United Church of God

UCG Canada Sponsors Open House Events

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UCG Canada Sponsors Open House Events

Last year the Canadian national office decided to conduct a test by sending invitations to subscribers to attend an open house in select congregations. Darris McNeely was asked to be the presenter for these occasions. The hope was that a Beyond Today presenter would add name-recognition to the occasion. Since Darris and Debbie McNeely were planning to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in Prince Edward Island, an open house was planned on the Sunday during the Feast, even though we do not have a congregation in that province. Below is a report on the response received in each of the areas.

Prince Edward Island

Mr. McNeely’s topic was “Seven Prophetic Signs Before the Return of Jesus Christ . . . a Deeper Look.” The result of the open house was quite amazing as 10 guests made their way to the Stanley Bridge Country Resort. Mr. McNeely had the opportunity to speak with most of those in attendance. Brethren attending the Feast were very warm as they mingled with our visitors.

Hamilton and Toronto

The McNeely’s drove through rainy weather from Cincinnati to Toronto for the two open houses planned for Sabbath of Nov. 1. The attendance was 28 with two guests who had come to hear Mr. McNeely.

The McNeely’s left Hamilton for Toronto  later that day; total attendance in Toronto was 96 with 10 guests who had come to hear Mr. McNeely. Most of the 10 stayed after the service concluded, joining the brethren and partaking of the food and drink prepared for the occasion. The Toronto brethren welcomed the new people and invited them to return in the near future as circumstances would permit.

The McNeely’s and Dennis and Paula Horlick had to leave at about 5:30 that evening to begin their travels to Ottawa for yet another open house scheduled for the very next day.


The next day (Sunday, Nov. 2), there were 27 brethren who came to support the event in Ottawa, and 17 guests came to meet Mr. McNeely and hear his message.

A literature display along with request forms was offered. The interest was great and it was rewarding to see a hunger for the truth exhibited by those in attendance. When clean-up time came, there was not one piece of literature remaining.


On Nov. 8, 2014, the Windsor congregation hosted an open house. Mr. McNeely returned to deliver his presentation to 28 people. Seven guests came the Windsor congregation that day.

Mr. McNeely’s presentation sparked many good comments and fellowship with everyone.


It seems to be helpful to have a speaker with name recognition. Both Ottawa and PEI held the open house on Sunday, and both had a higher percentage of subscribers attend.

A total of 46 invited guests attended one of the five occasions. As far as could be ascertained, two of these had attended a previous event. Only time will tell how many might actually begin attending. We know from experience that we cannot “grow” the Church in numbers. We can only try different approaches that may appeal to those whom God is calling to help them to respond to God’s calling.


  • cklockhart
    Very encouraging to hear that these efforts bore fruit! I particularly enjoyed reading the numbers and learning about the missing literature. From our perspective, literature that disappears is a good thing! Thank you to all who participated in the work!