Chapter 4: Organization Founded on Divine Principles (Found on pages 21 to 24 in the 17th Edition)
Chapter 5: Form of Organization in the Church
(Found on pages 25 to 28 in the 17th Edition) Will be now found in new Chapter 3 of the 18th edition.
Note: Chapter 3 about The Fundamental Beliefs was not changed by the 59th GC Session, however they will be placed in Chapter 14 in the new 18th Edition.
On June 27th 2010 the Session approved a change that clarifies the definition of a conference. . .
The following appears on page 29 of 18th Edition
Local Conference - A group of local churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by action of a division executive committee at midyear, year end council meeting, official status as Seventh-day Adventist local conference / mission / field and subsequently accepted, at a union constituency meeting, into the sisterhood of conferences / missions.
. . . adds the definition of Union of Churches . . .
Union of Churches - A group of churches, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted, by a General Conference Session, official status as a union of churches with eith conference of mission status.
. . . clarifies the definition of Union Conference . . .
Union Conference - A group of conferences, within a defined geographical area, that has been granted by a General Conference Session official status as a union conference / mission.
. . . and clarifies the definition of the General Conference and its divisions by adding the following.
General Conference and its Divisions - The General Conference represents the worldwide expression of the Church. Its constituent membership is defined in its Constitution.
The new title for Chapter 3 will be 'Organization and Authority, Church Organization and the above changes refer to material found on page 26 in the 17th Edition (which is found in Chapter 5).
The GC Session voted to further explain the role of the General Conference session and the GC Executive Committee in a section, Outline of Denominational Organization which reads
The Bible is the foundation and source of belief and practice; on this basis, the General Conference in Session determines the fundamental beliefs of the Church. The General Conference in Session also authorizes establishment of unions and the attachment of field units, revises the Church Manual, elects General Conference and division leadership, performs other functions as outlined in its Constitution and Bylaws, and considers items referred to it by its Executive Committee. The General Conference Executive Committee between Sessions is empowered by the Constitution and Bylaws to act on behalf of the constituents. Thus Church organizations around the world recognize the General Conference as the voice of the Church. Appears on page 30 of 18th Edition
The Session approved the following addition to Chapter 3, section, Role of Institutions - on June 27th
No Church organization or institution assumes responsibility for the liabilities, debts, acts, or omissions of any other Church organization simply because of it Church affiliation.
Appears on page 30 of 18th Edition
The Session approve the following major change which will appear in Chapter 3. Read all of Chapter 3
| When differences arise in or between churches and conferences or institutions, appeal to the next higher constituent level is proper until it reaches an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee of the General Conference Session. Between these meetings, the General Conference Executive Committee constitutes the body of final authority on all questions. The committee's decision may be reviewed at a General Conference Session or an Annual Council. When organizations review the decisions of other organizations, they do not assume the responsibility for the liabilities of any other organization.|
Appears on page 31 of 18th Edition
This is a major change in the appeal process regarding misunderstandings and differences of opinion between churches and conferences. The 17th edition defined this process on page xxii of the Introduction. This major change will be discussed on a separate page, Appealing Differences to Next Level
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