WORLD CHURCH: Adventist Leaders Close Spring Meeting With Mission Focus
Despite the challenges awaiting the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventists should not take a “defeatist attitude,” world church president Jan Paulsen told nearly 150 church officials at the close of Spring Meeting, the world church’s semiannual business session. Instead, he challenged Adventists to be “positive” and “move forward, focused on our mission.”
Paulsen also called for “inclusive discussions” and cooperation among church leaders heading into 2009, which delegates designated on April 6 as the church’s “Year of Evangelism.”
PRAYER: “Help us to be ever sensitive to Your guidance,” was the closing prayer of Jan Paulsen, world president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, during the 2008 Spring Meetings.While meeting at church-owned Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, delegates also voted on other business items, including nominations for church offices.
Delegates appointed Gary R. Councell, former United States Army chaplain and current associate director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries, to head up the department following Martin W. Feldbush’s retirement. Mario Ceballos, currently a vice president for Kettering Medical Center in Ohio, will fill the vacancy left as Councell assumes Feldbush’s role.
Delegates also elected Paul Brantley, director of the church’s newly formed Office of Assessment and Program Effectiveness, as a general field secretary. Paulsen thanked Brantley for his “skillful and effective” service at the world church headquarters.
Brantley, a former consultant at Florida Hospital, also served as director of the Education Department at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, and launched a refereed research journal on Christian education while a professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. In his new job, Brantley is tasked with helping the church achieve excellence in its operations: “My role is to promote a Spirit-filled, evidence-based culture of excellence within the world church that inspires each employee to see the excitement and the potential and the joy of being part of the world’s best-run organization,” he said in a separate interview.
In his closing prayer at the spring meeting, Paulsen urged church leaders to be attuned to God’s direction for the church. “If, in spite of what we have decided here, You have a better way, help us to be ever sensitive to Your guidance,” he said.
—Adventist News Network, with AR Staff