3 May 2012

Greetings from Charlotte,

We have just completed a truly inspiring Ministerial Conference here in Charlotte. Mr. Meredith opened each day of the conference and provided informative comments throughout the meetings. During the three-day conference, over 270 ministers and wives heard encouraging reports from Regional Directors around the world in addition to presentations on prophecy, doctrinal issues, mission of the ministry, guidelines for preaching, marriage, working with youth, utilizing modern technology, and other topics related to the ministry. One of the highlights was the Living University graduation held on the first day of the conference. Many commented on the warm fellowship, the balance and sense of direction, the enthusiasm and unity and the practical information covered in each session. It has been very encouraging to hear the many positive comments on the conference and to see the unity and dedication that was clearly evident among everyone who gathered in Charlotte this week. This coming weekend, Mr. Ames will make back-to-back Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations in New York City. On Saturday he will present The Gathering Storm and on Sunday he will address the question, Where Is the Church Christ Built? Your prayers for these presentations and for God’s people are needed and will be appreciated.—DSW

Special Note: Mr. & Mrs. Jack Lowe had a traffic mishap on their way home from the conference. Their car ran over a piece of truck tire on the highway, puncturing the fuel tank and disabling the car. After a delay of several hours, they eventually made it home. They were not injured in the mishap.

Church Administration

Second Passover (Repeat Announcement)
The Second Passover this year should be taken shortly after sunset on Saturday, May 5. This Passover is for those baptized members who were unable to take the first Passover due to unavoidable circumstances. The biblical instructions regarding this ceremony are found in Numbers 9:1-14.
Carolina Singles Weekend—Hotel Accommodations (Repeat Announcement)
Discounted accommodations are available at both the Holiday Inn Express and the Quality Inn & Suites near the Headquarters building. Both are easily accessible to major highways. The rate at the Holiday Inn is $99 dollars a night and the rate at the Quality Inn is $79 dollars a night. To receive the discount, you must ask for the “fellowship” rate. This rate applies to weekdays and the weekend and is also available beyond the dates of the Singles Weekend, if you’d like to come in early or leave later.

Memorial Day is a race weekend in Charlotte, so try to make your reservation as soon as possible. Let us know if you have any problems making your reservation.
Holiday Inn Express
9420 East Independence Blvd
Matthews, NC 28105
Phone: 704-443-3100
Quality Inn & Suites
13470 East Independence Blvd
Matthews, NC 28105
Phone: 704-821-9800

Living Youth Programs

Teen Bible StudySunday Evening
This Sunday evening the topic is “King Josiah: God’s Young Ambassador,” presented by Dr. Scott Winnail. The chat room is open at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) and the Bible Study runs from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Living Youth Camps
Living Youth Camp (LYC) still has plenty of openings for campers at our pre-teen and teen summer camps. These camps are the highlight of the summer for many Church youth, and will leave memories that they will cherish for many years! If you would like your child to attend, apply to one (or more!) of our camps online at http://lyc.lcg.org.


Are You Thankful for the Truth? The Sabbath is a good time to reflect on an important question: How thankful are you for the Truth? It is easy to take the Truth of God for granted if you are a long-time member or if you have grown up in the Church. Yet, Jesus said that people cannot come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds have been opened to see the big picture (John 6:44). The capacity to understand the plan of God, the purpose of life and the true way of life is a gift that God is making available to only a few at this time (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). These precious Truths are a mystery to most people (1 Corinthians 2:7-8) because Satan—“the God of this age”—has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Jesus said that it is an incredible privilege to be given an understanding of the Truth (Matthew 13:10-17). Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something to be extremely thankful for (Ephesians 5:8-20). He also mentions that those who let go of or reject the Truth, then embrace misguided ideas generated by human reason—reap serious consequences (Romans 1:18-32). Let’s never forget to be thankful for the opportunity to understand the Truth of God that “endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5).

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—May 3, 2012
Rise of Atheism: In the United States,atheism is growing faster than any religious group. Nearly 20% of Americans now avoid “organized religion in favor of a non-defined skepticism about faith.” Many are leaving organized religion as American society becomes more secular. These church dropouts are turned off by the increasingly political nature of organized religion and by “Old Testament condemnations of homosexuals, premarital sex, contraception and abortion. The Catholic Church’s sex scandals also prompted millions to equate religion with moralistic hypocrisy.”...
Perils of “Living Together” before Marriage: Today, it is popular to believe that living together before marriage increases the likelihood of success in a future marriage. In the USA, “the majority of young adults in their 20’s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation.” However scientific research points to just the opposite! Studies show, “Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriage—and more likely to divorce—than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.” One reason for the failure of cohabitation is that the “standards” that individuals place on their cohabiting partner are usually far lower than for a future mate (New York Times, April 14, 2012). In the light of modern research, the biblical commandment forbidding adultery (sex outside of marriage—Exodus 20:14) and the New Testament condemnation of fornication (sex before marriage—1 Corinthians 6:18) become much more significant. While popular opinion tends to view these biblical instructions as antiquated and confining, the God of the Bible said that following these instructions would bring blessings (see Deuteronomy 28:1-14). God knew that cohabitation before marriage would bring heartaches and problems, and that is why He inspired instructions against it. For more information on this vital topic see our free booklet, God’s Plan for a Happy Marriage.—Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2012

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