From the President . . .
Greetings brethren around the world,
This Sabbath, God’s people everywhere will gather to observe God’s Feast of Trumpets. It’s a monumental day in the picture of God’s plan for humanity that foreshadows the return of Jesus Christ to this world, with the resurrected saints joining Him. He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and usher in a millennium of God’s way on this earth!
Christ will transform the earth to a worldwide state of peace, harmony and abundance for all of mankind, through God’s government and law. We look forward to that time, praying earnestly, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
May God speed that day.
From all of us here at the Home Office, may God be with you all, and may all of you have an inspiring and uplifting Holy Day and Sabbath.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you always.
In Christ’s service,
Pan-West African Leadership Conference Held in Ghana, Aug. 28–31
Nearly 50 leaders from five countries gathered at Valley View University in Accra, Ghana, for four days of doctrinal training, sermonette practice and lively discussions of servant leadership. Participants came from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and the meeting was organized by senior pastors Paul Moody and Tim Pebworth. Guest speakers included Ray and Rhonda Clore from Washington D.C., Jim Chance from Milwaukee, and Jonathan Reedy from Geneva, Switzerland. Presentations were conducted in both French and English with simultaneous interpretation provided by Laetitia Demarest of France and Werner Solórzano of Guatemala.
Doctrinal topics included a review of the most recently approved doctrinal paper on the Hebrew calendar, the Church’s teaching on keys to a happy marriage, as well as divorce, remarriage and polygamy, a review of the proper use of alcohol, being on guard against those displaying demonic influence and/or severe mental illness, prophecies in Daniel related to the coming military and religious empire in Europe, and the divinity of Jesus Christ. Separate speaking clubs for French and English speakers were also held, as well as a woman’s enrichment workshop to help women be better leaders in their local congregations.
There were also several interactive sessions to help participants practice and better understand servant leadership. Finally, Paul and Ronke Ogundipe from the Lagos congregation shared best practices from Nigeria on conducting an effective summer camp and Feast of Tabernacles given the many challenges of organizing high quality events in a region plagued with some of the highest rates of poverty in the world.
We also enjoyed just spending time together. We visited the Accra Zoo and participated in a structured dinner designed to build bridges across languages and cultures. Long conversations went into the night as we all ate together in the dining hall and “hung out” outside the dormitory housing. This is only the second time in the history of the region that we have been able to conduct a bilingual pan-West African conference and participants shared how much they appreciated the financial support that was provided to be able to attend such training. A conference WhatsApp group is being created to continue working together until we can come together for the next in-person training.
For Those Unable to Attend the Feast in Person and Don’t Have an Internet Connection
Some people don’t have Internet service or reliable connections. In this situation, a phone number is provided to connect to live services from Panama City Beach (Central Daylight Time). Be sure to get the daily service schedule in advance from your pastor or Festival advisor.
The number is (667) 770-1303 and the passcode is 396900#.
UPDATE: New UCG.org Website Development
We are happy to share an exciting update about development of our new UCG.org online presence and CRM platform. Sometime after the Feast we will be rolling out our new website. As you know, it has been in development for almost two years with the goal of enhancing our digital presence to better serve our congregations and outreach to the world as we preach the gospel.
As the launch date approaches, we will continue to provide you with more detailed information, including any specific features that may be of interest to our pastors and congregations.
We are excited about this opportunity to improve our online presence and communication, and we believe the new website will play a crucial role in accomplishing our mission and motto of preaching the gospel and preparing a people.
Please stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks as we get closer to the website launch.
—Information Technology Department & Media and Communications Services
Australian United Youth Camp
The annual Australian United Youth Camp is held in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales every December—during summer in the Southern Hemisphere. It has long been the camp’s tradition to welcome applicants for both staff and camper positions from international areas. Over the years, we have welcomed staff and/or campers from New Zealand, Tonga, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Africa, Netherlands, England and the United States.
The dates for this year’s camp are arriving on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, and departing on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. Camp fees are waived for all international campers.
If you are interested in finding out more about the ‘Down Under’ camp experience or would like to apply, please contact UCG-A UYC Camp Director, Stephen Clark, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sermon Disc Program: Festival Messages Available
The newest Sermon Disc Program titles (SDP 172 and 173) for the upcoming Holy Days are now available for download. You can access them as well as the archived SDP sermons at: ucg.org/sermon-disc-program. As previously announced, DVDs and CDs are no longer being produced or mailed out. Please use the download option from that page.
The Sermon Disc Program is a service provided by the home office for shut-ins and congregations who need video messages when a live speaker is not available. These messages are not intended as a Sabbath replacement or a collection of exclusive sermons.
—Media and Communications Services
The United Church of God is still seeking candidates for a Client Relationship Specialist. Details about all of the current job postings for the Church may be reviewed at ucg.org/members/news/current-job-openings.