Those who attended the session were able to enjoy the pageantry and performances of members from around the globe during worship times.There are many different jobs that need to be accomplished in a church. For example, who makes sure the bills get paid on time? Who helps the children in Sabbath school? Who preaches the sermon? Who collects the offering? Who helps with community service? Who keeps the place neat and clean?
The convention center’s Internet Cafe featured quick connections and long lines.More than 2,400 delegates* are selected from all the church’s 13 world divisions as representatives of the local conferences and churches. They review important plans and policies of the church and change, remove from, and/or add to the church’s manual (a document containing information and instructions about the operation of the Adventist Church). They also elect leaders to serve in key church governance roles. A typical delegate will likely spend eight hours a day in business meetings and floor-related activities during the 10 days of the gathering. Similar to the point where a tossed stone enters a calm body of water, the decisions made at a GC session ripple out and affect every ring, all the way out to the largest ring, the local church membership.
Delegates vote by raising cards during a business meeing.The most recent session convened in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, in 2005. This year the session will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, from June 24 to July 3. About 50,000 people are expected to travel from all parts of the world to the session to worship on Sabbath and fellowship with brothers and sisters from around the globe. Church president Jan Paulsen says the GC session is more than just business. “A gathering such as this is usually described as a business session of the world church. But don’t be misled by the word ‘business.’ At the heart of all that we will do, and all our decision-making, there is really only one objective: to better prepare and equip our church for the mission God has given us.”
Getting Down to Business
Matthew Bediakoatthew Bediako and Larry Evans, secretary and undersecretary of the General Conference, respectively, have attended several General Conference sessions (Bediako since 1975, and Evans since 1985). Adventist Worldmanaging editor Stephen Chavez asked them to reflect on this year’s session in Atlanta.
Evans: At my first session I was overwhelmed with the size and the diversity of the world church. Now, of course, it’s even more evident.
Larry EvansBediako: We will hear a report from a commission that was appointed to study structures and services here at the General Conference. That will be significant.
Evans: As Matthew said, this is a reorganization, not a revision, but some interesting items will be discussed.
Nutritious vegetarian meals will be served for lunch and supper in the Georgia World Congress Center each day of the session, beginning with supper on Wednesday, June 23, and ending with supper Sabbath evening, July 3. Meals will be served only to those who hold meal tickets, which can be purchased each day at the congress center or in advance from the session’s Web site:http://gc.bigfoottech.com.
Hotels closest to the Georgia World Congress Center have already been reserved for delegates and General Conference staff, so reserving a room may be a bit of a challenge. But the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) makes public transportation a simple way to get to the congress center. For hotel room availability, visit one of several online reservation sites (Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, etc.) and make your own reservations.
A number of the nearly 6,000 hotel rooms reserved for the event by the General Conference may still be available. For information, contact:
233 Peachtree Street, NE., Suite 1400,
Atlanta, GA 30303, U.S.A.,
Or visit the session’s lodging Web site:https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=1392308.
Faithful and True
The 2010 General Conference session has its own Web site:www.gcsession.org.
Weekly, and eventually daily, updates will appear there between now and throughout the session.During the 10 days of the session the Review goes from being a weekly publication to publishing every day. Text and photos prepared in offices at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will be transmitted digitally to the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, printed overnight, and enough copies for those in attendance at the session are shipped back to the center in time for the morning meeting.