by Jay Wintermeyer
Spokane, Wash., March 29, 2016 - The Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) executive committee voted a commissioned minister policy on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 to clarify the role of commissioned ministers serving within the UCC territory.
The North American Division working policy states, “A commissioned minister is authorized by the conference to perform substantially all the functions within the scope of the tenets and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the members in the church or churches to which the minister is assigned…” L 32 10 NAD Working Policy.
The conference executive committee authorized commissioned ministers to perform the same functions as ordained ministers with in the UCC territory. This extends permission for them to perform weddings and baptisms, ordain local elders, deacons and deaconesses within their appointed district and to organize and unite churches in consultation with conference administration (as is the case with ordained ministers).
The efforts of the executive committee are to honor the decision of the world church to commission women rather than ordain them, and at the same time affirm and unify the gospel work of commissioned ministers.