESIDENTS AND DIVISION VICE PRESIDENTS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS 
AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment names those who may chair the General Conference Executive Committee without naming the President of the North American Division as he is already included among the general vice presidents.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article III—General Conference Vice Presidents and Division Vice Presidents, to read as follows:

ARTICLE III—GENERAL CONFERENCE 
VICE PRESIDENTS AND DIVISION 
VICE PRESIDENTS

Sec. 1. General vice presidents of the General Conference shall be elected - No change

Sec. 2. A general vice president of the General Conference shall, in the absence of or at the discretion of the president, chair meetings of the General Conference Executive Committee.

Sec. 3. The role of the general vice presidents of the General Conference - No change

Sec. 4. The vice presidents of the General Conference elected for the divisions shall serve as chairs of the division executive committees operating in their respective territories; shall have oversight of the work in those territories under the direction of the division executive committees; and shall be designated within their respective division territories as presidents of the divisions over which they preside.

Sec. 5. Vice presidents of the divisions may be appointed by the division - No change

216-10GSE UNDERSECRETARY AND ASSOCIATE SECRETARIES - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment adds General Conference to specific positions to differentiate from similar offices in the divisions.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article IV—Undersecretary and Associate Secretaries, to read as follows:

ARTICLE IV—GENERAL CONFERENCE
UNDERSECRETARY AND 
ASSOCIATE SECRETARIES


Sec. 1.  An undersecretary and associate secretaries shall be elected to share with the secretary the responsibilities of the office. They shall perform such duties connected with the General Conference Secretariat as may be assigned to them by the secretary or by the General Conference Executive Committee.

Sec. 2.  The secretary of the North American Division, by virtue of election - No change

Sec. 3.  The role of the General Conference undersecretary and associate - No change

217-10GSE DIVISION SECRETARIES - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

Articles V and VI are shown as being deleted because they are reversed in order to keep General Conference and division positions with their respective counterparts.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article V—Division Secretaries, to read as follows:

ARTICLE V—GENERAL CONFERENCE
UNDERTREASURER AND 
ASSOCIATE TREASURERS


Sec. 1. An undertreasurer and associate treasurers shall be elected to share with the treasurer the work of the office. They shall perform such duties connected with the General Conference Treasury as may be assigned to them by the treasurer or by the General Conference Executive Committee. They may be authorized by the General Conference Administrative Committee to sign checks under the instruction of the treasurer.

Sec. 2. The treasurer of the North American Division, by virtue of election to that responsibility, shall also be an associate treasurer of the General Conference.

Sec. 3. The role of the General Conference undertreasurer and associate treasurers, in relationship with the divisions, includes the following:

a. To provide financial counsel, information, and analysis.

b. To assist in conducting financial surveys as requested.

c. To respond to special requests submitted by the division treasurers.

d. To invest the assets of the divisions as requested by the divisions.

e. To assist in international banking arrangements.

218-10GSE UNDERTREASURER AND ASSOCIATE TREASURERS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

Articles V and VI are shown as being deleted because they are reversed in order to keep General Conference and division positions with their respective counterparts.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article VI—Undertreasurer and Associate Treasurers, to read as follows:

ARTICLE VI—DIVISION SECRETARIES

Sec. 1. A secretary shall be elected for each division to be designated “division secretary.”

Sec. 2. Each division secretary shall work according to plans and programs voted by the General Conference in session and according to plans and policies agreed upon by the division executive committee. The secretary shall serve as vice-chair of the executive committee, and shall report to the executive committee after consultation with the president. It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep the minutes of the division executive committee meetings, to collect information and make such reports as may be required, and to do such other work as usually pertains to this office.

Sec. 3. Division executive committees may appoint associate and assistant secretaries as may be required to carry on the work.

219-10GS AUDITING SERVICE AND AUDITS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment designates to which entity the director of the General Conference Auditing Service reports and incorporates union of churches as an entity serviced by the General Conference Auditing Service.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article VIII—Auditing Service and Audits, to read as follows:

ARTICLE VIII—
AUDITING SERVICE AND AUDITS


Sec. 1. At each regular General Conference Session, the General Conference shall elect a director of the General Conference Auditing Service, whose duties shall be to:

a. Administer the conduct of audits - No change

b. Monitor the overall audit program - No change

c. Recommend to the General Conference - No change

d. Report to the General Conference Executive Committee, through the General Conference Auditing Service Board, on the overall audit program in the Church and the trends/issues that appear in the global picture of financial and policy administration.
Associate directors shall also be elected at each regular General Conference Session. The director and associate directors shall be recommended by the General Conference Auditing Service Board to the Session Nominating Committee after consultation with the administrations of the respective divisions.

References to service directors and associate service directors elsewhere in these Bylaws shall not apply to the director and associate directors of the General Conference Auditing Service, except as provided for in Article XIII, Sec. 1.-c.

Sec. 2. a. At each regular General Conference Session, the General - No change

b. A quorum of the General Conference Auditing Service Board - No change

Sec. 3. The General Conference Auditing Service, ever sensitive to the country-
specific regulations governing the audits of denominational entities in a particular country, serves as the denomination’s preferred provider of auditing services for world divisions; unions; conferences; missions; affiliated services, organizations, and institutions of the General Conference and every other administrative level; Adventist Development and Relief Agency country and regional administrations and projects (not audited by external auditors); and special funds. Exceptions to the above global requirements shall be by specific action of the General Conference Executive Committee.

220-10GSE GENERAL AND DIVISION FIELD SECRETARIES - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment clarifies which Executive Committee carries the named responsibilities.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article IX—General and Division Field Secretaries, to read as follows:

ARTICLE IX—GENERAL AND 
DIVISION FIELD SECRETARIES

Sec. 1. The term “general field secretary” shall be used to designate general - No change

Sec. 2. The general field secretaries shall work under the direction of the General Conference Executive Committee and the president, and be assigned either to field service or to special projects or responsibilities that are approved by the General Conference Executive Committee.

Sec. 3. The term “division field secretary” shall be used to designate field - No change

222-10GSE DIRECTOR OF ARCHIVES AND STATISTICS - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment clarifies which Executive Committee carries the named responsibilities.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article XII—Director of Archives and Statistics, to read as follows:

ARTICLE XII—
DIRECTOR OF ARCHIVES AND STATISTICS

At the first Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee following a regular session, the General Conference shall appoint a director of Archives and Statistics whose duties shall be to administer the General Conference Archives and to compile and report the statistics of the world work, and who shall serve under the direction of the General Conference secretary and the General Conference Executive Committee.

228-10GSE FINANCE - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS EDITORIAL AMENDMENT

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to specify what Executive Committee is being referenced and makes an editorial adjustment in the sentence structure.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article XX—Finance, to read as follows:

ARTICLE XX—FINANCE

Sec. 1. To provide a working fund for regular operations and to protect against a possible financial emergency or depression, the General Conference shall maintain an amount of working capital as defined and specified in the General Conference Working Policy.

Sec. 2. The General Conference Executive Committee, acting through its legal agency, the General Conference Corporation, shall have power to make annuity contracts; but all moneys obtained in this way shall be invested in securities and not be made available for appropriations until the annuity contracts have matured.

Sec. 3. The tithes and mission offerings received by the General Conference shall be appropriated for the work of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. It shall not be within the prerogative, therefore, of the General Conference Executive Committee, the General Conference Treasury, nor of any agent or agency of the denomination to lend these funds to private individuals, to endorse notes, sign bonds or other securities, or in any other way to divert the funds of the General Conference from their intended purpose.

Sec. 4. The basis for computing goals and per capita funds shall be the - No change

205-10GSEh ELECTION - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment clarifies that it is the General Conference Committee that is being referenced by the term “Executive Committee.”

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Constitution, Article VI—Election, to read as follows:

ARTICLE VI—ELECTION

Sec. 1.  The following shall be elected at each regular session of the - No change

Sec. 2. The following shall be approved by vote of the General Conference Executive Committee at a subsequent meeting, following recommendations from the divisions:

Other persons to serve as members of the General Conference Executive Committee as provided for in Article VIII, Sec. 1. b.

214-10GSb SESSION COMMITTEES - CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS 
AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment clarifies the relationship of a division and its attached unions when selecting members for the Nominating Committee. It clarifies the eligibility of elected staff and employees of the General Conference to serve on the Nominating Committee and recognizes the organizational change for the North American Division. It also replaces the Session Plans Committee with the Session Steering Committee with a description of its responsibilities during a General Conference Session.

VOTED, To amend the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, Bylaws, Article II—Session Committees, to read as follows:

ARTICLE II—SESSION COMMITTEES

Sec. 1. At each regular Session of the General Conference, such committees as may be found necessary, including the following, shall be elected for the duration of the Session to consider items of business that may be referred to them and to bring their reports and recommendations to the Session:

a. Session Church Manual Committee

b. Session Constitution and Bylaws Committee

c. Session Nominating Committee

d. Session Steering Committee

Sec. 2. Church Manual Committee: The chair of the Church Manual Committee shall be an officer of the General Conference.

Sec. 3. Constitution and Bylaws Committee: The chair of the Constitution - No change

Sec. 4. Nominating Committee: a. The membership of the Nominating - No change

b. The members of the Nominating Committee shall be chosen as follows:
Each division delegation and each delegation from a union attached to the General Conference shall act as a unit in selecting members to which it is entitled. Excluded from this process shall be any delegates at large currently employed by the General Conference or its institutions.

2) The delegates at large currently employed by the General Conference or its institutions shall act as a unit in selecting members to which they are entitled.

3) The election of the above representatives on the - No change

c. Each group (named in Sec. 4. b. 1 and 2 above) shall select its representatives on the Nominating Committee to represent, as far as possible, the various geographical areas, organizational segments, and types of activity of the territory.

d. Those chosen as members of the Nominating Committee - No change

e. Delegates holding elected positions under the provisions of Article VI, Sec. 1. of the Constitution shall not be members of the Nominating Committee.

f. No delegate shall nominate more than one person for election - No change

g. The Nominating Committee shall elect its own chair and - No change

h. The Nominating Committee shall limit its nominations to - No change

i. In order to expedite the work of the Nominating Committee, the representatives from each division shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time to meet and con­sider the personnel needs of their respective divisions and to make recommendations to the full

Nominating Committee. Decisions of these groups shall not be binding on the Nominating Committee as a whole, but shall be submitted as recommendations which will be considered.

Sec. 5. Steering Committee – No change

Michael L Ryan, Armando Miranda, Chairs
Rosa T Banks, Secretary
Larry R Evans, Actions Editor
Rowena J Moore, Recording Secretary





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