The Seventh-day Adventist Church has updated the Church Manual after finding that part of an amendment voted at General Conference Session last year was unintentionally excluded.
“It has come to our attention that there was omission on p.127 of the current Church Manual. The correction has been made, and a statement has been issued in that regard,” Hensley M. Moorooven, associate secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said Wednesday in an e-mail to General Conference employees.
The church said in a statement on its Adventist.org website that the section on page 127 now reads: “Who May Conduct the Communion Service — The communion service is to be conducted by an ordained/commissioned pastor or an ordained elder. Deacons or deaconesses are not permitted to conduct the service.”
The italicized words were voted by delegates of the General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2015 but inadvertently omitted in the latest edition of the Church Manual, the statement said.
The Church Manual can only be revised during General Conference Session, which is held every five years. Many of the modifications in the latest edition were minor edits.
The Church Manual, first published in 1932, traces its roots to a 1875 statement by church cofounder Ellen G. White, who wrote: “The church of Christ is in constant peril. Satan is seeking to destroy the people of God, and one man’s mind, one man’s judgment, is not sufficient to be trusted. Christ would have His followers brought together in church capacity, observing order, having rules and discipline, and all subject one to another, esteeming others better than themselves” (Testimonies for the Church, Volume 3, page 445).
A section about the Church Manual on Adventist.org notes that God is a God of order and says the Church Manual seeks to achieve order “through principles and regulations that guide the church in its internal operations and in the fulfillment of its mission to the world.”
Both the updated version of the 2015 Church Manual and the statement are available at: https://www.adventist.org/en/information/church-manual/