Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Good News Print Advertising to Reach 2.3 Million Households

July 28, 2015

2.3 Million Literature Ads to be Placed in Sunday Newspapers in 69 U.S. Cities

Second Test of Free Standing Insert Ads to Occur on August 9, 2015

In May 2015 the United Church of God successfully tested 446,000 full-page literature advertisements in the coupon sections of 23 U.S. Sunday newspapers. We will now test 2,294,000 half-page ads in Sunday newspapers in 69 cities/counties on August 9, 2015.

Known in the industry as “free standing inserts,” these FSI coupon ad sections have proven to be highly popular with newspaper readers. A July 8, 2014, article in Retailing Today explained that: “During the first half of 2014, more than $267 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons, up 8% from the same period in 2013.”Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns

Also, on July 15, 2014, NetNewsCheck stated: “As the push to digitalize many aspects of traditional print media continues, the free-standing insert, or preprint, is holding steady in its original form. Free-standing inserts (or FSIs), which include coupons and retailers’ circulars, typically account for 30% to 50% of newspapers’ retail advertising revenue.”

Depending on the response and cost-per-response to this test, we will consider a larger distribution into other cities across the country. In this effort we will test four ads featuring our popular Bible study aids: Jesus Christ: The Real Story, Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns, How to Understand the Bible and Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach? Please see additional samples down below and click on each to see a larger image.

Here is a list of the 69 cities/counties in the East Central and Southeast U.S. regions in which our inserts will appear on August 9, 2015:

  • Aiken, SC
  • Anderson, SC
  • Asheville, NC
  • Ashtabula, OH
  • Athens, TN
  • Augusta, GA
  • Bay City, MI
  • Bean Station, TN
  • Beaufort, SC
  • Bluffton, SC
  • Bristol, VA
  • Bryan, OH
  • Charleston, SC
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Columbia, SC
  • Concord/Kannapolis, NC
  • Crestview, FL
  • Crossville, TN
  • Defiance, OH
  • Flint, MI
  • Florence, SC
  • Forest City, NC
  • Fremont, OH
  • Ft. Walton Beach, FL
  • Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Greenville, SC
  • Greenwood, SC
  • Hickory, NC
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Huntington, IN
  • Johnson City, TN
  • Kendallville/Auburn, IN
  • Kingsport, TN
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Laurens County, SC
  • Lima, OH
  • Louisville, KY
  • Marion, NC
  • Maryville, TN
  • Middlesboro, KY
  • Midland, MI
  • Monroe County, TN
  • Morganton, NC
  • Morristown, TN
  • Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • New Castle, PA
  • Newport, TN
  • Orangeburg, SC
  • Panama City, FL
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Port Clinton, OH
  • Rock Hill, SC
  • Saginaw, MI
  • Salisbury, NC
  • Savannah, GA
  • Sharon, PA
  • Shelby, NC
  • Smyth County, VA
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • Sumter, SC
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Tiffin, OH
  • Toledo, OH
  • Wabash, IN
  • Waynesville, NC
  • Whitesburg, KY
  • Youngstown, OH

We are deeply appreciative of your enduring prayers for the Church’s many and varied efforts to reach people everywhere with the magnificent news about Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom of God.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Heaven and Hell - What Does the Bible Really Teach How to Understand the Bible Jesus Christ - The Real Story

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Short Film: Jelly Learns About Love

July 17, 2015

View this new short film from the United Church of God and the producers of Beyond Today television: “Jelly Learns About Love.”

Jelly and Mr. Jonathan are invited to Professor Puddy’s Toy Shop to help him with an exciting new invention! Join Jelly and friends as they learn about love!

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

July 17, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

LIVE Webcast: Pergamos—The Compromising Church

July 13, 2015

The Churches of Revelation

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Beyond Today Bible study series titled: “The Churches of Revelation.” The story of Pergamos will be covered on Wednesday, July 15, at the time of 7 p.m. Eastern and will be available live via webcast.

For this fourth study, Beyond Today presenter Darris McNeely will expound upon , “Pergamos—The Compromising Church.” Pergamos, the church “where Satan dwells,” offers us a unique view of city and culture finely tuned to be the center for Satan’s operations in not only that city but the region. What lessons might we learn about integrity and faith in a modern world that offers us many opportunities to compromise? Darris McNeely will go through those lessons in this fascinating period study.

Here is the remaining schedule for the Churches of Revelation series:

  • July 15, 2015: Pergamos—The Compromising Church – Darris McNeely
  • July 29, 2015: Thyatira—The Corrupt Church – Steve Myers
  • August 12, 2015: Sardis—The Dead Church – Gary Petty
  • August 26, 2015: Philadelphia—The Faithful Church – Steve Myers
  • September 9, 2015: Laodicea—The Lukewarm Church – Darris McNeely

Seven Churches of Revelation Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser. Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

July 13, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond Today Television – 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Update

July 6, 2015

The Beyond Today television program, sponsored by the United Church of God continues impacting viewers around the world with the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. Please see the chart below showing the top ten programs and responses from each during the just-completed 2014-2015 fiscal year. Viewer response from all 52 telecasts totaled 37,455.

Beyond Today Top 10 Programs — 2014-2015 Fiscal Year

2014-2015 BT Results

International Internet Responses to Beyond Today

We are very pleased to report that Internet responses to Beyond Today were received from the following 76 countries and territories during the 2014-2015 fiscal year:

Algeria, Antilles, Austria, Australia, Barbados, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cote d ‘lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad/Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Wales, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

As always, we are extremely grateful for your enduring prayers and support to reach this world with the good news of God’s Kingdom.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Peter Eddington

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Reminder: NEW Bible Study Series Starts Wednesday

June 1, 2015

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is starting a new bi-weekly Beyond Today Bible study series with the title: “The Churches of Revelation.” The series starts on Wednesday, June 3, at the time of 7 p.m. ET and is available live via webcast.

For the first study, Peter Eddington, operation manager for the United Church of God’s Media and Communications Services department, will present an introductory overview titled, “The Totality of the Church.” This Bible study will provide an introduction and overview of the churches of Revelation—giving especially some history, geography and context—so that as we study each congregation in detail in subsequent studies we will more fully appreciate what we are reading. The churches spoken of in Revelation 2 and 3 have multiple meanings and applications—both of the actual congregations of the first century A.D., and of our church down through time.

Here is the schedule for the new Revelation series:

  • June 3, 2015: Overview—The Totality of the Church – Peter Eddington
  • June 17, 2015: Ephesus—The Loveless Church – Darris McNeely
  • July 1, 2015: Smyrna—The Persecuted Church – Gary Petty
  • July 15, 2015: Pergamos—Where Satan Dwelt – Darris McNeely
  • July 29, 2015: Thyatira—The Corrupt Church – Steve Myers
  • August 12, 2015: Sardis—The Dead Church – Gary Petty
  • August 26, 2015: Philadelphia—The Faithful Church – Steve Myers
  • September 9, 2015: Laodicea—The Lukewarm Church – Darris McNeely

Seven Churches of Revelation

Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.

Steve Myers—Pastor, Cincinnati East, UCGIA

June 1, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Bible Study Series: The Churches of Revelation

May 28, 2015

The Totality of the Church

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is starting a new bi-weekly Beyond Today Bible study series with the title: “The Churches of Revelation.” The series starts on Wednesday, June 3, at the time of 7 p.m. ET and is available live via webcast. For the first study, Peter Eddington, operation manager for the United Church of God’s Media and Communications Services department, will present an introductory overview titled, “The Totality of the Church.” To complement this first study on the Churches of Revelation, a special, newly designed map of the Asia Minor area—showing the locations of the churches, including roads and rivers—will be distributed to those in attendance. It may also be made available as an electronic download to those watching the webcast. Here is the schedule for the new Revelation series:

  • June 3, 2015: Overview—The Totality of the Church – Peter Eddington
  • June 17, 2015: Ephesus—The Loveless Church – Darris McNeely
  • July 1, 2015: Smyrna—The Persecuted Church – Gary Petty
  • July 15, 2015: Pergamos—The Compromising Church – Darris McNeely
  • July 29, 2015: Thyatira—The Corrupt Church – Steve Myers
  • August 12, 2015: Sardis—The Dead Church – Gary Petty
  • August 26, 2015: Philadelphia—The Faithful Church – Steve Myers
  • September 9, 2015: Laodicea—The Lukewarm Church – Darris McNeely

Seven Churches of Revelation

Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.

Steve Myers—Pastor, Cincinnati East, UCGIA

May 28, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Good News Print Advertising Test to Reach 446,000 Households

May 6, 2015

Literature Ads to be Tested in 23 U.S. Sunday Newspapers on May 17, 2015

We are pleased to report that on Sunday, May 17, 2015 the United Church of God will place a total of 446,000 full-page literature advertisements in the coupon sections in twenty-three U.S. Sunday newspapers. Known in the industry as “free standing inserts,” these newspaper ad sections are often the most popular in Sunday newspapers.

Our experiment of this advertising method will not only serve as a witness in these geographic areas, but will also determine the potential response and cost-per-response we could expect if we consider a future roll-out into other cities. We will test two ads featuring our highly-popular Beyond Today Bible study aids: The Middle East in Bible Prophecy and How to Understand the Bible. Listed below are the cities, newspapers and circulation levels included in this effort.

The Middle East in Bible Prophecy ad placement

     City                                                    Newspaper                             Circulation

  • South Bend, IN                                 Tribune                                  68,000
  • Elkhart, IN                                        Truth                                     21,000
  • Benton Harbor, MI                              Herald-Palladium                     16,000
  • Ottumwa, IA                                      Courier                                  11,000
  • Sioux City, IA                                     Journal                                  31,000
  • Ft. Dodge, IA                                     Messenger                               15,000
  • Waterloo/Cedar Falls, IA                      Courier                                    39,000
  • Mason City, IA                                   Globe-Gazette                           16,000

UCG-ME-ad

How to Understand the Bible ad placement

City                                                    Newspaper                             Circulation

  • Ann Arbor, MI                                 News                                       32,000
  • Washtenaw, MI                                Now                                        11,000
  • Port Huron, MI                                Times-Herald                             23,000
  • Adrian, MI                                      Telegram                                  15,000
  • Smyth County, VA                            News & Messenger                     5,000
  • Bristol, VA                                       Mountain Planner                     21,000
  • Smyth County, VA                            Mountain Planner                       9,000
  • Nacogdoches, TX                             Sentinel                                    9,000
  • Henderson, TX                                 Daily News                                7,000
  • Palestine, TX                                    Herald-Press                              6,000
  • Tyler, TX                                         Morning Telegraph                    23,000
  • Longview, TX                                   News-Journal                           24,000
  • Texarkana, TX                                  Gazette                                   27,000
  • Lufkin, TX                                        News                                     11,000
  • Marshall, TX                                     News Messenger                         6,000

UCG-UB-ad

We are very grateful for your vital prayers for our various advertising campaigns. With God’s guidance and blessings, the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God will continue moving forward.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beyond Today TV Moving from ION Television to Word Network

April 23, 2015

Beyond Today Moving to Word Network

We are pleased to announce that the United Church of God is pursuing a better option for its television airtimes for Beyond Today. Beyond Today Logo - low resWhen ION Television reduced its Sunday morning availability for religious programming at the end of last year, we were forced to choose a weekday morning for Beyond Today, and we began airing on Friday mornings. While response has been improving over time, the Friday morning audience has not worked out as well as we desired.

Therefore, effective May 29, we have cancelled our contract with ION and signed a new agreement with a familiar network of the past: The Word Network. We will air twice per week: Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern, followed by Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. And it all begins this coming weekend, April 24 and 25! In addition, these times translate very well for our U.K., Europe and Africa audiences—which is later in the evening for them.

Word Network’s reach

The Word Network is available in over 200 countries reaching millions of viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. It reaches 86 million homes in the U.S. alone through DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, and a host of other cable operators—and another 9 million homes on Sky TV in the U.K.

The Word Network is also provided to one million men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces in over 65 countries. And, it just expanded its reach to Latin America. Word’s website streams all programming live, and is also available to thousands of air travelers daily through “In Flight” services on selected airlines.

New streaming opportunities

As a result of moving to the Word Network, we will be spending less of our airtime budget, and so for the 2015-2016 fiscal year we are going to use a portion of it to develop and put Beyond Today on various streaming platforms and set-top television boxes to bring our video program before even more viewers. This is planned to include Rbeyond-today-rokuoku (as currently), plus Chromecast; Amazon Fire TV; apps on Samsung, Panasonic and Google smart TVs; and various gaming consoles (many of which we are already on using YouTube).

The airtime mix will be expanded—the usual traditional broadcast/cable/satellite TV—plus new innovative streaming devices. Our airtime budget will therefore be split into two main categories—traditional broadcast/cable/satellite airtime and newer streaming “airtime” technologies—both of which have the goal to deliver our Beyond Today program to additional viewer’s TV screens.

Your prayers for the ongoing success of our various efforts to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom and for His guidance and blessing is certainly appreciated—especially for the success of these new airtimes on the Word Network.

Victor Kubik—President, and Peter Eddington—Media Operation Manager

April 23, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

LIVE: Wednesday Night Bible Study Webcast

First Fruits

April 13, 2015

The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible study series “Let Us Keep the Feasts.” Tune in Wednesday, April 15, at the time of 7 p.m. EDT live via webcast.

For the sixth study, Steve Myers, Cincinnati East pastor and presenter on Beyond Today, will cover the topic: “First Fruits.”

Is it possible that God is only dealing with a few people today? There is a huge spiritual harvest to come, but what does the biblical Festival of Pentecost tell us about the plan of God? God uses the representation of the harvest of first fruits to make a powerful point as to the deep meaning of His purpose. In this study we’ll discuss the details of exactly what a first fruit is, and the responsibilities it carries. Join us for this in-depth examination of Pentecost and the first fruits.

Here is the schedule for the remainder of this series:

  • April 15, 2015: First Fruits – Steve Myers
  • April 29, 2015: The Power to Change – Darris McNeely
  • May 13, 2015: The Holy Spirit in Us – Steve Myers

 first fruits

 

Plan to watch online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA

April 13, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications, Ministerial Services | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NEW UCG.ORG Website to Launch

April 7, 2015

2nd Quarter 2015

UCG.org to Re-launch with Responsive Design and Other Improvements!

The Internet team at the United Church of God is always looking for ways to improve our visitor’s experience. Over the past several months we’ve been very busy building something that we think you’ll love! We’re very happy to say we’re almost ready to unveil the new UCG.org website!

Why a new website?

The Internet is constantly shifting in capabilities, browsing habits and tons of other factors. We like to stay as current as we can—so that we’re ready to give an answer when people are searching for God’s truths. We’ve thought long and hard about the best way to organize the new site, what it should look like, and how it will function. We didn’t want just a face-lift. We wanted a change that can be expanded and improved upon for years to come—with a strong backend and thoughtful organization. We think you’re going to love it!

What Can I Expect on the new site?

  1. New, mobile-friendly responsive design

    beta ucg site

    Beta sample of new UCG.org home page

We’ve redesigned the site from the ground up to make it more accessible on your smart phone, tablet, television or any other device that you use. A responsive design means the site should be accessible no matter what screen size you’re on at the moment. Over 50 percent of our traffic is from mobile phones and tablets now, so it is important to us that everyone has a seamless experience when they visit the website.

  1. More deliberate focus on presenting who we are as a Church

The Internet has changed really quickly! For years the strategy was to put as much content on your homepage as possible so search engines could find your site and make sure that visitors could find the information they were looking for. With advances from search engines this isn’t the case anymore. We’re planning to move all gospel-preaching content off of the “United Church of God” section of the website, and really focus in on who we are as a Church.

We’re going to give visitors a much clearer way to find a congregation near them and a really good idea of what they can find when they get to services. We’ll show them our outreach efforts, sermons, and even invite them in to watch a webcast Sabbath service so they can answer God’s calling.

  1. More deliberate focus on presenting the gospel message
beyond today

Beta sample of home page for new UCG.org Beyond Today media section

Just because you won’t see all of our media content on the “United Church of God” section anymore doesn’t mean we’re shifting focus. The new “Beyond Today” media section of the website will be better than ever!

With the coming magazine name change from The Good News to Beyond Today, our gospel message will be more findable and more robust than ever. Beyond Today is not just a television program anymore. Beyond Today is a place where people can find all the wonderful truths of God’s way of life in tons of different ways—videos, Bible studies, blogs, booklets and study aids—and all mobile-friendly and accessible to millions around the world. With a clear focus on our gospel-preaching effort, we’ll have the opportunities to reach people in many new emerging markets and emerging devices.

  1. New Congregation Websites

Along with the other changes we plan on slowly rolling in our local congregation websites, with tons of new features. All the sites will be searchable and findable inside the main UCG.org site now, which means a seamless experience for the user and a much better interface for the local congregation website helpers. All posted sermons given in local congregations will be findable on our main UCG.org website for everyone to hear, and we have a lot of great things in mind for those as well.

  1. New Members’ Website

In Quarter 3, we also plan on integrating the members’ site into the new UCG.org. It will provide a much more seamless experience for our members looking for pertinent member content.

Other Changes

We’ve also been keeping an eye on feedback from users and we’re deciding to sunset a few things.

  1. Simplified user accounts without in-site friend requests or messages

Friend requests and personal messages in-site will not be in the new website. We found a vast majority of users are not using this functionality, and there are many other options for interactivity on the Internet today.

To replace messaging we will allow any user to configure their account with a contact form so others can send them an e-mail message. All e-mail addresses will be obscured for privacy on UCG.org and the function will be able to be turned off. This lets site visitors drop a note to their favorite UCG.org authors and start to build a relationship right away. You should archive any messages you wish to keep now because when the site rolls over you will not be able to access the archived messages.

  1. Look for us on other devices you use!

The future of the Internet is having your website’s content on whatever device someone uses—be it a smart TV, set top box, wearable, phone, or something we haven’t even considered yet. We’ve built the new site with this in mind and hope to jump onto emerging technology as quickly as possible. Our Roku channel is the first example of this, but we want to make sure we’re available on streaming devices everywhere that people have a question about the Bible.

We look forward to everyone’s feedback as we start rolling the project out live. You can expect the first round of updates sometime in Quarter 2 of this year, and more improvements throughout the rest of 2015. We really appreciate everyone’s prayers for God’s blessing on the project and the continued support of the entire Church.

Tom Disher—Senior Web Developer & Beyond Today Media Promoter, UCGIA

Disher-Tom

April 7, 2015 Posted by | Beyond Today, Media and Communications | , , , , , | 17 Comments

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