UCG: What Next?

Laodicea Has Many Scattered Structures that Are Ineffective


At UCG’s Council Meeting earlier this month, UCG leaders are still somewhat in a bind because they have bought property approved for relocation to Texas, yet the field elders blocked the moved in a later vote (for details, see UCG Keeps Aaron Dean on Council and Votes to Rescind Texas Move). Here is what was reported about it:

How Do We Proceed From Here?

Mr. Kilough presented a seven-page document to the Council. It included a review of what the new Strategic Plan and Operation Plan address about having necessary facilities for our training and educational programs. Immersion education provides the optimal growth atmosphere for our ABC and pastoral training participants, and on-site housing is a critical component. He also noted that we need better media production facilities that will allow us to expand and improve our program formats. We also need room soon for adding manpower to expand and improve our Web delivery capabilities.

The next section of the document included the facts of where we are now. We currently own 81 acres of land in Denton, Texas. The original proposal costs for construction and development are now out of date, and will be higher as time goes by. The projections we presented two years ago concerning manpower are coming to pass. This year we have three pastors seeking retirement, and others have indicated to us their plans for the future. The need for pastoral training is now, and it will only increase. To implement the tremendous opportunities for expanding our media reach and increasing our effectiveness, we will require more manpower and better facilities.

Three options were then presented with the understanding that the restoring of trust needs to be considered as part of the process of going forward. The options presented did not have cost estimates for implementation. Therefore, whichever option the Council would choose, the next step would be for the administration to conduct a due diligence study of costs, manpower needs, etc. The study would then be presented to the Council with a detailed proposal for final approval.

The first option was to conduct a strategic facilities study. This would include a task force comprised of Council, administration and GCE representatives. The Council and administration would develop a “scope of work” for the task force. It would involve standardizing the needs and criteria for any location decision and the hiring of an outside consultant. Key areas of communication would include the Council communicating the entire study plan to the GCE. The task force would give regular progress reports to the Council, GCE and administration, and the Council would communicate the results to the GCE. This option has the advantage that the use of an outside consulting firm would satisfy any concerns about a lack of objectivity. One of the disadvantages is that this option could take a long time—up to two years—and it doesn’t address our immediate needs for manpower and space, without which we will be increasingly hampered.

The second option is to decide to build in the Cincinnati area. The administration would choose a “location task force.” As with the first option, there would be a need to set the “scope of work” and communication efforts would be employed just as thoroughly. The advantages to this option are that we can move forward faster, and it does not put the GCE through another relocation decision. A disadvantage is that it does not provide a comparative study of locations and, without a fair study, it could alienate the almost 50 percent of the GCE who favored the move to Texas.

The third option is to remodel the current facility, concurrently implementing the strategic facilities study (option 1). This option does not expand, but remodels the current building. It could meet the immediate needs for the next three to five years. This option would allow for the warehouse to be moved to a nearby, leased facility. We could create a multimedia auditorium in what is currently the warehouse space. We could create more space for offices and conference rooms. This option allows for the cautious approach, satisfying the concern that the original proposal was too hurried. It does meet the immediate needs for increased office space and allows for time to implement the strategic facilities study. Also, it does not increase the size of our current facility that could reduce our future ability to sell. The disadvantage is that it does not provide for on-site housing for ABC and ministerial training, and it means investing money in the short term that we cannot count on being recovered when the facility is sold.

Mr. Kilough then read the administration’s recommendation: The president and the operation managers agreed that option 1 focuses on addressing the long-term vision. It is a critical and logical element in sound strategic thinking. The downside to option 1 is the time factor, as task force work can be very slow and lengthy.

Therefore, the third option, which calls for the remodeling of the current facility and concurrently implementing the strategic facilities study, offers the most advantages at this time. It gives us the best balance of choices and the greatest flexibility.

Mr. Kilough then opened the floor for discussion. Council members stated their appreciation for the work and effort that went into preparing these proposals.

The Council discussed various issues such as whether some research from the past studies could be used again. Other topics included the need to have set criteria standards for a facility’s usage. A lot of questions dealt with how the current facility could be remodeled, and if we should consider hiring a professional efficiency expert to maximize our current space.

Discussion then led to future planning that included the design of future buildings. Mr. Kilough said when we first moved into this current facility, it was great, and then we needed more room, and we still do. We do need acreage to use in case there is even more growth. There needs to be long-term planning that accommodates growth that we may not be able to anticipate at this point. We do have real tangible problems with our current facility that is now outgrown.

Robert Dick thanked Mr. Kilough and the staff for the material they provided the Council. Mr. Dick then asked the Council to consider providing the administration with a sense of direction as to which option the administration should now focus on. This will be part of the agenda for the last day’s meeting.

UCG has always had a form of governance that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote against, hence having troubles because of it is certainly no surprise.

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? 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?
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 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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