United Church of God claims it is all for its youth and is concerned that they learn true messages when it comes to being a UCG Christian. However, UCG continues to send so many mixed message to its youth that they are left confused. One thing teenagers and youth quickly can see is when adults tell them one thing and practice another. They see through the crap that adults blissfully accept as "that is the way it always been so why argue over it anymore."
Case in point, UCG's Winter Family Weekend. The WFW was actually started by Jim O'Brien and the arrogant boys in Cincinnati did not appreciate him doing something that they had not thought of first. O'Brien was called on the carpet by UCG and eventually terminated.
UCG was none too happy that non-UCG youth were invited to attend the WFW. Whether they were from outside UCG in another COG or not even members, they found this wrong. This upset many who rightfully wanted to know why it was happening. Apparently, none of them ever thought what better role roll model could a non-COG youth have than to spend several days in a safe Christian environment where UCG members and youth could set an example for them.
There are many ‘family weekend’ events during the year, but by far the largest gatherings are at the WFW over Christmas – this year December 22-26.
The 21st Lexington Winter Family Weekend, sponsored by the Cincinnati and Lexington churches, will be held at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort in Lexington, Kentucky. The event is open to everyone.
Its Facebook page says, “The Winter Family Weekend in Lexington, Kentucky has helped change the culture of the Church of God. Twenty years ago God blessed us with an event without borders. People quickly learned that it is what you believe -- not the name on the church door that makes the difference. It’s an environment where friends can meet as equals to worship together and celebrate the Faith that is common to us all.”
In 1997 these two churches were independent corporations affiliated with the United Church of God. By 2004 attendance had increased to 2000, up to 20% of whom were members of other ex-WCG groups.
At that time UCG’s governance was a strict hierarchy, and the Home Office did not look kindly on large scale local events not being under its control, or including non-members. Furthermore, any form of congregational authority, such as local boards and advisory councils, was regarded as contrary to its founding principles.
The local pastor, Jim O'Brien, was suspended for comments he made during Sabbath announcements at Lexington on 13th March 2004, and was summoned to the Home Office, where he was interrogated about the WFW and his ‘difference of philosophies’ with UCG, by members of Ministerial Services. After breaking a demand not to discuss these matters, even with fellow ministers, his employment was terminated. The Lexington church voted to leave the UCG, while the Cincinnati church was split. COGNewsPart of the problem UCG has always faced is that they are doing this weekend during one of the most widely observed Christian festivals of the year. Beautiful bright lights, joyous songs filling the air, warm and wonderful smelling food, and so much more fill the entire complex that the WFW setting is in. Talk about sending a mixed message to its youth!
You are to hate Christmas, but ignore the fact we booked a hotel filled the glorious and beautiful Christmas decorations. Just put your ear plugs in and blinders on your eyes. Don't look at Satan or the pretty lights and above all don't eat any Christmas cookies. Its all pagan, after all. Look at all of the poor deceived people surrounding you who are being blinded by Satan and feel sorry that they don't know what fun it is to play games down the hallway while they could listen to Dwight Armstrong hymns being played. After all, it is a foretaste of the Kingdom to come!Even with this mixed message being sent to the youth, there is an even bigger problem that UCG parents got upset about last year. Apparently, there were people not in UCG attending the weekend with them! Ghastly days! God forbid if they were set an example for these people that might impress them so much they would want to join UCG. Oh no, we can't have that! Even worse, these vile cretins were playing games on Friday night! OH, NOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But seriously, it is another mixed message being sent to the youth. It is OK for the "outsiders" to play games on Friday night, but not you. You have to sit in your hotel room and play The Talent Game and read Mystery of the Ages while they are all having real fun. Just remember, handwriting out the Book of Deuteronomy as a Bible Study is more important that having real fun!
All was not well for some at the 2016 event, one ‘UCG Parent’ commenting:
“My family and I participated at winter family weekend this year in Ohio and was very disappointed when we found out that apparently people who are not in our church can participate in the sporting events, and these are people who are playing on Friday nights and are not even members or even go to UCG - they just show up for the perks!! This is very frustrating, because we try to raise our kids up that it’s not OK to play sports on Friday nights!! Our church is supporting people who do those things. I remember back in the WOU days, if you weren’t a regular church member, you didn’t play!” COGNews