The executive committee of the South Pacific Division (SPD) is requesting the General Conference consider changing its policy to allow commissioned ministers to have the same entitlements as ordained ministers.
The action was voted unanimously following the annual meeting of the SPD executive committee held at the Sydney office last week.
"It is a good day when the people of the church have a voice and are able to share their perspectives."
It stated: “In harmony with our statement of fundamental beliefs #7, #14, and #17, and recognising that the General Conference has affirmed the call of God to both men and women in ministry through the conferring of both ordination and commissioned credentials, the members of the executive committee of the South Pacific Division respectfully request the General Conference that consideration be given to changing policy to allow commissioned ministers to fulfil all duties, privileges and responsibilities as those entitled to ordained ministers.”
During the annual meeting, SPD leadership gave time for attendees to raise issues of concern that were not on the agenda during a new feature to the meetings called “Question Time”. It was here that a discussion on the equality of women occurred.
The equality of genders in ministry was raised a number of other times at these meetings, showing that this matter is still an issue in the lives of people within the SPD. Other issues raised included the leadership’s role in youth retention, teen and youth Sabbath School lessons, the Church logo, signage and branding.
“It is a good day when the people of the Church have a voice and are able to share their perspectives,” SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend said. “The policies at the General Conference or any level of the Church are not like the laws of the Medes and Persians and set in concrete. This is an appropriate way to be heard and ask for change.”