23 Aug 2022

3 Year Anniversary of Church of God Network!

Last week marked the 3 year anniversary of Church of God Network! It has been a productive and encouraging year. It really is so exciting meeting and speaking with brethren from around the world. It is not lost on us how much of a gift advancing this mission is.

When CGN first started it consisted solely of four board members. Now we have six board members, a team of eight volunteers, half a dozen guest authors, and many more helping out behind the scenes. It has been humbling and energizing to see so many brethren wanting to help address the divisions in the Church of God. Thank you to our entire team for the work you all do!

We also want to thank Church leadership for their feedback and support over the past three years. It has been invaluable. Many have offered help, constructive feedback, and encouragement, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. Some remain skeptical of Church of God Network, and we completely understand the hesitation. Addressing the Church’s divisions is an extremely complex and painful issue. A lot of damage has been done inadvertently over the years in the pursuit of “greater unity”, but we don’t want to fall into those same pitfalls. We greatly desire the input of, and partnership with, the ordained ministry to ensure our work is guided by love, respect, and wisdom!

A shoutout to all of the other organizations and brethren working to make a difference throughout the Church of God as well! Whether it’s the Light of Hope Helpline, Feastgoer.org, HWA Library, Friends of the Sabbath, or any one of a multitude of initiatives, we applaud everyone involved for engaging in meaningful work and having a heart for service. Thank you for motivating and inspiring us!

We are excited to continue helping build community in the Church of God along side you all! Here are some highlights from CGN’s third year:

  • We had several networking and fellowship opportunities this year:
    • A successful, and truly moving, trip out to California where we met with leadership from over half a dozen Church of God organizations.
    • CGN Board Member, Chantelle West, joined brethren in her area from around the Church of God at the East Texas Potluck.
    • CGN held an in-person strategic planning weekend with a dozen participants. It was a weekend of fellowship, creative thinking, and of course…bocce.
  • We awarded more than a dozen grants this year to bring the total number of grantees between our three programs to over 20!
  • CGN President, Daniel Russo, was a guest on Church of God, International’s “Prove All Things” program.
  • CGN Board Members gave a seminar at the Common Faith Network Winter Family Weekend.
  • We now have 11 episodes of the CGN Podcast and there are more to come (our next one drops tomorrow, so stay tuned!).
  • Numerous new blog posts from authors from around the Church of God including “The Bible as Story: A Better Way to Truth” by Richard Fowler and “Demystifying Porn Addiction” by Werner Solórzano.
  • Multiple updates to the Congregation Map, Resource CenterCOG Marketplace, and Brethren Supporting Brethren. We also added several new features including a search function for the COG Marketplace and a “Visit Website” button on each of the points on the Congregation Map. We plan to continue expanding our data centralization efforts and are in the process of another COG Marketplace overhaul!

Please let us know if you have ideas or suggestions for how we can improve what we do. Or if there is anything we can do to assist and serve brethren in the Church of God in your area. We do not have all the answers. But we do know for certain that each one of you has your own gifts and abilities. Let’s harness our collective energy and skillsets to serve each other and help build community within the Church of God!

About the Author

Daniel Russo is a lifelong New Yorker and currently resides in Albany, New York. He currently works as the Manager of Business Operations at Parent to Parent of NYS. He previously worked at the Empire