Abner de los Santos, General Conference Vice President, chairs the October 10 business session. [Photo credit: Lucas Cardino / Adventist Media Exchange (CC BY 4.0)]

General Conference

What You Need To Know: Day 5 of General Conference Annual Council 2023

A new mental health initiative announced, and two entities restructured

United States | ANN Staff

October 10, 2023, the fifth day of General Conference Annual Council 2023, continued with various reports and votes, including the introduction of Adventist Health Ministries’ “Reminded” mental health initiative, union mission status granted South Sudan Attached Field, and the reorganization of the South Philippine Union Conference.

“Reminded” Mental Health Initiative Introduced by Adventist Health Ministries on Global Mental Health Day

In an effort to address the worldwide mental health crisis, Adventist Health Ministries launched “Reminded,” a revolutionary online mental health initiative to shed light on mental health challenges and empower users to navigate such challenges with knowledge and resilience.

Why it matters: The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s distinct approach to comprehensive health necessitates a powerful resource for mental health. “Reminded,” through its upcoming multimedia approach, will assist in bridging the gap in global mental health services and provide crucial insight into mental health issues.

Driving the news: Adventist Health Ministries will take a unique approach in disseminating “Reminded” material, offering a podcast, social media pages, short films, a documentary series, articles, and an online program featuring on-demand facilitator training at the “Reminded” website, social media, and YouTube.

What people are saying: "It could not be more appropriate [to have] the privilege of sharing with you…the importance of this wonderful Adventist health message with which we've been entrusted, which is a holistic health message: body, mind, spirit, social, and emotional,” said Peter Landless, director of Adventist Health Ministries.

  • "Reminded has been designed for mission … to bring comfort, hope, and healing to the world,” said Torben Bergland, associate director of AHM. "In this way, we're really basing it on … the strategy and process of bringing people to Christ."

Go deeper: Read our full report on the initiative to come soon, or visit the Reminded website: www.reminded.org

South Sudan Attached Territory Granted Union Mission Status

Following exponential membership church growth in South Sudan, Executive Committee members voted to grant the South Sudan Attached Territory union mission status.

Why it matters: The transition to union mission status enables new resources to further the Adventist Church’s mission in South Sudan.

Driving the news: There has been considerable growth in the church in South Sudan since it was organized in 2015. Membership stood at 17,000 in 2015. Now, in 2023, membership stands at 72,000.

By the numbers: The Executive Committee approved the change in status by an 181-1 vote.

South Philippine Union Conference Reorganized

The South Philippine Union Conference was split into two separate entities—the Southwestern Philippine Union Conference and the Southeastern Philippine Union Mission.

Why it matters: By splitting the union—the largest union in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division with a membership of 767,709—more resources can be devoted to facilitate spiritual, missional, and leadership growth.

Driving the news: Mission permeates the union, with over 50,000 church members added annually.

By the numbers: The Executive Committee approved the reorganization by a 175-1 vote.

To watch Annual Council live, go here. Find more news about the 2023 Annual Council at adventist.news. Follow #GCAC23 on Twitter for live updates during the 2023 Annual Council.