Update from Mario Seiglie in Mexico City
[Written July 8, 2010]
Greetings from Mexico City.
This past Sabbath there were 124 brethren that met in a rented hall in Santiago, Chile, and were able to hear Mr. Dennis Luker’s sermon and a simultaneous Spanish translation of his message. They were so uplifted by it, and many of them even stayed three more hours fellowshipping. Nobody wanted to leave and the place was positively charged with spiritual energy. Jaime Gallardo, the new pastor and president of the Chilean national council, gave the sermonette and encouraged the brethren by mentioning how we are here to serve and not to be served.
We are going to continue forward, under the direction of Mr. Luker, who is the interim Regional Director of the Spanish area. The Latin American region of UCGIA will rise again, spiritually stronger and more united under the guidance of the president and the Council of Elders, as this area once chose to be governed in 1995. There will be a Feast of Tabernacles in Chile for all the brethren to attend, and we are looking into other Spanish areas as well. The brethren will not be forsaken or neglected.
I would like to reiterate here what the President and COE sent me to do in Latin America. It was not to deal with some local or family matters in Chile, but to go through Latin America and explain to the brethren the reasons for the removal of Leon Walker as Regional Director.
Unfortunately, things escalated in Chile when I was barred from a meeting at our Church building by the local ministry. One of the reasons they did not want me present was that, in the meeting they did not allow me to attend, they read Mr. Walker’s letter saying he was not going to accept his removal as Regional Director and that he would continue in his capacity as Regional Director over the Latin ministry whether he would be a part of UCGIA or not. Those are his statements, not mine. This is a complete disregard of the orders from his superiors and a call to separate from the organization. He claims he has much support from members and ministers around the world, but no evidence has been forthcoming. Most of the local ministry in Chile supported him and then proceeded to form, along with other Latin ministers, their own organization called the “United Church of God of Latin America,” and now have their own Web site.
It was after these subsequent events that the President and interim Regional Director of the Latin areas, Dennis Luker, finally decided to remove the local pastor, Saul Langarica, from his responsibilities. This is according to the Chilean Constitution and Statutes of the United Church of God–Chile where the Regional Director of UCGIA has the authority to do so. Also some of the decisions the former pastor had made regarding the suspensions of certain members in the Santiago congregation were halted pending the review of each of the cases by the new pastor, Jaime Gallardo Casas.
My wife Caty and I are now in Mexico City dealing with similar situations, and, God willing, will be traveling to other Latin nations in the near future.
We would appreciate all your prayers,
Mario Seiglie—Representative of the President and Director of the Spanish Areas of the UCGIA.