"If we let God work through us, then the peaceful confidence will return. God is taking care of His people. He is providing for them. He hasn't gone away, though He didn't act as quickly as we wanted Him to.
"But what is patience after all if it isn't waiting through time?"
Mr. Hulme called for church members to be patient. "In all that's going on, please remember that patience is something that God is developing in us. Please be patient with us."
Regarding the suggestions for implementing the start-up of a new church organization, Mr. Hulme said he and other organizers "will try hard to be patient with you and all of your input, and I really mean it. We cannot do what we have decided to do without your input."
Mr. Hulme noted that a great unifying influence in God's church is the annual festivals. He called the knowledge of the feasts "the astonishing truth of the Holy Day plan which can never be forgotten." He urged ministers to "give the brethren the hope of the Holy Days. It [plans for the Feast of Tabernacles this fall] is a short-term objective, and it's important."
Noting that the UCG's policies regarding governance are radically different from those of the Worldwide Church of God, he said the United Church of God has "embarked on the process of collaborative governance." Such a concept of governing is new to former members of the WCG, "but give it time," he said.
He noted that the new structure of regional pastors is not the same as the old regional-pastor structure under the WCG. "It's not a hierarchical structure anymore. It's a collaborative process, and it should be seen as that."
Casting the church in a historical perspective, he said the brethren are in a "transitional period. Expect good things, but remember what it is. We began 10 days ago with reservations and questions."
Although most of the ministers and their wives attended the meetings three days, 14 organizers, including several who were named members of the board of directors during the general meetings, had arrived here as early as April 24. The general meeting began April 30 in the Holiday Inn in Cloverdale, Ind., southwest of here but was moved to the larger facilities of Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria in Indianapolis the next day because so many more delegates arrived than organizers had expected.
"We've seen our Father gently lead us to some pretty astounding conclusions through methods we've never used before. Simply put, what has happened here despite human frailties has left us encouraged and uplifted."
In his last address of the conference to delegates, he said, "I leave here with many kinds of emotions, as I'm sure you all do. I wish you godspeed, and I look forward to reconvening. Perhaps we'll see most of you in December [for the next general conference] and perhaps during the Feast days as well."