The Abigail Cartwright (AC) site listed two more losses to UCG’s eldership:
Mr. Howard Wills (Local Elder, Miami, Florida), January 10, 2011, resigned from UCG ministry Mr. Paul Cebrian (Local Elder, Mindanao, Philippines) January 30, 2011, resigned from UCG ministry
According to the list at the AC site, UCG has lost 163 elders/pastors/ministers since June 0f 2010. But this only represents about 1/3 of its pre-crisis eldership. However, the losses have not seemed to have stopped and there are reporting delays, so UCG may be losing even more.
Today, UCG is having a conference apparently to determine who should fill some of the vacated COE spots, quell the crisis, and figure out how the organization should go forward. By and large, UCG seems to be trying to tell its remaining membership that the organization is fine as it still has the majority of its elders, still will have Feast of Tabernacles sites, still will have youth camps, still is on television, and still is producing literature. The conference may be a unifying one for UCG, but it also could result in some losses. We will see.
UCG has concerns about misinformation. On the Sabbath, I received a letter from UCG where its Chairman Melvin Rhodes reported:
It was in this spirit that Dennis Luker, president of the United Church of God, wrote in an open letter to the elders of UCGIA on Dec. 13, 2010: “I would that we were all at peace together, working hard to serve Christ and preach His gospel of the Kingdom… With all my heart I sincerely hope and pray that you will rethink and re-pray your position and truly unite with us. But if not, then we are at an impasse.” His concluding comment here was part of a longer letter, fragments of which have been unfortunately twisted and selectively quoted in three divisive documents from proponents of a breakaway organization.
Much false information was published in these three documents. What is the reality of this?
The reality is that this crisis has been a real struggle for those in or once part of UCG as parties on both sides seem to be offended by the actions of those on the other side.
I will simply add that some who have left UCG believe that falsehoods from UCG were factors. And while two wrongs do not make a right, it seems, to me at least, that both sides believe that they are right and that Christ is leading them.
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.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation?