Gender, Identity, and The Law Symposium
28th August 2018
In the past, as Seventh Day Adventists, we have often been reticent when it comes to government consultations. Thanks to voices like that of retired Pastor Brighton G. Kavaloh, one could argue that labelling us as such would be factually incorrect. This is mainly due to the fact that Pastor Kavaloh, in collaboration with the SEC Education Department and the Religious Liberty Department, have been fulfilling their role as our proverbial sentinels in the UK – encouraging us to respond to government legislation and consultations that directly affect us as a church.
And so it was that an informative and insightful symposium, organised by AdventRLP under the auspices of the SEC Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, was held at the Advent Centre on Sunday 19th August 2018. A panel of experts including Pastor Brighton Kavaloh (main presenter), Gina Abbequaye (co-presenter, SEC Education Director and Head Teacher of Hyland House School), Pastor Ray Allen (Vice President of Adventist World Radio), and Dr Chidi Ngwaba (SEC Health Ministries Director) dealt with challenging issues that the church must face.
The main aim of the seminar was to alert the church on how the government is proposing to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the impact the proposed changes would have on society, and the SDA Church specifically. The object was to prepare the SDA church for participation in the forthcoming reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. In preparation for these reforms, the UK government opened a public consultation which closes on Friday 19th October.
Throughout the symposium, the message came through loud and clear that the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s response to these societal changes and proposals from government must be Christ-centred and therefore filled with Divine wisdom. Attendants were reminded about the unique privilege they had to witness for Christ during the above-mentioned consultation, and other consultations that pertain to issues that affect our religious liberty.
It became apparent that the discussions held on the day were of such importance to the attendants that they voted to meet again to try to deal with the discussed issues more conclusively. A follow-up meeting was voted upon, and is scheduled for Sunday 7th October where attendants will be guided through a step-by-step, measured response to the reform of the Gender Recognition Act - 2004 government consultation.
If you missed the first meeting on the 19th of August, you cannot afford to fail attending the follow-up meeting on Sunday 7th October (again at the Advent Centre). The attendees at the first meeting were clearly in no mood to duck from their responsibilities as Christ’s ambassadors. This is an opportunity that is too good to miss!!!
[Judith Makaniankhondo Nyirenda]