Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Live Bible Study Webcast: “Inside Out”

May 12, 2014

A Transformed Life: Inside Out

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God is continuing its bi-weekly Bible study Wednesday night, May 14. The study continues at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

Darris McNeely, a presenter on Beyond Today television, will continue the three-part “Power to Change” series. This series is to help in preparation for the Feast of Pentecost and part 2 will be titled “Inside Out.”

Making any change in our lives is challenging and difficult. How can it be done? It starts in the heart when we allow God to create within us a clean heart. Tune into part 2 of this important series covering the topic “Inside Out.”

inside out

Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.

Steve Myers—Pastor, United Church of God-Cincinnati East

May 12, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 GCE Meeting: Creating an Environment for Growth

May 9, 2014 [Taken from a live blog on May 4 by Media and Communications Services employee, Milan Bizic]

We’re live blogging from the site of the 2014 meeting of the General Conference of Elders. This page will be updated throughout the day, so check back periodically for updates and news.


The 2014 meeting of the General Conference of Elders convened at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Chairman Robin Webber called the meeting to order. He called on Jerold Aust, pastor of the DeFuniak Springs, Florida, congregation, to lead the Conference in prayer.

Mr. Webber pointed out that this is the 20th annual meeting of the General Conference of Elders, an important milestone. The first order of business was to introduce new elders and wives to the ministry of the United Church of God.

He then called on Church secretary Gerald Seelig to conduct the balloting portion of the meeting. After the ballot was taken, chairman Robin Webber once again took the floor the address the Conference.

Introductory Address—Robin Webber, chairman

On the occasion of the 20th meeting of the GCE, he asks, “Where did the time go?” This meeting is a time for some reflection on the past and what the Church has been through over the last two decades. He asks how the Church should move forward into the future, spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God and the personal peace that news can bring people right now.

Mr. Webber introduces the overrarching theme of this year’s GCE meeting: Creating an Environment for Growth. It’s a theme that focuses on the personal spiritual growth that God expects of all Christians. The theme was gleaned from the messages of the epistles of Paul and Peter. These epistles consistently end with the words “grace and peace.” They are two great concepts that bookend the gospel message the Church has been commissioned to take to the world.

These words represent a blessing that God is offering people who come to Him and humble themselves to His will. He offers grace and peace to His people in a world that is so often devoid of both.

God promises to complete His perfect work in His people. Christians must have patience and endurance in allowing this perfecting process to take place in them.

Jesus Christ, the Rock upon which the Church is built, is our one constant. People come and go, but He will never change and will never leave us. We can always place our trust in Him.

He turns to Ephesians to focus the meeting in this direction: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians:4:1-6).

The apostle Paul provided the proper focus for Christians: that there is one Spirit that binds us together; one Lord, Jesus Christ, who leads us by His divine example of perfection; one faith; one baptism that washes away our sins; one Father, by whose power and might all things were created.

Creating an evironment for growth isn’t accomplished through techniques, technologies or programs. It’s created by giving our lives to our one Lord, our one Father, and Their one purpose for the Church. Growth begins internally through God’s Spirit guiding us to become more like Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that we might have ours.

The key to creating this environment is that we can truly say, “What [God] has done for me, I can share with others.”

After his address concluded, Mr. Webber introduced Church president Victor Kubik.

Keynote: Creating and Environment for Growth—Victor Kubik, president

Mr. Kubik points out that this year’s theme has four main concepts within it: creating, which is begun by Jesus Christ and God the Father and extends to the Church as we follow Their lead; environment, which needs to be based upon the culture of faith, grace and peace that is revealed in the Bible; spiritual, which means that everything is based on God’s Spirit, which He uses to lead us in following Him; and growth, which begins within each individual Christian, then extends to the congregation, then the Church as a whole, and then those not yet a part of the Body who God will work with in their time.

In times past those who were seeking the gospel message really had a limited choice in where to go. Currently there are so many avenues people can take to find the truth of the Bible. There is much clutter in the space of Bible knowledge. Much of it is good, but much of it is not. We need to give people their best chance of finding good biblical food.

People have questions. Questions about the basics of life. The Bible has the answers. God’s job for us is to help people find the right answers, based on what the Bible actually says about how God wants people to live.

We need to be able to have positive pride in our congregations. They need to be places we can be happy to have new people come to, with kind, gracious members who can each help others grow in grace and knowledge. We need to be a group of people who deeply desire to share with others what God has given to us.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you.” Do we live in that peace every day of our lives? Does it pervade everything we do? It’s a peace that comes from God’s Spirit within us and leading us to God’s perfect peace. Growth comes from peaceful environments.

Mr. Kubik says that Christians are identified by the love and peace they create within their environment (John:13:35).

The number one environement that each person has control of is their own lives. We can be the starting place for an environment in which others can grow by setting the right example in everything we do.

After Victor Kubik’s keynote address the conference recessed for a short break.


The meeting reconvened at 11 a.m. EDT. Macon and Columbus, Georgia, pastor Ken Martin led a presentation honoring recently deceased elders and wives for their years of faithful service to God and Jesus Christ.

Following the tribute, president Victor Kubik, chairman Robin Webber and Lisa Fenchel of Women’s Services presented a tribute and honor to Church employees who have served God and Jesus Christ for 50-plus years. He echoed the apostle Paul’s sentiment to God’s servants: “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans:13:7). The service of these faithful men and women is much appreciated.

At 12:20 p.m. chairman Robin Webber called on Bill Robinson, elder in the Columbia, Maryland, congregation, to lead the Conference in prayer for the lunch recess.


At 1:34 p.m. chairman Robin Webber reconvened the meeting by calling on David Jones, associate pastor of several congregations in the Nebraska/South Dakota areas, to lead the Conference in prayer.

He then introduced Rick Shabi, UCG treasurer, to present his report on Church finances.

Treasurer’s Report—Rick Shabi

Mr. Shabi begins by quoting the Bible about King Jehosephat: “And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.” He also quoted Psalm:127:1“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Mr. Shabi says that as long as we seek God and follow Him in Spirit and truth, He will build the Church and care for its needs.

The Church’s cash reserves are ahead of projection and the minimum figure legislated by our reserve policy. He doesn’t anticipate that we will take our reserves under minimum during the coming year.

He reiterates the mission statement of the Church: “The mission of the Church of God is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world, make disciples in all nations and care for those disciples.” There are three main elements of the mission: preaching the gospel, making disciples and caring for those disciples. In the proposed budget, all three elements are well represented.

A big part of caring for disciples is the section of the budget that’s directed toward congregational care. We care for our congregations by providing trained pastors and resources for education and opportunities for our members. One educational opportunity we provide is Ambassador Bible Center, where members can take part in a focused biblical curriculum.

Other areas this section of the budget provides for are festival sites for God’s Feasts, assistance for members in need, and international subsidy, which helps us care for our members all over the world.

Another section of the budget we prioritize is preaching the gospel. This part of the budget provides funds for Beyond Today TV, the website, advertising for all of our media efforts, producing and printing our library of booklets and study aids, and The Good News magazine.

Our Good News renewal rate has increased, which means that we are building an audience who rely on the biblical message we help provide.

After Mr. Shabi’s presentation, Roy Holladay, Ministerial and Member Services operation manager, took the floor for his update.

Ministerial and Member Services Report—Roy Holladay

Mr. Holladay begins by stating our congregational goal, which is, “A godly environment that promotes Christ-like service, spiritual growth, humility, love and unity.” As each local congregation builds in strength and character, the Church as a whole will grow in unity and become more like the Church that Jesus Christ wants us to be.

Our attendance dropped a bit during the harsh winter months we had, but thanks to the local Sabbath services webcast from the Cincinnati East

congregation, those people were often still able to be cared for on a weekly basis.

This past year, our Holy Day attendance was over 8,000 in both the latter festivals of 2013 and the first festivals of 2014.

Mr. Holladay emphasizes that we must provide and develop strong and effective leadership for the Church. Where do these leaders come from? They come from our congregations. They’re people who are already serving and leading by godly example in every church around the world. These individuals will be developed further to become even more effective and service-oriented. Our current pastors are acting as mentors for the next generation of leaders and servants, following Jesus Christ’s example of selfless service.

Mr. Holladay then turned the floor over to Peter Eddington, operation manager of Media and Communication Services.

Media and Communication Services Report—Peter Eddington

Mr. Eddington begins by discussing the power of a true multimedia approach to preaching the gospel. Beyond Today’s best programs for the 2013-2014 fiscal year were “The Four Horsemen of Revelation,” “Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns,” “The Next World Superpower,” and “Is the Rapture Real?”

Many of our programs actually do better on repeat airings than they do upon their initial airing. Repeats on the ION Network are giving some of our older, WGN-aired programs new life.

Mr. Eddington says that TV is the dominant advertising channel. It makes up 38.1 percent of total media spending. The predictability of TV audience is one of the greatest strengths for using it as a premier media channel. Ads on TV are more influential than ads on other mediums.

Tablet Web traffic is becoming the new leader. More people will use a tablet to access digital content than a PC in the coming year. TV still blows it away in terms of traffic and access numbers. Nearly every American watches TV. By 2017 90 percent of all Internet traffic will be video.

We receive many encouraging letters from people who watch our TV show, read our magazines and use our website daily. God is calling people to His truth.

One reader said that “UCG is a church like none that I have ever seen before.” This type of positive response is very encouraging as we continue to work hard to preach the gospel to a world that so desperately needs God’s message and His way of life.

We have the highest number of coworkers on file since UCG began. We are very thankful for their engagement and support of what Jesus Christ is leading the Church in accomplishing. We have had 86 baptisms from January to April 2014.

We have a limited budget to do the most important work in the world–the work of God. But God provides and makes every dollar and every penny go as far as humanly possible. None of it would be accomplished without His guiding hand and unending support. He is the one who makes it possible to make a difference in people’s lives as the gospel message impacts them.

Chairman Robin Webber took the floor to recess the Conference for a short break at 3:03 p.m.


President Victor Kubik recovened the Conference at 3:33 p.m.

Importance of Local Websites—Victor Kubik and Tom Disher

Mr. Kubik points out that active, well maintained local websites are an important and powerful tool in helping those God is calling find His truth and become involved in His Church. He expresses thanks for those in the ministry who have stepped up and put forth a strong effort in developing their local congregational websites and making them a welcoming, inviting, helpful place for people to go.

Mr. Disher asks, “Why does our information need to be online?” In the modern world people looking for information go to the Internet first. He points out that 80 percent of people research a product online before buying. That principle holds true for people looking for biblical truth.

Since the new local websites were launched, 128,791 people looked for Sabbath service information on the local websites.

Mr. Kubik says that there is a ladder of involvement in helping people find biblical information. If there are missing rungs on the ladder, people will begin to lose their way. Part of our emphasis needs to be on fixing the “missing rungs” and help people have an easier route to biblical truth and involvement in the Church.

Chairman Robin Webber then called on secretary Gerald Seelig to announce the ballot results.

General Conference of Elders 2014 Ballot Results—Gerald Seelig, secretary

  • Approve the Strategic Plan: Yes–220; No–16. The Strategic Plan is approved.
  • Approve the Operation Plan: Yes–212; No–23. The Operation Plan is approved.
  • Approve the Budget: Yes–204; No–30. The Budget is approved.
  • Approve the Doctrinal Review Process: Yes–215; No–16. The proposal passes.
  • Approve the proposed revisions to the Constitution: Yes–211; No–18. The proposal passes.
  • Council of Elders Elections:  Bill Bradford,  Aaron Dean,  Don Ward,  Robin Webber.

At 4:20 p.m. the 2014 meeting of the General Conference of Elders recessed for the day following a prayer of dismissal by Ken Murray, elder from Australia.

Milan Bizic—Media and Communications Services, United Church of God, an International Association


May 9, 2014 Posted by | General Conference of Elders, Media and Communications | , , , , | 2 Comments

Vertical Thought Bible Class (VTBC)—“RESCHEDULED”

May 9, 2014

Why God Created Woman

We have rescheduled this month’s Vertical Thought Bible Class (VTBC) for Friday, May 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This next class will be the counterpart to our earlier presentation “Man to Man: How Does Jesus Christ Define Man?

So, on May 16th we’ll study what the Bible says about “Why God Created Woman—Her Vital Role in the Human and Divine Family.” Please join Randy Stiver and Matthew Fenchel for another enlightening Vertical Thought Bible Class! This live webcast will originate from the Ambassador Bible Center lecture hall in the home office of the United Church of God in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Vertical Thought Bible Class is produced especially for teens, young adults and “young” adults of all ages. Just go to and click on “Live Bible Class.”  Note: please feel free to share this announcement with others who might be interested.

ucg home office snow,png

Randy Stiver—Managing Editor, Vertical Thought

May 9, 2014 Posted by | Ambassador Bible Center, Vertical Thought | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Viewer Response to “Beyond Today” on ION Network Proves Effective

May 6, 2014

ION outpaces WGN America during similar comparison period in response and cost per response

Since the end of our 10-week Beyond Today airing test on ION television (and the culmination of our efforts on WGN America), the United Church of God has aired five (5) programs exclusively on the ION network.

Camera man, Jamie Schreiber, shoots the daily using a Steadicam.

Camera man, Jamie Schreiber, shoots the BT Daily using a Steadicam.

Viewer response to these programs (#11-15) currently totals 5,152 at a very favorable cost per response. In comparing this quantity to the same period (#11-15) on WGN America in 2010 (when Beyond Today first began airing on that network), viewer response totaled 3,357. Beyond Today on ION significantly outpaces WGN America during the same comparison period in both response and cost per response.

Throughout the 2010-11 fiscal year as Beyond Today aired on WGN America, we observed significant statistical improvement as our programs became better-known and a regular audience began building. At the close of that fiscal period 44,035 responses had been recorded. Early indications suggest a similar trend is probable on the ION network as viewers become increasingly familiar with our programs.

How to find Beyond Today

As a reminder, Beyond Today airs on the ION network each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific time and at 8:00 a.m. Central and Mountain. For satellite (DISH 216 and DirecTV 305) Beyond Today airs at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 8:00 a.m. Central, 7:00 a.m. Mountain and 6:00 a.m. Pacific. To find the ION channel locations in your area please visit and click the “Channel Finder” located on the top right corner of the webpage. Enter your zip code and you will be shown the channel number(s) on which you can watch ION television.

In addition, Beyond Today airs nationwide across Australia, Canada and New Zealand. For a complete listing of stations, networks and times, please visit our channel guide.

Additionally, all of our programs can be viewed on-demand on our dedicated Beyond Today television channels on Roku, YouTube, Vimeo, Wii and Xbox.

Beyond Today presenters, Steve Myers, Darris McNeely, Gary Petty and our entire media team are very thankful for your vigorous prayers and your constant support. Let us all continue diligently working together in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

May 6, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beyond Today Program “Is the Rapture Real?” Generates Fourth-lowest Cost Per Response

April 28, 2014

Watch the Newest Beyond Today Commercial Now Airing on the ION Television Network


The Beyond Today television program “Is the Rapture Real?,” produced by the United Church of God and hosted by Gary Petty, aired April 20-26, 2014, on the ION television network. This episode generated an excellent 1,387 telephone and Internet responses. In terms of cost per response this program ranks fourth-lowest in cost per response out of all those aired this fiscal year.

Also, the previous week’s episode “Three Days and Three Nights” hosted by Steve Myers generated a very favorable 981 responses, which placed it eighth out of all programs aired this fiscal year. We are exceptionally pleased with viewer response to Beyond Today on the ION network which has now aired our programs for the past fourteen weeks.

In addition, we welcome you to check out our newest Beyond Today commercial now airing on the ION television network. It was produced by our home office video editors and is an important effort to promote our programs to millions of ION television viewers.

We encourage you to personally tune into Beyond Today on ION and tell others about our programs. To find the ION channel locations in your area, please visit and click on “channel finder” located on the top right corner of the webpage. Enter your zip code and it will provide the channel number(s) on which you can view ION television.

As always, we are truly grateful for your steady prayers for the United Church of God as it strives to carry out Christ’s commission to “go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, New Century Version).

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Peter Eddington

April 29, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEWS: Cincinnati East Webcast Now on Roku

April 28, 2014

We are very pleased to report that the Cincinnati East congregation weekly Sabbath service webcast broadcast by the United Church of God now has a dedicated Roku channel.

Appearing in the “Religion and Spirituality” category, Roku users can now conveniently watch Sabbath services “live” in high definition on their television sets, and also browse through dozens of archived sermons.

ucg roku channel

Here is a description about Roku from the company’s “about” page:

Roku…is…the market leader in streaming entertainment devices for the TV with millions of units sold. Roku has always believed that anything you want to watch, listen to, and enjoy should simply be there on your TV, whenever you want it. Roku streaming players are renowned for their simplicity, variety of entertainment choices, and exceptional value.

If you have a Roku unit, add the United Church of God to your channel listing now. You can watch each week’s Sabbath service live—and archives as soon as they’re posted—in the comfort of your living room or with a larger gathering of church members.

We pray that this additional electronic outlet for our members and the preaching of God’s Kingdom will bear fruit and further the work of the Gospel.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

April 28, 2014 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Bible Study Webcast Series

The Power to Change

April 24, 2014

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God is continuing its bi-weekly Bible study Wednesday night, April 30. The study continues at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

Gary Petty, a presenter on Beyond Today television and UCG pastor in San Antonio, Texas, will kick off the new three-part series titled “The Power to Change.” This series is to help in preparation for the Feast of Pentecost and the first topic will be “The Work of the Holy Spirit.”

Join us for the next three live, webcast Bible studies on the following topics:

  • April 30: “The Work of the Holy Spirit” presented by Gary Petty
  • May 14: “Inside Out” presented by Darris McNeely
  • May 28: “The Spirit of Love” presented by Steve Myers

Some have said that the hardest thing to do in life is to change. We need more than just willpower. We need the power of God in our life. This Bible study series will focus on how change is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.

the work of the holy spirit

Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.

Steve Myers—Pastor, United Church of God-Cincinnati East

April 24, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spring Festival Press Release Exceeds Expectations

April 23, 2014

On April 7, Media and Communications Services posted a press release about the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was titled:  “Christian Passover – Reviving Ancient Biblical Principles.” A slightly modified version also appeared on the United Church of God website at Press release

Collective results have now set a new record for responses for media releases for Holy Day seasons, surpassing all of the Feast of Tabernacles prior releases posted in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for full page reads, downloads and interactions.

This was the first time the Passover (and Days of Unleavened Bread) were featured. As of yesterday, a total of 1,331 release full page reads and downloads have taken place with 179 digital interactions. (One release distributed in January 2011 for the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars holds the all-time record with more than 1,600 downloads).

Keyword searches were way up for this release, with phrases including the words “lamb of God” and “Christian Passover” topping the list. Also for the first time, Bing search engine surpassed Google and Yahoo for most searches that led to the Christian Passover release.

Countries (apart from the United States) where full page reads and downloads took place were (to date):

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom (Britain)
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The release can be viewed online at Our thanks to Michael Snyder for preparing and posting the release for the Church.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services


April 23, 2014 Posted by | Media and Communications | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Podcast: Class on Dangers of Alcoholism

April 22, 2014

Since our last blog post about the Inside United Podcast by the United Church of God, a number of new podcasts have been posted by Victor Kubik. For the complete listing, please visit our podcast page at

In podcast 039, Merna Leisure-Eppick talks about her Ambassador Bible Center class on alcoholism. She instructs people on how to best help people who are struggling with the disease of alcoholism. Learn more about Ambassador Bible Center and its Bible-centered curriculum at

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

April 22, 2014 Posted by | Ambassador Bible Center, President's Office | , , , , | 1 Comment

Update: ION Television and the Subject of Easter

April 8, 2014

what easter doesn't tell youWe are pleased to report that responses to airing of Beyond Today exclusively on the ION Television network are starting out very favorably. The March 30 program hosted by Gary Petty, “I Believe, Help My Unbelief,” was repeated from an earlier airing on WGN America from July 21, 2013, and it brought in higher responses this second time around on ION. So, that is a very positive development and we are reaching a new group of people—a new audience—on Sunday mornings. Also, the April 6 repeat-airing of “How Christian is Easter?“, is on track to be one of our lowest-cost response programs so far this fiscal year.

How to find Beyond Today on ION Television

At the United Church of God home office in Cincinnati, we are receiving a number of phone calls and e-mail messages asking where Beyond Today can now be viewed since it’s no longer available on WGN America. As announced earlier, we are now exclusively on the ION Television network. We can be viewed on cable, satellite, and on 30 of ION’s 67 over-the-air broadcast stations. Our coverage is greater than it was with WGN America. However, there are still some areas where we cannot be seen. To see a listing of channels, please see our channel listing—and don’t forget that Beyond Today also airs nationwide across Canada, Australia and New Zealand!

In addition, here is some further information to help explain how to find us. If you live in the United States, enter your zip code in the ION Television channel finder at and see what ION options there are in your city. If there is an “over the air” broadcast station in your city and you’re using cable for your viewing, then what will most likely happen is that the local cable TV companies will take that local ION broadcast to use on their cable feed—not the nationwide ION feed that we purchased. And, since we have purchased only 30 of the 67 ION over-the-air stations (please see the listing of those we did purchase at and if your city is not one of them, then the best way to watch Beyond Today in your area is via satellite through DirectTV or Dish, on our Roku channel, on our YouTube channel, or on our Beyond Today website.

Your prayers needed

Please continue to pray for the ongoing success of this, and all of our efforts to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Please beseech God to guide the hearts and minds of our readers and viewers—that they will respond and become more involved in the work of His Church.

Thank you very much,

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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