Greetings from Charlotte,
We are shifting somewhat into a “summer mode” here at the office in Charlotte, but that actually means getting ready for the fall Holy Days, the Feast of Tabernacles and the beginning of another semester of Living University classes! The Adventure Program in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in California and the Missouri Pre-Teen Camp both got underway this week. Results from Dr. Meredith’s online Tomorrow’s World Presentation indicate that about 3,000 members and 6,100 new people viewed the presentation. We are also beginning to plan for both local and Internet Tomorrow’s World Presentations for next year. The Media Department reports that the Tomorrow’s World program will go on Russian television later this month. Plans are also in the works to begin broadcasting the program in India in the near future. For our television presenters (Dr. Meredith, Mr. Ames, Mr. Smith, Mr. King and Mr. Weston) these so-called “lazy days of summer” are also a time for preparing new programs that will be taped and aired during the coming year. Your prayers for all these important activities will be deeply appreciated.—DSW
From Mr. and Mrs. Rod King
Thank you to so many of God’s people who have sent cards and messages of loving concern. It has meant so much to us at this time. Now that all tests have been completed it shows that there is cancer in some lymph nodes. The treatment I am receiving at present should suppress the cancer, but not cure it. We know that God heals and also that He knows what is the very best for each of us. Trials teach us many things and for us this time shows once again that God sees our lives differently to us. We learn in this life what we need for the future in the glorious Kingdom of God. Thank you again for your prayers and love. They have given us great comfort.—Rod King
French and Spanish Web Sites Report
For the first six months of 2013, the French Web site www.MondeDemain.org has recorded a 60 percent increase over the same period in 2012, both for visitors (240k visits) and content (280k downloaded items). Since December 2012, the mobile version provides a better experience for users of mobile devices (mobile phones and tablets) and 18 percent of the visits during the last six months were made through the mobile version. We received a total of 1,500 contact forms and literature requests and 430 people registered for the online Bible Study Course in French. During this time period, we have laid the foundations for our Facebook and Twitter accounts with regular updates and the integration of the tweets on the homepage of the Web site. Fifty to sixty new people follow us or “like” us every month. In May and June, 2,400 unique individuals saw our FB content (40k pages viewed) every month. These figures are small, but represent an increase and now the ground is ready for greater growth from advertising.
The growth of the Spanish Web site www.MundoManana.org surpassed our expectations! During the first six months of 2013, the number of visitors jumped by 700 percent over the previous period (from 18k to 130k visits). With more than 400 million Spanish speakers in the world (mainly in Latin America), it is realistic to expect much greater growth in the coming months. Nearly half of the visitors came from Mexico (20 percent), the United States (15 percent) and Colombia (12 percent), while 42 percent of visitors came from the other countries in Latin America and 5 percent from Spain. The Web site also benefits from the excellent work of Mr. Gabriel Bais who dubs the telecasts into Spanish, enabling us to provide one new telecast every week. During the first six months of 2013, we received a total of 550 contact forms and literature requests and 120 people registered for the online Bible Study Course in Spanish.
Please continue to pray for the growth of these international Web sites, as more developments are underway for the rest of 2013 and early 2014.—VG Lardé
Philippine Youth Camp
The camp site was prepared by the staff, who came days early to the area. Then campers arrived on May 27 in time for an evening meal. After dinner we had an orientation meeting, asking each camper, “Why are you here?” Several replied that they want to know the ways of God, to have fun among good friends, to educate themselves and to help the Church in any way that they can. I spoke on basic etiquette, like holding the chair for a lady at a meal, walking on the road, respect for parents and respect for the government. Next day, towards the end of breakfast, the camp leader acted as Toastmaster and asked each camper to introduce himself or herself. There were smiles, but also emotion as some of the campers talked about difficult personal circumstances. All appreciate the support of brethren in times of distress. Next, the campers hiked trails on inclines up to 60 degrees and had a buko (young coconut fruit) party at the top of the hill. Then Mr. Ronald Parbo taught them how to plant sweet potatoes on a hillside and they all dug holes, pulverized the soil and planted three shoots of sweet potato. In the afternoon we had Bible class. The youths especially enjoyed Bible quizzes. Later, in mid-afternoon, we played volleyball and basketball. The following day, May 29, was swimming day at the nearby pool. It was time to cool down and enjoy floating, swimming and good conversation together. Back at the camp, we had a Christian Living class about “How to be a follower of Jesus Christ in faith,” conducted by Mr. Benito Parbo. On May 30 the campers were instructed by Mr. Rod Casing in how to navigate on rugged forest trails, finding food and even water from fruits, roots and vines. After some rest, Mr. Johnny Bolences showed them how to read a compass and they had to use the compass to find their lunch! The campers really enjoyed this. Next they learned how to build a fire so they could cook their food. This was our last meal together and moments of silence and sadness reflected everyone’s regret that the camp was at an end. The group leaders were asked to comment on lessons from the camp-out. Mr. Benito Parbo told the campers, “What you get here, maintain and enhance it, for the spiritual values will last forever.” Awards were given to campers who were outstanding in various ways. On the following day, there were tears on smiling faces as all of the campers and staff said goodbye to each other.—Felipe Casing
On Thursday, June 27, our Malaysian pastor, Mr. Rajan Moses, and another member made a very successful and inspiring trip to Indonesia. They flew to East Java province and together we drove the two and a half hours to the city of Malang, where our congregation is located. Both men have become a part of the history of the Church in Indonesia and we have shared wonderful memories. Over the past ten years we have witnessed how our Great God has led each individual in our local congregation through many trials and tests, including family persecutions, losing jobs, and rescuing the children from school persecution because of the Sabbath and the festivals. It has made our group stronger as we learn to be faithful to God, obey His commandments and fully trust Him. Sabbath services during the recent visit gave us another exciting story to tell. We met for services in the Lawang region. A sudden change in the weather, from very sunny to very rainy, caused a thick mist to settle over the marvelous local surroundings while we enjoyed listening to and learning a lot from an inspiring and eye-opening sermon, entitled “The Faith once Delivered,” by Mr. Moses. After the morning service we had a combined luncheon and counseling. At 3:00 p.m., the area was so covered in heavy fog that we were forced to leave the area immediately. It was good to see our local congregation interacting more in English than during previous visits. English classes, which have been attended by most of our local members, are producing fruits and we feel sure they will be speaking more English in future visits. On Sunday we had another exciting event with two baptisms.—Arius Nusantara
Living Youth Program
Adventure Trip Update
Thursday afternoon, 37 enthusiastic hikers hit the trail in three groups, a quarter-mile apart. They plan to spend the Sabbath by Waugh Lake and to hike out of the park Monday afternoon at Tuolumne Meadows. From there, they are to be challenged by whitewater rafting and then conclude the program by touring and hiking in Sequoia National Park. Plans are to upload photos and their Bible study notes onto the Facebook page every day.
Feast of Tabernacles
Tithe of the Second Tithe
For those who are able to contribute a tithe of their second tithe to help defray the expenses involved in conducting the annual Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles, it would be greatly appreciated if this contribution could be sent at this time (if it has not already been sent). The tithe of the second tithe is used to help brethren with limited funds attend the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as to pay for hall rentals and other administrative costs associated with the annual Holy Days.—Jerry Ruddlesden
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs
Attention Pastors: Please send Mrs. Dorothy McNair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast and will need to receive the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. The deadline to submit these requests is August 15 for international recipients, and August 30 for recipients in the U.S. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access.
Activity Registration Will Begin This Sunday, July 14!
Feast of Tabernacles Activity Registration begins at 12:00 noon (EDT) on Sunday, July 14! Brethren are encouraged to begin signing up for their Feast site’s activities on that date. Check the Festival Web site (www.fot2013.lcg.org) or with your site coordinator for more information about payment options that may be available.
E-mail Notifications—Repeat Announcement
Attention all members: Please add the e-mail addresses email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to your e-mail address book or “safe senders” list. The Festival Office and your Festival Coordinator may occasionally send you messages or notifications concerning the Feast of Tabernacles from these two addresses. Adding them to your address book or “safe senders list” might prevent them from being blocked by your Internet Service Provider’s anti-spam filters.
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only (Repeat Announcement)
Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Monday, July 15. All forms should be properly completed by the membersrequesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. Festival Assistance Request forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG Web site (www.cogl.org).
Living University – Registration for 1st (Fall) Semester
Registration for Fall semester classes is now underway. Classes will begin August 14 and students may register anytime between now and then. For those who have never taken a Living University course, you will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. The following are brief descriptions of three courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of “2013 Fall Semester Courses” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere), can be viewed on the Living University Web site. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com Web site. For additional information, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at 704-708-2294 or email@example.com.
THL 110a – Bible Study Course. This version of the Bible Study Course (BSC) is online and includes lectures on related topics and additional readings. It will be more “in depth” than the paper-pencil or online version of the Bible Study Course, but it will use the original course as its backbone. The course has no tuition charge for those who enroll. Students are only responsible for the Technology Fee. This is the first of the two-semester course, and it serves as an introduction to the Bible, its message, and its implications for successful Christian life in today’s world.
THL 135 – Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus. This course is one of LU’s foundational courses in theology, and covers the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the four gospels. It takes a “harmony of the gospels” approach to the subject and covers the gospels in far more detail than is possible in our traditional Sabbath services. The gospels are analyzed from the context of the social, political, and religious conditions of the first century. Students will spend time reviewing the background, purpose, message, and themes of the gospels and the signiﬁcance of Jesus Christ in the ﬁrst century and beyond. The lecture core of this course is a series of recorded lectures presented by Dr. Roderick C. Meredith.
THL 200 – Principles of Christian Living. This interesting and practical course covers the purpose for human life; human nature; values, morality, and ethics; marriage and family; and career. Topics include values, beliefs, and morals; interpersonal communication; dating, courtship, marriage, and children. Students will learn how to explain and demonstrate a basic knowledge of practical Christian living principles. The lecture core is a set of contemporary lectures by Dr. Douglas Winnail dealing with the foundations of Christian living for successful life in today’s world. This course would be very practical for high school students, young adults, parents and counselors.
The Value of Counsel: One of the common pitfalls of life is trusting in our own judgment when we only see part of the picture. When we make decisions or take actions based on how we feel or how we see a situation, the results can be costly to ourselves and to others. This is why Solomon advised in Proverbs 3:5, “lean not on your own understanding” and in Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes,” and again in Proverbs 28:26, “He who trusts in his [or her] own heart is a fool….” Solomon also warned in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man [or woman], but its end is the way of death.” To help us avoid making serious mistakes in life, God inspired Solomon to write in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” and again in Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” We can obtain wise counsel from parents, the ministry and from older, more experienced friends and associates who can be objective and help us see a bigger picture than we perceive on our own. Seeking wise counsel can be a very profitable way to avoid making serious mistakes.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail