Sunberg delivers Quadrennial Address
General Superintendent Carla Sunberg delivered the Quadrennial Address to the General Assembly during Monday morning’s business session.
Sunberg is the first woman to call the opening business session of the General Assembly into order. She is also the first woman to chair the Board of General Superintendents and deliver the Quadrennial Address.
In her message, titled “Good Morning,” Sunberg drew upon Phineas Bresee’s traditional greeting of “good morning,” which he would use to greet others no matter the time of day.
“Bresee knew that it was always the hope of the morning, of the dawn of the light of the Messiah breaking into our dark world that would bring transformation,” Sunberg said. “And this is our heritage, it is our DNA – it is the hope that the church had at Pilot Point that they could unite around this transformational message even when the world was divided.”
She went on to share about the light that God has shown into the darkness of the world, including the growth Papua New Guinea experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, a 166 percent increase in new Nazarenes.
Sunberg then highlighted the efforts of the local church ministries, Nazarene Discipleship International, Nazarene Missions International, and Nazarene Youth International, telling of the ways in which members have discipled, nurtured, and supported the work of the global Church of the Nazarene. In addition, she spoke of the work Global Education and Clergy Development and the ways in which it has helped form Christlike disciples through education.
Sunberg also shared about the work Global Missions has done in supporting the 325 global and 164 sponsored missionaries. She then drew attention to the launching of Nazarene Missions Teams — a new name for Work & Witness — and the work of JESUS Film Harvest Partners in some of the most difficult places in the world.
Sunberg emphasized the work of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in response to the estimated 100 million people displaced by war, famine, climate, and persecution.
After remembering the many Nazarenes that have passed away since 2017, Sunberg talked about the quadrennial emphases of Nazarene Missions and Nazarene Discipleship before announcing that the BGS is currently in the process of examining Nazarene identity. She reinforced that these are not temporary focuses to be replaced by additional emphases.
“Instead, we believe that we are building these emphases so that they will be continuous and ongoing in the life of the church,” Sunberg said.
In closing, Sunberg offered a challenge to the assembly to return to the DNA of Pilot Point. She drew upon John 1:46, where Nathan asks Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
“Our world may be asking, ‘Can anything good come from the Nazarenes?’” Sunberg said. “And I would suggest — come and see.”