Greetings everyone, 

This morning, Mr. Meredith called a Headquarters staff meeting to motivate us just before the Feast of Tabernacles. He told us to work harder, with more zeal and determination. He exhorted us to become bigger and sharper minded, to improve our skills—and not to waste time. He quoted Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s admonition, “We have to work as if it was all on us, and pray as if it was all on God.” Prior to Mr. Meredith’s lecture, Mr. Davy Crockett informed us that the Headquarters offices will be closed from October 4 through October 16 for the Feast of Tabernacles break. The offices will reopen on Tuesday, October 17.  Dr. Doug Winnail is currently in South Africa to conduct a local ministerial conference. See his report below.  


Dr. Winnail’s report: “I arrived in South Africa on Wednesday at noon after a six and one half hour, 4,000-mile flight from Washington-Dulles Airport to Dakkar, Senegal, on the west coast of Africa where we refueled and made another seven hour, 4,200-mile flight to Johannesburg. On Wednesday I met with Mr. and Mrs. Hull, and later with Mr. Pieter van der Byl.  Today (Thursday) we held a mini-conference in Johannesburg with the ministers in South Africa and their wives. We discussed practical aspects of congregational leadership.  Tomorrow we will discuss organizational aspects and future plans for doing the Work in South Africa.  I trust you are all doing well in Charlotte.” 

New Zealand Update 

Mr. Kinnear Penman reports: We completed mailings arising from the semi-annual letter. The final tally was 796 cards received for The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This figure amounts to 25.3% of the letters mailed. To those responders who had not received The Middle East in Prophecy booklet previously, we sent Mr Meredith’s offer letter. So far 104 (28.8%) of these booklets have been requested. We also made a special offer of the Living Church News to long-time co-workers. Three out of these 18 co-workers have so far accepted the offer of a regular LCN subscription. A total of 1,868 mail items were posted in August. August was also a busy month for visits. I made seven visits to “new” people.  


Holy Day Envelopes (Repeat Announcement). Fall Holy Day envelopes should begin arriving in your mailbox soon. You may notice that we have switched to a larger green envelope this year. The larger envelope is actually less expensive and allows us to use the inserter machine instead of inserting each envelope by hand. So we are actually saving the Work money and several days of labor. If you do not receive your envelopes by September 12, please let us know right away and we will send you another set of envelopes for the fall Holy Days. It saves the Work valuable time if you can use the pre-printed envelopes with your name, address and PIN. You can contact us by phone at 704-844-1970, or by e-mail at gbonjour@lcg.org or jruddlesden@lcg.org.  

Hall and Reimbursement Checks. Please note that our last scheduled day to print checks before the Feast will be Friday, September 29.  We will not be able to print any checks again until Thursday, October 19.  Invoices received before September 28 will be paid before the break.  Invoices received after September 28 will not be able to be paid until October 19.  If you have questions regarding specific invoices or payments, please contact Samanthia Kreis in the Accounting Department at 704-844-1960, ext. 236.   


Hymnals. As in the past, members should bring along Church hymnals to the Feast site they are attending.  On the last Sabbath before the Feast (September 30), each household is encouraged to take enough songbooks (one for every two persons) from their local congregation’s supply. Additionally, an assigned person should take a few extra songbooks for general use at the Feast. Be sure to bring the hymnals back to your local congregation after the Feast. It may be helpful to label hymnals as belonging to your congregation, in case they get mixed-up with others at the Feast. 

Oxnard, California 

Fun Show (Repeat Announcement). If you have talents you would like to share in an evening of laughs and entertainment, at the Festival Fun Show, please contact either Joe Rosignolo by e-mail at ventureback@yahoo.com or Patti Forsness at 406-442-4137 or at littlenut@myexcel.com. This allows for planning prior to the Feast. Volunteers to assist as stage hands are also needed. 

Embassy Suites Mandalay Resort Oxnard. Accommodations are available at a reduced rate for Living Church of God attendees.  When contacting the resort (805-984-2500) ask for “In House Reservations” and identify yourself as being with the Living Church of God.  Discounts are based on selected view and length of stay.  

Copper Mountain, Colorado  

Children’s Choir and Dinner Dance. If your child would like to participate in the Festival Children’s Choir, please contact Laura Bashus, the Children’s Choir Director.  Mrs. Bashus may be reached by phone at 402-733-8585 or by e-mail at bashus@cox.net. One additional note to last week’s announcement about the Family Dinner Dance in Copper Mountain: dress is Sabbath wear to semi-formal.  

New Braunfels, Texas 

Sea World Activity. Time is quickly running out to purchase your Sea World of Texas tickets at a discounted group rate! Tickets are $45.73 for adults and $35.99 for children ages 3-9 (prices include tax). To purchase tickets at this rate, please send a check or money order made payable to Wade Brown, 1331 Kilgore Lane, Waco, Texas 76705.  Include a note stating the number of adult and/or child tickets you are purchasing, and your contact information. Payment must be received by Friday, September 22. Transportation to and from the park will not be provided, and the $10 parking fee is not included in the price of the ticket. For further information, please contact Wade Brown at 254-366-7108 or, by e-mail at wadebrown70@yahoo.com. 


Mr. Wayne Pyle reports: Three-day weekends usually take a toll on our response, but not so this weekend.  Even though we repeated a program aired earlier this year, the Labor Day three-day weekend produced a nine-percent higher response than the first airing. We aired program #271, “Prepare for Christ’s Second Coming,” which offered the Fourteen Signs (FS) booklet.  We received a total of 2,913 responses for the entire week.  The first airing happened to be on the Mother’s Day weekend back in May, which produced 2,682 responses.  So, a nine-percent increase for a repeat-airing is excellent. The call-count this weekend is the highest for a Labor Day weekend.  The previous high was two years ago, when program #201, “Secrets of Revelation,” offering the Revelation (RU) booklet, brought in 2,883 replies. 


God commands us to rejoice at the Feast of Tabernacles—but do we really know how to rejoice? Does God primarily mean enjoying good food at nice restaurants or visiting interesting places? How about spending more time with our brethren, encouraging them, helping them, serving them? Doesn’t learning more about God’s plan and appreciating His way of life bring joy to our lives? God tell us to fear Him—that is, to respect Him, to obey His commandments, to do His will (Deuteronomy 14:23-26). That’s how we can truly rejoice at the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Most of us in God’s Church are experiencing what we call “Feast fever.” Once again, do we really grasp the true meaning of this expression? The anticipation of serving, helping, sharing our blessings with others in the Church should give us “Feast fever.” Lately, I heard someone say that he was afraid to travel at this time of violence and terrorism. He was even concerned about leaving his home and belongings behind to travel to the Feast site. Don’t we know that, as long as we are doing God’s will, we don’t have to fear anything? Don’t we believe God when He tells us that He will protect us—our homes and belongings—when we keep the Feast (Exodus 34:24)?  

A true “Feast fever” should not only be felt in expectation of the Feast of Tabernacles. We should also feel it for every Sabbath, because every Sabbath portrays the soon-coming Millennium under Christ’s rule. If we truly “fear God,” if we truly love Him and do our part in His Church, we will experience “Feast fever” every day of the year.      

Have a wonderful Sabbath,

Dibar Apartian 

NEWS AND PROPHECY—September 7, 2006 

Europe Enters Middle EastSoldiers of the UN force that will attempt to keep peace between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon will come primarily from EU nations.  Italy will send 3,000, France will contribute 2,000 and Germany will send the third-largest contingent of 1,200 (Deutsche Welle, August 28, 2006).  Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema, relishing “Italy’s newly assertive role in Europe” said, “We showed we have some weight in Europe” (The New York Times, August 27, 2006).  While European public opinion has generally been critical of Israel’s military operations in the Middle East, German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel acknowledged, “Israel is fighting genocidal Islamism as the proxy for the Western world” (Der Spiegel, July 24, 2006).  European soldiers will now be on the “frontline” of what has been called, by Iranian president Ahmadinejad, a “historical war… between the Islamic world and the world of arrogance”—meaning the West—which includes the USA and the “crusaders” of Europe (Ibid).  Bible prophecy indicates that at the end of the age European forces will move into the Middle East in response to militant threats in that region (Daniel 11:40-43).  The activities of this UN (EU) force bear watching. 

Memorize Koran—A Path to Heaven?  In Koranic schools in the USA, children study eight hours a day for two to three years memorizing 6,200 verses in the Koran.  This accomplishment earns the exalted title “hafiz… guaranteeing the person entrance into heaven, along with 10 other people of his choosing” (The New York Times, August 16, 2006).  Children are taught “how to pronounce the words [in Arabic] but mostly do not know what they mean” (Ibid).  In Syria, even young girls are taught to recite the Koran, although a teacher comments, “It’s true that they don’t understand what they are memorizing at this age, but we believe that the understanding comes when the Koran becomes part of you” (The New York Times, August 29, 2006).  Syria is recruiting young girls from influential families into special schools that train women to become sheikhas (religious scholars).  These girls are being tutored “in the faith… to influence some of their well-connected fathers and husbands to accept a greater presence of Islam in public life” (Ibid).  In contrast to the Koran, the Bible warns, “do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7).   The Bible also reveals that human beings do not go to heaven (John 3:13; Acts 2:29, 34; 13:36).         

Has Christ Returned?  Sixty-year old Jose Louise de Jesus Miranda claims that he is Jesus Christ and has returned to this earth.  The Puerto Rican-born minister teaches that sin no longer exists, that there is no Satan the Devil, and that praying is a waste of time—but he does solicit tithes and offerings, citing the Bible as precedent.  He also accepts gifts for himself, including cars and mansions.  He also claims to have millions of followers in over twenty nations around the globe (NBC Today Show interview, August 25, 2006).  While Jose’s claims may seem comical to some, Jesus Christ prophesied almost 2,000 years ago that “false Christs” would appear as we close in on the end of the age. “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and deceive many” (Matthew 24:3-5).  Señor Miranda is just one of “many” who will claim to be a “Messiah” as the end of the age approaches.—Scott Winnail, Douglas Winnail


COGwriter 2006