The Pacific Union Conference’s President’s Council has voted not to submit their names for inclusion in the SDA Yearbook as a demonstration of solidarity with Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC), whose name has been left out of the Yearbook since her election in 2013. The President’s Council action has been affirmed by the PUC Executive Committee.
The Adventist Yearbook in an official General Conference publication which “presents information on entities, and on institutions established, owned, or controlled by officially recognized Seventh-day Adventist organizations.” Conference, Union, and General Conference presidents must be ordained per GC policy, and though Elder Roberts was ordained in 2012, the GC refuses to recognize both her ordination and her presidency because she is female.
Last year, at North American Division Year-End meetings, a motion was passed by the NAD Executive Committee to request the General Conference recognize Roberts’ presidency and include her in the Yearbook. That request went unanswered.
The November 9, 2017 statement from the Pacific Union’s President’s Council follows in full below:
Through God’s grace we have come to recognize that we only fully represent our shared faith and unity of purpose when we appreciate and respect one another. When the diverse perspectives and the dictates of conscience differ on important points this takes on heightened significance. As members of a faithful and complex community, our unity and mission of effective witness call us to faithfulness in all things, including how we demonstrate respect for one another.
Together we are finding that respect for the dictates of conscience, and respect for one another, are two sides of the same hand—extended in mission, ministry, and hope.
The following action was taken by the Pacific Union Conference President’s Council on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, and affirmed by the Pacific Union Executive Committee on Thursday, November 9, 2017:
Due to the continued absence of Elder Sandra Roberts’ name in the listing of the officers of SECC in the SDA Yearbook, the Presidents Council, consisting of the 7 conference presidents, 4 union officers, 3 ethnic coordinators, higher education presidents, and director of Education for the Union have chosen not to submit their own names for inclusion in the SDA Yearbook as leaders of their conferences or institutions. It was affirmed in this decision that each leader would exercise their own liberty of conscience on this matter.
The Union executive committee on November 9, 2017, received and affirmed this decision by the President’s Council. It is so noted in the Executive Committee minutes.