COGWA and LCG Report on Spring Holy Days


Yesterday, Clyde Kilough, of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA), posted the following at COGWA’s website:

Watching meteorologists on television tracking the storm was both terrifying and fascinating. You could not help but be awed by the live footage of massive tornadoes rolling by—even though you knew that video and reports would soon follow with nothing but bad news. At the same time, you could not help but be grateful for the advancements in radar technology that now provide accurate information warning people well in advance to seek shelter or escape the path of these twisters. How many more lives would have been lost in this storm system without this amazing technology?

In this lies a powerful analogy for us today and the work that lies before us! On the first holy day you gave some $370,000 in the offering, and I cannot help but conclude that this outstanding outpouring was because your hearts are in the very cause for which this offering was dedicated—preaching the gospel! Yes, we have been through a time of difficulty; but as we are resettling, our focus has quickly come back to a deep, pressing desire to share, with everyone who will listen, the same message that changed our lives…

God has now instantly opened a door through the generosity of your offering! All of a sudden we now have the financial means to start putting into place things we need to do to move forward with our media efforts…

In reality, though, we haven’t even begun to tap the potential of the Internet. We need a steady flow of content, and that will require us ramping up our efforts in both written and video form. We have already begun to tap the considerable pool of talent we have in the Church, but there is much more we can do.

I was hoping that COGWA would have directly announced how many people were supporting it as opposed the amount of the first Holy Day offering.   I have not yet seen any official reports related to UCG’s attendance or income for any of this Spring’s Holy Days.

Now, the first Holy Day offering is intended to be used by COGWA to start to make some efforts to proclaim the gospel according to what Clyde Kilough reported about that on March 15, 2011:

The obvious affordable vehicle we have for immediate use to launch gospel proclamation efforts is the Internet, and what a tool it is—the tool that reaches literally the entire world!

…this is something we are delighted to announce—we are dedicating the first holy day offering of the Feast of Unleavened Bread entirely to preaching the gospel. This will provide the “seed money” for sowing our future efforts. In a time when we don’t have an annual budget in place and there are many hungry mouths, it will also assure that the gospel is guaranteed its seat at the resources table and that its share isn’t gobbled up before it even has a chance to get started.

Considering COGWA’s size, this is a fairly large Holy Day offering and perhaps suggests that some in COGWA hope to place a higher priority on gospel proclamation.   And some will consider that the above is a good first step.  Yet those who compare COGWA’s plan to the gospel proclaiming financial priorities of the old WCG under Herbert W. Armstrong, what was done at the start of the old GCG (on radio proclaiming the gospel within weeks of forming), or the start of the Living Church of God (on super-station WGN proclaiming the gospel within weeks of forming) will realize that COGWA obviously has been relegating gospel proclamation a relatively low financial priority. COGWA does not want to be so cold as to not do it, but neither so hot that it is a top priority (cf. Revelation 3).

As far as the internet goes, many groups have claimed that they would utilize this form of media to have an impact on the world. FWIW, as of this evening, the Alexa popularity rating of COGWA’s website is 287,088 (the lower the number, the more popular), while the ranking for is 159,190. Essentially what this means is that even though COGWA has claimed about 8,000 members and 170 ministers/elders, its now preferred gospel proclamation vehicle is considerably less popular than the website of an individual member of the Living Church of God (let alone LCG’s websites, telecasts, magazines, etc.).

Sadly, thousands associated with COGWA seem to be satisfied with that type of work.  While I do suspect that pouring a Holy Day offering into the internet will widen COGWA’s reach, the approach espoused so far by COGWA is consistent with the concerns I have had about that group from its official formation in December 2010 (it is a split from the United Church of God, seemingly now led by its past president Clyde Kilough).

Of course, if gospel proclamation was truly the priority for people in COGWA, they would not have fragmented and formed COGWA in the first place, but would have supported LCG.  But because of groups like UCG and COGWA, gospel proclamation efforts, in my view, have been unduly fragmented. And from a physical perspective, I do not believe that it was necessary.

Speaking of LCG, today at services the following was announced:

Against this backdrop of grief and destruction, God’s people have been faithfully observing His commanded Spring Holy Days—with an increase of 8.2% in attendance over last year.

LCG seems to be having two years in a row of fairly significant growth in attendance.

LCG did not announce income today, but from what I have heard, LCG seems to be having a decent year that way despite the problems with the USA’s economy.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
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.

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