Report: 2011 General Conference of Elders
May 15, 2011
Sunday AM Session
The 2011 general conference of elders of the United Church of God, an International Association (UCGIA), began at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 15. As in recent years, this year’s conference is being held at the Holiday Inn Eastgate in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After the opening prayer by Steve Nutzman, General conference chairman, Melvin Rhodes, began by seeking approval of the 2010 meeting minutes. The minutes were approved as written.
Next, Mr. Rhodes introduced the new elders and wives ordained or credentialed in the past 12 months. This included 15 couples, and their biographies and photographs were projected onto the large video screen as each elder was introduced. About half of them were in attendance today.
Mr. Rhodes then asked the ministry to fill out their ballots for selection of new and/or returning members to the Council of Elders. This was followed by filling in their ballots, to either approve or not approve, the submitted Strategic Plan, Operation Plan, Budget and two amendments to our governing documents. Results will be available later today.
The keynote speech was then delivered by Mario Seiglie, pastor in Garden Grove, California, who is also a member of the Council of Elders. “Serving as Christ Serves” is the theme of this year’s conference, and Mr. Seiglie delivered a 45-minute address examining the role of being a servant of God and a servant to God’s people. The ministry is not a lofty position or a lofty title. We are servants, even the most lowly of servants.
After a short break, the conference continued with reports and presentations by the UCGIA president, chairman and treasurer:
- Chairman Rhodes expounded upon the need to have genuine love in our service to God’s people: “Am I serving the people, or am I serving myself?”
- Dennis Luker, president, expressed his thankfulness for the spirit of teamwork between the ministry, home office administration and Council of Elders: “How can we ensure that this unity and spirit of consensus continues?” He then looked at several biblical principles that help us ensure that division and conflict are avoided.
- Aaron Dean, UCGIA treasurer, then provided a financial report and update to the ministry. He spoke less about numbers and statistics, but more about faith in God in creating a budget that will help fulfill our commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and care for His brethren.
The morning session concluded with a heartfelt presentation by Gary Antion to honor our deceased elders and wives. Since this time last year, we have five servants of God who are now awaiting their resurrection to eternal life.
Donald Ward then led a prayer before the lunch break to close the morning portion of this year’s conference.
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services