61st General Conference Session: Something Old with Some Things New
- 2022 GC Session to feature electronic voting system, ElectionBuddy. During the 2015 session, delegates scrapped using an electronic voting system when they experienced problems with it.
- 2022 GC Session agenda looks to add new position to local churches: Spirit of Prophecy Writings Coordinator.
- 2022 GC Session will also feature a virtual exhibit hall in which visitors can interact through chat features.
- To see the GC Session schedule, visit: https://www.gcsession.org/session-schedule/.
02 June 2022 | The 61st General Conference (GC) session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is just around the corner, finally. After being postponed twice, the GC session will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., from June 6-11, 2022. The General Conference of Seventh-dayAdventist has been busy gearing up for the meeting.
Adventist News Network reported church leaders were making sure every delegate for the upcoming meeting is comfortable using the online electronic voting system ElectionBuddy.
“We don’t want our delegates to first meet ElectionBuddy on Monday morning at GC Session,” said Hensley Moorooven, undersecretary for the General Conference.
Notably, delegates at the 2015 GC session experienced problems with the electronic voting system used then, leading them to abandon the system and use paper ballots or count raised hands instead. During the 2015 GC session, delegates were to vote on the controversial issue of women’s ordination. The methods of voting led to concerns that large numbers of delegates would be swayed to vote a certain way due to social pressure.
For this year’s GC Session, every delegate will receive an email with their own private voting credentials that will allow them to log into ElectionBuddy each day. No one else will be able to submit a vote with that same login. “The platform has audit trails,” said Dan Herzel of the General Conference Auditing Service. “We can verify after the fact that each voter is a valid voter and has voted only once.”
The system will still remain anonymous, though. “The system is always set at the default of anonymous voting,” said Josue Pierre from the Office of General Council. “No one can see how you voted. Not your fellow delegates, not administrators. None of us are able to determine how a voter has voted on a specific issue.”
The purpose of GC Sessions is to vote on global leadership, set the direction of the Church for the next five years, and vote changes to the Constitution, Fundamental Beliefs and Church Manual.
One new change proposed to the Church manual is the creation of a new position in local churches: Spirit of Prophecy Writings Coordinator. According to page 79 of the 2022 GC Session agenda, the position was created to emphasize the importance of Spirit of Prophecy.
“The Scriptures testify that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church,” reads the agenda item, in part.
The Spirit of Prophecy Writings Coordinator would be responsible for “promoting the importance and right use of the Spirit of Prophecy writings, in collaboration with the publishing ministries coordinator.”
And for the first time ever, this GC session will feature a virtual exhibition hall. Specially designed to look like an exhibition hall, the platform will feature Adventist institutions, customized booths for each ministry, a prayer room, a networking lounge, live presentations, games, a marketplace, animated elements and digital avatars.
More than 150 booths are scheduled for the virtual exhibition experience. Each one may have anywhere from 2-10 presentations, most being about 15-20 minutes. Visitors can connect with booth personnel and other booth visitors through a chat feature.
In addition to booths from various Adventist ministries, there will be a poster hall to present academic research and innovation.
Those interested in visiting the Virtual Exhibition are encouraged to register online at https://exhibithall.gcsession.org/.
GC communications will be available through the official Seventh-day Adventist Church channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The GC is producing all Session content in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Certain programs will also be available in Russian as well as in sign language.
Twitter (ANN): https://twitter.com/adventistnews
(Photo: The 2022 GC Session will feature, for the first time, a virtual exhibit hall with booths from different Adventist ministries. Photo via screenshot.)