You’re playing with the big boys now
GC sues Nairobi Cosmopolitan Conference over SDA branding
You’re playing with the big boys now
The General Conference is suing the newly-formed Nairobi Cosmopolitan Conference (NCC) over its unauthorized use of the “Adventist” trademark, official logo, and visual branding. Elders from the Nairobi Central SDA Church officially separated from the Central Kenya Conference (CKC) and subsequently registered the NCC in April of 2019 after major conflicts arose regarding the selection process for church leaders. This led to physical fights in church, multiple police visits, and an increasingly strained relationship with the GC.
Let my trademark go
The GC filed the case on September 18 via the East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC). The EKUC is asking Kenya’s High Court to prohibit the NCC from operating as a religious group because it was originally registered as a private company. In addition, the GC argues that the denomination holds exclusivity to the name “Seventh-day Adventist.”
Invasion of the conference snatchers
Beyond all of this, the NCC is being accused of “trespass and invasion for taking over churches that were initially registered under SDA Kenya. These include Kangemi’s Mountain View SDA, Meru’s Makandi SDA, KPCU SDA in Mowlem, and Saika West SDA.” The conflict has escalated beyond just the conflict in Nairobi Central SDA, with more and more churches voting to split from the Central Kenya Conference.
Word on the street is …
...Tribalism is fueling this conflict more than disagreements over the selection of church officials and general church management. Adventists from Kenya have claimed on social media that this is about two feuding cultures within Kenya, with Adventism just so happening to be the vehicle for said conflict. Other Adventists criticize church leadership for taking this conflict to court. They claim Christians shouldn’t take each other to court and that the GC will stand before God in judgment for this. The GC is also being criticized for “overreach” by meddling in what is a localized issue. Those in support of the NCC claim that they only split off because their members were being abused by church leaders within the CKC and in the local churches. Others are thrilled to see the GC “bring the hammer” down, hoping it will finally put an end to this ordeal. It’s unclear exactly how or when this controversy will reach its conclusion. But considering the fact that The Scratch has now covered this story in four different briefs, a resolution does not seem imminent.
Walla Walla Announces New Dean of Students
Iwasa good decision
David Iwasa brings his 19 years of experience with student life to Walla Walla University as the new dean of students and assistant vice president for student life. Iwasa worked for eight years at Andrews University as director of University Housing, conventions, and guest services, and as the graduate student association sponsor. In his new position at WWU (as of August 19), Iwasa will work on a variety of initiatives focusing on improving students’ well-being. Iwasa is a certified student development educator and a member of the Adventist Student Personnel Association. In 2015, he was awarded the Faith Development Leadership Award from Andrews University for his contributions to university spiritual life.
NewsMakers Discusses Inter-Division Media Collaboration in Europe
On September 20, 2019, Adventist Review posted an episode of NewsMakers about how Stimme der Hoffnung (a German media center in the Inter-European Division) developed a model for media collaboration on a global level. In the video, Klaus Popa, CEO of Stimme der Hoffnung, explains that “The Network” began as a collaboration between the Inter- and the Trans-European Divisions. Media professionals decided they wanted more collaboration by sharing each others' talents, passions, and visions with one another, believing they could create more together than alone. An opportunity to share their knowledge came when they were contacted by The Hope Channel to share their journey of collaboration with other filmmakers. The team was already in the process of making a documentary about keeping the Sabbath from the perspective of 13 different individuals and families in all 13 divisions around the world, so they were able to speak directly from their experience, rather than speaking in theory. Many Adventists hope this network will make it possible for Seventh-day Adventist media centers around the world to collaborate on more “cross-media network projects,” such as the recent Fathers project—a film following six fathers across six cultures.
Last week, we incorrectly stated that SOULS-West Outreach School was located in the Central California Conference. It is actually located in Prescott, AZ in the Arizona Conference. On September 22, we corrected this error in the website version of the brief.
Contributors: Rachel Beaver, Ryan Becker, Makala James
Editors: Ryan Becker, Kevin Christenson, Jill Evans