Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Being God’s Friend: LIVE Bible Study Webcast

Mary, Martha and Lazarus

July 21, 2014

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible studies with the series: “How To Be God’s Friend.” The study continues on Wednesday, July 23, at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

Steve Myers, a presenter on Beyond Today television and Cincinnati East UCG pastor, will discuss “Mary, Martha and Lazarus.” This is the fourth part in the Bible study series.

Friendship implies a relationship that is intimate and trusting. Friends have influence over one another and hold each other accountable for their actions. They respect and accept each other. In this study we’ll examine these traits in the example of a family in the Book of John. We’ll notice that Martha served, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet and Lazarus died.

Join us as we discover how their friendship with Jesus intersects our lives. And, please make a note of the remaining series topic and presentation date:

  • August 6: “David” by Gary Petty”

mary martha lazarus

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

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Podcast: The Ambassador Bible Center Library

July 17, 2014

A new Inside United Podcast by the United Church of God has been posted by Victor Kubik.

In podcast 040Katherine Rowland talks about the Ambassador Bible Center (ABC) library at the Church’s home office. The library has gone through significant reorganization and improvements in the past year. She talks about how the library uniquely serves the Church’s ministry and the local congregations.

For the complete listing, please visit our podcast page at ucg.org/blog/inside-united-audio-podcast.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

July 17, 2014 Posted by | Media and Communications, President's Office | , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Beyond Today” TV en Español now broadcasting in México

July 11, 2014

We are pleased to announce that as of June 2014, the Mexican TV station Genesis TV has started broadcasting Beyond Today en Español to over 100,000 homes, with a potential reach of 400,000 people. The signal currently reaches Ciudad de Matamoros and the Municipalities of General Bravo and China in Nuevo León, Mexico. The show is broadcast on Mondays at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Tuesdays at 2 a.m.

This initiative started in 2010 with a group of United Church of God brethren in Colombia willing to record Spanish voice-over to the English Beyond Today programs. Currently they have translated over 40 shows and they are all available  online at espanol.ucg.org/beyond-today/archivos.

A few months ago, after watching the show online, the producers of Genesis TV contacted us for permission to broadcast the show on their TV station at no cost. They were impressed by the content and excellence of the show and felt very blessed to be able to distribute such a message to areas in Mexico that are are gravely affected by various violent conflicts.

Genesis TV has plans to expand to other areas in the near future and we look forward to providing more content. We thank God for this new door that has opened to preach the gospel in this new territory. We appreciate your prayers that He opens the minds and hearts of the listeners to hear His calling.

Gabriel Garcia and Debbie Orsak—UCG Spanish-language Editors

July 11, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Good News Print Ad Campaign Reached Over Six Million U.S. Households

July 10, 2014

Over 26,000 Good News Subscriptions Added During 2013-2014 Fiscal Year

In December 2013 we reported that our United Church of God print advertising campaign for the 2013-2014 fiscal year would reach 6,200,000 households in the United States. You may recall that additional, un-budgeted funds were approved and allocated for this special campaign.

Through “card pack” advertising, potential subscribers had the option of mailing a postage-paid card or visiting our website to obtain a one-year subscription to The Good News. They also had the opportunity to order a subscription to Las Buenas Noticias, the Spanish language version of The Good News. Additionally, potential readers could order one or more of the following seven booklets:ET digest

  1. Are We Living in the Time of the End?
  2. Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?
  3. How to Understand the Bible
  4. Jesus Christ: The Real Story
  5. The Middle East in Bible Prophecy
  6. The Book of Revelation Unveiled
  7. What Happens After Death?

We are pleased to report that subscriber response to this campaign has been excellent. With reply cards and Internet inquiries still arriving at our home office, the current subscription count is 26,235, which equates to a very low cost per response.

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers for our advertising campaigns. With your help and with God’s abundant blessings, the work of spreading the good news of His coming Kingdom will continue moving ahead successfully.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Media and Communications | , , , | 4 Comments

God’s Friend Part 3: LIVE Bible Study Webcast

Simeon and Anna

July 7, 2014

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible studies with the series: “How To Be God’s Friend.” The study continues on Wednesday, July 9, at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

Darris McNeely, a presenter on Beyond Today television and UCG associate media producer, will discuss “Simeon and Anna.” This is the third part in the Bible study series. What do the little known stories of two elderly Israelites tell us about walking with God and becoming His friend?

Join us for these studies and rehearse their stories and learn how you can enhance your relationship with our Maker and become a friend of God.

Please make a note of the remaining series topics and their presentation dates:

  • July 23:  Mary, Martha & Lazarus” by Steve Myers
  • August 6: “David” by Gary Petty”

simeon and anna

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

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA

July 7, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study Webcast: Abraham

God’s Friend, Abraham

June 24, 2014

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible studies with the series: “How To Be God’s Friend.” The study continues on Wednesday, June 25, at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

Darris McNeely, a presenter on Beyond Today television and UCG associate media producer, will discuss the father of the faithful: “Abraham.” What key qualities did Abraham have that defined his walk with God and made him a friend of God?

Join us for these studies and rehearse their stories and learn lessons on how you can enhance your relationship with our Maker and become a friend of God.

Please make a note of the remaining series topics and their presentation dates:

  • June 25: “Abraham” by Darris McNeely
  • 
July 9: “David” by Gary Petty
  • July 23: “Simon & Anna” by Steve Myers
  • August 6: “Mary, Martha & Lazarus” by Darris McNeely

abraham

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

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New “Beyond Today” TV Commercial

June 19, 2014

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

We welcome you to check out our newest Beyond Today commercial now airing on the ION television network. It was produced by our United Church of God home office video editors, and is an important element in promoting our program to millions of ION television viewers.

In addition, here is the playlist containing all three of our ION commercials—featuring each of the Beyond Today presenters giving a different approach in each case. Click on the “playlist” menu tab in the top left corner to see a link to all three.

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 www.iontelevision.com 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

 

June 19, 2014 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vertical Thought Bible Class—Rescheduled

Prudence: The Better Part of Valor

Due to scheduling difficulties, we have rescheduled this month’s Vertical Thought Bible Class (VTBC) to Friday, June 20, at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Please join us then for our next exciting excursion into God’s Word.

Little understood and certainly little used in our frantically imprudent world, the June VTBC will explore from Scripture:  “PRUDENCE – the Better Part of Valor.”  We hope you can join us! 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 verticalthought.org 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

June 12, 2014 Posted by | Ambassador Bible Center, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIVE Webcast: New Bible Study Series

How To Be God’s Friend

June 9, 2014

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible studies with a brand new series: “How To Be God’s Friend.” The study begins on Wednesday, June 11, at the time of 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

This Bible study series will focus on several character studies of individuals in the Old and New Testaments. We’ll rehearse their stories and learn lessons on how we can enhance our relationship with our Maker and become a friend of God.

Steve Myers, a presenter on Beyond Today television and UCG pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio, will kick off the new five-part series with the study: “Rahab.” Please make a note of the entire series’ topics and their presentation dates:

  • June 11: “Rahab” by Steve Myers
  • June 25: “Abraham” by Darris McNeely
  • 
July 9: “David” by Gary Petty
  • July 23: “Simon & Anna” by Steve Myers
  • August 6: “Mary, Martha & Lazarus” by Darris McNeely

how to be god's friend

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

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Ambassador Bible Center, Beyond Today, Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014 GCE Meeting: Creating an Environment for Growth

May 9, 2014 [Taken from a live ucg.org 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 http://www.ucg.org/blog/2014-meeting-general-conference-elders-creating-environment-growth/ 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 ucg.org 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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,573 other followers