Greetings from Charlotte,
Jesus foretold that “signs” of the end of the age would be increasing strife between nations, between ethnic groups and widespread natural disasters (Matthew 24:3-7). As these events occupy more of the news, we need to remember Jesus’ admonition to “watch and be ready” so we are not taken by surprise when He returns to this earth (Matthew 24:42-44). Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has written a member letter, a co-worker letter and will record his Last Great Day message for the Feast. Mr. Ames was in Toronto to record new Tomorrow’s World television programs. Mr. Ciesielka and several from the IT staff were in Houston for training in Web site development and to do filming at the Texas Preteen Camp. Mr. Gerald Weston arrived on Wednesday and is looking forward to getting settled in a new home and becoming involved in the day-to-day operations of the Living Church of God in Charlotte.—DSW
Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
On Sunday, July 10, 116 ministers, deacons, deaconesses, other leaders and wives from surrounding pastorates attended a day-long Leadership Conference in Stockton, GA, just south of Atlanta. Dr. Winnail provided updates from HQ and discussed a variety of important topics related to the theme of Building Effective Teams. He discussed the Challenge of Leadership and the Leader’s Example, The Importance of Teamwork, Sound Doctrine, Building an Atmosphere of Faith, Are We True Philadelphia Christians? and Keys to Personal Growth. Mr. Dan Hall discussed Methods of Ministry by illustrating the principle of how “Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.” In addition, Dr. Winnail gave an informative PowerPoint presentation on The Forgotten Key to Bible Prophecy. Ladies from the Atlanta, Macon and Columbus congregations coordinated an outstanding lunch buffet which added to the stimulating fellowship. There were many positive comments about the organization, content and opportunity to learn and grow as an effective team in God’s Church.
New Pictures and Links Available: Emergency Relocation of Church Members in Peru
[UPDATE] Your prayers are appreciated for our members in Cerro de Pasco, a town at the top of the Andean mountains in Peru and for our efforts to help them relocate to a safer part of the country. Through this project, we hope to move 43 Church members involving ten families from Cerro de Pasco, which has been declared a disaster area by the Peruvian government. The region has been so devastated through excessive mining and pollution that humans, animals and ecosystems are suffering catastrophic consequences. The situation for our brethren is very serious. Your prayers and assistance will be helpful for our brethren and the entire project. Please visit www.lcg.org/peru for more information. UPDATE: please note, new photos are now online and a video of our members and the new location is coming soon. To donate, click the “donate” link at the top of the www.lcg.org/peru page and follow the instructions (select “Special Funds” for the type of donation, and then “Disaster Relief” for donation description).—Cerro de Pasco Relocation Team
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: Please send the Church Administration Department at email@example.com the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast and wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) The deadline to submit these requests is July 18 for international recipients andSeptember 12 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.
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only—Repeat Announcement
Attention U.S. Pastors: All Festival Assistance Request forms should be sent to the Church Administration Department by Friday, 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).—Festival Office
Living Youth Program
LYP Adventure Trip 2016—Banff, Alberta
This year, for the first time in our 11-year Adventure Trip program, the trip was outside the United States, in the backcountry of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Thirty campers and nine staff from the United States and Canada assembled in Canmore, Alberta, for ten days of outdoor adventures and personal growth. Two pairs of intrepid groups set off from both Johnson Canyon and Fish Creek Pass, passing one another on Friday before settling in for the Sabbath. They spent six days hiking and camping in the backcountry, successfully trekking more than 54 miles (90 kilometers). Daily morning Bible studies as well as Sabbath services were held amidst God’s inspiring creation. The groups overcame cuts, scrapes, bruises, blisters, lost trails, rain, hail and even snow, but emerged victorious and stronger in body and character. The day after returning from the backcountry, the team embarked on a journey down the Kicking Horse River, experiencing class III and IV rapids in glacier-fed cold waters. Day hikes, hot springs, visits to nearby lakes, and a baptism in the brilliant turquoise-blue, ice-cold waters of Lake Louise were other highlights of this wonderful opportunity. The young people and the staff alike felt blessed to be a part of this exciting trip.—LYP Adventure Trip Staff
Registration for First (Fall) Semester
Registration for Fall semester classes is now underway and classes will begin on August 15. Students may register anytime before the start of classes. However, the earlier you register and order your textbooks, the better! Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected courses. A complete listing of “Fall 2016 Class Schedule” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) can also 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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The following is a selection of the classes we will be offering this semester. We plan to share an overview of our Fall courses over the next few weeks inThe World Ahead, so be sure to watch for them.
THL 326: Christian Service and Leadership – This course deals with the theory and practice of servant leadership in the setting of the Christian family, the Church congregation and the community. Topics include leadership foundations, skills, and issues. Students should come away from this class able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and practices of servant leadership and display the qualities of a servant leader in a congregational setting. This course has THL 226 as a prerequisite.
HPRO 114: Health and Wellness – This course aims to filter the vast array of health-related knowledge available in the world today through sound biblical principles. Emphasis is placed on lifestyle-related wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention within the context of a range of health topics that include: healthy decision-making, consumer health, weight management, human relationships, nutrition, exercise, alcohol and drug use, and many other topics that pertain to everyday life. Course content is designed to be immediately applicable in one’s life.
NUTR 207: Introductory Nutrition – This is a basic nutrition course with emphasis on nutrients and their relationship to the human body, including human nutritional requirements and nutritive values of various foods. Key issues include dietary standards for diet adequacy and healthy eating and for the prevention of chronic diseases. Students will be taught how to identify the components of a healthy diet and evaluate and improve their own diets.
Our Challenge to Grow: We are admonished in the Scriptures to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) so we can be productive Christians and not be misled by false teachers. The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to study the Scriptures to be able to correctly explain the Truth and be a more effective teacher and minister (2 Timothy 2:15-16; 1 Timothy 4:12-15). We are also told that the “work of the ministry” is to help God’s people grow in “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:12-14). The Scriptures reveal that Christians are called to become kings and priests and teachers who will point the world to the Truth in the coming Kingdom of God (Revelation 5:10; Isaiah 30:20-21). With this in mind, let’s take advantage of every opportunity to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures so we can more effectively live and prepare to teach God’s way of life.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 14, 2016
Destruction in China and Taiwan: Typhoon Nepartak left destruction in its wake as it plowed through China and Taiwan last week. Nearly 200 people were killed in China, 50,000 homes collapsed and over 1.6 million people were displaced (Telegraph, July 7, 2016). The storm affected over 32 million people in 26 provinces (Bangkok Post, July 11, 2016). In Taiwan, three people were killed, 300 people were injured and many millions in estimated damages occurred (China Daily, July 9, 2016). Sometimes the sheer volume of destruction obscures the individual suffering that occurs in major disasters. As Christians, we need to put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) and strive to develop the concern and compassion that reflects the behavior of the Savior of the world (Matthew 23:37; John 4:42). Long ago, Jesus warned that as we approach the end of the age, there would be increasing natural disasters that include “the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25). As we see more widespread suffering, we need to grow in our concern for the peoples of this world (Matthew 5:4; Ezekiel 9:4). For more information about future weather events, be sure to read Who Controls the Weather?
Fear, Hatred, and Death: Recent U.S. police shootings of young black men in routine situations has enflamed emotions and hatred and generated a vicious cycle that feeds on itself. Young black men are fearful of police brutality and are increasingly carrying weapons for self-protection. Police officers are fearful of concealed weapons and are more likely to “shoot first and ask questions later.” The incidents that released pent up anger led to the killing of five Dallas policemen who were actually protecting black demonstrators at a rally (BBC, July 8, 2016). A police negotiator who talked with the apparent shooter commented, “The suspect said he was upset at white people… that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers” (ibid.). This cycle of violence has left many feeling helpless and at a loss for how to stem the tide of killings. Bible prophecy warns that the end of the age will be a time of terror and brutality (2 Timothy 3:1-4; Leviticus 26:16) due to a disregard for the laws of God and human law, and a tremendous disregard for human life (Matthew 24:12). Unmentioned by the press, today many schools and parents fail to teach children the absolutes of right and wrong as God commanded (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). One of the reasons that Jesus Christ is going to return is to bring peace and justice to this earth (Isaiah 9:6-7). To learn how real peace will be established on earth, be sure to read our encouraging booklet The Ten Commandments. This booklet reveals that ten simple but powerful laws will be the basis for that coming kingdom!
Canada Legalizes Sex with Animals: “Canada’s highest court has just ruled that some sex acts between humans and animals are legal” (Breitbart.com, June 16, 2016). While the actions approved in this case are limited, opponents worry about the abuse of animals and humans that can result because of this ruling (ibid.). For thousands of years, the Bible has condemned these perverted actions that are labeled as “abominations” (Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23-27). The Apostle Paul warned that moving in this direction will bring serious consequences: “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:18, 28). Moses warned the ancient Israelites and their modern descendants, “For I know that after my death you will becomeutterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 31:29). Today, the so-called Western “Christian” world is hastening to discard traditional biblical values and embrace anti-biblical values that were common in the ancient pagan world. Although we should not be surprised by these long-prophesied actions, it is sobering to watch and will be even more sobering to see when the results of these actions are felt by sinful nations. To understand why such consequences will come, be sure to read “The Wages of Sin!”—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, Deborah-Lincoln Strange, Justin Ridgeway and Stewart Wachowicz