Greetings from Charlotte,

School shootings and stabbings again made news this week in America, while deadly tornadoes hit the nation’s mid-section. On the world scene, one newsletter commented that “the mostly peaceful Arab Spring is now turning into a mostly violent Arab Winter” that international organizations like the U.N. are powerless to control. Bible prophecies, that “in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1), are certainly coming true! Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has finished a TW article and a script for a new television program that he will tape tomorrow. Mr. Ames and Mr. King also taped new Tomorrow’s World programs today. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that last weekend’s Tomorrow’s World program by Mr. Meredith entitled “Restoring Original Christianity” should draw about 3,900 responses. Mr. Ron Poole reports that the follow-up TWSP i n Braselton, Georgia, was attended by 24 visitors (see below). Mr. Mario Hernandez will be meeting with brethren in Lisbon, Portugal this Sabbath.—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.
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:On Sunday afternoon, February 26, the follow-up presentation, “Where Is the Church Christ Built?” was held in Braselton, GA. There were 24 visitors present, eight attending for the first time and 16 who had attended the presentation given the week before. Twenty-five brethren arrived early to set up and transform the hall into a very inviting atmosphere for the guests, all of whom had very encouraging comments in support of how valuable the Tomorrow’s World is in all its media forms. On the Sabbath there were three from the first presentation present for services and additional ones at the presentation strongly indicated that they want to attend.—Ron Poole
Joplin Family Weekend: On Presidents Day weekend, February 18-19, the Joplin congregation hosted members from a number of other areas for a family weekend. There were 241 who attended the morning Bible Study given by Mr. Gene Hilgenberg and 288 who attended the afternoon service at which the sermon was given by Mr. Ames. Besides the teaching from God’s Word, highlights from the weekend included an international-themed dinner after services, an evening dance, a Bible Study for children, a video presentation on the Feast in Costa Rica, free food, nice motel rooms for $30, the world’s most fabulous swing, pictures in front of the hand-crafted tapestry, and of course, the “Amazing Race.” Ask your friends—you will want to come next year!—Karl Beyersdorfer
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 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

The Church of God History Project… Calling on LCG Youth Participation! (follow-up announcement)
Go to www.lcg.org/historyproject to learn how you can win a LYC Teen, Pre-Teen or Adventure Camp Scholarship and a $100 gift certificate! Get assistance from your parents and your local pastor, and interview an older, long-time LCG member in your local congregation. The person you interview should give a brief account of how God called him or her into the Truth. Record this interview on a smart phone or video camera (three-to-five-minutes max). You should not record yourself. These videos will be compiled, edited and used in various Church media. Participation is optional, of course, but we hope that at least a few people from each congregation will want to participate in this project.
Deadline for submitting these videos is April 20. Prizes will be awarded to the youth, and we will select four first place submissions and four runner-up submissions. For more details, please visit www.lcg.org/historyproject.—Wyatt Ciesielka and Sheldon Monson
LYC Adventure Camp Glacier Park, Montana 2012
The Adventure Camp program in Glacier Park, Montana is at, or near, capacity. The response has been outstanding! If anyone has not yet registered for this camp and would still like to do so, the deadline for applications has been moved up to Monday, March 12. All acceptance letters will be mailed out by Friday, March 16—so that those who are accepted can plan ahead for this trip. This will be a trip of a lifetime. We will spend five days backpacking in the Rockies, and follow it up with whitewater rafting, and one more activity that is yet to be determined. More details to come in mid-March.
Teen Bible StudiesResume in March
Weekly Teen Bible Studies will resume this coming Sunday evening. The chat room will be open at 6:30 p.m. Bible Study is from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chat room is open for one half hour before and after the study.
This year over a dozen ministers will be presenting studies on a variety of Bible personalities. Each week we will announce in the weekly update the presenter and the topic to be presented. This Sunday evening Mr. Sheldon Monson will be giving the study entitled: “Joshua: A bold servant of God.”
Living Youth Website
We’re also happy to be able to announce the launch of our newly revised youth website at http://www.livingyouth.org. There you will findreports, videos and photographs of all of the youth camps that were held last year and information on the youth camps that will be held this year. This website should be your one-stop-shop for information about events and activities in the Church’s Youth Program. The new Bible Studies will be conducted live here, and we will also post recordings of the Bible Studies for those who aren’t able to be there. All that is needed to access the live Bible Studies is a web browser that supports Adobe Flash.
Living Youth Camp Pastoral Evaluations (not to be announced)
One of the steps in the LYC registration process is that we send a “Pastoral Evaluation” to the pastor of each camper and staff member applying for camp. These evaluations are very important because they allow us to learn more about the applicant, and to put each one into a position at camp that is most appropriate for him or her. We understand that all of you pastors are very busy, but if you can return an evaluation promptly when you receive one, it is very helpful to us. They should each take only a couple of minutes. We are not able to accept a camper or staff member to camp until the evaluation is received, so we greatly appreciate your assistance. Thank you!

Feast of Tabernacles 2012

Half of all LCG brethren registered!
Less than two weeks into registration, we have now come to the half-way mark of Living Church of God brethren registered for the Feast. As of today, 4,556 brethren are successfully registered for the Feast, which comes out to 50% of our attendance last year of 9,029. This is a reminder for all brethren—if you have not yet registered, there is still room at most United States and International sites. If you have any difficulty, contact your Festival Advisor or your Pastor. Activity Registration will open June 24, 2012.—Festival Office
The Feast site in Bay of Islands, New Zealand is closed to further transfers.

Attention all FOT Costa Rican travelers! In order to make your travel from the international airport in San Jose (SJO) to Punta Leona go more smoothly, we will need your flight information. Elder Jorge Schaubeck plans to have buses ready at the airport for those brethren who decide to travel by bus, but we will need your travel information. Please e-mail Madeleine Lincoln-Strange at mlincoln@lcg.org or call 704-708-2217 to give her your schedule.—Madeleine Lincoln-Strange


I would like to gladly inform that after some coordinated effort and careful planning with God’s guidance, now the sound doctrine will be preached in the south of Colombia through AM radio. Beginning March 10, 2012 on Saturdays and Sundays on the radio station Red Sonora AM 1500 transmitting from Cali, we will broadcast the radio program El Mundo de Mañana, 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays at a very low cost. We appreciate everyone’s prayers.—Armando Orrego


The Importance of Prayer: Jesus urged His disciples to “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). David and Daniel prayed three times a day (Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10). Jesus prayed all night before making a major decision (Luke 6:12-13) and when He prayed, He prayed earnestly (Luke 22:44). When Jesus’ disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray,” He gave an outline of a model prayer (Luke 11:1-4). In this model prayer, the focus at the beginning and at the end of the prayer is on God and His coming Kingdom, and personal requests are sandwiched in between (Matthew 6:9-13). This helps us keep our personal issues in a proper perspective. It is also instructive that Jesus prayed for His disciples who were being called out of this world, but He did not pray for the world, because He knew that God is not trying to save the world now (John 17:8-11). Prayer is an essential tool for us to talk with God and to build a closer relationship with Him, so we can become more like our Father. The Scriptures reveal that our sincere and earnest prayers are like sweet incense to God (Revelation 5:8). This is why the Apostle Paul encouraged Christians to “pray without ceasing”—and we can do the same (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—March 1, 2012

Iran, Israel and War? In early February, Iran touted its newest-generation nuclear centrifuges and increased capacity for producing higher grade uranium (Agence France Presse, February 15, 2012). Now, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency has released its latest report citing Iran for obstructing its investigative work and stating that Iran had not answered questions about possible military aspects of its nuclear programs. However Iran’s envoy to the agency insists that Iran desires to “keep talking” to the IAEA (BBC, February 24, 2012). This week, Israel’s President and Defense Minister held high level meetings in Washington related to the escalating situation in Iran. While the U.S. continues to push for restraint and time to let international sanctions take their toll in Iran, Israel views the situation as a growing threat to its survival (www.salon.com, February 27, 2012). Iran has also threatened pre-emptive strikes should it feel “backed into a corner” (BBC, February 21, 2012). In a recent interview, former U.S. National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, warned that a nuclear Iran would be more predictable than a war started by Israel, because a nuclear Iran would be easy to “isolate” on the world stage. He also noted that a war between Israel and Iran would further destabilize an already unstable region (Deutsche Welle, February 27, 2012). Bible prophecies foretell that prior to the return of Jesus Christ, Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies and trampled by Gentiles, that half the city will go into captivity and that daily sacrifices begun by the Jews will be stopped (Luke 21:20; Zechariah 14:1-2; Daniel 8:11-12). The growing turmoil in the Middle East may prepare the way for these prophesied events. For more information on this topic, review our booklet The Middle East in Prophecy.
Biblical Key to U.S. Relationships: A recent Gallup poll revealed that “Nearly all Americans, a full 96 per cent, have a favourable view of Canada… That’s the loftiest ranking for any foreign country since Gallup began the poll two decades ago… But the survey suggests Canada better keep its eye on the Aussies—Australia is right behind us in second place at 93 per cent. Great Britain is in third at 90 per cent” (www.ca.news.yahoo.com, February 16, 2012). Historically, the U.S. has also had close ties with Israel. The article cites reasons for the “love affair” between the U.S. and Canada, including strong dipl omatic ties, a common border, long-lasting peace, Canada’s strong economy, and many joint ventures—including being comrades-in-arms in conflicts around the globe. But there are biblical reasons for these close relationships. What few realize today is that the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and even Israel are literally “brothers” of common parents. The Bible reveals that the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were to become a great nation and a company of nations—the U.S. and the British-descended people. Jews in Israel today are descended from the Israelite tribe of Judah—which makes these people also “brothers.” Thus, the modern relationships between these nations are not unique, nor are they new. The biblical identities of these modern nations provide important insights into end-time Bible prophecies aimed at the “houses” of Israel and Judah. For more information on this fascinating su bject, see our booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Deadly Tornadoes Hit U.S. Midwest: This week some 16 tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system tore through parts of Kansas, Illinois and Missouri, killing and injuring dozens of people. The resort town of Branson, Missouri, was hard hit with hotels and theaters losing roofs, having windows shattered and losing power. Branson is about 100 miles southeast of Joplin, Missouri, which was “devastated by a monstrous twister last May that killed 161 people” (onenewsnow.com, Feb.29, 2012). Several small communities in the region were literally leveled. Alabama reported that in January, 95 tornadoes struck the state—before the tornado season even officially began in March! Today, few make any connection between these weather-related disasters and what is going on in our nations—the acceptance and promot ion of homosexuality, pornography, rampant divorce, abortion, etc. However, the Bible clearly states that God will bring “disaster upon disaster” upon His disobedient people because they have turned their backs on Him and ignored His laws (Ezekiel 1-7). Unless the Israelite people repent and change, these disasters will only increase—see our booklet Who Controls the Weather?Scott Winnail