General Conference

ATCU Delegates Prepare to Attend 60th GC Session

ATCU Delegates Prepare to Attend 60th GC Session
Communication Department, ATCU

Twelve delegates and four guests from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be attending the 60
th Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) set to begin on Thursday, July 2, 2015, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Under the theme “Arise! Shine! Jesus is Coming!,” the 10-day conclave will bring together thousands of Adventists from around the world to conduct the business of the Adventist world church as well as to worship and fellowship.

Pastor Pater Kerr, executive sectary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), revealed that the 12-member delegation is comprised of 4 administrators, 2 front-line workers, 2 General Conference committee members, 3 laypersons, and 1 delegate-at-large.

He further stated that delegates and guests must register in order to be seated in the designated area for delegates and guests. While official guests are granted access to the reserved seating area for delegates, they are not permitted to speak or vote on the items being discussed. Voice and vote privileges are given to delegates only. Among items that will be discussed are Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists – Amendment; Theology of Ordination; and Resolution on the Holy Bible.

Also attending the session will be Waylon Johnson from the North Bahamas Conference who, having won the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Super Bible Boom on May 8, 2015, earned the privilege of being one of the IAD’s youth representatives and an official delegate at the session.

The Adventist News Network (ANN), the official news agency for the Adventist world church, estimates that as many as 60,000 people from more than 170 countries will gather at the Alamodome. Out of this number, there will be 2,566 official delegates to the session.

These gatherings, which are held every five years, provide a natural atmosphere for fellowship, good singing, and great preaching. However, according to ANN, “the heart of this event is a business meeting in which world church leadership is elected, critical issues are discussed, and decisions are made governing how the church will move forward in fulfilling its mission.” 


For more information on the delegates to the GC Session, you may view the article entitled GC SESSION 101: DISCOVERING THE DELEGATES found at
http://news.adventist.org/all-news/news/go/2015-05-28/gc-session-101-discovering-the-delegates/

Meetings and Events at GC

During the GC, there are numerous events, meetings, and activities that are a part of the daily schedule. Some of them that particularly involve the participation of members and friends from ATCU include:

Exhibitions

The General Conference has reserved 100,000 square feet of space in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, which is next to the Alamodome, for daily exhibitions and displays. The exhibit hall will feature some 600 booths for ministries, institutions, and vendors of church supplies.


The Inter-American Division has been allocated over 90 booths for the unions and institutions within its territory. Each of the 24 unions within IAD has been given one day to showcase its field. The Atlantic Caribbean Union will be on display on July 2, the first official day of the GC session. Below is the union’s supervision schedule for the fields and Northern Caribbean University at the booth on this day:

  • 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Atlantic Caribbean Union

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. South Bahamas Conference

  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Cayman Islands Conference

  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Northern Caribbean University

  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. North Bahamas Conference

  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Turks and Caicos Islands Mission

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Atlantic Caribbean Union


In addition, Northern Caribbean University and the South Bahamas Conference will have designated booths throughout the entire session.





CIC President to Speak at Morning Devotion.

Pastor Shian O Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference, one of the four fields within ATCU, will be the devotional speaker on Monday, July 6 at 8:00 a.m. He is scheduled to speak on the topic “Faithful End-time Living: Preparation for His Return.”

IAD Report and Parade

The IAD will be presenting its quinquennial report during the evening session on July 6 at the Alamodome. A feature of the report will be a parade of the unions within IAD. Five persons from ATCU, representing a cross-section of ATCU, will be a part of this event.

Closing Event

The final sitting for GC 2015 will take place on Saturday evening, July 11. The closing program is called “Mission on the Move” formerly known as the “Parade of Nations.” Myron Iseminger, undersecretary of the General Conference, stated that the Parade of Nations has always been the climax of the session with delegates representing their countries in colorful costume and explained that the name change at this session represents a change in focus from patriotism for one’s country of origin to a focus on mission. ATCU will have 6 persons participating in this final event.

For all the latest information on the GC session, including the daily agenda, and to download the GC app, you may visit the 2015 GC Session website at
http://2015.gcsession.org

Don’t Go Ahead of World Church, ATCU President Says

Don’t Go Ahead of World Church, ATCU President Says
Communication Department, ATCU

Dr. Leonard A Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), is urging the constituents and members of ATCU not to go ahead of the world church.  His remarks came in light of the recent decision by the delegates to the Southeastern California Conference Session to elect Sandra Roberts as president of that conference. The election, which took place on Sunday, October 27, 2013 added to the discourse on the topic of the ordination of women.

Subsequently, on October 31, 2013, the officers of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) issued a statement explaining the world church
's position on the matter.   According to the statement, which can be found on the Adventist News Network (ANN),the official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, "ordination is one of the criterion for being a conference president.”   Presently, the world church does not endorse the ordination of women to the pastoral ministry.   The statement continued that "the world church strongly indicated that it does not recognize as ordained ministers individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in policy."

In responding to the recent events and debate on the topic, Dr. Johnson noted that the world church is engaged in a process to address this issue through the appointment of a Theology of Ordination Study Committee with participation by all divisions of the world church.   The Inter-American Division (IAD), of which ATCU is an integral part, has two representatives on the committee. They are Dr. Ellie Henry, executive secretary of the IAD and Dr. Carmen Parez, vice-president of the the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary (IATS). The committee will present a recommendation at the 2014 Fall Council of the General Conference.

Two persons from the ATCU are delegates on the GC executive committee, namely Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president of ATCU, and Pastor Leonardo Rahming, a district pastor in the South Bahamas Conference. 

Dr. Johnson explained that the church has a process that includes dialogue from representatives at all levels.

"To break away from the established policies of the church without allowing the process to be completed destroys the unity of the church,” he said.

While Dr. Johnson did not say whether or not the church in the ATCU region supports the ordination of female pastors and the election of a female to lead a local field, he emphasized that ATCU stands in support of the process implemented by the world church to address this and any other issue.

Annual GC Council: A Reflection

Annual GC Council: A Reflection
By Leonardo Rahming, GC Committee Member

Often times there seems to be a disconnect between the work done at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) and that of its local congregations in various parts of the world. However, as a result of recently attending the 2013 GC Annual Council in Maryland, I witnessed Adventist world church leaders, who have an insatiable desire to see the work of God advance, unite to accomplish God’s will for His church.
Most encouraging was the fact that chairman after chairman called for the participants to spend time in prayer.  This reinforced the understanding that the work of which I am a part is a spiritual one and should be handled as such.  In addition to the time spent in prayer, another experience that stood out was the LEaD (Leadership Education and Development) Conference which stimulated thought on how we operate as a church, especially as we seek to involve the youth of our church. Due to the fact that "God can't steer a parked car," we were encouraged to get moving and do something. Finally, as the theme for this quinquennium is “Revival and Reformation,” a call to unity was made, especially since a few of the church’s organizations are desirous of doing things in a manner which is not the norm. 
After attending this year's annual council, my faith has been made stronger, and I do believe with all my heart that God is leading His church, and He will safely guide it home.  Attendees at the LEaD Conference and GC Annual Council were Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president, Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU); Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary, ATCU; Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer, ATCU; and Pastor Leonardo D. Rahming, executive committee member.