by AT News Team
At a regular meeting of the Southern California Conference executive committee on May 1 it was voted “to support ordination of women to the Gospel Ministry in the … conference, and to encourage the Pacific Union Conference executive committee to take the necessary steps to implement the action” at its next meeting on May 9. The committee received a report of three surveys that were conducted among the pastors, the members of the executive committee and the members of the Region committees in the conference which found “strong support from more than 80 percent of conference clergy” and committee members.
Unlike the Southeastern California Conference which took similar action recently, this is the first time that this conference has taken an official position on this subject. The decision was voted unanimously by the governing body of the conference.
The leadership of the conference did not want to create controversy and followed a very careful plan of consultation with clergy and lay leadership, commissioning surveys and engaging in dialog with those individuals who had questions or opinions. The results of these surveys and consultations are an indication of how deeply the support for the ordination of women pastors is now running in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
A copy of the survey report and additional documentation can be found on the official web site of the Southern California Conference. The web address is https://scc.adventist.org.
The Southern California Conference is one of the largest in the North American Division with nearly 43,000 members and 155 congregations. It is very multicultural with no ethnic majority. In many ways it is a mirror of the world-wide membership of the denomination. The conference operates five secondary schools and 19 elementary schools. Adventist Health operates three major hospitals in the conference territory, which includes Los Angeles and Ventura counties with a total population of more than 11 million.