November 30, 2010
Beyond Today on WGN America: Another Record-high Response
Our second repeat Beyond Today television program, “The Rapture: Fact or Fiction?,” which aired last week on WGN America, documented a new record-high response. The WGN cost per response (CPR) for this program also posted a new record low of $10.48. Adding these fine results to current totals reduces overall CPR on WGN to $16.42 (from $17.21 just two weeks ago).
A total of 1,145 responses were tabulated from the WGN America airing of our program. (The previous high was 1,001 for “Will I Go to Hell?”) This included a record-high telephone response and a record-high Internet response. We have now tabulated 14,620 responses to the WGN airings since we first began on this nationwide station on July 11.
Also, a preliminary telephone response of 514 was recorded for our third repeat program on WGN, “God’s Holy Day Plan: Blueprint for Salvation,” which aired Sunday, November 28. Although this program may not set another record high, preliminary telephone and Web response indicates it performed very well. Such response on a major holiday weekend (Thanksgiving) likely signifies Beyond Today is attracting new audience while building repeat viewers.
Thanks to God for His direction and blessings and for an excellent, unified media team. It shows what He can do through those who are united to accomplish His purpose. As always, thank you too for your ongoing prayers for the Church and its Work. Your prayerful support is much needed and very encouraging.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
November 22, 2010
“Card Pack” Advertising Results in 309,000 Good News Subscriptions Since 2000
Over the past several years the Church has employed a variety of advertising methods to help spread the message of the true gospel. One of those has been the use of “card packs.” Through this means, our 3” x 5” business-reply post cards, which promote our booklets and a subscription to the Good News magazine, are included in a mailer along with insert cards from other advertisers.
Card pack mailings are coordinated by a host publisher which mails groups of 25-35 insert cards to targeted audiences. Such cooperative mailing services have been popular with many businesses not only because they attract good consumer response, but notably reduce an advertiser’s per-unit mailing costs.
The Church has participated in a significant number of these programs through the services of six different publishers. Our insert cards have reached highly-responsive audiences such as home-schooling parents, health-conscious families, gardeners, crafters, outdoor enthusiasts and even history buffs.
Since we began using card packs in 2000, our overall printing and mailing cost has been less than 2 cents per insert card. Throughout that period we have reached multiple millions of households and added more than 309,000 Good News subscribers at under $3.00 each.
During this current fiscal year we are again utilizing card packs in our overall media mix. Our insert cards will be placed in 8.2 million mailers, and as a result we expect to add over 37,000 new Good News subscriptions. As always, your prayers for God’s vital blessings on this campaign are deeply needed and appreciated.
John LaBissoniere—Print Buying Manager
November 20, 2010
Both split sermons from today’s Cincinnati East, Ohio, Sabbath service are now available for online viewing or download.
United Church of God president, Dennis Luker, delivered his sermon titled, “God’s Guiding Hand in His Church and Our Lives.”
Council of Elders chairman, Melvin Rhodes, presented, “Do You Have a Sense of Urgency?”
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services
November 19, 2010
Update From the Spanish Media Department
We have been very busy the last couple of months in the Spanish media department and we have some very exciting news to share. As of yesterday, four of the Beyond Today programs have been fully translated into Spanish and they are now available online for anyone to watch.
In a small family production studio, our brethren in Santa Rosa del Sur, Colombia, started doing Spanish voiceovers for the TV programs after being greatly impressed with the content and production quality. They felt it would be a blessing for other members in their area to have access to it, so they asked for the assistance of a member in the United States to translate the program. And now, two months later, thanks to this group of members in Colombia, the program can now be seen and heard by anyone that speaks Spanish.
Thanks to LifeNets, an organization that helped them set up this production studio 10 years ago, and the many hours that these members have volunteered, we can now reach more people than ever before, without a language barrier.
This program will complement the Las Buenas Noticias magazine as well as the local member bulletin called El Comunicado, along with many booklets and a newly launched Internet advertising campaign. This ad campaign has already received over 4,000 Las Buenas Noticias magazine subscribers after only 10 days on the Internet.
Thank you for your continued prayers as we move forward in preaching the good news of the coming Kingdom of God to the world.
-Spanish Media Department
19 de noviembre 2010
En los últimos meses hemos estado muy ocupados en el Departamento de Medios de Comunicación en español, y tenemos noticias muy emocionantes que compartir con ustedes. Desde ayer, cuatro de los programas de televisión de Beyond Today (Más allá del presente) han sido completamente traducidos al español y ya están disponibles para que cualquier persona los pueda ver por Internet.
En su pequeño estudio de producción, un grupo de hermanos residentes en Santa Rosa del Sur, Colombia, comenzaron a traducir estos programas después de haber visto la calidad del contenido y el gran esfuerzo que significó producir estos programas. Ellos sintieron la necesidad de compartir esto con otros miembros de su área, y le pidieron ayuda a un miembro de los Estados Unidos para traducir los libretos. Y ahora, dos meses más tarde, gracias a la iniciativa de este grupo en Colombia, el programa puede ser visto por cualquier persona de habla hispana.
También cabe mencionar que gracias a la ayuda de LifeNets, organización que los ayudó a establecer este estudio de producción hace 10 años, y a las muchas horas que este grupo de voluntarios ha donado, podemos hacer accesible este gran programa a más personas que nunca, sin tener la barrera del lenguaje.
También queremos contarles de la nueva campaña de publicidad que hemos lanzado por Internet, la cual ya ha recibido más de 4,000 suscriptores a la revista Las Buenas Noticias en solo una semana de estar en Internet.
Agradecemos mucho sus oraciones para que estos proyectos continúen y así poder seguir llevando al mundo el evangelio del venidero Reino de Dios.
Para ver los videos en español, visiten:
Jugando con el lado oscuro (Dancing with the dark side)
Adivinación, brujería, vampiros, hechicería, la ouija. El ocultismo está en medio de nuestra sociedad. La Biblia nos dice que debemos alejarnos de él y no jugar con el lado oscuro.
¿Me iré al infierno? (Will I go to hell?)
¿Podría un Dios compasivo realmente permitir que la gente sufra la terrible tortura del infierno? ¿Cuál es la verdad?
¿Regresará Jesucristo mañana? (Will Jesus return tomorrow?)
Usted tiene que saber cuáles son los eventos que ocurrirán antes de la segunda venida de Cristo. No se pierda este importante programa donde hablaremos de profecía, el fin del mundo y el regreso de Jesucristo.
¿Se acerca el fin del mundo? ¿O viene algo mejor? (Doomsday or a Better way?)
¿Viene una pesadilla global o encontrará el mundo una mejor manera de resolver sus problemas? Descubran esta increíble verdad en este programa de Beyond Today en español.
—Departamento de Medios de Comunicación en español
November 17, 2010
The Beyond Today television program, “The Bible You Don’t Know,” which aired the week of November 7-13, 2010, produced excellent results. It drew our third-highest response on WGN America so far at a cost per response of just $13.02. Darris McNeely was the main topic presenter.
We have now aired Beyond Today for 18 weeks on WGN and have recorded 12,554 telephone and Internet responses at an overall $17.21 cost per response. We are pleased and encouraged by these continuing fine results. We wish to thank our entire production team for their dedication, hard work, creativity and innovation. We also offer deep thanks to God for His guidance, direction and blessings.
Three new programs and one repeat program will air during the month of December 2010. The new programs will include, “How Big Is Your God?,” “The Proof of Prophecy” and “The Day After Christmas.” The repeat program will be “God’s Love Language.”
Please tune in every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern) and encourage your relatives, friends and neighbors to watch the programs too. For your information, click here for the December airing schedule.
As always, we appreciate your ongoing prayers for the success of the Church’s efforts to preach the gospel around the world.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
November 16, 2010
Booklet The Church Jesus Built Updated and Reprinted
Last week we completed and sent to the printer an updated version of our booklet The Church Jesus Built. Since it was originally produced 10 years ago, we have sent out an average of about 1,300 copies per month to interested readers—a total of almost 170,000 copies to date.
This newly designed version has been converted to color with photos added to make it more readable and attractive. Most of the content is the same, though we added a long sidebar on the Church being the bride of Christ. The updated version will be available on our Web site soon.
Several years ago we started a lengthy project to update our booklet library, also redesigning them and converting them to color. We are also printing them on lighter paper, making them less expensive to mail and saving us money on postage. With this booklet, 28 of our 33 booklets are updated and redesigned. Senior writer Tom Robinson and art director Shaun Venish have done excellent work on these updates and redesigns.
We look forward to completing updates on the remainder of the booklets this coming year so we can resume work on several other needed new booklets that have been on hold during this redesign and update project.
Scott Ashley—Booklets managing editor
November 10, 2010
We are very pleased to announce that several additional Good News article reprints are now available online in PDF format at www.ucg.org/reprints. Of particular note, all 14 articles from the Good News magazine about the Fruit of the Spirit have been combined into one 32-page brochure.
The original Fruit of the Spirit GN articles were written as a series by Don Hooser, one of our senior writers. Elizabeth Cannon, managing editor for United News, produced this article reprint document for us, along with several other reprints.
Our reprint library on subjects of particular interest is growing, with more than 40 titles listed. It is a very useful tool.
Here is a partial listing of our reprints and brochures currently available. Please note that these are only available online in PDF format, and not in print:
- The Abortion Quagmire
- Breaking Free from Addictions
- Ezekiel’s Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones: What Does It Mean?
- Fasting: A Spiritual Power Tool!
- Fruit of the Spirit
- The Mark of the Beast
- The Rapture—A Popular but False Doctrine!
- Horsemen of Revelation
- Marriage and Family
- The Millennium
- Same Sex Marriage: Does It Meet With God’s Approval?
- The Sacred Name—Is a Christian Required to Use It?
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
November 9, 2010
Dear Ministers and Brethren,
The leadership of the Church has been accused of subtly watering down the observance of the Sabbath day. Papers have been written and circulated among the ministry and membership purporting this change, and Internet blogs and Web sites have run rampant with these write-ups and discussions. Some have assumed these claims must be true because the Church has not officially responded to these documents.
On October 15, in a President’s letter, I did address this subject. Quoting from my letter:
“A highly vocal few, particularly in online forums, have raised imaginary issues about the current administration and Council of Elders. These false issues center on recent letters published from Melvin Rhodes and me about the Sabbath day and about fasting. One of our letters, published shortly before the Festival season, confirmed the inviolate sacredness of the Sabbath day, but also discussed how one family in Chile was seeking counsel and resolution for a specific and non-routine issue regarding Sabbath observance…To be absolutely clear, nothing concerning the established teachings of the Church about the Sabbath has changed, nor is any change being considered. Further, given the established procedures set forth in the Church’s governing structure, it is impossible for the administration or the Council of Elders to make any doctrinal changes…”
Unfortunately, the inaccurate documents now circulating in some areas only selectively quote from either the original letter or my October 15 letter—choosing to ignore the fact that both letters emphasize the sanctity and sacredness of the Sabbath day. This memo by me seeks to once again clarify the situation. The Sabbath letter was written to explain the background to a situation that had developed in Chile, but it has become a doctrinal issue in the minds of some.
It is obvious that the title could be taken two different ways and would have been clearer if it had stated: “Facts Concerning a Chilean Family’s Personal Sabbath Situation.” The family from Chile was hammered, slandered and vilified over a period of weeks on the Internet concerning how they had handled this situation with the observance of the Sabbath. The implication on the Internet was that the leadership of the Church had given approval of how they handled the family’s situation. Consequently, the leadership was likewise being attacked on this issue.
Our letter went to great lengths to explain that no attempt is being made to change doctrine; yet, this is the charge. The letter was written to explain that we all believe in the sacredness of Sabbath, that we are not changing the teaching on the Sabbath, and to give the history of the situation in Chile. Two church pastors, in the span of nine or ten years, never discussed the issue with the family. We all might say that they should have sought advice from the ministry on this situation and that would be a fair statement. The family did make a good faith effort to resolve their situation by searching our literature to find precedent for their actions and based their decision on that research.
The letter was written to explain that once their decision was questioned, “given that the family has sought counsel and resolution from Church leaders, the specific issue will follow the traditionally accepted process.”
The Church for many decades has had to render judgments on Sabbath-keeping. The letter was hoping to clarify what happened, to demonstrate the sanctity of the Sabbath, and that an appeal had been made for a judgment in this situation. It was not a letter stating that anyone who has a business can keep it open on the Sabbath or Holy Days.
We hope this memo helps to give clarification. The majority of people we have talked to about the Sabbath letter understand that it was simply written to explain a personal situation. A number of Web links are listed below that further explain the Church’s teaching on various issues with regard to keeping the Sabbath.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
• Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest www.ucg.org/booklets/SS
• Letters on Keeping the Sabbath as Ranchers, Caregivers or Business Owners www.ucg.org/un/un0302/sabletters.htm
• Principles of Sabbath Observance: Eating Out on the Sabbath members.ucg.org/papers/sabbathobservance.pdf
• Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy: Business Questions www.ucg.org/un/un0302/sabbath.htm
• Beginning of the Sabbath: In Extreme Northern and Southern Regions members.ucg.org/papers/sabbathstarttime.pdf
November 8, 2010
Good News reader surveys continue to show positive feedback
After printing and mailing the last three issues of The Good News, we prepared online readers’ surveys and sent an e-mail to GN readers asking them to participate. We reported earlier on the results from the first two surveys. Results of the third survey, which closed in September with 308 responses, were very similar. Once again results showed a very positive attitude toward the magazine (please see a sampling of comments at the end).
Following is a summary of the survey feedback:
- 83% said they were satisfied with The Good News magazine; 16% were fairly satisfied; 0.3% said they were not very satisfied and none said they were not satisfied at all. Very similar percentages found it helpful or not helpful.
- 57% rated the September-October issue excellent; 24% rated it above average; 19% rated it good and only 0.6% rated it below average or disappointing.
- 83% of respondents had read the cover article on ”A World Held Captive.” This was also the most-read article in the issue. Even for the least-read article, 52% of respondents said they had read it.
- 46% said they read each issue cover to cover; 40% said they read most articles; 13% said they read some articles and only 1% said they skim the magazine or don’t read it.
- 82% of respondents had requested or downloaded one or more booklets and 80% had visited the Good News Web site in the last six months.
- 75% took the time to write personal comments, which again were overwhelmingly positive and appreciative (see a sampling of comments at the end).
- Respondents were 57% male and 43% female.
- Age breakdown of respondents was 1% under 20; 5% 21-30; 9% 31-40; 25% 41-50; 28% 51-60; 24% 61-70; 8% 71-80 and 1% over 80.
- 25% had subscribed less than one year; 27% had subscribed for 1 to 2 years; 15% had subscribed for 2 to 3 years; 28% had subscribed for more than 3 years and 5% read it online only (a large increase from the 2 percent figure in the previous survey).
The types of articles responders said they were “very interested” in were ranked as follows:
- Bible prophecy — 92%
- Bible history/background — 86%
- Bible doctrine — 83%
- Christian living — 77%
- World news analysis — 73%
- Practical help/guidance — 59%
- Family issues — 52%
- Social issues analysis — 56%
- Marriage — 48%
- Parenting/child-rearing — 36%
- Youth/teenagers — 31%
These all closely correspond to previous surveys.
For this survey we again asked readers to check their religious affiliation. Here is the ranked response to that question:
- Christian, unaffiliated — 20%
- Christian, other — 13%
- Church of God — 10%
- Pentecostal — 12%
- Baptist — 11%
- Catholic — 7%
- Lutheran — 4%
- Church of Christ — 3%
- Methodist — 3%
- Seventh-Day Adventist — 2%
- Anglican — 2%
- Apostolic — 2%
- Presbyterian — 2%
- Eastern Orthodox — 2%
- Messianic Jewish — 2%
Those with 1 percent or less response were Congregationalist, Episcopalian, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Muslim, Salvation Army and Unitarian. No Hindus or Buddhists responded. Curiously, 4% selected “Other religious affiliation not listed.”
These results were quite similar to the previous survey.
Overall conclusions based on this feedback:
- The readers who responded to this survey are quite pleased with the magazine and find it valuable and helpful.
- The large amount of the content they say they read indicates that we are giving them material they want to read and find interesting.
- Our overall emphasis of explaining world events in light of Bible prophecy and discussing Bible doctrine and teachings is meeting these readers’ wants and interests.
- The readers who responded to this survey utilize both print and Web-based efforts rather than one or the other, so we need to use both kinds of media to reach people.
What do our readers say? Here’s a brief sampling of messages left by those who took the survey:
- “The Good News is the best publication out there. It has given me strength at times when I thought there was no hope or I was confused. Keep up the good work and keep spreading God’s true word.”
- “I live in Germany and have enjoyed reading the Good News magazine . . . The writings show a clear sense of direction and calls sin, sin and its consequences. It hasn’t lost the goal of calling to repentance, bringing people to Christ, and preparing the world for the second coming and Millennium. One gains hope from your literature. Thank you!”
- “I am a seed that fell among thorns. But your work and magazine inspires me to pray daily for the help I need to overcome. Thank you very much and may God always be with you.”
- “I pray that someday I’m able to help fund your great work; the magazines are very much appreciated and the articles are so well written. God bless you all.”
- “I love it very much. I always get answers for some of the questions I have been asking myself for some years now. May the Lord richly bless you. You are doing a great job.”
- “I love and enjoy the Good News magazine. I cannot imagine being without this magazine and I look forward with great joy in receiving my magazine every time. It’s indeed very informative.”
- “I enjoy many of your articles which you delve into much deeper than my traditional churches. I appreciate the deeper expectations. Though I do not agree with everything, it is almost always very thought provoking. I find myself more oft than not agreeing with your writings. Some issues I am still learning. Thanks so much for doing the good work and sharing the good news.”
- “You guys are a great team, truly blessed and highly favoured. Keep up the good job!!!!!!!! Your articles and letters are always insightful. Good job!!!!!!!”
- “Frankly speaking, I lack words to express the wonderful work you’re doing . . . Only God, and I mean only God, will reward you. Keep up the good work and don’t relent for a second.”
- “I have always studied and researched the different denominations, but sadly their practices never jived with God’s Word. I have been very pleased with all your publications, as they strictly adhere to Bible principles. Thank you for all you do.”
- “It is an awesome guiding, teaching, educating magazine. I love it cover to cover.”
- “I have questioned the reality of Jesus Christ, but after reading your magazine it has me focused on the truth of our Lord, and has given me great insight! Thank you for such a wonderful magazine.”
- “I am a member of UCG—I LOVE the inspiration I receive from this magazine. I keep every issue I’ve ever received; excellent source for personal Bible study!”
Scott Ashley—Managing editor, The Good News