From ANN, 25 January 2018 | The Unity Oversight Committee met at the Silver Spring, Maryland-based General Conference offices of the Adventist Church on Dec. 14, 2017. Newly-appointed chair, Mike Ryan (voted by the General Conference Administrative Committee) and Hensley Moorooven (secretary) were among those present. At the meeting the committee adopted a process to help in its work of reviewing the “Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance: Phase II” document which had been referred back to committee after discussion at the 2017 Annual Council. The committee discussed whether to devise a new or revised proposal.

“The committee unanimously agreed that this process would be an open and transparent one, in which the views of the Seventh-day Adventist world Church are taken into account,” said Ryan. “The General Conference officers support this approach wholeheartedly.”

Next steps for the committee include gathering qualitative and quantitative data from the world church. The committee hopes to more accurately understand the opinions of denominational leaders and members relating to the idea of compliance with voted actions of General Conference Sessions and of the General Conference Executive Committee.

The qualitative data will be collected from visits to and conversations with the leaders of the various regions of the world church as well as GC institutions and the GC leadership council comprised of GC officers and department leaders.

Quantitative data are currently being gathered through a survey of union and division presidents.

The Unity Oversight Committee asked all division and union presidents to respond to a six-question survey about the various actions proposed in the Phase II document discussed at last year’s Annual Council and referred back to the Committee.

David Trim, director of the GC-based Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) said that “both division and union presidents have been requested to answer the six questions according to what they believe is the view of the majority of members in their territory, as opposed to their personal opinion.”

The survey was designed by the ASTR and will be returned directly to the ASTR upon completion.

The research process was designed so the validity of responses can be tested in the interest of maximizing the accuracy of the results. In cases where leaders do not represent the views of constituents, ASTR will conduct a random sample of the membership within that region to clarify the accuracy of the reported survey results.

“To ensure clarity, the survey has been made available in eight languages,” said Moorooven. “The wording and placement of questions in the survey contribute to its reliability.”

The results of the survey will be shared with senior GC administrators and the Unity Oversight Committee while aggregated results will be shared with larger Adventist audiences.

Adventist News Network (ANN) is the official news agency of the Adventist denomination.

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