In its latest member letter, the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA) announced the following:


The Church of God, a Worldwide Association, is pleased to announce a new program designed to address our need to identify and develop pastoral leadership. We all know that one of the challenges faced by the Church is that of an aging ministry…

After thorough discussion among senior ministers, Ministerial Services has developed and is now launching a program called the Focused Mentoring Program. With input from the local pastors, six couples from six different church areas have been selected to participate for this coming year and have agreed to do so.

The Focused Mentoring Program is a 12-month program that is a concentrated effort to provide biblical education and application, along with practical experience in how the pastoral ministry carries out its work. The education involves both biblical classes and personal mentoring by the local pastor. Bible classes will be provided online by Foundation Institute and will include “Fundamental Beliefs of the Church of God” and “Epistles of Paul.”…


The 2012 Media Operation Plan stated that “the first thing we are doing is to create two major websites with entirely different focuses: the member site will be for ‘feeding the flock’ and a public proclamation site for preaching the gospel to the world.”

We knew the member site would be the easiest, but the public proclamation site had to be planned, developed and built from the ground up, with a fairly ambitious start-up date. Launching Life, Hope & Truth was easily the biggest media project of 2012.

Life, Hope & Truth. Over three pages in last year’s operation plan were devoted to outlining an innovative approach, given our limited manpower, for building the content portion of the public proclamation site…

Office Facilities. Moving into the new headquarters office meant starting from the ground up in researching equipment needs and purchasing and setting up the camera gear, lighting, sets, editing programs, computer systems, furniture, etc., that would be required for video production. In addition, we decided early on to video all of the Foundation Institute classes, given the anticipated needs for both member education (such as FI Online) and ministerial education (such as the Focused Mentoring Program). Then the move of FI to the new upstairs facility meant revamping the entire production process in order to remotely capture and store all of the video. It was a demanding undertaking, involving a lot of man-hours for everything ranging from researching equipment capabilities to drawing schematics to physically installing the equipment. However, we are now pretty well-set with our basic equipment needs. The main needs in the near future will be in the set construction and lighting for the new studio.

Website Map. In total, we now have eight websites (not counting the “seasonal” web pages that function as sites, such as the Winter Family Weekend and Young Adult Leadership Weekend)…


From David Baker: During the last part of October and the first part of November, I had the opportunity to visit our members in India and Sri Lanka…Visiting our members in India and Sri Lanka is always inspiring. They are scattered among more than a billion people and face some unique challenges and difficulties. For most of the year their only opportunity to spend time with other members of the Church outside their family is during the Feast of Tabernacles or when I have an opportunity to visit.

Foundation Institute was began by COGWA in August 2012 and developed an online component last month (COGWA’s Foundation Institute to Go Online).  There are many advantages to offering online classes, especially when trying to reach people around the world.

Nearly all of the ministry in COGWA came from the United Church of God.  COGWA officially formed two years ago this month, and was a split from the United Church of God (UCG).

So far, the reach of its “public proclamation website” Life, Hope & Truth seems to be relatively light.  Its Alexa ranking on the internet is 1,394,007, which basically means it is reaching relatively few people, especially considering the size of COGWA.

As far as Sri Lanka goes, my wife and I were able to visit it for the Feast of Tabernacles in 1984.   About 100 or so attended. Sri Lanka was so different from the USA that we thought back then that perhaps we should write a list of what was the same as in the USA as that would have been a fairly short list. Here are some photos taken at that feast:

Village in Sri Lanka Fruit Stand in Sri Lanka

Below is the Riverina hotel where church services for the Feast of Tabernacles in 1984 was held:

Riverina Hotel

Perhaps some day we will be able to visit Sri Lanka again.

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