23 February 2012

Greetings from Charlotte,

We are certainly living in dynamic times! The European financial crisis has opened old wounds and prejudices that are challenging the continent’s plans for closer unity. The Arab Spring revolutions have put the Middle East into a period of “constructive chaos” that begs for a leader to step into the vacuum, and America continues its moral decline. Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has held meetings and is formulating his next television script. Mr. and Mrs. Ames have returned from a profitable Church visit in Joplin, Missouri. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that we received almost 4,000 responses to last weekend’s Tomorrow’s World program by Mr. Wallace Smith, entitled “Why Believe In God?,” and that the visit to the National Religious Broadcasters convention was very profitable (see below). My visits with the Braselton and Atlanta, Georgia, congregations last weeken d were very encouraging, and we had 46 visitors for the TWSP in Braselton. Mr. Ron Poole will make a follow-up presentation this coming weekend. Mr. Mario Hernandez left yesterday for visits with brethren and congregations in Europe. Mr. Armando Orrego, South America Area Pastor, also made recent visits to congregations in Peru (see below). Your continued prayers for all these activities are important and appreciated.—DSW

Church Administration

Passover 2012 (Repeat Announcement)
Important Notice to All Pastors: This year the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, April 5. 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 a copy of the Passover Servicerecording. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, please let us know this information right away, for international congregations, and by March 2, for U.S. congregations.
Additionally, let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions to observe it at home. 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.
Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation
Braselton, Georgia: Last Sunday, February 19, 46 first-time visitors along with 25 excited brethren attended the TWSP given by Dr. Douglas Winnail, titled “The Gathering Storm.” The guests had a wide variety of backgrounds in their contact with the Truth; all were very open to conversation and visibly and audibly engaged in attention to the presentation. Dr. Winnail posed some questions and comments during the delivery that received very quick responses from the visitors that reflected a level of understanding of the Truth they have gained from our telecasts and publications. Many indicated that they plan to attend the follow up presentation next Sunday, February 26, on “Where Is the Church Christ Built?” while some indicated they plan to attend services next Sabbath.—Ron Poole
Spanish Update
New Websites: Today is a great day for God’s Work in the Spanish language! Two new Spanish websites are now online! The main site www.MundoManana.org has been redesigned from scratch and it now uses a design similar to the current English website www.TomorrowsWorld.org. This new tool should greatly help the growth of the Work among the Spanish-speaking nations. Because the Work in Spanish has been active for many years, the content of this website is quite rich, with 12 booklets, 120 radio broadcasts andseveraltelecasts, 32 issues of the magazine El Mundo de Mañana and 360 Noticias y Profecía (News and Prophecy). In addition, an interactive version of the Bible Study Course is available for the first time! It is hosted on a separate website, www.curso-biblia.org.
In 2011, the Spanish website recorded an average of 5,600 visits per month. As the new site is optimized for “organic” search (indexing in Google, Bing and other search engines), we can reasonably expect to double the audience of the Spanish website in 2012.—VG Lardé
Visit to Peru: On February 10, Mr. Armando Orrego arrived in Lima for a scheduled visit. We had a Bible Study on Sabbath morning, the next day, and the holy convocation in the afternoon. Mr. Orrego counseled several members and persons interested in attending the Church. He held a meeting with the leading men in Peru and also made some arrangements for the Feast. On Sunday afternoon, we had a meeting on how to utilize the Internet to improve our communication. We look forward to more of his visits.—Eden Hurtado
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend
The Anderson, South Carolina, congregation is hosting the fifth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8. Planned events include: a Friday afternoon bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail; the Night to Be Much Observed on Friday evening; Holy Day services on the Sabbath; the Black and White Banquet and Ball on Saturday night; and a picnic and recreational activities, including a 5K road race and softball games, on Sunday. Services and the Banquet and Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Those interested in arriving on Thursday evening and observing Passover with the Anderson congregation should contact us for directions and time of the service. We have secured a room rate of $79 per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. Further details about the event and registration instructions are located at our local website: http://lcganderson.org/ (not an official Church website). Or, you may contact Manuel Burdette for further information at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at mhburdette@att.net. The registration deadline is March 23.

Living Youth Programs

Announcing the Church of God History Project… Calling on LCG Youth Participation!

An opportunity to share stories about coming into the Truth, a great way to honor our older membership, an opportunity to let our lights shine… and, a way to win a LYC Teen, Pre-Teen or Adventure Camp Scholarship and a $100 gift certificate!

We all know that Scripture tells us that God wants us to love and learn from our elders, and in every local Living Church of God congregation there are wonderful stories of how God has called men and women into the Truth. Many congregations are blessed to have more than a few faithful “long-time” members, some whom God called into the Church three, four or five decades ago! We love these faithful long-time members. Their stories are inspiring, and we can learn from them. With this in mind, we would like to launch an exciting “Church of God History Project” and tap into the talents and enthusiasm of our Church youth. With the help and guidance of the local pastors, we would like to ask our youth (pre-teens as well as teens) to interview older, long-time LCG members in their local congregations, and record a three-to-five-minute (five minutes max.) video of that person giving a brief account of how God called him or her i nto the Truth. These videos will be compiled, edited and used in various Church media. We realize that many people will not want to be interviewed, but we hope that at least a few people from each congregation will be willing to participate in this project.

Anyone who is interested in participating should go to www.lcg.org/historyproject for more information. This Web page will be updated over the next few days with additional instructions and contest rules. This is also the Web page where the photo/video waiver form may be downloaded, and where the videos will be uploaded. And please note, you do not need to have expensive video equipment to participate! Smart phones or digital cameras may be used to record these short video clips. These videos could be recorded after Sabbath services, in individual’s homes, or even before or after dinner at the upcoming Night to be Much Observed. We would like the youth to only film the interviewee. (In other words, the youth should not film themselves and should not introduce the interviewee.) The interviewee should begin by greeting the audience, stating his or her first name, and then briefly recount when and how he came into God’s Church.

Deadline for submitting these videos is April 20. We will select four first place submissions, with prizes being awarded to the youth. First place prizes will be awarded to one boy and one girl from North America and Europe, and one boy and one girl from our other International congregations. Both first place prize winners from North America and Europe will receive a FREE camp scholarship (Adventure Camp, Pre-Teen or Teen) and a $100 gift certificate to a well-known sports, athletic and camping retailer. Both first place winners from our other International congregations will receive a $200 gift certificate. (We understand that travel costs may prevent youth outside of North America or Europe from attending one of our camps, even if we provided the tuition scholarship.) We will also select four runner-up submissions (two from North America and Europe and two from other International congregations) who will receive $25 gift certificates. Please visit this week www.lcg.org/historyproject for more details. —Wyatt Ciesielka and Sheldon Monson

Feast of Tabernacles 2012

Registration Well Underway!
As of today, four days into registration, 42% of LCG brethren (3,779) are now successfully registered for the Feast of Tabernacles. Thank you, brethren, for registering! This greatly helps our coordinators plan for this year’s Feast. Don’t forget, if you change your mind and want to register for a different Feast site, feel free to do so. Just go back through the registration process and re-register to the site of your choice. If you have not yet registered, please do so. If you have any difficulty, contact your Festival Advisor or your Pastor. Activity Registration will open June 24, 2012.—Festival Office


Mr. Gerald Weston and I had a most informative and profitable experience once again at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The contacts and networking are very valuable for God’s Church and our future media growth. We even received helpful information for spot ads for our telecast in Australia and North America. I also dined with a vice-president of a new TV network in the U.S. I’ve known the VP for several years now, and I now know how much he absolutely loves our Tomorrow’s World programming, and he is willing to give us an exceptionally good deal to air on his network. I’ll be presenting the information to Dr. Meredith and Mr. Ames for their decision-making.—Wayne Pyle


The Value of Counsel: One of the common pitfalls of life is trusting in our own judgment when we only see part of a picture. When we make decisions or take actions based on how we see a problem, the results can be costly to ourselves and others. This is why Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5, “lean not on your own understanding” and in Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes” and again in Proverbs 28:26, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” Solomon also warned in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” To help us avoid making serious mistakes in life, God inspired Solomon to write in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” and again in Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counsel ors they are established.” We can obtain wise and valuable advice by prayerfully studying the book of Proverbs and by seeking counsel from parents, the ministry and from more experienced friends and associates who can be objective and help us see a bigger picture than we perceive on our own.
Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—February 23, 2012
War Against Christians in the Middle East. Newsweek magazine recently reported that “Terrorist attacks on Christians in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia increased 309% from 2003 to 2010.” The article described how Christians in the Middle East are being attacked and suffering for their religious views. The author’s rhetoric is more alarming than one would expect from the mainstream press. “Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm… [it is] the conspiracy of silence... Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake… It is a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions and ethnicities” (Newsweek, February 13, 2012). The Bible reveals that Satan’s society at the end of the age will hate followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:9). In fact, Jesus said the world would hate His disciples, because they are of Him (John 17:14). The prophet Daniel reveals that in the last days, a predominantly Muslim King of the South will “push against” a predominantly “Christian” King of the North but will be overcome by the King of the North (see Daniel 11). The recent surge in violence and intolerance against Christians could be one of the ways the King of the South will attempt to “push against” the North. This aggression against Christians in the Middle East will likely generate a backlash from the future Catholic European Beast Power. For more information on this long-prophesied confrontation, please review our booklet, The Beast of Revelation.
Will Britain Really Store Its Tanks in Germany? What started out as a joking comment has now become a very real possibility. In order to manage its growing national debt, Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is looking to sell its vast military vehicle storage facility at Ashchurch. The facility houses more than 6,000 defense-ready vehicles, including hundreds of high-tech tanks. Some MoD decision-makers are seriously considering moving large portions of the machinery to a British military base in Germany for temporary storage, while a more suitable long-term storage location within Britain is identified (The Guardian, February 16, 2012). Philosopher George Santayana made the sobering observation, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Less than 70 years ago, Hitler’s Panzer tanks were rollin g over British troops in France. Now, Britain is considering storing its tanks in Germany—modern Assyria. Bible prophecy reveals that a German-led Beast power will eventually subjugate the Israelite-descended people, including Britain (Deuteronomy 28:25-26, 36-41; Ezekiel 23:12, 22-26). Bible prophecy refers to Ephraim (modern Britain) as a “silly dove without sense,” because “they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria” (Hosea 7:11). Watching these events transpire is sobering and helps highlight just how accurate Bible prophecy really is. For more information on the identity of the British-descended peoples in Bible prophecy, review our booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Dangerous Super Bacteria! Due to the overuse of antibiotics, bacteria are growing more resilient and more deadly. According to an article in The Independent, “Britain is facing a ‘massive’ rise in antibiotic-resistant blood poisoning caused by the bacterium E.coli—bringing closer the spectre of diseases that are impossible to treat. Experts say the growth of antibiotic resistance now poses as great a threat to global health as the emergence of new diseases such as AIDS and pandemic flu.” These infections are now spreading around the globe. Experts note that the growth of these resistant bacteria threatens “to turn common infections into untreatable diseases” and medical professionals are now seeing infections that are resistant to powerful “last line of defense” antibiotics. Experts fear E.coli’s resistance because, unlike other bacteria that are not very prevalent, E.coli naturally exists within the gut of all humans (The Independent, February 20, 2012). Jesus warned that one of the “signs” of the end of the age would be pestilence (Luke 21:11). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, given the right conditions, will produce widespread disease epidemics. This world needs the return of Christ and His Kingdom where there will be no more death or sorrow or pain (Revelation 21:4). And that time is coming soon!—Scott Winnail, Henry Cooper, Susan Bennett

COGwriter 2012

Back to home page