The Guam-Micronesia Mission held its second quinquennial session on December 1st and 2nd. This year’s meetings were originally scheduled to take place in-person on Guam in December 2020, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With enduring travel restrictions on most of the islands within the GMM region, the decision was made to move forward with an online session in 2021. Normally occurring every five years, the purpose of the session is to receive reports sharing the progress made during the previous term, as well as to vote in departmental directors, a new Executive Committee, and key initiatives for the next term.
The conference room at headquarters was converted into a functional studio to connect the onsite team with the delegates attending from their different islands. Present at the headquarters in Guam were the GMM executive officers: President Matthew Kirk, Executive Secretary Remenster Jano, and Treasurer Donald Lloyd, Jr. GMM also welcomed NAD President G. Alexander Bryant and NAD Executive Secretary Kyoshin Ahn, with NAD Treasurer Randy Robinson attending online.
Spanning four time zones, attendees joined the session over Zoom videoconference. Delegates representing the U.S. territory of Guam, the U.S. territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia were present.
The first day of session was blessed by a morning devotional by Elder Byrant. The session was well attended and the required quorum was easily reached. The session was then officially declared open.
An overview of the state of the mission was given with the President's Report and we were reminded that the session is a time to celebrate the blessings God has given over the course of the last term and to praise Him for the work He has done. The Secretary's Report described the church growth in membership since the last quinquennium, while the Treasurer's Report outlined the financial health of the mission. The General Conference Auditing Service also presented their audit report which contributes to the members' confidence in the financial reporting of the mission.
Throughout both days, various departments gave reports updating delegates about the progress and challenges that have been faced over the course of the last six years. Delegates heard from the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, Saipan Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, Joy FM, the Ministerial Association, Youth Ministries, Women's Ministries, Health Ministries, and the Communications Department.
Delegates divided into Zoom breakout rooms by church to select one member among them to serve on the Organizing Committee. This committee, chaired by Elder Bryant and including representatives from Joy FM and the Guam and Saipan clinics, met to nominate the fifteen members to serve on the Nominating Committee. The report of the Organizing Committee was accepted and voted by the delegates.
The Nominating Committee convened at the end of the day to discuss positions and make nominations for departmental directors, as well as for the new Executive Committee.
Elder Ahn began the proceedings of the second and final day of session with an inspiring devotional thought. Then the Nominating Committee Report was presented to the delegates who voted to accept their recommendations. The Executive Committee nominees were voted by delegates as well as the following departmental directors. Churchill Edward was reelected as Education Department Director, Edgar Lloren was reelected to serve as Ministerial Association Director, and Carmen Kasperbauer was reelected to serve as Women’s Ministries Director. To realign with the previous five-year cycle, the terms for all positions elected as the session will end at the session currently planned for 2025.
Further, the Nominating Committee recommended, and the delegates accepted, the motion that other departments and operating areas receive further study by Administration and the Executive Committee, and that the Executive Committee take whatever actions may be needed going forward.
With heavy hearts, the announcement was made for Dr. Warren Creed's resignation. Dr. Creed has faithfully served as the director of the Saipan Seventh-day Adventist Clinic and deep appreciation was expressed for his years of dedicated service. Delegates were assured that GMM Administration is actively seeking who God will identify as the candidate He has selected to take over the leadership of the clinic, so there can be as smooth of a transition as possible with Dr. Creed's retirement effective at the end of June 2022.
In summary, despite being a virtual event, the occasion was a success. By God's grace, members across the mission connected over their shared vision of spreading the gospel on each island and seeing the gospel move forward. Please pray for our leaders as they serve the people of the Guam-Micronesia Mission over the next four years. May God reach every soul for His kingdom.