Monday, March 4, 2013

UCG: UPDATE From Dennis Luker: Not True That Robin Webber New Temporary UCG President


UPDATE
Robin Webber is the new temporary President until July 1, 2013 when new elections will be held.

Dennis Luker's health situation is far worse than originally thought. He is now unable to function as President of the UCG. He and his wife are returning to Seattle to figure out what course of action to now take.  The cancer was far more widespread that they had imagined.

Dear ministers and home office staff,

As you might expect, when organizations experience what the United Church of God is going through right now with my serious illness, rumors often start flying. This has already begun to happen and various inaccurate reports are circulating online—including that our Council of Elders chairman, Robin Webber, has taken over as UCG president.

Robin and I can assure you that he has not taken over as president. However, LeeAnn and I do plan to return to our home in the state of Washington to pursue treatment for my health condition. This will also enable us be close to our family during that time. Should things change with me health-wise, please remember that in our bylaws we have a tried and true, established process to provide a smooth transition of leadership. Otherwise and God willing, I anticipate continuing as president as my health permits until my term expires on June 30. 

We appreciate your prayers and concern beyond words and will swiftly communicate any major news or changes to you. Thank you to each of you for your faithful service to Jesus Christ and His brethren! It gives us great comfort during this very difficult health trial to know that you are there keeping up the good fight of faith.

With love in Christ,
Dennis Luker



29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just look at that face! Looks like they picked another winner.

Anonymous said...

LOL, he just looks like the proverbial fox in the henhouse.

Byker Bob said...

I wonder if Joe Jr. will have his administrative assistant send Robin a congratulatory card?

Who'd'a ever thunk?

BB

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Webber is "a" favorite to become UCG President full-time this spring. But I don't think he's "the" favorite.

My guessing list has Darris McNeely at the top, followed by Aaron Dean and Donald Ward.

My "dark horse" in the race is Gary Petty, because he's one of the best speakers UCG has.

Steve Kisack said...

He looks like a used car salesman. Does it really make any difference which used car salesman they pick?

Anonymous said...

he always praised Joe Sr. but Sr. thought he was a bit of a goofus, sad that loyalty is usually a one way street in the CoGs.

Anonymous said...

Call an Enclave now. Get a chimney and some white/black smoke powder and find the leader you want sooner than later. They will save a lot of bitching and moaning between now and July.

Have some guts RW and call for a vote in the immediate future and get on with things. If you are a "pick me! Pick Me!" type, call it sooner.

Velvet said...

"Gary Petty, because he's one of the best speakers UCG has."

Which isn't saying much, going by the Beyond Today episodes I've seen with him.

Why does Webber look familiar?

Velvet said...

"he always praised Joe Sr."

Oh, right, never mind. I answered my own question. :-P

Douglas Becker said...

Wimpy.

Incompetent.

What every Armstrongist CoG needs now is a strong-man Warlord!

The closest they come these days is Dave Pack, and isn't that just pathetic: He just doesn't summon the vision of a Genghis Khan figure leading troops across the landscape -- in fact, he doesn't even whisper such a thing.

Gird up the loins! Sound the silver trumpets! Ready yourself for the battle!

The churches of God are going to war!

And the last thing they need is a weak needy wimpy warlord.

Byker Bob said...

Once every couple of decades, key markers from the Armstrong prophecy model seem to converge on planet earth. Growth of the movement is hinged on the ability of the various groups to exploit these effectively.

Right now, you have the choosing of a new Pope, rife with the normal speculative anticipation. Iran is seeking to become the military strongman of the Middle East via its seemingly unstoppable nuclear program. It's difficult to know what the ACOGs might think of climate change (Influential conservative talk show demagogues act like the holocaust deniers on this topic!), but it's no secret that the polar ice caps and glaciers around the world are quickly melting. And, there appears to be a bumpy road ahead for the economy. These are all factors readily exploitable by the ACOGs, the Adventists, and others.

Historically, the confluence fails to culminate in fulfillment of the HWA prophetic scenario, and just blows over. That doesn't keep people from exploiting it, however. Fortunately, the ACOGs, in their unanimous disunity, simply lack the voice to be able to do anything visible with the stuff this time around in anywhere near as effective a manner as HWA/GTA exploited the events of the 1960s.

BB

Anonymous said...

It's always possible that Robin Webber has grown and changed through the years, but his reputation in Pasadena during the '70's, '80's and into the early '90's was one of being a typical company "yes man" - a well-meaning yet hard-edged zealot who for the most part was clearly out of touch with everyday realities occurring in the real world.

Someone above mentioned the word "goofus." Well, what more can be said? Raised within the artificial bubble of Imperial Schools, then onto the dreamworld of Ambassador College, and immediately afterwards ordained into the ministry as a very young man. Perhaps I'm mistaken here, but I believe Pasadena was the only place he ever really served in that capacity until UCG was formed as the WCG was rapidly falling apart in 1995. He was noted far and wide for the many corny metaphors he employed during his sermons, such as "Well Brethren, as we find ourselves driving down the I-210 freeway of life..." Anyone from Pasadena could tell you of this!

In counseling sessions, he was also known for impulsively giving the standard superficial stock WCG "answers" before he ever listened carefully in order to discern what your problem actually consisted of. So needless to say, if you ever had a serious real-world issue in life that required more wisdom than you could muster, Robin was most definitely NOT the man to go to!

Always came across as very frantic and hectic in temperament, as if his workload was more than a mere mortal man could bare. Never would spend much time with you whenever you spontaneously ran into him around HQ's - he just always seemed far too busy to waste his time on trivialities such as meaningful human contact. I recall him as ever frantically on his way to deal with yet the next crisis (real or imagined) requiring his expert attention.

Honestly, I just can't see UCG permanently putting him in as President. But if that does happen, then I would take it as an indication that UCG is in far more desperate straights than I would have ever imagined.

Douglas Becker said...

And that is why, Byker Bob, these short sighted members with the Immediate Point of view need a new Strong Man from somewhere with a Suspicious Point of View to lead them.

They can wallow in their preoccupation of the moment and focus in on their immediate needs, while their Strong Arm leader takes all their worry about the future away -- promising them great things while they don't have to do any planning or think about the future themselves (it makes their poor little heads hurt to ponder these sorts of things).

Leave the thinking and the planning to someone else, because darn it all, we don't have the time ourselves -- we have more immediate things to take care of.

The Suspicious love these sorts of people because it gives them the power they lust for to control things, money and the great respect their narcissistic little egos need to survive. Their world is a dangerous place and they need to protect their interests against every body else.

Douglas Becker said...

Anonymous 9:36 AM, you summed it up brilliantly.

About the only thing you might have added was his inability to address or understand his wife and daughters.

And as we all know from the sociological studies of lower primates, the alpha male won't get into the position of power without the tacit support of the female contingent in the background.

Anonymous said...

Douglas, my understanding is that Robin's two daughters (now grown up adults) are no longer attached to any COG group. Anyway, that was the last I heard. I never knew his wife personally, but from a distance she came across to me as rather cold and an "always keep people away at arm's length" kind of a gal, much like Robin was in his interactions with people. (Though, in all fairness, this can accurately describe the human interaction style of many if not most COG ministers and their wives.)

My observation was that Robin had a serious inability to connect with anything having a warm body and a human face. Perhaps he acquired this trait from his mother, who wasn't always the friendliest human being I'd ever met. I'm truly not trying to be cruel here, but that was my clear impression after having dealt with Robin (and to a far lesser extant, his family) for many years in many different circumstances out in Pasadena.

Now, to the contrary, Robin's father, Jack, (who was never a baptized member as far as I knew, yet who regularly attended services with his wife) was a great guy to talk with. I can recall many a pleasant conversation with him over a meal together there in the Student Center. He was always a "life of the party" kind of guy - always had a joke or funny story to fit the particular topic we were discussing, genuine, totally up front, a bit on the bombastic side, but always fun to talk with. Jack saw the various and sundry soap-opera dramas constantly happening and on display out in Pasadena and always called 'em as he saw 'em, never sugar-coating events, but calling a spade a spade. And he was well known around HQ for this! That's probably why he never became an official member of the WCG!

Another impression I had was that Robin was perhaps a bit embarrassed by the kind of rough-hewn openness his father was known for. But Jack was a very real and genuine kind of fellow, if not the most sensitive and diplomatic guy I've ever met in my life. Not sure if he's still alive now or not (I'm guessing he'd be in his 90's), but I always very much liked him.

Anonymous said...

If only Herbert Armstrong were still alive!
It would make things much simpler.
For those following HWA's dregs, it's all, "HERBERT, HERBERT, HERBERT!"

(Apologies to Marcia of the Brady Bunch.)

And, funny how when an armstrongite splinter no longer has ONE guru on top, the followers declare that that means it's not a cult.
But, the problem is, for instance, in the case of the UCG, ALL of the leaders are beholden to HWA's crazy crapfest.
Yep, they have one guru, and that guru is HWA.

Oh, and another thing-
Some of Armstrong's apologists like to say, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day!"
WHAT kind of STUPID analogy is that?
Let's see...
Two moments per day of accuracy versus an INFINITE amount of moments per day of wrongness.
Hmmmmm.....

-Norm

Anonymous said...

I only met Robin Webber once. It was at an overseas feast site. Except I didn't know he was a minister. He came across like such a jerk. Not knowing he was a minister, I answered his very stupid question as well as responding to his arrogance in a rather sarcastic manner. He took off. It was then that a lady standing behind me commented, "do you know he's a minister?" Oops.

Is this the best the UCG can do ??

Head Usher said...

I only ever met Robin Webber once also. I thought he came across as kind of jerk too!

The only difference being, Robin Webber was the pastor of the COG congregations I attended for about 15 years altogether! I figured that he figured that I wasn't worth his time. After all, knowing me wasn't going to help him climb the corporate ladder. I've always observed you to be a politician and knew you'd stab enough people in the back to make it to the top eventually. Congratulations, Robin. You made it! I am not too surprised, though.

Joe Moeller said...

Ask anyone in any of the 4 Southern California congregations that Robin Webber pastors, and you will find great love and admiration for the man.

On the day his mother died, (and he was quite the attentive and loving son to his mother to the very end of her lengthy illness), he bucked up, put his own deep sorrow and sadness aside, then preached a sermon in the morning in Redlands CA, then drove 105 miles to San Diego and gave an afternoon sermon, AND THEN went and attended to a family in Chula Vista , down by the border, who had just lost their father that day too, and spent the evening consoling them.

Robin Webber is a tireless worker for his flock. Gracious and kind. He has spent countless times at all night vigils in hospitals. He visits those in prison every month. He lives humbly, and drives an old beat up Toyota Corolla.

He works hard on his sermons, and has no skeletons. His wife is a delightful woman, who is humble and kind. His granddaughters attend church in the UCG Eagle Rock congregation.

I have known Robin personally for over 35 years, and intimately currently. I have the greatest respect for him

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY



Steve Kisack said...

Robin must have two faces.

Byker Bob said...

I never got to know Robin as an adult. When he was a teenager, I would occasionally run into him and Joe Tkach and their friend Jerry on Saturday nights kind of out on the town. He seemed to play the Dana Carvey "Garth" role to Joe Jr's Wayne, of Wayne's World on Saturday Night Live. A quintessential best friend.

Basically, I've got no criteria to base any kind of evaluation upon. But, he certainly never appeared to be malignant or violent.

BB

Anonymous said...

I only met Robin once too. It was in the late 1970's. I had volunteered to help with a Sunday work party and was assigned to help some local elder named Joe Tkach move to a new house. I helped load the furniture into the van at the old house so I never saw the new house but the old house was in pretty bad shape.

Halfway through the move Robin picked me and another fellow to go to a widow's house to clean out her basement. I have never seen so many empty jars in my life.

We worked for a couple hours and suddenly Robin rushed up extremely apologetic for having forgotten about us and leaving us there for so long. (I didn't think it was that long.) I was impressed that he apologized so profusely and figured that he must be a good guy. I've always been sad to read all the criticism that he has received and have hoped that something of the nice guy that I saw was still there.

Anonymous said...

Comment was made that: "...Robin Webber is the new temporary President until July 1, 2013 when new elections will be held..."

I don't know the source for why this comment was made, but a member of the United Association sent me the following email memo from Dennis Luker, which basically says that he, Dennis, is still "the man in charge."

=====================

Dear ministers and home office staff,

As you might expect, when organizations experience what the United Church of God is going through right now with my serious illness, rumors often start flying. This has already begun to happen and various inaccurate reports are circulating online—including that our Council of Elders chairman, Robin Webber, has taken over as UCG president.


Robin and I can assure you that he has not taken over as president. However, LeeAnn and I do plan to return to our home in the state of Washington to pursue treatment for my health condition. This will also enable us be close to our family during that time. Should things change with me health-wise, please remember that in our bylaws we have a tried and true, established process to provide a smooth transition of leadership. Otherwise and God willing, I anticipate continuing as president as my health permits until my term expires on June 30.


We appreciate your prayers and concern beyond words and will swiftly communicate any major news or changes to you. Thank you to each of you for your faithful service to Jesus Christ and His brethren! It gives us great comfort during this very difficult health trial to know that you are there keeping up the good fight of faith.

With love in Christ,


Dennis Luker
=====================

John

Anonymous said...

"Is this the best the UCG can do ??"

Yes. It's another unfortunate chapter for the UCG, and as usual, the best UCG can do is crap.

Anonymous said...

Joe writes, "Ask anyone in any of the 4 Southern California congregations that Robin Webber pastors, and you will find great love and admiration for the man."

Ha!
Ask skinheads about Hitler, and you will find great love and admiration for the man, too!

Velvet said...

"Though, in all fairness, this can accurately describe the human interaction style of many if not most COG ministers and their wives."

Yep, this was absolutely the way it was. I remember after Herbert Armstrong died, the ministers in my area REALLY started pushing the Levitical priesthood stuff. One of the biggest mistakes the Church made, IMO.

Now, they've cut the ministry off at the knees, both figuratively AND literally: All ministers of the Church are REQUIRED to send in first tithe. Yes, it's actually mandatory. Members, however, are DIS-couraged from doing this, and are told it's "free-will offerings" or "donations" or somesuch.

Anonymous said...

Once again, those who have never objectively researched Hitler mindlessly defame him as the epitome of all evil. They get their brainlessness from the treasonous, smug, self-satisfied Western media.

Get your head out of your ass.

Anonymous said...

"...like the holocaust deniers..."

The holohoax is bullshit. Get your head out of your ass. Did you ever research it from both sides? Obviously not!

Anonymous said...

I would like to remind you that the people you badmouth are people. They are flesh and blood and they have families. The last thing you would want if a loved family member were gravely ill would be for people to be saying rude and hurtful things which would affect your loved ones. Whilst you might not agree with a person's faith, that gives you NO right to stand up and treat them poorly! Shame on you! Who are you to think yourself better? Really. Do you not have beliefs others don't agree with? Do others dislike your judging and treating others poorly? What an example you set for others. Look in the mirror and think about the time in your life when you made your worst mistake, then get online and use the hate and anger you throw at others and address your own behaviours just as critically! Until you can do that you cannot talk about others. Remember, everyone you talk about has family and friends and you hurt those people terribly by bearing false witness and being so hateful. It is best to say nothing when you cannot build someone up. It is not for man to judge another. I really feel bad for you that you would have so much anger and resentment that your poison drips from your lips. The internet is nothing more than a platform which gives nameless, faceless cowards the ability to ridicule and hurt others. That is sad. One day you will account for what you do and God will tell you the motives of your heart. There will be no place to hide. Those words and behaviours will not taste as sweet the second time.

Bless you Mr Moeller for having the decency to stand up and speak the truth.