Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

NEW: Portuguese Good News Magazine

August 31, 2011

We are grateful to our loving Father for the laborers He has provided to do His Work in the Portuguese language, and for the Church’s support with additional funds to increase the printing of the Good News supplement in Portuguese, A Boa Nova, to a full-color cover, 16-page magazine.

The September/October issue will run articles in concurrence with the English version. It will be available online on September 1.

In this issue we are running the latest GN articles about the year 2012, the article that earth will survive and the article about the Great White Throne Judgment.

We currently have a subscription list of approximately 1,500 people and the print run is of 1,850 to accommodate extra requests that occur during the two subsequent months and gift subscriptions.

Please continue to pray for God to continue blessing His Work around the world in the languages that we are able to serve Him.

Jorge de Campos—Portuguese Language Coordinator

August 31, 2011 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pastoral Epistles: Subject for Bible Study Webcast

August 30, 2011

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God is continuing it’s bi-weekly Bible study this Wednesday evening, August 31. It begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.

We have finished our series on the Book of Acts, and all 16 archived studies are available for download online at  the bottom of the webcast page. A new series will begin on Wednesday night on the Pastoral Epistles. We will begin with 1 Timothy this week.

Presenters will be Steve Myers and Peter Eddington. They will begin with an introduction to the first book written by the apostle Paul to Timothy, and then move into chapter one.

Please plan to learn from the Scriptures with us. You can listen online with hundreds of brethren from around the world or join our live, local audience. Also, please note that we have a  mobile option. You can view the Bible study using your smartphone!

Steve Myers—Pastor, United Church of God Cincinnati East

August 30, 2011 Posted by | Home Office, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chairman Rhodes Gives Council Meeting Report

August 26, 2011

Dear Fellow Ministers,

Most Council of Elders members have now returned home after a very productive, uplifting and unifying three days of Council meetings this week. Our two Australian members on the Council will be returning home in the next few days.

Following Committee meetings all day Monday, we began Council meetings at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning with an agenda that numbered more than 30 items. All three days of meetings were held in the conference room at the home office.

On Tuesday we heard reports from UCG president Dennis Luker, followed by reports from the three operations managers—treasurer Aaron Dean, ministerial and member services operation manager Victor Kubik and media and communication services operations manager Peter Eddington.

These were followed by reports from the chairmen of the various committees of the Council. These men do an outstanding job with their committees. They brought to the table the results of their committees’ work.

All these reports started our week off on a positive footing. Throughout the week we all had a sense of the Church moving forward. Following these reports, we fixed the dates of the December and February Council meetings and, looking even further ahead, of the GCE in May 2013.

Mario Sieglie, chairman of the Ethics Committee, then updated us on a major project the committee has been working on in conjunction with ministerial and member services—the sexual misconduct policy. This paper has taken some time because up until now we have had no formal written policy in the United Church of God. We wanted to make sure that how we handle such situations is solidly based in Scripture as applied to different circumstances. While maintaining a zero-tolerance policy, there is room for repentance, forgiveness and mercy, after sin has been committed. Our new paper reflects these Christian values.

Robin Webber, chairman of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, then led us in a discussion of a new cash reserves policy and recommendations from the committee and administration as to the appropriate level of cash reserves to maintain.

At the end of the day we all went to what has become an annual COE-home office picnic, hosted by Floyd and Doris Phelps at their home in the country. A lot of work goes into this gathering and we appreciate the opportunity to fellowship with all those who work at the home office.

On our second day we were in executive session all day. Although we try to limit these sessions, it is necessary to hold them whenever personnel matters are being discussed. Most of our day was spent reviewing ordination recommendations submitted by various pastors and ministerial and member services. We were able to approve 17 ordinations to the ministry of the United Church of God. While 12 of these men live and serve in the United States, one is in the United Kingdom and four reside in the Philippines. Expect to see some new men and their wives when you come to the GCE next year!

In executive session, we were also able to discuss a couple of important legal matters.

Thursday we had another profitable day as we worked our way through most of the remaining items on our agenda.

Darris McNeely, chairman of the Media Committee, updated us on plans to merge World News and Prophecy into The Good News magazine beginning with the January-February 2012 issue. This will enable us to share the news and prophecy content formerly going into WNP with all 330,000+ GN readers. We are all excited about this development. We were also pleased to hear that Darris himself is being transferred to the home office to further strengthen and enhance our media efforts.

Robin Webber then shared with us the far-sighted vision of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, which will be discussed in greater detail at our December meeting, when two full days will be devoted to discussion of the 2012-2013 plan which the GCE will vote on next May.

On Thursday afternoon the chairman of the Doctrine Committee, Bob Berendt, updated us on four doctrinal areas that are being examined by the committee at this time—most in response to the receipt of papers from members of the Church. They are: When does human life begin?, What is the proper date of the Passover?, Is human nature inherently good, evil or neutral?, and whether we are required to eat unleavened bread every day during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Bill Eddington, chairman of the Roles and Rules Committee, then covered four different issues that his committee has been discussing: the procedure for obtaining 25% support from the General Conference of Elders to place an item on the agenda for the annual GCE meeting, whether we should appoint a deputy chairman for the Council, the ongoing review of governing documents and whether U.S.-based international senior pastors can sit on the Council as international representatives.

I want to thank the committees for all their hard work and the chairmen for their uplifting presentations. They are all doing an excellent job serving the Church in their respective areas.

We concluded by presenting a plaque to Aaron Dean thanking him for his 13 years of continuous service on the Council. Mr. Dean has left the Council to take the position of treasurer and finance operation manager for the United Church of God.

Our week was a very profitable one. We covered a great deal of territory and, with God’s help, we were able to advance the work of the Church at this time.

Please feel free to share any or all of the contents of this letter with members in your area.

With sincere appreciation and with best wishes for a meaningful Sabbath,

Melvin Rhodes—Chairman, Council of Elders

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Council of Elders | , , | 5 Comments

UPDATE: Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

August 26, 2011

As the September date draws near for our Kingdom of God Bible Seminars launch, here is an update on a few items.

Firstly, we are very encouraged to have 1,400 guests registered to attend so far, divided amongst our 150+ seminar locations. Twenty-three thousand people have visited our seminar website at to get the information, but have not signed up. Perhaps they are hesitant to give us their personal information. However, we do expect many of them to simply “show up.” In fact, some seminar registrants are now attending Sabbath services with us, saying they didn’t want to wait until September 10!

Secondly, the September-October 2011 issue of The Good News will have a two-page spread advertising the seminars like it did last month. We expect this to drive the registration figures up again too. Earlier this week we sent a personal seminar invitation via e-Mail to 31,800 GN subscribers. This should also help increase our guest list. In addition, we continue to mention the seminars on our Beyond Today television program each week. We see registration numbers rise immediately during and after the programs air! Plus, many of our seminar presenters have sent personal letters to their local Good News subscribers.

All in all, I believe we can expect to have more than 1,500 guests at our September event, perhaps as many as 2,000. We’ll see soon!

San Antonio, Texas, Seminar Location

Thirdly, our seminar planning software will generate an automatic e-mail message to all who have signed up to attend. This will go out two days before the scheduled event. The software will know whether the seminar in each location is being held on September 10, 17, 24 or other date, and will generate a reminder two days beforehand.

Everyone here at the home office is very excited about these United Church of God seminars. It has also generated a lot of energy in our local congregations. Thank you for your support in this important media and ministerial effort. May God bless us and use us as instruments to fulfill His will and proclaim the good news of His Kingdom.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Almost 50,000 Beyond Today Responses

August 25, 2011

Viewer Response to Beyond Today Nears 50,000

Beyond Today program “The Church Jesus Built” hosted by Steve Myers which aired on Sunday, August 14, 2011, posted the second highest response out of the six programs that have aired since adding four new stations beginning July 10, 2011. Including response from these stations and WGN America, this episode produced 1,071 responses at $15.41 cost per response.

The highest responding program during that same six week period was repeat episode “Get to Know Your Bible,” hosted by Darris McNeely. This program which aired on July 24, 2011, attracted 1,078 responses at $15.31 cost per response (CPR).

Viewer response from the four new stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle has not as yet caught on. Response from these stations during their first six weeks totaled 359—less than we would like. Of course, we will carefully monitor future results. Hopefully as more people become familiar with our programs over the next several weeks we will see an increase in response. Nevertheless, considering the overall effectiveness of all stations airing Beyond Today, our grand total response for the past 58 weeks stands at 49,157 at a very favorable cost per response of $14.71.

As always, we deeply appreciate your diligent prayers for the success of Beyond Today and all our media efforts.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , | 3 Comments

God’s Sabbath Rest

August 24, 2011

It never ends, does it? Waking up at the crack of dawn, working longer hours, running errands, keeping up with chores, rarely taking time to slow down.

Thankfully, God already gave us the answer to the never-ending cycle of stress: the Sabbath. God’s instruction to keep a weekly rest was more than just an instruction—it’s for your benefit and it can be a welcome break from your hectic life. Watch this video produced by our United Church of God Media and Communications Services staff and see if it seems familiar.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

August 24, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, UCGIA on the Web | , , , | 3 Comments

Winter Youth Camp Planning

August 23, 2011

Camp Timber-lee to Host Winter Camp

The search for a good, cold and snowy facility for our United Church of God Winter Camp is coming together! We are in contract discussions with Camp Timber-lee near East Troy, Wisconsin.

Located north of Interstate Highway 43, a little over half an hour west and south of Milwaukee, Dan Dowd and I toured Camp Timber-lee two weeks ago in addition to viewing other facilities in our traditional United Youth Camps (UYC) Winter Camp area. One other camp with very nice facilities had never hosted a winter camp. After our tour and inquiries there, however, their management declined our offer to rent the camp since it would require them to re-power their winterized buildings. Timber-lee, on the other hand, is fully functional all winter—except that they almost never have anyone renting it during the traditional holiday season. That made a nice match-up for us.

Broomball on the ice!

Camp Timber-lee has a 600-acre campus on the shore of a 60-acre lake. Winter Camp will feature an interesting variety of winter activities, including broomball, cross-country skiing, tubing, tobogganing, horseback riding, winter survival instruction and winter-modified field games, plus some warm, indoor activities such as dance, team-building, arts and crafts, life skills and camp’s key activity–the Christian Living classes.

As soon as the details are finalized, we will post the Winter Camp applications and other information on the camp website.

Randy Stiver—UYC, Winter Camp Coordinator

August 23, 2011 Posted by | Ministerial Services, United Youth Camps | , , , , | 1 Comment

Good News Print Advertising Success

August 22, 2011

Over 48,000 Good News Subscriptions Added in 2010-2011 Fiscal Year

One of the nine new promotional cards.

As we mentioned in a recent post, our Good News print advertising campaign for the current 2011-2012 fiscal year will reach 7.8 million households in the United States. Potential readers will be offered a one-year subscription to The Good News and at least one of the nine booklets via “card pack” advertising inserts. Two more of the new promotional cards can be seen below.

Also, subscriber response to our print advertising campaign for the 2010-2011 fiscal year proved to be an outstanding success. With reply cards still arriving at the home office, the current subscription count is 48,855 which translates into an excellent cost per response of just $3.13.

Thank you for your continued support of our home office staff and your critical prayers for the success of all the Church’s efforts to preach the Gospel everywhere.

John LaBissoniere—Print Buying Manager

August 22, 2011 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , | 2 Comments

Kingdom of God Bible Seminars

August 19, 2011

Kingdom of God Seminar Registrations Doing Well

For the upcoming Kingdom of God Bible Seminars starting September 10, we have broken the 1,000 mark for registrations! But, this is far from the number of parties who have visited the website. More than 14,000 have come to see what’s on the site.

Many do not register because they do not wish to reveal information about themselves; however, we expect that a goodly number of these seekers will come to the seminars.  Here are the locations having received the highest levels of registration so far:

  • San Antonio – 30
  • Philadelphia – 28
  • New York – 24
  • Houston – 22
  • Raleigh – 19
  • Columbia, SC – 19
  • Denver – 19
  • Baltimore/DC – 17
  • Toronto – 17

Please pray for God to bless our ongoing planning of this important United Church of God project.

Victor Kubik—Operation Manager, Ministerial and Member Services

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beyond Today Records Three New Programs

August 19, 2011

Gary Petty, Steve Myers and Darris McNeely recorded three new Beyond Today television programs for the United Church of God on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Steve Myers, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty on the Beyond Today set.

Topics covered were as follows:

The Ten Commandments was hosted by Steve Myers, offering our Ten Commandments booklet. This booklet is one of our top online requests.

Imagine if you chose not to follow the law. What would happen if you decided you didn’t have to obey the road signs? If you thought normal rush hour traffic was bad, imagine what ignoring the traffic laws would bring.

What if you decided that the law was done away: government’s rules and regulations don’t have to be followed. They’re not helpful, but instead they’re a hindrance to your freedom.  What would the world be like without law?

I think we get the picture. Pretty difficult place to live—a place without law. Of course, not all man’s laws are so good or helpful, but what about God’s laws?

Did God give you laws to keep? Yes! Did you know that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of God’s law for your life? Why did He give us law?  Some think it was to take away all our fun. But Christ said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He meant right here, right now, as well as the future. He gave the best way to live and the Ten Commandments show the way to the abundant life.

The Millennium: Christ’s Rule on Earth was presented by Darris McNeely. This program offers our booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom.

On the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, the apostle John received an astonishing revelation from Jesus Christ. In John’s account of that vision, he records a prophecy in which Jesus Christ would reign on this earth for a thousand years. During this time all peoples will finally know true peace and harmony.

Is this prophecy just an old man’s meaningless dream that can never come true? Or is it the sure word of God, the one hope in today’s world for a time when swords will be beaten into plowshares and wild animals will dwell safely with children?

Was John’s vision of a coming time of world peace true? You can know–and the answer will give you hope.

Revival? was presented by Gary Petty. This program offers our booklet, Transforming Your Life.

In August 2011 an estimated thirty thousand Christians gathered at a large stadium in Houston, Texas. Their purpose was to seek God’s help in solving national problems through prayer and fasting.

Some Christians believe that a call for national prayer and fasting will ignite an old fashion revival and save the United States from pending doom. Non-Christians, and even some Christians, worry that a religious revival is a threat to multicultural democracy. Would a Christian renewal solve our country’s political, economic and social problems?

What would a biblical, God-centered, Christian revival really look like in YOUR life? Not a politically tailored media event, but a personal connection between you and your Creator?

These programs are due to air in October. Please pray for the continuing success of Beyond Today, and that God will guide us in doing His will to preach the Gospel of His Kingdom.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment