Church unity and commitment to outreach were instrumental in decisions on a theme song and offering for next summer's General Conference session, Seventh-day Adventist world church leaders said this week.
Meeting at church headquarters for annual business meetings, delegates moved to accept a new theme song for next summer's General Conference session. Titled "Proclaim His Grace" and composed by Bruce Ashton, the song dovetails with the session theme: "Proclaiming God's Grace."
"Music is an instrument of unity," said Williams Costa Jr., a member of the music committee and associate director of Communication for the world church. "It's a way to have everybody on the same page, praising God."
Delegates also voted on an offering for next year's session. Collected in Adventist churches worldwide on January 30 and May 29, the offering will fund education, media and literature outreach in a region historically known as the Silk Road. Because traditional evangelism is difficult in the region -- which includes China, Central Asia and the Middle East -- the offering will help support Global Mission pioneers, family and health ministries and humanitarian outreach.
Decisions on session were among a variety of agenda items voted this week. Delegates also accepted rewording of the mission statement of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to better focus on the discipleship of members.
They added the phrase "make disciples of all people" and instruction on "discipling," or "affirming the continued spiritual growth and development of all members" to the statement.
The church's mission statement is reviewed every five years, with changes in wording suggested to help it best reflect the church's methodology in spreading its message.
Also on the docket this week was a presentation on the forthcoming Andrews Study Bible, which delegates moved to accept. Published at Andrews University Press, the Bible is designed to "enrich the serious, thoughtful study" of Scripture, said Niels-Erik Andreasen, president of Adventist-owned Andrews University.
An international team of Bible scholars worked to make the study Bible "academically credible, theologically sound and practically useful," Andreasen told delegates.
Expected to be available next year, the Andrews Study Bible will include a reference system linking many of the Bible's themes, such as Sabbath observance and the Second Coming.
Click here to download an MP3 version of "Proclaim His Grace."