United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: February 15, 2024

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Home Office Weekly Update

February 15, 2024

From Ministerial and Member Services . . .

Give Thought To Your Ways

When God says it once, it’s important. But when He speaks it more than once, it has to be significant. We find an example of that in the book of Haggai.

In chapter one, verse five, we’re told: “Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’” This command to “consider” is repeated in Haggai 1:7 and 2:15 and reiterated again in verse 18.

What are we encouraged to do? We are to “pay attention,” “carefully consider,” “give careful thought,” and “think about” our life. This reminds me of when I look at a very small object. My eyes aren’t what they once were, so I have to take it into the sunlight and perhaps even take a photo of it to blow it up in order to really discern! It’s almost like looking at it through a microscope and discovering exactly what it’s like.

It’s interesting that the word for “consider” can also be translated “inspect,” “search,” or “ponder” (Psalm 139:23; Proverbs 4:26). Imagine seeing ourselves, our behavior, our character under God’s microscope! When we give careful thought, we deeply consider our lifestyle, both as God sees us and as others do as well. In a way, we give ourselves a “checkup.” We assess our attitude, reflect on our relationships, test the time we devote to prayer and study, consider the concern we express to others, and observe our obedience, to name just a few.

Read through the whole first chapter of Haggai and you’ll discover how to give thought to your ways. Verse seven literally reads, “Set your heart upon your ways.” So our inspection must be done wholeheartedly. We’re also told to spend time alone in the presence of God. What better place for us to give careful thought to our behavior?

Certainly, contemplate God’s way, but don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. In verse 12 we’re told that as the people pondered God’s will, it brought them to obedience and deeper love and awe for Him. It can do the same for us, no doubt. God’s commands are always for our good, and none of His commands are oppressive (1 John 5:3).

Haggai delivered a powerful convicting message for those Jews who had recently returned from exile. They had forgotten God and had instead focused on their own selfish interests. It should also cause us to ask ourselves, “Where is my focus today?” No doubt, we live in challenging and distracting times that can preoccupy our thoughts and divert us from God. Like those people of old, it is time for us to consider our ways.

When we truly search ourselves in this way, at least two spiritually impactful things will happen. First, Haggai 1:13 says we can be absolutely assured of God’s presence in our life. As He says, “I am with you, says the LORD.” God promises that when we strive to follow Him and put our spiritual house in order: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). We can count on revitalizing results and a positive perspective when we consider our ways, for He “will take pleasure in it” and “will be glorified” (Haggai 1:8).

Secondly, we can experience the power of God in us when we stir up His Spirit and center our thoughts and actions to accomplish His work (verse 14). God certainly blesses and guides us in spiritual growth and will lead us to be fully pleasing to Him (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 1:9-10).

Let’s be sure to take God’s directive to heart and carefully consider ourselves so we can be fully dedicated to faithfully live by His loving guidance.

Have a refreshing Sabbath,
Steve Myers, Operation Manager, Ministerial and Member Services

Italy Feast Site Announcement

We are happy to announce the UCGIA Feast site for the 2024 Feast of Tabernacles in Italy, for both Italian and international brethren.

We have finalized details with the well-appointed Grand Hotel Terme Marine Leopoldo II (termemarine.com) in Tuscany. This hotel is located on the sunny shores of Marina di Grosseto on the Tyrrhenian/Mediterranean Sea.

The hotel is a full-service facility including a spa, pool and restaurant located just yards from the Sea. We will have the entire premises for ourselves. Included in the daily room rate are three meals daily, served together as a group so brethren can enjoy each other’s company at all meals. Access to the pool and the spa with thermal waters is also included free of charge. Other spa services will be available with a 30% discount.

More details on the area and possible pre- and post-Feast trips are forthcoming.


Registration will begin soon once the website link is finalized. Pricing will range from 69-114 Euros per day, per adult, and include 3 daily meals. An announcement will be made in advance of opening registration so all will be aware. While we have full use of the hotel and all rooms are reserved for us, the capacity will be limited so we ask that you register as soon as possible after registration opens.


Sabaudia, Italy, is NOT a UCGIA Feast site, and its organizer, Angelo Di Vita, is not a credentialed elder, having declared himself, his church and his feast site independent and autonomous from UCGIA.

We understand that “Feast in Italy” emails have been sent to members around the world by Angelo Di Vita, providing a Facebook page and email addresses to contact, and soliciting attendance of UCG members at a site in Sabaudia. That request originates from a group no longer associated with UCGIA, so please be advised that if you register through feastinitaly.οrg or labuonanotizia.οrg, you will NOT be registering for the UCG site.

We caution anyone—before you make nonrefundable payments—to verify you are registering for the only official UCGIA site in Tuscany. 

Your Italian brethren send a huge hug and hope to see many brethren from around the world who come to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles this year in Tuscany.

—Charles Melear, Conference Planner

Final Week: Agape Love Series Part 11—“The Greatest of These Is Love”

This week’s study is titled: “The Greatest of These Is Love.” “Faith and hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love.” The final episode in this sermon series gives a brief study of faith and hope, showing how they relate to love.

You can listen to it online at ucg.org/sermons/the-greatest-of-these-is-love-agape-love-series-part-11 or download it to your favorite mobile device. All 11 parts are available as a sermon series at ucg.org/sermons/sermon-series/agape-love.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Youth Instruction Family Study Guide

This Family Study Guide covers God’s Eighth Commandment and will help your family gain a deeper understanding of what it means to steal and the importance of honesty in every aspect of life. We review and discuss the example of Achan from the city of Jericho in Joshua 7:1-26. The study guide helps to answer the question: How honest am I in every facet of life?

Additionally, each study guide has suggested lessons and activities that can be used in a classroom setting. These are found at the end of each guide.

You can read and download this study guide at: ucg.org/members/family-study-guides/ten-commandments-eighth-commandment

Ambassador Bible College Accepting Applications

Now is the perfect time to apply to attend the next academic year of ABC. We are willing to accept applications at almost any time, but there are advantages to applying early. Making housing arrangements for the nine months of ABC takes effort and some time, so it is best to start early. Some students rent rooms in members’ homes and others share apartments. Either way, starting early makes it easier.

If you are a young adult, or if you know one who is considering attending ABC next year, please encourage them to begin the application process. Several students have already been accepted and the majority are young ladies. Thus, we especially encourage young men to apply so that the class will be well-balanced. If you have questions, please visit our website, abc.ucg.org, or email the coordinator, Frank Dunkle, at frank_dunkle@ucg.org.

Smoky Mountain Young Adult Retreat—May 24–27

UCG young adults ages 18-34, single or married, are welcome to attend a retreat this Memorial Day weekend.

Come to Townsend, Tennessee, in the Great Smoky Mountains! Our young adult group will settle into two large lodges on the same property, one for men and one for women. There are lots of amenities, including our own private pool and hot tubs, plus volleyball, basketball, board games, a pool table, hiking and more. The Sabbath will be one to remember, in the midst of God’s spectacular creation as we enjoy Bible discussions and a Church service. On Sunday, everyone is welcome to join an exciting tube trip down a scenic mountain river just 10 minutes away.

Townsend, Tennessee, boasts delicious food, coffee and specialty shops just a few minutes from the lodges. Don’t miss this special weekend in the Smokies!

For more information and to register, visit smokymountainyoungadult.com. For any questions, please contact Jay Ledbetter (jay_ledbetter@ucg.org or 469-452-9501). Hope to see you there!