December Council of Elders Meeting
[The following message with details about the upcoming Council of Elders Meeting was sent to the United Church of God ministry by chairman Melvin Rhodes.]
December 3, 2010
Greetings Fellow Ministers,
The Council of Elders will hold its December meetings in a few days, from Monday, Dec. 6, through Thursday, Dec. 9. As always, each of us on the Council seeks your prayers for God’s presence during our deliberations, and that His Holy Spirit will guide us in seeking and doing His will.
Writing to the Colossians, the apostle Paul said: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10).
The elements of the prayers that Paul and his associates raised to God for the Colossians are particularly relevant to the work of the Council of Elders—wisdom, spiritual understanding, walking in a way that is pleasing to God and being fruitful in what we do are all essential in this challenging time for the United Church of God. In a world that is following paths contrary to the way of God, we need to heed even more the admonition of Proverbs 3:5 that we “trust in the Lord with all [our] heart, and lean not on [our] own understanding.”
Your prayers will not only be appreciated, they are needed!
Some of the items on the agenda for the meetings are the regular reports from the president, operation managers and Council committees. These reports cover the many aspects of our commission of preaching the gospel and caring for those God calls. An important session will be the presentation by the treasurer, Aaron Dean. We are operating in a difficult financial environment in the United States, and the Church is not immune from its effects. Careful consideration of the income and expenditure budgets for 2010/2011 is an important part of the fiduciary responsibility of the Council.
The Roles and Rules Committee has a number of items on the agenda, including the proposed amendment to Bylaw articles 9.1 and 9.2, development of a procedure for submitting resolutions seeking 25 percent support of GCE members, an update on the review of UCG’s governing documents, plus some routine administrative matters.
We are in a challenging time for United, and part of our meeting will be devoted to discussing the discord and division that is of deep concern to Church members, as well as the ministry. We will also be getting updates on the Latin American situation, home office remodeling, progress with the sale of the Denton property, the status of the two-year ministerial training program, the sexual misconduct policy and preliminary planning for the 2011 General Conference. Of necessity there will be some time spent in Executive Session to discuss matters affecting personnel or of another confidential nature.
As always, we will endeavor to provide you with timely and meaningful reports of all our open sessions. New Council reporter Randy Stiver has undertaken this demanding task.
The apostle John recorded something that is very relevant to the times in which we live. In 1 John 2:17 he said, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” The world around us is fraught with seemingly insoluble problems, but if individually and collectively we are constantly seeking the will of God, our spiritual future is assured.
Sincerely, in God’s service,
Melvin Rhodes—Chairman, Council of Elders