21 May 2019 | St Albans, United Kingdom [TED Executive Committee]
On Monday, 20 May, the Trans-European Division (TED) Executive Committee voted a series of recommendations to encourage the greater participation of women in ministry and leadership.
We share them below for your reference and understanding:
The Trans-European Division affirms the biblical model of the priesthood of all believers exercised through various ministries, gifts and actions. All members minister on God’s behalf and need to be engaged in mission in order to fulfil the Great Commission. Although there are divergent opinions at all levels of the Church regarding the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, we believe that God calls and gifts all, both women and men, to serve and build up the Church, which is Christ’s representative on earth. Recognising that the full participation of women is necessary for the Church to fulfil its end-time mission, the TED Executive Committee has issued several statements affirming women in ministry and leadership. We recognise that actions combined with words are required to bring about change at all levels of the Church, therefore we recommend the following:
• Diversity and Cultural Awareness Summit 2020
Although we are all members of the body of Christ and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we view the world from different cultural perspectives. These can influence how we serve and worship God. At times, our rich cultural diversity produces an environment for creative encounters and growth. Our cultural biases may also act as filters resulting in our understanding things differently. There is a risk for misunderstandings due to expectations, based on our cultural heritage. We recommend that the General Conference, in consultation with its divisions, hold a Diversity and Cultural Awareness Summit in 2020 to explore biblical models of diversity and learn how we can work together to achieve unity of purpose and mission. This could be replicated at union, conference and local church levels.
General Conference, Division and Union
• Exchange programmes
Institute a global exchange programme whereby teams can visit similar entities in other parts of the world in order to identify alternative ways of doing mission and evangelism, thereby growing cultural sensitivity and understanding. Create a reporting system of lessons learned, so that ideas generated will be shared with others.
• Provide greater opportunities for female theologians and educators
Intentionally identify opportunities for female theologians and educators to teach at seminaries and theological education colleges, in order to create positive role models for women preparing for ministry. In addition, make funding available for educating suitable candidates and sponsoring teaching positions. It may be necessary to recast hiring processes in order to provide appropriate opportunities.
General Conference, Division, Union, Conference and Local Church
• Lay representation on committees
As far as reasonably possible, ensure that there is equal representation between qualified men and women among lay representatives on all committees.
Division, Union, Conference and Local Church
Provide easily accessible resources on official websites regarding the question of women’s ordination and the role of women in the Church. Prepare local churches to implement gift-based participation in the life of the Church. Further, encourage a more inclusive model of leadership and worship within local churches where young and old, women and men, may find their place in serving their Lord, the local church and their community.
Photo credit: Azgan Mjeshtri, Unsplash
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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