In today’s member letter, COGWA’s Clyde Kilough reported:
I wish everyone could have been with us this past weekend in Branson, Missouri, for the 16th consecutive family weekend held every year over the Presidents’ Day holiday. With a motel facility all to ourselves, we ate together, went to services, seminars and activities together, and basically spent the better part of three days and nights renewing old friendships and forming new ones—building the family. Ask any of the 325 attendees, and I think you would hear the same report…
Since COGWA did not officially form until December 2010 (though UCG formed 16 years ago), it is sounding like the weekend is being portrayed (perhaps correctly) as a continuance of UCG practices.
This information reminded me of a statement that Jim Franks once stated about UCG when he was with it. Notice the following from 2001:
“Jim Franks of Cypress, Texas, chairman of the UCG’s advisory committee on doctrine…Mr. Franks believes…UCG is ‘not a new church,’ he said. ‘We are a continuation’ ” (Warren, John. UCG tentatively sanctions old-WCG voting doctrine. The Journal. August 31, 2001).
When Jim Franks stated that, it was my opinion that it was not a Philadelphia-era continuation that he was referring to. Nor do I believe that is what has happened with COGWA (Jim Franks is now with COGWA, serving in Austin, Texas).
On United Church of God specific matters, I have noticed that it still has certain “congregational gaps” when I look at its congregation pages online. It basically looks like some ministers have been assigned to larger than usual geographic regions and that UCG will ultimately figure out how many members it has and where. This is especially true in Latin America.
In other UCG news, it announced that it had an ABC party about two weeks ago and that it just accepted four students this week (bringing the total to 22) to its Ambassador Bible Center program. UCG announced yesterday that the January-April 2011 issue of Bonnes Nouvelles, the French edition of its Good News magazine, was going to press–UCG has tried to catch up in several areas as it has lost at least a third of its ministry since June 2010 in the crisis that led to the formation of COGWA.
This crisis has been a real struggle for many of those in or once part of UCG as many on both sides seem to be offended by the actions of those on the other side. This split is also seems to be causing financial and organizational tensions for the two primary groups affected.
If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this.
Ask yourself what are the true priorities that the Bible indicates that the church most faithful to the words of Jesus would do and act appropriately.
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.