Adventists Bar Women Pastors
While prayers and applause rang through the Alamo-dome and Convention Centre when Adventists from all over the world came to debate and plan the direction of the church, the session had a hiccup. In addition to the failed electronic voting system, the topic of women pastors and women ordination which the delegation voted against, has some members (especially the men) up in arms.
The 60th General Conference Session held in San Antonio, Texas was from July 2-11. Nigel Coke, director of public affairs and religious liberty for the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said, "The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica will not be impacted by Global Adventist Church decision not to ordain female pastors at this time because there are presently no female pastors."
Coke also noted that this is so because the church in Jamaica supports the decision of the world church body. "In the past there have been a few (single digits), female graduates from the Northern Caribbean University's School of Religion and Theology, who normally go back to their respective homeland.
He said that delegates from Jamaica voted in the decision process, which was done by secret ballot, a decision taken by the wider organisation before the session was held. The general reception has been one of acceptance by the delegates and the wider church.
"The church carries out as the Lord wills and whatever decision the church takes in a general conference session, we all coalesce around it." Coke said.
Adventists from all over the world debated and planned the direction of the church and in the upcoming years, they will take on projects of reaching those with special needs. Jamaica's Senator Floyd Morris was one of many physically challenged persons who gave a testimony at the session.
The church's special needs project will start on November 1, with the television channel - Hope Channel Deaf. The church already launched its Adventist Deaf Website (http://www.adventistdeaf.org) which will aid those with this disability in coming to a saving knowledge of Christ.
Coke said, ''The union is looking at making our churches special needs friendly and to that end, the second week of March each year is set aside for Special Needs Awareness. The aim is getting everyone involved,'' he said.