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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 6, 2005

Internet (Dis)Information

[with comments]     Filed under CoG Potpourri

The internet can be a great tool for doing research. It is also a source of false information, rumors, etc. The greater church of God community is no exception, with various websites and news groups dedicated to accountability, openness, "behind-the-scenes" news, etc. Unfortunately, some of those websites are as much a source of disinformation as their authors believe the WCG and the xCoGs are. Like the rumor about a move to prevent non-UCG employed elders from serving on the UCG Council of Elders. Actually, just the opposite is true.

For the second year in a row, an amendment to the UCG bylaws to have more non-UCG employed elders on the UCG Council of Elders was submitted during the annual amendment process. The UCG council has the first shot at placing a proposed amendment on the ballot for the annual General Conference of Elders meeting. If at least 4 council members wish to see the proposed amendment placed on the ballot, it gets on the ballot.

If there aren't 4 council members interested in having the proposed amendment placed on the ballot, then it is submitted to the entire GCE. If one fourth of all GCE members desire to have the proposed amendment placed on the ballot for the annual General Conference of Elders meeting, then it is placed on the ballot.

In each of the last two years, the proposed amendment to have more non-UCG employed elders on the UCG council did not have a minimum of 4 council members who supported placing the amendment on the general ballot. So the proposed amendment was submitted to the entire GCE.

Upon submission to the GCE one year ago, the proposed amendment received 99 votes, so it failed, since 114 votes would have been one fourth of the GCE. This year the amendment received 98 votes, and 111 votes were required to have it placed on the general ballot.

Two of the three authors of the proposed amendment are employed by UCG, the other is a former long-time WCG/UCG employee now employed elsewhere. Interested? Take a look at the text of proposed amendment.

Comment from Jim Cowell:

"The inclusion of non UCG-employed elders is bound to come sooner or later. It is just plain good sense. We know from scripture that there is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. That does not mean 12 individual expressions of the same notion; it means multiple perspectives. As with all changes, there is a reluctance at first to change the status quo that seems to be working."

Comment from Jesmina Allaoua:

"Here in Germany elders not employed by the church (and non-elders, too) have served on the UCG-Germany National Council since we started. They have added a wealth of personal and business experience that has been a big help."

Comment from Paul Stevens:

"Thank you for sharing the text of the failed amendment with us. 'Normal' UCG members don't get to see such things. Do you know why the UCG council did not act itself to have the amendment put to a vote?"

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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