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Letter sent to Latin American Ministers Re: Affiliation with UCGia

Posted on November 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

November 11, 2010

 

Via email: the original will be arriving via postal mail

 

RE: You affiliation with United Church of God, an international association

 

Greeting from Dennis Luker, from the Home Office in Cincinnati.

It is evident that there is actually more than one organization that is now operating in what before was one Church of God that was united in the Hispanic area under the name the United Church of God, an international association (UCGia).

 

The original structure, which continues and is the only one recognized by the UCGia, is the one administered under me as the Director of the Hispanic Region (Director). According to the Rules of Association the subsidies of the UCGia continue to help the elders and member of the congregations that have maintained their association with the UCGia and recognize me as the Director.

 

During the recent month of June, a new organization was formed under the leadership of an elder that before was part of UCGia and was the Regional Director of the Hispanic Regions, Leon Walker. This separation began about the time that Mr. Walker was removed and no longer employed as the Director, this occurred on June 22, 2010. In spite of the removal of Mr. Walker as the Director, and after the Council of Elders of the UCGia (from here on referred to as the COE) authorized the removal of his ministerial credentials, he continues to claim that he is the Director and he has ministers and members following him, and we understand your are one of those elders.

 

Under the Rule of Association (ROA) of the UCGia, the pastors and elders should be ordained ministers whose credentials are recognized by the UCGia and they should continue in that status if they want to be affiliated with the UCGia (ROA 2-100). However since the ministerial credentials of Mr. Walker have been revoked by the UCGia he cannot continue to serve as an elder (or Regional Director) of any congregation or religious entity/group of the UCGia, in Latin America. It should be pointed out that under established guidelines, an elder that is appealing cannot be exercising or performing his ministerial functions while he is appealing the revocation of his ministerial credentials. This also applies to the ministers/pastors that were part of UCGia, Saul Langarica, Lauro Roybal, from Chile and Mexico respectively (and of the area they previously administered), whose credentials have also been revoked by UCGia. (1)

In no region of the world can two entities (in this case competitors) exist both affirming that they are part of UCGia. There can only be one representative of UCGia in each country or in each designated geographic area (ROA rule 3-110). Only those elders and those congregations in Latin America that accept me as their Director can be considered part of the UCGia.

 

However, I understand, that you want to continue to be affiliated with Mr. Walker's group (no matter what name this organization is given) and you do not recognize me as Director, although sufficient time has passed to give you the opportunity to reconsider your decision to continue you association with this group.

 

Under the Ministerial Code of Ethics, all of the elders of UCGia should support the Constitution and the Bylaws of the UCGia, which grant the COE jurisdiction over your ministerial credentials (which includes who can serve as Regional Director—which is a ministerial post) and also which groups or entitles are recognized by UCGia, and can be therefore affiliated.

 

To refuse to respect these decisions, and continue affiliating with a group that is not recognized as part of the UCGia, you give the COE of the UCGia no other option than to suppose that you do no longer want to be a elder of the UCGia and that you openly defy the decisions of the COE. Since you are listed as an elder of UCGia, when in reality you are not a part of UCGia, this only causes confusion in the church in Latin America and this situation cannot be permitted to continue.

 

As a result, we advise you that at the next teleconference of the Council of Elders, the agenda will include an item to revoke your UCGia ministerial credentials through the authorization of the COE and also your removal as a member of the General Conference of Elders. You however have the option of resigning as an elder of the UCGia in which case it will not be necessary for the COE to revoke your ministerial credentials.

 

On the other hand, if there has been an error and you are not affiliated with Mr. Walker's group or assisting it, and you want to continue as a elder in the UCGia, and you accept me as the Director of Hispanic Areas of the UCGia, please do not delay in advising me immediately so that I can inform the COE. You may communicate with me using the following email address: dennis_luke.org.

 

Yours faithfully

United Church of God, an International Association

Signed: Dennis Luker

President of UCGia and

Director of the Hispanic Region, UCGia

 

Footnote (1) Article 4.5.1 of the Constitution states: "Any elder who fails to meet the scriptural qualifications of a minister based on biblical standards, shall be expelled from the General Conference. An elder who is expelled from the General Conference is immediately precluded from performing any ministerial duties in any congregation of the United Church of God, an International Association." Article 4.5.2 states: "The elder appealing shall, however, be relieved of all ministerial duties during such periods.

 

(The Latin American Ministry has given permission for this to be freely distributed)

 

Original letter in Spanish

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