Greetings from Charlotte,

We had hoped to tape the first programs this week in the new television studio, however, there are a few more bugs to work out, so the programs should be made next week. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that the response to the Tomorrow’s World program is running at more than 20% above last year, which is very encouraging (see report below). Yesterday, Mr. Meredith conducted Mr. Gene Gustin’s funeral. Mr. Gustin was one of our Board members in the UK. He and his wife, Gigi, moved to Charlotte about a year and a half ago from Holland. He will be missed; he touched the lives of many people. 
Over the next several weeks, a number of Public Lectures will be held, so we would appreciate your prayers for those meetings. This Sabbath, February 21, Messrs. Sena and Parker will be conducting a two-part Public Appearance in Corpus Christi, Texas. Their topics will be: “What Is Ahead for the USA?” and “How to Prepare for Your Future!” Approximately 440 subscribers were invited to attend this presentation.
Last Friday we began the countdown through the Top 10 items in various categories on our websites www.tomorrowsworld.org and www.lcg.org.  “This feature was of great interest last year and helps stimulate people to read or watch some of these items they may have overlooked in the last year,” according to Mr. Charles Ogwyn.
From the Presiding Evangelist
Dear Fellow Servants of Jesus Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte! After reading quite a number of requests to have a Church fast for the last several months, I have talked with our leading ministers here and elsewhere and concluded that we should call for a Church fast on the Sabbath of March 28. We have searched the calendar and feel this is the best date for everyone involved as a whole. Whatever date we pick, there will always be some activity somewhere in the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain, etc. But this date will give us a time to fast together about ten days before the Passover.
Why a Church fast at this time? We feel that a Church fast would be especially appropriate at this time because so many of our brethren are getting weak and sickly, and deeply need God’s healing! I hesitated to call a fast because I did not want to focus on my personal problem. However, quite a number of other serious illnesses are coming to the fore and as I have studied and prayed intensively—more than ever the last few months—it is obvious that we should be drawing closer to God and crying out to Him for the “gifts” of healings, discernment of spirits and casting out demons (Mark 16:15-20). As the power and scope of our Work increases, it is obvious that we really should have the “accompanying signs” (v. 17).
Also, we do need to draw closer to God in order to have His blessing on the Work and on His people as a whole. Many of our brethren are in a financial straight jacket. Some are losing their jobs or are unable to find a job in the first place. Knowing that the greatest financial crisis in 60 years is now upon us, we truly should be praying, fasting, and crying out to God for one another and for His blessing on the Work. And we need a deep sense of humility and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ—and in His leadership as our High Priest and living Head—especially as the Passover approaches.
Therefore, as I mentioned above, having consulted with a number of members of our Council of Elders and with others, I am calling for a Church-wide fast for all of God’s people on the Sabbath of March 28. Please strongly encourage the brethren to set that day aside for fasting and intensive prayer for the above reasons. I am sure God will bless us, encourage us and empower us in His service if we unitedly give ourselves over to seeking Him in this day of fasting—and continue to seek Him more than ever before as the end draws closer and closer. Thank you, dear brethren, for your prayers and for your support!
Your brother in Christ,
Roderick C. Meredith
Church Administration
Passover 2009
Important Notice to All Pastors: Passover services should not start before sunset. This year the Passover will be observed on Tuesday, April 7, a little less than seven weeks from now. You should have already begun preparations, including hall arrangements, for your congregations to properly observe this solemn Feast. 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 even a copy of the Passover Service CDrecording.
Additionally, let us also know of any scattered members who need to receive the Passover Service CD and letter instructions to observe it at home. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department by e-mail at cad@lcg.org or by phone at 704-844-1960, ext. 248, as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. 
Healing Intervention
Mr. Dexter Wakefield reports: A new member in the Tampa congregation recently underwent knee replacement surgery. While he was in the hospital and after the operation, he contracted an infection in the knee, which swelled severely. The swelling was so severe that there was danger of the large incision breaking open. The member asked me for an anointed cloth and reported that after receiving it and using it in accordance with the instructions in the letter, the swelling was gone the next morning. He is now at home resting, and is very thankful for God’s intervention and the brethren’s prayers.
Barbados Update
Mr. Clyde Skeete, Barbados Local Elder, reports: The telecast continues to generate very good responses. During the year 2008 there were a total of 2,375 calls, of which 709 were new callers…. and within the last two Sabbaths we had two new attendees. There are some more who have expressed a sincere desire to attend with us.
We keep praying that God would open our minds to recognize any more productive time slots that may become available on C.B.C. T.V. and provide the means and the courage to walk through those doors to enable this nation to experience an even more effective witness. Plans are progressing quite well for the St. Lucia Bible lecture next month and we are extremely excited about the wonderful possibilities. Pray that our God would pour out His great mercies and blessings on St. Lucia and the neighboring countries of St. Vincent and Dominica as well…. God is surely providing the means for His Work to move ahead.
Visit to the Philippines
Mr. Dayrell Tanner writes: Mr. Tyler and I send our greetings from Davao, Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines. We have had a successful trip thus far, spending Wednesday and Thursday [last week] in the Philippines Office, where we spent some time with the Office Manager, Mr. Basilio Osillos, and our secretary, Miss Merle Chua, discussing matters relating to the Philippines region and the area of Luzon. We also met with some people for counseling….
On the Wednesday night we were invited to the Quezon City (Manila) Spokesman Club’s Ladies Night, and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening, Mr. Tyler giving the men some very helpful points to consider in his overall evaluation. On Thursday night Mr. Tyler conducted the ALTP program lessons 1-3 for the ordained men and their wives, deaconesses, and one couple by special invitation. Everyone enjoyed the chance to participate, and now they have some serious studies to do over the next few months.
In Davao we have visited the previous Feast site used in the past, Victorio’s Beach Resort, and also the latest site, Hope Mountain. Mr. Tyler was saddened by the facilities the brethren have to endure at the Feast—even at the new site in Hope Mountain. But I might add that the brethren here do not complain, and are happy for any improvements that may come their way from year to year. Mr. Tyler has asked the area Pastor in Davao, Mr. Felipe Casing, to assist us in a possible review of the site to make it much more conducive for the brethren in the future… we will have Sabbath services on the Saturday afternoon, followed by the AGM in the evening. On Sunday we will conduct the ALTP again for the ordained people and wives in the local region. After that we head over to central Mindanao. It is so nice to be with God’s faithful people in this part of the world.
Australia Fires Update
Mr. Bruce Tyler reports: When we left Australia on Tuesday all our brethren were safe, but I have heard that maybe some in other groups may have been affected to one degree or another. I haven’t heard of any serious losses. This really has been an act of terrorism as most of the fires have been deliberately lit. A short while ago the official death toll was 181, but as bodies are discovered the police expect to announce a figure higher than 300. More hot weather is on the way and 200 new fire-outbreaks were identified today [February 12]. Next week also is expected to be a bad one. Some of the accounts by survivors have been horrific. There can’t be too many in the country who haven’t shed a tear. It’s been a foretaste of the Day of the Lord, if not of gehenna fire itself. There are not too many superlatives that could adequately describe the terror people have expressed and experienced. 
Labor Strikes in French Islands
The social climate in the Antilles is slowly deteriorating due to the labor strikes affecting the nation. Our elder in Martinique, Mr. Marcel Ginier, reports that demonstrators on the island of Guadeloupe have clashed with public safety forces. The island has been “blocked” since January 19 and the situation is not anywhere close to improving. Things are not better in Martinique where, since February 5, there have been daily demonstrations with 3,000 people marching in the streets. The blocking of roads and the rationing of gasoline creates seemingly endless waiting lines of two to three hours. Some don’t hesitate to steal fuel from other cars. All public offices are closed—banks, post offices, even the supermarkets haven’t been spared.
Another member from Martinique wrote, “Since February 11… we have been home without fuel, or almost, and with a refrigerator that is becoming empty. The banks are closed, as well as the supermarkets, and the gas stations are requisitioned. The schools are closed since February 5 and not expected to be open until March 2. There is, however, solidarity among people who exchange products and services. I give English lessons to the neighborhood children, another lady gives math courses, another shares her garden vegetables, and another the fruits of her trees. The water and power cutoffs bother me the most. We are operating in slow motion from day to day and our main worry is planning meals, since we have taken from our hurricane reserves.”
Kingston, New York Family Weekend (Repeat Announcement with Updated Information)
The Northeast area will host its Kingston Family Weekend during the Spring Holy Days this year.  The dates will be April 9 to 11, with arrival on the afternoon of April 8, and departure on the morning of April 12.  For those arriving on the afternoon of April 8, we will be enjoying a Night To Be Much Observed meal together that evening.  April 9 is the First Day of Unleavened Bread, and Mr. Richard Ames is planning to join us for this Holy Day.  On Friday, April 10, there will be a full schedule of activities, both indoor and outdoor, for the whole family, as well as “break-out Bible Studies” for different age groups after lunch.  On Friday evening we will have a family Bible Study, followed by fellowship and snacks.  On the Sabbath, we will have a morning brunch, Sabbath singing, relaxation and an afternoon service.  After the Sabbath, our area Spokesman Clubs will host a Ladies Night, followed by an evening of dancing. Kingston is located halfway between Albany and New York City, just off I-87.  UPDATE: To register for this event, fill out the registration form located at the Northeast congregations’ website (not an official Church website): nelcg.org/?p=1842. For more information, contact Juan Bermudez at jbermudez@lcg.org
Living Youth Camp
Applications for LYC Voyageurs Adventure 2009 are now available! As mentioned in an earlier announcement, our normal summer camp location in the northwoods of Michigan is not available to us this year due to circumstances out of our control, but this opens up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our teens and young singles to experience a wonderful adventure in one of the premier North American canoeing areas. To better manage this program, there will be two sessions to choose from that will overlap in the middle: 
            Session #1        Arrival Thursday, July 16 – Departure Sunday, July 26
            Session #2        Arrival Thursday, July 23 – Departure Sunday, August 2
All young adult staff will need to arrive on Sunday, July 12, and may serve for either one or two sessions, depending on time and space availability. This is truly the adventure of a lifetime! You will see untamed breathtaking beauty, perhaps catch your own dinner, view wildlife up close and, most of all, develop lasting friendships with other teens in God’s Church. If you have ever thought about being a pioneer, this may be your one and only chance. It will be a challenge and may test your mettle, but in the end you will experience an indescribable inner reward. For further details go to www.youth-web.org
Feast of Tabernacles 2009
New International/Hawaii Festival Registration Date—March 8, 2009

The early Festival Registration for Hawaii and International Feast sites, originally scheduled for February 22, has been re-scheduled for 12:00 noon (EDT), Sunday, March 8.  Brethren registering for International sites and for Hawaii may start to register at that time (Canada is not included in this early registration).  International Regional Directors in these areas, please take note that your sites may begin receiving transfer requests beginning March 8. The list of international Feast sites open for transfers will be announced next week.
Festival Advisors
All Pastors, PLEASE NOTE:  You will be receiving an email survey in the next few days to ask you to confirm your selection of Festival Advisors for each of your congregations.  Please respond to it by Friday, February 27, so we can input this information into the Feast registration system.  This is very important so we can be ready to help brethren who may be transferring overseas, but may not have Internet access.
Two weeks ago we aired program #278, “Life After Death?” which offered the Is This the Only Day of Salvation? (ODS) booklet. This program’s ODS-offer not only smashed all previous records, but generated 4,703 responses! This was the third time for program #278 to be aired. The first airing in June 2006 brought in 3,387 replies. The second airing in October 2006 generated 2,792. Now, more than two years later this “old” program produced 4,703 responses. Our repeat-programs are producing marvelous results.
This week’s program, program #312, “Make Your Marriage Happier,” offered God’s Plan for Happy Marriage (HM). We are expecting just under 3,500 responses for the week, just edging out the first airing back in February, which produced 3,409 replies, and the previous high of 3,479, set back in April 2007, from program #229, “Five Keys to a Successful Marriage.”
As of today, the Tomorrow’s World telecast in North America has produced a total of more than 30,500 responses in the past seven weeks, which is 20.4% above the same period last year.—Wayne Pyle
Big Picture or Loose Bricks? Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus also commissioned His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), warn the world and the nations of Israel about sobering events that lie ahead (Matthew 24) and prepare a people to rule with Christ in the coming Kingdom of God (Luke 1:17; Revelation 5:10). This is the BIG PICTURE that we need to keep our minds focused on. To accomplish the mission that Christ gave to His Church requires a team that is of one mind and that can work together smoothly (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:11-16). Regrettably, some today get distracted by the endless trivia that circulates on the Internet or by wanting their personal ideas to become Church doctrine—instead of staying focused on doing the Work of God. It is not surprising that the Apostles warned against getting side-tracked on picky, peripheral issues (2 Timothy 2:14-26; 2 Peter 1:20) and wanting to sit in judgment of issues that are outside our responsibility (see Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 4:3-5). Yet, some prefer listening to rumors and looking for problems—the loose bricks—instead of recognizing what God is doing and where He is doing it, and how much is being done by so few. This approach only fosters division and hinders the Work of God. Jesus Christ was a mission-oriented person (John 4:33-34), and the Apostle Paul urged brethren to focus on the positive, not the negative (Philippians 4:8). Let’s follow their examples and stay focused on the BIG PICTURE!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail   
News and Prophecy—February 19, 2009
Pope Strengthens Ties With Israel. In a recent visit to Rome, Jewish National Fund Chairman Efi Stenzler had an interview with the Pope in which the two exchanged views on the Gaza/Hamas situation. Mr. Stenzler commented on how Israel just wanted peace and the Pope responded, “I too want peace and peace is very important to me.” The meeting was described by observers as, “lasting longer than expected.” Mr. Stenzler also commented about the Pope’s coming trip to Israel in May, “My hope is to use your trip to Israel this year to help build bridges between the Jewish nation and the Christian nation through ecological and environmental issues, which are pure and good for all humanity without regard [to] religion and faith” (JerusalemPost.com, January 15, 2009). In the last several years, the Vatican and the Pope have spent much more time fostering relations with Israel. This recent meeting appeared quite cordial and void of condemnation of Israel for “invading” Gaza. The Catholic Church has long had an interest in making Jerusalem an “international city” and prophecy states that a European Beast power, ridden by a powerful end-time church, will play a major role in Jerusalem in the last days (Revelation 17:1-5)—and the Vatican appears to be maneuvering to play a more prominent role in Jerusalem’s future.
Europe Reaches Out to the Middle East. “Germany’s foreign minister met Tuesday with Iraqi leaders in the latest high-level visit by a major Western nation that refused to take part in the 2003 US-led invasion but is now looking for ties and lucrative contracts. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the first German foreign minister to come to Iraq in more than 20 years, arrived one week after Nicolas Sarkozy visited Baghdad, the French president calling on other European countries to follow his lead ‘to support the peace’… Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the visit showed both countries were eager to resume their ‘historical relations’” (AP, February 17, 2009). Long ago, God prophesied through King David that, in the end times, a “confederacy” would form between many Arab nations and Germany (Assyria), or possibly a group of nations lead by Germany (Psalm 83:5-8). It may be that this “confederacy” that will come against the Israelite-descended nations will be the same group that will make a seven-year peace accord or covenant with the Jews (see Daniel 9:26-27). In the mean time, the German-based Siemens Corporation is working closely with the Russian defense establishment, and indirectly with the Iranian nuclear program. The military contract relationship between Russia and Germany is projected to “last for decades” (German-Foreign-Policy.com, February 12, 2009), and might also become part of the seven-year peace treaty with “many,” spoken of by Daniel. As time moves forward, more and more of the events prophesied in the Bible are either coming to pass or are being prepared to come to pass. These are truly exciting times.
UK Doctors Bribed to Administer Contraception? General practitioners will soon receive a bonus every time they move a young woman onto long-term contraception. Proponents say that this move will decrease unwanted and teen pregnancies. Opponents state, “It is tantamount to bribing doctors to facilitate underage sex. The more the Government has invested in schemes to promote contraception among teenagers, the more young people have become sexually active and the higher rates of sexually-transmitted infection have risen.” Opponents also warn that none of the suggested long-term methods of contraception protect against disease (Daily Mail, February 13, 2009). Many years ago, God gave some extremely simple guidelines that, if followed, would prevent both teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. God commanded that sexual relations take place only within the confines of marriage (Exodus 20:14). If this simple commandment was kept, sexually transmitted infections would totally disappear, as would unwed teen pregnancy. God speed the day when the Law will go forth from Jerusalem and cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).—Sue Bennett and Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2009

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