This summer, all the staff members of KidsView, Adventist Review, and Adventist World spent two weeks in Atlanta, Georgia, for GC session. While we were there we produced daily photo blogs about the session to better explain this event to our young readers. (You can still see them by going to www.kidsviewmag.org/article.php?id=128.) Many staff members also had their families with them, and the Klingbeil sisters—Hannah, Sarah, and Jemima—got to see the session in a way many kids may never. We asked them to report on three big parts of the meetings—a business session, an evening program, and the exhibit hall. Here’s what they had to say.
All in a Day’s Work
By: Hannah Klingbeil
I went with my father to one of the business meetings during GC session. These big meetings met on the main floor of the Georgia dome. If you wanted to go to where the action was, you had to have a special badge or pass. Only those who had a yellow pass were allowed on the floor. But anyone could sit in the other areas and listen. In the dome that day, they were busy reviewing the Church Manual. What’s a Church Manual? It is a book full of different guidelines to help our church run smoothly.
In the front there was a committee that suggested changes. Then the delegates were allowed to discuss the additions or changes, to argue for or against them, and then vote.
There were about 1,200 delegates on the floor and about 2,400 delegates elected from all the divisions (the world church is divided into 13 divisions). Some of these delegates were in other committees that were busy suggesting names of different people for positions in the church. Those committees are called nominating committees. When I was there, they talked about education, especially for children; tithing; and what pastors and elders should do.
If one of the delegates wanted to speak on the subject, he or she had to go to the nearest microphone (there are about six), scan his or her pass, and then the chairperson (that’s the person in charge) would know that someone wants to speak. The person had to wait until the chairperson gave them permission to talk. When the chairperson thought it was time to vote, he or she said, “All those in favor please raise your yellow cards,” and then to all those opposed to what they were discussing, to “Please raise your yellow cards.”
You could normally tell if “yes” or “no” has the most cards. When they were done with the Church Manual changes, the Nominating Committee was also done and they had two reports to give. The first was for new secretary and treasury positions. These were the people who work in the 13 divisions. The second report was for someone for Trust Services. If a delegate didn’t like a name, they were able to go to a microphone and ask the chairperson to please send the names back to the Nominating Committee to vote on it again.
I noticed that people spoke very politely to each other. I would personally not like to do this every day because it is a very detailed job and you get very tired. This work is very important to help us, as a church, stay together and find solutions so we can finish the work of telling the whole world about Jesus’ soon return.
Going to an Evening Meeting
By: Sarah Klingbeil
You might have heard a lot about GC session this summer. I was there, with many people from Africa, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and other countries. The meetings were about what to do in the future. It was fun meeting some of my friends from the Philippines--I lived there before I came to Maryland. I was born in Peru and so was my older sister. My younger sister was born in Argentina. My dad is German and my mama is from South Africa. We are a pretty international family.
Well, back to the GC session. There was an evening meeting every day. And in every evening meeting there was a worship service. It’s kind of like worship, music, stories (or a sermon), and prayer. The meeting was in a huge dome, which was like a soccer stadium. There were also three buildings (A, B, and C in the congress center). The dome had big screens that showed what was going on.
I went to the evening meeting on Saturday night (June 26, 2010). When we arrived, the chairs were getting full and music was playing before the sermon. The sermon was interesting to me because I know the pastor from Germany. He told stories about a cat that did not want to catch a mouse, and a girl who didn’t want to die. Then they showed a presentation of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. It was about the different projects that had been done during the past five years to share about Jesus. I liked the kids who introduced each project.
After the video a big group from that division came up on the stage and blew on a trumpet-thing called a vuvuzela. (This year’s World Cup was played in South Africa, which is part of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean territory. Vuvuzelas were big things there during the games!)
We also sang the GC session theme song and then we prayed. It was late and I was tired, but I really liked the experience.
The Big, Fun, Noisy Exhibit Hall
By: Jemima Klingbeil
While in Atlanta for the session, our family stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel. It took us about 15 minutes to walk to the exhibition hall.
The exhibit hall was a very big room that had thousands of people in it most days. There were many different booths. A booth is like a little house without a roof; they have desks, and curtains are used for walls. One of the booths (from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.) had a climbing wall that you could climb with a harness and ropes. You got stickers after you climbed it too.
I saw lots of neat things. There was the Hope Channel booth with a Hopey mascot that really moved and you could take pictures. This booth had a big stage for concerts, too. My children’s choir sang on the stage and it was on live TV.
There were booths from some colleges and universities that gave you stickers, pens, and other stuff. The ADRA booth showed how people lived after the earthquake in Haiti. At the Adventist Heritage booth you could collect cards of the pioneers like Ellen G. White and Uriah Smith. Adventist Mission also had a stage where choirs, singers, and preachers did things all day long. In another booth a woman told us how we can help children in India go to school. At the Sanitarium Health Food booth you could get free tastes of new healthy drinks and foods like Weet Bix.
And then in the Adventist Review booth kids could get big posters of Zion, KidsView magnets, and KidsView beach balls. Zion is a lion that someone painted like a zebra. Zion himself was there (Zion is a stuffed animal).
The exhibit hall was fun for kids and parents, and I liked it very much. You could go everyday and there was always something else to see and do. I was sad to have to leave.