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Update from the President: January 11, 2018

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Update from the President

January 11, 2018

Recording Three New  Beyond Today  Programs this Week

This has been “ BT Week,” as we call it at the home office, when the media department is mobilized monthly to produce three programs. All hands are on deck finalizing each program’s content and the actual recording. In addition, last night Gary Petty conducted a  Beyond Today  Bible Study, continuing in the Book of Daniel that was streamed live and can be seen on our various streaming services online. The topic last night was the four prayers of Daniel.

Here are the programs that were recorded this week: “Baptism, Let’s Talk About Your Salvation” by Darris McNeely; “Do I Have an Immortal Soul?” by Steve Myers; and “Hard Questions: Does God Condemn Non-Christians?” by Gary Petty.

This brings the total of  Beyond Today  programs produced to 348. Most of the programs can be viewed online.

Video Studio Construction Contract

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, I signed the contract for the construction of our new  Beyond Today  video recording studio. This was finalized yesterday with Millay & Company, who is our builder. Our studio fund has now exceeded $800,000 and the plan is to start construction at the end of this month.

We pray for God’s blessing on this facility to preach Jesus Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom of God ever more effectively. I thank God every day for the tremendous staff and resources that we have been blessed with in the United Church of God to do just that.

ABC Career/Education Planning

This year at Ambassador Bible College, several classes have focused on career and education planning to support students as they explore their opportunities and develop a plan to follow upon graduation. Two of these classes were taught this week by Andy Lee and Michelle Waterhouse.

Each module starts with discussing biblical principles that are foundational to pursuing education and career goals. During this session, Andy Lee focused on the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 Matthew 25:14-30 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and dig in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours. 26 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed: 27 You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents. 29 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. 30 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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, exploring how we are all supposed to be “using our talents to further God’s purpose.”

Michelle Waterhouse helped students unpack the results of a 16 Personalities assessment, highlighting how understanding your individual personality can influence your career choice and affect both professional and personal relationships.

Additional topics covered include: resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills, conducting a job search, and establishing networking and professional relationships. Lisa Fenchel and Andy Lee are coordinating this valuable vocational and career guidance for our students.

Visit to Chile and Argentina Next Week

Beverly and I will leave Wednesday for a two-week visit to Chile and Argentina. Peter and Terri Eddington will also be coming. We plan to speak in Santiago a week from this Sabbath. Also, we will conduct a leadership seminar and a mid-week Bible Study that will be webcast to our other congregations in South America.

We will then travel to neighboring Argentina where we will meet with a Sabbath-keeping group with whom we have established a friendship and to whom we are offering support. On March 1, 2017, Dr. Don Ward, on behalf of the Council of Elders, wrote the following to them:

“After a recent presentation by Mario Seiglie, the senior pastor of the Spanish regions, concerning your request to have a close working relationship with the United Church of God, an International Association (UCGIA), the Council of Elders and the administration of UCGIA wish to convey our strong support for your request to serve your congregations in administrative and pastoral areas.

“Your story and spiritual journey to follow God’s Word in faithful obedience is truly inspiring and reminds us that our Heavenly Father calls those whom He will call, where He will call them, and when He will call them to follow Jesus Christ (John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
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). It gives us cause to rejoice when we consider how great and loving our God truly is. It is one thing to take a stand, but it is clearly inspiring to see people remain standing for God’s ageless truths—including keeping the Sabbath and all of God’s Feast days.

“In honor of your request, we will be sending pastors and ministers, including Jaime Gallardo and Jaime Diaz, to serve your spiritual needs. Please receive them in the spirit of brotherly love and respect. We have the utmost confidence in their stewardship as dedicated ministers of Jesus Christ and as bridge-builders between peoples who share common beliefs.”

You can follow our travels on TravelArk where we will post up-to-date reports at .

In the past, we have had contact with various Sabbath-keeping groups in Argentina and Uruguay. Even our Sabbath-keeping brothers in Ukraine have visited them. I have recently posted a summary of this and a recounting of one of our visits to Uruguay and Argentina in 1994 that can be seen at .

We have written similar letters to Sabbath-keepers in Angola and now in Mizoram, India, expressing similar sentiments.

New Photos Alongside Vision Statement in Board Room

Last week we changed the photos that accompany our Vision Statement display at the home office. The new photos are printed on a metallic surface and are quite impressive. We chose photos that represent the people of the United Church of God throughout the world. Mitch Moss and Linda Merrick are responsible for this project.

We are saddened by the news of deadly mudslides in California in the wake of recent raging fires. Seventeen people have died and 48 are missing as of this writing.

The Apostle Paul described the continual pain of this planet and its inhabitants: “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:19-22 Romans 8:19-22 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
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