Council of Elders August 2015 Meetings
*Denotes Executive Sessions
**Denotes Sessions that may go into Executive Session
9:00 a.m. Chairman Webber opens meetings with procedural matters of general welcome, approval of minutes of prior meetings and Council’s approval of current agenda
9:15 a.m. President’s and Operations Managers’ Reports
10:45 a.m. CoE Committee Reports
12:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. *President’s Conversation With the Council
3:00 p.m. ; *Council Discussion Regarding Spiritual State of the Church and Doctrinal Integrity
8:30 a.m. Review of Ministerial and Member Services Employee Descriptions
– R. Holladay, C. Rowland
9:45 a.m. *Annual Review of Treasurer – R. Salomaa
10:45 a.m. *Ordinations – R. Holladay
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Facilities Policy Review – A. Dean
2:00 p.m. **Doctrine Committee Presentations – J. Elliott [ADMIN: May be in Executive Session]
5:00 p.m. Review Presidential Selection Process/Review of Bylaw 8.2.7 – R. Salomaa
8:30 am. *Legal Report – L. Darden
10:45 a.m. Open for any Unfinished Business From Previous Sessions
11:45 a.m. Set Date for 2017 GCE and December 2015 COE Meetings – R. Webber, C. Melear and P. Eddington
12:00 p.m. CoE August Meeting concluded
The agenda is accompanied by a letter from Chairman Webber which is a pep talk designed to get the brethren to back the new UCG program. They are trying as hard as they can to present the coming changes in UCG as godly, as they depart further and further from the truth via their own reasoning’s.
There has been a subtle change from their approach as they are now backing off from declaring that there will be no changes [They lied profusely denying any changes, just like they lied on the same point when in WCG], and are working to keep the brethren loyal to UCG and to prepare them for change.
The following letter uses the scriptures and attempts to falsely apply them to the corporate entity of UCG, which they do not apply to! [The other groups do the same.]
These scriptures apply to the spiritually called out to the New Covenant Ekklesia who are a scattered people; and not to any corporate entity! The attempted implication is the LIE that organizational loyalty is the same as loyalty to Christ! The UCG view of repentance is to follow them as idols of men and to maintain corporate unity at any cost.
Remember that you heard all of these kinds of words from them as they supported the Tkach changes, as they claimed that they were growing spiritually while they departed further and further from God’s Word.
They have no intention of promoting any zeal to keep the whole Word of God and are intent on making changes towards their Tkach like agenda. They know that when they reveal themselves and their agenda, there be yet another split in UCG and they are trying to forestall that.
The pretentious falsehoods about UCG in this letter are glaring.
Dear fellow elders and members,
The Council of Elders of the United Church of God meets in Cincinnati from Aug. 10 through 13. Beforehand, Monday is set apart for Council committee meetings and discussions with the administration. Formal meetings commence on Tuesday.
As we gather to seek our Heavenly Father’s blessing and guidance, the message of this instrument [UCG] within the Body of Christ doesn’t waver and echoes the original teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles. Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God means that we focus on their bold, loving and hope-filled words in allowing God to perform His spiritual work in us and toward others. Consider the following verses:
• “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John:3:16-17For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.).
• “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark:1:14-15Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.).
• “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew:28:19-20Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.).
• “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call’” (Acts:2:38-39Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.).
• “Now may the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans:15:13Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.).
• “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John:13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.).
• “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him” (Acts:28:30-31And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.).
• “In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew:6:9-10After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.).
• “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John:14:1-3Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.).
• “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John:6:39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.).
• “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy:4:8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.).
• “Feed My lambs…Tend My sheep…Feed My sheep…Follow Me” (John:21:15-19So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.).
It’s with this scriptural foundation and framework that we meet in Cincinnati to humbly, wisely, lovingly and boldly “be about our Father’s business,” sharing the greatest news this world could possibly receive. Salvation is available. It’s a gift from God. He has set in motion a means of spiritual return through Jesus Christ to that which was rejected at Eden and ever since.
God is going to intervene in human history once and for all and rescue humanity from itself. His Kingdom will be established here on Earth. Humanity is not consigned to doom, but ultimately in God’s timing and way is offered a destiny to become immortal children in the spiritual family of God. This isn’t the only day of salvation! God has a plan for all. Until then, God has made a promise to spiritually provide and care for those who have responded to His calling—now. You are not and will not be alone!
As the Council gathers together with the home office administration, this is our focus. How do we more effectively reach and share such good news and “say it like it is”? How do we declare what God wants us to proclaim to a world that’s dying on the vine of human nature? How do we continue to share with our membership and a widening audience the cardinal truths and doctrines of Holy Scripture? How do we continue to effectively “disciple” (teach) our ministry, members, our young people, and prospective members? How do we begin training new individuals coming into the ministry, while at the same time reinvigorating senior ministers and utilizing their life-seasoned contributions to those just beginning this calling? How do we continue to reach out to our membership on every inhabitable continent and allow them to know there are like-minded believers and to encourage them that there’s a common Heavenly Father looking over all His spiritual children?
These aren’t necessarily new questions posed to you. I’ve mentioned them before. This is the field of issues ever before us to contemplate. It’s the ongoing opportunities and challenges placed upon the Council and administration to seek and respond to God’s grace-filled guidance that the United Church of God might remain a living tool and vibrant collective vessel in God’s hands that remains relevant, reliable and ready to seek God’s will wherever He leads us in Spirit and in truth. Please understand. Many programs to address these questions are already in place, but we constantly seek to improve them to glorify God and benefit you—our dear members.
Fellow ministers and members, we are small in number. We are but a speck of humanity in a globe saturated with 7.5 billion people. And yet we worship an incredible God, who is greater than the human eye or mind can imagine. We humbly but confidently follow in the same words and steps as the One who took the fish and loaves from the little boy and made that which was little into something great—that God might be glorified (John:6:5-14When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.). We worship an awesome God. We have individually surrendered to Him who has freely given to us eternal truths that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthian 2:9). How incredible is that? How incredible are the truths and promises mentioned on the first page of this letter? Incredible!
I would simply sincerely ask you as one Christian to another that you will take time every day in the week ahead to ask God to bless the leadership of the United Church of God as we come together. We are but men, but God is God, and His purposes will be made manifest and stand. Whether it’s truths revealed or teachings better understood, correction visited upon us, or feeding and tending the flock more effectively like the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ, may we be open, accepting and willing to His guidance. Please also view the included agenda for the upcoming meetings.
May the God of hope bless and keep you,