If you believe Facebook comments, the time I spend at the General Conference (GC) is either in open rebellion against the GC Session action on women’s ordination or being completely silent on the same issue.
The past few GC Annual Councils have been livestreamed so people can watch important discussions and votes that impact them. This promotes openness in a world that expects transparency and provides an important window into the workings of the world Church. [pullquote]
There is tension and lots of differing opinions are expressed. But what one does not see in the livestream is me eating with and sharing a joke with someone from a completely different country and culture, whose speech I totally disagreed with. They don’t see the journalists who report on the proceedings sit together—they have completely different perspectives but are happy to write together.
South Pacific Division (SPD) officers invest more than four weeks at GC every year, representing the SPD. We are known for speaking to and providing alternative perspectives to most issues. We also have to be careful not to overstate our case.
I am a GC vice president. Although I sometimes disagree with Ted Wilson, I respect his leadership, especially in mission. He is the champion of Total Member Involvement disciple-making and Mission to the Cities, two important and successful initiatives.
Mission is what unites us. When we pray for the persecuted, we are united. When we see reports of how Adventist World Radio and Hope Channel open new areas for the gospel, we are united. When we see reports of people who come to Christ, we are not just united—we rejoice! Our methods and perspectives on policy and procedure vary but our commitment to each other, the gospel and the last great message to the world truly unites us.