GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWS BULLETIN – 11/28/16

News Bulletin from the General Superintendent
11-28-16

dkb

General Superintendent David K. Bernard

Thoughts on the US Election
From a Christian perspective, both major presidential candidates had significant flaws. Nevertheless, the election gave Republicans control of the Presidency, House, and Senate. They can appoint a majority on the Supreme Court, thereby unifying all three branches of government under a more conservative philosophy. There is the potential for less governmental regulation; greater efficiency; and greater religious, economic, and political freedom.

Regardless of how we voted, we must pray earnestly for our leaders (I Timothy 2:1-2). Let’s pray that they will make the best decisions for our nation and world; keep the door open for Christian churches, schools, and counselors to minister effectively; and lead with integrity, humility, and morality. At the same time, the church must remain an independent voice for righteousness.

The election revealed significant differences along racial, ethnic, and gender lines. The church can’t let politics cause internal division, however. We must promote unity while valuing diversity. Let’s show respect and consideration for the needs of the poor, immigrants, and minorities. We must be a church for all people.

In short, the church has an open door for ministry. Since our culture continues to move away from God, however, we may have only a short time. We must seize this opportunity to plant and grow churches. We must press for end-time revival “while it is day” (John 9:4).

Sale of World Evangelism Center
On November 21 we officially closed on the sale of our previous headquarters, World Evangelism Center. This was the final step of a great miracle. We had completely depreciated the buildings and furnishings and retained an asset on our books of about $1 million for the land. Our real estate agent advised us to expect a selling price of $3 million, but we were able to negotiate a price of $4 million. The inspection period revealed that the building would soon need a new roof for $800,000, so we split this cost with the buyer. Thus, the net price was $3.6 million, which was still significantly higher than we had expected and enough to fulfill our plans. We can apply this amount to the purchase of our new headquarters, including moving costs, additional furnishings, and a new storage building.

World Headquarters
Our new building is called World Headquarters. The move is complete, except for some items in storage that we will move soon. We recently completed the purchase of a new storage building, which is being prepared for occupancy. We will use it for long-term storage such as General Conference equipment and displays. Here is the new address and telephone for our World Headquarters:

United Pentecostal Church International
36 Research Park Court
Weldon Spring, MO 63304
Phone: 636-229-7900

Chinese, Indian, and Eastern Religions Summits
Recently I participated in three international summits along with our director of Global Missions, Bruce Howell, and two regional directors, Lynden Shalm (Asia) and Roger Buckland (Pacific). Missionaries and national workers from 17 nations attended. The focus of these summits was strategic planning to reach the two largest nations of the world: China, with almost 1.4 billion people, and India, with over 1.3 billion people. The population, size, languages, cultures, and governmental regulations in these countries require us to develop a unique approach for each.  Having grown up in Korea, I have a particular awareness and burden for Asia. I have been taking missions trips to India since 1998 and to China since 1999, primarily for conferences and ministerial training. The recent summits could facilitate some the greatest revivals of the future and thus could be some of the most significant steps we have ever taken as an organization.

China
We had previously convened a Chinese Summit, but for the first time we have appointed a committee of leaders to implement plans for growth. Many ministers in various countries are helping to evangelize the Chinese people, and we are working with churches in about half the provinces of China. Due to restrictions and security concerns, we must be extremely careful in all our communications. Therefore, if you have contacts in China or an opportunity to minister in China, please communicate with our regional director, Lynden Shalm, lshalm@upci.org.

India
The Indian Summit was a first for us. In addition to UPCI ministers, a number of other Indian Apostolic Pentecostal leaders attended. We now have United Pentecostal churches in 18 of 29 states and 2 of 7 territories. They are organized in three units: UPC in India, UPC of North East India, and UPC in Andhra Pradesh. We discussed plans to evangelize the unreached states as well as the major cities.  We have established an annual meeting called the General Council of the UPC of India. We are also planning an All India Apostolic Summit with other Apostolic leaders. Due to restrictions and security concerns, we must be careful in our communications. It is also important to coordinate any efforts among independent ministers and other organizations with our own UPC units in India. Therefore, if you have contacts in India or an opportunity to minister in India, please communicate with our regional director, Lynden Shalm, lshalm@upci.org.

Eastern Religions
The Eastern Religions Summit was also a first for us. We heard testimonies of converts from Hinduism and Buddhism and discussed ways to present the gospel to people from these backgrounds. We established two committees to develop resources for South Asian Religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Theravada Buddhism) and East Asian Religions (Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Animism).

International Ministry
As our efforts in China and India have shown, in order to reap the maximum benefit from ministry efforts overseas and to avoid complications or harm to existing efforts, it is important for all of us to coordinate our efforts with our missionaries and national leaders. Therefore, if you plan to minister overseas or to support an overseas ministry, please communicate with the UPCI leadership for the country. If you don’t know whom to contact or experience any difficulty, please communicate with the Global Missions regional director. I make this request in accordance with the official policy in the UPCI Manual, which is reproduced below for your convenience.

“Any minister affiliated with us who receives an invitation to minister outside the United States and Canada should notify the superintendent or the UPCI missionary of the country. In cases where there is no UPCI missionary, the regional director should be notified. This notification will facilitate the minister receiving information concerning, but not limited to, church teachings, culture, legal and financial obligations. Following the visit the minister should provide information to the missionary or superintendent and regional director that will help them follow up contacts and foster good relationships among ministers.

“Any minister affiliated with us who wishes to extend a ministerial invitation to a minister from outside the United States and Canada should first contact the regional director. The inviting minister should also communicate with the United States or Canadian district superintendent concerning the invitation. This will facilitate the regional director receiving information beneficial to the success of the efforts of the visiting minister. Following the visit, the inviting minister should provide any information to the regional director that will assist in fostering good relationships among ministers.

“Any minister affiliated with us, whether in the United States, Canada, or overseas, who travels on his or her own initiative without having been formally invited should follow the same protocol as those who have received an invitation, as recommended in the two previous paragraphs.”

Urshan College
In addition to the majors in my last news bulletin, Urshan College has announced two new majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies (beginning Fall 2017)

Sincerely in Christ,

David K. Bernard

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWS BULLETIN – 11/28/16

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWS BULLETIN – 11/4/16

News Bulletin from the General Superintendent
11-4-16

dkb

General Superintendent David K. Bernard

Prayer for US Elections
I appeal to everyone to pray for the upcoming US elections on November 8, which will be significant for the direction of our nation and our world over the next four years. As a church we don’t endorse political candidates, but we should pray for leaders who will preserve our political and economic liberty, especially freedom of religion. The story of Abraham’s intercession for Sodom demonstrates that even a small minority of righteous people can make a significant difference. I also urge all citizens to participate in the voting process at every level.

General Conference
We enjoyed great blessings from the Lord at our recent General Conference in Indianapolis. The estimated peak attendance was 8,700 compared to 8,000 in 2015. Global Missions raised funds that were given and pledged to send at least 13 missionary families back to their fields with completed budgets. On Friday and Saturday, North American Missions completed a Church in Day in Cumberland (in the metro area), and I was privileged to preach at the first service in the new building on Sunday.

There was only one major change in office. Matthew Johnson, secretary of the General Youth Division, could not be reelected because of age. Josh Carson, promotional director, was elected in his place. We commend Brother Johnson for his faithful service, and we congratulate Brother Carson on his election.

The General Conference approved a plan to revise the Christian Worker’s License as a new Christian Ministry License to be conferred by the local pastor and church. It also amended policies for ministerial transfers and for Metro Missions. The next issue of the Forward will contain a full report of elections, appointments, and resolutions.

Relocation of World Headquarters
We have moved most of our headquarters employees to our new building, and we will complete this move in the next two weeks. The new building gives us 50 percent more office space. It has less warehouse space, so we have also contracted to purchase a storage building in Wentzville, about 15 minutes away. We are scheduled to close on the sale of our old building on November 21. The purchaser is the Ferguson-Florissant School District, which will use the ground floor as a public school and the upper floors for district offices.

After considering purchase and relocation expenses less rental and sales income, we expect to have a mortgage of less than $4 million, which we are borrowing from the UPCI Loan Fund. Since we owe the money to ourselves, this debt doesn’t appear our consolidated financial statements. After the move is complete, we will experience a significant savings in maintenance and utilities. For example, this past summer the cost of electricity at our old building was $25,000 per month, while at the new building it was $8,000. We project that our operational savings will be sufficient to service our mortgage. Thus, we expect to operate the new building within our current budget.

In essence, we will move from a 46-year-old building in a declining neighborhood to a 9-year-old building in a highly desirable business park location … for free. We will pay interest to our own constituents with the excess being reinvested into our own ministries. I believe this transaction is a miracle from God. As we have placed our priorities on giving to world missions, with record offerings for all our ministries, God has miraculously given us the means to support our necessary overhead costs.

There is still time to get the highest rate of investment the UPCI Loan Fund has to offer by investing in “Relocating For Growth” Loan Certificates, for our new headquarters. You can view the rates at upciloanfund.org/relocation4growth.

I also encourage you to view and to show the presentation of the UPCI’s growth from 1945 to now and projections for our future of over 110,000 churches and preaching points in the next 25 years. The presentation is available here.

New Address and Telephone for World Headquarters
You can still contact us through our old address and telephone number, but here is our new information:

United Pentecostal Church International
36 Research Park Court
Weldon Spring, MO 63304
Phone: 636-229-7900

Ministerial Dues
In 2014 the General Conference approved a change in the process for payment of membership dues. We delayed the implementation one year to wait for the complete replacement of the UPCI’s computer system. After much hard work and extensive testing, we have launched our new payment process and a new website.

Beginning this quarter, ministerial dues will be collected using the new fee structure.
Please note, this does not apply to ministers who are exempt or ministers whose dues are paid by the following districts: Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, and Tennessee. For all others, if you pay annually, there is no fee and consequently no change in your dues. If you pay quarterly or monthly, a small fee will be added to each payment to cover the processing costs. You may make payments by mail, online (upciministers.com), or by phone (636-229-7900). Recently, you should have received a postcard and an email with information on the new process.

There were some difficulties with our website during the transition, so we thank you for your patience and understanding. We believe all issues have been resolved, and the new site is a much better solution to serve our more than 10,000 UPCI ministers going forward. As always, your feedback is welcome via phone or email (ministers@upci.org). Our office team at Church Administration remains ready to assist you as needed.

Urshan System Accreditation Process and New Degree Programs
As previously reported, Urshan College (UC) and Urshan Graduate School of Theology (UGST) are working toward the goal of secular regional accreditation. (UGST is already accredited with the Association of Theological Schools.) In June, Urshan submitted a document of 1,600 pages to show fulfillment of 19 eligibility requirements. In September, the accrediting association approved this submission with commendation and with no requests for change. Therefore, Urshan is now proceeding with a full self-study in preparation for a site visit. While we cannot make any public advertisement about the process, we can inform our constituency that we are on schedule to meet our goal of attaining candidacy in 2018. At candidacy we will begin receiving all the benefits of accreditation while we finish the process. Please pray that this endeavor will be successful.

UC and UGST have added a number of new degree programs and concentrations.

UC now offers the following academic programs. All are available on campus. All but music are available by distance learning in states where UC is allowed to operate. For further information, go to urshancollege.org.

  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry (accredited degree in partnership with St. Louis Christian College)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Ministry
  • Bachelor of Music

UGST now offers the following academic programs. In accordance with new accrediting guidelines the credit hours have been reduced. All degrees are accredited and are available on campus and by distance learning. For further information, go to ugst.edu.

  • Certificate in Apostolic Theology, 12 hours. Required for UPCI military chaplaincy endorsement.
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM), 48 hours. Concentrations: General Studies, Research Track, Arts and Worship, Intercultural Studies, and Pastoral Counseling
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS): 48 hours. Concentrations: General Track and Research Track
  • Master of Divinity (MDiv): 72 hours. Meets requirements for chaplaincy. Concentrations: Student Designed, Arts and Worship, Intercultural Studies, Pastoral Counseling, Biblical/Theological, and Historical Studies

 

Sincerely in Christ,

David K. Bernard

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWS BULLETIN – 11/4/16