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Issue XVI  - August 9  2002

Whatever happened to Earl Williams? The following update on one of the WCG's New Covenant pioneers was posted this week on JLF:

[A visitor from Atlanta] told me Earl Williams's once-promising spinoff group is down to 13 people -- including young children. (This is based on a visit his wife made to that church recently.)

And what was Earl Williams talking about at "Christ's Church of Grace" that day? The man's wife said the topic was FOOD. The importance of eating quality food.

Does this mean that the "grace" in the church's title now refers to a polite pre-dinner prayer (bibs on and tuck in) rather than the uncomfortably radical teaching of God's scandalously open handed nature? 

Quotable quote: From the Australian WN for July.

... we regard our members as the most precious commodity that God has placed in our collective care. Treasures more important than buildings, projects, finances, even more important than doctrine. (James Henderson. Gateways to Mission)

Great comments. Completely out of touch with WCG realities, but a careful and commendable statement all the same. What a shame it seems wasted on the ideologues at cult HQ. If they ever decide to reprint the article for the Pasadena constituency, some editing might be necessary. Perhaps something like this:

... we regard our members as the most contemptible commodity that God has placed under our hierarchical oversight. More important treasures include buildings, finances, projects, finances, and of course all-important doctrine (as determined by our "accountable only to Christ" Pastor General and his inner circle of butt-kissing buddies). And did we mention finances?

Ocker WCG continues freefall. Overall contribution income to the Aussie WCG are "down about 10% for the year to date" according to the July Australian Worldwide News.

Battleground corpses cleared: The new moderator of the Battleground board (last remaining posting location at ezboard's "Children of Worldwide") has been spring cleaning. The board seems to have been pulled down and replaced with a new one called "Battleground II."  Only registered ezboard members may now view or post at COW. A sad end to a once promising venture.

Dateline Pasadena: Postings from HQ 

The following was posted on the WCG mail system by Greg Albrecht.

Thanks so much for the quick and immediate response for blood donors for Karen.  We now (10 a.m., Wednesday, August 7)have all the necessary donors.  We needed the blood donors by today as it takes the Red Cross 5-7 days to process and deliver the blood.  This need arose after we consulted with our surgeon yesterday afternoon and upon his advice and further prayer we scheduled the surgery for Thursday, August 15. 

Karen has squamous cell carcinoma in her neck and tonsil.  The surgery will be a neck dissection on one side, removing many if not all lymph nodes as well as a less invasive surgery on the other side for all affected nodes -- along with the removal of one tonsil. 

Following recovery from the surgery we are planning for radiation -- a process that takes about six weeks of daily treatments.

We have been overwhelmed and are so thankful for the generous support, the cards, e-mails and help from so many sources.  We have already seen many answers to prayer as we have consulted with many medical professionals, and "circumstances" allowed us to meet the surgeon who will be doing the surgery.  We thank all of you for your prayer and friendship.

Greg and Karen Albrecht

(MD comment: we join in wishing Mrs. Albrecht a successful outcome and a speedy recovery.)


Reconciliation Ministries headquartered in Pasadena has been notified that their funding is being cut at the end of the year.  This is the racial reconciliation ministry that Curtis May has been leading for several years.   It will be interesting to see how they survive
alongside PTM who has had their funds cut off also.

They have put a stop to Pasadena members transferring to the Glendora WCG. Over 50 Pasadena families and individuals have transferred to Glendora, cutting into the income base for Pasadena WCG.

Rick Van Pelt, former Facilities Administration Director for the Pasadena Campus has been given a vote of "No Confidence" by Pasadena City College Facilities staff.  Rick became PCC's facilities director a couple of years ago.  He made the headline article of the PCC Courier newspaper recently because of his treatment of employees, who are claiming job stress, discrimination, intimidations, poor pay wages, and other issues.

Dale Trow bows out: Dale Trow (featured in the latest WN) resigned abruptly earlier this week. This came as quite a shock to many people and sent Bernie into a tail spin. Dale did all the hard work for Bernie.  The problem they claim was family and personal issues.

Earlier last week a woman that worked the Information Center also resigned abruptly and would not even come in to clean out her desk or pick up her exit papers.

UCG Elders meet: The United Church of God Council of Elders has been meeting in Cincinnati (August 5 - 8.)  Minutes are available online. An except from the first day:

Our ministry is aging, and we are only now seeing the first efforts to train new pastors to replace those who will be retiring in the next few years. We have already had a large attrition rate. In 1995, the United Church of God began with 123 pastors employed to serve the needs of the U.S. brethren. That number is currently 96. By the end of this fiscal year, after retirements, the number will be 91. Four men have resigned from the full-time ministry in the last two years; two have died. Five have been retired in the last year, and more will retire this year. 

Schniper fire: A posting on JLF quotes Bernie Schnippert in full-blown PR mode. As usual, we're impressed by what is, in our view, his consistent inability to convey the slightest trace of genuine sincerity. Here's an edited version of the post:

In a quote from their Summer 2002 Newsletter, now available at www.wpra.net "the WPRA has sent a strong and clear message to City Hall that West
Pasadena residents will only accept a development on the West Campus that is consistent and compatible with the density and scale of our historic, low-density neighborhoods. Our advocacy has set the parameters for any future development of the Ambassador College campus."

Below is a letter from Bernie Schnippert to the WPRA: (also from the Newsletter) Note the slight to Legacy and the " ... it is clear that we will not fail."

I want to thank WPRA President Vince Farhat for providing this opportunity to write to you about the goals and vision the Worldwide Church of God has for our beloved Ambassador Campus site. We consider this letter the beginning of an open and constructive dialogue about developing a master plan we can all be proud...

Once we make our selection of a development consultant and architect, which we hope to announce soon, we will begin a dialogue with the community, probably including a public scoping of the SEIR. With input from a broad variety of interested parties and groups, and only after this input, we will specify the overall design, establish a level of density respectful of the property's uniqueness and community tastes as reflected from the input received, address traffic mitigation issues and seek to retain the Ambassador Auditorium through a retooled Community Facilities District...

In the last three years, our former buyer spoke both for the project and the Church, sometimes with positions we ourselves may not have taken. But the future of our Campus is too important for us to abdicate the important role of communication to another party. Even the master developer will not stand between us and the community, although they will stand with and along side us.

A harmony of various themes - such as those of community, character, and culture - is our goal for the Ambassador Campus. It is also our goal for the process that we are now undertaking with the city and community of Pasadena. If a harmony of themes and process is likewise important to our neighbors, it is clear that we will not fail. And, together, we can ensure the Ambassador Campus can enhance the lives of all Pasadenans for the next 50 years.

If you wish to express your thoughts about the project or ask a question, you may contact me via email at:


Bernard W. Schnippert, Ph.D.
Director of Finance & Planning
Chief Financial Officer

Pam Dewey tackles another Joe Jr.: We all know who Joe Jr. is, right? But our Joe isn't the first cult leader of that name. Joseph Smith Jr. founded the Latter-day Saint faith back in the 1830s. Unlike Tkach's disintegrating sect, the Mormons went on to carve out a permanent and influential niche in the religious landscape.

Enter Pam Dewey and her fabulous Field Guide. Having dealt to the Adventists and their potty prophetess, she has now turned her attention to the "restoration" and the monolithic Utah-based sect. Her research is now available online at www.isitso.org/guide/mormon.html

Although Pam doesn't mention it, there are some spooky parallels between the WCG and two LDS groups: the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and the Strangite sect (Great Lakes Mormons.) In the next issue of AW we'll present a revised version of an article (currently unavailable online) about those strange coincidences.

Meantime, if you haven't already done so, why not check out our interview with Pam Dewey.

Think Global - Act Yokel: Bob Thiel does a good job of keeping up with the various groups and ministries that originated in the abortive Global Church of God. These two items are from his ex-Global page.

Jon Bowles, who formerly seemed to have been affiliated with COG,aic [Hulme], now 'runs' the Church of God, in Wales (COGiw).

Richard Armstrong

Don Billingsley [of the Modesto splinter group] reports, "There are over 300 corporate Churches of God, of which we are one of them, with all kinds of varying beliefs! And most, if not all, will be observing their version of God's Festival -- beliefs that differ with what God taught us through His late apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. You will not be blessed by being at the wrong Festival site."

We assume "wrong Festival site" means some other sect than the Church of God Established in Modesto. We wouldn't want those juicy holy day offerings going into a competing cult's accounts now would we!  Billingsley was, as many readers know, in the same vehicle as Herb's eldest son, Richard David Armstrong, when it crashed while they were on a baptizing tour. Armstrong died of his injuries.


Ambassador Watch is part of the Missing Dimension website - www.missingdimension.com. It is published online each Friday.  The contact address is: missingdimension@ihug.co.nz  Dateline Pasadena can be reached at datelinepasadena@yahoo.com
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