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Why Has a Meeting of the Ministry Been Called Now?

January 10, 2011

Why did the Council of Elders call for a meeting of all ministers in late January 2011, instead of earlier?

As formally announced on January 4, the Council of Elders has called a meeting of all elders in good standing to take place in Cincinnati January 31 through February 1. The purpose of these meetings will focus on looking to God the Father and Jesus Christ, the living Leader of the United Church of God, and seeking God’s will in determining how to advance the work of the Church. The Council believes that this advancement can only be achieved by following Jesus in unity, peace and love one for another.

Some have asked, “Why wasn’t this meeting called earlier?” The answer is that the nature and purpose of this current meeting is quite different from that requested by a number of now-former elders. The Bible asks this important question: “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). As documented in an earlier letter from the Council to the membership over the past two years, Council members, administrators and others met and discussed key issues many times. Many face-to-face meetings, scores of e-mails and telephone calls took place during that time, including a multiple-day, private retreat of the Council of Elders, which at that time included some members of the former administration.

The vast majority of this activity took place at the ministerial level and the membership was not involved. When former ministers broke faith and began to widen this conflict to the membership, the Council began to take action. Some former ministers objected to the Council answering questions and protecting the precious flock. A few were terminated, but the majority resigned. They have now formed a separate organization. As evidenced by their actions, those ministers have chosen a different course than that agreed to in the Church’s Constitution, Bylaws and mission based on God’s revealed Word.

In the past, while Council members made numerous good-faith efforts in accordance with biblical principles, former administrators and elders continued to raise the same issues over and over again. Based on this sad experience, it was evident that calling a major meeting just to rehash issues would accomplish little or nothing. Given the open announcement of their plans, long in the making, to form a new organization, it is very evident that any large-scale meeting of all ministers to address old issues would have borne little fruit—because they were acting on previously laid plans and never accepted the factual answers to these issues. (For the factual answers addressed by the Council of Elders and the current administration of the Church, please go to: members.ucg.org/letters.

Numerous opportunities exist within the Bylaws of the Church to institute peaceful and thoughtful change. Any needed change will be achieved by “walking together” in unity and peace, following the leadership of Jesus Christ. Meetings driven by strife and a wrong seeking of administrative power and position cannot produce godly results.

Admittedly, during this period of conflict, the work of the Church—that of preaching the Gospel and preparing a people—has been hampered. Drawing on a “multitude of counselors” (Proverb 24:6), the January conference will refocus the Church’s spiritual, physical and human resources on achieving and advancing that work.

Sincerely,

Dennis Luker—President

PS—Once again, here is the link to the Web site that contains the archive of letters written by the administration and Council of Elders that address these issues and more: members.ucg.org/letters.

January 10, 2011 - Posted by | Council of Elders, General Conference of Elders, President's Office |

10 Comments »

  1. Thank you for walking in the Truth. Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have moving forwardalready been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

    Comment by Suzanne | January 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. Mr. Luker and all of you on the COE, thank you for your long suffering and patience. We have been suffering recently, but it seems those on the council have suffered long.

    Comment by Kathy Sanny | January 10, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi Mr. Luker, Feel you and the Counsel are doing everything to hold us together as a group under the name United Church of God. It doesn’t matter to me if mistakes were made, we’re to forgive and forget even if n
    another doesn’t ask for forgiveness. Christ is the Head of His Church, and He will do the correcting when needed. Our job is not to try to force changes that are His responsability. We’re to pray instead of lashing out and causing divisions among us. Psalm 118:8 is a key to men, even ministers that we should be aware of. The most brilliant man on earth is nothing without God’s Holy Spirit. We’re to respect those that hold an office, pray for them as we’re being led by them, and we’re to support them as our spiritual leaders. We’re to fellowship with those of like mind as we are commanded to do. But we’re to be aware that they (men) could get off track and lead us down the wrong track, which I don’t see happening in United. Sad!! Men that I have loved and respected over the years seem to be doing as they taught us not to do. They were to forgive those that trespassed against them, whether that trespass was real, or not real. Perhaps Satan wants us to lose faith in our ministers due to whats going on in United. Having served in the U S Navy for four years, I learned something from that experience. Most of us had a great deal of respect for the officers that had come up through the ranks, as compared to those that had gone to school to become an officer. Being a minister is what some have been all their earning life, and it may possibly be part of the problem. However it is, one thing is for sure, we’re to overlook the faults of others as we move on. Once again, Christ is in control of His Church and will correct those that need correcting. Our job is to serve and support. Thank you and the Counsel for being commited to doing just that. BudEmmett Bailey Troy, Il. Congregation.

    Comment by BudEmmett Bailey | January 10, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thank you for your faithful service. 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 not leave the flock cast upon the sides of the mountains for a prey to the destroyer 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 sent Him 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). He then speaks of His GREAT GLORY, MIGHT, POWER AND STRENGTH (verses 2-3). 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 and to the GLORY of EACH OF US to which we have been called to. My spirit within me is deeply saddened for those ministers and members who have disassociated themselves with UNITED – they are indeed are brethren and we love them. The BEYOND TODAY PROGRAM must go on with its current presenters as they are EACH effective tools in Christ’s service as is EVIDENT by the inspiring fruit borne by Christ’s spirit within them in preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God which will soon cover the world as the waters cover the sea and we know and are persuaded that SATAN will SOON make the world like a wilderness and destroy its cities (Isa. 14:12-17) as he has not and will not open the house of his prisoners but the Church must continue to proclaim the way of FREEDOM FROM THAT CAPTIVITY through our Living Head, Jesus Christ, that LIVING STONE which was cut out of the Mountain without human hands and became a GREAT MOUNTAIN and filled the WHOLE EARTH – THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Dan. Ch. 2). Forward to the Kingdom.
    Comment by dwight stanley stewart – San Antonio, Texas Congregation.

    Comment by dwight stanley stewart | January 11, 2011 | Reply

  5. As Australia faces grave difficulties right now, I wonder what we are offering? I hope we are not too preoccupied with our own affairs.

    Comment by Martha McQueen | January 11, 2011 | Reply

    • Hey Martha,
      Even though the floods have only hit mainstream media around the world in the last 24-36 hours, we have already received many calls and e-mails of concerns from church members all over the world and even from members from Living Church of God. It has been really inspiring to see such outpouring love and concern to the Australian brethren.
      Jenny Huthnance

      Comment by Jenny | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  6. This document “cannot be found” Can you please republish the document? http://members.ucg.org/files/Background-Leon-Walker-Latin-America-pdf

    Comment by Concerned Reader | January 11, 2011 | Reply

  7. Thanks for making your reasoning clear to all.

    Comment by Gary Jacques | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  8. if only other cog’s are not making merchandise of being a christian or pretending to be sinless this extra expense and explanations would have been avoided. lets be positive under present circumstances as Christ leads us! hold on to unity till the end mr. luker.

    Comment by dave | January 12, 2011 | Reply


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