United's Worldwide Vote from Ohio

The June 2008 edition of United News is now online covering the annual General Council of Elders (GCE) meeting.

The annual GCE meeting included a service May 17. President Clyde Kilough gave a sermon that was reported to be heard by an estimated 5,400 members through telephone and internet hookups. Approximately 197 elders and 146 elders' wives attended the conference.

During the GCE conference, the new treasurer, Jason Lovelady. noted out that even after the purchase of the home office land in Texas, that UCG has more than the required 10 weeks of cash set aside in reserves. Mr. Lovelady also presented the cash flow report and gave the salary ranges for various levels of church employees.

Mr. Jim Franks noted a 1.5 percent increase in UCG church attendance for the year (meaning about 200 more people). Average attendance is 11,430. UCG pastors have declined in number from a high of 125 to the present 87 pastors; which number will likely continue to further drop, as many in the aged UCG ministry soon face the prospect of declining health in retirement.

What the GCE voted on May 19, 2008:

The General Conference of Elders selected Paul Kieffer (international) and Aaron Dean, Darris McNeely and Robin Webber to the Council of Elders.

The Strategic Plan was ratified with 286 yes and 73 no.

The Operation Plan was ratified with 279 yes and 80 no.

The budget was ratified with 269 yes and 92 no.

The proposed Amendment to Bylaws 7.5.4 and 8.4.3 (to have the GCE vote when an election of Council members results in a tie) was rejected with 174 yes and 180 no.

The proposed Amendment to Bylaw 8.3.1 (setting aside a Council seat each year for an elder not employed or retired from employment by the Church) was rejected with 149 yes and 208 no.

The proposed Amendment to Bylaws 9.1 and 9.2 (prohibiting operation managers, secretary and treasurer from serving on the Council) was rejected with 194 yes and 165 no. (Passage of amendments requires a two-thirds majority, or 240 in this case.)

The proposed Amendment to Bylaw 9.6 (requiring sending Council minutes to all pastors) was rejected with 146 yes and 211 no.

The Amendment to Bylaws and (allowing statements of support for amendments to be included with the call and notice packet) was approved with 266 yes and 88 no.

The resolution to rescind the 2007 GCE vote to relocate the home office to Texas was approved with 187 yes and 175 no.

On May 22, the Council subsequently voted with 11 in favor of a resolution to have President Clyde Kilough make a report on strategic issues and questions involving relocation: "Therefore, it is hereby resolved that the President bring recommendations for determining how to proceed from this point in addressing these issues and questions and, “It is further resolved that this report will be presented to the Council of Elders at the August 2008 meeting for Council review and approval.”

Question: Would anyone like to buy 81.5 acres of prime Texas real estate on sale now, for a very cheap price?


Living University Commencement

In August of 2007 Living University (if it may be properly called a "university"- which confers legitimate, recognized graduate level and doctoral degrees in various professional fields) began enrolling more than 150 students online from 18 countries. Of the 150 students who originally enrolled, more than 50 of the 150 are Living Church of God church elders, deacons and deaconesses.

On May 19th, 2008, Living University graduated its first class in the Living Church of God auditorium. Everything was prim and proper, except arguably, the most important missing dimension of all: accreditation. Opening was all "Pomp and Circumstance" by Elgar; followed by "The Star Spangled Banner" with printed lyrics, by Francis Scott Key; then Living University president Michael Germano welcomed the crowd. Of course, Chancellor of Living University and Chairman of the Board of Regents, theology professor Roderick C. Meredith, Th.D., age 79, was on hand to personally confer the credentials to his Ambassador graduates, uh, make that Living, graduates. Two candidates actually received the coveted credentials of some sort, the remainder of the credentials were awarded "in absentia".
Living University commencement gallery photos, here.
Revel in the 2008 Living University commencement schedule here.