Greetings from Charlotte,

Reports from south Texas indicate that most of our brethren made it through Hurricane Ike safely, with minimal damage.  On the other hand, the world financial markets appear to be in turmoil. We need to pray that God will enable His Work to continue and to fulfill its mission as we approach the end of this age.  This week, Mr. Meredith wrote another co-worker letter.  We have been taping regular lectures for Living University and preparing articles for the next Tomorrow’s World magazine.  Plans for the Feast are moving along well.   

From the Presiding Evangelist 

Dear Fellow Servants of Christ, 

I want to thank all of you and all of the brethren who prayed for my wife! We have received dozens of cards, notes, emails and phone calls to encourage her and let her know you were praying for her. So thank you, very much, for your kindness and your concern. I, personally, appreciate it very much. 

Sheryl is growing steadily stronger, although it is a slow process this time—slower than it was five and one half years ago. So it will take a number of weeks for her to regain her full strength. And we will appreciate your continued prayers and concern—as we should pray for all the brethren who are ill or have serious physical problems. God will surely honor us if we fervently pray for one another.  

On another note, I would like to ask all of you to intensify your efforts to reach out in every way you can to leading men—including young men—and try to “coach” and strengthen those who have the capacity to serve in leadership positions in the Church. We certainly need more leaders—and certainly more ministers—as the Work grows. 

Even now, as some of you know, a few men from other fellowships are beginning to come with us—some not yet announced—and this will be a big help. But, as these things become better known, additional scores and perhaps even hundreds of members from other Church of God fellowships may begin to join with us as they see where the Work of God is really being accomplished! As the prophetic events truly cascade forward in their intensity, it will focus people’s minds on reality. They will then have to see where Christ is working most powerfully.  

So we must do everything we can to prepare more leaders—and more ministers—to serve in Christ’s Work and help us “feed the flock” in every way we can. Remember the Apostle Paul’s admonition to Timothy:  “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2).  

Remember, fellows, none of us were “perfect”—and still are not—when we were first placed in the ministry. Many of us were very young—as I myself was only 22 years old! Let us not “despise the youth” (1 Tim. 4:12) of some of our young men and wait until they are 40 or 50 years old before thinking they are “old enough” to serve in the Work. As world events rush forward, as others of our separated brethren come with us, as additional thousands of brand new people come along, we will need these young men—and certainly older men—to help us in the ministry and in the leadership of the Church of God.  

Therefore, I urge you to earnestly “seek out” those men who seem truly converted, “conquered by God,” as Mr. Armstrong used to say—and who have really good biblical knowledge, good personalities and leadership capacity. Work with them. Pray for them. Strengthen them and bring them along in every way you can as this will certainly help us build a foundation for great growth in the future.  

Thank you for all of your help and your loyalty to the Church of which Christ is the living Head! Thank you for your work and sacrifice. Let us all keep forging ahead with all the strength that God gives us and truly prepare the way for Christ’s coming Kingdom in a way that honors Him and honors our Father in heaven.—Roderick C. Meredith 

Church Administration 

Hurricane Ike: Texas Update  

South Texas Area Pastor Phil Sena reports: Hurricane Ike made landfall last Sabbath at Galveston, Texas, then traveled north through Houston, causing widespread destruction and power outages for more than two million people. Miraculously, none of our brethren in the Houston area suffered injury and all are safe (none of the other South Texas congregations were affected). Nearly all of those also escaped with minimal property damage, except for a couple in Magnolia who had a tree fall through their roof and into an upstairs bedroom. Power is being restored as soon as possible, but there will be a long recovery period for many in this devastated area. Your continued prayers are requested for our Houston and Louisiana brethren affected by this powerful hurricane. 

It could have been much worse, and I believe that God answered our prayers for protection and intervention for His people. 

Hurricane Gustav: Louisiana Update 

Louisiana Area Pastor Rod Reynolds reports: Nearly everyone, if not everyone, among our members affected by Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana who was still without power… had it restored… My landline phone service also was restored…. Many homes in Louisiana were damaged by flooding, wind, or fallen trees; but the damage to homes affecting our members was relatively minor, although some were without power for more than a week. The most serious property damage I have heard of… was that of a member who is a farmer and rancher, who lost much of his pecan crop.  

United Kingdom and Africa Update 

Mr. Rod King writes about his recent trip to Africa: I travelled more than 2,000 kilometres by car in four countries. The roads in Kenya are some of the worst you would find anywhere, with deep potholes on the main road west of Nairobi.  It took us nearly three hours to travel 50 miles. At least we got to enjoy the scenery!  And that scenery was the Masai region, where the vast plains are the home to the Masai herdsmen of cattle and goats. They walk ahead of them dressed in bright red capes and carry staves to contend with snakes and other threats. 

I spoke on the Sabbath of August 30 in Pretoria [South Africa] where I informed the members that Mr. and Mrs. Hull would be returning to our fellowship. The next day we were in Swaziland to make our acquaintance with the family and neighbours who have asked to come with us… I then took a flight to Kenya and travelled with Mr. Simon Muthama to Tanzania.  We visited new people in Musoma and Migori and also made plans for getting our people to the Feast of Tabernacles.  We returned to Nairobi, where I ordained Mr. David Mwanzia as a deacon. 

Meanwhile, back in the U.K., Mr. Henry Cooper conducted a follow-up lecture in Belfast and 31 people attended.  He made the decision to conduct a third lecture on the 27th of this month and we will begin visiting those who wish to come to Church. Feast plans are well-developed for Llangollen and we are expecting some new people to join us who want to be a part of the Church because we are preaching the Gospel. It is exciting to see the growth that we have had this year. 

Kansas City Regional Family Weekend  

The Kansas City congregation announces its Regional Family weekend to be held on Friday, December 26, through Sunday, December 28. There will be food, fun and fellowship. We are planning a Friday evening Bible study, Saturday services, evening meal, dance and social, followed by sports and children’s activities on Sunday.  Details will be forthcoming shortly after the Feast.   


Accounts Payable (USA) 

The Finance Department in Charlotte will be closed from October 10 to October 24. The last day that we will be processing checks before the Feast is October 7. Please be certain that November hall vouchers are submitted by November 7 for processing upon our return from the Feast. 

Holy Day Envelopes (USA) 

Be sure to use your green, pre-coded envelopes for Holy Day offerings. Using these envelopes saves the Work money and processing time. If you have not received Holy Day envelopes, please contact us at donations@lcg.org, jruddlesden@lcg.org or 704-844-1970.  We will mail you a set of envelopes with your name, address and PIN preprinted on them. 

International Assistance and Excess Second Tithe 

Thank you for your generosity this year to help our international brethren have a more bountiful Feast. We have been able to meet their needs for this year. Funds not used this year and any additional donations received for international Festival assistance will be used for the Feast in 2009. 

Some have asked about how to handle excess second tithe. Excess second tithe can be turned in with your offering on the Last Great Day.  

Feast of Tabernacles 2008 

As of this writing (12:01 p.m. and 16 seconds today), the Feast is only 25 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes, and 44 seconds away!  As a reminder, Opening Night services begin at 7:00 p.m., at most Feast sites, on October 13 (see the MyLCG website or contact your Festival Coordinator to confirm the starting time at your Feast site).  Everyone is encouraged to attend Opening Night services to hear Mr. Meredith’s Opening Night message.  Please remember, sunset on October 13 begins a High Holy Day.  Make your travel plans accordingly.

Congregation Contact List (Repeat Announcement): As a reminder, all United States and Canadian Pastors are asked to send the contact information for congregations holding services on October 11 and/or October 25.  The information will be posted on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org). Please send this information to Mrs. Genie Ogwyn at gogwyn@lcg.org by next Monday, September 22.

Sermonette and Sermon Titles—Send to Site Coordinator: Festival speakers should send to their Festival Site Coordinator the titles of their sermonettes and sermons right away.  

Sermon CDs for Brethren Unable to Attend: We have already mailed 260 sets of Feast CDs for those who will be unable to attend the Feast.  A few more requests are still coming in.  Pastors, note that the deadline for submitting FOT CD needs has been extended to October 1.  

Sunset Beach, North Carolina 

Teens—We Need You! We need teen volunteers to serve at the Feast of Tabernacles in Sunset Beach.  We are organizing teams to help the elderly (with available wheelchairs) to convey them from the drop-off area to the seating area and back, for services, as well as helping them to and from the luncheons.  We may also need volunteers for ushering and passing out bulletins.  Those interested in this opportunity to help other brethren at the Feast should contact Steve Moody at Steve@lcog.net.

Payment Deadline (Repeat): Those wishing to attend the First Day Luncheon, Singles Cruise, Teens Ice Cream Social, and Family Dinner and Dance at Sunset Beach, should pre-pay by September 26.  You may also pre-pay for other listed activities as well.  For more information, check out the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org) under the Sunset Beach write-up. 

Children’s Choir: Parents who wish to have their children (ages 4 and older) sing in the Children’s Choir at Sunset Beach should contact Mrs. Margie Dulaney for practice CDs or tapes at 540-662-3696 or at dulaney717@cs.com.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin  

Festival Choir: Anyone still interested in volunteering to sing in the Festival Choir in Wisconsin Dells this year at the Feast is encouraged to contact the Festival Choir Director, Mr. James Henderson, by phone at 765-743-5460 or by e-mail at james.henderson46@verizon.net. The two selections we will be performing are:  “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” and “Go Now In Peace.” 


Perils Test Our Faith:  The Apostle Paul warned, “know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1).  Jesus predicted that the end of the age would be marked by trials and turmoil on a global scale (Matthew 24).  Jesus also wondered aloud “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) and He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail when he encountered trials and tribulation (Luke 22:32).  When the challenges of life begin to mount, we need to remember that faith is one of the fruits of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and that God gives His Spirit to those who trust Him and obey His instructions (Acts 5:32).  We must do our part to stir up God’s Spirit to help us overcome our fears (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  We can ask for more faith (Luke 17:5).  We need to remember that faith comes from hearing (and studying) God’s word (Romans 10:17), which states plainly that God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and that He is like a rock and a fortress that protects and preserves His faithful people (Psalm 31:3, 23).  James wrote, “the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3-4).  We can build our faith by studying the examples of faith recorded in Hebrews 11, as we strive to please God and stay focused on His plan.

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

NEWS AND PROPHECY—September 18, 2008

France and the Catholic Church: Drawing Together Again. “Pope Benedict XVI told tens of thousands of young [French] Roman Catholics they should not fear spreading their faith” (AP, September 13, 2008), while referring to France as the “eldest daughter” of the Catholic Church (Deutsche Welle, September 12, 2008). He also “urged France… to move towards a model of secularism that acknowledges the ‘irreplaceable’ role of religion in building an ethical consensus in one of the world’s most secular societies.” French President Sarkozy commented before the Pope, it would be “madness” for France, which “accepts its Christian roots,” to “deprive ourselves” of religion… It is “legitimate for democracy and respectful of secularism to have a dialogue with religions” (Canwest News Service, September 12, 2008). Analysts suggest that due to the record numbers of Muslims now living in France, the French may be more willing to recognize the “Catholic Church’s role in French culture and history” (Ibid.). God prophesied of the increasing role of a “world church” at the end of the age (Revelation 17). As the Pope reaches out to Europe, we need to remember that what God has said will come to pass. 

Russia Reacts Forcefully.  As the U.S. and Poland signed a global-missile-defense agreement that will place U.S. missiles on Polish soil, one Russian general commented, “The US-Poland deal cannot go unpunished… Poland, by deploying [the missiles] is exposing itself to a strike—100 percent.” Russia said it would station missiles on the EU border in Belarus, “to target the new US facility in Poland and a related site in the Czech Republic” (EU Observer, August 18, 2008). Meanwhile, Russia sent two of its newest long-range bombers to Venezuela for joint military exercises scheduled for November. This will be followed by a Russian flotilla of six to eight highly armed warships and more than 1,000 men (DEBKAfile Special Report, September 10, 2008).  Russia’s recent actions and its accusatory rhetoric against EU nations are galvanizing the fragile connections between the Europeans and pushing eastern European nations closer to the western EU (Newsweek, September 6, 2008).  The “two feet” of iron and clay that make up the ten nations or groupings that will form the final European Beast power (Daniel 2:32-33, 40-43) may yet be composed of five western and five eastern European nations—time will tell. 

Signs of a “Two-Speed” Europe? Continentals have referred to Britain as “perfidious Albion”—a label that connotes disloyalty, faithlessness and treachery.  Recently, “The architect of the despised European Constitution has reopened old wounds after he attacked Britain for ‘hampering’ the creation of an EU superstate.” Valery Giscard d’Estaing, “insisted closer integration of the EU’s 27 member states would continue.  But he suggested Britain should have a ‘special status’ which would maintain close links with the EU but prevent [Britain] from ‘acting as a brake’… He [also] condemned the UK for its ‘permanently antagonistic standpoint’ towards the EU” (Daily Mail, September 9, 2008). The Brits have had a “love-hate” relationship with the EU—Britain’s elite wanting to be at the heart of Europe, while most Britons not wanting to give up their sovereignty to a foreign government in Brussels.  Eventually, this issue will come to a climax.  God prophesied long ago against the Israelite-descended nations, “Your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; your land shall be divided by survey line; you shall die in a defiled land; and Israel shall surely be led away captive from his own land” (Amos 7:17). These and other prophecies indicate that Britain’s sovereignty will disappear as this backsliding Israelite nation will be undermined or overthrown by the Beast power that is rising in Europe.  Part of the mission of God’s Church at the end of the age is to provide a warning message before it is too late (see Ezekiel 3 and 33).—Rod King, Daniel Bennett and Scott Winnail

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Bob Thiel 2008