United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: July 4, 2024

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Home Office Weekly Update

July 4, 2024

True Unity Around the World in God’s Church

Greetings from “the land down under,”

During the past three days, nine pastors from Australia, plus one from New Zealand, and their wives, along with those of us who came from the Home Office, assembled at a lodge in the picturesque, but rainy and cool Clear Mountains in Queensland, Australia. At this “international conference,” several presentations on the role of pastor and other topics were presented.

Perhaps, as has been the case with conferences that have been held throughout this year, the most beneficial aspect was the opportunity we had to get to know each other better and to have some very productive discussions concerning the membership and the work in Australia. As result, there is now a stronger foundation and basis for all of us, all over the world, to work even more closely as the family that God has called us to be.

Unity is a rare thing

In a world where division, discord and an attitude of “lawlessness” clearly exist in governments and political parties, and in many of the world’s churches, true unity is a rare thing. How many of the churches of the world—which say they follow Christ—have divided in recent years over differences in opinion concerning the promotion of alternate lifestyles? How many have decided to appoint ministers who live one of those alternate lifestyles? How many have changed their position on women in the ministry, or on their teachings of how Jesus Christ looked at “love”?

People and religions change their beliefs and violate the clear word of God, simply to fit in with trends in society.

Yet, as we have the opportunity to visit God’s people around the world, we find brothers and sisters who are grounded in the Bible and truth. We have and we preach the same doctrine that Jesus Christ taught and commanded His Church to observe. We worship God on the day He sanctified and set aside for worship, and we observe His Holy Days that provide a clear vision of His plan for mankind.

God has made known to us, all over the world, the same truth and the same vision of His Kingdom. He has given us all His Spirit that makes us a worldwide family, united in spirit and truth, growing in love and one-ness with each other and Him.

Thank you, brethren around the world, for your continued commitment to God and His work and His plan. Thank you for striving for the unity that God desires for all of us, and thank you for following Him, continually coming out of the world and embracing and applying His ways and principles to your daily lives.

And thank you for raising godly children who understand His plan and way and see the benefits of His way of life as you live the way of the Kingdom, teaching His way daily “when you rise up and when you lie down.” Thank you for letting God, through His Spirit, lead you and us into truth, understanding and unity. And thank you for practicing true agape in your lives.

And thank you, Grant Chick (Australia Director of Operations), Stephen Clark (Chairman) and all the Australian pastors for your part in a wonderful and inspiring conference.

Our ongoing meeting plans

We look forward to being with the Melbourne, Victoria, congregation for services this Sabbath. Afterwards, we travel on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, along with Darris McNeely, for meetings next week with Leon and Gloria Sexton and the Legacy Institute (regarding the Myanmar work). Darris is now on his way to Singapore for the Sabbath, and Steve Myers is on his way to New Zealand, where he will be conducting a number of public seminars over the next several days.

Brethren, thank you for your prayers. God is doing a great work around the world. Please ask for His continued guidance and direction as we all work together to complete the mission Christ gave us to do.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and Sabbath.

In Christian love,
Rick Shabi

Penang Feast of Tabernacles Announcement

We are calling brethren from around the world to join us at the Feast of Tabernacles in southeast Asia on the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia. The venue will be the Shangri-La Golden Sands beachside resort, situated on the water’s edge at Batu Ferringhi Beach and an easy 40-minute transfer from Penang International Airport. This is the ultimate family-friendly resort where wonderful memories are made for guests of all ages.

Feast attendees will enjoy maximum fellowship opportunities by sharing the inclusive breakfast and facilities together. Experience Golden Sands’ warm service, calming sea views and sunsets over the Strait of Malacca and delicious cuisines from the three on-site restaurants. The resort also has a kids club with daily activities, water slides and an adventure zone entertainment area. For more information ucg.org/members/feast/sites/2024/penang-malaysia or feel free to email the Festival Elder, Grant Chick with any questions at grantchick@ucg.org.au.

Report From Camp Colorado

Camp Colorado finished another wonderful experience for our preteens and families in beautiful Allenspark, Colorado. 38 preteen campers and 59 staff and families gathered for an unforgettable experience, to learn about God’s calling and how to “Stand Strong” in the Lord.

Campers started off each day with a spiritual lesson, a “Compass Check” which set the theme for each day. Those days were full of activities that included canoeing, dance, slingshot and axe-throwing (with plastic axes). They also had nature hikes and a very challenging climb into our famous “hidden room.” What energy they had left was burned off in field games and activities. Each evening was finished with another spiritual lesson and a campfire in front of beautiful Mount Meeker.

We really want to thank everyone who supported and worked hard to make this happen for our children and their families. Our support staff was awesome, and we could truly see God’s blessing, especially with the spectacular sunset that He provided on our last evening. We are looking forward to Camp Colorado 2025!