UCG CoE Conference Feb – Mar 2017

Council of Elders Meeting Report – February 27 – March 2, 2017
United Church of God, an International Association
Council of Elders Quarterly Meeting Report
Milford, Ohio

Monday, February 27, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. Eleven Council of Elders (Council) members were present. Scott Ashley joined about 90 minutes later because he was teaching an ABC class.
Dr. Ward welcomed everyone. The last Council meeting minutes were approved. The agenda for the week was discussed, and with a few edits it was approved.
President’s Report—Victor Kubik
President Victor Kubik greeted everyone. As the administration has been working on the Strategic Plan and Budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, Mr. Kubik read Ephesians:5:17: “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (King James Version). The major focus at the home office and from the president is: a) the work of the ministry and congregations, b) the work of proclamation through our media. He then discussed some of the following activities:

Ministerial trainees: There have been 10 ministerial trainees hired in the past two years with four ordained so far. A comprehensive program to train the ministry is important. We want the ministry trained in the Church’s teachings and practices, not what’s picked up from private ideas that cause problems down the road.

Regional Conference: The conference team from the home office traveled to Atlanta to conduct a one-day leadership workshop on Sunday, Jan. 15, followed by a two-day conference for ministers in the Southeast region.

Ambassador Bible College (ABC): ABC began the second semester of the current academic year in late January. Four new students have enrolled for the spring semester.
Member survey: The member survey just completed and the data will be analyzed and then used for future planning.

Beyond Today Live Personal Appearance Campaigns: The gap between media contact with a reader or viewer, and then actual church attendance has been a wide door. The BT Live events are designed to help in this area. The events comprise only 1 percent of the total media budget. In the two live events in Florida there were 240 people in attendance, with 55 of them being new guests.

New Booklets: There are two new booklets in process. Angels will be sent out in May, and Europe and the Church will be out by the end of the year. Two other future booklets are on the subjects of baptism and grace.

New TV Studio Report: To date, $177,340 has been received, and an additional pledge of $300,000 is expected to arrive soon. This leaves us about $123,000 short of our needs to begin and complete the project.

International Areas:
John Elliott will have a featured headline in the upcoming United News (UN) about the work that is being done in East Africa.

Lewis and Lena VanAusdle have settled in to Lilongwe, Malawi. The Kubiks will be going to South Africa, two locations in Malawi and three in Zambia at the end of March and first part of April.

Operation Manager Reports
Ministerial and Member Services (MMS)—Chris Rowland
Chris Rowland summarized some manpower changes since the last meeting in December:
Wil Berg retired from the full-time ministry on Jan. 1.

Tim Pebworth became a full-time employee on Feb. 13. He pastors the congregations in Oakland and Santa Rosa, California, as well as serving as senior pastor for the French-language areas.

Lewis VanAusdle has transferred from Alabama to a one-year assignment as pastor for Lilongwe, Malawi.

Craig Clark was hired part-time as pastor for Freeland, Michigan, formerly known as Saginaw. This will reduce the workload for Steve Shafer.

Mike Phelps will be relocating this summer from the Cincinnati area to Michigan. He will serve as an assistant pastor alongside Steve Shafer. Mr. Phelps will help to serve the congregations in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Gaylord.

Stan Martin, on March 1, will assume pastoral responsibility for the congregation of Ocala, Florida, replacing Rick Shabi. Also on March 1, Braden Veller will assume pastoral responsibility for the congregation in Fort Myers, Florida, replacing Stan Martin.

Bill Cowan, because of worsening health, is stepping down from pastoring the Rome and Chattanooga congregations. Beginning March 11, David Dobson will become the pastor for Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Paul Burnes will become the interim pastor for Rome, Georgia. Also Gary Beam will become the pastor for Birmingham, Alabama, replacing David Dobson.

Gerhard Marx, in the British Isles, has retired.

Robert Berendt, in Canada, has retired.

Four elders’ wives have died since the December meetings:

Pauline Fritts, wife of Preston Fritts of the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, congregation died on Dec. 24, 2016.

Gloria Lorenzo, wife of Benny Lorenzo of the Manila, Philippines, congregation died on Jan. 17, 2017.

Sheila Gardenhire, wife of Bob Gardenhire of the San Diego, California, congregation died on Jan. 19, 2017.

Billie Sue McNair, wife of Burk McNair of the San Antonio, Texas, congregation died on Feb. 2, 2017.

Four elders have been ordained since the December meetings:

Paul Janosko, Mansfield, Ohio

Chris Shude, Flint, Michigan

Manny Valdez, Philippines

Lewis VanAusdle, now in Malawi

Mr. Rowland also mentioned the Feast coordinator conference held Feb. 7-8 by video conference. The meeting was held with all the coordinators for the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

Current statistics include:
Average U.S. Sabbath attendance for January 2017 was 7,107. December and January were very low months—lower than any months over the past year. This appears to be mostly due to bad weather in various parts of the country.
386 elders in the United Church of God (UCG)
95 are outside the U.S.
291 are in the U.S.
77 are church pastors
11 are associate or assistant pastors
Five ministerial trainees
194 churches and Bible study groups in the U.S. (Springfield, Illinois, congregation closed)
Eight baptisms since December meetings

Media and Communications Services—Peter Eddingto
Peter Eddington went through some of the following statistics as of Jan. 31 this year:
Our coworker count is at 6,032 (15 percent higher than a year ago, and 63 percent higher than two years ago).
Our donor list now includes 8,899 people. That’s a 6 percent decrease over the same time last year, and a 23 percent increase over two years ago.

U.S. Beyond Today subscribers are the highest they’ve been since May of 2012 at 248,592. That’s an 8.5 percent increase over last March, and a 50 percent increase over two years ago. Worldwide circulation stands at 314,500—the highest it’s been since March of 2013.

Our 2016-2017 Strategic Plan objective for the Beyond Today magazine is to have 270,000 U.S. subscribers by June 30 of this fiscal year, and 330,000 globally. It does not appear that we will quite reach our goal in the remaining four months of the year, but it will be close.

The December 2016 subscriber development letter from Victor Kubik was sent to 189,642 subscribers. It offered the Beyond Today study aid Christ’s Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like. More than 10,000 responses have been received, along with $78,600 in donations to help further the work of the Church.

The number of people listed on our U.S. database as members and those who consider themselves associated with the United Church of God stands at 12,068.

United News (UN) circulation stands at 15,610—which is the highest it’s been since May of 2003, an increase of 7 percent over last January, and a 17 percent increase over two years ago.

Some other items Mr. Eddington talked about were:

UCG Annual, Unique Website Visitors: The number of unique visitors to UCG.org during the 2016 calendar year, measured quarterly, was 7.58 million—the highest yet and a 3.5 percent increase over 2015 and a 62 percent increase over 2012.

Non-Member Donations: Income from non-members continues to be a significant portion of the Church’s resources. Of the donations whose source code we can track, 69 percent comes as a result of a letter the donor receives from us, 21 percent comes from our Beyond Today magazine envelope insert, and 7 percent comes from the renewal cover wrap. So our hardcopy letters and magazines are significantly responsible for our donor and coworker income.

Amazon Smile Donation: The United Church of God was issued a $514 check from the Amazon Smile Foundation as a result of Amazon Smile program activity for October through December, 2016. This is a little bit higher than some previous checks, so we are very thankful for those who are using this program to benefit the Church.

New Media Department Hire: The position for French communications analyst/assistant webmaster has been filled by Jessica Hendrickson. Jessica will begin work at the home office on Monday, March 13. Ms. Hendrickson has been working on a contract basis up until now, doing French personal correspondence work for the Church.

Beyond Today Magazine Renewals Back to Historic Norms: Beyond Today magazine renewal percentages climbed dramatically during 2015, but have gone back to more regular numbers during 2016. It was during 2015 that we extended our subscription renewal plan from four issues back to six issues. This may help explain the anomaly in 2015. Also during 2015 and 2016 we added a lot of new subscribers through more inexpensive means, which generally do not renew at as high a rate as do the more expensive methods.
200 Million Coupon Ads to Be Placed in Newspapers: Over the next 12 months, nearly 200 million half-page Beyond Today magazine and booklet ads on a variety of subjects will be placed in the popular coupon sections of Sunday newspapers.

Beyond Today Live Events: Orlando, Florida—145 total people in attendance with 25 of those being new guests

Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida—93 total people in attendance with 31 of those being new guests

Upcoming Beyond Today Live Events:
Kansas City, Missouri—Sunday, March 19, at 3 p.m.
St. Louis/Troy, Missouri—Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Financial Services—Rick Shabi
Rick Shabi updated the Council on significant financial activities and results of operations since the December Council meetings. He handed out financial reports for the calendar year ended Dec. 31, 2016, and for the seven months of the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2017, and discussed income and expense trends and presented several operational statistics for the Council’s consideration.

Committee Chairman Reports:

Dr. Ward, before introducing the committee chairs, reminded the Council of our duty as ministers. He read from 2 Timothy:3:12 thru 2 Timothy:4:5 and encouraged the continued importance of preaching of the Word of God. It is good to hear the reports, but we will rise or fall on the truth.

Education Committee—Aaron Dean
The Education Committee has no new assignments, so a brief update was given of past assignments. Darris McNeely and Steve Myers are still going over all the past education program data to eliminate duplications. It is a large task. Previous visa applications for ABC haven’t come through, so now the H-3 vocational visa is being looked at as a possibility.

Roles and Rules Committee—Jorge de Campos
The Roles and Rules Committee will discuss two items with the Council this week during the meetings.

There will be a review and completion of the review of the Rules of Association that will then go before the GCE for approval.

There will be a review and discussion for the future replacement of the secretary, Gerald Seelig. Mr. Seelig has expressed the desire for the next two years to be his last term as secretary for the Council. Mr. Seelig will help in training someone to fulfill that role.

Doctrine Committee (DC)—John Elliott
The DC is reminded by what Jesus said in John:7:16: “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” It is therefore crucial that the Church teaches these words of life. Much of the work assigned to the DC involves assessing papers from UCG ministers and members. The papers received generally propose a slight realignment of what we teach with Scripture. It is the DC’s practice to respectfully review each, comparing them carefully with Scripture.

Current projects are listed below and will be covered in a session later in the day:
Project 46: Unleavened Bread Services for Seven Days
Project 54: Age of the Universe
Project 11: Passover and the NTBMO are on the Same Evening
Project 43: Study Papers

Strategic Planning and Finance Committee (SPFC)—Bill Bradford
The overall responsibility of the SPFC is to verify that a Strategic Plan (with the operation plan and balanced budget being prepared by the administration) is presented to the GCE each year. The SPFC follows up by monitoring the approved Strategic Plan to see that it is implemented and followed by management in a prudent manner. It will focus on internal and external conditions that could materially affect the operations of UCG in strategic and financial areas and make this known to the full Council for direction.

The budget currently under consideration is conservative. We have to stay within projected income, and we have a conservative projected income. The proposed budget has been carefully prepared and is in line with our projected income.

Ethics Committee—Mark Mickelson
The Ethics Committee has nothing before it and nothing to report.

Media and Communications Committee (MCC)—Scott Ashley
The MCC has been working with the content committee. The new booklet on angels will be coming out in May. They are also working on redesigning and making into smaller format the Bible Correspondence Course.

Chairman Ward thanked all the committees and their chairs for their continual work.

Discussion of the Videoconference of Feb. 6—Gerald Seelig
The Council discussed the videoconference held on Feb. 6, 2017 to be declared entirely in executive session. Mr. Seelig mentioned that names were discussed in the open session and that it should have been in executive session like the remainder of the meeting. A quorum of the Council unanimously approved the entire meeting on Feb. 6 to be declared entirely in executive session.

Projects Currently Before the Doctrine Committee (DC)—John Elliott

Mr. Elliott went through a little more detail of the projects that are before the DC:

Project 54: Age of the Universe: Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is a popular belief, and it can be compelling on the surface, but it collapses billions of years of recorded data into a space of 1,000 years before the flood. Many forms of dating the earth are dismissed. The Achilles heel of the YEC is the speed of light and the diameter of the universe being 27.2 billion light years across. YEC also doesn’t consider the rebellion of Satan and his demons.

Project 46: Unleavened Bread Services for Seven Days: Proposed that Mr. Armstrong made a bad decision to reverse his custom of holding daily services during UB. (Actually it was more of a localized custom [i.e., Ambassador College] done for a brief number of years.) There is no scriptural directive for daily offerings as there is during the FOT.  

James: Trying to be helpful:  The command to offer sacrifices every day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in Leviticus 23:6-8 and detailed in Num 28 17-25.  The law also insists that besides eating ULB for seven days, the Feast of Unleavened Bread must be KEPT for a full seven days “in the place that God shall choose”- it was so kept during the Temple period – the same wording as Tabernacles (2 Chr 8:12-13, 2 Chron 30:13).  

Ezra 6:22 shows what God wants and Ezekiel 45 reveals the ULB sacrifices very specifically. 

Surely you highly educated folks can do better than misrepresent the Radio Church o God and deny the Holy Scriptures?

Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, [and] a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

45:22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.

45:23 And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering.

45:24 And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah.

It is obvious that no serious effort was made to investigate this subject, and that a preconceived position was adopted without even looking at the subject.  

This is an ideal time to insert material that I was going to post next week on this same subject of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Here is the truth on the matter:

Deuteronomy 16:16  Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty:

While the Feast of Pentecost is one day it was to be observed in Jerusalem [or after the destruction of the Temple, wherever the converted gathered together to appear before God] as we see in the book of Acts. 

The Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed for a full seven days, capped by the Feast of The Eighth Day; while the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed for a full seven days preceded by the Appointed Time of Passover. 

The First Day of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day, and the First and Seventh Days of ULB are HOLY; on which [like the weekly Sabbath] no work of any kind may be done [including buying food and drink or cooking].

For many years I have personally taught to keep the Feast  of ULB for the full seven days just like Tabernacles, as Almighty God has commanded.  The First and Seventh days of Unleavened Bread are High Holy Days on which no work of any kind [except what God commands for keeping those days] may be done, and the middle days are Appointed Times on which work may be done but Holy Convocations are also to be held.

I am saying nothing new here, even Rod Meredith KNOWS this is true.

It is a shame that they can spend a fortune holding their “Christmas” Family Weekend – even STEALING God’s Festival tithe to do so – but cannot keep the Spring Feast for seven days as God has commanded. 

Because we do things our own way and not God’s way, we shall soon be cast into great tribulation.

The colored texts are links to the articles

The late Richard Nickels compared Roderick Meredith’s festival reports of 1962 and 2002 in Days of Zeal Gone By,

‘‘The Church of 1962 was dedicated, inspired to identify sin, to overcome sin, and to put out sin, through the power of the Spirit of God made possible by the sacrifice of the Messiah. The focus was Christ’s sacrifice and love. God’s people demonstrated love, dedication, and zeal. There were outstanding, unusual, miracles of healing.

On the other hand, in 2002, there was no mention of a Festival, the Feast of Unleavened Bread; instead, Meredith referred to the First Day of Unleavened Bread and the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. There were no daily inspiring sermons during the Festival, no miraculous healings. Instead, there were meals, site-seeing tours, and fellowship, mainly minister to minister, instead of the whole Church together for the entire eight days of scintillating spiritual feasting. The intervening days between the first and last holy days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were filled with business, meals and entertainment, touring, and traveling.”

Herbert Armstrong declared, on returning from Gladewater, Texas, in 1952, after observing Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days that:

“God has made it plain we MUST HAVE an adequate place, the most centrally located possible, so that the largest number can attend, for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and for those able or close enough, even the Day of Pentecost…”

This location proved too small in 1953 for the numbers wishing to attend.

The 1954 Festival was therefore celebrated at several regional sites in the USA — for the full seven days, with services both in the morning and afternoon.

The festival continued to be celebrated for seven days, with increasing attendances and extra venues. Evening Bible Studies replaced daytime services in some locations, for the benefit of those who could not get time off work to attend both annual seven day festivals, or were not paid if they could do so.

The 1967 Festival (report begins on p.5) was the final seven day festival. This was the year of the death of Herbert Armstrong’s wife, Loma, after which Stanley Rader, who was given control of the church’s finances, became his main advisor.  The official reason for cancelling God’s seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread is so that people could give larger offerings


Project 11: Passover and the NTBMO Are on the Same Evening: An opinion has been making the rounds that Israel kept the first Passover, staying in their houses all night, and somehow also spoiled the Egyptians that night, and traveled with their animals to assemble at Rameses that night and all marched out of Rameses all on the same night. That idea attempts to be reinforced with a first century Jewish tradition of the time of the killing of Passover lambs. Believers of this concept attempt to impose events from during the Sinai Covenant onto the observance of the New Covenant Passover. First Corinthians 11:23 cuts through it all as it states, “The Lord Jesus on the same night He was betrayed took bread . . . ” We keep the New Covenant Passover. We teach what Scripture teaches and observe accordingly.

Project 43: Study Papers: The DC has been working on reclassifying the designation of UCG’s study papers. The DC has completed a review of them and will be presenting its recommendation for a standardized and appropriate designation for each study paper.

Review of Strategic Plan and Operation Plan—Bill Bradford
Bill Bradford led the discussion as the chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee to review the Strategic Plan and Operation Plan. All areas were reviewed, and various edits were suggested throughout the document.

Review of Proposed Budget—Bill Bradford

Mr. Bradford led the discussion as the chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee to review the proposed balanced budget. The proposed budget was discussed, and questions were asked.

Mr. Bradford asked the Mr. Shabi, the treasurer, if any studies have been done to find out why general contributions have been down the past three years. Mr. Shabi replied that he was just beginning to research it, but no conclusion had been found yet. Aaron Dean mentioned that the increased number of retirees Church-wide might be a factor.
Mark Mickelson mentioned he would like to see more money in the budget put in for proclamation efforts for print.

The Council went into executive session at 4:00 p.m. for the rest of the day.
The Council adjourned at 5:38 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. Eleven Council of Elders (Council) members were present. Scott Ashley joined about 90 minutes later because he was teaching an ABC class.

The Council was in executive session until 5:07 p.m.  

James:  Almost the whole day in secret meetings!

Council of Elders Nominee Questionnaire Discussion—Gerald Seelig
Mr. Seelig, as the secretary, led the discussion with the Council going through the Council Nominee Questionnaire. Several edits were suggested and discussed. Also a cover letter written by the chairman was agreed upon to explain how to fill it out.
One question was suggested by Bob Dick and was added to ask for what strengths would you bring to the work of a board of directors.

Robin Webber asked if the secretary should read through the questionnaires before sending them out to all elders. The Council agreed to have Mr. Seelig, as the secretary, read through them before sending them out. If he had any questions he would get the approval of the chairman before sending them out.

The Council unanimously approved the updated Council nominee questionnaire.
The Council adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. Eleven Council of Elders (Council) members were present. Scott Ashley joined about 90 minutes later because he was teaching an ABC class.

UCG Member Survey Status—Don Ward and Victor Kubik
Dr. Ward led the discussion going through the recent member survey and the discussion of sharing the results with the Church brethren. He introduced Mr. Kubik to read a recommendation from the survey team.

Mr. Kubik read through the input from the survey team. It is good practice to share with those who took the time to share their thoughts. The last survey done for ABC was very well done, and the results were tabulated and shared in a UN article. This most recent member survey had 2,000 responses, which is a very good response. The full report will be ready by the August Council meetings.

The Council discussed how to share the results. It was mentioned that the Council would discuss the results in open session in August with a video done of the session. Also, an article would be put in the UN with the results.
The Council went into planned executive session at 9:12 a.m. until after lunch.

Task Force Review of Rules of Association—Jorge de Campos
Jorge de Campos led the discussion as the chairman of the Roles and Rules Committee. He mentioned that Gerald Seelig has asked for this last two-year term as secretary to be his last. He will continue to do his other duties, but he wanted to inform the Council that in two years he would be done so the Council would have time to replace him. The Council will initiate a search committee to replace Mr. Seelig in his duties as secretary. The plan will be for the replacement to train during Mr. Seelig’s last year. The Council appreciates all that Mr. Seelig has done to serve as secretary for the Council.

Mr. de Campos then led the discussion of the work done by the Governing Documents Review Team led by Bill Eddington in their review of the Rules of Association. The first round of edits was during the Council’s open session in December 2016. Those edits have been implemented and reviewed by the review team, National Council representatives and all senior pastors. The goal is to ensure consistency with the style used in the Constitution and Bylaws and to make wording more explanatory or to agree with current practice as it has developed over the years.

The Council spent about 45 minutes reviewing the document and suggesting edits. There was also a new section 5 regarding Asset Protection that was discussed and added. The section 5 will be a separate amendment that will be put forward to the GCE through the normal amendment process next year.

The Council unanimously approved the updated clarification edits in the Rules of Association (besides section 5) to be presented to the GCE in May for their approval.

GCE Annual Conference Planning—Charles Melear
Charles Melear as the chair of the GCE planning task force led the discussion of the upcoming May GCE meetings. Mr. Melear and Lisa Fenchel submitted two options. One was more similar to a traditional schedule, and the other was a new format, although both attempted to create more interaction and collaboration, than in previous years. After much discussion it was decided to have a combination of the two. Sabbath services on May 6 will be at 2 p.m. Eastern with president Victor Kubik giving the first split sermon and chairman Don Ward giving the second split sermon. Additional specific speaking assignments were determined in executive session and will be released soon pending acceptance by those requested to speak.

The Council then went into executive session at 3:15 p.m. for the rest of the day.
The Council adjourned at 5:48 p.m.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. Eleven Council of Elders (Council) members were present. Scott Ashley joined about 90 minutes later because he was teaching an ABC class.
The Council was in executive session until 9:22 a.m.

Ballot on the Strategic and Operations Plans and the Budget—Bill Bradford
As chairman of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, Bill Bradford moved that the Strategic Plan, Operations Plan and Budget for 2017-18 be officially approved by the Council, so that each can go on to the GCE in May. All three were balloted upon separately, and all passed unanimously of a quorum of the Council. (Scott Ashley was teaching an ABC class.)

Doctrinal Paper Reclassification—Mark Mickelson
Mr. Mickelson led a brief discussion of the proposal for reclassification of the study papers. The list was handed out. There were no changes to the study papers. The only change is to the title page to help categorize each of the study papers. This proposal had been a three-year process that was requested by the previous chairman, Robin Webber.

The proposal for this reclassification of the study papers was unanimously approved by a quorum of the Council. (Scott Ashley was teaching an ABC class.)

Dr. Ward mentioned on a different topic that many of these study papers need to be reviewed and possibly updated in the future.

Council Discussion on Assessment of Strategic Plan—Don Ward
The Council spent 30 minutes discussing some of the topics held in executive session. Dr. Ward led the discussion on how the Council will begin an assessment of the effectiveness of the Strategic Plan. The Council will go through this process in their May meetings.

Bill Bradford explained the assessment process that he was suggesting. The member survey is only one means of assessment from members. It gives the Council an idea of where they think we are presently. There are other means of assessment that also need to be done that include getting the Council input of where they think they are and input from the administration and home office employees to assess how operations are going. The Council has received numbers and facts from various areas, but there should also be assessment of how the Strategic Plan is being carried out. The administration has to assess where they are and what they are doing with the Strategic Plan. It was suggested maybe even having an internal audit group make an assessment would be helpful.

Mr. Bradford mentioned the assessment is needed to make sure the objectives are being met and what improvements can be made. We need to be sure we are all working toward the same goal and knowing what that goal is.

President Kubik said that it has been 10 years since the Council went through the strategic planning process. The Strategic Plan is like a GPS for him as he does his planning. Mr. Kubik is in favor of reassessing the plan, but the Council needs to make sure it is thorough and not part way.

Dr. Ward explained that this process has to go beyond a piece of paper and beyond a strategic plan. We need to recognize we are first and foremost a church and ask what our worldview is. We are a non-profit, but we are a spiritual organization.

Robin Webber mentioned that that the GCE has approved a Mission Statement. The Mission Statement has been effective. There are different views on how to fulfill that Mission Statement. We should recognize that the UCG has been around for 22 years. The Council can reassess that Mission Statement. We can always look at ways to improve.
Dr. Ward concluded by mentioning we are a Spirit-led Church by God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Council should look at ways that we can improve and make sure we are correctly following God’s lead.

The Council went into executive session at 10:20 a.m. for the rest of the day.
The Council adjourned at12:00 p.m.

Upcoming Council Meeting Dates
• May 9-11, 2017 (with retreat on May 10)
• August 21-24, 2017
Council Reporter
Shawn Cortelyou
© 2017 United Church of God, an International Association

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