July 15, 2010

Greetings from Charlotte,

This has been a very positive week for God’s Work! Last weekend, Mr. Meredith made a Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation (TWSP) to an audience of 284 people in Dallas that included 150 “new” people. On Sunday in Trinidad, Mr. Ames spoke to an audience that included 244 visitors and nearly 80 brethren. The same day in Roanoke, Virginia, I spoke to an audience of 73 that included 42 visitors (see reports below). Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka also made a follow-up TWSP  in Mountain View, Arkansas that has attracted a number of new people. All told, about 440 new people attended TWSPs  last Saturday and Sunday. Your prayers will be appreciated for follow-up presentations in Dallas, Trinidad and Roanoke this Saturday and Sunday. It is also encouraging to note that we are expecting more than 5,200 responses to Mr. Meredith’s television broadcast last weekend, titled “How Does Satan Deceive You?” This week a number of individuals from the Canadian office were in Charlotte to tape new television programs. Mr. Gerald Weston taped several new television programs for future international airing, and Mr. Brochu taped pilot French language programs. Dr. Scott Winnail is currently visiting congregations in Jamaica and Barbados and will make a follow-up TWSP in Trinidad this Sunday. Please note the announcements below about Living University and the Panama City Feast site.
Church Administration
Dallas Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation  
Mr. Dan Hall reports: We had a total attendance of 284 for Dr. Meredith’s Special Presentation in Dallas last Sabbath, in spite of rainy and overcast weather leading up to the weekend! And within that number, we counted 150 Tomorrow’s World subscribers. The message of “What’s Ahead for America?” brought obvious agreement and audible “amens” according to one of our ushers.  Afterwards, people gathered around to greet Dr. and Mrs. Meredith and ask questions.  And, most of the guests stayed for a banquet of beautifully prepared refreshments and fellowship.  And, due to the number of those who did “stick around,” we expect some will attend the follow-up presentation this coming Sabbath, July 17. 
Roanoke Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation 
Mr. Paul Shumway reports: The Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation last Sunday went extremely well.  Forty-two subscribers attended along with 31 members.  The 73 of us filled the room with only a few seats to spare!  Some came from more than two hours away, including North Carolina!  Bluefield deacon, Mr. Sam Shrader, commented: “One could sense God’s Holy Spirit working in creating a welcoming atmosphere. There was a great deal of excitement among the guests about finding a church that taught God’s truth. Many expressed a desire to attend the next presentation and to learn more about God’s way of life. The 31 brethren present were encouraged by witnessing God’s blessing on the meeting and the possibility of a new congregation being established in the area. It was truly an inspiring day!”
Port-of-Spain Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation
Mr. Richard Ames’ Special Presentation in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, last Sunday was a success with 244 subscribers and 76 members in attendance! The previous day, there were 109 in attendance for Sabbath services—a new record! Mr. Fitzroy Greeman and Mr. Ames ordained Mr. Darrien Weeks as an elder, and Messrs. David Grant and Mr. Keith Sookdeo as deacons. Mr. Ames reported that, “the Trinidad Choir sang special music and was outstanding. Food and fellowship continued past the noon hour to 2:30 p.m. and beyond.”
East Africa Update
Mr. Simon Muthama reports: I am back from a two-week trip to Musoma, Kisorya and Ukerewe in Tanzania, where I had gone to serve the Great Commission. The Work continues to bear fruit in East Africa.  It is encouraging to find that our congregation in Ukerewe has grown rapidly from 12 to 47 brethren (26 adults and 21 children).  Our host there, Mr. Ezekiel Mukama, and his wife Laurencia Mukama are doing a fine job. The members are responding to God’s way of “give.” 
Jamaica Update
Dr. Scott Winnail reports: In Jamaica, we had a record attendance of 108 last Sabbath!  Fellowship was rich and deep and lasted 3 ¾ hours following services. What a wonderful and encouraging day. “Feast fever” is starting to set in in Jamaica!
Basa Fish
Some of our Church members might not be familiar with Basa fish (also known as “panga” or “river cobbler”) that has, in the last few years, entered the market in Europe and North America. This fish is farmed and imported from Asia. It is a type of catfish and, therefore, unclean and unfit for human consumption according to the Scriptures (see Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14). Additionally, Basa is farmed in one of the most polluted rivers in the world and under very unsanitary practices (see www.vimeo.com/11817894). 
New Orleans Memorial Day 2011 Family Weekend (Repeat Announcement)
The New Orleans Living Church of God congregation invites you to its Memorial Day 2011 Family Weekend from May 27 through May 29, 2011, “The Big Easy Classic 2011,” to remember our national blessings, history and culture. Activities will include a Christian Boot Camp on Friday, May 27; Sabbath services on May 28 followed by a dinner-dance with varied music that evening. The cost for the weekend, including all activities is $60 per person. The location will be the Hilton New Orleans Airport hotel (discounted room rates have been negotiated for LCG members). Additional optional activities on Sunday include a Steamboat Natchez Riverboat Cruise (a live Jazz Band will animate the cruise), visits to the Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo & Insectarium, and much more (entrance fees for these optional visits are not included in the $60 weekend cost). If you are interested in attending the New Orleans family weekend, we ask that you please contact Mr. Juan Jackson at futureentertain@gmail.com or by phone at 504-470-9560 by July 25, 2010, to determine if there is enough interest in this event to proceed with securing the venue. For additional details on the weekend, such as hotel room rates and detailed descriptions of the activities, also contact Mr. Jackson.
Living University
Fall Semester 2010 Registration
Registration for Living University courses is now underway for the Fall semester. Each week as we approach the start of classes, we plan to highlight a couple of LU courses for your benefit. This week we will highlight THL 342 and 412. To register and for more information, go online to www.livinguniv.com or call Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-708-2292, email: swinnail@livinguniv.com.
THL 342 – Christian Marriage and Family
This course provides a biblical perspective and an overview of research as it relates to marriage and family relationships. Selected topics include preparation for marriage, qualities for home and family life, the young married adult, family management, and contemporary problems in marriage and family life. This course will enable students to better understand biblical principles for marriage and family, theories related to marriage and family, factors involved in mate selection and readiness for marriage, and principles of establishing and maintaining healthy family relationships.
THL 412 – Epistles of Paul 1
This course, the first of two, focuses on the Apostle Paul’s life and writings including the background, message, purposes and theme of each of his epistles. Emphasis is upon the first four epistles addressed to specific churches (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians). Through this course, students will gain the skills to read, understand, and explain these biblical writings. NOTE: THL 136 is a prerequisite for this course.
Living Youth Camp
Our 2010 Pre-Teen Camps in Texas and Missouri are now wonderful memories, along with the Adventure Camp in the Rockies, which has just concluded.  Our LYC 2010 Teen Camp in Pennsylvania is fast approaching, with arrival for campers less than three weeks away.  Here are a few Pennsylvania Teen Camp announcements, reminders and updates:
Camp Nurse: We are still in need of a camp nurse to serve at our Teen Camp in Pennsylvania.  If you can assist in this capacity, please contact Mr. Jonathan McNair as soon as possible at jmcnair@lcg.org.
Department Head and Counselor’s Webinar: There will be an important “Warm-up Webinar” for all department heads and counselors on July 21 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  Please visit www.livingyouth.org for more information on connecting to this online meeting or on how to view a recording of the meeting, if you cannot be online.  If you have any questions about camp, please send them to Mr. Jonathan McNair before July 21 at jmcnair@lcg.org so they can be included in the Webinar’s agenda.
To Parents, Campers and All Staff: Please review the youth website for important information regarding LYC.  If you have any questions, again, please communicate with Mr. McNair or with our LYC staff.
“You Choose the Music” program: Living Youth Camp offers a number of opportunities to learn and practice the fun skill of ballroom dancing.  If any campers would like to contribute suggestions for songs to be included in our “40 greatest dance hits” to be played at our dances, go to www.livingyouth.org for instructions about how to make your recommendations.  You will find important guidelines for what constitutes “good dance music” in the recommendation announcement form.  Get involved!  Make a recommendation! And while you are on our website, don’t forget to take this week’s Web poll!
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Panama City, Florida
Daily reports in the various media paint a grim picture of the Gulf Coast giving the impression that the coastline is fouled with oil from Louisiana to Florida.  In fact, as bad as it is, only a small part of the coast has been damaged in any way. The marsh areas and coastal wetlands of Louisiana have been damaged, but these areas are distant from the resort and vacation areas farther to the East. If someone is a shrimp fisherman, an oysterman or an offshore oil worker, it is devastating. However, these matters should not affect our Feast site in Panama City, Florida.
Mr. Jack Lowe, Festival Site Coordinator for Panama City, has visited the area within the past few days and has physically inspected the areas where Festival activities will be held. He reports that everything is normal. The beaches are beautiful and the water is fine. While he was there, people were enjoying the beach, swimming, wading, etc.
It is 68 days until the beginning of the Feast, so conditions can change. However, the official observer and people on the ground in the Panama City areas are very optimistic that all will be well in September.
More than 1,000 people have registered for the Feast of Tabernacles in Panama City, and it is our sincere hope that everyone will come and have an enjoyable Feast in every way. However, if any of our brethren are not comfortable with the situation, some of our other sites have ample room, while others are at capacity.
Branson, Missouri; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; New Braunfels, Texas; and Prescott, Arizona can accept more attendees. Helen, Georgia; Cobleskill, New York; and Newport, Oregon are at capacity and are unable to accommodate any more attendees. We hope this information will answer many of the questions and concerns of our members.—Davy Crockett
Humility—Key to Unity: David wrote, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “walk worthy” of their calling “with all lowliness and gentleness… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). He stated that the work of the ministry is to edify (build up) the body (the Church) “till we all come to the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:12-13). Paul also told contentious Corinthians that they should be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). But what causes contentions that disrupt unity? The Scriptures reveal that pride is an underlying cause of contentions (Proverbs 13:10) and that pride will contribute to a person’s downfall and destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Insisting on doing things our own way also causes dissentions and strife (James 4:1). However, humility will eventually bring a person honor (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23) and will promote peace and unity (James 3:17-18). Jesus Christ was of “one mind” with His Father (John 10:30), and He was exalted because He humbled Himself and followed His Father’s instructions (Philippians 2:5-9). As Christians, we are encouraged to be subject to government (within and without the Church) and not to resist authority (Romans 13:1-2), to treat each other with respect, to be humble and not conceited about your own opinions (Romans 12:10-18). As we develop and learn to exercise this kind of humility, we will promote unity.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 15, 2010
EU Edges Out Britain. On July 15, 2010, the British government announced that many of its 140 embassies and high commissions will close or be pared down due to budget cuts as Britain scales back its overseas presence. Work carried on by British consular posts in Europe will be handed over to EU personnel appointed from Brussels (The Times, July 15, 2010). A Brussels announcement stated the “EU is to be given similar rights and powers to a fully fledged nation state in the United Nations general assembly” (The Daily Telegraph, July 15, 2010). This will mean that “Europe’s desk will be moved from the margins, where it sits with organizations such as NATO’s parliamentary body, near to the centre of the UN’s assembly chamber” (ibid). The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has expressed concerns that the EU could use its more prominent position and expanding foreign policy powers “to undermine Britain’s role on the UN Security Council.” Another observer states, “This is the thin end of the wedge. How long before David Cameron concedes our seat at the UN Security Council?” (ibid). Long ago, God foretold the demise of His chosen people and their loss of influence at the end of the age due to their rejection of His ways, “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower…he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44). We are watching this take place right in front of our eyes today!     
Teenagers’ Faith on the Decline.  In a recent study of U.S. teenagers, the Barna Group determined that over the last decade, faith among teens has been declining. Small group discussions, Sunday school attendance, prayer, Bible reading, church donations, and personal evangelism all seem to be on the decline. Researchers suggest that many teens have engaged in church-related activities primarily for social opportunities. With new technologies such as texting and computer-based social networking, researchers observed a sobering possibility: “Talking to God may be losing out to Facebook.” The research also indicates that societal pressure against asserting one’s faith may be the reason why fewer teens are willing to talk about their faith with unbelievers (www.barna.org, July 12, 2010). Parents are commanded by God to educate their children throughout the day and make the home an environment where God’s Way is continually practiced (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). As we approach the end of the age, fewer and fewer parents are educating their children about the Bible. At the same time, society is demonizing Bible study and labeling adherence to biblical principles as bigoted and prejudiced. However, other studies show that teens desire truthful and intelligent answers. God’s word is truth (John 17:17) and children need to be taught from it so that when they become teenagers, they have strong faith that will shield them from the fiery darts and lies of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).   

Views on Abortion. Views on abortion differ widely and an increasing number of Americans are “unsure” how they feel about the issue. Those with the highest levels of income and education, and who are least religious are most likely to support abortion. In fact, the less religious, the more supportive—atheists and agnostics are most in favor of abortion. Interestingly, the baby boomer generation (age 45-63) is most likely to be uncertain of its views on abortion. There is also a relationship between one’s faith in the Bible and opposition to abortion in any circumstance—the more closely aligned with Scripture one’s faith is, the more likely one is to oppose abortion. Another interesting fact is that those in the younger generation (18-44) are far more likely to have a strong belief about abortion when compared to their “uncertain” parents. The younger generations of conservative Christians are just as likely to oppose abortion as the older generation (over age 64) (www.barna.org, June 14, 2010). Research speaks to the importance of Bible-based education. As we educate our children in God’s ways, they will grow up knowing the answers to hard questions and be willing to hold fast to truth. This research also supports the Proverb, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). While critics might say that biblically-oriented children are “indoctrinated,” more objective persons will ask whether those “in favor” of abortion have even been exposed to the reasons against it.—Scott Winnail and James Ginn

COGwriter 2010

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