Resources for the members of the United Church of God

Personal From the President: June 17, 2021

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Personal From the President

June 17, 2021

I’d like to share two recent noteworthy events with you. The first one is about a new video resource recorded on June 9 at the home office. The other is a report on the Canadian ministerial conference held June 6.

“Anxiety, Depression and Despair Have Consequences”

On Wednesday, June 9, we welcomed Andi Chapman to our Beyond Today TV studio to record a second presentation for our ministry and membership. In a previous recording, Andi talked about hospice and end-of-life planning. This time she presented “Anxiety, Depression and Despair Have Consequences.”

Ms. Chapman is a registered nurse and regional clinical educator for Heart to Heart Hospice. She is also owner and consultant for SelectMed Seminars, specializing in educational and consulting services for general community and healthcare staff. She is also a member of the UCG congregation in Freeland, Michigan.

Linda “Andi” Chapman had been named “Educator of the Year” for 2017 by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She was honored at a dinner in Dallas, Texas (

This 75-minute video presentation will be edited and made available in August for our ministry and membership. Recorded in front of a live studio audience, Ms. Chapman covered the following points and more:

  • Learning how to recognize stress.

  • Understanding the good impact of stress.

  • How has COVID-19 impacted our stress?

  • How to control the negatives.

  • Understanding the impact of stress on health (physical and emotional).

  • Burnout: what is it and how do we escape it?

  • What is “joy” and why discuss it when talking about stress?

Please watch for this video to be released later this summer. It contains some very helpful information for all of us as we navigate our difficult world and look towards the Kingdom of God.

On the same day, Beyond Today TV producer Peter Eddington conducted a two-part interview with Andi Chapman. It will also be edited and available in August on our website at under the “Beyond Today Interviews” tab.

Some of the interesting questions covered during the 45-minute interview (which will be edited into two parts) include:

  • We see more and more children becoming anxious and distressed today. Doctors will often prescribe medication. How do we help children and teach them to cope with anxiety? What are the consequences for children who have anxiety?

  • Many people are anxious about the future, about things they cannot know. They fret over events that have not yet happened, or may not ever happen. How do we maintain a proper perspective on the future, and on things we cannot know?

  • Is there a link between anxiety and depression? Can anxiety or despair lead to clinical depression?

  • Are there differences in men and women when it comes to anxiety, depression and despair?

  • Sometimes anxiety and depression strike close to home. How can we best help our spouse and our friends who are suffering from anxiety?

  • How do I recognize anxiety in myself? Maybe I have it but don’t know it, but others see it in me?

  • So, what are some of the good outcomes and positive impacts of stress in our lives?

  • How has COVID-19 impacted our stress?

  • Are there solid ways we can control the negative influences in our lives?

  • What are some of the physical and emotional impacts on our health because of too much stress?

  • How can I escape burnout?

  • I’ve heard that joy can be an antidote to stress. How does that work? And are there other antidotes to anxiety, despair and depression?

Please look for the interview in August on our website, and also on all of our Beyond Today TV apps on Google Play for Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung smart TVs, LG smart TVs, and Apple iOS devices.

Andi Chapman has recorded other interviews and podcasts located at:

Beyond Today Interview: End of Life Planning with Darris McNeely

Podcasts with Victor Kubik about death, planning for it and the grieving process.

Canadian Ministerial Virtual Conference 2021

On Sunday, June 6, a watershed virtual conference was held for all Canadian ministers and wives. Approximately 55 people were online for almost a seven-hour conference using 31 connections. Attendance held steady throughout the entire day. Only two elders were unable to attend this special occasion.

The presenters were Gary Antion, Robert Dick, John Elliott, Victor Kubik, Rainer Salomaa and Sheldon Sitter. Prior to their presentations, the stage was set by a short, quick-moving PowerPoint of photos of past conferences and a tribute to deceased elders and wives.

Robert Dick got the meeting off to a good start, giving a history of the founding of United. He related important details many had never heard before. He later gave a presentation about a new Ministerial and Member Services program called “The Word Fitly Spoken” that provides instructive feedback to ministers on how to enrich their speaking. Gary Antion had two presentations on the many responsibilities of a minister as pastor, preacher, counselor, visitor, as well as taking care of his personal and family life. John Elliott covered vital pointers on how to mentor for ministerial service. Rainer Salomaa shared what he learned during a two-day conference to create and maintain a healthy workplace with a special emphasis on stress management. Looking ahead to the “new normal” after we get through COVID-19 was the focus of Sheldon Sitter’s presentation, which was an ideal introduction to Victor Kubik’s topic “The Future of the Church.” He showed how UCG is preparing the way for new overseers and a new generation of leadership. He updated us on subscriber development, planned giving and substantial improvements to the UCG website. He was with us throughout the day and participated on the discussion panel during the last portion of the program.

These all-Canada conferences have been traditionally held bi-annually in person in Toronto with this being the first held electronically. Still, several commented that it was exceptionally helpful and some even went as far as to say it was the best one yet. UCG-Canada is planning to have separate East and West mini-conferences online in June.

As summer begins this week in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere, let’s not forget the blessings that God has given us. Let’s continue to think about and pray for one another.