Resources for the members of the United Church of God

Internet PC: Handling Questions From All Over

You are here

Internet PC

Handling Questions From All Over

Internet Personal Correspondence was designed primarily to answer questions from nonmembers who do not have access to a pastor. We receive an average of about 1,500 messages per month from our Web site e-mail addresses. Approximately 100 to 120 of those are Internet PC e-mail questions that cover a broad range of subjects.
Most of these questions are doctrinal in nature; however we also receive a number of messages from individuals who write in for encouragement and advice on how to deal with trials and difficult situations in their lives.

A Sampling of Messages

Recent messages asked how to fast, how to keep the Sabbath, when the Holy Days are kept and whether baptism is necessary. Others took exception to our teachings on the second resurrection and military service. One asked questions about ghosts and others asked for help with marital problems. Here are a couple interesting letters:
"I just found out yesterday that you existed. I am presently a Seventh-day Adventist who has been keeping God's Holy Feast Days ever since I first read about them in the Bible nine years ago. However, Seventh-day Adventists don't keep the Feast days, so it has been lonely for me. Imagine my joy to learn that you do keep them, and the Saturday Sabbath!... Will you please help me find you? I want to learn more..."

"I read the Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God. The topic that really struck my mind was 'Military Service and War'... I am serving in the military since almost all Eritreans are in the army at this time due to the bloody war with Ethiopia..."

The Team

The Internet PC team consists of 26 pastors who are on a monthly rotational list. They are responsible for writing a personal response to each message they receive, in addition to their regular duties.

These men include: Gary Black, Michael Blackwell, Randy D'Alessandro, David Dobson, Dan Dowd, Bob Fahey, John Foster, Jim Haeffele, Michael Hanisko, Vernon Hargrove, Don Henson, Joe Horchak, David Johnson, Doug Johnson, Frank McCrady, Dave Mills, Steve Moody, Camilo Reyes, Earl Roemer, Larry Salyer, Rex Sexton, Gary Smith, Herb Teitgen, Larry Walker, Roger West and William Winner.

In addition, Noel Hornor is helping answer questions every month. More recently, some of our retired ministers have also begun to help with this task.

Internet PC Insights

Many of the men who serve in this way have found that the PC experience gives them a unique perspective, and a few have shared their insights:

"Serving on the Personal Correspondence team has been very rewarding to me. The thing that stands out in my mind is that the Web is a very powerful and pervasive tool for preaching the gospel into all the world. We receive questions from people from every [inhabited] continent; some of them have only a limited usage of English, but they are intrigued by our message. Many of them reflect limited understanding, but they are searching. Our Web site will lead them to deeper understanding as they continue their studies."—Dave Mills

"With the technology today, many of us are able to sit in our own homes and answer questions that come from around the world and from most of the United States. We respond to people we've never met about doctrinal issues and how to apply God's way of life to everyday living. It's an awesome responsibility, and mentally stimulating, to write to people on behalf of the Church."—John Foster

"Many of these individuals have different and varying philosophical and religious beliefs from our own. We find ourselves communicating with devotees from other beliefs who may not accept our teachings of Christianity. They challenge us to prove our premise, some even taunt us.

"This is a new manner of discussion for many of us, but it helps us to better understand the commission of going to all nations with the good news. It also forces us to go back to the simplicity of the message and to the accuracy of the biblical statements. It's all well worth the effort when some few reply and tell us how the words we spoke to them via the Internet helped to change their lives and give them an accurate view of themselves and a positive view of the future."—Vernon Hargrove

"It reminds me of the days when we were visiting prospective members on a regular basis. They always had many questions to ask that were important to them. I have conducted several local Bible studies for the members during which we simply dealt with some of the questions that would come in over e-mail. The members appreciated this, and often found that questions were asked about subjects that they had wondered about as well."—Steve Moody

"It has been a real pleasure to be a part of the Personal Correspondence team over the last couple of years. It's a challenge to look at the questions that are submitted and to seek to prayerfully and accurately give a reply. Some of the questions are so heart-wrenching and the hope is to write a response that hopefully gives them some comfort, hope or guidance for the question or challenge that they are facing. More than anything, answering questions for Personal Correspondence has emphasized how desperate this world is for answers to its spiritual questions."—Gary Smith

"I have tried to improve my approach and techniques to be able to relate individually to each person who writes to us and to address each topic in a clear and caring way, even if the reader obviously disagrees with the specific teachings of UCG. I have probably learned as much or more in researching and pondering an appropriate answer than the person asking the question!
"There is the challenge in deciding how much material to give to the reader and yet to encourage them to explore the Scriptures and our booklets more thoroughly to understand and own the answer themselves. It is quite rewarding to get feedback from a reader who expresses appreciation for the answer."—Herb Teitgen

"Answering PC Internet mail is a challenge each month as we receive questions from all around the world. Regardless of where people live, God's Word applies to them. It keeps us aware of what people want to know and sharpens our ability to explain and defend God's way (1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×
)."—Roger West