The first full night of General Conference Session, it was my privilege and honor to greet delegates as they walked through the special passageway leading into the main dome. I got chills watching hundreds of "brothers" and "sisters" from all over the world arrive and take their seats; it was like watching 100
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"Jesus Is Coming Again" rings through the dome with 70,000 delegates singing loud and clear the final Sabbath. (Bryant Taylor)
WILSON ELECTED11:30 .20 Atlanta Time: Ted N.C. Wilson steps to the podium. 11:30 .30 There's a blur, flashing cameras, cell phones coming alive, texts hitting phones, Facebooks update, Twittering, Flickr-ing. 11:30 .40 One of four pre-written bios with a photo screeches to my e-mail inbox; I hit SEND ALL.11:30 .50 Colleagues call families. Pastors call their churches. Church grapevines unfold.11:31 .10 These are not hours, but mili seconds ... I am witnessing news happening no slower than the satellite from the top of the dome out.11:31 .20 Wilson hasn't even finished his acceptance speech, yet in precisely one minute, the news has gone around the world and back. Pictured here, President Wilson waits in the wing of the platform just before being called to accept the presidency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the next five years. (James Bokovoy)
Dan Jackson, native Canadian and president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, accepts his new position as North American Division president. Here, he and his wife Donna, are appointed by the church's 246-member Nominating Committee and confirmed by the General Conference Session delegation. This delegation is a body of 2,410 internationally appointed members — it is the highest governing body in the church. "God never calls us to do things we are capable of, and this thing is so much bigger than me. But He has called, and I accept this with the greatest humility ..." says Jackson.
NPUC delegates represent the Northwest for this GC Session.
Big Northern Smile: Ken Crawford, Alaska Conference president, enjoys a nice lunch in the GC Session cafeteria. Local news cites the food operation as the world's largest restaurant for the week.
Judy Leach, from Adventist Health in Portland, Oregon, passes out pocket-sized Z cards with information at the GC AH booth. Northwest ministry booths are alive and thriving at Session. AH is one of more than 70 Adventist hospitals, as well as hundreds of urgent-care centers, home-health agencies, long-term care facilities, and hospices throughout the United States.
Carlos Pardeiro, SAFE Television Network president/CEO, with his wife Nancy, stand by the Monte' Church, NPUC Native American ministries director, life-size poster and explain that his Native New Day series has brought their station 11 national awards, including four Emmy nominations with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The cutout of Church is on the left.
In a last-minute decision, GC administration cancels a morning nominating committee meeting, to address a special business meeting re-affirming and endorsing the longstanding Adventist position and fundamental belief number six — in support of a biblical, recent and literal view of a seven-day-creation period. Pictured from left are: Randal Wisbey, La Sierra University president; Niels-Erik Andreasen, Andrews University president; and Darold Bigger, Walla Walla University professor, as they listen to origins discussions.
Bryce Pasco, NPUC secretariat, and wife, Genia, take in a business session.
The Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus performs Friday, June 25, for the main evening meeting at the Quinquennial GC Session. The 150-member chorus, directed by Lou Wildman, included the Adventist Men's Chorus of Romania, a guest ensemble and individual guest singers. OAMC's massed-choir performance represents a relationship begun last year when the group performed with the Romanian group throughout Romanian. This year, both groups traveled throughout the Northwest providing religious concerts before culminating at the convocation. (Cindy Chamberlin)
Faced with the gravity for selecting top World Church leadership, such as the recent nomination/election of President Wilson, Judy Fowler, Hamilton, Montana, lay member, was one out of 230 Nominating Committee members, (one of only two voting members for the Northwest) and sole NPUC female vote. (The other member was Max Torkelsen, NPUC president.) In this committee, Fowler heard job descriptions, position requirements and specific administrative needs, and spent hours looking at many lists of names. "I prayed to be filled by the Holy Spirit's leading and to know God's will — not my own," says Fowler. "It is very sobering to think one is making changes for the next five years which will effect the entire church."
For a moment, in the tunnel leading from the Atlanta Dome to the Georgia World Congress Center, two Oregon Conference presidents walk together (from left:) Al Reimche (current), and wife Beth, Don Livesay (former), and his wife Barbara.
This is a GLEANER exclusive. Nathan Greene's oil portrait, "Blessed Hope," was not unveiled yet, but I saw guards delivering it off a truck and began clicking the camera as it rolled down the hall. The guard commissioned to stay with it all night burst into tears when she saw the image. Green's agent began explaining to her the plan of redemption. The painting was commissioned for GC Session and features the resurrection with many races meeting Christ in the air. (Cindy Chamberlin)
For a moment, it's Friday night 1975 and Mace's calm "If it Wasn't for the Lighthouse," streams out of the phonograph over haystacks as I cram to memorize my Sabbath School lesson... At last, I meet the couple responsible for at least a hundred Friday-night music memories: Max and Lucy Mace (pictured here). The Heritage Singers give a 40th-anniversary concert on Friday, July 3, concurrent with the GC Session and sign one of their books, Beyond Our Dreams, for the GLEANER staff.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency is in full display for GC goers with large booths showing our presence and service around the world while vending booths of the same earn money for third-world countries.
Beautiful costumes from native lands are a hallmark of GC Session. Participants sit in their sections of the dome as whole countries all wearing the same colors. Near the end of session, someone gifted me with an outfit from Africa.
Todd Gessele, NPUC communication associate, takes video footage around the GC for streaming and uploading back to the daily GleanerNOW.
John Freedman, Washington Conference president, and Bill Roberts, NW delegate and Auburn Academy pastor, sit through another business meeting over the rewriting of the Church Manual.
She is my sister: Even with the veil — we are united in Jesus and mutual love for our Adventist Church. It's a mysterious thing to feel unity with one, one has never met, but knows just the same.
I resolved not to get swept in emotion — in this Quinquennial convocation... But when I heard "We Have This Hope" radiating to the top of the dome, in all languages... Adventist-proud tears streamed down my face. When my mother's long-ago academy friend said she would be there... I sprinted across the grounds, nearly breaking my neck, to meet her. When the North American Division walked by in the Parade of Nations...Yes, I waved like a child. When I heard one conservative church blogger say to one liberal church blogger — "You know, you're not so bad — in person..." Something clicked. I pinched myself meeting Clifford Goldstein, and seeing Mark Finley eat lunch, and wondered aloud if any mission person passing in the hall, might have known Clever Queen... And for one week-and-a-half, all the leaders and workers, historic and current of Adventism merged — into one. Sometimes we collectively forget our heritage and the WHY of gathering... Convocations like the Atlanta 2010, GC Session help us remember the WHY. And in that, we find unity in — our Blessed Hope. — Cindy R. Chamberlin Next >
Here is my scrapbook for the ten-day 2010 GC Session. It is a snapshot of stewards blending a plethora of cultures and perspectives into a singular event and unified mission. Please enjoy my special scrapbook."