2016 Ministerial Council Report
Our ministers completed their 2016 council meeting at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Attending the meeting throughout the six days were 103 ministers and 52 observers.
Election of officers and standing committees
Each meeting elects officers and standing committees for the upcoming biennium. Elected at this meeting were . . .
- Executive Committee: Samuel Holland (president), Jhabel Chagollan (vice president), Monico Muffley (secretary).
- License and Credentials Committee: Ken Lawson, Steve Kyner, Monico Muffley, Noe Reyes, Eddie Villalba, Oscar Mata.
- Nominating Committee: John Marlin (chair), Chip Hinds, Brian Larson.
Eight resolutions were brought before the council meeting for action:
Resolution 2016-01 “Resolution to Adopt the Study on Human Sexuality, Gender and Marriage as an Affirmation of our Statement of Faith” was approved. Ministers have an additional six months to provide feedback on Part 1 of the study to the committee (Israel Steinmetz, chair, Calvin Burrell, and Jason Overman), while Part 2 is deferred to be considered at the 2018 council meeting.
Resolution 2016-02 The following “Policy Statement on Homosexuality” was approved:
Whereas, the Statement of Faith of the Church of God (Seventh Day) teaches, “Marriage is an institution of God and is an exclusive lifetime union between one man and one woman for the purpose of perpetuating humanity and enriching human experience,” and “Christians are called to holiness in thought, word, and deed and to express faith in Christ through devotion to God and godly interaction with others;” and because homosexual marriages and unions have become so common in our society, with homosexual marriage now a legally-recognized practice throughout the United States and Canada; and because we nevertheless submit to the Bible which teaches that sexuality is to be expressed solely in the context of marriages between one biological man and one biological woman, and because the Bible teaches that it is sinful for human beings to engage in homosexual behaviors, and because the clergy of the Church of God (Seventh Day) are to abide by the teachings of the Bible and thereby avoid contributing to or supporting or lending approval to sinfulness; therefore,
Be it resolved, That the Church of God (Seventh Day) expressly forbids its clergy to officiate at, participate in, or use church facilities for any activity that contributes to, supports, or lends approval to homosexual behaviors, including homosexual marriages, and
Be it further resolved, That the Church of God (Seventh Day), via the North American Ministerial Council, shall revoke the ministerial document of any minister of the Church of God (Seventh Day) who shall be found to have officiated at, participated in, or used church facilities for any activity that contributes to, supports, or lends approval to homosexual behaviors, including homosexual marriages.
Resolution 2016-03 deletes the following paragraph from the introduction in the Ministerial Documentation Manual:
“A candidate for ministerial (clerical) recognition with the Church of God (Seventh Day), who has obtained a divorce for any other reason than scriptural grounds, which is adultery, and who subsequently remarries or similarly one who marries a person who has been divorced for any other reason than adultery, is ineligible to receive ministerial documentation with the Church of God (Seventh Day). “
The purpose of this deletion is to allow the License and Credentials Committee to examine the circumstances of each case and exercise discretion as it deems appropriate.
Resolution 2016-04 “Proposal to create an additional level of documentation for non-pastoral ministers entitled Ministry Leadership Certificate.” No action was taken on this resolution at this meeting.
Resolution 2016-05 “Committee on Women as Deacons” was postponed by the passing of the following motion:
Move to postpone the consideration of this resolution pending a study in the 2018 Council which would present both sides of the issue of women serving on the national board.
The following committee was appointed to produce a study and report to the 2018 council meeting: Brian Larson (chair), Javier Ramirez, Monico Muffley, Gustavo Guerrero, Abel Salazar, Ken Lawson, and Peter Youngs.
Resolution 2016-06 “Resolution to Authorize GC Bylaws Revision Committee to Propose Revisions to the NAMC Bylaws Pending GC Action” was approved. This resolution authorizes revision proposals of the NAMC bylaws in the event the Conference Bylaws are adopted by the 2017 Conference Convention.
Resolution 2016-07 “Resolution to Bring the Documentation Manual into Conformity with Changes to LifeSpring School of Ministry Terminology and Programming” was approved.
Resolution 2016-08 Resolution on Immigration Status was approved. This resolution states the following:
Whereas there are members who have successfully completed requirements to apply for a ministerial license or LPC and cannot be issued ministerial documentation as a result of policies relating to their immigration status;
Be it Resolved that the 2016 meeting of the North American Ministerial Council requests the General Conference Board of Directors and License and Credentials Committee to review this policy regarding immigration status as it relates to ministerial documentation
The council president appointed an Evangelistic Event Planning Committee: Brian Franks (chair), Ruben Beard, David Ross, Paul Pederson, Narciso Betances.
There was a group outing to the Billy Graham Training Center – The Cove on Wednesday evening. The Lumber River Quartet performed, and Pastor Whaid Rose delivered a sermon titled “Do the Work of an Evangelist.”
Sabbath services were a presentation from the executive team (Loren Stacy and Jody McCoy) titled “Transforming Vision into Reality.” Posters and booklets are now available for order at cog7.org/posters.
Our ministers were encouraged to become better partners as we labor together. We were reminded that the 15 percent Conference contribution of each congregation funds the Ministerial Council. Each pastor is an important communication link in order for us to build a vibrant 21st century church.
Troy Gedack ended the meeting with an inspirational launch for leadership called One Word (myoneword.org).
Special thanks to the following people:
- Morning devotion speakers: Andrew Fernandez, John Howell, Gerson Gonzalez, and John Marlin
- Workshop presenters: Jason Overman, Israel Steinmetz, Calvin Burrell, Ken Lawson, Daniel Flores, Amber Riggs (by video), Monico Muffley, Whaid Rose, and Andy Hassen
- Evening/Sabbath speakers: Paul Pederson, Whaid Rose, Ken Lawson, Jody McCoy, and Loren Stacy
- Song leaders: Oscar Mata, Javier Ramirez, Andrew Fernandez, Tim Steinhauser, Manny Molinar, and Yair Moreno
- Translations: Eddie Villalba, Heber Vega, Gerson Gonzalez, Ruben Beard, Jose Hernandez, Ronald Rousseau, Allo Sanchez, Daniel Flores, and Santiago Chavez
- Coordinators: Dennis O’Banion (venue), Tim Steinhauser (song leaders), Eddie Villalba (translation), Chris Idemmili (computer and voting system operations), Richard Palmer (soundboard), Makayla Ross (custodian of records)
We departed this council meeting with joyful hearts and anticipation for the next meeting in two years.
Yours in Christ,