When the United Church of God was founded in 1995, the Internet was just beginning to come into its own. It was slow, cumbersome and impractical for transferring anything other than text or cheesy, little animations. Downloading something like an entire sermon was completely unfathomable. Someone's 14.4k phone line would have burst into flames at the mere thought.
Things have changed since then. Fifteen years later most connections can download a sermon video in a matter of minutes, while the user uploads photos to Facebook and chats with friends. With the Internet's explosion in the areas of efficiency and availability, the United Church of God has been incorporating it in its efforts to preach the gospel and prepare a people.
The UCG members' page, located at http://members.ucg.org and designed to be a central hub for all of UCG's online efforts, provides easy access to all of its free online services. Through the "Sites" tab on the top menu, you have easy access to any of our many Web sites.
Some of our members may not be familiar with all these sites, so what follows is a quick overview of what they are and what they have to offer.
Magazine Web Resources
Our most well-known pages are our magazine sites. The Good News, World News and Prophecy and Vertical Thought each have their own site where you can find archives of all articles from the respective print editions.
• Ten new editions of VCM are released every year, featuring articles from a wide variety of Church members on various topics.
• Breaking Free Journal contains articles designed to help members struggling to deal with and overcome various social disorders and addictions.
• This Is the Way features short, "food for thought"-type notes that are updated twice a week.
Other Online Resources
Under the "Sites" tab you can also find resources, like the home pages for:
• The Ambassador Bible Center, where you can find information on and resources from our nine-month biblical studies program.
• The Council of Elders, where you can find information about our governing body as well as read Council reports.
• Our upcoming Feast of Tabernacles locations.
• UCG Singles, where young adults and "singles in the middle" can go to find information about upcoming UCG singles' activities.
• The United Church of God home page, which is designed as a landing page for those just finding out about United.
There are plenty of other resources available to our membership via the members' site—if you'd like to find out what they are, watch the Jan. 8, 2010, edition of About Our Father's Business, titled "Maximizing the Members Web site." The video is available at http://members.ucg.org/about-our-fathers-business along with other archived editions.
In future installments of "God's Word Online," we'll explore more about the resources available online and how you can help the United Church of God establish a more effective presence on the Internet. UN