Where We Should Be: The Altar
11 October 2022 | The penultimate day of Annual Council meetings looked at the importance of having family worship. Faithful, engaging family worship is the key factor in helping to keep young people connected to Christ. Unfortunately, about 50% of Adventists surveyed in 2018 do not have daily devotions, and only 34% of families are having family worship together. The General Conference (GC) has announced an initiative to combat this trend. One of the goals of “Back to the Altar” is to double the number of families having worship together over the next five years. The 15-page plan, the longest agenda brief of them all, outlines 18 goals, from the creation of new resources to encouraging more leadership to share their personal worship experiences.
The initiative’s media focus was interesting. On one hand, educating people about “devastating effect” of electronic media is goal #1b. On the other, seven of the other goals involve the use of social media and the creation of electronic resources. These resources include a weekly podcast, a devotional app through the White Estate, a video series on Aventist Home, and a Worship Ideas Database. The initiative passed unanimously.
Where We’re Going: Indianapolis
St. Louis and Indianapolis competed to be the destination spot for the GC 2030 session, which Spectrum described as “The Bachelor, but for church administrators.” After an hour of the debate, we felt like it was the longest family debate over where to go for dinner. St. Louis’ PR team failed to take their audience into account by including “best beer scene” in their messaging. In the end, St. Louis was ruled out for safety concerns. Indianapolis, #1 Convention City in the US, (according to the PR team citing USA Today), won the bid. Delegates will be able to visit fun attractions like Andrews University, Adventist heritage sites, and the Ark Encounter. Speaking of field trips, spouses of the delegates went to the Museum of the Bible today as part of their program.
What We Don’t Know: Media Blackouts
The day ended with sensitive reports from restricted regions where Christianity is not viewed favorably, and the livestream ended early. This is not the first time this has happened throughout the session. However, only Adventist Review and Adventist News Network, the official media outlets of the Adventist church, were issued press passes. Spectrum, AToday, and other independent reporters have been limited by the availability of the livestream and the agenda.
In Other News:
- Ted Wilson started the day with the delegates on their knees for a 20-minute prayer.
- Larry Evans was recognized for 51 years of service as he retires from Adventist Possibilities Ministries (APM), which he helped create. APM ministers especially to the deaf, the blind, the physically challenged, the emotionally and mentally challenged, orphans and vulnerable children, the widowed, and caregivers, according to its website.
- Pastor Doug Venn will be taking over at APM starting next month.
- 10% of North American Division (NAD) membership lives within a 300-mile drive of Indianapolis.
The sessions are being livestreamed at: https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/live
Image: Livestream screenshoot of presentation explaining Indianapolis location of GC Session 2030.