UCG “becoming more efficient”?

Has Winter Hit UCG in the Spring?


The May 2008 issue of UCG’s United News came to our house last night.

Because of what has happened to UCG this week, the first headline and article of its front page was of interest:

GCE Considers New Strategic Plan; Ballots May 18

The General Conference of Elders will ballot Sunday, May 18, on the new Strategic Plan developed by the Council of Elders through a series of special meetings this year. The ballot will also include the Operation Plan and budget developed by the administration and approved by the Council.

“It has been a dizzying six months going from concept to completion,” said Council Chairman Robert Dick. He explained how the new plans flow “in a logical manner from vision and mission to strategic action steps… We expect they will be the first step in becoming more efficient, productive and accountable—all qualities we believe are important to the God we serve.”

While voting to overturn a previous decision in a sense makes its leadership more accountable, I do not believe that it is more efficient, nor is this likely to make UCG more productive as its chairman hoped.

For example, the article continued with:

$24.5 Million Proposed Budget

The proposed budget for 2008-2009 is $24.5 million, “a modest percentage increase over the current year’s likely total income,” said Treasurer Jason Lovelady. While lower than the $25 million budgeted for 2007-2008, it still projects increases in actual amounts for both years.

The proposed budget includes $550,000 for financing and construction costs, funds for hiring additional media staff for the increased strategic focus on the Web, funding to hire three new field ministers, increased international subsidies to allow growth and offset the decline in the U.S. dollar and a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for U.S. personnel effective Jan. 1, 2009.

I presume that much of the financing and construction costs have to do with the buildings planned for the relocation to Texas which just has been rescinded. Thus, apparently some budget items will need to be frozen or projects may be began that UCG’s General Council of Elders have just voted against.

This would not seem to be good for UCG (although if it wakes them up from spending money on themselves so that they will change their first priority to proclaim the whole message of the gospel to the world as a witness, this would be a very good thing, please see 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?–of course, individual UCG members could simply support LCG if that is what they want).

The same article then stated:

Other ballot items include five proposed amendments to the bylaws, a resolution to rescind last year’s approval to relocate the home office and four Council positions. The U.S. nominees on the ballot for three Council positions are Aaron Dean, Jim Franks, Doug Horchak, Darris McNeely, Larry Salyer and Robin Webber. The international nominees are Paul Kieffer and Leon Walker.

And, as previously reported here, UCG announced the results of those ballots (please see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting). And Aaron Dean, Robin Weber, Darris McNeely, and Paul Kieffer were selected for the board seats. Thus Jim Franks, Doug Horchak, Larry Salyer, and Leon Walker were not.

On July 25, 2007, Joel Meeker resigned his seat on UCG’s 12-man Council of Elders board. Leon Walker of Big Sandy, Texas, who in May 2007 had lost his bid for reelection to the council was given that spot as he had the most votes of those who were not voted in during the May 2007 vote (see The August 2007 Journal Is Out). But he, lost again this May.

Darris McNeely is the editor of UCG’s so-called World News & Prophecy publication. I state so-called, because Darris McNeely does not want UCG members to be too concerned about prophecy as he himself has written (for quotes, please see Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God). So he now is part of UCG’s 12-man Council.

Anyway, in various ways, matters simply have not gone quite as UCG’s top Council wanted. But, UCG will take steps to try to deal with its current voted in changes.

From censuring Aaron Dean (see United Church of God Council Censures Elder Aaron Dean) yet him being re-elected anyway (see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting), to voting to move to Texas and then rescinding that vote (see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting), to Joel Meeker’s posted comments this week (see UCG Having More Dissent), UCG seems to be confused.

The Bible teaches:

…God is not the author of confusion… (1 Cor 14:33).

BTW, while UCG is opposed to voting in national elections, but runs itself is basically a presbyterian form of democracy.

Herbert W. Armstrong taught which form of governance was from God and which he felt was from Satan:

The government of God has been restored to the Church, and the government of God has been placed in the Church. You read that in Ephesians 4 and I Corinthians 12. Christ is the head of the Church and under Christ in the administration of the government are an apostle or apostles, then evangelists, then pastors, then all are called elders, all ministers all the way up clear down to the lowest. So then there are teachers and elders both speaking elders and preaching elders, deacons and deaconesses. And the Church is restored in that form of government. The Sardis Church even didn’t have the right form of government (Armstrong HW. Sermon. Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era by Herbert W. Armstrong given on December 17, 1983).

The government of God is of necessity government from the top down. It cannot be ‘government by the consent of the governed’ …

The Presbyterian Church is organized with the presbyters or ministers in control. The Congregational Church delegates top authority to the congregation–“government by the consent of the governed.”

And so it goes. The churches of this world of Satan are organized according to humanly devised patterns. But the Bible gives explicit directions in regard to Church government. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. God’s form of government is, indeed, hierarchical. God the Father is head over Christ–the sole Lawgiver and supreme authority (Armstrong HW. (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, pp.49, 242).

Those in UCG should wake up. Hopefully the events of this week will encourage some to do so.

Three articles of related interest may include:

Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. This is a subject Christians need to understand.
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.
Herbert W. Armstrong and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, presbyterian, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?

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