UCG Council Highlights

Ruins of Ancient Laodicea


UCG posted more of the minutes of its latest series of Council of Elders meetings.  Here are some of the highlights not previously reported here, which are listed in chronological sequence as reported by UCG:

The Strategic Planning and Finance Committee’s Report on “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Mr. Kilough said that although he is most desirous to see this subject discussed, he said that this particular agenda item is out of order…

Mr. Kilough pointed out that the administration was not included in the discussions that the committee had held. He said that if this documentation is presented to the whole Council at this time, the scrutiny of the proposal will require that it will need to be remanded back to the committee for further review. He asked that this agenda item be dropped from the schedule until the committee and administration could discuss this proposal together as was approved by the Council.

Richard Thompson said that if the administration wasn’t solicited for input, then this document by the committee would not give the Council the complete picture. He said this item should not be submitted for the agenda.

Mr. Holladay said that he took a different perspective on this item…After the morning break, Mr. Holladay provided a compromise that Mr. Kilough agreed would be appropriate. Instead of providing a full report of ideas and thoughts about the topic, Mr. Holladay would provide information to the Council as to progress of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee on this issue, and the direction the committee will take. This revised agenda item will be discussed later this week (Council of Elders Meeting Report – May 5, 2009)…

Update: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Roy Holladay mentioned that the “perfect economic storm” the Church is now facing—with the current economic crisis, rising legacy and health care costs, and an aging ministry and membership—will impact our decisions on where we go from here…

Elder’s Forum Violations

On behalf of the Ethics Committee, Aaron Dean presented a working paper on dealing with violations on the Elder’s Forum, as some elders have not followed the policies established for Elder’s Forum…

Legacy Costs

Jason Lovelady had presented some material in his report to the GCE about the rising “legacy costs” for the Church. These costs can be defined as anything having to do with insurance, health care and discretionary retirement assistance.

Mr. Lovelady presented the Council with the possible rise of those costs over the next 15 years. He noted that these were preliminary figures, but that they could increase to over $2 million. As ministers age, health-care costs also increase.

Mr. Lovelady also mentioned that in August he will present further discussion regarding the retirement policy and the estate fund. He noted that it is the desire of the Church to present a sustainable program of benefits so that each group of retirees can receive the same benefits (Council of Elders Meeting Report – May 6, 2009)…

Outside Speaking Guidelines

Bill Eddington once again reviewed a set of revisions that the committee had made to the document. During the discussion, Jim Franks noted that the document doesn’t address what will happen when an elder doesn’t accept the advice or consultation from a supervisory elder regarding an invitation to speak to an outside religious group.

The newly-revised document still no longer requires an elder to seek permission, but rather requires one only to seek counsel and advice from a supervisory elder. A lengthy discussion ensued. Mr. Dick mentioned that he is very concerned if an elder comes into his area, rejects the advice given and speaks to a group, which then results in confusion and offenses to his members. He said that a pastor’s first priority must be to protect his members…

New Chairman

Secretary David Johnson presided over the balloting for the next Council chairman, which required a two-thirds majority. The Council, on the second ballot, chose Roy Holladay to be the next chairman. His term, which will last for the next two years, begins in July 2009…

Balloting Amendment

Mr. Eddington also presented an amendment to the Bylaws that would allow certain items for ballot by the GCE to be declared “extraordinary issues” requiring more than a simple majority to pass. This amendment was supported by eight Council members last year and was forwarded to the Amendment Committee for comment. The Committee recommended some wording changes to clarify the intent of the proposed amendment (Council of Elders Meeting Report – May 7, 2009).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

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.
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?
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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 members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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