Greetings from Charlotte,

This past weekend was another exciting one. A total of 300 people attended three more Tomorrow’s World Bible Lectures, one by Mr. Ames in Atlanta, Georgia and two by Mr. Pieter van der Byl in South Africa—167 of those who attended were visitors. Next weekend (March 13-14), we have another series of lectures scheduled for Huntsville, Alabama, and Jacksonville and Ocala, Florida. This week in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has been busy conducting meetings, making phone calls and preparing for his travels during the Spring Holy Days. Mr. Rod King, Mr. Gerald Weston and Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Pyle have been in Nashville attending a convention for the National Religious Broadcasters. Last weekend’s Sabbath service and Sunday’s mini-conference on Leadership Training in Chattanooga were very encouraging and inspiring. Below, we reproduce Mr. Meredith’s letter sent last Monday to all recipients of The World Ahead, reminding us of the purpose of our Church-wide fast this Sabbath, March 6. Please read Mr. Meredith’s letter at services this Sabbath.  
From the Presiding Evangelist
Dear Fellow Ministers and Brethren,
Greetings from Charlotte! Dr. Winnail suggested that I write all of you a special memo regarding the purpose for our fast this coming Sabbath! As most of you know, Satan nearly always strikes at God’s people just before Passover—individually and collectively. He will try to confuse and hurt God’s people and God’s Work any way he can.
Right now—as far as I know—we have a wonderful sense of unity and loyalty throughout the Living Church of God. Yet, in spite of this, our income has suffered the early part of this year because of the unusual storms and upset weather and because of our severe national economic downturn. Yet, we truly need to be able to do more—not less—in reaching out to this world on television, on the Internet, and in hiring more ministers and servants to help do the Work. All this takes a great deal of money and many of God’s people are “hurting” at this time. So we certainly need to pray for God’s intervention and mercy. We truly need God’s intervention in this matter in order to effectively reach this confused world and to serve our dear brethren around the world!
Also, individually, many of our own brethren are having trials of serious illnesses, and spiritual trials and tests as well. As a Church, we need God’s Holy Spirit to be poured out upon us for healing, guidance and deliverance from all kinds of trials and from the assaults of Satan.
In addition, as many of you know, many of our “separated brethren” in other Church of God fellowships are being severely tried and tested as never before. In the splits and divisions that are already beginning to occur, many may simply fall away and leave the Church of God altogether! We do not want this. So we should pray and fast for these dear people as well! We should fervently ask God to guide them and lead them, to help them see the Big Picture and realize that He, their Creator, is very much alive and that He wants His people not only to serve Him individually, but to do His Work! For as Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” But, please remember, Jesus Christ did not stop right here! The Son of God continued with these words, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Brethren, Christ never said that the Work would stop when Mr. Armstrong died. Mr. Armstrong would be horrified to hear people say such silly things! We are commanded to go into “all the nations” and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14). More and more of God’s people need to learn to work together to actually accomplish this powerful mission!
So let us pray for these scattered people and for their spiritual salvation. But we may rightly ask that God may—as He knows is best—bring many of these hurt and confused people with us in the Living Church of God in order to help us “finish” the Work with power. And when they come, let us warmly welcome them, encourage them and continue to pray for those who remain elsewhere that they may also be led into more Truth and may be in the first resurrection as God works with each one individually.
As these massive earthquakes and other “natural catastrophes” increase, we desperately need God’s divine protection, His guidance, His healing and His inspiration. As we come before God this coming Sabbath in earnest prayer and fasting, let us pour out our hearts for each other and for our separated brethren as well.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith
Church Administration
Attention United States Video Recipients: On Tuesday, we notified all U.S. Area Pastors that today or tomorrow you should receive a FedEx package (or in a few instances, a USPS overnight package) containing the Must-Play special sermon by Mr. Meredith for the Sabbath of March 6, which explains the purpose of our Church-wide fast. Please be expecting this package. The sermon will also be available online at www.lcg.org.   
Passover 2010 (Repeat Announcement)
Important Notice to All Pastors: Let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or even a copy of the Passover Service CDrecording. Additionally, let us know of any scattered members who need to receive the Passover Service CD and letter instructions to observe it at home (this is the same Passover CD that we have been using since 2006). Please direct your requests to Dorothy McNair at the Church Administration Department by e-mail at dmcnair@lcg.org or by phone at 704-844-1960, ext. 2248, as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. 
Night To Be Much Observed DVD Online
The Night To Be Much Observed DVD recorded by Mr. Gerald Weston has been sent to all English-speaking congregations.  It is for (optional) use during the Night To Be Much Observed evening or as a sermonette.  The 20-minute presentation will also be available online (www.lcg.org) on Monday, March 29, for use that evening.  You may also duplicate the DVD, in its entirety, as needed.
Ministerial Transfers and Changes
Due to the impending move of Mr. Wallace Smith to Ohio and the death of Mr. John Turner, the following changes are being made. Mr. Brian Pomicter will become the Associate Pastor for the Omaha, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa congregations. Mr. Pomicter is a graduate of Ambassador College and has served effectively in these congregations for many years. Mr. Adam West, currently a ministerial trainee in the Kansas City area, will also assist in the St. Louis area when Mr. Smith moves to Ohio.
Atlanta Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation
Mr. Jack Lowe reports: We in Atlanta are still on a spiritual high after the Tomorrow’s World Bible Lecture presented by Mr. Ames on February 27. We had 120 guests, many of whom arrived 30 minutes early. The total attendance was 178. The Atlanta brethren were waiting for our guests with great anticipation as they came into the building. Although we were outnumbered two to one, we kept the conversation going with our guests, circulating among them, introducing ourselves and answering questions.

During Mr. Ames’s one-hour and 10-minute presentation, he began to preach strongly, at times pounding on the lectern, telling of the need to repent of breaking God’s laws. He had our attention and, as I observed the audience, I saw the majority of the people nodding in agreement. I heard a number of sincere “amens” coming from some of our guests. Even though Mr. Ames had given a sermon in the morning, then the Bible Lecture, he stood for an hour afterward answering questions from those who lined up to speak with him… the vast majority stayed, many for more than an hour. The majority of our guests said they would return for the follow-up lecture and four families were invited to attend regular Sabbath services…
We believe one of the reasons for the improved attendance this year is the extra work Headquarters has done: The colorful brochure being sent out, plus sending out a reminder the following week. Of course, we understand the main reason is our prayers being answered by our Heavenly Father.

Chattanooga Leadership Training Mini-Conference
Mr. James Sweat reports: Last Sabbath the local congregation in Chattanooga, Tennessee, swelled to 94 to include servant leaders from surrounding states at hand to attend the regional leaders mini-conference on Sunday. The meeting facility was particularly appropriate for 71 future leaders in Tomorrow’s World, analogous to the round table and executive seating at the United Nations. Dr. Winnail illustrated the contrast of today’s world leaders with our training now as kings and priests, preparing to rule with Jesus Christ “to turn this world right-side up!” The conference was packed with exceptionally informative presentations by Dr. Winnail, including “Where Is God’s True Church Today?,” “What’s Ahead for America?,” a video from Mr. Ames on the “Fundamentals of Preaching” and much, much more! Everyone was positive, energized and genuinely uplifted by the entire weekend!
Chile Earthquake
As reported earlier this week through a special e-mail notification sent to the ministry, God protected all our members in Chile from harm during last Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake, and we have heard of the safety of all the members of the United Church of God, for which we are very grateful to Him. At the time of the quake, one of our Church families was south of Santiago, closer to the epicenter. The quake was a frightening experience, but they witnessed God’s mighty intervention for their protection. 
Our elder in Santiago, Mr. Sergio Carvajal, has personally visited all our brethren there and has assessed their situations. Only one widow suffered material damage, as the wall separating her house from her neighbor’s succumbed to the tremor.  The roof to our meeting hall also suffered damaged. Please continue to remember the brethren and people of Chile in your prayers. 
South Africa Update
Mr. Pieter van der Byl reports: We had 54 members and 17 visitors attend the follow-up Tomorrow’s World lecture in Pretoria last Sabbath, and 21 members and 30 visitors attend the lecture in Cape Town on Sunday. I spoke on “The Purpose of Prophecy,” and there was an overall positive response. We will have to see how things develop over time. We are thankful for the opportunity to have held these meetings, and to have established a closer contact with these subscribers, a number of whom desire to have further contact with the Church.
Carolina Singles Weekend (May 28-31)—Additional Information
Have you registered yet?  If not, the registration deadline of Monday, March 15 is approaching quickly.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn, fellowship, and have an experience of a lifetime at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.  For more information and to download the registration form, go to the Charlotte congregation website at www.charlottelcg.org (not an official Church website) and click on the “Carolina Singles Weekend” category.  Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity. Registration ends Monday, March 15. We look forward to seeing you in Charlotte!
South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend
The Anderson, South Carolina congregation will host its third annual Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, April 2 to Monday, April 5.  Planned events include: a Friday evening Bible Study; regular Sabbath services on Saturday afternoon; a banquet and dance on Saturday night; on Sunday, a 5K race and 1-mile fun run, if there is sufficient interest; softball game; and picnic; and two services on Monday, the Last Day of Unleavened Bread.  Sabbath services and the dinner/dance will once again be held in the Greenville Hilton. Details about the event, such as an itinerary, lodging information, and a registration form are online at: www.lcg-anderson.org. If you plan to attend, complete the registration form and remit payment in time for receipt by March 20.  We strongly encourage all planning to attend to register now so we can finalize our commitments. For further information, contact Manuel Burdette at 864-638-7719 or, by e-mail, at lcganderson@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you in Greenville!
Living Youth Camp
Registration is moving forward quickly for our Living Youth Camps. If you are interested in attending our camp program this summer, take a moment and register before it is too late. Camper spots are filling up quickly. We do need additional staff for our Teen Camp in Pennsylvania, particularly young adults to serve as counselors and activity leaders.  We are looking for a “few good men and women” to lead our teenagers as they build character and bonds of friendship that will last through the years. We have a special opportunity this year to pioneer a brand-new camp location. For those who are up for the challenge, let’s do it! To register, go to our new Living Youth Programs website at www.livingyouth.org, and click on the link to “Register for Camp.”
As an added bonus this year, we are going to be having an essay contest, with a grand prize of a full tuition scholarship to the teen camp!  Second and third prizes will be partial tuition to camp! For more information about our contest, just go to www.livingyouth.org and check out all the specifics. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Early (International) Registration—March 14
International Registration begins Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 noon (EDT).  If you are planning to transfer to an International site for the Feast, you may begin registering at that time.  Check the MyLCG section of www.cogl.org for complete write-ups on International sites open for transfer.  Please note: registration for United States and Canadian sites will not begin until Sunday, April 18 at 12:00 noon (EDT).  Registration for U.S./Canada sites will not be open until that date. 
Festival Advisors Reminder
Please distribute Registration and Volunteer forms for 2010, as well as a complete PDF file of the International write-ups, as needed, to brethren in your congregation.  These forms are available online at the MyLCG section of www.cogl.org.
Alaska Correction
In last week’s write-up on Alaska, we published the incorrect e-mail address of the Festival Coordinator.  If you need to contact Mr. Jim Meredith, the Festival Coordinator for Anchorage, please write to him at the following address:  fotalaska@aol.com.  Reminder: Registration for Anchorage, Alaska will be open beginning March 14, along with International sites.
This week we feature two French Feast sites: Hyeres, France and Sainte-Luce, Martinique (both will offer simultaneous translation into English).
Hyeres, France
The Feast of Tabernacles in France will be held this year in Hyères at the Riviera Beach Club. The Riviera Beach Club is situated on the beautiful Côte d’Azur, part of the French Riviera. Convenient access is via the North/South and East/West motorways. The Toulon/Hyères International Airport is very close to the Feast site and the Nice International Airport is about an hour away.  Besides the beach there are two heated swimming pools and a paddling pool, volleyball and basketball courts, a boulodrome and mini-golf. Refreshments are available at a bar near the pool, and a snack bar near the beach sells salads, sandwiches, and beverages. Two deck chairs and a parasol are available per room. You must bring your own beach towels.  Also available for an extra fee are wind surfing, surfboarding, scuba diving and renting catamarans. Discover the fabulous depths surrounding the Giens peninsula and nearby islands. There are shipwrecks and underwater flora and fauna to be explored.  
The meeting hall is centrally located at the site. Lodging is in bungalows. Rooms have a desk and chair, private bathroom with shower, and either a balcony or patio. Daily rates are 61 euros per person in full room and board; 49 euros per person in half room and board (breakfast and dinner). Bed linens and towels are provided and included in the price. Children 16 and under are allowed to stay in their parents’ room and eat free of charge, or they may have their own room for half the listed price. The same rates apply if you wish to extend your stay before or after the Feast dates, if there is room available.  Meals are served buffet-style and a wide selection of foods is available. There is also a children’s corner with their own buffet service.
For further details on rates and a complete description of the site, please visit the MyLCG section of www.cogl.org and contact the Festival Coordinator, Mr. Rees Ellis, at rellis@lcg.org or, by phone, at +32-71-36-88-25. If you would like to attend the Feast in France this year, contact Mr. Ellis and register online at MyLCG (www.cogl.org) beginning March 14.
Sainte-Luce, Martinique
For the first time in the Living Church of God, the French Martinique Feast site will be open to international (English-speaking) transfers and will be conducted by Mr. Dibar Apartian. The Feast will be celebrated in the picturesque village of Sainte-Luce in Martinique. Known as the flower of the Caribbean, Martinique is one of the Windward Islands, benefiting from cooler breezes and a variety of spectacular landscapes, such as long white sand beaches, calm turquoise-blue ocean, breathtaking views of mountains and cliffs, abundant rivers and beautiful waterfalls, and lush, green forests adorned with colorful tropical flowers.  Martinique is both an overseas department and an administrative region of France. 
Feast of Tabernacles services will be held at the Amyris hotel (part of the Karibea resort chain). However, most Feastgoers will stay at Les Cayalines residence, a sister establishment only 500 meters away (about 1/3 of a mile). Les Cayalines offers studio-type accommodations and provides easy access to a magnificent palm tree-lined beach. All the studios are air-conditioned and are equipped with a kitchenette, television and wireless Internet (WIFI). Les Cayalines also has a tropical garden on its grounds, and a winding pontoon bridge that takes you directly to the beach.  Lodging only rates per night at Les Cayalines are approximately 47 euros for single occupancy, 52 euros for double, 61 euros for triple and 69 euros for quadruple. These rates include taxes. Breakfast is 6 euros. Catered meals for lunch and dinner are being negotiated for about 10 euros each. Reduced meal rates for children are expected to be available. The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro (as of February 1) is approximately USD$1.45 per euro. Additional accommodations are available at the other Karibea chain establishments: the Amyris, Amandiers and Caribea hotels. Rates at these hotels can be provided upon request. Please note that reservations should be made through the French department at Headquarters. Simultaneous translation into English will be provided during all Feast services. Spanish translation will also be available, if need be. Further details on the site are available at the MyLCG section of www.cogl.org.
This is a limited-capacity site and can only hold 100 attendees, so if you want to experience Martinique in 2010, don’t delay to contact the Festival Coordinator, Mr. Dibar Apartian at 704-844-1970, or by e-mail at dapartian@lcg.org and register at MyLCG (www.cogl.org) beginning March 14.     
Are You in Satan’s Crosshairs?  Satan seems to be more active as we approach the Holy Days. This is one of the reasons why the Bible contains numerous warnings about how Satan operates to deceive, divide and destroy God’s people. Satan is described as a hunting lion who stalks his prey (1 Peter 5:8). He is a dangerous adversary searching for vulnerable individuals (1 Timothy 5:14-15). Satan does not hunt with claws or bullets, but instead spreads gossip, rumors and lies about others (1 Timothy 5:13, Leviticus 19:16; John 8:44). He fosters dissention and divisions by stirring up fears, jealousy and wrong ambitions (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). He will also use anyone—members and ministers—to sow discord and do his work (2 Corinthians 11:1-15). Satan zeros in on people who have doubts, hurts and resentments, who feel wronged or who feel their ideas, opinions or ambitions have been overlooked or denied. He uses such individuals to criticize, lash out at or undermine others—especially those in leadership positions. We are advised not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). As the Holy Days approach, let’s be ready to recognize and resist Satan’s attempts to deceive and divide. Let’s not become unsuspecting victims of negative attitudes that he beams at those in his crosshairs (Ephesians 2:2).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail 
News and Prophecy—February 25, 2010
Will Another Sea Gate Fall? The Falkland Islands, known as the Malvinas to South Americans, are again a focal point for Argentina. Its Foreign Minister met with the Rio Group (32 Latin American and Caribbean nations) in Mexico last week to develop wording aimed at pressuring Great Britain to relinquish the Falklands, in accordance with UN resolutions—an action Britain has repeatedly refused to take. Multiple reasons for Argentina reclaiming the Falklands have been discussed, including the availability of oil in the waters off the islands and the current instability of the Argentine ruling party (Buenos Aires Herald, February 22, 2010; The Times, February 24, 2010). For decades, God’s Church has warned that the sea gates of both the U.S. and Great Britain would be lost—according to Bible prophecy. Over the years, this has proven to be true as sea gate after sea gate has been lost and the U.S. and Britain have been humbled in the eyes of the world. Only Britain’s Falklands and Gibraltar remain. The UN has called for the return of these critical areas to the nations who once had sovereignty over them, but Britain is “holding on” as long as possible. God promised Abraham that, because of his obedience to God, his descendants would possess the “gates” of their enemies (Genesis 24:60). However, due to rejecting God and outright disobedience, God is removing these gates from His Chosen People. The Falklands may soon go and Gibraltar may not be far behind. 
More Earthquakes! Just weeks after the devastating quake in Haiti, another huge quake 500 times stronger than the Haitian tremor struck Chile’s city of Concepcion. The quake claimed more than 700 lives and spawned tsunamis that headed across the Pacific Ocean and moved back on the Chilean coast. Tidal surges were felt as far away as Hawaii and Japan (AP, March 1, 2010). The quake generated nearly 100 aftershocks, and some experts note that this 8.8 quake was the 5th strongest quake ever recorded. Because of the Chilean earthquake, a 6.9 magnitude quake south of Japan, which also struck Saturday, went mostly unreported. The quake near Japan impacted homes in both Japan and Okinawa, but caused very little damage (AP, February 26, 2010). Jesus Christ warned that one of the signs of the end of the age would be “earthquakes in diverse places” and that these quakes would be just the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7-8). As these events occur and become more frequent, true Christians must cry out to God for His mercy and protection. We must not be discouraged by the destruction that will accompany these terrible events, but pray more earnestly to God that His kingdom will come soon (Matthew 6:10)

Reviving History—Renewed Franco-Russian Relations. In 1892, a Franco-Russian Alliance was formed to counter Kaiser Wilhelm II’s aggressive activities in Germany. More than 100 years ago, that alliance resulted in joint French-Russian initiatives that included railroads and the navy. Last week, Russian President Medvedev and French President Sarkozy met to forge new joint ventures that will include the sale of French helicopter carriers to Russia, a joint railroad project, sale of a gas pipeline to France and a new security structure between the two—to operate outside of NATO. One news source observed about this union, “Paris—currently in a formal (but tenuous) tag-team with Berlin to rule the European Union—is nervous that the economic crisis in Greece and the eurozone as a whole is creating conditions that will allow Germany to define and entrench its dominance over Europe. It needs Berlin to save Europe from financial disaster, but understands that letting Germany design the recovery will entrench Berlin as both the economic and political capital of the continent. It needs options and is therefore looking to create an insurance policy, preferably one that surrounds Germany the way it did in the 19th century” (Stratfor, March 2010). Exactly how this revived relationship will play out is yet to be seen. However, Bible prophecy indicates that a Beast power led by Germany will at some point take the Israelite-descended nations into captivity (Leviticus 26:38-39; Amos 9:1-10)—and this could include France. Will the renewal of an old “counter German” relationship between France and Russia lead to a greater divide between France and Germany? Time will tell.—Scott Winnail and Daniel Bennett

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COGwriter 2010