Some Calm For COGWA and UCG, But…


The Abigail Cartwright (AC) site posted the following about the legal matter for COGWA:

Update Regarding False Allegations Against CGWA. Today, the appropriate agency of the State of Florida contacted legal counsel for the Church in writing, and following their review of the Church’s February 1, 2011 response to the fraudulent consumer complaint, the matter has been promptly closed, in favor of the Church. The Church will continue with its investigation to identify the harasser and will take appropriate steps to address any and all acts of harassment and defamation. The Church will also cooperate with any investigations by law enforcement to identify the suspect.

On other matters, Jim Franks, now of COGWA, reported the following:

We are still working on attendance figures in the United States. We estimate there were 115 congregations that met on the Sabbath of Jan. 22 (105 are on our official list, and we estimate there were another 10 that weren’t officially reported). Total U.S. attendance is probably somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 for the Sabbath of January 22. This is still an estimate, but it is based on actual reports from many congregations and estimates from previous weeks for those that haven’t sent in a report.

The above figures suggest that COGWA is probably the fourth largest COG in terms of attendance.  UCG is first, LCG is becoming a close second, PCG is probably third, and COGaIC is probably fifth.  Now, depending on its international attendees, COGWA could actually be third in size.

Related to its conference UCG reported:

The second day of meetings began by tackling the subject of leadership by “Looking to Christ.” Dennis Luker (president), Roy Holladay, Gary Antion and Victor Kubik addressed various facets of the definition of Christ-centered servant leadership. Following the example of Jesus Christ as He led by serving, and cultivating the heart and character of a true servant, was greatly expounded upon. Discussion ensued on the traits needed as we identify and develop spiritual gifts among the elders and members for the service of the Body of Christ.

During regional breakout sessions elders and wives shared ways to promote service among the congregations in the United States and around the world…The positive and spiritually energizing atmosphere of the first day of meetings was carried through to the second day. The unity of purpose at this conference was present and palpable.

The presentations covered our progress and future plans for television, the Internet and print. The redesigned UCG Web site was previewed, and an exciting plan to hold public lectures this year in church areas across the United States was discussed.

So, the two main sides seem to have started to reach a certain calm.  But hopefully, they will not be satisfied simply with that, but will review their teachings, governance, and approach to public proclamation of the gospel.  If UCG actually permanently lost or loses 4,500 or more USA attendees, this will likely dramatically affect its income, plans, and priorities–despite the calm sounding report from UCG, its income is likely to be tumbling.  Related to proclamation, it is interesting that UCG now seems to wish to follow LCG’s lead and have public lectures.

LCG calls its public lectures TWSPs.  Here is a report on them from Richard Ames:

In 2010, Living Church of God ministers conducted 102 Tomorrow’s World special presentations (TWSPs) in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and parts of Europe and Africa. Along with thousands of you brethren and co-workers, more than 3,400 new visitors came to these presentations, where they heard the Gospel preached with power. (Ames R. Co-Worker Letter, January 14, 2011).

If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this and related matters.

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.

I believe this crisis has often been focused on many improper and side issues, while Matthew 24:14 needs to be totally fulfilled. It is my hope and prayer that those who have been affected will realize that they do need to “seek first the kingdom” (Matthew 6:33) and support getting Christ’s “gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness” (Matthew 24:14).

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 and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

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