Greetings from Charlotte,
The Feast of Pentecost appears to have gone very well this year. Mr. and Mrs. Meredith were in Houston for the Holy Day, Mr. and Mrs. Ames were in Toronto and my wife and I were in Louisiana. Mr. Rod McNair and his wife have returned from a profitable trip to Jamaica, after a visit made by Mr. McNair to Haiti the week before. Mr. Hernandez and Dr. Wil Pierre are currently in the Caribbean and will be returning tomorrow. Mr. Hernandez gave Tomorrow’s World presentations in Guadeloupe and Martinique that drew more than 60 people. Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka will make TWPs this weekend in Nashville and Memphis. Many of you have heard that a powerful tornado devastated the area south of Oklahoma City this week. Mr. Gene Hilgenberg, our minister in that area, thankfully reports that none of our members were directly affected. I will be leaving this afternoon for a ministerial conference in the UK that will begin this weekend. Mr. King reports that he has been having a difficult time right now and that he would appreciate your prayers. Please continue to beseech God for His intervention and healing of His people.—DSW
Growth in Haiti and Jamaica
God is granting the Living Church of God good growth in the Caribbean. I saw this first-hand during a recent Church visit to Haiti and Jamaica. The first visit was to Haiti, accompanied by Area Pastor Wil Pierre. On the Sabbath of May 11, we had 44 in attendance in Port-au-Prince, including a new family of six. Several brethren from our new congregation in l’Asile, two hours to the south, were also visiting for the Sabbath. Our host in l’Asile first found the LCG on the Internet, after reading Mr. Armstrong’s literature for years. Seeds sown many years ago are bearing fruit! While this country is still suffering from economic malaise and the after-effects of the 2010 earthquake, God is opening up opportunities and the potential for growth in His Work is great.
The Church in Jamaica is also experiencing growth. Combined attendance in the three congregations in the last three years has grown by 34 percent, from 103 to 139. The Tomorrow’s World telecast has been on in Jamaica for the last 12 years, and in 2012 generated 2,004 first-time callers. It has reached many members of the public—including a taxi driver and security guard I happened to speak with. Area Pastor Lascelles Fraser reports that six new members have been baptized within the last year. My wife and I were in Kingston on the day of Pentecost, and we had 107 brethren in attendance—everyone excited to be keeping the Feast and thrilled to be part of the Work. We pray for continued growth as God directs the efforts of our leaders and brethren in this part of the world.—Rod McNair
Omaha, Nebraska, Zoo Trip
Where is the world’s largest open-air aviary with exotic birds from all over the world? Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel Web site, has given this Omaha attraction a No. 1 ranking, citing the Desert Dome and Lied Jungle as two of the reasons for its choice. Join the Omaha, Nebraska, congregation for a visit to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo on July 14. The Omaha brethren also invite you to join them for services and a covered dish meal on the Sabbath of July 13, at 1:30 p.m., at Ralston High School, 8969 Park Drive, Omaha, NB, 68127. The following morning we will visit Omaha’s renowned Henry Doorly Zoo and have an opportunity to tour all of the spectacular exhibits.
The zoo is giving us their group rate:
Children (2 and under): no admission charge
Children (ages 3 – 11): $ 9.00
Adults (ages 12 and over): $14.50
Seniors (ages 65 and over): $13.00
Payment is to be made in person Sunday morning at the zoo entrance and Mr. Pomicter will then make a single payment to the zoo for the group.
Guests wishing to stay with brethren may e-mail housing coordinator Mrs. JoAnn Tieken at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-339-0213. Space may be limited.
Those wishing to stay at a hotel may make their own reservations. A block of rooms at discounted rates has been reserved at the Travelodge, 7101 Grover Street, Omaha, NE 68106. The Web site is http://www.travelodge.com/omaha-travelodge. Make sure to mention that you are with the Living Church of God when you speak to Veronica at 402-391-5757. A room with a king bed is $53 per night. A room with two Queen beds is $65 per night. Reservations must be made before June 30 in order for these rates to apply.
You won’t want to miss this opportunity to join us on a visit to this outstanding zoo. To register for the weekend’s activities, contact us via e-mail at email@example.com or call Alex Pomicter at 402-250-7806 or Brian Pomicter at 402-650-1614.—Brian Pomicter
Living Youth Programs
Online Teen Bible Study—Friday Evening
The Bible Study Friday evening, May 31, will be on “Marriage” and will be presented by Mr. Sheldon Monson. If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for the online Bible Studies yet, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath Day.
The chat room is open at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) and the Bible Study runs from 8:00-9:00 p.m. You can access this Bible Study at livingyouth.org. We hope as many of our youth as possible will join us for this wonderful opportunity for godly fellowship and learning. For those of you who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s on “Church Eras—Lessons from the Seven Churches,” can be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Josh Penman
West Virginia Family/Pre-Teen Camp—July 28-August 2—Repeat Announcement
Registration is open for the West Virginia Family/Pre-Teen Camp to be held at the beautiful Glenwood Recreational Park and 4-H Camp in Princeton, West Virginia. The grounds encompass 325 acres including a 55-acre lake. Camp is open to families with one or more children between the ages of 8 and 13. While the activities are geared to the pre-teens, a significant effort has been made to include parents and younger children in the program. Most of the campers are accompanied by their families or a designated adult. Activities include Christian Living, Archery, Canoeing, Life Lessons, Music/Guitar, Sports and Team Building. You may register online at lyc.lcg.org. If you need a hard copy of the application, you may request one from Jenny Penman at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further questions, contact Mr. Paul Shumway, the Camp Director, at 304-425-0025 or email@example.com.
Thank You for Youth Fund Donations—Repeat Announcement
We would like to thank all of you who have so generously sent donations to support the Youth Program. We are going to be able to help several with scholarships, purchase new equipment, and offset growing camp costs as a result of your generosity.
We are still accepting donations should you still wish to help. You can send the check to the Living Church of God and designate the check for the Youth Program. Your donations will be greatly appreciated. This is considered a charitable donation and you will receive a receipt at the end of the year for tax purposes.—Jerry Ruddlesden and Sheldon Monson
Feast of Tabernacles
2013 Israel Feast Tour—Please Announce
Due to the large response to the last announcement about a few spaces being available to attend the Israel Feast Tour in 2013, we now have enough people to add another tour coach. This new configuration of coaches for the Festival Tour will allow us to add a few more people while keeping the total of passengers per coach comfortable. If you are interested, please e-mail Jim Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
Registration for 2014 Israel Feast Tour—Repeat Announcement
Registration is now open for the 2014 Feast Tour. If you are interested in going on this trip to the Holy Land, make sure you sign up soon. The tour for 2014 will be very similar to the 2013 Feast tour. You can see the information regarding this year’s trip on the Jerusalem, Israel page of the fot2013.lcg.org Web site. A more complete and downloadable description, including this year’s costs for the tour, are on the My LCG section of the cogl.org Web site. If you can afford the time and money to go on this tour of a lifetime, get ready to sign up.—Jim Meredith
Tomorrow’s World Presents: Dr. Meredith online, June 30!
Please remember to register at TomorrowsWorld.org/online-TWP for Dr. Meredith’s next live on-line presentation. It will be titled “Prophecy and the Decline of the Western Nations.” This live event is scheduled for June 30 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time USA. We also again ask everyone to please pray for the success of this event—that God will bless it as another one of our efforts to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God around the world. Again, the live-stream will begin at 3:30 Eastern Time, USA on June 30. Please make plans to join us for this important event.—Wyatt Ciesielka
LU Commencement Exercises Video
Living University just completed its fifth Commencement Exercises. For those interested in viewing a video of the exercises, please visit our Web site at www.livinguniv.com, or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/livinguniversity.
Summer Class Available—Repeat Announcement
For those interested, Living University is offering one course this summer—THL 332: The Biblical Text. This three-credit course will be delivered over an abridged, eight-week period. It focuses on the authority, inspiration, canonization, literary unity, and textual criticism of the Bible. Emphasis is on Bible translations, versions, textual analysis, exegesis, and research. THL 332 is integral to several certificate programs, as well as the Diploma in Biblical Studies and our Associate and Bachelor programs. The class will not be offered during the 2013-2014 academic year. It begins on May 29 and ends on July 23. Interested students should register online as soon as possible. Because of the shortened duration of this course, students should plan to spend more weekly time on the course than they would on a traditional, 16-week, regular-semester class.
Employment Opportunity: Secretary/Clerk (Repeat Announcement)
The office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management is looking for someone to provide secretarial and clerical support in a busy administrative office. Duties include: research; working with and maintaining files and unique information databases; schedule and/or track events, deadlines, meetings and filings; assist field personnel; track contractual agreements and other documents; relieve administrator of typical clerical and administrative tasks. The ideal candidate is veryorganized and detail-oriented, able to work under pressure with moderate supervision, and has good communication skills. Familiarity with standard business concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field (i.e.: Business Administration, Law, Banking, Insurance, Nonprofit Management, Human Resources or Contract Administration) is helpful. This is a position of trust and involves a high level of confidentiality. An ideal applicant has some college and/or equivalent work experience (a minimum high school diploma with two years of administrative experience in a field will be considered). Experience as a secretary or clerk would be helpful, but is not required. A more complete job description is available upon request. This job is in Charlotte, NC. The Church will pay for reasonable moving expenses. Applicant must meet the legal requirements to work in the United States. Résumés / CVs may be sent to Human Resources: e-mail HR@lcg.org, or fax to 704-844-1973.
Keys to Working Together: Jesus referred to His disciples as His “friends” and encouraged them to “love one another” (John 15:12-17). The Apostle Paul referred to those who assisted him in his ministry as “my fellow workers” (Romans 16:3). He also referred to members of God’s Church as “God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9) and “workers together [co-workers] with him” (2 Corinthians 6:1). These are exciting opportunities that also carry an important responsibility. In the Scriptures we find practical guidelines about how to work together. We are instructed to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind” and not let contentions divide us (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). We are also advised to learn to get along and live in harmony, to avoid being haughty and conceited or ambitious for a position, but to be humble and do what is right, and to strive to live and work together peacefully (Romans 12:16-18). We are told that repeating rumors disrupts friendships (Proverbs 17:9), that a “soft answer” avoids stirring up anger (Proverbs 15:1) and that a converted person is “easy to be entreated” (James 3:17). If we learn to “love one another” and treat each other as “friends” we will be more effective “fellow workers” for the Kingdom of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath!
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 23, 2013
Trouble in Europe: According to a recent European Pew survey, “France has seen the steepest confidence drop in the EU and in national politicians alike, with the same sour mood in Italy, Spain and Greece” (EU Observer, May 14, 2013). “The EU is disliked by 58 percent compared to 40 percent in 2012, while 77 percent of French people believe European economic integration has made things worse for France… Concerns about unemployment are almost as high in France as they are in Spain, Italy and Greece. Germany, by contrast, is the only country where half the population is in favour of giving more powers to Brussels…” (ibid.). According to the Pew director, “The increasing alienation of Germany from the rest of Europe is quite striking… The Germans seem to be living on a different continent than the French. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say they are living on a different planet” (ibid.). This growing alienation and differences of opinion among EU member states certainly fits the “iron and clay nature” of the European nations prophesied by Daniel more than 2,000 years ago (Daniel 2:33). The increasing gulf between Germany and France also begs the question, “Will France be part of the final configuration of the European Beast power led by Germany, or will it suffer the prophesied fate of the other Israelite-descended nations—national captivity?” Only time will tell. For more information on this vital topic, see our booklet The Beast of Revelation.
A Need for Healing: The Indonesian island of Bali is known as a tropical island paradise. But not far from the beaches, mentally ill human beings are kept in chains or locked up in small huts. They “cower next to trees, lie in shacks, and are abused and sometimes forgotten. Because their relatives are overwhelmed by the care they require, because the healthcare system doesn’t work and because insanity is seen as a punishment by the gods, people with mental illness live like chained dogs in Bali. There are 350 such cases in Bali, and up to 40,000 in all of Indonesia” (Der Spiegel, May 10, 2013). Sadly, in developing countries, “85 percent of all patients with mental disorders go untreated” (ibid.). Most of Bali’s residents are Hindu and “believe that mental illness is caused by evil spirits, and possibly by a curse imposed by their ancestors” (ibid.). For millennia, pagan cultures have suffered the effects of sin and spiritual darkness (Deuteronomy 12:31). However, the Bible teaches us to forsake false gods and to seek the true God who is able to predict the future (Isaiah 44:6-11), who is able to “heal” all our diseases (Psalm 103:3) and whose laws actually prevent disease when they are obeyed (Exodus 15:26). The Scriptures plainly reveal that Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:4), healed many mentally ill and demon-possessed people (Matthew 4:24, Luke 8:26-39). We look forward to God’s coming Kingdom, when the troubled people of Bali, and ultimately all mankind will be healed! To learn more, request and read our free booklet, Does God Heal Today?
Life-Supporting Planets? “Scientists using NASA’s Kepler space telescope have found the best candidates yet for habitable worlds beyond the solar system, including a pair of potentially life-friendly planets orbiting the same star” (Reuters, April 18, 2013). These planets, 1,200 light years from earth, are believed to be located in the “habitable zone” of the star, where temperatures are warm enough and cool enough for liquid water. Technology cannot yet determine for sure whether or not water exists on planets that are so distant (ibid.). One scientist has speculated, “If there’s life at all on those planets, it must be very advanced,” due to the age of the planets (Associated Press, April 19, 2013). Could advanced forms of life exist on these planets? While many think so, the Bible indicates that God is developing human beings as the “firstfruits” of His creation (James 1:18), and they are developing right here on the earth, not elsewhere. Jesus Christ will soon return to earth and make His headquarters in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-4, 24:23). Ultimately, the Father will place His very throne on the earth—not on another planet (see Revelation 21). It is from planet Earth that God’s creation and plan will ultimately expand—conceivably to encompass the universe! God may be preparing planets for future habitation (see Revelation 2:26-28), but at this point in His plan, the earth is the only planet that we know of that supports life! For more on this exciting topic, please review our booklet Your Ultimate Destiny.—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Julius Hart, and Leatrice Erlander