Greetings from Charlotte, 

It is very encouraging to report that Mr. Meredith is doing much better after the mild stroke he experienced last weekend.  He spent two days in the hospital undergoing some tests, but was released on Monday.  He is now at home and has started daily rehabilitation exercises.  We at Headquarters (Mr. Ames, Mr. Apartian, Mr. Crockett and I) had a 30-minute phone meeting with him on Tuesday and again today, Thursday.  His voice is clear and his mind is sharp.  He is diligently working through his rehabilitation program and is looking to God for strength and healing.  Mr. Meredith remains focused on seeing that God’s Work continues to go forward.  Please keep Mr. and Mrs. Meredith in your prayers, as well as many others who are going through trials.  

Here in Charlotte everything is running smoothly.  Several men and their wives from Headquarters in Charlotte will be traveling to various congregations for the Feast of Trumpets.  I will leave tomorrow morning to visit a number of congregations in the Caribbean.  As we observe the fall Holy Days this year, it is sobering and exciting to realize that we appear to be heading into the very time foretold by these Festivals that picture the major steps in God’s Plan of Salvation for all mankind. 

From the Presiding Evangelist 

Dear fellow ministers and brethren, 

Thank you all again for your prayers, encouragement and support during this time of recuperation from my stroke. I deeply appreciate the various letters and cards I am beginning to receive, and I am so thankful that God’s people are so loyal and enthusiastic about the Work. For we have a fine team of dedicated men and women here at HQ and around the world to carry on the Work. So, with or without me, Christ’s Work will continue as we sincerely strive to obey Him and walk with Him.  

As we approach the Feast of Trumpets, I would especially appreciate—not for my sake but for Christ’s sake—that all of you would do your utmost in prayer for the Work, and strive to give especially generously in the Holy Day offerings on Trumpets and throughout the entire Festival season. God is certainly intervening powerfully at this time to “break the pride of power” of America and the British-descended nations. That should be obvious by now. So we undoubtedly only have a very few years left to finish the Work. Yet the Work’s income is running somewhat short of budget, and we deeply need to catch up and, hopefully, even add additional stations, “beef up” our use of the Internet, hire more ministers and do the other things that need to be done—all of which take money. So I think it will definitely please Almighty God if we all “tighten our belts” and go above and beyond in giving generously to God’s Work at this time. The news that you brethren have zealously responded in this way would mean a great deal to me at this time—though I certainly also need and appreciate your continuing prayers and encouragement. 

I will continue to try to “push” myself as best I can, and I hope all of us will do this in the right way so that we may let God know where we truly stand. May He continue to guide and bless each of you as you walk with Him. I deeply thank you for your response and for your prayers and support. May God bless and guide you and the entire Church over this coming Holy Day season.—Roderick C. Meredith 

Church Administration 

United Kingdom Update 

Mr. Rod King reports: Recently we reported that Mr. and Mrs. Syd Hull had returned to the Living Church of God in South Africa.  We are also happy to report that Mr. John Meakin has joined us.  Mr. Meakin is a minister of thirty-three years’ experience in the United Kingdom and will be serving as Area Pastor in the south of England, including London.  He has experience in editorial work and we look forward to receiving his help in this area.  I am grateful for the prayers of many who have asked for help in this growing region of God’s Work.

The Dutch Phase of God’s Work  

Mr. Frans Peeters, our deacon in the Netherlands, reports that all of our booklets, except the latest, have now been translated into the Dutch language and have been uploaded to our website www.wereldvanmorgen.org. The entire Bible Study Course is also available in Dutch, online and in print. Mr. Peeters also reports that three Dutch-speaking prospective members have been visited in the Netherlands and in Flemish Belgium. He writes, “We are seven baptized members and some co-workers in the Dutch-speaking part of God’s Work (the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium). People are very scattered and distances are a problem. However, despite all of the difficulties, eight attended Holy Day services on Pentecost in Utrecht.”  


Correction to Last Week’s Announcement Concerning November Hall Rental Vouchers (USA) 

Last week, we incorrectly announced that November hall rental vouchers should be submitted to Headquarters by November 7; the correct date is October 7. 

Feast of Tabernacles 2008 

Children’s Conduct in Meeting Hall and Adjoining Rooms

Children are a joy to parents and fellow Feastgoers, and it’s inspiring to see children attend the Feast with their families!  But parents, please be reminded that children are not permitted to run or engage in horseplay before or after services.  Children darting in and out among fellowshipping brethren can be a trip hazard.  For the elderly, this can be dangerous, even life-threatening.  You are responsible for your children at all times, and should remain aware of where they are and what they are doing.  Young children should not go to restrooms or wander around unaccompanied by a responsible adult. 

Children—Sitting With Their Parents 

God instructs, “You shall rejoice in your Feast, you and your son and your daughter.” Clearly, God wants families to rejoice together at His Feasts. Experience has shown that children and teenagers pay attention and therefore learn more from the messages when sitting with a parent than when sitting with a group of children (or teens) off by themselves. Therefore, it is the policy of the Church for children and teens to sit with their parents during services. An exception may be allowed where an individual child or teen sits with a friend who is sitting with his or her parents. Obviously, a teen whose parents are not in attendance would be exempt. The Feast is a time for families to grow together—let us use the precious time we have during services to further that goal. 

Prescott, Arizona 

Children’s Choir: Families interested in having their children perform in the Prescott Festival Children’s Choir should contact Mrs. Teresa Fischer for word sheets and practice CDs.  Mrs. Fischer’s e-mail address is singingwinds@hughes.net and her phone number is 919-742-3234. 

Branson, Missouri

Opening Night Services Change: So many of you have made plans to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in Branson that we have had to change the venue of Opening Night services!  Instead of the Radisson, the Opening Night service on Monday, October 13, will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Starlite Theatre.  The address is 3115 W Hwy 76, Branson, Missouri 65616.  More information can be found at the Branson Festival website, www.fotbranson.org.  Please note that we will be very crowded on Opening Night and parking space will be at a premium. Therefore, plan to carpool if you can.  

Children’s Choir: This is a reminder that families with children interested in performing in the Children’s Choir in Branson should contact Sarah Manning at dfmsrm@live.com or at 816-591-6382.  Information is also available at www.fotbranson.org.

Sunset Beach, North Carolina 

No more checks, please: Thank you to those who have pre-paid for events at Sunset Beach—this has greatly helped in our planning for the Feast at Sunset Beach.  However, now, please do not send any more checks for pre-payment, as we may not receive them in time for the Feast.  For more information about events payable during the Feast, and for more general information, please visit the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org) under the Sunset Beach write-up, or e-mail Rod McNair at rmcnair@lcg.org


Together on the Sabbath—for a Reason!  We understand from the Bible that the Sabbath is a special, sanctified day of rest (Genesis 2:1-3). When properly kept, it is a delight (Isaiah 58:13-14).  We are also admonished in the Scriptures to encourage one another, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some” (Hebrews 10:24-25).  In the early New Testament Church, members gathered together on the Sabbath to worship and fellowship with other believers (see Acts 2:1; 13:14, 44; 17:2, etc.).  In doing so, they were following the commandment to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).  Today, with many small independent groups, it is easy to assume that observing the Sabbath is all we have to do to please God and be part of His Church.  However, we need to remember that God’s Church is commissioned to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15).  We need to make sure that the group we gather together with on the Sabbath is part of a Church that is actively fulfilling this God-given mission.  

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail 

News and Prophecy—September 25, 2008 

World Financial Crisis.  Last week Russia suspended trading on its stock markets for two days, due to a tremendous decrease in market value. European nations ringing the Mediterranean are feeling their own financial crunches. As one portfolio manager stated, “We’ve seen crisis. We’ve seen recession. But we’ve not seen the core of the financial system shaken like this,” (Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2008).  The U.S. Federal Reserve reacted rapidly to the crisis and worked closely with central banks in Europe, the UK, Japan and Canada to inject cash into world markets last Thursday to shore up investor confidence worldwide (AP,  September 18, 2008). However, news out of Germany had a different tone.  Although Germany will not make it through the current world financial crisis unscathed, many forecast a positive future for Germany: “The German economy is in better shape than that of the U.S., Britain or Spain… Even if the forecast for next year is now worse than it was a short time ago, the German economy will still continue to grow” (Spiegel, September 17, 2008). God’s warning in Proverbs 22:7 that the borrower is servant to the lender is now a “living warning”! God also prophesied that a great world power would come on the scene in the end time, through whom the merchants of the earth will become rich, and with whom they will commit spiritual fornication (Revelation 18:3, 9, 15). No one will be able to buy or sell without the mark of this Beast government (Revelation 13:16-18). The world financial markets are now in need of a “strong hand from somewhere.” The question is: which nation or nations will lead the world out of this crisis, at least temporarily? 

Foreign Nations Buy Up Farm Land.  A top agricultural official at the UN has warned, “The race by food-importing countries to secure farmland overseas to improve their food security, risks creating a ‘neo-colonial’ system… The warning by Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, comes as countries from Saudi Arabia to China plan to lease vast tracts of land in Africa and Asia to grow crops and ship them back to their markets” (Financial Times, August 19, 2008). Currently, farmland is being bought up in African and Asian nations. As this trend continues, it is worth pondering what would happen if food-producing Israelite-descended nations fail to pay their financial debts to powerful Middle-Eastern nations or China?  Could the food produced in Israelite countries be appropriated to repay bad debts?  Long ago God warned, “A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually” (Deuteronomy 28:33). As world events move forward, it becomes clearer just “how” God may bring about the fulfillment of His prophecies.  

Agriculture in Crisis.  In a year where Britain’s grain harvest was supposed to set records, more than 30% of the wheat harvest has now been ruined by flooding, and some suspect that it will harvest less than 50% of its crops. Thanks to European Union rules, wheat combines cannot be used on soggy soil, in order to protect soil quality—so a greater portion of the grain harvest has rotted. Britain has experienced the worst grain harvest of any European nation this year. Additional concern surrounds next year’s harvest. “Unless farmers clear this year’s crop in the next two weeks many will be unable to prepare the ground and plant new seed,” wrote one government source (The Times, September 10, 2008). “A harvest has never been made this late by the weather. Usually, it would be a shortage of manpower or a lack of equipment that delayed bringing the crops in from the field” (Belfast Telegraph, September 6, 2008). God warned that because of the spiritual rebellion of the Israelite-descended nations, “your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce…” (Leviticus 26:20). “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl… The LORD will strike you with… mildew…” (Deuteronomy 28:17, 22). We will see more prophecies coming to pass, unless the Israelite-descended nations repent. All the more reason to preach the “good news” of God’s Kingdom to every living creature (Mark 16:15).—Daniel Bennett and Scott Winnail

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COGwriter 2008