Inside United: Realtime

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Council of Elders says “Thank You”

December 19, 2010

Thank You for the “Thank You”

Melvin Rhodes and Dennis Luker hold the Thank You card presented to the Council. Since this photo was taken, more than 1,000 more names have been added.

The Council of Elders wishes to thank the many brethren and congregations who signed a giant “Thank You” card that was presented to the Council on December 6.

Since it became known that more than 700 names of supporters appeared on the card, many more brethren wrote in and asked for their names to be included also. So far, close to 2,000 names have been submitted, with some representing the membership of entire congregations.

In addition, the Australian ministry sent in their names, along with a resolution from the Australian National Council dated Nov. 21, expressing its thanks to the Council and president of UCGIA, including unanimous support from the Australian ministry:

To the Council of Elders and the President of UCGIA.

Although the United Church of God—Australia is geographically removed and largely independent financially, its National Council views the escalating controversy and conflict in the Church in the United States with increasing concern. As a voluntary associate of the United Church of God, an International Association, we are concerned about any flow‐on effect to international areas such as Australia.

The Australian National Council, both formally through the Rules of Association and in spirit, supports the governing documents and governance structure of UCGIA. Together they provide the means by which the Church can fulfill the exhortation of 1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

The National Council believes that those whose actions are destructive and damaging to the United Church of God, and are distracting it from its God‐given mission, should cease their divisive work and allow the present difficulties to be resolved with prayer to God and through the Church’s established structure, policies and procedures.

We offer you our prayerful support and encouragement and trust that God will give you the wisdom and strength to do His will in His Church during these troubling times.

The Australian ministry unanimously supports this statement and it may be shared at your discretion.

On August 9, the National Council of the United Church of God—Canada wrote a letter to the Council of Elders stating in part the following:

As the National Council of the United Church of God—Canada, we earnestly hope and pray that your next round of meetings will be especially successful at this crucial time in the history of UCGIA.

We want to assure you that we support all of the governing documents, including the Rules of Association. There have been times of crisis for us here in Canada, but by abiding by the Holy Scriptures and these documents, we have found that success is forth coming…

You are the duly elected members of the governing board of our parent organization, UCGIA, as selected by the General Conference of Elders. We in Canada recognize and respect your authority and the power that you have to act upon that authority, as clearly outlined in our governing documents…

Do carry on and may the Eternal Loving Compassionate Heavenly Father and His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church, guide you and provide you with His wisdom in your upcoming urgent deliberations.

With the many challenges that the Council and administration face in their day-to-day work, we want to say “thank you” to you brethren as well for your support and faithfulness to God’s Work and His Church.

Sincerely,

Melvin Rhodes—Chairman, Council of Elders

December 19, 2010 - Posted by | Council of Elders |

25 Comments »

  1. I know that many of us get busy, or distracted, or forget to do the things we should! As an Elder in the Cleveland congregation of the United Church of God I also want to say “Thank you” and I support the comments in the card.

    Greg Thomas

    Comment by Greg Thomas | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. I appreciate teh courage, the ethics, the strong leadership you have shown in this great trial. My prayers are with you and as shown above many brethren are with you.

    Comment by Janet Treadway | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. These messages of support from the ministry around the world are very encouraging and appreciated. Thank you

    Comment by Valgene Maurer | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. Kudos to all my fellow sister’s and brother’s in Christ. We are staying faithful and dedicated to God, to his church and to each other. My love to all of you, our wonderful Council of Elders and our dearly beloved President, Mr. Luker. Lets’ keep up the good works that God has given us to do!

    Love, Kathleen

    Comment by Kathleen Hansen | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  5. Aww isn’t that sweet!

    Comment by Joe | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  6. It has been proven to me many times over through my life that the expression of brotherly love is a very fragile vessel for brethren to maintain intact. How much more profound the concept of God expressing His own love through us?

    It is very heartening to me, someone not having to face as directly what home office has had to face, to see this vote of support from so many. God bless you and all who serve our Lord Jesus, every member of the body wherever they may be placed according to His will, and as brothers and sisters in the bond of peace.

    James 1:4 But let patience have its perfective work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (LITV)

    Comment by Kelly Irvin | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  7. Why is this being posted twice within a 2 week period?

    https://realtimeunited.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/giant-card-presented-to-council-of-elders/

    Comment by Robert | December 19, 2010 | Reply

    • It’s not Robert. This is an update to the first story. It also contains new information from the Australian and Canadian National Councils.

      Comment by United Church of God | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  8. Sherry and I have supported the work for fifty years. Thank you all for your love and personal sacrifice. With our Father’s help we will do all we can to continue our support. As members of the Olympia Washington congregation, we know of no one who does not feel the same.

    Comment by Bob and Sherry Reynolds | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  9. A novel approach.
    Priesthood by petition.

    Comment by The Old Man | December 19, 2010 | Reply

    • What a novel approach. Being grateful for the leadership God has provided.

      Luke 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him 10 men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
      :13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
      :14 And whern he saw them, he said to them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass , that, as they went, they were cleansed.
      :15 And one of them, when he saw he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
      :16 And fell down at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
      :17 And Jesus answering said, Were there4 not 10 cleansed? But where are the nine?
      :18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

      Thank you to all those who are striving to seek peace and follow God as He would have us follow Him. ALL that learn these lessons in this life will be kings and priests in the Kingdom. This is the promise of God. God always fulfills His promises. If we will humbly submit and yield to Him, He will lead us through these troubled times to bring to pass all that he has said.

      Comment by Gary Jacques | December 20, 2010 | Reply

  10. Please add our names to the Thank you card for the Council of Elders and Mr. Luker. We appreciate you. I like the way our church is set up with the Council. I will not go back to having one man at the top to pass it on to his Son!

    Comment by Linda Keeney | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  11. My wife, Linda and I would like to add our
    names to those on the e-card in support of the elected leadership, under Christ.
    Thank you and keep the faith.

    Comment by David W Ritter | December 20, 2010 | Reply

  12. Please add Ken and Angela Pettis to the “Thank You” card. And thank you to all the faithful brethren who signed the card already. We can’t express in words how our hearts have been lifted. Stay strong, gentlemen and know you and this Church have our constant prayers.

    Comment by Ken and Angela Pettis | December 20, 2010 | Reply

  13. If I knew about this card I would have signed it. Consider this my signature.

    Comment by Karin Halvorson | December 20, 2010 | Reply

  14. I am very supportive of the council of Elders. It is time for us to put aside petty problems and get to the business at hand, preaching the gospel to a people. God will sift out the problems. If they want to continue to be anticouncil there is not much that can be done. We that remain need to step up and pick up the slack and get the work of God on track and do all we can to fill in financially.

    Comment by Voncile Tuttle | December 21, 2010 | Reply

  15. Quiero animarlos a todos, para que sigamos trabajando en la predicacion del evangelio de Jesucristo. Hemos perdido mucho tiempo valioso, pero debemos continuar con nuestro trabajo. El campo es muy grande y los obreros son muy pocos, asi que enfoquemos en las cosas importantes. En Chile, deseamos con fervor continuar trabajando para anunciar el Reinos de Dios, continuar unidos, de la manera como el mismo Jesus lo dijo.

    Gracias por el apoyo que nos han brindado y estamos orando para que Dios sea con todos usted hoy y siempre.

    Saludos a todos desde Chile

    Comment by Sergio Arce | December 22, 2010 | Reply

  16. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR OPENNESS. Children of God: My dear brethren, as you know we are truly living in the END OF THIS AGE. Our Abba has been in the process of returning Judah (Joel 3:1) back to the land of Israel for awhile now and will soon complete His purpose as set forth in Joel Ch. 3. As you know He will in His appointed time restore also his companions the tents of Jacob. We know that Satan and his angels will SOON fight against MICHAEL and his angels before the great tribulation begins (DANIEL 12 & REVELATION 12). Satan will then be ALLOWED to make the WORLD like a WILDERNESS and DESTROY ITS CITIES as he has NOT and will NOT open the house of his PRISONERS (ISAIAH 14:12-17). The king of the north and the king of the south together with those nations out of the east and the north (DANIEL 11:40:-45; REVELATION 9:1-12 and 9:13-21 – there are other scriptures but I will stop here as you know them) are now growing in power to fulfill all that has been written as Satan has been and even now is directing these works – the END OF THIS AGE is drawing NEAR. The Son of man spoke of Himself when He declared through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Why, when I CAME, was there no man? Why, when I CALLED, was there none to ANSWER? IS MY HAND SHORTENED AT ALL THAT IT CANNOT REDEEM? OR HAVE I NO POWER TO DELIVER? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness, their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. The Lord GOD (our Abba) has given Me the tongue of the LEARNED, that I (Son of man) should KNOW how to speak a WORD in season to him who is weary. He (our Abba) awakens Me (Son of man) morning by morning, He AWAKENS My (Son of man) EAR to HEAR as the LEARNED. The Lord GOD (our Abba) has OPENED My (Son of man) EAR, and I was NOT REBELLIOUS, nor did I (Son of man) TURN AWAY. I gave MY back to those who STRUCK Me, and My cheeks to those who PLUCKED OUT THE BEARD, I did not hide My face from SHAME and SPITTING, for the Lord GOD will help Me, therefore I wll not be disgraced, therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I KNOW that I will not be ashamed, He is NEAR who JUSTIFIES Me. Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My ADVERSARY? Let him come near Me. Who is he who will CONDEMN Me? Indeed they will all grow OLD like a GARMENT, the moth will EAT them up………..(ISAIAH 50:2-11).”

    The Son of man and our Abba are now making A SHORT WORK UPON THIS EARTH – the time has come when the STONE which was cut out of the MOUNTAIN (the paradise of our Abba and His Holy One, the Son of man) WITHOUT HUMAN HANDS will become A GREAT MOUNTAIN (the Kingdom of God) and will fill the face of the WHOLE EARTH (DANIEL 2). These things you know and are persuaded of through the Holy Spirit. The Son of man LOVES EACH OF US and HE WILL SHEPHERD US – HE WILL DELIVER US AND REDEEM US FROM ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS BUT WE MUST REMAIN “AS ONE IN UNITY” DEPENDING ON HIM FOR OUR DELIVERANCE IN EVERYTHING AS HE WILL MAKE OUR PASTURES SURE AND OUR WATERS WILL REMAIN UNTAINTED. WE MUST TRUST AND RELY ON HIM FOR EVERYTHING – WE MUST BE IN SUBJECTION TO THOSE WHO ARE OVER US – THE SON OF MAN WILL NOT FAIL HIS SHEEP NOR WILL WE BE CAST UPON THE SIDES OF THE MOUNTAINS A PREY FOR THE WOLVES. THE TIME IS NOW AT HAND, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS UPON US – IT WILL INDEED COME AS A THIEF UPON THE WORLD – BUT IT MUST NOT TO US WHO ARE HIS FIRSTFRUITS HAVING BEEN CALLED TO GLORY. WE ALL REMEMBER WHEN THE COVERING CAST AND THE VEIL WHICH WAS SPREAD OVER OUR MINDS AND HEART WAS REMOVED – HE IS FAITHFUL WHO WILL CONTINUE TO UPHOLD US WITH THE RIGHT HAND OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD US IN PATHS WHICH WE HAVE NOT KNOWN, AND HE WILL MAKE DARKNESS LIGHT BEFORE US AND CROOKED THINGS HE WILL MAKE STRAIGHT FOR US AND HE WILL NEVER FORSAKE US – THESE THINGS WE KNOW AND ARE CONVICTED OF.

    I SAY THIS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU – THE TIME IS COMING WHEN WE WILL ALL NEED ONE ANOTHER FOR SATAN WILL SOON UNLEASH HIS GREAT POWER TO HUMANITY’S DESTRUCTION AS WE KNOW THE SON OF MAN MUST RETURN OR SATAN WOULD DESTROY HUMANITY – AND THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WE NEED ONE ANOTHER AND ESPECIALLY IN THE DAYS AHEAD – RELY AND TRUST ON THE SON OF MAN – HE WILL DELIVER US AND LET’S GO FORWARD IN HIS CARE – LET’S REMAIN UNITED AS ONE.

    Comment by dwight s. stewart | December 22, 2010 | Reply

  17. My wife Joyce and I would love our names to be added to the card. Stan & Joyce Stewart – San Antonio Congregation.

    Comment by dwight s. stewart | December 22, 2010 | Reply

  18. Please put my belated signature on this “Thank You” card for the Council of Elders and Mr. Luker. After reading about this churches administration policy I must agree to it and thank God for allowing the United Church to be here.

    Comment by Michael Gardner | December 22, 2010 | Reply

  19. [...] who is the living Leader of this Church; in the thousands of signatures on the much-appreciated card to the Council of Elders; and in the many e-mails, letters and phone calls of support. Such expressions humble us and help [...]

    Pingback by Dec. 23 Letter to Ministers and Members « Inside United: Realtime | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  20. I thank God daily for the leadership of His Church.After all, it is He who sets up and replaces those whom He wills. He’s not left it to others to take on such a responsibility as to try and do this themselves and to openly and to, without fear,accuse and condemn.That kind of thinking would be unending, would never solve anything. Ironically, I was just reading in Numbers chapter 16 where some in ancient Israel rose up against God’s leadership,took it on themselves to criticize God’s government, and the earth opened it’s mouth and swallowed them alive! Please add Farris and Linda Bowen to the names on the card.We strongly support the work that God is doing through His Church.Through imperfect human beings as we all are.

    With deep sincerity,

    Farris Bowen

    Comment by Farris Bowen | December 24, 2010 | Reply

  21. Thank you for staying faithful and strong in the face of criticism and accusations. Recent events have shown the true colours of various individuals. We love you and are totally supportive. Our prayers are with you during these turbulent times.

    Comment by Bill Dimovski | December 24, 2010 | Reply

  22. Dear Mr Luker, Mr Rhodes,
    and Council of Elders,
    We have been praying for you and all the Leadership in the Church. We have been thankful for everyday of life we are given and patiently waitng for positive assertions in the preaching of the Gospel to all the World. It hasn’t been easy for any of you longing to do this very thing. Without any impediment in doing so, please forge ahead urgently knowing that we are calling upon Christ to keep you and your wives healthy and able in every way to accomplish the Great Commission we’ve all been called to do. We are greatly encouraged by your dedication and focus to do the Work and recognize your selfless desire to use every breath for this Holy purpose and against all opposition to prevent it. My wife and I would like you to include us officially on the “Thank You” card. Keep up the good works and committment to accomplish what we have all given our lives to do. Like God and like you, we too love the world and desire to give our lives to pass on to this dying and pathetic world the hope which Christ has given us. Thank you, with all of our heart.
    John & Karen Barbush, Chicago

    Comment by John & Karen Barbush | December 24, 2010 | Reply

  23. I love the Council of Elders and Mr. Luker. Please place my name on the card. May the “real” force be with you all! Sincerely, Gary R. Kling

    Comment by Gary R. Kling | December 24, 2010 | Reply


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