First day of the Spring LCG COE meeting!

I’m not even going to pretend that I will be able to blog every day this week about the Council of Elders meetings. With my Living University Final Paper and Final Exam still to be completed by 3AM Friday morning, a sermonette to prep for this Sabbath, and an article to write and submit for the Tomorrow’s World magazine a week from today (well, yesterday, now!), every spare moment is sort of already spent! But, still, before heading off to sleep for tonight I thought I would post a quick entry about the first day. Everyone’s comments, both here on the blog and on Facebook and elsewhere, have been so encouraging (thanks!) that I thought a quick comment might be nice.

And what a great “Day One” it has been! Mr. Roderick Meredith began things wonderfully with some inspiring comments that really set a great tone. The world’s direction is not changing and, if anything, it is speeding up on its way! God has given us the privilege of taking His message to the world at this time, and it’s exciting to be a part of a work that takes that so seriously and passionately.

We had regional reports from all over the world, and they were very inspiring! God is spurring so much growth among His people, calling new leaders to put their shoulders to the Work, and opening new and exciting doors, and the reports were very uplifting. To be sure, too, we are facing new challenges. For instance, it is getting harder and harder to speak out on topics such as the sin of homosexuality in some nations (such as in our neighbor to the north), such that you run the risk of having all of your literature condemned as “hate speech.” Still, the truth is the truth, and our task is to cry aloud and spare not! We may need the savvy and wisdom of a modern day Apostle Paul, but if we need it (and pray about it!), God will provide it. The Work moves forward!

The Living Youth Program was discussed, with an update from Mr. Monson concerning our three pre-teen camps (go, Missouri!), our teen camp, and our adventure camp (which sounds top notch!).

Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka was invited to talk to the Council and gave a fantastic report on where things are going in the Internet work, which I personally found very exciting. The fruit from our web efforts is moving in all the right directions and our impact is growing in objective and measurable ways: Huge increases in traffic along side huge decreases in costs — win-win! 🙂 So much effort is going on in this area in ways that virtually no one sees, but our web team deserves massive kudos. More to come on this front…

Dr. Winnail gave a report to the Council from Church Administration that included a number of encouraging statistics and discussed the leaders God is clearly working with and bringing up in the Work.

Mr. Richard Ames discussed finances, future media projects, and astounding new doors opening, as well as explaining to the Council some of the details behind the wonderful upgrades we’ve been implementing in the television program and magazine. He also pointed out the finished editorial offices, which had been greatly needed given the growth the Work has been steadily experiencing. (BTW: I can personally attest to that! Used to be when I would come for telecast work, I could find an unused office here or there. However, with the growth we’ve been experiencing, that was getting harder and harder to do, and the last few visits before the office space was finished, I was crammed into the LU classroom off the library, which I had to vacate for on-site lectures. Then, when Mr. Robinson was added to Editorial, I didn’t even have that! Finally, there is a little breathing room. A growing Work — nice problem to have!)

That’s a very rough summary, but very rough summaries are all you get at 1:30-ish in the morning! 🙂 I’d love to share more details, such as some of the things Mr. Ciesielka showed us, but that wouldn’t be my place and it’s best to let you see them when they’re rolled out! 🙂

Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful first day–and wonderful, too, to be back with fellow “comrades in arms” here on the Council. It is such a tremendously humbling privilege to think that the Eternal, Almighty God even allows us to do His Work on earth, let alone actively calls us and commands us to do it, and looking around in that room at the men present and being surrounded by a truly unified team of individuals who understand that privilege, call, and command and take it so passionately to heart… Please forgive the lazy 80s lingo, but it really is awesome.

[And for the record: Using my iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard to take notes instead of my (still-loved) PC laptop? Pretty great. That move is looking more and more like the right one.]

The next few days are likely to be too busy for any decent posting here on the blog, but your continued prayers for the rest of the meeting are appreciated!

13 thoughts on “First day of the Spring LCG COE meeting!

  1. despinne

    For a long time we’ve thought in terms of leaders trained at Ambassador College. Too long! They are rapidly aging and the local faithful ones with leadership potential should be taken off the shelf and shined up, polished, used in service. It was so for a large part of church history. Today’s ordinary man is much better educated and ready for God’s use.

  2. obeirne

    Hi Mr. Smith: Thank you so much for sharing some of what went on during the Council of Elders meeting and I understand that you are bound by rules of courtesy and confidentiality to leave a more detailed account to others in their respective responsibilities. Your enthusiasism is certainly a wonderful indication of the collective zeal of your fellow elders, but in particular that of Mr. Meredith whose zeal in serving God is so evident when he delivers sermons, presents telecasts and writes articles for the magazines, letters to the Brethren and Co-Workers and subscribers to the Tomorrow’s World magazine and commentaries. But that wonderful spirit is displayed by so many of you who have been called to carry out the Great Commission that it must have a knock-on effect on the lay members of the Living Church of God and our conviction that the Living Church of God is God’s true Church is vindicated and reinforced. I am so pleased things went well, but not at all surprised since this is the result we were expecting from our prayers asking God to inspire the proceedings.

  3. despinne: Actually, the Ambassador College experience continues to be a blessing for God’s Church (as Living University experience is now), but as I, myself, did not go to Ambassador College, I can say from experience that the Church is looking for people God is using and can use and not necessarily any particular educational background.

    obeirne: Thanks for your always uplifting words! You are very kind.

    Mr. Meredith is, indeed, an inspiration. He continues to defy all stereotypes and the ugly, hateful caricatures that the Church’s haters strive to paint of him. He is hardly too old to lead, and is clearly in charge of the meeting–running it, determining its pace and focus, etc. Yet he is also gentle, open to disagreement (even strong disagreement) and actively seeks out and considers the opinions of others. God continues to bless the Church through his leadership, zeal, and passion, as well as through Mr. Ames’ who serves so faithfully alongside him. Short of Jesus Christ, no man is perfect, but God has blessed His Church mightily through this particular imperfect one! 🙂

    A wonderful, encouraging woman in Charleroi, Belgium told me on the Sabbath of our trip, she is so very thankful for the spirit of love, oneness, and compassion toward the brethren she sees in the ministry, and she wanted to make sure I conveyed her thankfulness to Mr. Meredith as she felt that God had used him to create that spirit in the LCG ministry. I couldn’t agree with her more.

    Thanks, again!

  4. “Today’s ordinary man is much better educated and ready for God’s use.”

    Where, exactly, does _that_ kind of thinking come from, despinne? I _did_ benefit from Ambassador College and it laid the foundation for everything else in life that I’ve done for the Church. And so have most of the really helpful ministers I’ve had from pastor rank upward. On the other hand, Mr. Armstrong himself modestly said that he had no such benefit, particularly in Spokesman Club, but that (and here’s the important point) _*God made other provisions for his training*._

    It’s the same with anyone else, as *Mr. Smith* points out so well in response. _God provides what those He uses and can use needs._ It’s not a question of one approach to provision being “better” than another. Different people need different things – the mere difference in learning styles between people, differences which are innate (and welcome!), guarantees this and the Designer of those learning styles knows it.

    Then too, there is no substitute in some things for experience in this world. But again, this doesn’t make the people who have it “better” or their provision for service “better”.

  5. Teresa

    Hi Mr.Smith, I’m glad things are going well and we are praying for the success of the Council meetings. I’m glad you mentioned Living University. That was my first thought upon reading the comment about Ambassador College. After taking several of the LU courses, and comparing notes with my husband who is an Ambassador graduate, without a doubt we as a Church are again providing an Ambassador education and even more. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many of the leaders that Dr. Winnail spoke of are being trained through the auspices of Living University.

  6. obeirne

    It is so heartening and reassuring to know that Dr. Meredith has admitted with refreshing frankness and genuine humility that he has made mistakes – in other words, he has confessed that he is imperfect. We, in the Living Church of God, worship God and no man and we do not worship Dr. Meredith, just as those who were part of the faithful Worldwide Church of God when Mr. Armstrong was Pastor General did not worship him.. However, as the brethren of the New Testament Church were admonished by the apostle Paul to do what we are encouraged to do, follow him as he follows Christ, we follow Mr. Merdith as he follows Christ and other servant leaders who do likewise. How many, if any, of those who lead the other groups have admitted their errors as Mr. Meredith has done? Somehow, I don’t think it is a widespread practice. We are all expected to confess our weaknesses, but to do that we must examine ourselves with great care. If we don’t, we are in BIG trouble. Please keep us informed on how things proceed, Mr. Smith. We apprectiate your doing so. 🙂

  7. Mr.Smith
    This is just one fine example of why it is needful for us to always pray for God’s leaders and inspiring servants. So much behind the scenes we couldn’t know without posts like this. It inspires me to grow even more knowing our leadership is so dedicated, strong and determined that God’s will be done. My prayers and gratitude go out to all of you. And may God continue to be the power that propels us forward to the KIngdom.
    Thank you so much

  8. Kathy Hall

    Mr. Smith, thanks for sharing the exciting and encouraging news! You all are in my prayers, and I am looking forward to more inspiring updates 🙂

  9. And who was it that said, ” If you want something done, give it to someone busy to do.” Looks pretty much like that is you and you do a fantastic job. Thank you for sharing with us Mr. Smith.

  10. Mr. D.W.: I am not posting your two comments here. If you look around on my blog, you’ll find that I allow comments on this blog that disagree with me all the time, so that is not the issue. Rather, I will not allow the sort of unbiblical and ungodly accusations you have made in, frankly, a shameful manner that isn’t worthy of anyone calling himself a Christian. Your statements contain numerous instances of falsehoods, slanders, and hearsay, and you should be ashamed. You claim to honor Mr. Armstrong, yet you don’t seem to stand for the same principles and standards he taught.

    Rather than continually pat yourself on the back, priding yourself in your private work and in not having anything to do with any group, why don’t you take some time to read what the Bible says about making the sort of baseless comments you have made, study what the Bible says about how to search out a matter and about going to the source (the individual), and about who the Bible describes as the Accuser. Also, you might want to spend some time actually meditating on the good character of the man you profess to “fight for” until you learn how to stop bringing dishonor to his name by having it attached to your shameful and unchristian actions.

    Feel free to come out here on the blog and disagree with me all you want if you can be civil and if you can avoid such ungodly accusations and behavior. Also, if you would like to read my comment policy for more info, just search the blog for “comment policy.” But if you are going to just come out here and throw out falsehoods (whether you personally believe them or not), accusations, and insults, you are invited to spend your time elsewhere. Your time writing those sorts of “comments” will be wasted, as they will go straight into the trash. I wish I didn’t have to be so blunt, but it seemed best given the nature of your comments.

  11. Mr. D.W.: Hello, again. I do not believe you are a liar; I actually believe that you believe all the things you are saying, even if you haven’t looked into them in the manner the Bible asks us to do. Yes, I do believe that you discredit Mr. Armstrong through your actions, and, yes, I do believe that you communicate falsehoods (again, which you may personally believe), and I will add that, yes, I believe you’ve lost sight of the Bible and Jesus Christ and have replaced them in priority with your personal version of Mr. Armstrong — sadly, something that would have offended that man who worked hard to teach us otherwise — and that you are using his name as a means of, frankly, exalting yourself. But, hey, as long as you’re successfully saving the world from make up, it’s worth it, right?

    I pray you are able to rediscover Jesus Christ and the Bible He inspired and loves, as well as what actual love of and loyalty to Mr. Armstrong would demand of you (as opposed to what your pride convinces you it does). Until then, I will cease responding to your posts in this way. You can keep wasting your time trying to spread sincerely-believed falsehoods (Mr. Armstrong had something to say about the sincerity of deceived people, too, whether self-deceived or otherwise) by writing comments I won’t publish — it’s your life and your time. But if I respond at all, which is increasingly unlikely, I will try to do so using whatever e-mail address I can dig up for you.

    In the meantime, I recommend you consider joining one of the several organizations whose ministers you have praised so highly for agreeing with you. Their stands won’t be completely biblical and their environments may not be spiritually healthy, but it might be a step up from the approach you are currently taking which is doing nothing but feeding in you things Mr. Armstrong wisely taught against.

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