by Steve Vistaunet
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, July 3, 2015 - Behind the Bright Lights Daily Ruminations from the Editor As I sit in my quiet room, I am reflecting on a Sabbath full of exuberant sounds. Fireworks are due soon on this warm 4th of July evening in San Antonio. Throughout today’s programs the finest of worldwide Adventist musicians have been showcased. Spine-tingling harmonies have captivated us. Eloquent speakers with profound words and stories have stood in the spotlights.
But my thoughts right now edge past the excitement and excess of the day to something far more substantial—lives of quiet devotion to the mission of our church. There are three such people I am pondering right now. Their names may not be on the tip of your tongue, but all have played a key role in General Conference sessions of the past. One is alive and well. The other two have so recently passed to rest the wounds are still fresh, the loss still on the edge of heartbreak.
I ran into Herbert Ford in the Alamodome hallway. He knows his way around a GC session—he directed the world church’s news room during six such events. His writing is well known for books such as Flee the Captor. I knew him best, though, as the professor most likely to liberally sprinkle my hard fought collegiate assignments with a corrective red pen. Because he was never an upfront star, most people at today’s session walked past him without a second glance. They had no idea what a difference he had made. Another quiet gem has been gone from us for just over a month.
Warren Judd was able to work media magic at these world church sessions for years. If you saw him, it was likely just a glimpse as he ducked behind the scenes with a headset, directing a team of specialists in video and satellite feeds. He was the humble, yet gifted mind behind the technology of our Adventist Media Center. The key word is “behind,” never taking the stage, but supporting those who did.
And now, just today, Gerry Chudleigh, Pacific Union Conference communication director, slipped off to rest after a valiant battle with cancer. If not for that, Gerry would have been taking photographs at today’s session, as he had so many times before. I’m still grappling with this loss, but Gerry’s legacy is not diminished by the ravages of disease. Among many other big picture items, his work on behalf our church’s study of ordination, will continue to be invaluable in efforts to combine diversity of methods with unity in mission. It is seldom those in the brightest lights who most powerfully impact our lives. Consider the mentors in your journey and see if you don’t agree.
NPUC delegates were among many who endured a challenging afternoon business session today. The issues and discussion continually returned to the inability of the electronic voting system to accurately match the number of delegates in the room. Hand counts of more than 1,700 delegates corresponded to less than 1,300 registered by the handheld electronic units. Some delegates expressed concerns that others were being pressured to vote certain positions during public hand count voting. In the end, delegates voted to abandon the electronic method and use secret ballots for critical decisions.
The Alamo is just a few blocks from the GC Session activities. Yesterday, Ryan McCoy, fifth generation grandson of Davy Crockett and Seventh-day Adventist member from Nampa, Idaho, read the Declaration of Independence at the Alamo. During the special commemorative event, McCoy was visited by David Prest, Idaho Conference president. More story here.
Throughout the session, the Gleaner will provide some video glimpses into our Northwest delegates' perspectives. Enjoy this short clip featuring Walla Walla University president, John McVay.
Reprinted with permission from the NPUC Gleaner