Affirming Women In Church Leadership

Riga, Latvia, 13 December 2015. Baltic Union Conference Executive Committee in its year-end meeting in Riga affirmed document which was accepted by the Executive Committee of the Trans–European Division in its year-end meeting in Montenegro (2015.11.17).

The full statement endorses the October 2015 Annual Council statement issued by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that was intended to give assurance to women, and in particular to ministers and elders, that the Church recognises that they are ‘called, gifted and committed to the service of the Church’. The affirmation is equally intended to discourage those who have chosen to negatively exploit the vote regarding the ordination of women taken in San Antonio in 2015.

The full statement, which can be downloaded here, states,

We celebrate the tapestry of people in our territory, whose customs, culture and understanding, though diverse, have been woven throughout the Bible and Christian history, towards an appreciation of God’s inclusive grace.

We acknowledge that God appoints women and men to minister according to their spiritual gifts and education. He does this to fulfil His mission to share the ‘Good News’ to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

We encourage women to prepare for Church leadership and pastoral ministry.

We will create openings and opportunities, where women’s giftedness is valued, to the benefit of the whole Church.

We applaud the courage and dignity which women display in fulfilling their calling despite those who undermine them.

Furthermore, personal abuse and disruptive behaviour are un-Christian, and unacceptable, and will not be tolerated by Church leaders, who owe a duty of care to those who have been appointed to serve.