United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: August 31, 2023

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Home Office Weekly Update

August 31, 2023

From the President . . .

Greetings brethren around the world,

Later in this issue you will read about what may be the last summer Church youth camps for this year.

It is encouraging to read about our young people having time together with each other and living for a week where God’s way of life and instruction in His Word go hand-in-hand with the activities and responsibilities of day-to-day camp life.

Our prayer and responsibility as God’s Church, ministry, membership and parents is to keep the fire that is lit during camp burning brightly all year long. Don’t forget that in God’s tabernacle/temple He commanded an ever-burning flame; and don’t forget that we are His temple being built by Him today.

In a few short weeks, God’s people around the world will be leaving their homes, and gathering together at the “place God chooses” to observe the Feast of Tabernacles and Eighth Day. We, too, will have the once-a-year opportunity that God provided for us to be together in one place, apart from the world and our everyday lives in it, to be with each other, in God’s presence and hearing His messages and word every day, enjoying activities and life as it will be in His Kingdom.

Race to Your Crown

The theme for this year’s camp season was “Race to Your Crown.” Young people were pointed to the reason for their calling and reminded that their lives now are for the purpose of being prepared by God for whatever role He has for them in the future.

God’s plan includes the enjoyment of the physical planet He created for us to live on, and to enjoy and learn from the processes of human life we go through. Each step of the way, through childhood, adolescence, young “adulthood,” our work and career life, marriage and how we handle the roles of man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father, and into old age all matter. We learn valuable lessons from each phase of our life and God’s intent is that we experience it all.

Each phase of our lives should bring us increased understanding and appreciation of God’s truth; the beauty of the growth and training process He ordained for us in this physical life; and the blessings, benefits, joy and peace that comes from living God’s way.

Like what our children were taught at United Youth Camps around the world this year, you and I are in a “race to our crown.”

Time is growing near to Christ’s return. There needs to be a sense of urgency among all of us. We don’t know when this already rapidly changing and deteriorating world will collapse and we will find ourselves in the times described by Revelation 13. Several times in Scripture, God says “suddenly” when referring to the time of the end. One such place is in Isaiah 48:3: “I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it, suddenly I did them, and they came to pass” (emphasis added). You might read that scripture in its context and research the other areas where God says “suddenly” these things will come to pass.

The fall Holy Days are upon us. The Feast of Trumpets reminds us of the sudden change that will come in the world, its politics, government, and rebellion against all things and people who believe in God. In the end, Christ will return and save the world from itself and from the utter destruction that Satan is planning and hoping to achieve.

Satan will fail. Christ will be victorious. But there will be hard times ahead in the “race to our crown” that God promises if we endure to the end and become who He wants us to become (like Christ).

Brethren, please pay attention to God’s words and plan to observe the upcoming Feast days (and all of God’s word, for that matter) exactly the way He says.

Train yourself by making the right choices, using the strength of His Spirit to choose His way, His truth, and His life. Let’s let go of the attitudes that hold us back from following Him. Let go of any bitterness and strive to overcome sin and the “sin which does so easily beset us.”

Do what God says and ask Him for His Spirit and the wisdom that comes from above.

Let’s be ready for the approaching Holy Days and become ready for the times that lie ahead. He surely will provide what we need, as His will is for all of us to be there, standing with Christ when He returns (Zechariah 14:5). Our prayer is that all will heed His call and commit to Him with all our hearts, minds and souls.

Leadership Workshop Weekend

Here at the home office, we are looking forward this coming weekend to the annual Leadership Workshop that is held over the Labor Day (a United States holiday) weekend. Twenty-five men, along with their wives, will be here to engage in three days of training from the Bible. To those who are coming, we look forward to meeting you. To everyone else, please keep God’s work in your minds and prayers, asking God to lead us and direct us in the way He would have us go.

Have a great day of preparation, and wonderful and inspiring Sabbath!

In Christ’s service,
Rick Shabi

Report from Youth Camp in Congo

For the second consecutive year, we held our youth camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Catholic monastery in Lubumbashi with 52 young participants from Lubumbashi and Kasumbalesa, a small town which is on the border with Zambia.

11 staff members served our young people during the camp. We were able to take advantage of very good August weather. In addition to the compass check and Christian living sessions, we had English class and many physical activities.

We are grateful to the home office and administration who made this camp possible.

—Moïse Mabout

Report from Youth Camp in Zambia

Under the theme “Race to Your Crown,” 126 campers and staff gathered from Aug. 20-26 in Mufulira, Zambia, to share an engaging and fascinating camp; the seven elements of the Zone guided all the camp activities. It was such an awesome thing for our youth to come from all over Zambia, unlike past years when there were multiple camp locations. Old relationships were renewed, new relationships created, and people from different groups, ethnicities and cultures came together under one name with one goal: to learn to race to their crown.

The seven days were characterized by so many activities—games, a quiz, Bible race, morning road run etc., just to mention a few. Entrepreneurship and financial literacy were presented by one of our senior staff who is a qualified accountant; some other talks were given by qualified teachers, and one nurse who was there to instruct female campers on stages of growth and other important knowledge.

On Friday, we had a special day outing and a lot of things took place: swimming, a boat cruise and other games. The boat cruise and swimming seemed to be the most active and appreciated activities of the day for everyone.

“What I have done for the first time is a boat cruise.” “I had never done these things before in my life, which kind of surprised me when I did it.” “Not to be obnoxious, but I actually think it was my best experience,” said one camper.

Our campers learned that “winning is finishing,” and to live by the “Seven Elements of the Zone.” This included how they can apply them in their daily lives, allowing them to have fun with others, but in a “clean, fun way” where they support, uplift and encourage one another.

Thank you so much to all the people who took their time to pray and support the camp physically and financially.

—Rodrick Epomba

Job Opening—Client Relationship Specialist

The United Church of God has announced an opening for a client relationship specialist. The incumbent to this position will manage relationships with current and potential subscribers, donors and website visitors through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and technology. This position is responsible for managing the flow of online marketing information they receive from the United Church of God.

The incumbent will identify new opportunities to build strong relationships with online visitors and viewers, and use a variety of software applications, including CiviCRM, to do this effectively—including email messaging, social media, customer service databases, etc. Duties assigned may include:

  • Use CiviCRM system to collect and analyze information that will be needed for the management of client relationships.
  • Create reports on client activity to help improve marketing campaigns and outreach methods.
  • Manage the information about clients and prospects in a database (CiviCRM).
  • Develop online campaign strategies and plans for marketing activities such as email campaigns, social media campaigns, etc.
  • Create proposals for new advertising initiatives that will align with potential clients’ needs and preferences.
  • Determine which biblical topics and subjects will meet clients’ needs based on their website usage, interests and preferences.
  • Provide training to employees on how to use CRM applications and manage their client data.
  • Collaborate with home office website and information technology personnel to improve the website experience and solve customer service issues.

A Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or institution; or 4 years related experience or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is advantageous.

This position requires a good familiarity with CRM software, in particular CiviCRM if possible, and a knowledge of customer acquisition and retention strategies.

Potential employees must be baptized members (in good standing) of the United Church of God. Applicants must be biblically literate and possess a thorough working knowledge of the doctrines, beliefs and practices of the United Church of God.

To request a job application or for questions about the position, please contact human_resources@ucg.org.