Approval for a second world youth conference, how to deal with rapid church growth in the world’s most challenging areas, and leadership elections were discussed during the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Spring Meeting April 12 to 13. The meeting concluded at noon local time on April 13.
The committee approved a proposal to convene a second World Conference on Youth and Community Service to be held July 14 to 26, 2008, in an area of the 10/40 Window—an imaginary rectangular area covering parts of Northern Africa, the Middle East and Asia where 70 percent of the world’s population lives and where there is not a large Christian community. The location will be proposed to the 2006 Annual Council for final approval.
It was also voted to establish the term “Impact” as the official youth evangelism identity of the world church headquarters. This would also give the church regions a specific youth outreach platform that provides the enhanced vision for youth evangelism to be applied within the uniqueness of each world area.
The committee voted the Guidelines on Alternative Organizational Structures and Administrative Relationships referencing the church’s Working Policy, which provides for variations in administrative governance to fulfill the mission of the church, particularly in unusual circumstances.
Also during Spring Meeting, Raul Gomez announced his retirement as secretary of the church in South America. Melchor Ferreyra, until now president of the church in Peru, was elected to fill this position. Because of substantial growth in that region, the executive committee voted to reorganize the Peru Union Mission into two separate unions, or local administrative church regions. There are more than 700,000 adult Adventist believers in Peru today.
Dr. Lisa Beardsley, vice president for Educational Affairs at Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, was elected as associate director of education for the world church. She will fill the position to be vacated by Dr. Andrea Luxton, who accepted a position as president of Canadian Union College.
Director of the world church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, Dr. John Graz, informed delegates about the sixth International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) World Congress, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2007.