18 November 2018 | In a November 6 document, student leaders of Adventist universities and colleges and other associations in the North American Divison of the Adventist denomination responded to a controvesial compliance document approved by the General Conference executive committee on October 14, 2018. The original compliance document was titled “Regard For and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions.” The response from the students who attended the NAD Year-End Meetings is included in full below:
Brothers and Sisters,
As representatives of the youth and young adults within the North American Division (NAD), we are speaking from a place of deep care and love for our church. Recognizing Christ as the foundation of our faith in the Seventh-day Adventist church, we strive to mirror the Savior’s ministry of love on earth by exemplifying the living gospel that bridges barriers and provides hope to humanity.
On Oct. 14, 2018, a document was passed at the Annual Council. Since then, we bear witness to the pain, division and disappointment that the document has caused among our peers. It is disheartening to see our church in conflict, when it is meant to be a safe haven for all.
Despite the conflict, we affirm:
The mission and purpose of our church;
Christ’s desire for unity through diversity in our church;
The heartfelt desire to play an active role in our church;
The value of collaboration and mentorship from spiritual leaders in our church.
We long for opportunities to create intentional relationships with our church leadership and be actively involved, by facilitating conversations and making decisions about our church.
To the youth and young adults of the NAD: In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, hold fast to your faith, and do not be discouraged. We hear you, we see you, and we stand with you. We affirm your desire to further the work of the Lord. This is not the time to walk away from our church, but a time in our history to speak out, to stand up, and to actively seek roles in restoring our local and global church.
Brothers and Sisters: We need you. Our church needs you.
Adventist Intercollegiate Association & Adventist Christian Fellowship
NAD Executive Committee Members
Ashton Hardin, La Sierra University Student Association president;
Kenzie Hardy, Pacific Union College Student Association president;
Bianca Ludvig Arao, Adventist Christian Fellowship representative
Sara Devaraj, Washington Adventist University Student Association president;
Angenita Pierre-Louis, Union College Associated Student Body president;
Denard Fenaud, Andrews University SGPS Student Association president;
Dustin Baumbach, Loma Linda University Student Association president;
Dylan Gibbons, Southern Adventist University Student Association executive vice president;
Justin Thornton, Oakwood University United Student Movement president;
Katie Folkenberg, Associated Students of Walla Walla University president
LJ Robinson, Andrews University Student Association president;
Matthew Hanson, Southwestern Adventist University Student Association president;
Tchiana Augustin, Burman University Student Association president;
Rajesh Inparaj, Adventist Intercollegiate Association president