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Historical Survey of the Ordination of Women in the SDA Church By Pastor Emmanuel Osei.

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Survey of the Ordination of Women in the SDA Church By Pastor Emmanuel Osei."— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Survey of the Ordination of Women in the SDA Church By Pastor Emmanuel Osei

2 Review and Herald Dec 20, 1881  “Resolved, That females possessing the necessary qualifications to fill that position, may, with perfect propriety, be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry.”  GC Session Dec 5, 1881

3  May 3,1950 GC officers discuss ordination based upon EG White’s statement ‘some women should be set apart for service in the church by “Prayer and laying on of hands. RH JULY 9, 1895  April 8,1968 The Northern European Division requests counsel on ordaining women. The question arose in Finland.  September 30,1968 GC Officers appoint a committee to study ordination Josephine Benton. First woman ordained as a local Elder, at the Brotherhood Church, Washington D.C by Potomac Conference and Columbian Union Conference Presidents.  June 21,1972. The Far Eastern Division requests counsel about ordaining women

4  July 19, 1973 Study on the role of women begins with the GC ad hoc Committee with the goal of studying women’s ordination as well.  September 1, 1973 Josephine Benton becomes an associate pastor at the Sligo Church, Maryland. Margaret Hempe is also acknowledged as pastor in Loma Linda.  September 1973 Ad hoc Committee convenes in Ohio and recommends women to be ordained as local church elders and those with theological training to be hired as “Associates in Pastoral care.”  1976 Margaret Prange becomes pastor of 4 churches in East Germany.  1977 The Annual Council votes for “Associates in Pastoral care.”

5  Debate over Ordaining women Elders heat up especially in Sligo Church where many GC employees who oppose it are members.  Neal C. Wilson secures permission to produce 13 papers endorsed by the BRI in favor of ordaining women as Elders.  January 1978 Sligo Church fails to endorse ordination of women Elders. Although 60% voted in favor, this was not a “clear majority” it needed 66% or two thirds.  In October 1979 Annual Council votes internship for women pastors, Bible Instructors and Associates in Pastoral care beginning in Also for un- ordained males to baptise in NAD.

6  March 1984 the Potomac Conference Committee votes to permit 8 local Elders to baptize. 3 are women in pastoral roles.  Potomac Conference is chastised for defying GC authority and policy.  The entire Potomac Conference is summoned to meet with the GC officers in August 1984 and asked to rescind their action that permitted women pastors to baptize (as local Elders).  In October 1984 the women Elders’ ordination is reaffirmed. The vote was to “advise each division that it is free to make provision as it may deem necessary for the election and ordination of women as local church Elders.” Thus the provision is extended from NAD to the World field

7  July 1985 GC votes for more study on ordination of women.  Women Elders are ordained throughout NAD but rejected at Pioneer Memorial Church as Samuele Bacchiocchi speaks out against it.  October 25, 1986 Newbold Church ordains its first women Elders: Auliki Nahkola and Cynthia Benz.  Despite Samuele Bacchiocchi’s book which strongly opposes women’s ordination, on 21 st May, 1987 Pioneer Memorial Church vote to elect and ordain women Elders by a 62% majority. Dwight Nelson reverses his Prior stand against women ordination.

8  NAD leaders call for an end to discriminatory policies affecting women in ministry. This is backed in May 1988 by the Potomac Conference.  May 1989 the SECC pass a resolution ( ) mandating that local qualified women pastors be considered for ordination no sooner than August  The NAD Union presidents unanimously vote and endorse women ordination to the gospel ministry in June  October 1990 Annual Council GC President Robert Folkenberg establishes an office of Women’s ministries.

9  The Welcome Table: Setting a Table for Ordained Women. This 408-page book was published just before the 1995 GC session in Utrecht  Women in Ministry: Biblical and Historical Perspectives (1998) prepared by Ad Hoc Committee Andrews University

10 THEOLOGY OF ORDINATION STUDY COMMITTEE (TOSC)  TOSC is the result made from the floor by a delegate at the 2010 GC Session.  The GC Administration took that request to the GC admin committee for approval of the Theology of Ordination study process on September 20,  Through strong prayer sessions, study of the bible, study of the spirit of prophecy, the TOSC was tasked to focus on solutions that would support the message, mission & unity of SDA church.

11 TOSC  106 Adventist men and women of different ages, ethnicities, and professions were tasked with answering two primary questions: 1. What is the theology of ordination from a biblical perspective? 2. What are the implications of this theology for Adventist practice including the question of women ordination?

12  Each of the 13 Divisions BRC’s were to look prayerfully & carefully at this topic and submit papers to the TOSC.  The TOSC were to meet 4 times concluding its work in June 2014  The TOSC would submit its findings to the GC administration in June  The complete report would then go to the GC Executive committee for review and discussed at the 2014 Annual Council.  The 2014 Annual Council will then decide on Items to be referred to the 2015 GC Session.

13 THE FINAL VOTE  In the final vote (being termed a “Survey”)which ended the TOSC four meetings over the 2 years  40 committee members voted for WO with the caveat that no area would be forced to adopt the new policy  32 members voted against the Ordination of women in all cases.  22 voted for this new third option which was a willingness for women to be ordained, although they still had concerns that God’s “Pattern” is male headship. Basically these believe that God works with “second best” so we should ordain women.  So in practice, 62 or two thirds of the committee members were willing to adopt a new policy for ordaining if the constituents favor it.

14  Scripture is silent on female ordination.  Scripture presents headship/ leadership as a male domain. They conclude, that until there is complete clarity, women should not be ordained. ECD- THE EAST CENTRAL AFRICA DIVISION

15 SID- THE SOUTHERN AFRICA- INDIAN DIVISION  Both male and female created in God’s image are equal. However roles differentiation began and continues after sin.  SID recommends women should not be ordained and also recommends they should no longer serve as elders.

16 SPD- THE SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION  The church should employ “sanctified wisdom” to come to a conclusion on female ordination. The BRC of the SPD does not see any Scriptural principle which would be an impediment to women being ordained.

17 IAD- THE INTER-AMERICAN DIVISION  The IAD was too closely divided to fairly issue a majority report. They are “willing to accept the ecclesiastical decision taken by the SDA church in plenary session.”

18 NSD- THE NORTHERN ASIA- PACIFIC DIVISION  The NSD believes that both Scripture and Ellen White “Support women in ministry and leadership.”  The NSD recommend both men and women for ordination but the implementation of this decision should be “determined by each division.”

19 NAD- THE NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION  The NAD denies there is a leadership principle in Scripture. They argue there is no sex role differentiation before the fall or after.  They argue in favor of female ordination.

20 SAD-THE SOUTH AMERICAN DIVISION  Man and woman were created equal but with different roles.  The SAD recommends that women should not be ordained to pastoral ministry, but that the church should investigate the possibility of ordaining women to other ministries.

21 ESD- THE EURO ASIA DIVISION  Man and Woman created equal. The fall disturbed the original harmony resulting in the husband becoming dominant and the wife subordinate.  As there are no examples of female ordination, the ESD discourages the practice of ordination of women to pastoral ministry.

22 EUD- THE INTER EUROPEAN DIVISION  Ordination should be considered an administrative issue, not a doctrinal or biblical one.  The EUD recommends ordination of women for pastoral ministry.

23 SSD- THE SOUTHERN ASIA PACIFIC DIVISION  The majority felt that the bible does not support the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.  Yet they stated that they would “follow the voice of the Spirit and the world church upon its voted decision in July 2015 at the GC Session”

24 TED-THE TRANS EUROPEAN DIVISION  Recommends we focus on mission, remove distance between clergy and laity.  Adopt a gender-inclusive ministry.  Allow female ordination to be decided at Union level.

25 SUD- THE SOUTHERN ASIA DIVISION  The scholars saw no problem with ordaining women, but the administrators disagreed and felt it would be poorly received in their division.  It stated that it would accept the decision of the GC in session.

26 WAD- THE WEST CENTRAL AFRICA DIVISION  They affirm the male leadership principle  The WAD recommends not ordaining women to Pastoral Ministry.

27 SDA CHURCH IN CRISIS  Columbia Union Conference – 19 ordained female pastors  Pacific Union Conference – 25 to 30 ordained female pastors

28 In a Recent Article  On Sunday October 27 th 2013, delegates voted (72%-28%) to elect Sandra Roberts as President of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh- Day Adventists.

29 Female Pastors in the sec


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