An unidentified delegate from Tampa, Fla., asked
questions about tithing, whether it will be on gross or net. He also had
questions about third tithe.
Mr. Luker replied that, "during this transitional
period, that will be administered locally as well." On the question
of net vs. gross, "that will have to be discussed," but for the
transition those considerations should be handled locally.
Two-thirds majority needed
Norm Myers of Milwaukee, Wis., asked about the percentage of conference
elders needed to ratify doctrinal changes.
Mr. Dick noted that at the board level a two-thirds
majority is necessary. At the ratification stage, with the general conference,
a simple majority is required.
Howard Davis of Portland, Ore., commented on the
same subject that he "would not like to see the same majorities"
on doctrinal subjects as opposed to administrative questions, "because
that's why we're here."
Dean Wilson of Portland, Ore., asked if a vehicle
for lay members to introduce proposed changes would be established, "whereby
we have access to suggestions [from lay members] on things we might want
to see changed."
Mr. Dick replied that the UCG was establishing
a "representative form of government, not a democracy. You as elders,
if you're doing your job, are representing your congregations," so
members' suggestions would come through local ministers.
Don Hornsby of Bethlehem, Pa., asked about the
powers of the chairman of the board. "Will he be able to veto whatever
the board of directors comes up with? If so, what checks and balances are
Chairman has one vote
Mr. Dick replied that "the chairman
of the board carries one vote."
An unidentified delegate from Lansing, Mich., asked
about the name of the church. Mr. Luker replied that "you will be deciding"
from three proposed names later in the conference.
Dave Myers of Houston asked: "Will the selection
of the chairman be ratified by the general conference after he is
nominated by the nine-member board? Will operations managers be nominated
from the board? Or what?"
Mr. Dick's reply: "The chairman is ratified
by the board, not the general conference." The operations managers
are not automatically board members, but they can be members of the board.
Ellis La Ravia of Tucson, Ariz., asked about titles.
"Maybe we should use `presiding officer' instead of `chairman of the
board,'" he suggested.
Mr. Dick said church organizers "knew the
titles that didn't belong there" but the choice of chairman was "driven
Steve Sheppherd of Elkhart, Ind., asked how new
doctrines will be disseminated. He said members are not interested in a
church that could be described as "Pasadena Lite."
Mr. Dick replied that "Videotape Church of
God" was not one of the names considered for the new church. "We
know what has been done," Mr. Dick said. "We don't want it duplicated.
The networking and the interconnectivity within the structure of the [UCG]
organization is just a little short of phenomenal. We have seen, thanks
to the terminations from the Worldwide Church of God, a labor pool that
is nothing short of fantastic."
Closing comments for this session were by Mr. Luker,
who credited George Crow, Ray Wooten and Wayne Dunlap with the preliminary
work that made possible the United Church of God. "They are all here
or represented here," he said. "They have paved the way for us.
We do appreciate that deeply, and we want them to know that and recognize
(Mr. Wooten and Mr. Dunlap were present; Mr. Crow,
because of a prior commitment, could not attend but was represented by his
son, Richard Crow, an elder from Dayton, Ohio.)
Mr. Luker's final comment: "We all want unity,