Why Vienna?

MINNEAPOLIS, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlantic City, Vienna. Vienna? A strange name in the roster of General Conference sessions! And yet for hundreds of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists an exciting new departure in denominational planning. . .

-secretary of the General Conference Department of Communication at the time this article was written

MINNEAPOLIS, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlantic City, Vienna. Vienna? A strange name in the roster of General Conference sessions! And yet for hundreds of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists an exciting new departure in denominational planning.

One hundred and thirty-one years after 1844, and 112 after 1863, we shall meet in business session for the world church out side of North America for the very first time. In Europe Adventists plan in eager anticipation. Now they can drive to the General Conference session, just like generations of their brothers and sisters in America have done. In Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, and a score of Asian and African countries, Adventist laymen are counting their savings and saying that this time they may be able to afford the General Conference session.

This will be the session of the Europeans, the Africans, the Asians, and the Australasians. True, there will be delegates from North America and Latin America, but for the rest of the world Vienna will make the session cheaper and easier to travel to.

Recognizing this, Annual Council 1973 saw plans presented to division and North American union presidents that stipulate the number of seats available for non-delegates each weekend in Vienna's Stadthalle. About half the seats go to Europe. The balance is to be divided among the rest of those eager to attend.

Though no restrictions will limit observers to the weekday business sessions and the weekday evening reports, attendance at the Sabbath meetings will require possession of a ticket. These tickets will come through division, union, and local conference offices.

Knowing this, those who anticipate joining the camp of the saints in Vienna in early July next year will need to be sure of two things---that they have hotel reservations, and that they can attend the meetings during their planned stay in Vienna. Make no plans without consulting your conference office. This is very important if misunderstandings and disappointments are to be avoided!

The logistics of Vienna explain why you need to do this. Stadthalle seating totals 16,000. At least 100,000 Adventists can drive easily to Vienna. Vienna hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists each summer. Accommodations will be scarce.

Yet for all these restrictions Vienna will provide a wonderful opportunity for the church to sense its unity and diversity. Delegations will display the vast variety of Adventist outreach. Representation from all the divisions will reflect the racial and national mix of Adventism. What a glorious opportunity to show the world and one another that we love the Lord and that we are determined that nothing will hinder us from accomplishing our goals.

Just a hundred years ago John Nevins Andrews left America as the first overseas worker. He sailed for Europe. Today the church in the United States represents only one fifth of the worldwide member ship. As Adventists move toward Vienna many of them will cross or join the trail that J. N. Andrews took in his pioneer venture.

And yet we might ask again, Why Vienna? Why Atlantic City, Why Detroit? If we read inspiration correctly, they need not have been, and the choices of the future need not be made. This might be the last trek of the people of God to seek His guidance in planning the future. For Vienna puts us between the porch and the altar, weeping for our inadequacies.

After Vienna, need it be Seattle or Rio or Tokyo or some other convention city? The answer lies between us and God. At Vienna, if we pray and prepare, we may find the secret to a finished work. Pray for Vienna and what it can and must mean for the finishing of God's plans.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-secretary of the General Conference Department of Communication at the time this article was written

August 1974

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The Sabbath Commandment and Sunday

ARE Sunday-keeping Christians correct in declaring that the blessings and responsibilities of the Sabbath were transferred to Sunday? If so, when was such a transfer made, and for what reason? To the Catholic the question is whether or not the Sabbath commandment can be applied to Sunday mass. . .

Preaching and Bliblical Interpretation

IT IS important for the minister to recognize his responsibility as an interpreter of the Bible. The average parish minister may not have as much knowledge as the specialist in Biblical studies, but he should have sufficient understanding of the Bible to be able to rightly divide the word of truth. . .

The Ministry of the Atonement

THE GENERALLY accepted definition of the term atonement seems to be more limited in concept than the ideas expressed in the typology of the Levitical service. As one studies the usage of the Hebrew words in their context, one is led to the conclusion that there are possibly three ways of using the term atonement. . .

6,000 Years?

THE TIME SPAN from Creation to the present continues to be an issue of concern to some Seventh-day Adventist scholars. There are those who hold rigidly to a 6,000 year approximation; others are prepared to concede an extra one or two thousand years, maintaining that the important issue is the fact of fiat Creation; there are still others who, at least privately, have been prepared to concede the possibility of considerably longer periods of time. . .

"Gathering" for Armageddon

This Old Testament prophecy portrays the overwhelming cataclysmic destruction of the assembled wicked by the Lord, at His coming. The New Testament repeats this picture as the wicked are gathered against the Lord at the time of the sixth plague. . .

Tragedy & Triumph

ONE OF THE grandest of prophetic panoramas is found in the seventh chapter of Daniel and it was written in the sixth century B.C. More than twenty-five centuries are compressed into less than thirty verses! The terrain of chapter two is repeated with much added detail. . .

Try It. You'll Like It.

ONE OF THE basic beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist ministry is our insistence on the fact that the backbone of the church is the lay man. Over and over again we re peat and hear repeated the thought that the work of God in the earth will never be finished until the laymen are accorded their rightful place in the church and arouse themselves to superior effort. . .

Feed Us With the Bread of Heaven

NOT EVERY church holds its divine service at eleven o'clock on Sabbath morning. Some, of necessity, must choose a different time. But in this division it is reasonable to say that, in the home unions at least, 95 percent of our church services are held at the eleven o'clock hour. . .

Helpfulness Heals

Dr. Daniel Kress went to England in 1898 to establish medical work there, after a brief period of service at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Later, he served in New Zealand for a time, re turning to the United States in 1907. He became the first medical superintendent of the newly established Washington Sanitarium and Hospital. His wife was staff physician. Dr. Kress specialized in health education and wrote many articles on health for Adventist periodicals. In going through our files here at the Ministry office, we came across (his manuscript which apparently has never been published. Although written in 1950, it still carries a message we feel our readers will appreciate. ---Editors

The Vegetarian Advantage (Part 2)

In our article last month we discussed some of the health hazards of using flesh as food. Let us now look at some positive advantages of the vegetarian way of life. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)