The Year End Meetings in October at the North American Division were quite interesting, particularly as the much anticipated Report on Women's Ordination was presented and occupied most of one day of discussion. In the end, the report was affirmed (the technical vote was "received") by a margin of close to six to one. About 180 'yes', and around 30 'no.' The next step in this odyssey is that the remaining 12 world divisions submit their report/findings to the General Conference Executive Committee, who will determine whether to bring a recommendation to the 2015 World Session. I would not be alone in observing that regardless of that process, the Pacific Union and the Columbia Union have forged ahead and now approve women's ordination, and I cannot conceive that they would reverse that decision regardless of what happens at the GC level.
Here's a couple of pictures from the NAD meetings. The first one is "my 2nd row view" of the Women's Ordination Committee making it's presentation. That's Dr. Gordon Bietz, the Chairman of the Committee, standing at the podium with his back turned a little to the picture. The next is the Southern Adventist University chorale and orchestra who presented music during an evening concert and on Sabbath.
The next picture is me posed on the front steps of Wright Hall with the Gordon Bietz life-sized cardboard cut-out. I was on campus in October having been invited to speak on the Friday evening of SAU alumni home-coming and on the occasion of my 30th graduation anniversary. As I drove by Wright Hall, I couldn't resist stopping and giving Dr. Bietz a set of rabbit ears. When I sent the picture to him he was grateful that I didn't do more "harm" to his cardboard image than that. As a disclaimer, I've known Gordon for close to 30 years as a pastoral colleague and for three years, as my conference president. For the past four years, I've had the privilege of serving on his Board of Trustees.
This final picture is of a "live" angel flying over head in the closing scenes of the Christmas at the Opry program at Pigeon Forge which together with my family, we attended just before Thanksgiving. An enjoyable 'family friendly' musical with a live nativity, and yes, angels flying overhead!