UCG CoE Conference Report Aug 21-24, 2017

Council of Elders Meeting Report – August 21 – 24, 2017

United Church of God, an International Association
Council of Elders Quarterly Meeting Report
Milford, Ohio
Monday, August 21, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. All 12 Council of Elders (Council) members were present.

Dr. Ward welcomed everyone and read 1 John:3:10-24, which reminded everyone how to treat one another. Then, as traditionally done, the Council code of ethics at the first meeting of the new Council was read by the ethics committee chairman, Mario Seiglie. The last Council meeting minutes were approved. The agenda for the week was discussed and approved with a few edits.

President’s Report—Victor Kubik

President Victor Kubik greeted everyone. He discussed some of the areas of interest of the many things happening in the Church:

Ministerial trainees: There have been two new ministerial trainees hired as of July 1.
Ministerial transfers: Two ministerial trainees have been transferred to church areas.
Ambassador Bible College (ABC): The incoming class will have 24 students, which will include five international students.
United Youth Camps: The camp program successfully completed its 23rd year. The five summer camps hosted a total of 445 campers and 289 staff. The camp directors conference will be in October.
Festival Activity Booklets: There will be a new set this year at the Feast for those registered for the Feast sites.
Young Adults Leadership Initiative: A video is being produced as a documentary-type sermon focusing on this segment of the Church’s demographic and ability that can be played in congregations.
Pastor’s Development Program: This program is a very lively ministerial instruction tool. Every two weeks this program has 25 connected to a two-hour, expanded online class.
Online Radio Station: Australia has started a streaming online radio station called UCG Australia Radio. It can be found at www.ucg.org.au/.

Operation Manager Reports:
Financial Services—Rick Shabi

With the end of the Church’s fiscal year on June 30, Rick Shabi’s update included information on the fiscal year just past and the new fiscal year that began just six weeks ago.

He reported that the fieldwork for the annual, external audit was being conducted during the week of the Council meetings. Much work had been prepared in advance for the auditors, and after the conclusion of fieldwork this week, there will be additional reviews that will be done, as the audit is an extensive review of all the Church’s operations. The final audit report will be presented to the Council in the December meetings and published in United News in early 2018.

Mr. Shabi summarized the final fiscal year 2017 financial statements, explaining any new “line item” expenses and discussing that, while income for the year fell just short of budget, expenses for the year were considerably under budget, resulting in a $450,000 net income. Since we prepare and operate under a balanced budget, having such a favorable variance is a blessing.

NOTE:  The surplus was due to Victor Kubik and LifeNets assuming financial responsibilities for much of UCG international areas.

Mr. Shabi pointed out some of the key operating statistics for the fiscal year just ended, including the fact that there are about 15,000 coworkers and donors on file at the end of the fiscal year, that number continuing to run fairly steady throughout the year. Also, the number of new names that have requested booklets or Beyond Today subscriptions during the year exceeded 132,000, indicating our media efforts are producing results. Also mentioned was the Beyond Today (BT) television responses that did decrease this past year from the previous year was because less airtime is now being purchased.

Income for the first six weeks of this fiscal year has been above budget. The receipt of a large estate donation was mentioned, as well as the increase in donations, so far this fiscal year, to the assistance and festival funds. He noted that as of this day the balance in the Video Recording Studio Restricted Fund was a little over $575,000.
As always, we thank God for the resources and blessings He provides and seek His will and guidance in the administration of those resources.

Media and Communications Services—Peter Eddington
Peter Eddington went through some of the following statistics as of Jan. 31 this year:
United News circulation is the highest it’s been since May 2003 at 15,937.
Our coworker count is now the highest it’s ever been at 6,386.
Our donor list now includes 8,792 people.
U.S. BT magazine subscribers are the highest they’ve been since May of 2012 at 255,258. The total BT magazine print run stands at 311,171.
The number of people on our U.S. database who say they are associated with UCGIA (members, youth and associated) stands at 12,209. This is almost a 1 percent increase over a year ago.
The number of telephone and website responses from BT TV since 2006 stands at 300,540.
The Church’s BT YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/BeyondTodayTV has had 5.8 million views, has 16,984 subscribers, and hosts more than 1,625 videos.
Some other items Mr. Eddington reported were:
BT TV Trip Overseas: An exciting and profitable BT video recording trip was undertaken July 18 through 28 to areas of Germany and Belgium.
Video Recording Studio Construction: Plans are well underway toward breaking ground for our new video recording studio at the home office. To date we have received $575,000 towards funding the facility. This leaves us still about $25,000 short of our needs. Therefore, if members would like to help us reach our financial goals for the video recording studio, it would be most welcome. Please note on your contribution that it is for the “Video Recording Studio.”
Personal Appearance Campaigns (PAC): Four new BT Live events will be held throughout Southern California during the first week of March, 2018:
Los Angeles (Double Tree Monrovia, March 4, 3 p.m.)
San Diego (March 6, 7:30 p.m.)
Redlands (Ontario Airport Holiday Inn, March 7, 7:30 p.m.)
Garden Grove (Crowne Plaza Cost Mesa, March 11, 3 p.m.)
BT Window Cling Promotions: We have a new supply of BT car window static-clings for ministry and members to apply to their car rear windows. These new clings have white text on a clear background. They are available to be shipped to any pastor who requests them for his congregation.

Ministerial and Member Services (MMS)—Chris Rowland
Chris Rowland summarized some manpower changes since the last meeting in May:
Jim Wilkins retired from pastoring this month.
Scott Hoefker has now moved to Alabama and is pastoring the congregations in Laurel, Mississippi, New Orleans, Louisiana, and is also now pastoring the two congregations that Jerold Aust had been pastoring: Mobile, Alabama, and DeFuniak Springs, Florida.
Dan Preston and his wife Kim have relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Preston is pastoring the congregations in Charlotte and Hickory, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina.
Doug Collison and his wife Dianne have just transferred from Michigan to Paducah, Kentucky. Mr. Collison is an assistant pastor, and he is continuing his ministerial training with pastor Rick Beam, serving the congregations in Paducah and Henderson, Kentucky, and Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Nathan Ekama and his wife Jacqueline have relocated to Bloomington, Illinois. Mr. Ekama is serving as an assistant pastor with Ken Graham for the congregations in Bloomington and Canton, Illinois, and also as an assistant pastor with Nelson Arnold for the Terre Haute, Indiana, congregation.
Two new ministerial trainees have been hired in the last month and will be attending the Pastoral Development Program at the home office for 10 days in November:
Steven Britt and his wife Danielle have relocated to the Cincinnati area for training. The Britts come from North Carolina.
Joshua Creech and his wife Elizabeth are members of the Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation.
Ken Skorseth and his wife Dianne continue to serve the brethren in New Zealand, and they are expected to return home from this temporary assignment in mid-September.
Tom Adams will be stepping down as pastor of the Jacksonville, North Carolina, congregation effective Sept. 1. Beginning on that date, Craig Scott will become pastor for Jacksonville, in addition to Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina.
One elder has died since our last meeting. Mark Rorem of the Oakland, California, congregation died on May 31.
One elder’s wife has died since our last meeting. Lucretia Kellers, wife of Fred Kellers of the Nashville, Tennessee, congregation died on July 4.
Four elders ordained since our last meeting:
Kent Foraker, Wichita, Kansas
Jim Lucas, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Roberto Parada, Tacoma, Washington
Ellsworth Stanley, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Completed events:
Leadership Workshop in Youngstown, Ohio, on July 9 with 47 Church members from the Northeast region in attendance.
Two-day regional conference for the ministry in the Northeast region was July 9-11 with 82 ministers and wives in attendance.
Our summer camp season completed last week for our teens and preteens.
Our ongoing online Pastoral Development Program classes are continuing, every two weeks.
Upcoming events:
Feast registration is continuing. As of last week, we have 7,492 registered online, which is primarily for our North American and Caribbean sites.
The 16th annual Leadership Workshop will be held at the home office over Labor Day weekend. We expect 55 attendees.
Regional pastors conference will be Sept. 10-11 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Regional conference for the North Central region will be Oct. 29-31 in Stewartville, Minnesota, with a one-day leadership workshop on Sunday, Oct. 29.
The third annual 10-day Pastoral Development Program will be held at the home office from Nov. 6-16. Currently there will be 12-14 couples attending.
Current statistics include:
Average U.S. Sabbath attendance for the past few months has averaged about 7,200.
392 elders in the United Church of God (UCG)
100 are outside the U.S.
292 are in the U.S.
76 are church pastors
13 are associate or assistant pastors
4 ministerial trainees
196 churches and Bible study groups in the U.S. (Northern Virginia church and a Bible Study group in Durant, Oklahoma, added.)
85 baptisms for the calendar year through the end of July 2017, which is 38 more since the May meeting.
Committee Chairman Reports:
Education Committee—Aaron Dean
The Education Committee has oversight over all the Church’s education programs, including education, ABC, pastoral development, ministerial education, and the young adult and youth programs. The Education Committee currently has not been assigned specific tasks, but they do track programs in progress and can offer input and carry out evaluations or projects when assigned by the Council. Currently one of the challenges is training in developing countries with education, language, visas and finances. Leadership development is planned for Dec. 21-23 in Zambia and Malawi with an ABC sampler alongside of summer camp Dec. 24-31 in South Africa.

Ethics Committee—Mario Seiglie
The Ethic Committee’s responsibilities are accomplished through the formulation, recommendation and review of policy and appropriate actions regarding standards of conduct of elders, members and employees of UCG. The Ethics Committee does not have any items that have been remanded to them.
Doctrine Committee (DC)—John Elliott
The Council offers a form of peer review on several levels. One of these is peer review with the doctrinal and prophecy papers submitted by ministry and members through its DC and subcommittees. The DC and its subcommittees have a resource of 15 ministers. Should a proposed understanding gain support at the Council level, as in Acts 15, it moves to the entire ministry for the broadest peer review. Only then can any teaching be adopted by the Church. So while we can each use Scripture to provide understanding, through peer review, individual submissions must be reviewed. To be clear, there is not, nor ever been, some cache of pending doctrines that will be released. There are only individual peer review of papers submitted by various ones to this DC.

Individual submissions currently receiving reviews (peer reviews) are:
Review of a submission about timing of Passover and NTBMO
Review of a submission about tattoos
Review of submissions involving calendar postponements
Review of a submission concerning God and Jesus Christ in Scripture
Review of a submission concerning eating out on the Sabbath
Review of a submission concerning musical instruments and music types in Scripture
Review of a submission concerning the Sardis church

When a review is completed, it is provided to the submitting author and the Council is notified.
In addition to reviewing papers, editorial shares upcoming booklets and BT articles with the Council for review and input.

Strategic Planning and Finance Committee (SPFC)—Bob Dick
August is a transitional month for the SPFC as they reset at the end of each fiscal year. They begin a series of their responsibilities all over again. The roles and responsibilities of the SPFC are the annual review process and the ongoing review process. The review process of finances, financial trends and the strategic plan are annual. The SPFC also worked closely in rewriting the survey questions in the past year, and now the member and minister survey has been compiled and will be reviewed tomorrow morning. Currently the SPFC has no specific assigned mandates from the Council. Generating from the SPFC they are currently exploring and investigating the question of what are the greatest strategic issues facing the UCG. The SPFC is also taking a first look at the elements that make objectives within a strategic plan comply with the principles of strategic planning.
Roles and Rules Committee (RRC)—Rainer Salomaa
The RRC has work that is ongoing on crafting a process and timeline for the replacement of the secretary of UCG. The current Secretary, Gerald Seelig, has his current term end July 1, 2019, and he has asked to be replaced to retire from that position. This process and timeline will come before the Council for edits and approval this week. Also the annual assessment of treasurer Rick Shabi will come before the Council this week. The Doctrine Committee asked for input on having term limits for the doctrine and prophecy advisory subcommittee members. The Chairman also asked for the RRC to put together a comprehensive document of the scope and responsibilities of the committees of the Council and the GCE.

Media and Communications Committee (MCC)—Scott Ashley

The MCC met on Aug. 15 as a committee. One of the MCC responsibilities is to preview the reports of the president and media operation manager before upcoming Council meetings. Those items discussed were the progress of the TV studio, the recent BT TV crew trip to Europe, and some of the current statistics on our media efforts.
Amendment Committee Appointments—Rainer Salomaa
Mr. Salomaa discussed various appointments needed for the Amendment Committee. After discussion the Council unanimously adopted the following:

Whereas, the Amendment Committee members are appointed for three (3)-year terms and the terms of Jim Cowell, Scott Moss and Craig Clark (alternate) have expired on June 30, 2017, and
Whereas, Mark Rorem has died, and

Whereas Jim Cowell, Scott Moss and Craig Clark continue to meet the qualifications for membership on the Amendment Committee and have agreed to serve for another three (3)-year term, and
Whereas, Craig Clark will no longer serve as alternate on the Amendment Committee, Matthew Fenchel has agreed to serve as alternate member on the Amendment Committee for a three (3)-year term,

Now therefore, it is hereby resolved that, Jim Cowell, Craig Clark and Scott Moss are reappointed and Matthew Fenchel (as alternate) is appointed to each serve a three (3)-year term on the Amendment Committee beginning on July 1, 2017, and terminating on June 30, 2020.

Expelled Elder Appeal Committee Appointments—Rainer Salomaa
Mr. Salomaa then mentioned to the Council the appointing or reappointment of three GCE members to the Expelled Elder Appeal Committee (EEAC), which would include: Gary Petty, Glenn White and David Mills.
Resolution for Signers on Church Bank Accounts—Gerald Seelig

Mr. Seelig led discussion for the need of a resolution to give clarity for the US Bank for the business managers for the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Council unanimously adopts the following:
Whereas, UCGIA has two (2) accounts (General Account; Feast Account) with US Bank NA, and
Whereas, from time to time, there is a need to update either or both of the above-referenced accounts with US Bank NA,

Now therefore, it is hereby resolved that, the president, treasurer, or secretary, individually or collectively, are authorized to effect changes to the General Account and Feast Account with US Bank NA, including but not limited to updating signatory authorities, withdrawing funds and/or closing said accounts.
The Council then went into brief executive session for 10 minutes before lunch.

Review Effectiveness of Public Proclamation—Don Ward
Chairman Ward led the discussion looking at how we can be more effective in our public proclamation efforts. During the May Council retreat there was desire from some of the Council members to discuss this topic again.
Dr. Ward began the discussion by reminding the Council of the two convicting agents: the Spirit of God and the Word of God (John:6:63; Romans:10:14). These have everything to do with the preaching of the gospel and cannot be left out of the discussion. God calls and convicts the minds and hearts of the hearers.

Rex Sexton mentioned that the BT content is improving, but maybe we can look at improving the format. Some suggestions were mentioned and discussed.

Peter Eddington mentioned the media department is always looking to improve the program. Often members will have suggestions and what a member may not like in the BT the opposite is often true when they get feedback from those not in the Church. As was reminded, the BT content is ultimately preaching to the world and not the Church.

There was much input and discussion on this topic. They looked at member involvement and the part of the media department in the process.

Bob Dick mentioned this conversation could resume after looking at the surveys on Tuesday morning. This would give more information to look at.

Dr. Ward concluded with the comment that the medium is the message. The content must be getting to the hearts and minds of the audience.

The Council took a break and then went into scheduled executive session for the remainder of the day.
The Council adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

= indicates the session was recorded and can be found at: http://coe.ucg.org/videos

Tuesday, August 21, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. All 12 Council of Elders (Council) members were present.
Review of Ministry and Member Survey
Chairman Ward introduced Julie Brown to present the information from the member and ministry survey.

Mrs. Brown mentioned appreciation for all those that helped with the surveys, including Nathan Ekama and Paul Wasilkoff. Mrs. Brown appreciates the Council having fewer open-ended questions, which helped to take less time to process these survey questions. As surveys have imperfections and often are like painting a wall with a toothbrush they can give a good sense of where we are.

The questions were reviewed and discussed. The Council appreciated having a good view of the survey and the details that were covered. Input was given for future survey improvement and learning from this one.
Chairman Ward thanked everyone for their hard work with the survey.

Formal Request by UCG, Mizoram for “Official Relationship” With UCGIA

David Schreiber went through a brief history of the country of India with specific details about three United Church of God Mizoram congregations in eastern India. India is the second most populated country in the world and will soon surpass China as number-one. Mr. Schreiber played portions of a video that can be found at www.ucg.org/ucg-films/ucg-short-film/india that shows a recent visit and details of his visit to the state of Mizoram. In 1997 this group came to know aboutUCGIA and wrote to the home office to inquire about an association with the Church. In 2012 they changed their name from “Church of God, Israel” to “United Church of God, Mizoram.” They have been closely following UCGIA for many years and have asked many times about associating with UCGIA. In 2012 they adopted all of the Fundamental Beliefs of the UCGIA.

This group is now seeking an official relationship with UCGIA. David Schreiber passed out a UCGIA document titled “Provisional Manner of Approving Official Relationships With Other Religious Organizations” for the Council to review. Per this provisional document, this group is requesting the relationship of “Organizational Projects” and desires to work together in joint publication of our literature.

On April 29, 2017, the United Church of God, Mizoram’s executive council submitted a formal written request for said relationship with UCGIA in order to preach the gospel in Mizoram, specifically requesting permission to translate our booklets into their local Mizo language and distribute them in their state, beginning with our Fundamental Beliefs booklet. They propose to do the translation, publishing and distribution at their own cost.
Discussion began as to whether we need to enter into an “official relationship” or could simply give this group permission to translate our literature into their local language in order to distribute our literature in their local language throughout their state.

Discussion also included how to verify the translation of our booklets since no one speaks the Mizo language in UCGIA. David Schreiber made suggestions on the review process that could start with one translator and two reviewers who speak both English and Mizo and who are leaders in the Mizoram congregations. They appear to have a solid understanding of our doctrines. This could then be verified with a paid independent translator.

Larry Darden asked if this needs to go before the GCE for their approval. This was discussed, and Gerald Seelig also mentioned that this should probably go before the GCE for approval, if this is to be an “official relationship.”
Mark Mickelson conveyed the importance of the Council having open arms with those of common beliefs and thanking them. It has taken 20 years so far for this relationship, and we don’t want to have it be another 20 years for this relationship to grow. There should be a way to help and seek this relationship with them.

Dr. Ward discussed sending permission and gratitude for this relationship we have with them and then the idea to present it to the GCE and have them informed. The Council discussed this and asked Larry Darden to draft a resolution for the Council to consider.

The Council took a break for lunch and went into scheduled executive session to cover ordination and credentialing requests.

The Council came into open session at 2:50 p.m.

Change in Regional Pastor Job Description—Victor Kubik
President Kubik presented to the Council the need to update and change the role of the regional pastor (RP). This will allow the RP to have more direct contact with the pastors and to have the RP be more involved in the HR department. Since there is no dedicated Ministerial and Member Services (MMS) operational officer at present, having these six RPs will help to be an extension of the home office. This is how it has been working for the past six months.

The RP job description was handed out with the proposed edits. Prior to the meeting input was given from two or three Council members. The document was discussed.

John Elliott mentioned that for the U.S. field ministry this is a big change, and the Council needs to really consider it. We are moving away from an operation manager and changing documents for field ministry. Now the regional pastors will be doing part of the job of the operation manager.

Mario Seiglie said this doesn’t obviate the position of the operation manager. The position of the operation manager could still be brought back. One limiting factor of the RP is that they didn’t have a large enough budget to do their function in the past. Chris Rowland said that if this proposal passes then in the next fiscal budget there would be a larger budget item for the RPs.

Mr. Elliott asked who the MMS operation manager is. Chris Rowland said that Mr. Kubik is the current operation manager for Ministerial and Member Services.

Dan Dowd asked why there was a need for the RPs to now have a position of authority. Mr. Rowland said that it would help with the reporting structure to give more access to the field ministry. Now the RPs will have more of a role in the reporting structure.

Mr. Kubik clarified that this RP role is so the MMS operation manager doesn’t have 70 pastors reporting to him. This way the six regional pastors will help to share the load.

Mr. Seiglie said he likes to know who he can go to when he needs to get input and talk to someone.
Mr. Kubik said that in the past the RP couldn’t get involved because it wasn’t his job. With the proposed edits to their job description it will help the RP deal with situations when the need arises.

The Council discussed other edits and gave input for the job description. It was then proposed by Mario Seiglie and seconded by Scott Ashley. The Council discussed it briefly, and it was passed by a vote of 9 for; 2 against (John Elliott and Dan Dowd); 1 abstention (Don Ward). The new job description will be e-mailed to pastors as an update to the pastor’s manual.

Review of LifeNets and Good Works
Dan Dowd began the discussion raising a question he is asked on a regular basis of why we have an organization that is not officially part of UCGIA being featured so prominently in many of the public activities that we do usually assisting in international areas. We also have given them write-ups in our publications listing all that they do. We appreciate the work done and the support that is given, but we do have our own Good Works that should be helping in this regard. Also we are promoting a non-profit that is not officially part of UCGIA. We don’t do this for any other organization. Mr. Dowd wanted to raise this question and discuss.

President Kubik went through the history of LifeNets (LN), which goes back to 1999. LN is a public 501 (c) (3) charity. They have substantial donations from corporations. Good Works (GW) was established in 2003 but is very limited to only church matters. GW is not eligible for any kind of public funding. The revenue of LN is about four times that of GW. Most of the LifeNets board members are or have been UCGIA elders. When Mr. Kubik was asked to be president of UCGIA, the Council asked him to curtail his involvement with LN, so his wife, Bev, is now the chairman and CEO of LN and manages the day-to-day affairs. Mr. Kubik gave a handout with public documents that can be found at https://lifenets.org/ucg/.

Mario Seiglie said this question has come up many times in the past 17 years. From the Latin America point of view LN is so valuable for the projects and all that they do in Latin America. LN can do so much more than just the GW program by itself. LN is a supplement that we can get so much more done without using the funds of the Church.

Rex Sexton asked if Mr. Kubik or his wife receive a salary or financial benefits from LN. Mr. Kubik doesn’t get a salary, but Bev receives a small amount.

Mr. Dowd mentioned the issue isn’t what LN does. They help out in many ways. The concern that has been raised is why the UCG promotes LN. Many members think that LN is an extension of UCG because it gets regular ink in our publications.

Bev Kubik mentioned that LN primarily supports UCG, so it seems appropriate to get some recognition for it. LN is able to receive donations from corporate matching and from donors who do not wish to donate to a church organization, which helps the Church to benefit from funds that GW would not otherwise receive.
Several commented on what LN has done for their international areas and all the good they have done.

Tony Wasilkoff mentioned that some don’t understand that Good Works and LifeNets are two separate entities, and maybe an explanation can be sent out to help to differentiate. There is no doubt that LN helps out.
Victor Kubik said he would be glad to mention the difference in any of the Church publications if that would help.
The Council took a brief break and went into executive session for about an hour and came into open session at 5:23 p.m.

Appeal Policy for Removed Website Content
An appeal policy was discussed on what happens when website content is removed. It could be a sermon or article that is removed. The author is to be notified it was removed within 48 hours. Chairman Ward said that notification will hopefully be done personally and not over e-mail. The policy was discussed, and the Council passed it by a vote of 10 for; 2 against (Scott Ashley and Mario Seiglie). This policy will be e-mailed to the pastors.
The Council adjourned at 5:31 p.m.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. All 12 Council of Elders (Council) members were present.
Update on Portuguese Areas and Angola—Jorge de Campos
Jorge de Campos gave a presentation to update the Council on God’s work in the Portuguese area. He reminded everyone that it is God’s work and not his.
The congregation in Northern Brazil is doing well. There has been new growth, which has been encouraging.

There were around 20, but now there are around 40 on average each Sabbath.
In central Brazil we have had had great assistance by the Macedo family. Their daughter Michele is at ABC for this coming year.

The Portuguese website presence is strong. Just a few weeks ago it went to mobile-first format. There is a huge demand for literature requests. Some weeks there are 2,000 requests. The Ten Commandments booklet is the most request booklet. It is exciting that the gospel is being preached.

It was through the Portuguese website that the Church of God in Angola heard about UCGIA. Mr. de Campos went through a brief history of this group. They started in 1983 as a Sabbath-keeping group. In 1991 they had the first overseas contact. In 1995 they became WCG in Angola. In 2002 they were visited and told the “Sabbath was done away.” Of the then-2,500 brethren, 1,000 remained in the faith. In 2015 after the Feast they saw us on the Internet and since then we have stayed in contact. Currently they are 6,000 strong, and of those, 3,000 are baptized. They have 31 elders.

Mr. de Campos went through his recent visit to Angola in July 2017 with his wife, Kathy. This was his fourth visit to Angola and his second with his wife.

They have a school with children from grade 1-12. Even children from the community attend this school. This assists the government because there is a lack of teachers and schools in this area. It also provides the community a service and helps them become visible to the community. And it is helpful having no school on the Holy Days.

They have 13 congregations all with their own hall. Each congregation has about 100 people.
Every Sunday they produce and air a live radio program they produce at the radio station.
They pass along their greetings and are so thankful for us. They are happy to receive any advice and input. They sent a letter for the Council expressing their gratitude.

Mr. de Campos concluded by giving the UCGIA current status of the work:
BT print run is 3,000 in Brazil
BT print fun is 700 in the U.S.
Booklets—35 of the 36 booklets are translated

Brazil and Angola leaders to meet in South Africa in December for a mini ABC seminar
Please pray for more laborers to help in these areas. Currently we are 3-4 months behind on Internet requests.

Dr. Ward thanked Jorge and Kathy de Campos for their time in traveling to these areas. He asked how many members are in Portugal. Mr. de Campos said there are four members in Portugal and 30-60 BT subscribers.
Update on Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe—Aaron Dean
Aaron Dean presented an update to the Council of the English-speaking areas of Africa. Larry Darden and Aaron Dean went to these areas to help with regulatory compliance to protect assets. The assets being protected was $300,000-400,000 in Zambia.

They visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. It was wonderful to visit the brethren in those areas and help strengthen those areas and help to protect our own property there. The goal is always to work toward self-sufficiency.

Mr. Kubik appreciated the trip to those areas to assist. Chairman Ward also thanked them for their service.
The Council then went into a brief planned executive session to discuss legal review.
Protocol for Ministerial Candidates and Ordination—Victor Kubik

Victor Kubik discussed with the Council the proposal to modify the process for ordination of elders and hiring of pastors. Recently they have noticed some of the elders ordained lack some basic biblical knowledge. This proposal would help our newer elders make sure they are speaking the truth.

Darris McNeely has been helping to define a new proposal process for evaluating a potential elder. This proposal is to modify in the Pastors Policy Manual for Eder Ordination Procedure.

Mr. Kubik mentioned a type of board exam that ministerial trainee could go through to make sure their biblical knowledge is correct and also to see how they would handle situations.

Chris Rowland mentioned that today’s session is seeking feedback to see if the Council would like for this to be done and for any input.

The process was handed out last week, and there were many positive responses. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. And ideally this shouldn’t be a rushed process, so there is time to evaluate the ministerial candidates. Ultimately the Council makes the final decision, but there will be recommendations and results from the process that would be shared with them.

Scott Ashley agreed with and appreciated this process. Sometimes there have been ordinations that in hindsight maybe were done too quickly and more time should have been taken.

Rex Sexton mentioned the current way the Council often just sees names and they don’t know much about the individuals, so this proposal would be a good idea. He suggested having the Education Committee looking through the proposal for approval too. Mr. Kubik agreed.

Bob Dick was very encouraged by the process. He liked the idea of a biblical knowledge test and a biblical wisdom test. To be a good elder you need knowledge and wisdom and common sense.

Tony Wasilkoff appreciated the proposal. This has a lot to do with head knowledge, but there is also the importance of heart knowledge. Do they have a pastor’s heart? How is their marriage? How are their children? And do they love people? Maybe a temperament test should enter into this as well.

The Council discussed and gave input on various points. It was suggested to use some of the retirees to help with this process of reviewing and interviewing individuals. It was decided that this proposal will move forward with more detail and be brought up again in the December meetings.

The Council took a break for lunch. After lunch they went into scheduled executive session to assess the treasurer. They came into open session at 2 p.m.

Process and Timeline for the Selection of the Secretary of UCGIA—Rainer Salomaa

The Council has previously approved a process and procedure for selection of president, chairman and deputy chairman. Now the process needs to be worked on for selection of the secretary.

Gerald Seelig will have his term end on July 1, 2019, and would like to retire from this position, so this current process will be to train someone for this replacement. A new secretary will take at least one year to train.

The process and timeline were passed out and discussed with input from the Council.

The Council went into planned executive session for the remainder of the day.
The Council adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Chairman Don Ward called the morning session to order at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and the meeting was opened with prayer. All 12 Council of Elders (Council) members were present.

Council meetings began in executive session and went into open session at 9:20 a.m.

Resolution to Have Term Limits for Members of the Doctrine and Prophecy Advisory Committees

The Council unanimously adopted the following resolution:
Whereas, most all committee members of the Council of Elders and the General Conference of Elders have terms with expiry dates, and
Whereas, it is the desire of the Council of Elders to have term limits for members of the Doctrinal Advisory and

Prophecy Advisory Committees,
Now therefore, it is hereby resolved, that committee chairmen shall serve a term of three (3) years as chairman, and
It is hereby further resolved, members of the Doctrinal Advisory and Prophecy Advisory Committees shall have five (5)-year terms that terminate on May 15th in any given year, and
It is hereby further resolved, to achieve an initial staggering of terms, each committee chairman will determine the rotation of the expirations of his current committee members’ terms, which will take place on May 15th in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years, by requesting volunteers and/or by lot method, and
It is hereby further resolved, that a member whose term is expiring, can be reappointed by the Council, and
It is hereby further resolved, that when an alternate is appointed to replace someone who resigns from a subcommittee, or whose term has expired, or has become incapacitated, or is removed by the Council, the appointed alternate will complete the term of the person he replaces.

Editorial Doctrinal Review Process
The Council discussed a process for editorial doctrinal review. There were several edits and input given for it. It was decided not to rush through it too quickly. There was still some wordsmithing that was needed.

Chairman Ward remanded this process to an ad hoc committee to finalize for the December meetings. The ad hoc committee will consist of Scott Ashley (chair), Peter Eddington, John Elliott and Jorge de Campos.
Process and Timeline for the Selection of the Secretary of UCGIA

The Council had a few edits they discussed. The Council unanimously adopted the following resolution:
Whereas, the Secretary of the United Church of God, an International Association, is an appointed officer of the corporation who serves for a three (3)-year term, and who may be reappointed to another three (3)-year term at the direction of the Council, and

Whereas, the individual serving in the capacity of corporate secretary may need to be replaced for whatever reason, and

Whereas, a process to replace the secretary needs to be established,

Now therefore, it is hereby resolved that, the “Process and Timeline for the Selection of the Secretary of UCGIA,” a copy of which is attached and made a part of this resolution, is the process and timeline the Council will use when selecting a secretary.

Technical Item

Rainer Salomaa brought up a technical item that came as a result of the Bylaws having been amended and some numberings having changed and made a motion, “I move that the reference to Bylaw 8.8 and its attachment in the Scope of Responsibilities for the Doctrine, Education, Ethics, Media and Strategic Planning Committees be replaced with Bylaw 8.9.” This was unanimously approved by the Council.

Upcoming GCE Dates Set:
May 5-7, 2018
May 4-6, 2019
May 2-4, 2020
Upcoming Council Meetings:
Dec. 4-7, 2017 at the home office
Feb. 26-March 1, 2018, at Big Sandy, Texas
The Council then went into executive session for the remainder of the morning.
The Council adjourned at 12:04 a.m.
Council Reporter
Shawn Cortelyou
© 2017 United Church of God, an International Association

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