Greetings from Charlotte,
We are preparing articles for the March-April issue of the Tomorrow’s World magazine and obtaining contracts for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2007. Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames will be taping television programs next week. Since last Thursday, Mr. Dibar Apartian resumed recording his weekly French sermons which are mailed to all our French-speaking congregations around the world. I just spoke with Mr. Robert Storrier, our elder in Scotland, and he reports that his operation went well and that he is home and recuperating. Surgeons in Glasgow removed part of his thyroid that was pressing on his heart and gave him trouble breathing. He said that he was very appreciative of all the cards he has received.
Mr. Bill Whitaker, pastor in South Carolina, would also like to express his heartfelt thanks to all the brethren around the world who were beseeching God for his recovery. He was deeply moved by the multitude of cards he received from brethren in the United States and abroad. He is now back at work and feeling better.
FROM BUSINESS OFFICE
As we begin December 2006, the income of the Work is holding steady. We are slightly ahead of our budgeted growth of 6.5%, for which we are very thankful. We are striving to end the calendar year with a surplus, as we deal with some unexpected expenses.
We are now beginning to receive responses to Mr. Meredith’s semi-annual letter, which was mailed to approximately 285,000 subscribers. Please pray that the response to this powerful letter describing world conditions, offering the booklet, Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs, will be great.
An encouraging note is the substantial increase in co-workers and donors. Since July 1, co-workers have increased by 13.6% and donors by 55.8%. This large increase is apparently in response to special mailings made around that time.
For those who do year-end financial planning, any contributions received postmarked prior to and including December 30, 2006 will be included in their contribution receipt for 2006. Contributions made online by December 30 will be included in the annual receipt for contributions to the Church.—Davy Crockett
Mr. Wayne Pyle reports: Even though our Tomorrow’s World TV audience dipped through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States, our worldwide response continued its strong upward trend. To date, our TV coverage in countries around the world reached 183,050 responses since the beginning of the year, which is 26 percent more than last year’s TV response for the same period. This is indeed our biggest year ever in sheer TV-response counts. North America is up 27 percent over last year, Australia is up 23 percent, New Zealand is up 24 percent and the response from our three satellites over Europe and the Middle East is up 81 percent over a year ago. The telecast has been averaging 3,800 responses each week since the beginning of the calendar year. One encouraging highlight is all the new co-workers we are seeing here in the United States. To date, 768 of our Tomorrow’s World magazine subscribers, most of whom started subscribing as a result of the telecast, have become co-workers this year. We are also watching the spiritual seeds coming to fruition, with more than 800 baptisms in North America from the telecast alone since its launch in January 1999, of which 414 of these baptisms originated directly from the Tomorrow’s World telecast. Our member files now show more than 1,800 baptisms from all sources in our U.S. and international Living Church of God congregations since 1999.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES—Copper Mountain Housing (to be read in all USA congregations—one last time!)
We still need more information on housing in Copper Mountain—we hope this will be the last announcement! Even if you stayed in private housing at Copper Mountain Resort, and did not go through the Copper Mountain reservation system, we need to hear from you. This is urgent, as we are attempting to close our books for the year, and need this vital information. If you haven’t contacted us yet, please do email us at email@example.com or call 704-844-1960, ext. 212.—Festival Office
Ontario Family Winter Weekend
On the weekend of December 29-31, 2006, the Toronto, Ontario, congregation will host its second annual family winter weekend. This weekend will include a Bible study on Friday, December 29. The highlight of the weekend will be a tropical themed pot-luck and dance, followed by an indoor sporting activity on Sunday. If you plan to attend, please contact Mr. Marc Arseneault at the business office in Toronto, Canada, at 905-814-1094 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org before December14. Housing will be available for those that desire it, so please contact us quickly so that accommodations can be provided.
Living 4 Tomorrow—Charlotte, December 2006 (repeat announcement with deadline added)
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 program will be from December 20-22 leading into the family dance and other activities planned at Headquarters on December 23 and 24. The deadline to mail your application is December 10.
Applications and detailed information is available for L4T on the www.youth-web.org website (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 Lambert Greer at 502-228-5917
Singles Seminar—Charlotte, December 2006 (repeat announcement with deadline added)
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. Registration is required for planning the meals during the activity. Registration for the Singles Seminar and detailed information is posted on the www.youth-web.org website (not an official Church website) and on the LCG Singles website www.lcgsingles.org. If you don’t have web access, a registration form and additional information may be requested by calling Lambert Greer at 502-228-5917. The deadline to mail your registration form is December 12.
December Family and Singles Event in Charlotte (repeat announcement)
Families and singles who are planning to attend only the activities that will take place on the weekend of December 23-24, in Charlotte, are requested to log in to the “MyLCG” section of the Member Resources website (www.cogl.org) to register for the event, view lodging information, and learn about the schedule of activities. The “MyLCG” section of the Member Resources website will be updated as event details are finalized. Those without Internet access should contact the Headquarters office at 704-844-1970. Please register as soon as possible so that we may acquire the appropriate facilities for the dinner buffet, dance, and other activities.
What Kind of Light Are You? God’s people are to be lights and examples to the world (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus said that love—an unselfish outgoing concern for others—would be the distinguishing mark of His true disciples (John 13:35; 15:13-17). Christians who are true lights will be patient, positive, peacemakers, kind, forgiving, faithful and self-controlled (I Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-26). Authentic Christians will leave behind rude behavior, vulgar talk, and sloppy or revealing and provocative modes of dress that are so prevalent in this world. They will strive instead to be lights and examples—in speech, dress and action—of decency, modesty and refreshing honesty that reflect true Christian values. When you look into a mirror, what sort of reflection do you see? Are you setting the example that God is looking for? Let’s all strive to be the kind of lights that God wants us to be! Make a list of five things you can do to be a brighter light—beginning today!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—November 30, 2006
China-Egypt Nuclear Pact. Recently China agreed to assist Egypt in the development of nuclear power for civil purposes. Egypt has long been a China supporter, and was the first African nation to recognize China’s communist regime (Adnkronos International, November 7, 2006). This recent deal between China and Egypt could prove to be very significant. Bible prophecies indicate that Egypt will become a major player on the world stage at the time of the end, no doubt contributing greatly to the power of the king of the South (Daniel 11:43; Ezekiel 30:4; Ezekiel 46:8-10). With greater financial capability, due to the development of gold reserves, Egypt will have the power to “buy” the resources and the allegiance of nations it needs. Nuclear capability coupled with the largest standing army in the Middle East will give Egypt even more power and leverage over its neighbors. This is yet one more situation to note as prophecy marches on.
Will the Church of England Ever Be Catholic? On a visit to Rome last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, became only the second English Archbishop to visit the Vatican in more than 400 years. During his visit, the Archbishop met with the Pope and discussed numerous matters in an attempt to “lessen” the divide between the two churches. However, the Pope pointed out that the Anglican Church’s stance on ordination of women and homosexuals is a major barrier to the two churches coming together. The Catholic Church’s goal of unifying all “Christians” may not include the Anglican Church because of its stand on these issues (Yahoo News, November 23, 2006). Revelation 17 speaks of a great church (“woman”) that will influence the actions of a coming Beast power in Europe. The Vatican is working hard to make amends with various Protestant groups including Anglicans and the Orthodox Church. Concurrently, it is lobbying the European Commission and all Europeans to return to their “religious [Catholic] roots.” Prophecies indicate that the “woman” will be successful in helping unify at least a “core” of ten European nations. However, Britain, as an Israelite-descended nation, is prophesied not to be a part of this core of nations, but rather to be taken into captivity by this coming Beast power (Deuteronomy 28:41, Isaiah 5:13, Daniel 12:1, Joel 3:1). The pressing moral issues that are driving a wedge between the Catholic and Anglican churches may become a powerful reason the British and others are excluded from a European core of nations.
U.S. Democrats Debate Military Draft. When the new Democratic-controlled Congress meets in January, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) plans to introduce a bill to activate the military draft. Rangel explained his reasoning in an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation: “If we’re going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can’t do that without a draft” (Reuters, November 19, 2006). Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will oppose Rangel’s legislation, calling it merely “a way to make a point that this war has not involved or made any shared sacrifice” (CNN, November 21, 2006). The last years of military draft in the U.S. were between 1948 and 1973. Most observers do not expect Rangel’s bill to pass, but many acknowledge that an all-volunteer armed forces will be unable to meet America’s future military needs. In warning Israel of the drawbacks of a human king, God noted, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots” (1 Samuel 8:10-11). God also noted the result of falling away from Him, “Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war” (Isaiah 3:25). We see God’s warnings coming true NOW.—Don Davis, Scott Winnail, Ben Whitfield