A thoughtful commentary on the changed composition of the Council of Elders comes in private correspondence from someone who is closer to both the personalities and the issues than most of us. The points made:
(1) The new board members are fairly "free thinkers" in the UCG context.
(2) For the first time younger individuals are in the majority on the council. While this won't mean a change in doctrine, it could well mean changes in policies and administration.
(3) Many of these individuals lean towards greater accountability in United's operations.
(4) Many of these individuals want to see a change in the way the ministry treat the members (including supporting the right of members to express themselves freely.)
(5) Many of these individuals want to see the lack of unity that exists among the ministry addressed.
(6) Most of these observations can be documented from their bios which were issued prior to voting.
Putting aside cynicism, this sounds like a positive step as UCG appears to move closer to the principles which it started out with. The precedent here may be unparalleled in the Church of God tradition - excluding the exemplary record of the Church of God (Seventh Day) - and is a forceful reminder that the Tkach WCG/GCI continues to lag far behind its biggest splinter in establishing mechanisms for accountable governance. The real litmus test may be whether rapprochement will eventually be possible with some of the congregations (one thinks immediately of COG-Big Sandy) that left UCG under previous administrations.