Ministerial Services Update
April 29, 2010
As I write this many of our ministers and wives from the international areas served by the United Church of God are arriving in preparation for the General Conference of Elders meetings that begin tomorrow. Given my background in the former Soviet bloc countries and our work of preaching the Gospel there, our international efforts always have a special interest for me. It’s a great way to start up the theme of this year’s GCE, which is “Go Into All the World.”
This year and this GCE will be different for me personally. In my new interim role as operation manager for Ministerial Services, I have a different scope of work to address. Continuing the work started under my predecessors of Richard Pinelli, Jim Franks and others, we in Ministerial Services have a considerable number of established programs and issues that are in full swing. It is challenging but gratifying, particularly as my wife Bev and I have the opportunity to see firsthand in a personal way just how far we’ve come in the last 15 years.
We will be reviewing much of this over the coming four days, and hopefully we’ll draw inspiration and strength from our achievements as the growing Body of Christ. We do have a number of serious issues to address, and I am hopeful of reconciliation, re-focusing and renewal. I’ll speak more about that in my keynote address on Sunday morning. Your continued prayers for this will be much appreciated.
For those of you who are on Twitter, like before I’ll be punching out updates and news from the GCE on my Twitter account. You can use the hashmark #gce10 to follow these updates if you have Twitter access from your smartphone or computer.
On a personal note, while most likely already know of this, I did want to mention the death of Maxine Neff, wife to long-time Church of God minister Leroy Neff and mother of our pastor in Denver, Larry Neff. Mrs. Neff died peacefully in hospice care in Tyler. Texas on April 23, and the memorial service was on April 27 in Gladewater. Les McCullough officiated at the graveside service. Mrs. Neff left a legacy of outstanding service and now awaits the resurrection of the saints, which we can all be grateful for. While we have this sure hope, adjusting to the death of a loved one if not easy, so I would appreciate it if you would remember the Neff family in your prayers.
Operation Manager, Ministerial Services