Religious news from around the world.

Religious news from around the world.

GC president publishes first book

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—Seventh-day Adven­tist world church president Ted N. C. Wilson has published his first book, a compilation of recent sermons on themes of com­mitment to God and service to others.

Almost Home: A Call to Revival and Reformation was published and released by Pacific Press Publishing Association. Wilson said the book focuses on Christ’s soon return and the three angels’ messages, as found in the book of Revelation. This manuscript also underscores how church members can view their own role in anticipa­tion of Christ’s return as people who are servants of the Lord and to each other.

“I hope readers catch a full pic­ture of the urgency of the times and the Lord’s soon return. It is my prayer that church members will feel very much a part of the great Advent movement and its real objec­tive, which is to tell people the Lord is coming soon,” Wilson said.

All proceeds from Almost Home will benefit the Mission to the Cities initiative, which i s the Adventist Church’s program to share the gospel mes­sage with people living in large metropolitan areas.

“One of my favorite and most cherished objectives is for people in cities to know of Christ’s love and soon return,” Wilson said. [ANN Staff]

Seventh-day Adventist Church launches committee to study theology of ordination

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders on September 18, 2012, voted to establish a Theol­ogy of Ordination Study Committee with a goal of delivering a report to the 2014 Annual Council (a yearly meeting of world church administra­tors). Four committee sessions, each lasting for up to three days, will precede the October 2014 report, leaders said.

“We want an open process,” Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, presi­dent of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, told the group’s Administrative Committee, or ADCOM, before the vote was taken. “We want to hear what God wants to tell us, through Bible study, study of the Spirit of Prophecy, and prayer.”

The decision to launch this com­mittee comes a year after the 2011 unveiling of a roadmap for the study process. Church officials affirmed the outline that was presented and pro­vided terms of reference for the study committee. The committee is a direct response to a request during the 2010 General Conference Session for a church-conducted in-depth study of ordination. The denomination’s Executive Committee at the 2014 Annual Council may decide to recom­mend action concerning ordination to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas.

The committee will be comprised of a variety of individuals includ­ing “women, men, younger and older members, theologians, Bible students, those who have written or spoken on the subject, and some others.” The committee will have no world church officers as participants other than the chairman, vice chair­man, and secretary, though these three executive officers will be ex officio members.

“When the process starts there are two issues that will be studied,” said Artur A. Stele, head of the world church’s Biblical Research Institute and chairman of the new committee. “First, the theology of ordination—what ordination is or isn’t. Second, ‘What are the impli­cations for church practices with a special emphasis on women’s ordination?’ ”

The membership of this commit­tee represents a wide perspective of views on ordination, and the committee members hope that they can interact in a highly respectful and spiritual discussion setting. The committee includes two del­egates from each of the 13 world church divisions, which will work with regional Biblical Research Committees in the study.

An official statement voted by ADCOM emphasized that, unlike many church committees where actions are voted up and down, the committee’s terms of refer­ence include “an aim of reaching consensus on as many points as possible.” Where differences are evident, they will be carefully noted for the final report to the 2014 Annual Council.

According to the statement by ADCOM, “Through strong prayer sessions, study of the Bible, study of the Spirit of Prophecy, and the resulting careful discussion, the Theology of Ordination Study Committee should focus on solu­tions that would support the message, mission, and unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” [Ansel Oliver, Mark A. Kellner, and Elizabeth Lechleitner/ANN]

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December 2012

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