The 22nd Delegation Session of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement started on Tuesday 25th of August, in the beautiful state of Virginia in the United States of America. The location for this very important event was held at a conference center situated on Smith Mountain Lake, in the town of Wirtz. This was a historic moment, as the last GC session held in the USA was in 1979 in Bushkill, Pennsylvania.
Around 170 delegates, representing 38,675 members in more than 100 countries worldwide, gathered from around the globe for this quadrennial business session of the church.
Prior to the beginning of the session, delegates arrived via plane, into Roanoke, Charlotte and Washington airports. It took a couple of days for all delegates to arrive. They were bussed in groups via Roanoke to the venue, which is about 45 minutes’ drive into the scenic Blue Ridge mountains.
The GC president for the past four years, Br. Davi Paes Silva, shared a brief message, emphasizing our need of the Holy Spirit and of continuous connection with Christ.
Br. Silva made reference to John 20:22, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Then he emphasized important points found in Hosea 5:15-6:1-3, The Desire of Ages, p. 805, and other passages. He encouraged the delegates in a few very important aspects of preparation—acknowledging our condition, seeking the Lord, experiencing His healing and revival, and receiving the former and latter rain of the Holy Spirit.
Following this part of the meeting, we sang Hymn #132 from the Reformation Hymnal, “Holy Spirit Faithful Guide.” Each delegate had the opportunity to pray for the guidance and outpouring of the Holy Spirit, during a special prayer season in groups of two.
The Session Begins
All of the department leaders and regional secretaries presented news of the work from the past four years.
Good news was gleaned from these updates, mentioning many encouraging things which have happened. People are accepting Christ even in these faith-challenging times. Some countries which were more restrictive are now more accessible. The willingness of youth all over the world to work for God is wonderful to see. And we were overjoyed to welcome 15 additional units, bringing the total to 90 missions, fields and conferences worldwide.
This General Conference session sees some new technology coming into use. A delegate attendance tracking system allows the chairman to keep accurate track of how many delegates are present on the floor during the session, particularly for voting.
There is also an electronic voting system that makes it much easier to record and tally votes which would formerly have been recorded on secret ballot and tallied by hand.
Both technologies have proved to be a great help, once everyone was familiar with how to use them.
After all the reports were heard and accepted, the usual committees were chosen and they commenced their work. The session is being chaired by Duraisamy Sureshkumar, assisted in the chair by Peter D. Lausevic, with Eli Tenorio as the session secretary.
Reports to come will give a deeper look into the proceedings.
For more information or in order to watch morning and evening worship, please visit:
Morning and evening worships for the session: gcsession.sdarm.org/2015/delegation-session/
Or our official website: sdarm.org/news-events/news
The Bulletin Committee,
Davi Paes Silva