Delegates meeting in Netherlands Union in a Special Constituency meeting have voted a new Constitution and Bylaws for their Union, which is in full harmony with the General Conference.

Part 1:

Full meeting:

On May 27, 2018, the Netherlands Union voted to use the required General Conference Model Constitution text in its Constitution & Bylaws. The model constitution, specifying Netherlands in the text, reads,

The Netherlands Union of Churches is a member unit of the Trans European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The purposes, policies, and procedures of this union of churches shall be in harmony with the working policies and procedures of the Trans European Division and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This union of churches shall pursue the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in harmony with the Fundamental Beliefs, programs, and initiatives adopted and approved by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in its quinquennial sessions.

In the adopted text, being in harmony is translated “to conform.” Previously used wording had not been clear. The revised wording makes clear that as long as the World Church does not change its stance regarding women’s ordination, women cannot be ordained to the gospel ministry in the Netherlands Union.

Ingrid Wijngarde, a member of the “Standing Committee Constitution & Bylaws” (SCC&B) stated that, “The 2012 delegate’s resolution regarding women’s ordination and its ratification by the Executive Committee in 2013 was not authoritative policy, since the union’s constituency had never been given authority to vote such a decision.”

Other SCC&B members are: lay member and lawyer Zippora Anson, retired pastor Henk Koning, the Union’s secretary Enrico Karg, and TED secretary Ms. Audrey Andersson, chair.

Delegates established the new C&B in three voting rounds, taking three categories of the C&B articles together. The voting results were:

  1. On technical content: 88% in favor
  2. On article 3 of the Constitution part: 89% in favor
  3. On typos to be corrected in a proposal to the regular quinquennial
    session of 2022: 88% in favor

Delegate approval easily exceeded the necessary two thirds majority for non-bolded text changes.

In approving the new Constitution and Bylaws wording, Dutch delegates representing their membership showed that Netherlands Union members wish to remain in full harmony with the world church.

A delegate to the meeting said, “This outcome is a positive one for the 800+ members who signed the member’s manifesto in 2015 which was brought to a special meeting in 2016. What then seemed like disaster and an utterly discouraging session day, today became a source of corporate encouragement. God was working with our hearts as individuals, beyond our sight. We didn’t know.”

Sister Audrey Andersson, TED secretary, shared a short devotional about Gideon. One delegate said, “What I took from the meditation was that if we want to change the church—local, regional, global—first we must put our own households in order. And then we may pray and watch God do as He promised He would. Gideon did just that.”

GC Legal Counselor Karnik Doukmetzian attended as parliamentarian, since meeting under the General Conference Rules of Order is new for the Netherlands. Union president Rob de Raad asked Wendy Dekker, a patent lawyer and member of a local
church, to chair the meeting, which she accomplished in a professional and courteous manner. Union secretary Enrico Karg along with many others had labored at length to prepare for the meeting. While delegates did not agree on everything, there were no angry faces. Business was conducted in a positive spirit. The meeting gave an example for how Seventh-day Adventists ought to do church—deciding by consensus.

The Spirit of God blessed Netherlands Adventists in the meeting.

6 thoughts on “New Constitution Adopted by Netherlands Union of Churches

  1. Thanks for posting this extremely encouraging article! May we see a copy of the member’s manifesto mentioned near the end of the article? I’m sure this could be adapted and used effectively in many other places.

    Reply
  2. Hallelujah “JESUS” “GOD” has answered many prayers, on this confusion and disunity. But to “GOD” be the glory, “HIS” truth is Still Marching on, where-in real Men and Women are committed to “Maintain” the Truth and What Is Written In “GOD’S” word, and not “Conformed” to this world. We need to Encourage the North American Divivsion to adhere to the Constitution, and Conform to the General Conference Working Policy, and the Votes taken at the 60th General Conference Session held in 2015

    Reply
  3. There were no angry faces but I bet there were angry hearts……this is great news and shows how we need to consult the whole church and be in favour of the GC decisions…….those who rebelled need to be stood down…….ministers have been sacked for less…..

    Reply
  4. IMPORTANT QUESTION: Can a Church be forced to have a women pastor? I recall TOSC had some suggestions. Can anyone please help? Some Churches are being forced against there conscience and their seems to be no help. If anyone knows of any statements, policy or a position that Church has taken to protect the Churches conscience, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

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