South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend has welcomed the outcome of today’s vote by the Executive Committee of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which will see further discussion on a document relating to reconciliation and Church governance.
The document, entitled Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance: Phase II, was the subject of nearly six hours of discussion and debate during today’s business session of the 2017 GC Annual Council. A motion to send the document back to the Unity in Mission Oversight Committee for further work was carried 184 in favour to 114 opposed.
“I think the outcome on the vote today on the governance document was a good one,” Pastor Townend said. “The Church needs to have consequences for those who are not working in harmony with the rest of the Church within the General Conference, however the document presented was first given to the members of the GC Executive Committee and read to them at the beginning of the session to discuss and vote on the motion.
“Many of the people did not appreciate the lack of trust and transparency in the process and so to have the document voted to go back for more work was the best possible outcome.”
Pastor Townend said the atmosphere during the session was tense but “people shared their thoughts in a very calm way”.
“The discussion highlighted a number of issues that people questioned as to whether it [the document] was in harmony with the Church’s Constitution and so that it was referred back is the best outcome. It gives Church people worldwide an opportunity to consider and give alternative consequences for not being compliant with GC voted actions. It was a surprise that so many people voted to refer it back. I have not seen a document put forward by the GC Officers be referred back by the GC Executive.”
Where to from here? “The document will be reworked by the Unity and Mission Oversight Committee and then go through the normal process of consultation with GC and Division Church leadership before it comes to the floor again,” Pastor Townend said. “It will probably come to the floor at the next Annual Council in Battle Creek, October 2018.”
Read Pastor Townend’s full statement on Facebook.