Sunday began with a relaxing dessert reception that provided an excellent atmosphere for fellowship and an opportunity for newer elders and wives to become better acquainted with our seasoned elders.
Monday morning began early with a group breakfast which was followed by sessions from the Ministerial Education Team—operations manager of Ministerial and Member Services Mark Welch, northeast regional pastor Steve Myers, Darris McNeely and human resources manager Chris Rowland—along with a variety of presentations from President Victor Kubik.
The first presentation was given on Monday morning by Victor Kubik, titled “News and Developments” in UCG. In this session, Mr. Kubik mentioned that he believes “the best years of the United Church of God are still ahead of us.”
Mark Welch and Steve Myers presented a tag-team style presentation titled, “Who is the Lord?” This topic has generated a lot of discussion over the last few years, and both men expounded on a number of aspects of the subject.
Darris McNeely presented the next session, titled “Speaking to the Mission and the Vision,” in which he emphasized the importance of preparing messages that are mindful of the mission given to us by Jesus Christ.
In the afternoon, Steve and Kathe Myers discussed “Becoming a Nurturing Pastoral Couple.” They used different exercises to show the need to nurture local congregations, with a lesson to focus on using encouragement and support to better position the brethren for spiritual growth.
Steve Myers followed up with a seminar titled “The ‘Mess’ in Messianics,” pointing out our need to follow the spirit of the law with a New Covenant application, being careful not to get caught up in the traditions of men.
In the third afternoon session, “Expository Preaching,” Darris McNeely discussed the need to present a balanced diet of sermons. He used the example of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17 to explain how to “expose” the real depth behind the written words of scripture and apply them today.
During dinner, the Education Team guided a discussion on the importance of developing more meaningful and closer relationships among the ministry to help support one another and to serve more effectively. Following dinner, Chris Rowland introduced new updates to the Ministerial Resource Site.
Tuesday morning, President Victor Kubik presented a timely session about our need for “Going Above and Beyond the Ministerial Code of Ethics.” Mr. Kubik discussed the ministry’s need to be above reproach, setting the proper example for our brethren around the world. Going through our Ministerial Code of Ethics, he explained why we must be careful to avoid even the appearance of evil by dealing honestly and uprightly in all our actions.
Mark Welch and Steve Myers once again teamed up in a helpful session on “Effective Pastoring and Ministry.” Both drew from years of experience of pastoring and ministering to the needs of several congregations. During this session, a number of questions previously gathered by our regional pastors were answered.
The final presentation was given by Mark Welch titled “Unity in the Body of Christ.” He exhorted our ministers to strive for unity in their local congregations and throughout the Church. He emphasized the need for true integrity, true humility and genuine godly love in our quest for greater unity.
The conference concluded with Steve Myers and Victor Kubik thanking everyone for their wonderful participation and service to God and His people!