Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Meredith gave the sermon here in Charlotte last week, and it is being sent out as an important “must play.” Among a variety of meetings, he also reviewed speaking schedules for the Feast of Tabernacles. We recently replaced WGN with another Chicago television station due to changing circumstances with WGN that have caused its audience to shrink, resulting in a rising cost per response. The WJYS station is already pulling 58 percent more responses in the Chicago market at our 10 a.m. Fridayairing. Because WJYS has turned out to have our lowest CPR of any station, we are adding an 8 a.m. Sunday airing. Although we had been with WGN for many years, we must continue to monitor all of our stations and make changes as circumstances dictate. Canadian Regional Director Stuart Wachowicz traveled to China this last week for meetings with Chinese officials and his plans call for him to be in Hong Kong to meet with professionals we do business with there. Dr. Douglas Winnail visited the Northeast Men’s Seminar in New Hope, Pennsylvania and was inspired by the camaraderie and content of the program Jonathan McNair put together for the nearly 70 men who attended. There is a debate coming to a conclusion here in the U.S. whether to turn control of the Internet over to an international body and this could have huge implications for preaching the Gospel. It is difficult to see any upside to such a decision, but there are plenty of reasons to see this as a negative for the Church. I received a report from South Africa indicating there are a number of brethren there facing difficult trials, and I’ve heard similar reports from other areas. Please remember to pray for one another as we are all mortal beings and our world is spinning out of control.—GEW
Tomorrow’s World Presents in Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama
Last weekend Mr. Wallace Smith and I gave presentations in Montgomery (on the Sabbath) and Birmingham (on Sunday), and the messages were very well received. Mr. Smith spoke on “Wake Up, America!” and my message was entitled “A Pathway to Hope.” Twenty-seven visitors and 49 members attended the Montgomery presentation, and almost all stayed afterward to enjoy delicious snacks and discuss various topics. Some expressed interest in attending Sabbath Services with us. In Birmingham, 31 visitors and 25 members made up an enthusiastic and responsive audience. Many in this group had read and studied a great deal of our material. Again, most stayed to ask questions and mingle with the brethren while they enjoyed the snacks. It is an awesome blessing to be involved in God’s Work and share the Truth with those He may be working with. Thank God for this opportunity He has granted His Church!—Anthony Stroud
New TomorrowsWorld.org Web Site Enhancements and NewTomorrowsWorld.org/Canada Web Page
This week we deployed three new enhancements to theTomorrowsWorld.org Web site. The Tomorrow’s World telecast, publications, Internet Web sites and social media reach all around the world, and we are always looking for ways to preach the Gospel more effectively, not only “to all the world,” but also to be more effective in local ways.
The first new feature we launched this week is new Web site functionality that will detect from where in the world people are visiting the Web site and will display “local” information on the home page about where they can find the telecast in their city. This localization technology with supporting Internet advertising is first being deployed in more than 20 key cities around the world, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Perth, Adelaide, London, Birmingham, Johannesburg, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Dallas and more.
Second, we deployed a major new feature where we can provide a “regional Web page” to certain regions so we can even better support the telecast, literature offers, and “local” articles in those regions. The first of these regional pages to be deployed isTomorrowsWorld.org/Canada, and it will support some special Canadian telecast and literature offer efforts throughout the nation.
And third, we just now added promotion on the home page of three very important resources available to anyone, anywhere: Living University, the Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course, and “The Bible Says That” Web site, which has been an extremely effective tool supporting some recent radio advertising. We pray that these enhancements, and others that are coming soon, will produce much fruit.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Just Six Weeks Away!
The Feast of Tabernacles is just over six weeks away! Excitement is building for this year’s Feast, which will be conducted at 50 different sites in 33 countries around the world! We hope that your Festival preparations are coming along well, in anticipation of this highlight of the year! Over 7,600 brethren are now successfully registered for the Feast, and many have already signed up and paid for activities. Be watching for e-mail communications from your Festival Coordinator. He will most likely send by e-mail any important information as the Feast draws near, and he may have already done so. If you do not have e-mail, please stay in touch with your local Festival Advisor for updated information. If you have not yet signed up for activities, and have not paid for the activities that offer prepayment, please do so as soon as you can. This helps the Festival Site Coordinators pay deposits and make other preparations so all of us can come together and keep God’s Feast!
Feast Speaking Schedules
Final reviews and approvals for the Feast speaking schedules are taking place, and we should be able to start sending them out in the next few days.
Volunteering at the Feast
Thank you to all our brethren who have volunteered or will volunteer for the many necessary functions at the Feast. Volunteering for service is a crucial function that enables the Feast to run smoothly. And it’s fun, too! If you have any questions about what service area you signed up for during registration, or what area you will be assigned to, please contact your Festival Coordinator. You can find his contact information by going to the Festival Web site (go to www.lcg.org, click on “Feast of Tabernacles,” and follow the links).
Listing of Local Church Services on the Day of Atonement and the Sabbath Before the Feast
The listing of congregations holding services on the Day of Atonement (October 12) and on the Sabbath of October 15 is scheduled to be posted on the Feast of Tabernacles Web site the second week of September. Pastors: If you have not yet sent in the plans in your areas for services on these two days, please do so right away so that the information can be added to the listing. The listing is helpful to brethren planning their Feast travels. Thank you to those who have responded.
Traverse City, Michigan—Festival and Children’s Choirs
There is still a need for participants in the Festival Choir and the Children’s Choir at the Traverse City Feast Site. If you would like to serve God’s people with the musical talent He has given you, then please sign up at the Traverse City Festival Web site.
If you want to be in the adult Festival Choir, then please contact Choir Director Scott Fulford at email@example.com. If you have a child who can participate in the Children’s Choir, then please contact Children’s Choir Director Audrey Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org.—Bill Long, Festival Site Coordinator
Traverse City, Michigan—Winery Tour
If you would like to attend the winery tour at the Feast in Traverse City, Michigan, please sign up with Traverse City Tours by calling 231-620-8687.
Registration for the winery tour will close October 1.
Panama City Beach, Florida—Registration and Payment Deadlines
Please register as soon as possible for the activities you want to participate in at the Panama City Beach Feast Site, in order that plans and preparations can go forward.
The registration deadline for the following activities isSeptember 30:
- DELs Luncheon
- Dinner/Dance (Note: You do not have to participate in the dinner to attend the dance.)
- Seniors Luncheon
- Singles Activity (ages 20 and above)
If you wish to attend any of these activities, please sign up immediately so that the host venues can know how many to expect and prepare for. After September 30 and during the Feast, registration for these activities will be closed.
Payment for activities must reach us by October 7. If you pay by check, please be sure to mail your check so we get it on or beforeOctober 7.
Thank you all for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles 2016 in beautiful Panama City Beach.—Anthony Stroud, Festival Site Coordinator
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: September 12 is the deadline to submit the names of brethren (in the U.S.) who will be unable to attend the Feast and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) Please send these names to the Church Administration Department at email@example.com. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org for those who have Internet access.
Living Youth Program
2014 and 2015 Camp Pictorials Are Being Shipped Out!
The 2014 and 2015 Living Youth Program Camp Pictorials are being shipped out from Headquarters this week! We thank you all for your patience in waiting for them. We’re sure you’re going to love them. If you ordered an album and do not receive it within the next couple of weeks, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited quantities of both these albums are still available. If you wish to order a copy, please contact us at the above e-mail address.—Josh Penman
Importance of Patience: The Apostle Paul urged Christians to develop the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5). The Scriptures describe the patience of Jesus (Revelation 1:9) and tell us that God is patient (Romans 15:1-3). One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22), and true saints will exhibit this important quality (Revelation 13:10). As Christians, we are encouraged to trust God (Psalm 37:7) and persevere during trials (Romans 12:12; James 1:4) as we seek to build character and learn important lessons (Psalm 25:5). We are also admonished to be patient and gentle in our dealings with others, so we can truly reflect the mind and character of Jesus Christ and our Father. Paul wrote, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). He also wrote, “we exhort you… be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15). The Apostle Peter stated, “when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (1 Peter 2:20). True Christians should not be impatient, impulsive, vindictive, or seek to get even. If we have the mind of Jesus Christ, we will strive to develop and exercise this godly quality of patience.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—September 1, 2016
U.S. Lutherans Returning to Their Mother: “Nearly 500 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. has approved a declaration recognizing ‘there are no longer church-dividing issues’ on many points with the Roman Catholic Church” (CRUX, August 16, 2016). The Lutheran Presiding Bishop noted, “Though we have not yet arrived, we have claimed that we are, in fact, on the way to unity” (ibid.). “Most notably, the ‘Declaration on the Way’ includes 32 ‘Statements of Agreement’ where Lutherans and Catholics no longer have church-dividing differences on issues of church, ministry and the Eucharist” (ibid.). Revelation 17:5 refers to a major end-time church as the “mother of harlots.” The Catholic Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible refers to this “mother of harlots” as pagan Rome—and Rome has been the historical seat of the Catholic Church. The Father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, is also credited with referring to the Catholic Church as “the whore of Babylon”—a clear reference to Revelation 17:5 (Catholic World Report, September 25, 2011). During the last several decades there has been a definite trend of many Protestant denominations (daughters) working to return to their Catholic mother. For more detail on this fascinating topic, be sure to read our brief article “Who Is the Harlot of Revelation 17?”
Replacing the Dollar? “Four of the world’s biggest banks have teamed up to develop a new form of digital cash that they believe will become an industry standard to clear and settle financial trades over blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin. UBS, the Swiss bank, pioneered the ‘utility settlement coin’ and has now joined forces with Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon—as well as the broker ICAP—to pitch the idea to central banks, aiming for its first commercial launch by early 2018” (Financial Times, August 23, 2016). “The World Economic Forum said in a report this month that more than 90 central banks are discussing the use of blockchain, and estimated that 80 percent of the world’s commercial banks would have initiated projects using the technology by 2017” (Fortune, August 24, 2016). The U.S. dollar has enjoyed a lengthy reign as the world’s trade currency since WWII; however, world markets and central banks are actively seeking a global alternative for the world’s reserve currency—and blockchain could be the solution. Bible prophecy foretells an end-time global economic system called Babylon where “the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:1-3). This system will replace the USA as the world’s dominant financial power because God will punish American pride and power due to its acceptance and celebration of sin (Leviticus 26:14-16, 19; Deuteronomy 28:44). To learn more about this soon-coming Babylonian system, read our booklet the Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?
Zika—More Dangerous Findings: Zika virus was initially thought to be a risk only for those of childbearing age, and only within a few months of infection. The mosquito-borne Zika causes children to be born with abnormally small brains. Scientists recently discovered Zika can be transmitted sexually—not just by mosquitos (CDC.gov). And now, scientists believe Zika infection may cause long-term memory damage in adults—similar to Alzheimer’s (The Telegraph, August 18, 2016). The Bible has long foretold that one sign of the end of the age is “pestilences” (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11). Zika may be one of these end-time tools that God uses to get the attention of a distracted, hedonistic world. God warned the Israelite-descended nations He would send “cursing” and “confusion” and a series of plagues upon them because they have turned away from God and rejected His laws (Deuteronomy 28:15, 20-22). Sadly, diseases like the Zika virus could be a foretaste of what is to come. God’s word tells His followers to “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression” (Isaiah 58:1). However, the Bible also reveals that if sinners will heed this warning, God will spare them and let them live (Ezekiel 33:15)! For more on the Church’s responsibility to warn the world, be sure to read “What Is the Mission of God’s Church?”—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Joe Brown and Francine Prater