News Bulletin from the General Superintendent
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.
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
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com.
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).
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.”
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