Welcome to another year of worship, learning, and fellowship together. I begin with news that should interest you:
1) This year marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Association of Adventist Forums, which was formed by the early Forum chapters, including our chapter (you will recall that we celebrated our 40th anniversary last year), and of the publication of the first issues of Spectrum. This will be celebrated at a joint conference of the AAF and the Association of Adventist Women at the Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California, from November 6-8. (The airport is San Jose.) We hope that some of us will be able to attend. If you wish to know more, go to www.spectrummagazine.org. If you do not subscribe to Spectrum, I would urge you to check it out also while you are on that site. Also check out the Spectrum Blog, which has always got a great deal of interest there.
2) When Spectrum began, very quickly it became controversial because it published articles by Adventist historians and theologians concerning research under way concerning Ellen White's sources. These were the first of a flood of such research that has, in turn, produced enormous changes in our understanding of the Adventist prophet. This has never been sorted out fully, and now, after 40 years, many scholars feel it is time to try to do so. Consequently, in October, in Portland Maine, where Ellen grew up, beginning, appropriately, on the 22nd, the 165th anniversary of the "Great Disappointment", when Christ did not return as William Miller and his colleagues had predicted, there will be a conference where Ellen's life and work will be examined closely by scholars who have researched them. There will be a stack of papers presented by Adventist scholars, and each will be commented on by two other scholars, one an Adventist, the other not. I have been asked to be one of the commentators. This conference has been organized, as I said, by some key Adventist scholars, and those participating will range from liberal to conservative. It is not an official conference, which is just as well, for the issue is still a sensitive one in the corridors of the General Conference, but Loma Linda University is somehow involved in the financing of the expenses of the participants. I cannot invite you to come, for only participants are invited, but I thought you would be interested in knowing that this will happen. Some of the participants will be among our visiting speakers in the Winter and Spring.
The program for the Fall is available. I hope you are as excited about it as I am: we have some very interesting and different from usual presentations lined up. Come worship and learn and fellowship regularly at the Forum.
Blessings to you all.
Ron Lawson, President.