Greetings from Charlotte,
This has been a busy week as God’s people around the world get ready to observe the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. It is not surprising to see Satan increase his efforts at this time in an attempt to distract God’s people from the real focus of the Spring Holy Days—on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of mankind and the process of examining ourselves in the light of God’s word. This week, Mr. Meredith held meetings and started to prepare another co-worker letter. On Wednesday afternoon, he chaired a short but productive phone meeting for the Council of Elders. Last week’s Tomorrow’s World program by Mr. Meredith, entitled “How To Know When Christ Will Return!,” is expected to draw more than 5,100 responses. The TW program the previous week by Mr. Wallace Smith, entitled “World War in the Middle East,” drew a total of 6,326 responses. Mr. Dexter Wakefield has returned from a productive visit to our offices in Costa Rica and Colombia. The Schaubeck family has been able to move to a much safer residence after their recent experience with assailants. Last weekend we held very inspiring combined Sabbath services and a Regional Conference in Tennessee. This week, Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka has been in Europe visiting our Web site directors and dealing with transportation delays caused by a late-winter snowstorm.—DSW
Passover 2013—U.S. Congregations (Repeat Announcement)
All Pastors: please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays, wine trays, or wine glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording. Also, let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. (U.S. pastors will automatically receive one copy of the Passover Service recording.)
You can direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Passover Service will be observed on Sunday evening, March 24.
Dennis Luker: Mr. Dennis Luker died of cancer on March 14. He was a long-time member of the Church of God and served most recently as the President of the United Church of God. He was at home in Seattle, Washington with his family when he died. Your prayers for his family will be appreciated.
Healing in Wisconsin: One of our members in Wisconsin was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early February. A CT Scan showed very clearly a cancerous mass on her bladder, and urine tests revealed the presence of cancer cells in her blood. An operation to remove the mass was scheduled. In the meantime, she asked for anointing to beseech God for healing. She went through with the scheduled procedure, but to the doctors’ surprise, there was no mass to remove! Not surprisingly, doctors then called for more tests to try to “explain” what happened to the cancer. When all tests were concluded, there was simply no trace of any cancer. Her four children and the members in this area couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful for God’s mercy and His healing!—Phil West
In early February, a Church member from Kuala Lumpur and I visited the brethren in Kalaymyo in northwest Myanmar. This is only our second visit to this long-established congregation faithfully pastored by Thomas Tial Hoe. We arrived at Yangon International Airport on Wednesday, 6 February and were able to get tickets to fly to Kalaymyo via Mandalay on Friday, 8 February. After a delay of two and a half hours due to fog, we arrived in Kalaymyo at 1:30 p.m. where we were greeted by our Church members who had been waiting all morning and who were very happy to see us again.
The next day, 37 members and children arrived at the hotel at 10:00 a.m. This was just the second time for the brethren to experience a Sabbath service in a hotel. They sang the hymns enthusiastically in their native Chin language. Thomas Tial Hoe has translated most of our hymns into their local tongue. We also enjoyed special music given by a few members. I provided updates on the Work and gave the sermon on “The Meaning of Passover,” which was translated by Thomas Tial Hoe. We ate and fellowshipped together till late in the afternoon.
During my visit last year, I met the first Burmese member in Kalaymyo, baptized in 1972. This year I was not able to see him as he had suffered a stroke. He is now 73 and lives 80 miles away. I talked to him over the phone and while he was on the line I prayed for his healing. This year, a long-time Church member walked 12 miles to visit us before getting a lift from a truck driver. Last year he walked 30 miles and took a bus 124 miles to see us.
On Sunday, 10 February, we were able to travel to visit other members in their home village. They were very happy to see us once again. We rode on a bullock cart to visit a member about two miles away. This was the first time I experienced the bullock cart drive. Other members walked through the paddy fields to get to his place where I gave a Bible Study on “How To Keep the Sabbath,” after which we had lunch and sang a few songs. The atmosphere of love and care was evident.
The next day all Church members came to Thomas Tial Hoe’s home for an interesting Bible Study on how to use the Holy Spirit in our lives. The nine-year-old daughter of a Church member has been bedridden with polio for three months. I prayed and anointed her for God’s healing.
On 13 February, after a few hours’ delay, we flew from Kalaymyo back to Yangon. We stayed one night at a budget hotel. This year all the hotels have raised the room rates about 100 percent. Many tourists from Europe and elsewhere are coming to visit Myanmar after a change of government policy. Myanmar is becoming more democratic and things seem to be changing. The next day we hired a van to take us to the Irrawaddy Delta region in the southwest of the country. We travelled the same road as last time, which is now much improved, but one hour before we reached Myaung Mya, the road disintegrated and become dusty, stony, potholed and bad! The following day we hired a motor boat and travelled about an hour down the river. On the river banks we saw people swimming and washing their clothes and eliminating in the dirty water.
We finally arrived at the village where our brethren live. Last year the village houses were old and dilapidated, but due to the generosity of the Living Church of God about ten houses have been repaired. All the brethren were very happy and thankful. I conducted a Bible Study on “Keeping the Sabbath” and encouraged the brethren to remain faithful. After visiting the brethren and seeing their newly repaired houses, we returned by boat to the hotel. On 16 February, we again visited the brethren and joined them for the Sabbath. I gave the sermon on the “Meaning of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.” The service lasted about three hours. I anointed a member’s son who has yellow fever. All the brethren thanked us for visiting them and shook hands with us as we departed. The following day, Sunday, 17 February, we left for Yangon. It was truly an unforgettable experience. We pray that God’s Kingdom will come soon to solve all the problems mankind is facing.—Rajan Moses
Behind the Work in Indonesia
We have developed three significant programs for our local congregations and the Indonesian Web site. They are as follows:
Children’s Bible Study Program: This program is designed and initiated to develop our children’s spiritual understanding, and to fulfill the Indonesian government requirement regarding children’s religious education. Indonesia tolerates five religions in the country, and each child who studies formally must show his or her spiritual belief by following a religious class. Since our children do not follow the regular Christian class, we must provide a comprehensive curriculum for their school so that the school understands what our children learn in Church. Five children benefit from this program that has been conducted for almost a year.
A Comprehensive English Course: One of the big challenges here in Indonesia is to teach our local congregation the English language. This is important as the brethren hope to communicate directly with visiting ministers and international guests in English. In order to accomplish this, an integrated communicative English course has been started and it is expected to reduce the communication barrier between the local congregation and the visiting guests.
A Richer Church Web Site and Monthly Bible Study: Since the Feast last year, the content of our Web site has received significant attention. Presently, we are focused on finishing the translation of the whole Bible Study Course. We are now finishing Lesson 17. We are also in the process of translating the Church commentaries into Indonesian. As the weekly commentary is a well favoured feature enjoyed by our Web visitors, more translations of these commentaries will bring more visitors. The local congregation has benefited from the monthly lessons presented to them originating from the LU class. Up to now, lessons have been prepared and routinely given on a monthly basis for the local congregation to understand biblical topics, such as the journeys of the Apostle Paul, the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ, the books of the Bible, the Roman world, and important biblical doctrines.—Arius Nusantara
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend
Final Call: The Anderson, South Carolina, congregation invites you to join us for our sixth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend scheduled for Friday, March 29, through Monday, April 1. The weekend promises to be filled with inspiring spiritual messages, uplifting fellowship, and fun activities. Come celebrate the conclusion to the Days of Unleavened Bread with us in Greenville, South Carolina. Please take time to register this weekend—even if you are only planning to attend Church services or the ball.
Planned events include: a Friday afternoon bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail; a Friday evening opening dinner and Bible Study; brunch and services on the Sabbath; the “Carolina on My Mind” Banquet and Ball on Saturday night; a picnic and recreational activities, including a 5K road race and softball games, on Sunday; and Holy Day services on Monday, the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. Services and the Banquet and Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville in downtown Greenville. A children’s activity will be held prior to Sabbath services.
Additionally, we invite those with musical talent to perform special music for the Sabbath or Holy Day services or to perform appropriate danceable music for the Ball. Please contact us with your proposed performance selection.
We have secured a room rate of $80 per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. This guaranteed rate expires March 16. Further details about the event, prices of meals, and registration instructions are located at our local Web site: http://lcganderson.org/ (not an official Church Web site). Or, you may contact Manuel Burdette for further information at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you in Greenville for the best Spring Weekend ever!
North Florida Spring Holy Day Family Weekend (Repeat Announcement)
The congregations of North Florida invite you to our Spring Holy Day Family Weekend, Friday, March 29 to Monday, April 1. The event will take place at the beautiful lakefront Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida. This is an especially peaceful setting with beautiful views and no distractions from God’s holy time.
This weekend will be an all-inclusive retreat with a focus on fellowshipping together. All meals, services, and activities will be hosted on-site, providing an excellent opportunity for spiritual growth with brethren. Events include: Friday night Bible Study; Sabbath Services on Saturday and a Family Fun Show Saturday night; Treasure Hunt and Bible Study on Sunday; and Holy Day services on Monday. Four congregations will be combining for services on the Sabbath and Holy Day.
Hotel rooms on-site are $60/night. And we have food costs down to $20/person for the entire weekend (includes six full meals and snacks).
Please visit www.LCGnorthflorida.com
(not an official Church Web site) for more information and to register by March 15.
Singles Weekend in Australia
Greetings from Down Under! On May 10–14, our third annual Singles Camp will be held again at Jenolan Cabins, in the majestic rugged Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The self-contained cabins nestle amidst magnificent bushland, adjacent to national parks with abundant wildlife, including kangaroos. The camp will start early afternoon on Friday with a Bible Study, followed by a three-course dinner enjoyed alfresco beside the campfire. On Sabbath, there will be a Bible Study after breakfast, and services at Jenolan Caves, followed by a sumptuous dinner at a local heritage-listed restaurant. Some of the activities planned for the rest of the Camp will include cave tours, orienteering, a barbecue, a Talent Night and an early morning walk to see the spectacular Kanangra Walls at sunrise. If you are interested in finding out more details, please contact Mr. Graeme Hemphill at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss a great opportunity to see Australia. We look forward to hearing from you soon.—Robert Tyler
The Internet is filled with much that is ungodly or downright sinful. But, the Tomorrow’s World Web sites and Social Media sites are a small but vital part of the Church of God boldly proclaiming the Ezekiel warning and also the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God to the world! The Tomorrow’s World Facebook page recently surpassed 40,000 fans, and has also become a very “active” page, with often 8,000 to 10,000 people actively “talking about” the Tomorrow’s World Facebook page content at any given time!
For those of you who are active on Facebook, we encourage you to visit our page from time to time, “like” Tomorrow’s World content, and post a supportive comment on occasion. Please use wisdom in what you post (cf. Colossians 4:6), but this is a small way that you can “let your light shine” (cf. Matthew 5:16). Of course, the Church also operates a number of other Facebook and Twitter accounts, not only in English, but also in Spanish, French and other languages, as well as being engaged in powerful television and radio outreach and personal campaigns throughout the world. We thank you for your prayers and we thank God for His continued blessing as the Living Church of God continues to dedicate itself to fulfilling the Great Commission with all of the power that God will grant us.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Living Youth Programs
No Online Teen Bible Studies on March 22 and 29
There will be no online Teen Bible Studies on March 22 and 29 because of the spring Holy Days. The next online Teen Bible Study is scheduled for Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time). You can access the March 15 Bible Study about The Night To Be Much Observed and the Days of Unleavened Bread at the archives on the Living Youth Web site www.livingyouth.org.—Josh Penman
Texas Pre-Teen Camp, Dallas—Register now for the best week of summer!—Repeat Announcement
Registration is now open for summer fun at LYC Texas Pre-Teen Camp, June 16–21 at Camp Whispering Cedars in Dallas—six days of recreation, fellowship, sports and adventure for pre-teens and their families.
Campers ages 7–12 will participate in full days of challenging activities while making friendships that will last a lifetime. Mini campers ages 6 and under will take part in many of the activities their older siblings do, but with more unstructured time for games, crafts, and play. Older siblings, campers ages 13 and 14, will be a part of our camper/staff training program and have an opportunity to learn and practice skills needed to be an effective camp staff member while also partaking in many of the activities provided for the campers. Parents are always needed to fill our staff positions, and more importantly, to create the family atmosphere that has always been a big part of LYC Texas Pre-Teen Camp. We encourage all who are interested in attending to register by filling out the applications online at http://lyc.lcg.org/. If you are unable to apply online, you may receive a paper copy of the application by calling Jenny Penman at 704-844-1960, ext. 2283. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our Camp Director, Mr. Phil Sena, by phone at 512-535-6771, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Mail Processing Department
Attention Video Recipients (Repeat Announcement): The shipments of Holy Day sermons have been sent out. Please check these DVDs/CDs for the Holy Days when you receive them, to be sure that they play properly. If there are any problems, we will have time to send replacement copies.—Gaylyn Bonjour
Feast of Tabernacles 2013
2013 Festival Web Site “Live”
As of Friday, March 15, brethren will be able to access Feast site information on the 2013 Festival Web site. Please note: Festival Registration is not open until April 7. You will not be able to register until April 7. If you do not have Internet access, please contact your Festival Advisor to print off information for any site(s) you are interested in attending. If you do not know who your Festival Advisor is, please check with your local Pastor.
To access the Festival Web Site, go to: www.fot2013.lcg.org.
(You can also access it by going to the Living Church of God website (www.lcg.org) and clicking on “Feast of Tabernacles.”)
All Ministers: We are now sending out notices of where you will be attending the Feast. If you have any questions about where you are assigned, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or, in the case of international areas, your Regional Director.
Festival Advisors: A “Festival Advisor’s Packet” is now available for you to download and print off, as well as registration and volunteer forms. If you have any difficulty or questions, ask your pastor or e-mail email@example.com.
Pastors (Repeat): Please make sure that Headquarters has been updated with any changes in your local congregation rosters. For example, please let us know of any Church Youths (CY) who have turned 18 and now should be listed as Prospective Members (PM). Please also let us know of any other changes in status of any brethren in your area (i.e. baptisms, etc.) or if any brethren have moved to another congregation. Send these status updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All brethren (Repeat): Please make sure your MyLCG account is working. This will be necessary for you to register on April 7. To test it, go to www.cogl.org and sign in to MyLCG with your username and password. If you don’t have one, you will have the option of creating one. If you have any problems logging into MyLCG (www.cogl.org), please write to email@example.com.
Employment Opportunity: Information Technology Manager (Repeat Announcement)
The Headquarters Office is looking for an experienced IT professional to manage its IT Department. The successful candidate will be a member of the Living Church of God, will have a strong background in network administration, database management and computer hardware, and will be expected to relocate to Charlotte (the Church will pay for reasonable moving expense). Competencies with Microsoft Exchange Server, SQLServer and a MCSE certification (or better) are very desirable. Supervisory and/or management experience and programming ability are a plus. Please send your resume to Suzanne Pyle via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax to 704-844-1973, at the Human Resources Department. We request that only those applicants who are able to legally work in the United States apply for this position.—Dexter Wakefield
World Events and God’s Plan: This week billions of people around the world watched the Roman Church select a new pope—who appears to be a humble servant of the people. Later this summer, Germany will hold national elections as the European Union struggles to maintain unity and momentum and the Middle East threatens to explode. Bible prophecies have long foretold that world conditions would reach a climax as we approach the end of the age (Matthew 24; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Prophecies reveal that a religious leader of global prominence will influence a political leader of a revived European power with links to the ancient Roman Empire. This Beast power will eventually persecute true Christians and move into the Middle East, probably under the guise of attempting to bring peace to that troubled area (Daniel 11:40-45; Revelation 11 and 13). While critics may scoff, the Bible reveals that God is guiding world events according to His Plan that He is bringing to pass (Isaiah 46:8-11; Daniel 2:45). We need to watch world events so we can recognize events that are fulfilling Bible prophecies so we can be ready when Jesus Christ returns to set up His Kingdom on earth (Matthew 24:42-44).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail