Today, we concluded the December quarterly meetings of the Council of Elders at the home office in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the key areas of discussion related to the proposed new video recording studio. I am happy to report that the project will be moving forward.
I thank you again for your prayerful support of this venture and your generous tithes and offerings that support the work of the Church in fulfilling its mission of preaching the gospel and preparing a people. The world we preach to has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, and we are living in the midst of a technological and cultural revolution.
As is prophesied in Daniel 12, people in the end times are indeed running to and fro as knowledge is increasing exponentially. People are searching for answers to the overwhelming issues confronting them daily. They turn to the Internet and other video platforms for answers. It is for this reason that the Church relies heavily on the Internet and video production in proclaiming a hopeful gospel of God’s solutions to the dilemmas of this end-time world.
In an electronic world filled with religious voices, the United Church of God has a powerful presence—presently ranking 14th in the world among all Christian denomination websites ! Our Media and Communications Services department produces a weekly television program that is broadcast around the world on the Word Network and streamed on various platforms including our own UCG.org website, YouTube, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
In addition to producing a weekly TV program, the media department produces Beyond Today dailies, UCG short films and several other videos that are valuable tools in proclaiming the gospel to the world—while also serving the members of the Church. All of this work is accomplished by our staff working in very small and cramped quarters—and some of our media employees and information technology staff share the same, small space.
One year ago, in December 2016, the Media and Communications Services operation manager and I asked the Council of Elders to discuss the need for more working space and video recording facilities. The project called for a separate video studio to be added to the south side of the current building. Agreeing that this was a valid need, the Council passed a resolution establishing a restricted fund for construction of a new video recording studio. This allowed money to be donated specifically for the new facility.
A year has now gone by since that resolution was passed and I’d like to bring the membership and ministry up-to-date on where we now stand with the project and its funding. Architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and site drawings have now been completed. From these drawings, costs have been more accurately estimated to be $750,000 for construction of the building. Above and beyond the cost of construction has already been an outlay of about $35,500 for these design and architectural drawings, plus various permits.
Our members have been very generous, and the video recording studio fund now stands at just over $700,000! Thank you! So, while the amount currently in that fund is getting close to what is needed for construction, it still is not sufficient.
We have also discussed with the Council the need for contributions to equip the new recording studio with the needed lighting, cameras, audio gear and other incidental equipment. While we plan as much as possible to use existing equipment in the expanded studio, there is still the need for some updated equipment that keeps pace with new technology fitted to the new space. We calculate this to be about $200,000.
With the generous contributions of members to the video recording studio fund, the Council at its December meeting has now approved the construction plans for the new studio, has approved the increased budget beyond the initial estimate, and has approved for me to sign a contract with a builder. In the meantime, we would like to encourage all of those who are able and are so inclined to donate to this project.
When the new video recording studio is completed, it will serve the long-term needs of the work of the Church. It will provide better working conditions for our presenters and many of our supporting employees. But more importantly, it will provide the space and technical support needed by the media department to produce a higher quality product and which can facilitate a wider variety of video presentations in proclaiming the gospel and promoting the work of the Church. And we look forward to sharing with you artist concepts of how the new set will look when designs are completed.
It is our prayer that this project be fully funded with donations, but we have not yet reached that goal. So we would like to encourage all of those who are able and are so inclined to donate to our Video Recording Studio fund—both for its construction and the needed equipment. Please indicate “Video Recording Studio” on your tax-deductible donation.
We also thank congregations such as Nashville, Tennessee, which is doing a fund-raiser to help us toward raising the last needed amounts for the video studio. Perhaps your congregation may want to help in this way, too.
Now is the moment for a strong biblical message of faith to go forth with courage to a world in desperate need of God’s message of hope and love. With your help, the Church of God will continue its mission of proclaiming the life-changing message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Again in Daniel 12, we read about the times in which we live and the times in which we preach the gospel: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×).
I just received this heartwarming and encouraging letter from one of our members:
“I am enclosing a check for this month’s tithe and offering. I have been hoping to hear if our goal has been achieved for the video studio yet. If not, I will try to continue to help in providing the funds needed. I will also continue to pray for the successful efforts of all those who are fervently and faithfully preaching our Lord’s Gospel of the Kingdom to all who will listen.”
As you consider year-end tax-exempt contributions, please consider helping us to achieve our goal to preach this urgent message of salvation in a time of great world stress. You can easily make a tax-exempt online donation at http://donate.ucg.org/Video-Recording-Studio_p_31.html .
I thank you sincerely for your prayers and support. May God bless you!
End of an era
Mr. Burk McNair died this past Tuesday evening in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 85. He is the last survivor of the McNair brothers, who many of us have known over the years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Billie Sue, earlier this year. Gary Petty will officiate at his funeral this coming Sunday.
Burk McNair has a full history of faithfulness and service in the ministry. Many of us had the privilege of knowing and working with him. I had gotten to know him best in the early days of the Council of Elders and appreciated his generous and merciful spirit. He will be remembered for his love and study of God’s Word.