Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

May 6—2013 General Conference of Elders

May 6, 2013

AM Session

The General Conference of Elders of the United Church of God was reconvened Monday morning, May 6, 2013, by Council of Elders chairman Robin Webber. He introduced Victor Kubik to present the first plenary session of the day titled “Actually Using Spiritual Gifts.”

The former Soviet-bloc churches Mr. Kubik would visit told him, “You could do so much more with the Holy Spirit. Your description of the Spirit is very passive.” That has stuck with him.

We know one aspect of what the Spirit does is edifying or building the Church.

Since there has been abuse of things like grace and Spiritual gifts we’ve sometimes been afraid of them. That’s a shame, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Mr. Kubik says we need to look to the beginning of Christianity, in the book of Acts. The early Christians acted in such a way and with such boldness through the Spirit that people stood up and took notice.

How did the Church in Acts explode so quickly and so powerfully? How is it that with all of our modern methods, the Internet, TV, advertising, hype, etc., we can’t act as powerfully as Christians did 2,000 years ago?

When the Church in Acts preached messages that were threatening to the local authorities, they did it with power. Even though they were in danger. They were asked by what authority they did these things. Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly gave an answer. He wasn’t afraid to stand up and say that it was by the name of Jesus Christ, who they had crucified, that these powerful things were done. It was the Holy Spirit that gave him this boldness and power.

Mr. Kubik expressed the thought, using the book of Acts, that the time of greatest power for the Church is yet ahead of us. It’s just out of our reach. We’re almost there.

The Conference was recessed for a break at 9:55 a.m.

It resumed at 10:30 for the start of the breakout session workshops.

PM Session

After the workshops, Council chairman Robin Webber called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.

He summarized what was accomplished at the 2013 General Conference of Elders. He said that the attendees received so much in the way of instruction and inspiration from God’s Word. But any information is pointless unless it is put to good use. He encouraged everyone to go home inspired and ready to actually act on what we covered. God showed us the way to utilize and develop spiritual gifts. We need to follow His lead.

Mr. Webber expressed that if we look to men, we will be disappointed. If we always look to Jesus Christ as the Head of our Church, we cannot possibly be disappointed or let down. We will always be able to overcome with Him at our backs.

Jesus Christ took our lives which were at one time not worth anything, and made them full of worth to Him and to God the Father.

God will fill our lives with His peace that comes only from His Spirit.

Mr. Webber concluded: “We cannot be a people that are fear-based, but faith-based.”

The 2013 General Conference of Elders came to a close with a hymn led by Steve Myers and a closing prayer offered by Bart Bornhorst.

Milan Bizic—Media and Communications Services

May 6, 2013 - Posted by | General Conference of Elders | , , , , ,


  1. “The former Soviet-bloc churches Mr. Kubik would visit told him, “You could do so much more with the Holy Spirit. Your description of the Spirit is very passive.” That has stuck with him.”

    Considering the above comments it would be useful to know what the Soviet-block churches meant by the comments and what they do with the holy spirit that we have not been doing. I would think Victor would have had a meaningful discussion with them concerning this. It would be good to see/hear specifics.



    Comment by Jim Butler | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. I agree with Mr Kubik. The greatest era of the church is just ahead of us. Jesus Christ said that we will do even greater things than he did on earth, but we need to have faith in him (John 14, 12) and not be afraid, as Mr Webber pointed out. As the body of Christ, let us all humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God who is our Lord and Savior (1 Peter 5:6).

    Comment by Linda Effenberger | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  3. I have really appreciated these photo captions with quotations. They have done a great job of sharing the excitement, theme, and momentum of the conference with the brethren. Thank you. Gary Burke – member Lawton, OK congregation.

    Comment by Gary Burke | May 7, 2013 | Reply

    • Hmm. I do not. Creating catch phrases is no different than what other protestant organizations do. How about sticking with scriptures instead?

      Comment by SN | May 15, 2013 | Reply

  4. To ask my first question above another way; what is the description of God’s spirit that the Soviet-bloc churches have? If one believes another has a passive description of it then their description must be different. How (in what specific ways) is our description of the holy spirit passive? Hope this helps clarify my question.


    Comment by Jim Butler | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  5. Yes, we have to be guided by the holy spirit in every thing that we do and what we say! We’re to be a light to the world that is lead by Jesus Christ. The more love we give the more we receive, because God IS love! So glad that we are able to see and to hear the messages via the internet of U.C.G. Thank you!

    Comment by Helen & Bernie Braman | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  6. I am encouraged by the synopses of the various GCE presentations. However, Mr. Kubik’s presentation in this morning’s session hit me with a special pungency all of its own. I had to ask myself, “how can I bring God’s Holy Spirit in my life into a more active way?” I would like to be able to hear all the sermons made at the GCE. For those of us who weren’t able to hear these sermons, will they be made available to us for our edification at some future point? Thank you in advance!

    Comment by Zak Mortensen | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  7. I have never been so thrilled in my almost 35 years as a member of the Body of Christ to see God blessing this end time work as he ordained it to be done. You guys at Home office are very much appreciated for your love for us brethren and efforts in getting this message of hope to the WHOLE world! Online sermons have never been so powerful and nothing or no one will prevail against God’s Church. It cannot be overthrown! Yes, God will see us through.

    Comment by FOB | May 7, 2013 | Reply

    • Halleluyah FOB! I have a feeling that we will be moving mountains soon. Let’s keep adding the momentum by doing our part from the heart! 🙂

      Comment by Artur Aleksandrov | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  8. Mr. Webber expressed that if we look to men, we will be disappointed. If we always look to Jesus Christ as the Head of our Church, we cannot possibly be disappointed or let down. We will always be able to overcome with Him at our backs.

    Wisdom and excellent insight by Robin!

    Your Friend,
    Bill Lussenheide

    Comment by Bill Lussenheide | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  9. I agree that we have to be careful. We can’t just do anything we want, and say it is the Holy Spirit of God leading us. God’s spirit WILL lead us, but only if we are being obedient to God first!

    Comment by Jim#2 | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  10. Mr. Kubik’s comments regarding taking advantage of God’s Holy Spirit in each member by the church are much appreciated, but we’ve heard similar things years before, only to be told to sit down, shut up, and only do what I tell you, by too many pastors who try to micromanage every tiny little thing while only being there once per month. So I used God’s Holy Spirit and sat down and shut up to keep the peace, while not being allowed to contribute, and recently left United, having been there from it’s beginning. If this is more than just talk, than the leadership has a huge task ahead of them in trying to get too many pastors to actually change their ways. What is said and what is done in United is 2 different things. I sincerely hope you can make the change.

    Comment by KRW | May 8, 2013 | Reply

  11. i would like to know who is the new president of the church?

    Comment by erol thomas | May 8, 2013 | Reply

    • Erol, the Council of Elders is deliberating on that very issue this afternoon.

      Comment by United Church of God | May 8, 2013 | Reply

  12. Jim’s question above is valid. Please, any response United Church of God? I’d like this clarified, too.

    Comment by SN | May 15, 2013 | Reply

  13. SN and all,

    Just to be clear, I did not expect a response to my questions. I asked to make a point and perhaps get people thinking. That said, it would be nice to get a meaniingful response. We do need to stir up God’s spirit and be more sensitive to it so we can be lead by it.


    Comment by Jim Butler | May 18, 2013 | Reply

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