Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Chairman and President Announce Ministerial Conference

January 5, 2011

Dear Fellow Ministers in Christ,

The Council of Elders and the home office administration would like to express their heartfelt appreciation for your love and support during this time of challenge we are collectively navigating in the United Church of God. Words alone cannot express the spiritual encouragement that has come from your prayers and messages of support. We deeply appreciate our devoted elders standing in the gap to hold our congregations together.

Your love and courage is reminiscent of the opening chapter of the United Church of God in 1995 when pastors, elders and members stood together to move forward with the precious truths of God. At that momentous time, we plainly stated our goals: 1) We would establish church services, care for the brethren and preach the biblical truths of God, 2) We would preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God as God granted the resources, 3) We would establish festival sites, and 4) We would establish youth programs to help mold the future of our Church.  By God’s grace, we have kept our word and we plan to continue these programs.

We are being refined by trial but we continue to focus on the biblical reality that it is “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). Many elders and brethren have asked where do we go from here? How can we help? Let us know what we can do!

The Council of Elders is inviting all elders and their wives for a special conference from Monday, January 31, through Tuesday, February 1, to answer these questions. It will be held at the Holiday Inn Eastgate in Cincinnati, Ohio, the site of our annual GCE meetings. Sunday, January 30 will be a travel day. The Council of Elders will have a one-day follow-up meeting on February 2. Please note, this unique conference does not replace the upcoming General Conference of Elders meetings scheduled for May 15 and 16.

We believe it is needful to come together at this time as we face this current challenge. We are mindful of the biblical principle spoken of in Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” While indeed we are a spiritual work, we are also human beings. We need one another and we need to see and hear from one another. We ask that you not only come to this conference to listen, but to share and give input.

We also encourage wives to come if they are able. At the beginning of the United Church of God, our ladies were right there with us. We value their input and perspectives as sisters in Christ. All of us have a stake in moving forward as we remain vigilant about our Father’s business.

Many congregations have local funds and may be able to help their elders with their expenses to attend. We encourage use of those funds to help defray travel costs if adequate funds are available. Also, please keep in mind that you may be able to use accrued airline points for your travel. However, for those elders unable to attend in person due to financial challenges or who are currently part of a smaller congregation, please contact us and we will do our very best to assist you in getting to the conference. Webcast services will be provided for those unable to attend.

Charles Melear, our meeting coordinator, has provided details regarding travel and accommodation. Please register as soon as possible  if you will be attending.

We thank you for your faithful support and loyal service. We need to come together and strengthen one another to greater love and good works. The firm principle of the importance of assembly is given by the author of Hebrews who reminds us: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Please announce our meeting plans to the brethren, and we ask that all of us, ministers and members alike, set aside a day of fasting between now and then, to humble ourselves before God and seek His will in our lives and at this conference.

Let us be fully confident as we move forward that our Heavenly Father will provide our every need. We look forward to seeing you later this month.

Sincerely, in Christ’s service,

Melvin Rhodes, Chairman            Dennis Luker, President

January 5, 2011 - Posted by | Council of Elders, President's Office |

22 Comments »

  1. That’s great news–I hope a lot of elders will be able to come. Those elders who have served faithfully in difficult areas especially deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

    Comment by nathanalbright | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. May Almighty God bless every effort made by the Church as a whole to continue preaching the gospel and preparing a people now and forever.

    Comment by Ramon Soto | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  3. Great plan you have our support!

    Comment by Sharon | January 5, 2011 | Reply

    • God Speed to all the Elders to get the Church of God, in a positive light showing our Godly charcter . We appreciate you all!

      Comment by Linda | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  4. This meeting is much appreciated! Will members be allowed to attend?

    Comment by Daniel | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  5. I wonder if some international ministers are able to attend this as well. I think, it would be helpful if they did.

    Comment by Laurie | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  6. Wish this could have been offered months ago.

    Comment by Member in TN | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  7. Can we please see a list of ministers who have left UCG? I can find it on other web sites, but would like to see this validated. I cannot believe the number is so large.

    In all respect, please let the membership know know who is still ministering with UCG.

    Comment by oldiebutagoodie | January 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Mr. Kubik wrote the following to the ministry today. This is only a brief answer, but hopefully will help put things in perspective:

      “We take heart that the majority of the ordained ministry IS staying. About 330 ministers continue to go about their duties as elders, pastors and administrators.”

      Comment by United Church of God | January 5, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks

        Comment by Gabriel | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  8. We appreciate those faithful servants who continue to serve God’s people.

    Comment by Robert Velazquez | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  9. We were forced to leave the Worldwide Church of God because it was our DUTY to do so in order that we might continue to ADHERE to SOUND DOCTRINE which our Abba and Jesus Christ together with the holy prophets of old and the holy Apostles have taught us through the Holy Spirit as also some others who were responsible for writing some books of the New Testament through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit has TAUGHT us and continues to teach us as also it GUIDES us in the paths we should go just as it guided the Apostles and early church members and subsequent leaders and members our Father has called down through the ages and placed in His Church. So now, it is OUR DUTY to REMAIN STEDFAST AS ONE – Our Abba and Christ have led EACH of us to where we are and they will NEVER forsake us if we walk HUMBLY and RELY and TRUST on them – Jesus relied and trusted on His and our Abba when He came the first time (Isaiah Ch. 50). Jesus made the statement that remains sealed in my mind, saying, “….IS MY HAND SHORTENED AT ALL THAT IT CANNOT REDEEM? OR HAVE I NO POWER TO DELIVER?….” (part of verse 2 of the said ch. 50). The Son of man will deliver us from the current situation and we will go forward with the help of our Abba and the Son of man through the Holy Spirit – it is our deepest desire that all whom our Father has called and placed in His Church will one day come under the same umbrella rooted in unity and oneness of mind to the glory of our Father and His Holy One.

    Comment by dwight stanley stewart | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  10. Thank you COE for planning a “where do we go from here” meeting w/ the GCE. Your wisdom in choosing the timing for such an important meeting is appreciated by the membership. Timing is very critical in scheduling, when the continued life of the church is involved.

    Comment by Max Schuebel | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  11. God is in charge. He will bless us as we are faithful to his great calling. I am humbled by the way God is leading us in this time. Numbers 11-14 seems to apply to us today. God can and will do for us what we can”t do for ourselves. And in Exodus 13-13sums it up. Stand firm and you shall see the deliverance of the Lord will bring you today.

    Comment by FRAN SCHUSTER | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  12. Since webcast services will be provided for those unable to attend, I would hope, out of respect for the members, this would be made available to them.

    Comment by Jim Butler | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  13. let us not be distracted or discouraged by satan from preaching the gospel and preparing a people when Beyond Today tv is now at wgn among other cog groups. though we are humbled by this 21st century Korah, Dathan and Abiram rebellion, we must maintain our philadelphian spirit and Good News magazine archives which is again the pioneer among other cog groups. for indeed, “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (psalms 133:1).

    Comment by dave | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  14. …”Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” – 2 Samuel 16:11-12

    As David’s enemies were increasing and he was fleeing the city from his son Absolom who was seeking to take his throne, a man named Shimei began heaving rocks and cursing him as he passed by. Cursing the king was against the law, so David had every right to cut off the man’s head — as his generals were encouraging him to do. Here we see the difference between Saul and David in their response to those who would seek to do them harm. This is the defining difference between a leader who seeks to lead through a vertical dimension with God versus a horizontal fix-it mode. God knew David as a man after His own heart. Yet, David was a murderer, adulterer, and had failed in many areas of his life. But one thing separated this leader from all the rest: He had a heart that sought to please God and be in His will. When David blew it, he repented.

    What is the purpose God desires to accomplish with the estranged relationship you may have with someone? Has He brought this affront to find out what is in your heart today? Will you seek revenge and solve the problem yourself? Or will you find the grace to allow God to carry out vengeance in His time if it is needed? When we learn this lesson to stay vertical with God and avoid the trap of fixing things in my own energies, it is a day of freedom. No longer is it your problem. We must examine our own heart in these matters. But if we are clean, then this affront is for character building. It is the only way God builds the deepest level of character in His saints.

    May God be with you and the COE as you need him at this time.

    Comment by Bonzo218 | January 8, 2011 | Reply

  15. Exactly. We still have so many faithful and loving ministers within UCG waiting patiently on God. We appreciate their dedication!

    Comment by Rhonda Diggins | January 8, 2011 | Reply

  16. Seriously do you really think that Gods people wanted another split? It was forced upon us. I hope and pray that everyone is praying and looking to God for the whole truth of the matter.

    Comment by Rahab Kingdom | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  17. God allowed this test and trial. God means this for a blessing to us, even though, for the moment, it causes us to suffer.

    The blessings come from those things we, each and every one of us, learn. What have we learned? Are we better able to discern the fruit people produce – not to judge but to act with wisdom? Are we able to help stablize and strengthen others? Have we learned how to rescue others from false paths?

    God has us in this position to learn, the alternative to learning is a more severe trial. To me, learning sounds a whole lot wiser.

    Let’s pray that God brings the leadership together in unity and with receptive hearts and minds to hearing and learning His way more perfectly.

    Comment by Gary Jacques | January 13, 2011 | Reply

  18. […] you know, the Council of Elders called for a special ministerial conference that will take place later this month. We are busy finalizing the agenda for those meetings, which […]

    Pingback by Jan. 14 Letter from Dennis Luker « Inside United: Realtime | January 14, 2011 | Reply

  19. […] UCG has called for a special ministerial conference to be held January 31 – February 1, 2011, in response to the split in their organization. The first […]

    Pingback by WHEN IS A LEGACY A HYPOCRISY? | Sword of Joshua | January 30, 2011 | Reply


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