Greetings from Charlotte,
We have just concluded a very profitable Council of Elders meeting here in Charlotte. Mr. Meredith chaired the sessions which included an update on the state of the Work, reports from Regional Directors and Regional Pastors, feedback on the Ministerial Conference and this year’s Feast of Tabernacles, ministerial training policies and programs, a discussion of more effective ways of preaching the Gospel, doctrinal issues and various other policy issues affecting Church congregations. Mr. Meredith’s concluding comments stressed how God has guided His Church down through the ages and the need to stay spiritually connected to God and Jesus Christ. The meetings ended with a dinner and opportunity to fellowship at the Merediths’ home. Mr. Rod King, Regional Pastor for the UK, who was a guest at the council meetings, said he appreciated the sense of teamwork that was evident at the meetings and that it was refreshing to see the lack of political or competitive jockeying that can take place at such meetings. He commented on the wisdom evident in the approach of Mr. Meredith and other senior men who have more than forty or fifty years experience in God’s Church. Mr. King said, “I was impressed by the search for a biblical balance in all that was discussed. Whatever topic was addressed, we pursued the thought, ‘How would Jesus Christ have handled this?’ It was a privilege to be invited to the meetings.”
Mr. Dayrell Tanner reports: The Brisbane congregation is “a-buzz” with excitement after the Feast. We have welcomed a total of eight new people to our congregation! Those who earlier in the year moved from here to serve in the new office in Adelaide have been “replaced,” plus one. The enthusiasm of these new brethren is stimulating, and they are stirring us up as we also recall our first love we had for the truth. We are deeply thankful to our Father in heaven who has called these people (John 6:44, 65), for He is the One who has given the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). This stirs us up as we see the fruit of our labors as we back up the great Work of God.
Feast of Tabernacles—Copper Mountain Housing (to be read in all USA congregations)
As we “wrap up” our financial obligations for the Feast sites, the Festival Office needs some information from brethren who attended the Feast in Copper Mountain, CO. Please take note of the following:
1. If you stayed at the Copper Mountain Resort property, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-844-1960, ext. 212, with your name, number of people in your party, number of rooms you took and nights you stayed.
2. If you tried to stay at the Copper Mountain Resort property but were turned away by the Copper Mountain Resort receptionists taking phone calls, please also e-mail us at email@example.com or call 704-844-1960, ext. 212, with the date you called (if you recall), your name, number in your party and the reason you were given for being turned away.—Festival Office
Living 4 Tomorrow—Charlotte, December 2006
Living Church of God young adults are invited to attend Living 4 Tomorrow – A Time 4 Young Singles. Classes and evening activities will be conducted at our Headquarters facilities in Charlotte, NC. The L4T program is open to all singles between the ages of 18 and 30. The L4T format is one of classes and discussion periods focused for the young single Christian adult mixed with recreation activities and fellowship time. This L4T program will include presentations from many ministers at Headquarters. The program will be from December 20-22 leading into the family dance and other activities planned at Headquarters on December 23 and 24. Applications and detailed information are available for L4T on www.youth-web.org (not an official Church website) and on the LCG Singles website www.lcgsingles.org. If you don’t have web access, applications and additional information may be requested by calling Mr. Lambert Greer at 502-228-5917. Please submit your application as soon as possible to assure your acceptance.
Singles Seminar—Charlotte, December 2006
A one day Singles Seminar is planned for singles of all ages on Friday, December 22, 2006. The seminar will be conducted at our Headquarters facilities in Charlotte, NC. The program will include presentations from many of the ministers at Headquarters. Attend the Singles Seminar on Friday and be at Headquarters for the family dance and other activities on December 23 and 24. If you cannot arrive in Charlotte in time for the Singles Seminar, but will be there Friday evening for the Sabbath and weekend activities, please check the Singles website for information regarding the Friday evening Singles Bible Study. Registration for the Singles Seminar and detailed information is 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 Mr. Lambert Greer at 502-228-5917. Please register as soon as possible to assist us with advanced planning for the Seminar.
Mr. Wayne Pyle reports: This week we aired program #282, “Principles for Effective Bible Study,” which offered the Bible Study Course to Tomorrow’s World TV viewers. So far, we have received 4,020 phone calls, and we are expecting the end-of-the-week total go over 4,100. In the last six years since we started advertising the Bible Study Course on television, the highest response ever reached was 2,216, and that was four years ago. Last year we offered the Course two times, with 2,022 and 1,606 replies coming in. Residuals responses came from last week’s record-breaking telecast, “Keys to Understanding Prophecy,” which offered The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy (USP). The residuals raised last week’s total count to 3,962, which is a new all-time record for the USP booklet.
The Key to Real Fellowship. Fellowship involves communication, companionship, participation and the mutual sharing of common interests and activities. The Bible reveals that the foundation of our fellowship in God’s Church involves our common belief in the Gospel preached by Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:5; Mark 1:14-15), repenting, receiving and using God’s Spirit (Philippians 2:1) and sharing the trials and sufferings experienced by Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:10). Our fellowship also includes participation in the activities of the Church as fellow workers (Colossians 4:11), fellow servants (Colossians 1:7; 4:7) and fellow soldiers (Philippians 2:25). However, the real key to fellowship in the Church of God means having “no fellowship” with the unfruitful ways of this world (Ephesians 5:11), and developing a closer relationship with God, with Jesus Christ and with each other (I John 1:3, 6, 7). God’s weekly Sabbath is designed to make this possible.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—November 16, 2006
A Coming European Army? Kurt Beck, leader of Germany’s Social Democrats, recently called for a single European Army. He said the army should be used as a “global peace power” and should be separate from NATO, so as to avoid being manipulated by the U.S. Although he disagreed with the army being separate from NATO, the Polish EU President called for the EU force to become 100,000 strong. A European security expert noted that an independent EU army would “lead to more efficient defense spending… when countries are reluctant to increase military budgets…” He continued, “Giving up those [redundant military services] would hurt some countries. I could imagine that the U.K. would hate the idea of an integrated European defense force and single command.” The EU is already beginning to operate independently from NATO (International Herald Tribune, November 6, 2006). Interestingly, the creation of such an army may act to further marginalize Britain from the EU. Also, Germany is once again pushing Europe to adopt its own view of a European defense force—a force prophesied to exist at the time of the end. “At the time… the king of the north shall come against him [king of the South] like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown…” (Daniel 11:40-41).
Britain Continues to Depart from The Faith. “For the first time in 400 years, a member of the British Royal Family (Lord Nicholas Windsor) will marry in a religious ceremony at the Vatican and the Queen of England has expressed her approval.” “The 36-year-old royal was received into the Roman Catholic Church in a private ceremony in 2001. His fiancée is also Roman Catholic. His mother was the first member of the British Royal Family in modern times to convert to Catholicism in 1994” (Catholic News Agency, November 1, 2006). Concurrently, Prince Charles has apparently decided to hold a multi-faith coronation in the sacred Westminster Abbey (to include Muslims, Jews and Buddhists), following his state coronation by the Church of England. Alison Ruoff, member of the Church’s parliament, said, “I cannot see how Prince Charles could do this. Multi-faith and the Christian faith do not go together…As part of the coronation ceremony he has to take an oath to be ‘Defender Of The Faith’, so if he misses this out I cannot see how he could become King… He cannot be ‘Defender Of Faiths’ because other faiths are in complete opposition to the Christian faith” (Daily Express, November 15, 2006). Because of the sins of Israel, God promised “I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease, and their holy places shall be defiled… the law will perish from the priest” (Ezekiel 7:24-25). Interestingly, the priest performing the wedding of Lord Nicholas recently converted to Catholicism from the Anglican Church.
Australian Drought Hurts Economy. Australia’s central bank reported the nation’s anemic annual growth rate has slowed to 1.9%, as farm output is devastated by the country’s rain shortfall. The current drought is the worst since records have been kept—some scientists say the worst in 1000 years (Australian Broadcasting Company, November 7, 2006). Farm output may fall by 20%. Wheat production may drop by 2 million tons annually. Rainfall in October “continued to deteriorate, falling to well below the long term average across most of the cropping belt.” World wheat prices reached their highest level in 10 years after Australian officials announced their nation’s crop could be reduced by 50% (BBC, November 13, 2006). Australia, like most Israelite-descended nations, is sliding further from God and more into secularism and hedonism. Is it any wonder that God is removing the blessing of rain and reducing the crop yields? He warned millennia ago, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the LORD’S anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you” (Deuteronomy 11:16-17). This is a major reason that we must, in love, “cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and tell My people their transgressions…” (Isaiah 58:1) as an important part of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the world!—Don Davis, Scott Winnail