Out of an abundance of caution and care for the community we serve, the leadership of the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has decided employees will work remotely until March 30, 2020. This is a precautionary response due to a heightened index of suspicion related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, Ted N.C. Wilson, emphasized the business of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will continue. Wilson said, “Although access to the building will be very limited, the General Conference will continue to operate remotely by using many technological tools such as Zoom, Office365, and VPN access. Hourly employees will continue to be paid during this time.”
On Thursday, March 12, General Conference leadership met to assess travel of its employees. At that time, travel restrictions were put into place, and traveling employees were called home.
Now, in an effort to further protect employees and the surrounding community, the decision has been made to restrict access to the world headquarters building for two weeks.
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. As of now, the virus has infected more than 130,000 people. There have been more than 5,000 deaths.
The goal of these temporary changes is to provide a buffer of protection to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Care should always be taken to follow the simple health-care guidelines provided by the Centers of Disease Control and medical experts. These include:
The world church leadership asks that all our members remain vigilant and continue to operate in the best and most responsible way to protect their communities. Director of Health Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, Dr. Peter Landless, emphasized this closure isn’t a stop to the work of the Adventist Church, “The church will continue working hard and working appropriately. We are not shutting down. We have to follow the guidelines of the jurisdictions we live in, but we will continue to work.”
More important, the leadership asks all members to pray. Pray for those who are working to heal those who are sick. Pray for those who are battling illness, and pray for world leaders and doctors as they face tough decisions to curb this pandemic.
Wilson asked members to be an example to those around them. “Be an anchor of stability. Be a pillar of hope, all grounded in Jesus Christ,” he said. “I urge you to be a strong testimony and witness for the Lord. God wants you to be a special witness for Him even in this time of heightened concern and chaotic behavior. Be a strong, firm person grounded on the rock, Jesus Christ, as you appropriately engage in Total Member Involvement.”
Some have asked how COVID-19 will impact the 2020 General Conference session in Indianapolis, Indiana, scheduled to be held this summer. Plans are still in place for the session, but world leadership will continue to monitor and review the situation on a daily basis. The utmost care for everyone’s health and safety will be the top priority. We will update Session.Adventist.Org with the latest updates about this issue.
In addition to these resources, please check with your local churches, conferences, and/or unions for information on closings, cancellations, and preventative measures.
Adventist Risk Management’s webpage: https://adventistrisk.org/en-us/safety-resources/solutions-newsletter/2020/march/information-regarding-coronavirus-covid19-naden
General Conference Adventist Health Ministries article by Dr. Peter Landless: http://healthministries.com/articles/homepage/coronavirus-update
U.S. Department of State travel advisory page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
World Health Organization COVID-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
CDC COVID-19 Resources for Households: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html