Share the Light Northwest Adventist Leadership Convention
Almost all of the Northwest’s Adventist pastors were missing from their pulpits on Sabbath, Sept. 30. While they were not at their churches, they were in Portland, listening to Jere Patzer, North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) president, as he preached during the Sabbath morning worship service on the final day of the Northwest Adventist Leadership Convention.
Held every five years, this five-day convention, billed as a “camp meeting for pastors,” included three devotional meetings, 76 seminars, two plenary sessions, four evening meetings, Sabbath services, and a great deal of fellowship. The primary participants were pastors, but senior academy principals, Bible teachers, chaplains and science teachers were also invited.
The two plenary sessions addressed specific issues. The first covered the topic of passing the Adventist mission, message and identity to the next generation. The second covered faith and science and demonstrated that it is still credible to believe in our historic biblical position. During both sessions, top Adventist scholars and theologians shared their findings and then in panel discussions answered questions from the floor.
“These sessions work to strengthen our relationship with God, our understanding of the Bible, the Adventist message and really help to focus our mission for the next five years,” said Dan Serns, NPUC ministerial director.
Reaction from the attendees was enthusiastic. Michael Demma, Bellingham pastor, said, “I appreciated the candidness of the discussion about some of our doctrinal beliefs. We know we have a firm footing to stand on and that is affirming for me. I am going back to say to my congregation that knowledge and good Bible study leads us to that point of faith where we can believe what we don’t see and maybe what does not make sense.”
Ken Crawford, Alaska Conference president, agreed, saying, “This is probably one of the best ministerial meetings I have ever attended. The material presented has been outstanding, and I have been blessed. It is important for all of us to become centered again in the issues facing the church. These presentations have brought us back to the center of our belief, and that is crucial right now.”