United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: August 24, 2023

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Home Office Weekly Update

August 24, 2023

From Ministerial and Member Services . . .

Recent Ordination

We’re happy to announce that on Aug. 19, 2023, Ron Bell was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Rose, serve the congregation in Buffalo, New York.

Death of Galen Morrison

Our brother in Christ, Galen Morrison, completed his race to God’s Kingdom on Aug. 5, 2023. Galen served as an elder in the Beloit, Wisconsin, congregation with his wife, Corinne. Galen was grateful for the encouraging cards, texts and emails while he had pancreatic cancer. His family is thankful for the same support shown to them.

In viewing Galen’s physical training, it aided him in his spiritual walk. His music training of Boy’s State and high school as well as professional lessons aided his ability to work with local and Feast choirs. His technical education as a radio announcer and video producer at a local television station allowed him the skill of producing and posting our local Sabbath services on YouTube.

His career in radio and TV, as well as being a counselor for De Vry Institute, prepared him for public speaking. His operation of owning his marketing company gave him skills to help the United Church of God in their marketing endeavors.

His love for family is shown by all the family times shared. His granddaughter Kristen produced an elegant video that was played at Galen’s memorial.

Galen’s and Corinne’s legacy include: Gary & Gale Black’s family; Robbie, Kristen, Brayden, Kinsley, and August-newborn Mazza; Glade, Kelsey, Watson, and February-baby girl Pennington; Mitchell, Kait, and Rosemary Sinon; David, Jennifer, Ava, John, and Evan Morrison; Charley, Lexie, Andrew Morrison (deceased Lisa Orban Morrison); Aaron, Liz, Maddox, Jackson, and Noah West; and a treasured legacy of four children, 11 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

As Galen used the personal training he was given to do God’s work, let this encourage you to do likewise. The support and care given makes these transitions of life easier. God’s people are family!

Report from Camp Wilderness Family Camp

An enjoyable camp for families of the Church was held in Gloucestershire, England, at The Wilderness Centre from Jul. 31 to Aug. 6, 2023. Accommodation was a mix of camping in bell tents or staying in rooms in the main house. The picturesque views of rolling hills, rivers and woodlands enhanced the experience.

This year’s event was attended by around 100 people; campers of all ages from 2 to 18 years old, parents, grandparents and other staff. Attendees hailed from England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Sweden, the United States and Australia, giving a wonderful international feel to the week.

Days at Camp Wilderness start with breakfast and a biblical “Thought of the Day,” followed by separate age-appropriate focused sessions, facilitated by parents and staff. On Friday evening, we enjoyed a hymn sing-along around the campfire. On the Sabbath, we welcomed several brethren from the Gloucester congregation and heard two split sermons on topics relevant to our young people, and were treated to two pieces of special music from our campers and attendees.

Onsite activities this year included air riflery, archery, capture the flag, bushcraft, tunnelling and a camp favorite—crate stacking (a high ropes activity where participants see how many crates can be stacked and stood upon before toppling). Our staff ran sporting activities such as rounders, ultimate rocket frisbee and craft activities such as pottery. Dance class and skit sessions culminated in a special viewing during our fancy-dress and karaoke celebration evening. During the week, groups left the site to go to an outdoor swimming pool, a soft play center and Go Ape (a high rope and zip line course in the forest). All activities and events encouraged teamwork, friendship and “doing things with all your might” (one of the many aspects of the camp theme this year). To fuel us, our kitchen staff prepared exceptionally delicious meals each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Families in the British Isles and Europe are relatively isolated and opportunities to spend a week together at camp are immensely important for the parents as well as for the children. Some parents commented about how heartwarming it was to witness their children building wonderful friendships and others about feeling renewed and encouraged to continue raising their children in God’s way, despite the challenges that come with it.

We thank all of our parents, grandparents and other volunteers who gave up a week of their time to support the youth in Britain and Europe. We thank others in the Church for their prayers about this event and, above all, we thank God for his protection and blessing on this camp and all other camps around the world.

—Jon and Debi Richardson

Francophone West African Youth Camp

From Aug. 13–20, the Francophone West African youth camp was held in Grand-Popo, a coastal town in southwest Benin. There were 27 participants from Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, the USA, Guatemala and Madagascar.

We followed the camp theme from the United States: “Race to Your Crown.” We took part in several activities such as frisbee, soccer, archery, fishing and volleyball. Every morning we had Bible lessons pointing us to our objective in life to obtain this crown. We ended each of these studies with question-and-answer sessions.

Many of the young people were able to see life through a different lens and are ready to run towards their heavenly vocation (Philippians 3:14). All our young people were enthusiastic, and we thank all those who supported us financially, including the United Church of God Good Works program. God heard our prayers in making this camp a success.

—Pierre Ogoudele, pastor, Cotonou, Benin

Feast in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We have a few additional rooms available at the all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There is no longer a waitlist, so if you would like to attend, you can sign up today.

This Feast site is an exclusive site where only Church members stay at the hotel. Come and enjoy a Feast like no other, with all the food, drinks and many hotel activities included in your nightly rate of $190 for 2 people (this includes taxes, tips and fees). With several restaurants on-site to choose from, and services in the same hotel, you can relax and enjoy a family-friendly Feast.

This will likely be the last year we will be at this location, so don’t miss your chance to experience this unique Feast. Please sign up at the Church’s website: ucg.org/members/feast/sites/2023/puerto-vallarta-mexico

—Mario Seiglie, Feast Coordinator, Puerto Vallarta

New Opportunity for Beyond Today Television in Europe

Beginning on Sunday, Sept. 3, Beyond Today television will begin airing on Faith World Television out of London, England. We will be airing four times each weekend at the following times (GMT): Saturday 6:30 a.m., Saturday 12:30 p.m., Sunday 6:30 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.

Faith World Television reaches out to over 45 million homes in the United Kingdom through the Sky television platform 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The channel also covers Europe, some parts of Africa and streams live on the Internet. It covers the United Kingdom and Europe's current population of 742 million people.

Viewers can watch via SKY TV channel 588. In addition, they can watch on the Internet by visiting faithworldtv.com. Also, people can download the Faith World TV app available at the App Store and Google Play.

Please pray for the success of this new opportunity to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in this important part of our world.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Good Works Seeking Volunteers

Good Works is seeking three volunteer participants to serve at the youth camp in South Africa, preferably at least one male and one female.

Camp experience is required, either as camper or staff (though staff experience is preferred).

Dates: Dec. 17–28, 2023 (please allow 3–5 days pre/post camp for travel).

Cost: 50% airfare (based on economy ticket prices and reasonable itineraries reviewed by Good Works staff) and all necessary immunizations required by South Africa (scholarships available).

Deadline to apply: Sept. 15, 2023.

For more information email Lena VanAusdle at Lena_VanAusdle@ucg.org or to apply visit: 

Job Opportunities

The United Church of God is still seeking candidates for Client Relationship Specialist and Receptionist. Details about all of the current job postings for the Church may be reviewed at ucg.org/members/news/current-job-openings.