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Message from Council of Elders

August 12, 2010

Message from the Council of Elders to entire ministry to be read in all congregations:

Council meets with Leon Walker August 11 (from left: Leon Walker, David Baker, Michael Blackwell, David Treybig, Bill Eddington, Aaron Dean, Robin Webber).

On August 11, 2010, at the home office in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Council of Elders met with Leon Walker to discuss the situation in Latin America with the express hope of calming the unrest among elders and members throughout the world. Although no decisions were made, we are pleased to report that a cordial discussion ensued. In the future, the Council hopes to arrange similar discussions with other ministers in Latin America.

It is the Council’s sincere desire that this process will lead to reconciliation. As this process continues, the Council will strive to be respectful of all parties—ministers and members alike. Plans, however, for the newly organized weekly services and Feast sites in Latin America will continue. The leading parties in this process request that everyone refrain from inflammatory statements on the Internet and in private that would undermine our efforts.

This statement was unanimously agreed upon by all members of the Council of Elders.

August 12, 2010 - Posted by | Council of Elders, Home Office |

39 Comments »

  1. I think this is just the sort of action that everyone has been waiting for, and I am glad that everyone is finally just sitting down to talk things out. I pray that everyone can sustain an attitude of humility and that God’s will be done concerning the Latin American brethren and Mr. Walker.

    Comment by Steven Britt | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  2. “Plans, however, for the newly organized weekly services and Feast sites in Latin America will continue.”

    Are these new plans desired by the Latin American brethren?

    Comment by Steve ferguson | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • YOU BET THEY ARE!!!!!

      Comment by Ricardo | August 12, 2010 | Reply

      • Hi Ricardo,
        You do realize that what you are saying is that the Latin American brethren want:
        * new ministers, leaving the ones who’ve been fired or are simply no longer being paid, behind.
        * new congregations consisting of those who are willing to change ministers and move to the new weekly service locations that UCG is setting up
        * new feast sites, to replace the ones that the brethren, in the now disenfranchised congregations, had intended to go to.

        Comment by Steve ferguson | August 19, 2010 | Reply

      • Please read my comment under 17 below as these two items tie together.

        Comment by Gary Jacques | August 21, 2010 | Reply

  3. We appreciate this article. Regarding that sentence toward the end (“The leading parties in this process request that everyone refrain from inflammatory statements on the Internet and in private that would undermine our efforts.”) brings to mind a Proverb that would be good for all of us to keep in mind before posting on blogs, the internet, social pages, etc.

    “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)

    Comment by Rick Clowdus | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. That’s something I’m working on. It’s very very difficult to do, even if you are right.

      Comment by edenhomeandgarden | August 18, 2010 | Reply

  4. At this time we need patience, not immediate questions too early to answer. It’s a work in progress. All the more reason of the extreme seriousness for us to follow up with next week’s fast and to look within ourselves as we repent, as we’re a work in progress too. Both works go hand in hand. Not a time to look behind, but to look forward and to move forward.

    My two cents worth.

    Comment by Karen | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  5. Good! I’m so glad everyone sat down together and I hope real reconciliation is the result.

    Comment by Susan Durnil | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  6. Bravo! I believe this is exactly what was needed to be done based on the Biblical principles of conflict resolution. May calm discussions prevail over provocative and incendiary accusations. And may everyone clothe themselves with Christian humility and be led by God’s Holy Spirit to a fair and just resolution.

    Comment by Basil Kopey | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  7. I pray that we are always able and willing to sit down and talk things out. I believe this is truly what all of us, the body of Christ desire as well as God Himself.

    Comment by Lewis VanAusdle | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  8. BLEESED BE OUR GREAT GOD AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!
    WELL DONE!
    WE HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR THIS TO TAKE PLACE. THIS IS THE LEAST THAT SERVANTS OF GOD MUST DO.
    WHATEVER HAPPENS FROM HERE ON IT SHOULD BE IN PEACE AND HONORABLE.

    Comment by Eloy M. Valdes | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  9. Yes, folks are talking. That is good, but nothing has been resolved to this point. Wrongs were done, depending on who you ask, on both sides. Time will tell whether the “attitudes” that led to this will truly get changed, or will they simply be glossed over and resurface later?

    Comment by Marcus Brown | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • You are right. Lessons not learned will be repeated and there will always be a pop quiz. Question also is what have we as the membership learned?

      Comment by E. Joyce | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Marcus you make a good point and it occurs to me that such an outcome might be a good thing to meditate on during the upcoming fast on 08-22/10 or 08/23/10 whichever day you might choose. Primarily though we should look inside ourselves (with the help of “God’s Spirit)and seek personal repentance for our own personal sins.

      Taken collectively these personal sins could be just as much a cause of the climate that led to such developments among the ministry of the UCGIA Inc as the personal sins and failings of the ministry.

      Tim McCaulley
      Jacksonville FL

      Comment by Tim McCaulley | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Very good observation and a serious concern. Whatever wrongs were done, and there clearly seem to be some, they need to be corrected otherwise evil gets embeded and emboldened. God allows these things to happen so we (all of us) can learn to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14) It appears we (no one excluded) all need to learn to do that a with a great deal more skill and objectivity. We can either learn now or God will provide an opportunity that more greatly stresses that point. And He will continue to repeat it ever more forcefully until we yield to him and learn. We have three choices. 1 – learn now. 2 – reject God now. 3. – put it off and be faced with a more severe message later. What’s so wrong with learning now?

      Comment by Gary Jacques | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  10. I’m not watching or reading Mr. Luker’s latest video sermon until it’s shown during my congregation’s service. (I like to be surprised!)

    But I wonder if Wednesday’s meeting makes anything in that message outdated.

    Comment by Richard | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Richard (@ 10) – No, Mr Luker’s message is not outdated; it’s timeless.
      This is good news.

      Comment by Mavis Stucci | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  11. A wonderful first step!

    Comment by Nicolas Nick | August 12, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m relieved to read about the meeting between the Council and Mr. Walker, and plans to also talk with other brethren in our UCG Latin American ministry. Please put the past conflicts and misunderstandings behind and move forward…

      I remember a UCG minister once said that before we (the Church of God) can do a work, that we must also BE a work! It’s a gut-level discernment that one just knows is true.

      Thank you to the Council and to Mr. Walker for hitting the “reset” button and meeting together to work toward reconciliation.

      Comment by Dean Porter | August 13, 2010 | Reply

  12. We all need to be patient and realize this problem may take a while to be resolved. If two people genuinely want to reconcile it should be a rather quick process. However negotiations are entirely different and can be quite lengthy.

    Comment by Joe Sanchez | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  13. I have a point of view about the possibility

    of there being a reconciliation between the now two

    different groups in Latin America. While there is a

    reason to be hopeful that this will happen. There are at

    the same time a dozen reasons why it is very unlikely that

    reconciliation will take place. For there to be a

    reconciliation of the two groups the Council of Elders and

    the President would have to deal with all of them. If they

    were capable of doing that there most likely never would

    have been a split in the first place.

    First the reason to be hopeful that a reconciliation

    will take place is that, while it may have been a fine

    noble gesture on the part of Leon Walker to want to put God

    first and look after God’s sheep instead of complying with

    the instruction he had from the President and the Council of

    Elders, on second thought the fact is that he needs his

    salary. And of course the President and the Council of

    Elders, if they could negotiate the right deal could

    restore his salary. Then again, look at it this way.

    The split has all ready taken place. So if the President and

    the Council of Elders were to restore his salary and to

    restore his position, they would be paying a salary to the

    head of a different organization. Only servants of the

    Most High God could ever even think of doing such a thing.

    And what would they get out of so doing? Well! They

    would achieve a close relationship with a sister church.

    Only if they were able to look at the good of the church

    at large rather than just their own self interest could

    they do such a thing. They may not achieve total

    reconciliation for a very long time but that would be the

    place to start. In the mean time you would continue to

    have two groups in Latin America and two regional

    coordinators. The truth is that we had that all the time

    we just didn’t know it. The reason this is hopeful, even

    though it would take a miracle, is that it is a do able

    start to what at best would be an involved process. From

    my own point of view doing this and setting this kind of

    an example in the church at large would more than be worth

    every penny spent on it.

    Stephen T. Read

    Garden Grove Church

    Comment by Stephen T. Read | August 13, 2010 | Reply

  14. Thank you all for sitting down together and trying to work things out. It really has left me very discouraged. I am praying for unity. May God be each of you and put peace in your heart.

    Thank You
    Linda Brewter
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Comment by Linda Brewster | August 13, 2010 | Reply

  15. We were overjoyed on Thursday when we received the news of the meeting between the Council of Elders and Mr. Walker. Today, however, we are greatly saddend after reading Mr. Walker’s summary of the meeting in the Latin American church site (unidalatinoamerica.wordpress.com) Instead of refraining from publishing inflammatory and accusatory statements, as agreed, Mr. Walker is again accusing Mario Seigle of telling lies and is requiring UCGIA to publicly recognize all the errors committed.
    In a process of reconciliation shouldn’t we leave the past behind, be ready to forgive and show love and mercy? Besides, wasn’t it Mr. Walker who refused to submit and insist on retaining his position for life? Weren’t the ministers in Latin America the ones who closed the doors on Mario Seigle when he was sent by the Council of Elders?
    This recent statement from Walker is very discouraging. Maybe all parties involved should have handled this situation in a more gentle and loving manner but let’s look at the attitudes that keep prevailing. It seems that some parties are unwilling to forgive and move forward. The sad part is that they are taking many innocent brethren with them.

    Comment by Eloy M. Valdes | August 14, 2010 | Reply

  16. please,brethren, we pray you will settle this dispute speedily. It is a shame on God’s church to not be able to come together in love. What you can’t do God can . Have faith!

    Comment by N.J.HALE | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  17. It apears to me that every one involved should stop and pray about this mess. I read where Paul had a simular problem in a church,and it was taken care of without losing members. It seems to me that the answer to ALL could be resolved by looking at the words Jesus left for us to go by. I remember that Peter was rebuked by Paul over what he did concernig the circumcision incident.Some seem to think Peter was the head of the church but if he was Paul commited insubordination by saying the things he did to Peter. THIS tells me that there was no one man leadership. When some wanted to require the gentiles to be circucised they went to Jerusalm and met with the elders there to decide what should be done. Again no one man rule. Remmber that was what happend after HWA died. Do some want that to happen again. I do not think so.

    Comment by don hurst | August 15, 2010 | Reply

    • In reference to : “I conclude that no opposing points of view are allowed on Mr. Walker’s website, unlike the United website here.”
      Opposing viewpoints are routinely removed from the United website. This should not happen on this website or on Mr. Walker’s website, for any reason other than vulgarity.

      This website has removed my comments because I do not want the COE and Dennis to start new church congregations and feast sites in Latin America, as they state that they are doing: “Plans, however, for the newly organized weekly services and Feast sites in Latin America will continue.”.

      Comment by Steve ferguson | August 19, 2010 | Reply

      • Steve, I appreciate your comment but the fact that it is on this website, and I can read it, brings home my point. When I tried to ask Mr. Walker one question about why he made negative comments that he previously agreed he would not make, my question was deleted. When I tried to post any other comments they were immediately blocked. As I said, I can still read your comments on the United site. Plus I can still read other comments critical of the COE that were posted on this site a long time ago. Feel free to try to post anything in disagreement with Mr. Walker’s position on his site and let me know what happens.

        Comment by Basil Kopey | August 19, 2010 | Reply

      • Hi Steve,

        From your approach do you realize what you are implying?

        Mr. Walker’s website lists comparative attendance before and after these latest series of events. By his own statistics, own his own website, there are about 400 people who no longer attend with them. These people would rather attend with UCG under a different administration. They have already voted with their feet. That is the most powerful ballot that can be expressed. Their feet have said, we want to stay with UCG and will not follow Leon Walker and/or our local paid minister who follows Leon Walker.

        Are they in a position to know? Hmmm? Mr. Walker has been over the Latin American work since the late 1970’s. They should well understand his leadership, his doctrine, the types of individuals he appoints to responsibility, the types of leadership he approves of and supports (truly servant oriented or take care of self), how he treats them as brethren, etc., etc., etc. They have experienced it for how many years or decades? These brethren, our brothers and sisters, have already made their decision.

        So, here is the question I think you have missed is, “Should we turn a deaf ear to these members?” For whatever reason, they have decided to remain loyal to UCG. Should we just plain abandon them? Should we try to force them to attend under those they have disqualified, in their own minds as Godly leaders? If so, how do we justify that action to God?

        Have you personally had to be a member under a minister who does not live according to God’s way? Someone who targets anyone who does live God’s way. Been in an organization which blindly holds that the minister is always right, no matter what the minister’s actions are. Who cover up for each other, destroy all that would complain? Etc., Etc., Etc. I have watched others and I have been through it myself. Change can be very needed and welcomed.

        Those members in Latin America can be in a very difficult position. As our brothers and sisters in Christ, should we support them and help them by providing church services and feast sites or should we abandon them in their time of need?

        Please think about this.

        Comment by Gary Jacques | August 21, 2010 | Reply

  18. I, unfortunately, have to echo what Mr. Valdes said above. I went to Mr. Walker’s website and read his comments about the meeting and am also saddened that, despite the agreement from the parties involved not to use negative language on the Internet, Mr. Walker used his website to say negative things, especially about Mr. Seigle. I tried to leave a oomment on their website about this and asked Mr. Walker to explain his negative commentary. Today I see that my comment has disappeared. I have tried to send an additional comment but I have now been “blocked out”. I conclude that no opposing points of view are allowed on Mr. Walker’s website, unlike the United website here. I still pray that all parties will put on Christian humility and seek true reconciliation. Whatever happens, United must continue to do the Work. (If someone who knows Spanish wishes to post my comment in Spanish on Mr. Walker’s website I do give them permission to do so.)

    Comment by Basil Kopey | August 16, 2010 | Reply

  19. Eloy and Basil – Thank you both very, very much for sharing the content of Mr. Walker’s site. If you hadn’t checked that site, then this important information would have gone unnoticed and unreported. I have checked it as well and although I do not read Spanish (nor speak it) I can make out enough to discern Mr. Walker calling Mr. Seigle a liar.

    I posted earlier pointing to Heb 5:14. “But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Here is a clear observation. Word given. Word not kept. The question is, what will you and I learn from this? Can we discern whether this is good or evil? Is this too difficult for us? Will we find some excuse for this as to why this is alright or shouldn’t be considered? Where in God’s word does it say that that is appropriate?

    Is this not one of the things the Council has pointed out was past, improper behavior that they have had to deal with?

    This observation is not intended to be a blanket criticism of Mr. Walker. It may well be Mr. Walker has legitimate areas of concern. Each item should be looked at objectively and discerned based on the objective facts.

    I apologize to those who are stressed by the turmoil and my straight talk about it. It is not my intent to create stress but to point to that which God plainly says in His word. It is through the right understanding and application of His word that we have peace. To have real reconciliation, it takes two willing parties. If either party refuses, either by their words or actions, then there cannot be real, Godly reconciliation.

    There is a great article in an issue of the United News, “Real Life Reconciliation” by Mr. Anthony Wasilkoff. It is an excellent article and accurately portrays God’s reconciliation process. It was written in 2001 and far predates any of the current issues.

    http://www.ucg.org/un/un0105/reconciliation.htm

    There has been a trend in the comments, here and elsewhere, to question and doubt the members of the Council. They have been discussed as being automatically wrong because they have taken unpleasant actions. How do those saying this know the actions they took weren’t necessary? Their actions, sincerity and motives have all been repeatedly questioned and assumed to be wrong by some.

    It would be nice if someone could accurately translate Mr. Walker’s message into English and it could be posted where we could read it.

    Comment by Gary Jacques | August 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Gary,

      Thanks for mentioning the 2001 article by Mr. Wasilkoff. I just took time to read it. Glad I did. It helps.

      Comment by Dean Porter | August 17, 2010 | Reply

  20. Dear non-english speaking members. It’s hard to comunicate since we do not speak the same language, in spiritually and fisical meaning.
    (Just to make a context: I’m a Bolivian member who lives in Chile since two years)
    I’ve been witness of many wrong actions, many of those coming from the Council, many others of the LatinAmerican leaders.

    Just to example. How do we can talk about reconciliation if:
    1. The Plans of “..newly organized weekly services and Feast sites..” continue. Could a father of two brothers who fought, accept from them to sleep apart? (don’t think so).
    2. Calling someone liar (even if his reports casually omits some truly important issues). Could -a father- accept accusations of one brother to another? (neither think).

    So I think that unless everyone could have the humility of leave their pride, we can’t start a really reconciliation process.

    Hope God guide our leaders to do His desire.

    Comment by Edgar Navarro | August 17, 2010 | Reply

    • Dear Edgar,

      Thank you for saying your concerns. It must be difficult for all of the Latin American brethren. Our prayers go out to you and to all hurt by this. Tell them we pray for all.

      Even in Latin America different members will feel differently. They will view it differently as well.

      An example. Read comment #2 above. A question is asked. “Do the Latin American brethren desire plans for alternate services and feast sites. “Ricardo answered, “YOU BET THEY ARE!!!!!” Is Ricardo a Latin American name?

      That is different from what you said.

      I believe what you said to be true and born of a desire to serve and worship God.
      I believe what Ricardo said to be true and born of a desire to serve and worship God.

      Why then would God allow this?

      God may be testing us. Will we love those we differ with? Will we show them respect even though we disagree? Will we live it His way?

      OR will we judge and condemn others? Will we feel we are more righteous than them? Will we criticize them? Will we …?

      Each of us needs to be a light of trusting God and helping others to trust Him.

      Thanks again Edgar.

      Comment by Gary Jacques | August 18, 2010 | Reply

  21. The url translator addresss (free) below has been helpful to me in translating the information.

    http://www.appliedlanguage.com/translation_resources/free_translation.aspx?

    It has a drop-down so you can ask it to translate from Spanish to English, for example. I place one paragraph in the window at a time.

    Seems to work very well – to get the idea of what’s being said.

    Comment by Karen | August 17, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you.

      I used this site and although it took a while to learn how to use it, it was very helpful.

      This certainly opens up many new possibilities!

      I encourage anyone reading this to give it a try. If I can master this, then most others should be able as well.

      Comment by Gary Jacques | August 21, 2010 | Reply

  22. I have a point of view about the possibility of

    there being a reconciliation between the now two different

    groups in Latin America. While there is a reason to be

    hopeful that this happen. There are at the same time a

    dozen reasons why it is very unlikely that a reconciliation

    will take place. For there to be a reconciliation of the

    two groups the President and the Council of Elders would

    have to deal with all of them. If they were capable of

    doing that there most likely never would have been a split

    in the first place.

    First, the reason to be hopeful that a reconciliation

    will take place is that, while it may have been a

    fine noble gesture on the part of Leon Walker to want to put

    God first and look after God’s sheep instead of complying

    with the instruction he had from the President and the

    Council of Elders, on second thought the fact is that he

    needs his salary. And of course the President and the

    Council of Elders, if they could negotiate the right deal,

    could restore his salary. Then again, look at it this

    The split has all ready taken place. So if the President

    and Council of Elders were to restore his salary and to

    restore his position, they would be paying a salary to a

    leader of a different organization. Only servants of the

    organof a different ization. Only servants of the Most

    High God could ever even think of doing such a thing.

    And what would they get out of so doing? Well! They would

    achieve a close relationship with a sister church. Only if

    they were able to look at the good of the church at large

    rather than just their own self interest could they do such

    thing. We may not achieve total reconciliation for a

    very long time but that would be the place to start. In the

    mean time we would continue to have two groups in Latin

    America and two regional coordinators. The truth is that

    we had that all the time we just didn’t know it. The

    reason this is hopeful, even though it would take a

    miracle, is that it is a do-able start to what at best

    would be an involved process. From my own point of view

    doing this and setting this kind of example in the church

    at large would more than be worth every penny spent on it.

    Comment by Stephen T. Read | August 18, 2010 | Reply

    • Stephen, thanks for your comments but you just ended up repeating what you already posted on August 13th. Although you do have freedom of expression, I don’t see the need to repeat your lengthy comment when the original is still posted.

      Comment by Basil Kopey | August 19, 2010 | Reply

  23. is there something like a free translation service that we can use online ? ,~”

    Comment by Kitchen Cupboards · | November 14, 2010 | Reply


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