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7-15-15 Ted Wilson Statement to Clarify the Vote Regarding Women's Ordination Accommodation
Ted Wilson: "We are back to our original understanding..."
On Friday July 10, 2015, Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists made a statement to the delegates of the 60th General Conference Session, clarifying the vote of the delegates on Wednesday July 8, 2015 when they addressed the issue of regional accommodation for the world divisions in the ordination of women into pastoral ministry. Here is a transcript of that clarifying statement:
“In Steering Committee this morning we had a very lovely spirit, a very strong spirit, and I must tell you, a very committed spirit on the part of division presidents and officers to maintain, to adhere to, to uphold what the General Conference in session votes. It was a very gratifying and wonderful spirit. And I applaud all divisions for this spirit. And  we appeal to everyone as individuals to uphold that spirit as well.

However, what we voted on Wednesday was simply to not allow divisions to make a decision about ordination for women in their divisions. What the vote meant is that we maintain the current policy, the current understanding, and there is, in this book [Working Policy], some may contend, but I could show you, and others could as well, that it is very clear that it is intended that men be ordained.
Now, there are additional policies and provisions that have been voted by the Annual Council and have been accepted, whether people agree with them or not, they are there. The vote on Wednesday did not have anything to do specifically with women being ordained as local elders. Now, people may have differing opinions on that particular subject, but the vote on Wednesday was not pertaining to that, neither was it pertaining to anything in policy regarding commissioned ministers.
So let us be clear on what was voted on Wednesday. We are now back to our original understanding, and I would strongly urge all to adhere by what has been voted. But do not place into the vote other things which were not listed in the vote. We need to be fair, we need to be open, and we all need to accept what is voted at a General Conference session.
I have asked the division presidents to care for specific items that come up within their division. This morning I did that, I'm going to count on that. We hope over the next few weeks and months that things will go smoothly, but we will rely on the divisions to alert us to anything which we must consider at the General Conference level. Now, that doesn't preclude the General Conference from discovering information and from looking at it itself. But we want to count upon our system and our structure.
And again let me say, we had a very sweet spirit in our Steering Committee this morning, and I praise God for that.”
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