The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Subject: Sale of Big Sandy off...

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 12:13:51 EDT

In a message dated 8/17/99 6:57:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time:

From: Joseph Tkach

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This coming weekend I will be in Union, New Jersey visiting our congregations in the area, so I am sending this a day earlier than usual.

Here in Pasadena we are holding another round of pastoral training sessions that started on Monday the 14th. There are 71 pastors and wives in attendance.

I have had several nice notes of appreciation for these weekly e-mail updates and a few times I have been asked if it is permissible to share the information contained in them with the congregations. Please feel free to do so.

In fact, I am sending this particular update to all our employees, as well as all pastors. Some pastors have been printing them in their local church bulletins, although this is by no means a requirement.

Sale of Big Sandy Property

As you all know, we strive to keep employees informed about significant developments in the ongoing sale processes of both our Big Sandy and Pasadena facilities. We yesterday learned verbally, via our respective legal counsel, that the prospective buyer of Ambassador University has been unsuccessful in its attempts to obtain appropriate financing to purchase the property, and thus is withdrawing from the transaction.

The Church has always known that real estate transactions of the size and complexity of the University facility transaction are tentative until they successfully close. Consequently, we have from the very beginning of the sale process maintained secondary and even tertiary plans which could be adopted in the event the current escrow did not close successfully. These plans include, but are not limited to, renewed negotiations with other parties who informed us they had interest in the case of a non-sale. Although it is of course disappointing that the current transaction was not successful, we are confident of the eventual sale of the property through various opportunities available to us.

Please remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight. Let's encourage everyone to join us in prayer.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

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Update:

(Our hearts go out to all the "ministry" that will have to lose their jobs because of members slowly waking up to the fact that they do not need you hirelings any longer. You have to realize that you are expendable and will be thrown away like dirty rags when it comes to the bottom line of maintaining the income of the upper part of the hierarchy. They can keep this thing going indefinitely by just whittling away at their staff as the income falls. There are still enough members foolish enough to maintain these upper management types with very nice incomes for doing very little. If you guys were smart, you would be getting an education at an accredited university so you can get a decent job when they finally get around to letting you go too. This cash cow is slowly going to die and you will be left with nothing to show for sitting on your butts while your life slips away. Believe me, it is better to do some honest work for a living and you may still have time to save for retirement. Ed)

From an email message:

From the Oct '99 Worldwide News:

Update from Finance and Planning Texas campus nonsale increases budget shortfall By Ron Kelly

As you know, the prospective purchaser of the Big Sandy campus, La Roche College, failed to put together the financial package necessary to complete the sale of the Texas facility.

This, of course, was disappointing news. For many months we had been in escrow and anticipated the closure of the sale in late August. That did not take place, and we are considering several options to market the property again.

Considerable financial implications result from the failure to sell the campus. We had maintained a certain financial stability because La Roche paid a monthly fee for the opportunity to extend escrow.

These payments were essentially equal to the funds necessary to maintain the Texas grounds, plus some we could allocate to the payment of our considerable discretionary assistance expenses. For the foreseeable future we will have to pay those obligations from our regular donation income. That comes on top of slowly declining contribution income. August closed with an $87,528 banking day average for the month and $93,667 for the year--that's about a $1,500 shortfall every single day.

While the shortfall amount may seem small, over the course of several months, we can experience a sizeable loss. Please see the accompanying charts for the regular monthly income and expense projections.

Here in Pasadena, management sessions were called to forge a plan to meet the budget shortfall. The board of directors conducted two meetings on how to meet financial responsibilities in the wake of the failed sale. Thankfully, we have found a way to make some financial cutbacks with minimal employee terminations, but some downsizing is necessary nonetheless.

We wish there were other ways to save, but we have long since made many other cuts such as canceling the telecast and closing the university.

So please pray for those who will no longer be employed as well as those who must make the decisions on cutbacks. These decisions are extremely painful for all involved.

Our preliminary plan, to minimize employee terminations, is to adjust the amount of funds available to international regions.

The assistance we have provided for Europe, Africa, Asia and the Spanish-speaking world will be, regrettably, measurably less than it has been. As painful as this is, it lessens the need for significant termination of pastors in the United States, where most of our members attend worship services.

In some cases, where we have full-time salaried pastors serving in areas where donations are not sufficient to fulfill financial obligations, we are offering pastors the option of going on half salary with the opportunity to supplement their family income with part-time work.

Of course this could create financial difficulties for the pastor and his family. Please pray God will bless these families with additional work so they may continue their dedicated service to their congregations.

Even though a number of our congregations don't gather for worship on specific festival days, we pray each member will make it a personal responsibility to give special offerings as generously as possible. For those who do not have opportunity for offerings at these meetings, we hope you will send special offerings in the envelopes you received in the mail.

Brethren, our loving God has always been with us through ups and downs over the past half century. But his greatest blessing has been the deep and abiding relationship he has brought us to in Christ Jesus.

In spite of our financial trials, we rejoice in the wonderful grace he has bestowed on us. Although we are but a small percentage of what we were only five or six years ago, we continually thank God for the privilege of knowing him and his Son who is our Savior. In him we confidently face the future.

We appreciate all of you dear brethren so much. Thank you for your prayers and dedication.

Average daily mail income for August Comparative statement of income and expenses for Worldwide Church of God and PTM INCOME Monthly Daily Average Yearly Daily Average

Mail Income $ 1,925,618 $ 87,528 $ 15,267,752 $93,667

Festival Offerings $ 15,318 $ 2,409,744

Other Income $ 251,759 $ 2,672,696

1999 Total Income $ 2,192,695 $ 20,350,192

1999 Budgeted Income $ 20,730,656

Under budget $ 380,464

EXPENSES

1999 Expenses $ 24,270,468

1999 Budgeted Expenses $ 24,674,177

Less than budget $ 403,709

Loss to reserves from operations 1999 to date: $ 3,920,276

 

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