October 25, 2007

Greetings from Charlotte, 

We are getting back into more settled routines after all have returned from their Feast travels.  Those routines include writing for publications, mailing materials, recording offerings, preparing television scripts and programs, recording lectures, making assignments for Living University classes and planning for the future.  It was very encouraging to sense the enthusiasm of brethren at the Feast who are enrolled in online Living University courses.  Those enrolled in two or more classes were finding that it involves a lot of work.  It appears that for most people, one or two classes will be a much more manageable workload.  I hope that many more will take advantage of these biblically-based classes to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  This week, Mr. Joe Brown, a recently hired elder serving in southern Georgia and northern Florida, is visiting the office in Charlotte with his wife for several days.  In the coming months, we plan to bring a number of elders and their wives to Charlotte to build a closer bond between Headquarters and the field. 

Church Administration 

Keith WaldenAs many of you know, Keith Walden, pastor in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been diagnosed with cancer and has been experiencing difficulties since returning home from the Feast.  His wife, Renee, writes that Keith has been running a fever and been unable to sleep.  They have sought advice from healthcare providers and are continuing to pray for his complete recovery.  Their daughters are helping to provide care at this time.  Please keep Keith Walden in your prayers. 

Brian Pomicter:  Brian Pomicter, an elder serving in Nebraska, contracted Dengue Fever (apparently from a mosquito bite) while serving at the Feast in Barbados.  Mr. Pomicter spent several days in the hospital once he returned to the USA, but is now at home, looking forward to getting back to work.  Please keep him also in your prayers.     

Fires in Southern California 

Our southern California Area Pastor, Harold Way, reports: “God has been very merciful to the brethren here in Southern California, where multiple fires have been raging and mostly out of control for three days… There are no reports of damage or physical injury at this time. The winds have subsided and today (Wednesday) aircraft are able to drop repellents that are aiding considerably. Many businesses, schools and roads remain closed and the air is causing many respiratory problems to those exposed. We do appreciate everyone’s prayers and concern.”

Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration—at Headquarters!  

Here is an open and cordial invitation to all those who can attend the special weekend in Charlotte on December 29! Saturday evening, after Sabbath services, we will have a dinner dance to celebrate our 15th Anniversary as the Global/Living Church of God. Live music will be provided by the J. R. Wells Band from Louisiana. Attire for the dinner dance will be Sabbath wear, formal, or cocktail dress. On Sunday, December 30, we will conduct tours of the Headquarters building. 

Meeting space is at a premium in Charlotte during December. Therefore, for planning purposes, it is imperative that we have a preliminary count of those who plan to attend this event.  

Tentative costs are as follows:  

Dinner and dance:

Adults                                      $25.00

Children (12 and under)            $12.00  


Best Western, Independence    $60.00

            Comfort Inn, Matthews $60.00

Hilton University Hotel  $99.00 (deluxe accommodations) 

It is imperative that we know the number of adults and the number of children who plan to come to Charlotte for this event. Area Pastors, please have a hand count taken at each of your congregations of the number of adults and children who plan to attend; send the results of your counts to cad@lcg.org by Monday, October 29, if at all possible. 

Formal registration procedures are being set up on the “MyLCG” section of the www.cogl.org website. Details will be announced.—Davy Crockett 

The Weekend Activities 

In conjunction with the 15th Anniversary Dinner Dance in Charlotte on December 29, we are also planning various activities throughout the weekend.  Here is the general schedule of activities for the entire weekend: 

Friday, December 28: Singles Seminar and Married Couples Seminar (both at HQ building)

Saturday, December 29: Sabbath Services, 15th Anniversary Dinner Dance

Sunday, December 30: Family Activities (to be announced) 

Note on the Seminars: Singles of all ages are invited to the Singles Seminar.  Registration and additional information will be posted on the LCG Singles website www.lcgsingles.org.  If you don’t have web access, applications and additional information may be requested by calling Lambert Greer at 502-228-5917.  For married couples interested in attending the Married Couples Seminar on Friday, December 28, please contact Rod McNair at rmcnair@lcg.org or at 704-844-1960 (ext. 212). 

Area Pastors, we would appreciate it if you could also get a SEPARATE hand count for the Singles Seminar and for the Married Couples Seminar and let us know of the interest for these two seminars in your areas. 

Public Bible Lecture in Dallas 

Our local elder in Dallas, Mr. Dwain Crisman, reported: “On the Sabbath of October 20, the Dallas brethren welcomed eleven visitors to the scheduled Public Bible Lecture.  The topic, When Will Christ Come Again? presented by Mr. Dan Hall, was well received. There were a total of 72 people attending, including Church members.  The meeting was followed by refreshments and finger foods. Only one of the visitors had been in our former association; the others had learned about us through the telecast or the Internet, and they had very little knowledge of the name of Herbert W. Armstrong.  The new people responded afterwards by asking questions and visiting for over one and one-half hours! Several asked the brethren how long had they been in the Church…    

“All visitors seemed very positive and appreciative of the lecture and of the opportunity to ask questions.  This was a great opportunity for the Dallas congregation to be more involved in God’s Work.  We are praying that these new people will see where God is working and quickly respond to His calling.” 

Mail Processing Department  

Audio Cassettes to Be Discontinued 

Technology marches on! We will no longer be able supply sermons on audio cassette tapes. Our last, aged recording machine finally ceased operating properly and is no longer repairable. The few of you who have been receiving audio cassettes will need to procure a CD player to access our recorded material. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.   

Feast of Tabernacles 2007 

Worldwide Attendance Figures 

The overall attendance figure for the Feast of Tabernacles 2007 (including shut-ins receiving CDs) was 7,086.  This year, some international areas experienced fewer incoming transfers, had fewer sites, and saw more brethren staying home because of rising transportation costs, so these areas posted a decrease in attendance.  In the USA, attendance was up 3.5 percent (with eight sites in 2007, up from six the previous year).  In Latin America, attendance was up 14 percent (with one new site in Chile).  Attendance in the Caribbean was up 11 percent, with record-breaking attendance in Tobago.  The U.K./Ireland region was up 32.5 percent this year, largely due to increased numbers of incoming transfers.  The Church continues to serve its shut-ins who are not able to make it to the Feast—285 brethren received Festival CDs in 2007, compared with 187 in 2006. 

The Feast in Myanmar 

We are happy to report that brethren in the Living Church of God in Myanmar were able to keep the Feast without disruption, despite the violence occurring there during the Feast this year.  As our minister from Myanmar, Thomas Tial Hoe, wrote, the 75 brethren “rejoiced before God keeping His Feast for eight joyous days, dwelt together, ate together in unity and love and experienced a foretaste of Tomorrow’s World.  It was an inspiring, encouraging spiritual Feast as well as fine physical food and powerful sermons from Headquarters leaders.  Our heartfelt thanks to you all who help us to enjoy the Feast successfully.  We need your prayers...”   


Internet Update 

Last month we had 82,262 visitors across our primary US websites.  This is an increase over the previous month and just shy of our record high, which was set in July.  The list of countries where students have enrolled in the online version of the Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course continues to grow; Aruba, Austria, Saint Helena, and Sweden are the most recent countries that we have added to this list.  We now have online BSC students in 74 different countries.—J. Charles Ogwyn 


Reasons to Rejoice:  The Scriptures emphasize the importance of rejoicing.  The Sabbath is a time to rejoice (Isaiah 58:13-14).  Paul urged Christians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).  James even states that we should rejoice when trials come along (James 1:1-3).  One of the fruits of God’s Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22).  One key that enables us to rejoice—even during trials—is to remember that we can “rejoice in hope” (Romans 12:12).  We need to remember the hope of our calling to be in the coming kingdom of God, the hope of eternal life, the hope of forgiveness of our sins. We need to remember that God promises to bring us through the trials that we face (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that He promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  These are all reasons that God has given us to rejoice. 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail  

News and Prophecy—October 25, 2007 

Europe’s Growing Resentment of Britain. In last week’s treaty negotiations in Portugal, concessions were made to Britain giving it the right to “opt-out” of common European policies. Although pleasing to British leaders, these concessions angered European leaders. Luxembourg’s president warned, “Countries like Britain, that are always claiming special clauses and using them, that always want to get out of common policies through opt-out clauses, need to know that they will become something like partial members” [of the EU]. “A German MEP closely involved in the negotiations… described Britain as ‘egoistic.’” The President of the European parliament said that he “regretted that some countries had chosen to opt out of parts of the treaty” (The Sunday Times, October 21, 2007). While Britain has been a respected leader for many years, the Bible foretells a different future: “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept” (Hosea 5:11). “They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria” (Hosea 9:3). We are now witnessing definite signs of growing frustration with Britain among European leaders. 

Catholic Church: Coming on Stronger. The Catholic Church in the USA is poised to double its radio broadcasting power and impact. One official stated, “In our culture of 24/7 media consumption, the Church needs these tools to effectively proclaim the person of Jesus Christ” (Catholic News Agency, October 24, 2007). Meanwhile, the Pope recently emphasized the importance of the Eastern and Roman Catholic churches increasingly working closer together and affirmed that they are united in forming one church (Zenit.org, September 24, 2007). The Great Schism occurred in approximately 1024 AD because of doctrinal, political, and linguistic conflicts. Major efforts to reunite the two halves occurred in 1274 and 1439, but the Eastern Orthodox Church ended those talks. Further efforts to reunite the two churches also failed. Thus, the Pope’s current comments are of great importance!  In Revelation 17:15, God prophesied of an end-time church that would have power over “peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” In Isaiah 47:1-8, that church is described as the mother of many other churches who will seek to reunite her daughters.  This is happening now as the Roman and Eastern Orthodox churches work to heal a thousand-year-old schism.  

Fanning Economic Flames in Southern California. With many fires still out of control, estimates of property damage in San Diego County alone have reached US$1 billion.  It is relatively easy to calculate the cost of lost buildings and crops, as well as the human and material cost of fighting the fires (Associated Press, October 24, 2007). Yet the losses in current and future economic productivity could be several times the initial estimates!  Airport, sea, rail and ground transportation have been disrupted by fire and smoke, putting at risk perishable food items and causing businesses to suffer interruptions in supply, delivery and even mail transport. Businesses are suffering, as tens of thousands of employees huddle in evacuation centers across seven counties. Credit card bills are burgeoning, due to unexpected hotel, restaurant and travel expenses incurred by those fleeing the flames. On the flip side, there will be an economic boost to some area industries as construction workers begin repairing and replacing fire-ravaged structures. What lesson should the people of southern California learn from this experience? The lack of rain and unusual hurricane-force Santa Ana winds combined to bring on this disaster. Those caught in this tragedy need to ask, “Who controls the weather?” and “What are we doing to deserve this punishment—is God upset with us?” Bible prophecies indicate that God will return to judge the world, “to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire” (Isaiah 66:15).—Don Davis and Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2007

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