ARTICLE BY ANGELICA SANCHEZ, ANN
The much anticipated reunion of the Adventist World Church has finally arrived. After two consecutive postponements of the planned GC Session, Monday, June 6th, marks the commencement of the 61st Seventh Day Adventist General Conference (GC) session in St. Louis, Missouri. “What an important meeting this is … by God’s grace, here we are,” said President of the GC, Ted Wilson. Although it has been seven years since the last session occurred, this first ever hybrid session promises to be another historically meaningful event for our church.
This morning, the Dome at America’s Center welcomed delegates and attendees representing over 200 countries around the world, highlighting the range of diverse cultures that make up the body of Christ. The morning digital concert featured many musical participations in different languages as well.
Session began with opening remarks from Wilson who reminded delegates of their significant role as the voice and representation of the world church. Secretary of the GC, Erton Köhler, and Treasurer Paul Douglas also addressed delegates and attendees. Douglas said, “we have came to do business but have also come to be in the presence of the Lord.”
Director of the Ministerial Association, Jerry Page led with prayer and introduced the worship held by evangelist Mark Finley, 62nd chaplain of the United States Senate, Barry Black, and Senior Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Dwight Nelson. Finley, Black and Nelson collaborated on a shared message entitled “Seeking the Holy Spirit Together in Prayer, Music and the Word” noting the significance of seeking God’s presence through worship and prayer.
Since the first GC Session in 1830, a commitment to earnest prayer has been a key element to the success of sessions. This year’s Session is no different. On May 3rd, the global church began 40 Days of Prayer, which is set to conclude this Saturday, June 11th. Additionally, moments for partnered and group prayer were held during morning worship, inviting the Holy Spirit to lead the meetings this week.
Due to the reduced time-frame of session this year, the agenda has been intentionally organized to ensure that all session business meetings can be completed from Monday to Thursday, allowing Friday to be filled with mission stories from around the world as some countries will already be keeping the Sabbath.
Although the preparation for this year’s session involved some challenges and setbacks due to the pandemic, there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit will lead every aspect of it. Let us submit ourselves to the Lord, being willing to be led by His Spirit to accomplish His purpose for this session. Remember, Jesus is coming. Get involved!