General Conference Document Referred Back to Committee
Silver Spring, Md. » At the 2017 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Annual Council meetings held October 5-11, approximately 450 representatives from Seventh-day Adventist entities from across the world met to discuss and vote on Church business and policies. On October 9, approximately six hours of discussion took place on a 14-page document entitled "Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance: Phase II."
If the document were approved, all GC executive committee members registering for 2018 Annual Council (and annually afterward) would be requested to sign a compliance statement.
According to Adventist News Network/Adventist Review, the document outlined the second phase of a process of reconciliation voted during 2016’s Annual Council that sought to initiate standard procedures for maintaining church unity in matters involving non-compliance. Phase I sought to provide a “pastoral” approach involving dialogue and a greater understanding. The Phase II document is described as emphasizing the executive committee’s commitment to “preserve the governance and organizational structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on all levels” in the context of “godly forbearance, Christian charity, and redemptive grace.” The document includes a commitment of the GC executive committee to “the continued forbearance and discussion process,” which offers “additional time to find solutions.”
The document is divided into two sections, one section describing noncompliance and the second outlining the results of noncompliance. Quotes from The Desire of Ages and Testimonies series by Ellen G. White comprised two pages of the document. After the discussion, a motion was made to refer the document back to the Unity in Mission Oversight committee. With a vote of 184, yes; 114, no, the document was sent back to the committee, and a vote on the document will wait until the next Annual Council.