Today we went back to the Recreation Park where we were yesterday for Church. An all-day picnic is scheduled to just socialize with one another. Today I was able to put more pieces of the story about these people together. When you hear it at first, it’s a bit difficult to follow, but it all begins to come together (I think) and I do have a handle on it (I think).
Let me do a stream of consciousness narrative of what I heard and hopefully it will bring more of the story together. At the end I’m going to include a story from Jaime Gallardo written some time ago that tells the story.
We had two distinct meetings with groups during the day. In the second meeting, Ariel Burger and Mario Ritter asked very directly:
What will it take to be part of the United Church of God? How does one become part of the United Church of God?
At this time, they have no ministers or deacons.
What they do on the Sabbath is have several who give sermonette type of messages to the people. There is also music and prayer.
We spoke to them about rules of association and how we could be associated or be administered by a senior pastor. We talked about the Constitution that governs the entirety of Church. The Article listing the 20 Fundamental Beliefs is one that must be accepted by all. They assured us that they were in agreement with all our Fundamental Beliefs.
We talked about some cultural differences such as difference in music and customs during the service such as kneeling in the opening prayer. I personally do not have any problem with kneeling. It is what they do in humility to start the worship of God on the Sabbath.
Their music is different from ours. It is based on songs that they have been singing for decades.
The other, the first meeting was with Vendomino and Esteban Freiburger (radio station).
Here is some information about them and their relationship to the whole.
They had broken off from the Commandment Keeping Church of God nine years ago and associated with the Israelite Church of God of the Covenant at that time and that’s when the radio station started. They tried to contact the United Church of God ten years ago, but got no answer and stayed with the Israelite Church of God. The full name of this church is The Church of God Keeping the Commandments in the Faith of Jesus. In the report following this it is stated differently by Jaime Gallardo in translation.
Vendo (Vendomino) Rindfleisch bankrolled the radio station. The Commandment Keeping Church owned the land that they were on and they had to move 50 yards. The Israelite church would come in to the radio station and preach about the Holy Days about 5-6 years ago.
Esteban Freiberger, the station owner, became convinced that they should keep the Holy Days. The COG Commandment Keeping church was against the Holy Days, but it owned the land on which the radio station was and they had to move 50 yards. Esteban said that they radio station is now financed by faith, Jaime Gallardo (UCG) and local church donations.
The group that we are associate with listened to Esteban on the radio. Then Esteban became part of this group. When they found us and the ministry in Chile they loved us.
Vendomino Rindfleisch lives in Primavera about 80 miles and has a separate Feast of Tabbernacles. Esteban was baptized in the Commandment Keeping Church and had come from the Pentecostals and has an evangelical background. He and Esteban are friends and have similar views.
He said that 16 people have now been baptized as a result of the radio station’s broadcasts.
They had a big problem was there was no minister to baptize them at first, but Jaime came from Chile and did the baptisms.
The Commandment Keeping Church originally split off from the Church of God 7th Day because of pastoral differences. They said that they had good upbringing in the COG7 which was pastored from Mexico. They said that the Sabbath Commandment keeper church of the faith of Jesus Christ has been getting sloppy with dress, permissiveness and the wearing of makeup. One reason why they divided – they wanted to be more careful.
Vendo’s wife to be lived in the pastor’s home and when she married Vendo it was an unpleasant event for the Commandment Keeping Church and the feelings to this day are strained. Vendo insisted on keeping the Feast and talked eventually to Mario Ritter about it.
Strategy of Vendo was to get the Israelite church to talk about the FOT on the radio.
At the present time Ariel buys time on the radio, but is not always available to come and talk on his program so Esteban fills in. They are happy for UCG supporting it with content the modest financial help that it does now.
Again, the radio station 600 watts as NON PROFIT and reaches into Brazil and Paraguay.
One person I spent time talking was Roberto (in the maroon shirt) who is a bricklayer by trade. He does a weekly two hour evening slot from 8-10 on the three hour program. He likes doing it, but was needing material to preach from and was asking Mario Seiglie for sermon notes and other resources. Roberto originally came from a Pentecostal background. Roberto has 3 girls and his wife is Sefara -- Moses mother.
When Jaime first came, there were very few (before the baptisms). Now, they have really grown and need a home. They bought the land for the Feast site which we visited on Friday.
Another note about the the Israelite Church of God
Some had left the Commandment Keeping Church of God to come over to the Israelite Church of God because the Israelite Church kept the Holy Days, but they felt that UCG explained them a lot better. They first heard about the Holy Days through Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God.
Here are a few more milestones that I’ll just list:
Vendomno left COG7 and was in The Church of God that Keeps the Commandments in the Faith of Jesus. He then left there 9 years ago and was on his own and until Mario Ritter joined him in 2013. This then became the Primavera church
Earlier, COG7 and Commandment Keeper broke in 1996 regarding issue of governance and getting along
Israelite Church of the New Covenant was Caty Seiglie’s church (Israelite Church was more loosely affiliated)
Here is a report that Jaime Gallardo also wrote about the Misiones experience written in October 2016
REPORT OF VISITS TO THE PROVINCE OF MISIONES, ARGENTINA
Jaime Gallardo 10, 2016
In north-east Argentina lies the province of Misiones, whose name comes from the missionary work in Guaraní lands, made by the Jesuits between 1609 and the expulsion of these decreed by King Charles III Spain in 1767.
The history of these families is quite interesting. Most are descendants of European immigrants of different nationalities. They came into contact with our doctrine at the time of the magazine The Plain Truth and still have some booklets by Mr. Armstrong and some magazines. In those years they belonged to the Seventh Day Church of God that existed in the area since 1912. As time passed, a part of this Church adopted the long name "Church of God Keeping the Commandments and Having the Testimony of Jesus Christ ", but they did not keep all the Holy Festivals, only Passover and Pentecost.
Among the topics discussed the one that had priority in the first visit was if our organization would validate their baptism. In reviewing the doctrine and form of baptism received by the majority of them, after talking with Mr. Seiglie, Jaime Gallardo informed them that we did validate his baptism although it was necessary to analyze each case separately.
The Misiones brothers are eager to receive administrative and doctrinal support; they recognize the importance of having a solid organization with a clear structure and expect to benefit from the experience of our organization. They fervently desire to participate in the work of preaching and understand that it is urgent to make the necessary efforts to achieve their desires. They hope to have a full-time minister in a not too distant time, so far they are satisfied with the attention received from the office in Santiago.