United Church of God

Home Office Weekly Update: November 9, 2023

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Home Office Weekly Update

November 9, 2023

North Central Region Pastoral Conference

We had 22 elders and wives meet in Stewartville, Minnesota, Nov. 5–7 for a pastoral conference for the North Central region. This was the first of a new round of meetings to be held with pastors in each region of the United States over the next eight months.

There were many hours of instruction and discussion focusing on the overall theme of “speak the same thing” taken from 1 Corinthians 1:10. The conference began with a session from our president, Rick Shabi, on the pastor as a disciple. He focused on the ministry’s unwavering calling to preach, teach and live by God’s Truth and uphold the “faith once delivered.”

The next interactive presentation was instruction on being “accountable” elders. Steve Myers emphasized the direction given in 1 Peter 5 and the weighty responsibility to shepherd, oversee and lead God’s people by example. He emphasized the duty of the ministry and that we are “those who must give account” (Hebrews 13:17).

Darris McNeely then spoke on the importance of being a pastor “for the vision.” He encouraged all to “keep the unity of the Spirit” as we fulfill the admonition to equip and edify the people of God.

The remainder of the sessions were interactive discussions on various topics that included doctrine, ethics, policy and pastoral responsibilities. The team was joined by Dan Dowd, co-regional pastor for the North Central region, to help facilitate the dialog.

A vital part of the conference was the personal interaction with one another and the ability to discuss church matters face-to-face. There is no substitute for conversing with one another in person to “speak the same thing” and “come to the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13).

—Steve Myers, Operation Manager, Ministerial and Member Services

From Ministerial and Member Services . . .

Death of Drexel Shiver

Drexel Shiver, an elder in the Jacksonville, Florida, congregation, died Oct. 27 after several years of declining health. Drexel was born in Lafayette County, Florida, on March 19, 1929, and was the oldest of eight children. He served in the United States Navy 1946–1949 and in the United States Coast Guard from 1954–1968. Drexel earned a Masters of Vocational Education degree from the University of North Florida and taught building construction to high school students for 21 years, retiring in 1994.

Drexel’s first contact with the Church was in 1963. He was listening to country music on the car radio when that program ended and “The World Tomorrow” came on. Drexel was baptized in 1966, ordained a deacon in 1979 and ordained an elder in 2010. He was a student and teacher of the Bible, an avid reader of religion and history, and enjoyed gardening and playing the guitar.

Drexel is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sharon, children Debra, Larry and Lauren, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and two brothers. He was predeceased by five siblings and his son, Russel.

Now Available! Video Recording of ABC Class: Corinthians

We are pleased to announce the first weekly video recording of the Ambassador Bible College (ABC) class, The Epistles of Paul: Corinthians, is now available.

Presented by Steve Myers, these classes will be a very helpful tool in your ongoing study and understanding of the early New Testament Church and its relevance for us today as a continuation of that Church.

One 45-minute class will be released each week on video—with graphics, charts and other helpful aids. We expect to release one Corinthians presentation per week for the next 12 months. You can access classes at this location: ucg.org/ambassador-bible-college/epistles-of-paul-ambassador-bible-college.

These recordings are available on our website, but also available on our UCG app on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Navigate to the “sermon videos” line to view on these streaming devices.

We pray this will be a helpful tool in your ongoing study of God’s Word.

—Peter Eddington, Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

Youth Instruction Family Study Guide

The Fifth Commandment says in Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” 

This study guide will help your family to deepen your understanding of how and why God blesses us for following His Fifth Commandment. We will review some Biblical examples and principles related to honoring our parents. Additionally, this guide suggests practical ways for families to apply the Fifth Commandment in daily 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-fifth-commandment

Good Works Proposal Deadline Approaching

There’s still time to submit your proposal for Good Works for projects for the first half of the 2024 calendar year! If you have a great idea for a project (local or abroad), please run it by your local pastor, and with his approval please contact Lena VanAusdle at GoodWorks@ucg.org or visit ucg.org/members/outreach/good-works for more information.

The deadline for proposals is Nov. 30, 2023.

Ambassador Bible College Magnetic Yearly Calendar

The ABC Calendar is BACK! This calendar/planner features God’s Holy Days and Feasts for the year 2024. The calendar is a 11 by 8½-inch glossy magnetic calendar that features a blank section on the lower portion for additional information such as reminders and lists. This calendar can be written on with any dry erase marker for your convenience.

This year’s ABC class has already pre-ordered and printed calendars, so they are ready to be distributed for $7 each.

There are multiple ways you can purchase a calendar.

This link is a form that each congregation can print out and have available for members to place their orders. We’d like orders to be forwarded to us by Dec. 6, to allow time for packaging and shipping before the new year. Once the order form is filled out, please mail the form and payment (payable to “ABC Student Fund”) if already collected to:

Ambassador Bible College
555 TechneCenter Dr
Milford, OH 45150

If all payments cannot be collected for the orders by the due date, late payments will be accepted on the behalf of whomever is coordinating the order.

The ABC class will ship to the pastor/congregation contact for member pickup at services.

Individual calendars can be ordered and shipped to a home address. Due to extra processing costs, an additional $1 fee will be incurred, increasing the price to $8/calendar. If you have questions about your order, or to order individual calendars, email ABCfundraiser@ucg.org.

Calendars will also be sold at an ABC fundraising table during Winter Family Weekend along with other items.

Thank you so much for your support of the ABC class of 2024.

—Anthony Wasilkoff, ABC Student Body President

Young Adult Winter/Ski Retreat

We are excited to announce we will be having the second annual Young Adult Winter/Ski Retreat on President’s Day weekend 2024 at Pipestem State Park in West Virginia! We are hoping to have another amazing year where we can forge new relationships and strengthen old, with people of like mind. Like last year, we will be eating and staying together for the whole weekend, so plan an all-inclusive weekend. We welcome all young adults ages 18–34, single or married. Registration is open: go ahead and register on the registration tab, and we will see you there! ucgyawinterretreat.org/registration

Other Info

We will be staying in cabins at the Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia. You will choose to stay in a Two-Person Cabin Room, One-Person Cabin Room, Two-Person Lodge Room, or One-Person Lodge Room. More information about housing can be found on the housing tab.

Activities will include: skiing/snowboarding, snow tubing, possible sledding, hiking, swimming, bonfire, and lots and lots of quality time. More information about the activities can be found on the schedule tab. We will also have some interactive discussions and Bible study.

For more information feel free to contact Sabrina Massie by email: sabrinamassie13@gmail.com or phone/text: (919) 943-9966.