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KOG Bible Seminars Report

December 17, 2012

KINGDOM OF GOD BIBLE SEMINARS

FIRST SERIES REPORT

kingdom-of-god-seminarA report on the first series of our Kingdom of God Bible Seminars was delivered to the Council of Elders on December 12. Peter Eddington gave the Council a handout that showed a total of 5,680 seminar guests were in attendance at more than 200 locations around the globe.

Here is a breakdown on guest attendance for each round of the series:

September 2011 Round 1 176 Locations 1,514
January 2012 Round 2 190 Locations 1,653
May 2012 Round 3 206 Locations 1,258
September 2012 Round 4 181 Locations 1,255
TOTAL 5,680 

Below is a listing of cities with the top five guest attendance figures for each round. As you will note, the developing areas of the world most often showed the highest interest in the gospel of the Kingdom of God:

Round 1

  1. 52     San Antonio, TX
  2. 50     Santiago, Chile
  3. 35     Davao City, Philippines
  4. 33     Got Kachola, Kenya
  5. 33     Ogembo-Rianyamwamu, Kenya

Round 2

  1. 110    Manila, Philippines
  2. 57     Davao City, Philippines
  3. 42     Bacolod, Philippines
  4. 42     Melbourne, Australia
  5. 40     Sydney, Australia

Round 3

  1. 117    Manila, Philippines
  2. 58     Bacolod City, Philippines
  3. 43     Mexico City, Mexico
  4. 34     San Carlos City, Philippines
  5. 32     Bolivia

Round 4

  1. 125    San Carlos City, Philippines
  2. 108   Johannesburg, South Africa
  3. 96     Manila, Philippines
  4. 76     Capetown, South Africa
  5. 49     Davao City, Philippines

We have people now regularly attending Sabbath services with us as a result of the seminars, and a number of baptisms have stemmed from the seminars too. It can be considered a success if even just one or two guests graced our congregation’s doorstep who otherwise would not have attended. We were successful in getting them out of their homes to come and hear the gospel of the Kingdom. note taking bible computer

Jesus Christ, as the Head of His Church, has a plan for each person. While numbers are not everything, results do help us measure our efforts. And, while God’s Church will be a small flock (Luke 12:32), there was a very encouraging number of guests in many cities.

Recommendations for Next Series

Dennis Luker, president of the United Church of God, an International Association, gave his support to the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars program moving forward. The Council of Elders agreed with the approach put forth. Here are a few details on the next series:

  • We will keep the “Kingdom of God Bible Seminars” brand and theme, but offer a specific topic under the title. For example: “The Sabbath: A Key to the Kingdom of God.”
  • Rather than produce a detailed script for each new seminar, we may choose a relevant UCG booklet to use as core material. For example, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. The presenters can choose which section or chapter of the booklet they’d like to focus on. The ucg.org website also provides a valuable resource for presenters to use in developing their presentations.
  • Have two seminars per year, instead of three.
  • Choose the months of June and November each year for seminars, with pastors having the flexibility to work as they see best within this timeline.
  • Due to budget constraints, use regular Sabbath service halls to avoid additional hall rental. And use local funding for seminar advertising (letters, postcards, etc.) that is not part of the home office budget subsidy.
  • Proposed Topics:
  • Format:
    • Opening Prayer
    • 1 Seminar (60 min.)
    • Closing Prayer

————————————-

    • If desired, abbreviated 60-minute Sabbath service either before or afterwards with hymns, prayers and one sermon or split sermon.

We are looking forward very much to our next round of seminars and are asking pastors to choose their seminar dates as soon as possible and get them listed on our website. A number of our readers and viewers are already looking for the next seminar to be held in their city—and they check our website regularly hoping to sign up to attend. So the sooner our presenters get their seminar dates listed the better.

Thank you for your prayers for the ongoing success and God’s blessing on this part of our work to preach the gospel of God’s Kingdom.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

December 17, 2012 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services, President's Office | , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Solution to Fears of War in the Middle East

[The following letter by Dennis Luker, president of the United Church of God, was sent to Church membership September 19.}

September 19, 2012

Dear Brethren,

As we in the home office busily finish up final details for the much anticipated Feast of Tabernacles, tensions mount amidst fears of fresh war in the Middle East, even while this letter is being prepared for you. What a contrast! Just as we read and hear anew the biblical words and passages about soon-coming peace and prosperity in the Kingdom of God, the news is filled with fears of regional conflict, perhaps even the beginnings of global conflict. While many intently follow what the British newspaper The Telegraph calls an “armada of international naval power massing” in the Persian Gulf, we are urged to redouble our efforts in spiritual preparation, being alert and avoiding being caught up in “the anxieties of life” (Luke 21:34-36, New International Version).

Unlike what God gives us, the world does not yet have the serene strength that comes from the truth. Millions, perhaps billions, of people toss and turn at night, worried about what the next day may bring. At the same time we in the Church have these powerful and comforting words: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32). What a blessing! Ours is the sure knowledge and unbreakable promise that God’s plan is to deliver us. Our soon-to-come inheritance is a never ending time of unprecedented splendor, all focused on an eternal relationship of service with our Elder Brother and soon coming King. To continue our journey toward this Kingdom, we have but to continually yield and turn our lives over to God, following the leadership of the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.

As we watch world events unfold during this annual biblical season, we know that “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). This is the time of revealing when God will complete the incomprehensible and wondrous task of “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). How deep and profound is this? The apostle Paul tells us that even now the physical world “groans and labors with birth pangs,” awaiting the time when it “will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:22, 21).

I am personally grateful that this year’s Feast season comes at a time when we are finishing up our year-long round of Kingdom of God Bible Seminars. Many have told me how these seminars serve as an excellent jump-start in helping us refocus, deeply recalling why we were called in the first place: to preach the gospel and prepare a people!

The vision for the Church comes alive in activities like these, with “the whole body [of the Church] joined and knit together…working by which every part does its share” (Ephesians 4:16). While ministers may have provided the heavy lifting on the main presentation, members had the equally critical role of “being witnesses” of God’s way of life (Luke 21:13; 1 Peter 3:15). I had the privilege of speaking at the New York City Kingdom of God Bible Seminar, one of the more than 160 separate seminars being conducted in this public series. When unseasonal heavy weather came and even a rare tornado touched down near the site where the seminar was being held, it wasn’t difficult to think that opposing spiritual forces were not pleased that the gospel of the Kingdom was being carried to New York!

Despite any physical and spiritual opposition, the seminars are indeed bearing fruit. Just like in the earlier days of the Church, new people are now coming to services in many areas, and some baptisms are taking place. The total attendance and impact will be compiled in November after all of the seminars have taken place across the world. As one minister said, “People now know where we live!” God’s Church—His “called out ones”—is out in the open!

As we participate in the Feast of Tabernacles, heralding through our observance the future coming Kingdom, let us truly refresh and renew ourselves spiritually, drinking deeply of the biblical truths we will again hear and read. For some it will be the first Feast, a time of the joyous enthusiasm of the spiritual “first love” (Revelation 2:4). For others it may be the 10th, 20th, even 50th or more observance of this festival season.

Whatever milestone it is for you and wherever you observe it, keep the Feast with joy and purpose! As history records, there have been times when the early Christians were openly condemned for keeping God’s Holy Days. At least one religious leader (John Chrysostom) listed the biblical Feasts by name as late as the fourth century A.D., wrongly calling their observance by Christians some 300 years after Christ’s death a “perverse custom.” Many in this current election year have warned of the possible erosion of religious freedom in the United States, which leads us to recall the words of Christ: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is still day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

We still presently have the wonderful ability to meet together in peace, worship God and demonstrate His way of life, so let us seize every opportunity! Let us embrace a renewed sense of urgency and let this Feast be a time of great renewal.

In closing, please remember to ask for God’s blessing both on the speaking and the hearing during this festival. Please pray both for the inspiration of speakers and for a special blessing for those receiving the word. I also want to thank you in advance for your special offerings on the Holy Days—there remains much work to be done, and your fervent prayers and your generous offerings directly impact the scope of that work. Let us humbly remember to give cheerfully, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

May we all be greatly blessed during the Feast and the days ahead. We are called to a life of service and this time affords us a special opportunity to demonstrate that. Let us truly become that spiritual lamp that “gives light to all” (Matthew 5:15).

In Christ’s service,

Dennis Luker

September 19, 2012 Posted by | President's Office | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Video Promo: Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

February 27, 2012

Christ came to earth with the central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus Christ actually taught on this subject.

The United Church of God is hosting free Bible seminars in cities around the world to explain and expound upon the truth of the Kingdom of God. Visit kogbibleseminars.org to sign up for the next round of seminars in May. If you have attended previous seminars, please know that this is all new material.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, United Church of God an International Association

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Member Letter from Chairman Rhodes

February 23, 2012

Dear Brethren,

Diane and I recently returned from a trip to the United Kingdom where I had been invited to present the first Kingdom of God Bible seminar in the nation’s capital, London.

Over a thousand invitations had been sent out. Eighteen new people came, which is quite a good attendance. I don’t think anybody had driven there—they all used public transport, as we did. It remains the best way to get around the city.

There was a great deal of enthusiasm among the new attendees. A number of them asked many questions afterwards. Most of the people present were from Commonwealth countries, nations that were formerly colonies of Great Britain. These countries all inherited the common bonds of the English language and freedom of religion, which have enabled us to preach the gospel in so many parts of the world.

Our visit came shortly after the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible in 1611. An exhibition at Westminster Abbey commemorated the event. This has been described as the most influential book in history, after the Bible itself, as the British, in time, took the book with them to all their overseas possessions including the American colonies that became the United States of America. There was an incredible enthusiasm for the Bible for centuries. The historian Jacques Barzun wrote that this enthusiasm “did not cease for 350 years; 1900 was the first year in which religious works (at least in England) did not outnumber all other publications” (“From Dawn to Decadence,” page 10, 2000).

How times have changed!

A fellow minister, Mike Caputo, who serves in the Toronto, Canada, area, pointed out recently that most websites devoted to atheism are based in Britain. And, certainly, many of those will be in the London area.

I have five brothers in England. Four of them have never owned a Bible, let alone read one. I reflected on how best we can reach a nation when most people are unfamiliar with Scripture. It’s not just Britain as most of Europe is the same. It’s also increasingly the case in the United States. It’s a challenge, but it’s one we must face. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). It is clear that God is calling people in all nations. “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

On the Sunday we had a ministerial conference in the former Imperial Schools building in Bricket Wood, a small community north of London. Amongst other items of business, we welcomed our latest addition to the overstretched ministry over there, Alex Preston, who was recently ordained. Alex and his wife Christine live in Scotland. I joked about visiting them before I need a visa—Scotland is set to hold a referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom in 2014.

We spent a great deal of time in the meetings discussing future Feast sites. As well as choosing locations easily accessible to church members in the British Isles, consideration is given to attracting visitors from overseas who are always welcome, and a reassurance to the small church in the British Isles that they are very much a part of an international association. This year the Feast will be in Llandudno, North Wales.

The following day John Ross Schroeder and I were back in London for a press conference on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Although February 6 was the actual anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne in 1952, official celebrations will take place the first weekend of June when the weather is better. At least, it should be! Britain’s weather can be notoriously unpredictable.

This will be only the second diamond jubilee in British history. Queen Victoria, the present Queen’s great-great grandmother, celebrated hers in 1897 at the time of Britain’s ascendancy, when the map of the world was dominated by the color red, all the nations that made up the British Empire.

One of the people presiding over the press conference remarked, with incredulity, that 400 years ago people actually believed that the monarch was chosen by God, a reference to the idea of the Divine Right of Kings. But you don’t have to go back four centuries. When the present Queen was crowned the majority of the British people believed the same.

Comparing Britain at the time of Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral in January 1965, a momentous event that I still profoundly remember, with the country 32 years later at the time of Princess Diana’s funeral in September 1997, the writer Peter Hitchens wrote that in Churchill’s time: “The country was a profoundly Christian society, in which religion was part of the language, of the state and of daily life in a way quite unique in Europe…Through its great literature, its verse and its hymns it had obtained an idea of itself that was comforting and powerful. It believed in the family and the home, that great zone of private life in which the state has no business” (“The Abolition of Britain,” page 347, 1999). A profound change took place between these two funerals!

This change began earlier, as Jacques Barzun observed. It’s due to a number of factors, one of which is the increasing secularization of society. In turn, this has led to outright hostility toward religion—and this is true on both sides of the Atlantic and in other western democracies.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Britain has lost it way spiritually—and this has a great deal to do with increased secularization and the rejection of the Bible. But it’s also increasingly true of the United States, where we see growing rejection of the country’s biblical roots.

American historian Benson Bobrick wrote: “Englishmen carried their Bible with them—as the rock and foundation of their lives—overseas” (“Wide as the Waters,” page 12, 2001). It was the very foundation of their lives. Those Englishmen eventually became Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans, founding other nations originally on the British model. As Hitchens put it: “Religion was part of the language, of the state and of daily life in a way quite unique in Europe.” The Bible had little influence on the continent of Europe, where the church and its traditions controlled the minds of the people. It wasn’t until after England broke with the church that King Henry VIII was able to lift the ban on the Bible.

When God told Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing this must have been one of the blessings He had in mind—that the Word of God would go out to the world through his descendants, the British and American peoples: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

It continues today. God’s Church in the British Isles is very small. Compared to mainstream churches, God’s Church in the United States is also small. But thanks to the tithes and offerings of the people in the United States, the United Church of God is able to preach the gospel to the world, out of all proportion to our size.

Our ancestors four centuries ago embraced the Bible with great enthusiasm, so much so that King Henry VIII had to tell the English people to curb their enthusiasm, as he had heard that people were even reading their Bibles in the pubs, which he felt was highly inappropriate (Bobrick, page 160).

As our ancestors took their Bibles with them everywhere, we should also take the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God everywhere we can, going through doors as God opens them.

Next month our minister in Nigeria, Oludare Akinbo, will be presenting the first Kingdom of God seminar in Accra, Ghana. Seminars have already taken place in Australia, Canada, the United States, Germany, England, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, Chile, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Ireland, Zambia, Bolivia and the Isle of Man.

In the U.S. a new series of seminars will be held in May. We hope to continue the program with a new series three times a year.

As we reach out to the world with a renewed vigor, sharing the good news of the coming Kingdom, we see our Western nations increasingly turning their backs on God. Atheists are becoming more militant with a planned mass march on Washington, D.C., next month. Court decisions on both sides of the Atlantic reflect anti-Christian sentiment.

It is not just coincidence that as Britain turned away from the Bible the nation declined, having lost its way. Now we see clearly the same development in the U.S. Deuteronomy 28 shows a clear connection between our nations’ obedience to God’s laws and the blessings that were received; also the negative consequences of turning away from the laws of God. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

German-Foreign-Policy.com noted on February 20: “According to an expert of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAB), it had already become apparent at the last G-20 Summit that ‘the enormous power of the US’ had ‘noticeably diminished’ because of its economy’s chronic weaknesses.”

Britain’s rapid decline followed two world wars that effectively bankrupted the nation. The U.S. is set to follow after fighting two big conflicts in the last decade.

At a time when we see our nations facing all kinds of serious problems and clearly in terminal decline, it is our responsibility to bring a message of hope to the British and American peoples and, indeed, the whole world—hope in the promised Kingdom of God, the good news that Jesus Christ gave to us, the news of His return to establish a world ruling Kingdom that will never be destroyed.

Sincerely,

Melvin Rhodes—Chairman, Council of Elders

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Council of Elders | , , , , , | 14 Comments

Kingdom of God Bible Seminars: Round Two Reports Coming In

January 31, 2012

Very encouraging reports are arriving from Kingdom of God Bible Seminar presenters about their events held over the past two weeks. Despite some wintry weather in North America, more than 1,000 guests attended—and we still have 35 congregations yet to hold their seminars during February. We anticipate upwards of 1,500 total guests when round two of the seminars are completed. This is very similar to round one.

Due to snow and ice in some locations, we were saddened to hear that three seminars had to be canceled. However, in some cities more guests arrived than expected. But, of course, some congregations had less than anticipated—and just a few had no guests show up at all.

As the Father Calls

WINTER NO MATCH FOR KOG SEMINARS – Braving 17 degree (F) weather and snow, Jamie Snyder and 15-year-old son, Winston, put up directional signage for the KOG Bible Seminars in West Lafayette, Indiana.

As we pray for God’s blessing and guidance on these seminars, we are reminded that it is the Father who calls and that His timing for each person is perfect. In some instances, for a person whom God is calling to even get out of their comfort zone and show up, is a big first step! As God’s elect, may we “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).

Even just one or two guests at a seminar or Sabbath service, who would otherwise not have graced our church doorstep, can be considered a success. Jesus Christ, as the Head of His Church, has a plan for each person. Some congregations considered it a great success with just a handful of guests. A few areas were very pleased to have dozens of new people show up. While numbers are not everything, results do help us measure our efforts. And, while God’s Church will be a small flock (Luke 12:32), there was a very encouraging number of guests in some cities.

Here is just a sampling: Bacolod, Philippines (42); New York, New York (35); La Paz, Bolivia (35); Knoxville, Tennessee (33); Tacloban City, Philippines (29); Houston, Texas (24); Jacksonville, Florida (21) and Lusaka, Zambia (20). And, remember, we still have 35 seminars yet to be held—including places in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, New Zealand and the Philippines.

A Sampling of Comments

Let me share with you some of the comments received by a number of our presenters. It does appear that God is working in the lives of our readers and viewers, and that they are hearing the good news of the Gospel of His Kingdom! 

  • Kalamazoo, Michigan: “I want to share how well our KOG Seminars went this past Sabbath. We had six new people attend along with three others from independent groups. The messages were received very well by everyone. Seven of our guests stayed around after the seminars to ask questions and fellowship. I am so encouraged by the involvement and excitement of our members. Our members feel like they are really helping to preach the gospel as representatives of Jesus Christ.”
  • Bend, Oregon: “I am really getting excited about these seminars! The results are far better than any “public Bible lectures” of the past that I can recall. I am also excited about the focus of the seminars and of Beyond Today—the Kingdom of God. Not only is that the foundation of the gospel, it is also what makes us (and other WCG offshoots) unique. Our Bend KOG seminar was a fantastic success! After only one new attendee the first time, we had 10 at this one! About half of them said that they want to attend Sabbath services—including a former WCG member and her adult daughter who said that she plans to bring her two children to services. Since we sent out only 130 letters, I guess by industry standards our return rate was quite good.”
  • Lusaka, Zambia: “In all there were a total of 55 in attendance including 20 visitors. During the seminar I could hear the occasional ‘amen’ and exclamations of approval from the visitors seated behind me! One man and his wife travelled 200 kilometres to listen to the true word of God. This is the first time that the truth has been publicly spoken in Zambia. At the information desk, people eagerly sought the Good News magazines and booklets that we had on offer—with many leaving their contact details to be included in the Church’s literature distribution. The overall opinion was that the meeting went off very well with the visitors showing a keen interest in UCG and in what we believe. It will be interesting to see those that God calls and their response.”
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “I wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how things went at the KOG Bible seminars yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Despite the weather we were able to have the seminars. We had three people who had never been to a UCG service before in attendance. They seemed to be very attentive and very happy to be there. They talked with many of the brethren both before and after the seminars. Considering the weather, I think that was very good since we had nine registered.”
  • Bacolod City, Philippines: We just had the first Kingdom of God Bible Seminar for the second round in Bacolod City yesterday, January 21. Out of the 67 total in attendance, we had 42 new people. It will be recalled that in first round of Bible seminars last September 2011, our attendance for new people in Bacolod was 25 (which was a bit more than the congregational attendance). This time the Seminar attendance is almost double the regular congregational attendance! (By the way, four people from the September seminar last year have started regularly attending the Bacolod congregation.)”
  • New York City, New York: “We had three inches of snow in Queens today and more to the north. This cut down the attendance but we still filled the hall with attendees. Best count right now is 35 [guests] and 35 members in attendance. The new people stayed around and talked and seemed very interested. Many said they would be back next week. I had a very good feeling with everyone in attendance today. Many new people stayed for hours afterwards talking. A very good spirit here.” (Post script: many guests did return the following Sabbath.)

Dates have been set for round three of our United Church of God Kingdom of God Bible Seminars. Please set aside the Sabbath of May 12, with May 19 being the main alternate date.

May we all continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Press Release: Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

January 12, 2012

Heavenly Reward or Literal Kingdom – Humanity’s Future from a Biblical View to Be Explored in Global Bible Seminars Conducted by United Church of God.

What does the Bible say is humanity’s eternal reward? Surprisingly, it is not an eternity in heaven. The United Church of God will explore the critical answer to this question in January seminars.

View the press release for the second round of Kingdom of God Bible Seminars being presented by the United Church of God this month.The seminars will be held in 200 locations across the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Kenya, New Zealand, Philippines and United Kingdom. To date, 2,000 guests are registered to attend.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

January 12, 2012 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Update: Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

September 22, 2011

The Kingdom of God Bible Seminars have been a great encouragement to the Church. Our guest count stands at 1,439 after this past Sabbath, with 166 congregations reporting in. At present we have 96 guests signed up for the remaining 14 seminars. We pray for the success of the remaining seminars, in particular those being held this coming Sabbath, September 24.

An almost final guest list count will be calculated after our September 24 seminars are completed. (We have a few seminars taking place in November yet.) We expect to break the 1,500 mark. This is very exciting, considering that the majority of these visitors would not have graced our meeting places otherwise.

Congregations reporting more than 20 guests for the seminars are as follows:

  • 52            San Antonio, TX
  • 35            Davao City, Philippines
  • 33            Ogembo-Rianyamwamu, Kenya
  • 33            Got Kachola, Kenya
  • 33            Orlando, FL
  • 30            Brisbane, Qld., Australia
  • 28            Senta-Magenche, Kenya
  • 27            Bar Ober, Kenya
  • 25            Garden Grove, CA
  • 25            North Canton, OH
  • 25            Bacolod City, Philippines
  • 24            Jacksonville, FL
  • 23            Ochuna, Kenya
  • 22            Denver, CO
  • 21            Meru, Kenya
  • 21            Oakland, CA

Ed Macaraeg in the Philippines reported that their member count was 23 in Bacolod City, which was exceeded by their guest count of 25!

Experiences of attendance to registrations varied widely. But by making the seminars an event with online registration, we could see realistically what the averages would be going forward. The surveys responded to by the ministry will allow us to judge the program for its overall of effectiveness.

We are very happy with the results and now are awaiting follow-up accounts as well as looking to the January seminars which will build on the registrations and attendees that came this month. The ministry can now go ahead and begin registering their congregations for January 21 (or January 28 or February 4 if they have multiple congregations). Our main advertising will state January 21. We see that some congregations are already listed for January 21!

We thank all of the membership for their participation. Many commneted that preparing for the seminars gave their congregations a boost of doing a front-line work of preaching the Kingdom directly to the public and that they are looking positively to the second round of the seminars.

Victor Kubik/Peter Eddington

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Kingdom of God Bible Seminars Receive Support from Church Media Relations

September 13, 2011

As some may have already noticed on Facebook links and in search engines, the United Church of God supported the recent first round of the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars with proactive media relations. The Church used both a commercial news service and traditional mailings to strategically distribute a general media release about the seminars, which achieved remarkably good results. As our tracking shows, the release achieved an international impact, with appearances in online and traditional media in more than 14 countries.

The commercial distribution service reported that the release was actively downloaded nearly 1,400 times with nearly 500 interactions (where a visitor clicks through at least one of the online links to Church Web sites). The service recorded more than 127,000 impressions.

More than 200 news and religious information sites ranging from Yahoo News to Christian, prophecy and Judaism-related information portals in the United States and abroad carried the release. International news and information portals in China, Europe, India, Australia, the Ukraine, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Indonesian and Canada downloaded and distributed the electronic version. More than 100 physical copies of the release were mailed to newspapers across the United States as a test, and a number of newspapers and traditional media subsequently carried it.

Plans to expand these media relations efforts for the next round of the Kingdom of God Seminars are already in development, including the opportunity for ministers and members to localize direct media relations with area media.

September 10 Post-seminar Reports

Our first round of seminars was held this past Sabbath, September 10. So far, 106 congregations have reported back to us about their event. The number of guests recorded so far stands at 938, with 65 more congregations yet to report in or hold their seminar. The remaining seminars will be held on September 17 and 24, plus a few more after that.

Initial results are very encouraging, with our UCG membership very excited about the opportunity to have “hands on” in doing their part to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. Some brethren tested each other ahead of time on “tough questions” and key doctrines in order to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

As of this writing, the following 24 congregations have the highest guest attendance. Some congregations have not yet reported their September 10 figures to us, so the list may change, but here are their KOG Bible Seminar guest numbers:

  • 52            San Antonio, TX
  • 35            Davao City, Philippines
  • 33            Ogembo-Rianyamwamu, Kenya
  • 33            Got Kachola, Kenya
  • 30            Brisbane, Qld., Australia
  • 28            Senta-Magenche, Kenya
  • 27            Bar Ober, Kenya
  • 25            Garden Grove, CA
  • 25            North Canton, OH
  • 24            Jacksonville, FL
  • 23            Ochuna, Kenya
  • 22            Denver, CO
  • 21            Meru, Kenya
  • 21            San Jose, CA
  • 19            Fort Worth/Dallas/Sherman, TX
  • 18            Phoenix East, AZ
  • 16            Indianapolis, IN
  • 15            Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 15            Kansas City, KS
  • 14            Cincinnati East, OH
  • 14            Canton, IL
  • 14            Tampa, FL
  • 13            Raleigh, NC
  • 13            Oklahoma City, OK

With two more Sabbaths of seminars yet to be completed by many congregations this month, please continue to pray for God’s blessing on this important project that reaches out to our readers and viewers.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

September 13, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , | 6 Comments

Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

August 19, 2011

Kingdom of God Seminar Registrations Doing Well

For the upcoming Kingdom of God Bible Seminars starting September 10, we have broken the 1,000 mark for registrations! But, this is far from the number of parties who have visited the www.kogseminars.org website. More than 14,000 have come to see what’s on the site.

Many do not register because they do not wish to reveal information about themselves; however, we expect that a goodly number of these seekers will come to the seminars.  Here are the locations having received the highest levels of registration so far:

  • San Antonio – 30
  • Philadelphia – 28
  • New York – 24
  • Houston – 22
  • Raleigh – 19
  • Columbia, SC – 19
  • Denver – 19
  • Baltimore/DC – 17
  • Toronto – 17

Please pray for God to bless our ongoing planning of this important United Church of God project.

Victor Kubik—Operation Manager, Ministerial and Member Services

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kingdom of God Seminars

February 11, 2011

[The following financial update from Media and Communications Services is excerpted from the Ministerial Newsletter of February 10, 2011]

As reported during the ministerial conference on Feb. 1, a joint project between Ministerial and Member Services and Media and Communications Services is being planned in the form of public Kingdom of God Bible Seminars.

Starting during the summer of 2011, the Church will schedule public seminars in 50 U.S. cities where we have a healthy Good News magazine subscriber list and an established United Church of God congregation.

Here is an outline for how these will most likely be rolled out. We are still in the planning stages, and so some elements may change, but this is the overall plan at this point.

The Good News Kingdom of God Bible Seminars will:

  1. Be held every four months simultaneously in 50 U.S. locations. (In addition, international offices may be able to “piggy back” off the U.S. media and advertising effort, especially since the Sabbath seminar will be advertised in the Good News magazine and on our Web site.)
  2. Be advertised through The Good News, the Internet and our Beyond Today television program.
  3. Consist of three 50-minute segments in a seminar format to be held on the Sabbath, with members serving a light lunch and interacting with the public. This format was used successfully in 2008 in Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, with 200 nonmembers in attendance.
  4. The content will adhere closely to Jesus Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom message as outlined in Mark 1:14-15: “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
    • The time is fulfilled (Campaign 1, three 50-minute seminars).
    • The Kingdom is at hand (Campaign 2, three 50-minute seminars).
    • Repent (Campaign 3, three 50-minute seminars).
    • Believe the gospel (Campaign 4, three 50-minute seminars).
  5. The speakers will be qualified, experienced pastors, elders and deacons who are capable presenters.
  6. The home office will provide the seminar outlines and PowerPoint presentations for the presenters to use throughout the 12 seminars. The outlines may be customized, provided they still adhere to the Mark 1 theme.
  7. The public will never be invited to “join the church” or give money during the lectures. Any desire to attend will be initiated by the attendees.
  8. The pastor and/or local presenter will follow up with an e-mail message to attendees the following Monday morning.
  9. The process will repeat with the next seminar four months later.

These seminars will be a way in which our most highly motivated readers and viewers will be able to learn the truths of the Kingdom of God in face-toface meetings with an authorized representative of Jesus Christ.

Please pray for the success of this seminar campaign, and for the work being done at this stage to create the outlines and lecture material. It promises to be a very good program to combine the efforts of the whole Church—the media department, our ministerial leadership, our pastors and elders, and all of our membership.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , | 20 Comments

   

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