18 October 2018 | Two of the largest units of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in the United States have issued statements in response to the “Compliance” document voted by the governing body of the denomination on Sunday during its annual meeting. Officers of both the Columbia Union Conference and the Pacific Union Conference responded in separate statements. The Columbia Union Conference includes eight local conferences and nearly a thousand congregations in the mid-Atlantic region and the Pacific Union Conferences includes seven local conferences and a thousand congregations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii.
Statement by the Officers of the Pacific Union Conference
The mission of the church is universal, while the ministry of the church is local. We are resolved in our continued commitment to ordain women and men equally. We remain stalwart in support of our churches, schools, conferences, and all of our workers. The Pacific Union Conference affirms and renews our devotion to the unique ministry that Christ has given us.
Statement by the Officers of the Columbia Union Conference
We know many in our union are disappointed in the vote at Annual Council to implement a new system of compliance over church entities around the world. We are too. And while we are a faithful and loyal part of God’s Church, we struggle to see His hand in this decision. Our concerns continue about the increasing centralization of authority at the General Conference and the resulting administrative overreach.
Many are asking what happens next. In two weeks, the Executive Committee of the North American Division will discuss and decide how to address this unfortunate development. In turn, the Columbia Union Executive Committee will meet mid-November to assess how we will approach this new reality.
Please be assured that this vote in no way changes the status or calling of women in ministry as pastors, elders or in any other leadership role. We greatly respect the partnership and contributions of the women serving on our unionwide ministry team.
Our union’s mission, values and priorities are clear and will continue to guide our decisions.
Please continue to pray for God’s guidance through these turbulent days.