Kubik Provides Ministerial Update
June 4, 2010
[The following update contains excerpts from a June 2 report to the UCG ministry by Victor Kubik.]
In Ministerial Services during this period of transition I’m pleased to say that we have continued to provide the services to the ministry that this department was intended to provide. Upon arriving in Cincinnati, I have appreciated the cordiality of the home office staff and their faithful service.
We have 15 Feast of Tabernacles sites in the United States and Canada where most of our ministers will be attending. Some sites have many ministers from the geographic area assigned, while others have hardly any. Through transfers and by asking a few to help in areas where there is need, we have been able to distribute the manpower more evenly.
This year there is a marked decrease in international transfers of both ministers and members. For example, Italy had only a fourth of the transfers it normally has at this time of year. An exception has been Portugal reaching capacity quickly with members and several ministers transferring there.
We are still polling our local church elders about where they are going. It is our hope that they might be able to fulfill some of our speaking needs in some of the overseas Feast sites.
Serving the brethren
I have been reading our pastor’s monthly church reports with interest. What strikes me is the dedication of our ministry providing live speakers to our many congregations on a weekly basis. Our pastors typically preach twice on the Sabbath, many driving 200 to 300 miles. A “thank you” should also go to our local church elders who regularly give sermons and split sermons and provide tremendous support to a pastor who oversees multiple congregations.
The United Church of God’s strength is its many congregations led by a faithful ministry—who often serve far beyond pastoral duties—as writers, camp directors, Festival coordinators, overseas senior pastors and more.
Developing the ministry
Ministerial development and education is vital for the future leadership of the United Church of God. Richard Pinelli has been overseeing this aspect of Ministerial Services for the past five years. On May 27 Mr. Pinelli made a 2½-hour presentation to Roy Holladay and me showing the various programs, tools and meetings we have to train the ministry. Programs such as “Find, Train and Ordain,” pastoral training for new hires and the popular Leadership Workshop are some of the methods used. Mr. Pinelli’s presentation was particularly interesting, in that it brought together the various ways that future ministers are trained.
Plans are underway to hold our ninth workshop over the Labor Day weekend. We are inviting 14 couples to the annual seminars. We have sought out our most promising leaders. We will again have a 28-hour set of topics covering the purpose of these seminars, the importance of sound doctrine and teaching as we have been taught, and developing the heart of a humble leader.
In the history of the Leadership Workshop, 130 couples have participated. Of that number 50 have been ordained. There have been 25 hired—20 in the United States and five internationally.
Our beloved brother in the ministry, Harold Rhodes, has been hospitalized since Feb. 1—four months now. He has had a dangerous bacterial infection that has incapacitated him. This has been a great trial for both Mr. Rhodes and his wife, Loree. Since May 4 he has been in hospital in Pensacola, Florida, where he is receiving special rehabilitative care. He is making slow progress and is committed to recover fully. Doctors are pleased with his progress. He has now been able to sit up in a chair. Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes want to let you know that they deeply appreciate your prayers for them.
Richard and Mary Pinelli visited the Mobile/Geneva/Pensacola area for Pentecost and were able to spend some good time with the Rhodes. I plan to visit the Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, congregations on June 12 and spend time with them as well. Then I plan to visit Leroy Neff in Big Sandy, Texas. His wife, Maxine, died on April 23. They had been married almost 68 years.
I did want to note that it is indeed a blessing and a pleasure to know that while some of our pastors have retired fairly recently, they are still available and willing to serve when needed. Bev and I personally experienced one such case this past Pentecost weekend when we invited Vernon and DeeLee Hargrove to join combined weekend services for a number of congregations in McCormick Creek State Park in central Indiana.
In addition to the traditional “Concert for God” performance on Saturday evening and outstanding special music, the assembled members were treated to two superb sermons by Vernon Hargrove, including an excellent presentation on how the ancient elements of the Temple can serve as symbolic means to help us draw closer to God. The Hargroves, although retired from the full-time ministry and now living in Ohio, were able to fellowship and become reacquainted with long-time friends and families whom they had pastored in Indianapolis and elsewhere in the 1970s and 1980s.
Let’s remember to pray for the people that God has called, that He will protect them from all that we see happening—tornadoes, floods, oil spills, political unrest, volcanoes and who knows what other catastrophes are out there.
May God bless us all.
In Christ’s service,
Victor Kubik—Interim Operation Manager, Ministerial Services