16 September 2010

Greetings from Charlotte,
Reports coming in about the Feast of Trumpets indicate the Fall Holy Days started on a very positive note! Ministers from Charlotte traveled to New York, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Florida and locations in North Carolina for the Holy Day and following Sabbath. This week in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith conducted several meetings, Mr. Ames recorded another Tomorrow’s World television program and everyone is winding up pre-Feast responsibilities. As we depart for the Feast, we can all be deeply grateful for the blessings that God has provided for His Work this year—a 13% increase in television responses, a 7-8% increase in attendance, a 5% increase in income, and that more than 3,000 people have attended more than 80 Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations so far this year. Please pray that God will protect His people as we travel to locations where He has placed His name and that He will inspire the messages and fellowship at the Feast. Let’s all strive to be “lights” to everyone we come in contact with during this special time that pictures the soon-coming Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ will establish at His return—and may God speed that day. Have a wonderful Feast!
Please note that the next issue of The World Ahead will be published on Thursday, October 7, 2010, after the Feast of Tabernacles.
Church Administration
Tomorrow’s World Follow-Up Special Presentations
Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka reports that 32 guests attended follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations in Little Rock and Memphis on September 4 and 5.  The local brethren were again very hospitable and really “let their lights shine” and many of our guests said they planned to be back for services.
Northeast U.S. Update
Last week, we had an excellent Feast of Trumpets and weekly Sabbath, highlighted by Mr. and Mrs. Meredith’s visit to New York City.  With 138 people in attendance on the Feast of Trumpets, we set a record for a Manhattan service!  Mr. Meredith spoke to the group at the Pennsylvania Hotel, which has played a part in “Church history,” serving as a meeting venue for God’s Church for a number of decades.  Mr. and Mrs. Meredith were also able to visit with the combined New Jersey congregations on the Sabbath, and share a covered-dish meal and fellowship after the service.  While in New York City, the Merediths toured the United Nations, the NBC studios, and “Ground Zero,” site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.  Though the anniversary of the 9/11 attack coincided with Mr. Meredith’s Manhattan visit, he encouraged the congregations he visited to stay focused on the good news of Christ’s coming, peaceful Kingdom.
Visit to Dallas, Texas
Mr. and Mrs. Apartian, and Mr. Apartian’s assistant, flew to Dallas on September 9 for the Feast of Trumpets and the weekly Sabbath. At the Charlotte airport, after boarding their plane, take-off was delayed on the runway for about one hour and a half due to a “Texas-size” storm that was passing through Dallas. With God’s protection, they were able to arrive in Dallas safely, with just minor turbulence during the plane’s descent. A record number of 187 brethren (combining the Dallas, Hawkins, Lufkin and Shreveport congregations) attended Feast of Trumpets services in Athens, Texas, and heard Mr. Apartian’s sermon on the “Feast of Overcomers.” The Dallas congregation has experienced significant growth in attendance since Dr. Meredith’s Special Presentation in July, and several of those who attended that Presentation were present on the Feast of Trumpets and last Sabbath.  
Living for Tomorrow (L4T)—Winter Camp
Plan now to attend our winter L4T activity!  Young singles, aged 18-25, are invited to take part in our new, exciting “Winter Camp.”  The location will be at Lutheridge, in the Asheville, North Carolina area.  Arrival will be on December 26, with the departure on December 30.  In between will be three days packed with activities and fellowship.  We will be taking a ski outing, as well as spending time previewing selected LU classes and other classes related to young adults.  There will be fellowship, friendship and fun! For more information, including cost, registration and further details, contact Mr. Jonathan McNair at jmcnair@lcg.org.  Registration will begin right after the Feast, and space may be limited.
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Hymnals for the Feast
Important announcement to be read during Atonement services: Households are asked to take home a hymnal today, after services, to use at the Feast of Tabernacles (take as many as your family needs).  Each hymnal should also have a marking somewhere that identifies to which congregation it belongs.  Please keep track of the hymnal(s) you take, and remember to bring them back to your congregation after the Feast!
New Braunfels Live Video Streaming of Feast Messages
For LCG attendees with Internet connection who are unable to attend the Feast this year, a live video stream of services originating from the New Braunfels, Texas Feast site is being offered. To participate, please go to www.cogl.org, log into your MyLCG account, and choose the “Streaming Video” button.  This will take you to the streaming video page to view services. You will then have access to each day’s service. This service is also available to those who become ill while attending the Feast, following the same procedure. 
Feast Plans for 2011
While excitement and anticipation is building for the Feast of Tabernacles this year in the many places where God has placed His name, we have been busily working on establishing Festival sites in the United States for 2011 and 2012.  We had seriously considered having a Feast site in Hawaii in 2011, and an announcement was made to that effect at the end of the Feast there in 2009. However, as we watch the economy and consider the demographics of our membership, it does not seem prudent to plan for a site there in 2011. We will carefully consider Hawaii for 2012 and we will work toward that end, if conditions warrant it.  In the meantime, we are looking at several new sites in 2011 and contracts are being negotiated for them. The site selection process is ongoing in various parts of the U.S. We will appreciate your prayers for God’s intervention to provide beautiful sites with venues that meet the needs of our people.
Rejoice at the Feast: The Feast of Tabernacles is the highlight of the sacred year. It pictures the coming Kingdom of God when the saints will rule with Jesus Christ and bring peace to this earth. It will truly be a joyous time! To keep us mindful of this major step in the plan of God, we are commanded to “keep the feast of the LORD for seven days” and to “rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days… It shall be a statute forever” (Leviticus 23:39-44). The New Testament clearly indicates that Jesus kept the Feast and told His brothers, “You go up to this feast” (John 7:1-39). As we rejoice at the Feast, we need to remember Jesus’ instructions that we should be lights and examples to those around us (Matthew 5:13-16). How we conduct ourselves at the Feast and how we relate to everyone we meet—in services, in hotels, at restaurants—will reflect either positively or negatively on God’s Church and His way of life. As we rejoice at the Feast, let’s remember that we have been called to be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Have a profitable Sabbath and a joyous Feast,
Douglas S. Winnail 
News and Prophecy—September 16, 2010
Britain’s Broken Power. A London newspaper recently reported, “Brussels has broken our power to rule.” Author Christopher Booker points out how Britain’s chancellor has granted the EU rights to “supervise” national budgets—a function controlled by the British Parliament for centuries. In addition, a new financial transaction tax being proposed by the EU would hit London especially hard as a world financial center (Telegraph, September 11, 2010). Mr. Booker also states that the EU’s new Worldwide Diplomatic Service will spend more than 800 million pounds (about one trillion dollars) to set up its new operations with high salaries for top executives. The rising cost of membership in the EU worries many Europeans. EU polls show only 19% of Europeans see the EU as a democratic system—the number was as low as 10% in Britain, Finland, and Latvia. God promised that the descendants of Ephraim (modern Britain) would become a multitude of nations (Genesis 48:19). In the last few centuries those prophecies have been fulfilled. However, God also promised the Israelite-descended nations that if they turned away from Him, He “will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19). It is sobering to see these very wordsmaking headlines in the modern Israelite nation of Britain today!
Iran Crosses New Nuclear Threshold. Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran has reached another milestone as it advances toward the goal of arming nuclear ballistic missiles. Iran’s missiles already have the ability to reach parts of Europe. In response, the Secretary General of NATO made an immediate visit to Washington and secured 200 million euros of funding and a pledge from President Obama to help create a missile defense system for Europe. Next week Iran’s President will visit Lebanon and solidify military relations that will include Hezbollah (DEBKA, September 13, 2010). As tensions rise around the globe, Europeans see a rising threat from Middle Eastern Islamic nations. For decades, God’s Church has warned the world to “watch the Middle East.” The growing threats toward Europe and the West from Islamic countries will eventually bring the fulfillment of God’s end-time prophecies. These certainly are sobering times we live in!
New Zealand’s Earthquake. Two weeks ago, Christchurch, New Zealand was rocked by a major 7.0 earthquake. The quake has been followed by more than 100 aftershocks, some of which were major quakes themselves. Officials report that more than 100,000 homes in the vicinity—nearly 2/3 of all homes in the area affected—sustained serious damage, many beyond repair. A major tunnel connecting Christchurch to the nearby port of Lyttleton was closed due to cracks from the earthquake. Damage estimates run toward NZ$2 billion or US$1 billion (Telegraph.co.uk, September 6-7, 2010). Despite major infrastructural and financial damage, very few deaths occurred as a result of this major New Zealand earthquake. Jesus Christ prophesied that one sign of the end of the age would be “earthquakes in various [diverse] places” (Matthew 24:7). However, Jesus said that earthquakes would just be “the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). As we see more and greater catastrophes on the world scene, and witness more prophecies coming to pass, we need to remember Jesus’ command to “lookup and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). As we see world events building to a prophetic climax, we need to pray that we may be “counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36, emphasis ours)!—Scott Winnail and Susan Bennett

COGwriter 2010

Back to home page