Finally got a chance to watch Aaron Dean’s financial report video of this week, a few moments ago. Aaron Dean is the Treasurer for the United Church of God (UCG).
He reported that UCG had a proposed income of US$23,250,000 for the period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. He now estimates an income of $18,500,000 for the same period. This represents about a 20% drop from his earlier projection and a 22.5% drop from its previous fiscal year of $23,870,107. (UCG’s income last peaked in its fiscal year ending 6/30/09 at $24,735,699.) Aaron Dean said that UCG at the 67% point of its current fiscal year, has spent about 95.7% of its church assistance budget so far (891k of 931k).
Aaron Dean said he is hoping/expecting that UCG will not have to cut the media budget (public proclamation). He also reported that UCG’s cash reserves are still fine. He was fairly upbeat on these matters. He mentioned praying for those in COGWA (though without naming that group) and those in other COGs.
Aaron Dean also discussed cost savings and that there are ministerial gaps that some elders are trying to fill in. He said that UCG has tried to be generous and fair with the former ministers, financially. UCG expects to overspend its budget on second time assistance, relocation expenses, and certain other areas. In the latter portion of the year he expects that payroll costs will be lowered with the loss of ministers (UCG reported that it lost over 1/2 of its paid ministry in the past year)–but so far there has been little costs savings there.
Speaking of UCG ministerial losses, the Abigail Cartwright (AC) site posted the following today:
Mr. Bill Swanson (Retired Pastor, London, KY) March 2, 2011, forced to resign from UCG ministry
(I do not know why Bill Swanson resigned or was “forced to”.) AC lists 174 ministers/elders to have resigned from UCG (voluntarily and forced, most voluntarily) since June 2010.
Many of the ministers ended up with the new group known as COGWA.
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. This split is also seems to be causing financial tensions for the two primary groups affected. It is also causing confusion.
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.