The Missing UCG Crisis Thread?

Rumors are flying around all over, but UCG has not yet done much to squelch them. To be charitable, their efforts have been ineffective. In fact, some of the things they have said over time have only made things worse.

Questions to ask:

1. Why the appearance of transparency but the lack of communication about the elimination of regional pastors? Was there an official correspondence to the membership? I haven’t seen any. I have purposely held back on commenting on this until UCG had a chance to make some sort of official explanation, but that was about 1-1/2 weeks ago.

2. Why the lack of hard questions being asked on Inside United: Realtime? Is the removal of honest questions while allowing simply negative comments alone simply a lack of consistency? Or is it a deliberate attempt to avoid the hard questions? Again, is it to simply give the impression of transparency?

3. Why did UCG send Mario Seigle to Chile? Let’s call it what it is: a stupid move. Remember that family that is in the middle of the entire Sabbath daycare episode? Those are Seigle’s in-laws. No conflict of interest there!

4. Why the trail of bodies? At very least, the entire thing is starting to seem pretty heavy-handed and ruthless. It appears to be lacking in Christian love.

I’ve been trying to figure out if this is all just plain incompetence or something more sinister. It has the appearance of a consolidation of power, and the lack of any announcement to the membership at this critical time only reinforces that idea.

Someone told me some things that may or may not be rumors. However, they do help fill in the gaps – ones not being filled by the UCG administration. Effective leadership squelches rumors by providing facts. However, ask your average member, and they will tell you that they have no idea what’s going on.

Questions, questions, more questions:

1. Was Richard Pinelli asked to resign/retire? If so, then the purge is just about complete, isn’t it?

2. Were most of the regional pastors were also signators on the documents sent to the COE? There are the letter by the 54 elders and the letter by the 60 elders, either of which would make them pretty unpopular I suppose.

3. Was Clyde Kilough part of the party sent to Chile many moons ago that helped to smooth the waters there for a (short) time? You know, to deal with the “royal family” accused of breaking the Sabbath?

It appears that the Texas move may not have been the first or the last time Kilough rankled some in Cincinnati. However, that’s why forcing him out caused the rest to fall apart in Latin America, at least for the time being. It’s the lynchpin effect. The COE pulled on that loose string, and the whole sweater unraveled. That’s why sending Seigle to Chile afterwards was really stupid. That’s why posting that Sabbath paper was pouring salt upon old wounds as well as causing new ones.

Incompetence? Grabbing for power? I simply don’t know any more. The firing removal of the office of the regional pastors without any field input and without any announcement certainly makes it look like a consolidation of power. The question is if it even matters any longer which it is.

It ain’t looking good.

If there any elders left in May, they should seriously consider forcing a vote to clean house. It only takes 25% to get an issue on the ballot. It is obvious that this administration has lost touch with its membership and will continue to erode confidence the longer it is in power.

0 Comments

  1. I asked whether or not Pinelli was asked to resign, but I think he was asked to retire. Sorry, but it was late when I wrote that. Either way, if he goes, then he was probably goaded into getting out of the way.

  2. When you say "the firing of regional pastors," people may get the wrong idea. They are still the ministers of their assigned congregations, they just no longer have the responsibility of being the go-to-guy for the region. It's still an interesting move to consider for what it is, and time will tell whether ulterior motives exist.

    I also think it's a bit disingenuous that the currentcrisis blog doesn't clarify this point when they say in bold text "All regional pastors removed" in the midst of a list of the men who have been either stripped of the title of Elder in UCG or have actually had their congregations taken away from them. At the very least, it is confusing for the lesser informed.

  3. Steven Britt wrote: "When you say 'the firing of regional pastors,' people may get the wrong idea."

    Point well taken. I've reworded it. However, it should be noted that this move was done without their consent.

  4. Like I said, it's still worth considering. The fact that it was done without any kind of warning to the persons involved is the point that concerns me. If their motives are indeed benign, then I don't think that this is something that the general membership would need to have been made aware of since it does not change who is giving the sermons on Sabbath.

    Also, it should be noted that the reason stated for making this change was that the regional pastor system was costly and unnecessary because our organization has not grown, and that this was therefore a money-saving measure. If it's saving money for the organization, then it's taking away money from the regional pastors, which is a burden for them to have done abruptly. Then again, the topic of how much ministers should be paid has always been a touchy one, so I'm not sure how many can stand up for these men in that regard in light of their position on that issue.

  5. @Steven Britt: How is it taking money away from the RP? My understanding is that the justification of saving money would be based upon travel, etc. They are still employed, as far as I know, and that's why I was willing to change the wording so quickly after you pointed out the poor wording. So, there's no savings from a salary standpoint — unless, of course …

    I DO think the general membership should know. I don't buy the rationale that "they don't even know who their regional pastor is" because I have had people tell me who their particular RP is.

    I'm going to reiterate what I told someone else this morning: Every decision that this administration makes from now on is going to be questioned. It doesn't matter how large or how small. They have alienated the membership. An organization cannot effectively function like this.

  6. Ah, I see. I just assumed that they were taking a pay cut. Wouldn't the three men taking over their responsibilities have to do considerably more travel in order to fulfill these responsibilities than the people who are already in the local areas?

    I agree: whether the CoE has been overrun by liberals who are unscrupulously positioning themselves for a hostile purging of the organization or not, there is a growing number of people who are afraid that this is the case. Therefore, because of the unrest among the membership, they should have made an effort to inform people to assuage their fears. I can't help but think that no one would have thought twice about this piece of news if it had happened last September when the waters were calm, and that the council may not fully realize just how negatively a lot of the membership has come to view them.

  7. My Pastor read the e-mail about the R.P. consolidation during announcement time at services, a couple of weeks ago.

    He read it verbatim, with no further comment. Smart move. :-/

    Then this past weekend, the Pastor announced he was fasting on Sunday – for both UCG's situation and the upcoming U.S. elections. He encouraged us to fast as well. Quite unusual step for him.

    During one sermon at the Feast site I attended, a Pastor admitted he's "a lot more skeptical now than I used to be." He referred specifically to telemarketers. But given the current climate in UCG, I think he speaks for many.

  8. author@ptgbook.org

    I guess pastors who speak about this sometimes feel they have to be careful how they word things, and they speak cautiously and let their listeners read between the lines.

    The Sabbath paper seems to be either a serious mistake, or a calculated move. If it was designed to provoke those ministers likely to vote against the Council majority into quitting UCG or speaking out in a way that would give headquarters cause to fire them, it was masterfully designed and written.

  9. @Richard & author@ptgbook.org: Being cautious now is one thing. Being cautious in May may mean the death of UCG (no prophecies here!).

    Personally, I think the paper was either a mistake or a way of testing the boundaries — to see how far they could go. Which is it? Again, does it matter any longer?

  10. Hello? How many cannot see a pattern at work in UCG. as to your title, John–I suggest a "thread to this crisis"–if pulled on hard enough would jerk Roy Holladay right out of the merky shadows!! Think about it! He was involved in the rescind to move, instremental in COE resignations, the getting rid of C.Kilough, then Mr.Franks–took Kilough's placed–dismissed Leon Walker-narrowly missed being re-elected to president-but assisted for a spell–then the R.pastor are gotten rid of–oops–here he is again and now fires Larry Salyer—he just keeps popping up and something else bad happens!!
    Jon

  11. @Anonymous: Up until the Leon Walker firing, perhaps. Was Walker's firing the continuation of a more organized effort, or was it simply inertia?

    However, isn't Roy Holladay getting ready to take over some local congregation somewhere? Is he not off the council? What is his source of authority in regards to the removal of the RPs?

    It could be argued that Holladay had no alternative after Salyer's actions. After all, the relieving of a minister would fall under ministerial services, no?

    I'm not saying you are wrong, but it is rather circumstantial evidence, don't you think?

  12. Reminder: Don't put email addresses in comments. That's for your protection as much as the blog's.

    You can find the Sabbath paper online here.

  13. Transparency re:R.P. decision was a non-factor. We didn't learn of it until the United News was published. We see more and more how the UCG hierarchy is out of touch with the membership and reality. Some months ago UCG had members survey to take the temperature/comments of the church – as with other "official" items it died an unnatural death. No results reported. [They wouldn't have liked my comments anyway.]

    Now that there is full rebellion amongst the ministerial class, their success will be determined by how many sheep they can pull away from UCG. There may be a lot of hungry unemployed ministers left over if the sheep decide to stay w/UCG. By resigning they have cut themselves off from any redress or correction available through UCG's constitution and bylaws. Neither side can claim innocence, nor can they particularly expect God's blessings on their endeavors I would suspect.

  14. NwChristian, it is not true that the results of the survey were not reported. The initial results were reported in the COE minutes Feb. 24, 2010. See http://coe.ucg.org/council-report/council-elders-meeting-milford-oh-2010-02-24.

    In the light of current events it is interesting to read some of the minutes. For example, in regard to the member survey it states – “The big issue in the first survey was “unity,” and that is still a theme with the second survey. Lack of unity is the most important concern expressed in this survey, but it has gotten more specific.”

    Also in light of the ministerial structural changes the COE minutes for Feb 23 report – “Robin Webber said that mission and money are important, but we also need to look at structure. Sometimes we look at history and try to run on the past. He believes we are top heavy in structure. He would like to see an extraordinary move—a “game-changer.” He stated that the ministry needs to show some sacrifice and there needs to be a realignment of overhead. Jason Lovelady said that you cannot realign overhead quickly, but it must be done in a measured way.

    President Kilough asked what is top heavy—manpower? Robin Webber responded that, while not impacting the brethren around the world, there needs to be realignment of managerial levels and within the ministry. Our people are going through the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression and maybe the ministry may have to take on more of a sacrifice themselves—ministerial benefits and premiums should be considered. He said that he believes the membership wants to see more of a sacrifice from the ministry.”

  15. Force a vote? Do you really think politics is the answer? That's what got them into the mess.

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