Without a doubt, this has been a historic week in the Church of God. Not only did the International Executive Council postpone the 78th General Assembly, but the Council met in a regularly scheduled session by videoconference for the very first time. Even 6 to 8 weeks ago, neither of those actions would have seemed imaginable.
But here we are! Without a doubt, we have entered what some are calling a new “normal.” What we anticipated being a quick return to how we had previously done business has now changed into a situation where our economy and our lives seem to have been frozen in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that started less than two months ago.
With the postponement of the 78th International General Assembly, many questions must be addressed by the Executive Committee and, in some cases, the Executive Council. While many hoped that every question could have been answered at the time we announced the postponement of the General Assembly, I felt that it was best that we take some time to reflect on this historic decision, and most importantly, seek the face of God as to how we should address the consequences of such a decision.
Because of our previous schedule, as well as internal church polity, there are many pressing matters that are intricately connected to the function and operation of the church, based upon having a General Assembly and its two-year cyclical schedule. Those matters have to be addressed by the Executive Committee in short order - and we will do so.
Although the “continuity of governance” document adopted by the Executive Council deals with the continuation of ecclesiastical and legal authority for all general elected positions, there are many other appointments, primarily at the state level and on general boards/committees, that must be addressed. Again, I felt that it was wise for the Executive Committee to take time over the next few days to pray about all of these issues, many that we have been discussing well before the Executive Council made its decision.
As soon as those decisions are made, you can be assured that the information will be passed on to you as quickly as possible. I have purposed to be as transparent as possible during these very trying and unprecedented times. I will personally assure you that the Executive Committee is committed to follow the Minutes of the Church of God and will continue to allow them to guide us during this crisis, and that we will put the health and well-being of our leaders, pastors, and local churches at the forefront of every decision.
The Executive Committee is scheduled to meet early next week to begin working through, and hopefully, answering many of the questions that have been posed to us as a result of this postponement. As previously noted, as soon as we have those answers, we will make them available to you. We will use every form of media available to get that information out. Our primary source, however, will be the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section of the website www.ga20.org. I suggest checking that website often for the latest updates.
In addition, we have scheduled another Livestream Global Ministers’ Meeting for next Wednesday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Please use the link below on the day of the event to access the livestream.
Even though we will not be having a General Assembly this year, you can be assured that the Church of God is still “the Church on Mission“ with a FINISH Commitment Focus.
Thank you and I look forward to your participation in next Wednesday’s event.
Dr. Timothy M. Hill
Church of God General Overseer