Black Lives Matter originated as the result of a hashtag from social media from three ladies, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi as a call for action after the killing of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman. #Black Lives Matter caught the nation by storm and was at the forefront of many conversations.
Within the ranks of our church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, there is another group who also needs to become the forefront of our conversations, our decisions and the future plans of our church. That group is our Millennials. And not to take away from the seriousness of #BLM, we as a church need to let it be known that Millennials Matter.
Four times a year, the officers of the nine Regional Conferences and the Regional Vice-Presidents of the Pacific Union and the North Pacific Union come together to discuss the direction of the Regional Conference work. The summer meeting is called the North American Division (NAD) Black Caucus, which includes all African-American Administrators on the Conference, Union, NAD and General Conference level.
When the Black Caucus meets, there are caucuses for Presidents, Conference Secretaries, Treasurers, Ministerial Directors, Pastors and Ministerial Spouses. For two days, caucuses meet separately to make plans for the year and to make recommendations for ministry to the full group, which meets on the final day.
This past July in Orlando, during the Black Caucus semi-annual meeting, the Treasurer’s Caucus met with Office of Regional Conference Executive Director, Elder D. C. Edmond, and shared their desire to involve Millennials; recognizing a need to get their buy-in and input. Vice President for Finance for the Allegheny West Conference, Jermaine Jackson-a Millennial himself- took on the responsibility of shaping the proposal and at the Winter Regional Conference Officers Meeting in San Diego, it was voted to add a Millennial Caucus. The Caucus will be made up of one millennial representative per Conference, plus one millennial representative from Oakwood. Dr. Carlton Byrd, Senior Pastor of Oakwood University Church and Speaker/Director for Breath of Life Television Ministries will be the Chairman of the caucus. Their first meeting will be in Louisville at the NAD Regional Caucus in Louisville. They will meet, make recommendations to the full group and be exposed to the inner working of the Regional Conference work and the SDA church.
Though #Black Lives Matter is an activist organization, we look forward to the Millennial Caucus being an action organization, ready to be engaged, lend their expertise and knowledge toward furthering God’s message to reach His people of today.
Submitted by, Jill Edmond