Save the Date! AAW is sponsoring an interfaith conference titled "Unveiling: Women, Faith, and Sexual Abuse" in Riverside, CA at the Riverside Convention Center on October 26 and 27, 2018. Speakers include representatives from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faith traditions. This year we are honoring as Woman of the Year in the category of Youth Life, Dr. Djudjica Garvanović-Porobija who practically single-handedly revived the only Croatian Adventist academy that had been devastated after the war. She is being sponsored by the Adriatic Union Conference. You may register on this website.
The Annual Council that brings together leaders of the Adventist church from around the globe will be voting on an even stricter "Unity" document that realizes the worst fears of the founders of the Adventist church: the use of policy to maintain lock-step uniformity in church practice. One of the strengths of the Adventist world church has been precisely its flexibility in allowing for diversity of practice that respects cultural differences. Now, with each passing year since the 2015 world session vote, the dark cloud of “non-compliance” looms increasingly more ominous, threatening to create more problems than it was established to resolve. But perhaps even more central to this move toward this dangerous kind of unity is that the church leadership can now impose “punishment” on church entities and/or persons who do not fall into line, an obvious attempt to address the thorny issue of two unions that continue to ordain women to the Gospel ministry. After years of study dedicated to the issue of ordination, the General Conference Theology of Ordination, representing voices from around the globe, determined that there was nothing in Scripture to prohibit the practice of ordination regardless of gender. Even so, none of the work of that committee was taken into account when it came time to vote. For many of us, this carefully orchestrated “vote” ensured that what we see happening now could take place. In fact, this movement toward ostensible unity reflects the fear of our growing diversity: “We need to remember that we are part of a large, diverse Church and the bigger we grow, the more diversity will be needed in how we do ministry to ensure that the world Church remains united around it mission” (https://record.adventistchurch.com/2016/10/12/unity-document-voted-through-at-annual-council/)
To address diversity with more strictures and threats is not the solution, but as Dr. Kemp stated here, more diversity as the Holy Spirit leads. Are we ready to let the stones cry out, if need be, for this Gospel to reach every soul? Then let’s release every hand, every man, woman, and child, so that we can truly fulfill the mission of the Church.
Celeste Ryan Blyden, Vice-President for Strategic Communication for the Columbia Union Conference shares exciting news from the East-Central Africa Division, the largest division of the Seventh-day Adventist church where women leaders gathered to share their experiences as women leaders. Read more at [include the page from the email message].
The New York Times article, titled “Mormon Church Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Accusing Ex-Church Leader of Rape” reports that McKenna Denson, 56, who was raped in 1984 by Joseph Bishop, then president of the church’s Missionary Training Center, has filed a lawsuit that the church is seeking to dismiss based on statutes of limitations. Read more athttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/us/lds-church-lawsuit-joseph-bishop.html
Connecting in Kenya
Recently, LaTasha Hewitt, communication director for Allegheny East Conference, and I traveled to Kenya to speak for the East-Central Africa Division's second ASI Convention. While there, we hosted a brunch for women leaders whose stories touched our hearts.
Among the 10 women (pictured above) were an evangelist and division director, an ASI chapter president, a university administrator, a retired government auditor and several who have earned doctorates. Over pancakes, porridge, prayer and tea, we shared stories of our journeys in life and leadership; the many roles and responsibilities we juggle; and how God is our source of sustenance and strength.
"We live and serve in different parts of the world, but we have so much in common."
Margaret Mutero, wife, mother and director of human resources at the Adventist University of Africa in Nairobi, said Proverbs 4:23 keeps her grounded. Yetunde Odeyemi, technical adviser for ADRA Africa, testified about God's miraculous answer to pray for a long-awaited child. Debbie Maloba, director of the divison's women's and children's ministries departments, talked about the evangelistic series she conducted in her home country, Uganda. The event yielded dozens of baptisms.
The East-Central Africa Division is now the largest of the 13 divisions in the Seventh-day Adventist world church. Its 4 million members in 11 countries, including Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia, make up 20 percent of the entire global Adventist population of 20 million members.
What an unforgettable experience and discovery that, while we live and serve in different parts of the world, we have so much in common. And now we are connected.
— Celeste Ryan Blyden, Vice President for Strategic Communication, Columbia Union Conference
AWL is a community of women affirming, encouraging, and celebrating God's goodness to those He has called to lead.
AWL Organizers: Debra Brill, Tamyra Horst, Ann Roda, Celeste Ryan Blyden
Newsletter: Michele Joseph, managing editor, Carla Conway, graphic designer
We want to hear from you.
Click here to
to the AWL newsletter.