In a specially called session of the Columbia Union Conference Constituency, delegates from its eight conferences voted overwhelmingly to approve a recommendation from the union executive committee authorizing ordination without regard to gender. The historic vote was 209 in favor and 51 opposed, with nine abstentions—a ratio of 4 to 1.
The approved motion states:
“That the Columbia Union Conference authorize ordination to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.”
This means that the union will no longer deny requests from conferences to ordain proven female ministers to the gospel ministry.
“There was a good spirit and healthy discussion, all bathed in prayer,” says Dave Weigley, union president. “We remain part of, united with, and fully committed to the mission of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
The four-hour meeting was streamed live and will be available shortly at www.columbiaunion.org/2012specialconstituency. A news story and photos will be published at www.columbiaunion.org and in the August Visitor.
The Columbia Union Conference is comprised of 135,000 members who worship in more than 700 churches in the eight local conferences located in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Its members minister through 90 elementary and secondary schools, a university, a medical college, two healthcare networks and numerous community-focused ministries.