LCG Weekly Update 12092016

Greetings from Charlotte,
We have all encouraged Dr. Meredith to write an autobiography to fill in some of the history of the Church, since he played such a major part in the Work of God under Mr. Herbert Armstrong. This week he distributed the first of a planned three-part series, titled “The Early Years.” The importance of this project cannot be understated as he is the last man to fill in many details in the early years of Ambassador College and the Radio Church of God during its existence and afterward. We look forward to the completion of this project and sincerely pray that he will have the energy to complete it. Meanwhile, Dr. Winnail was in Baton Rouge last Sabbath where he conducted a Tomorrow’s World Presentation and I returned from Canada after recording another two Canadian-version Tomorrow’sWorld programs. This Sabbath I plan to visit our congregations in Phoenix and Tucson. Please continue to pray for people to respond to the semi-annual letter by committing themselves more fully to God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son through the knowledge they are receiving.—GEW
Church Administration
Tomorrow’s World Presents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
On Sunday, December 3, the Baton Rouge congregation hosted a Tomorrow’s World Presents, given by Evangelist Dr. Douglas Winnail and myself.  On a very wet inclement day, 29 visitors and 37 members heard the powerful message “Wake Up America!” The messages were well received and many positive and encouraging comments were made by the attendees. Several expressed interest in coming to weekly Sabbath services. It was a very good day!—Glen Harrison
Online Spanish Radio Station (El Mundo de Mañana)—Repeat Announcement
We are delighted to announce that a project that was approved at the last Spanish Ministerial Conference is now underway: an online radio station (www.mundomananaradio.com) to transmit El Mundo de Mañana programs. Although this project is aimed at Spanish-speaking countries, many listeners are actually in countries where the official language is not Spanish. Most listeners are in the USA. Then, besides Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil, we are also reaching listeners in France, Russia, Spain, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine, Netherlands, and Israel.
Other content on El Mundo de Mañana Online Radio includes music from different countries, readings of Psalms and Proverbs, educational documentaries, and live programs to be made by Mr. Mario Hernandez and other ministers. The programs will be promoted on Facebook, Twitter and on www.mundomananaradio.com. A number of young people and adults in various countries have contributed their time and skills to make this project possible and we hope to launch an app for mobile devices soon.
Thank you for your prayers for the success of this online station and all our efforts to proclaim the true Gospel in Spanish.—Armando Orrego
2016 Charlotte Family Weekend—Registration Closing Soon!
Registration for the 2016 Charlotte Family Weekend will be closing at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, December 19. If you plan to attend this year and haven’t registered and paid, please do so right away! Please note that since we must give guaranteed numbers to the hotel for the meals, if we don’t receive full payment for them by the deadline, they will not be ordered. From now on, only online payments through PayPal can be accepted as there is not time to receive and process mailed checks. (If you have mailed a check to us in the past few days, please e-mail dross@lcg.org to let us know you have sent the check. You may access registration via the MyLCG page of the www.cogl.org Web site. All activity descriptions and schedules are posted here as well. Reservations at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites host hotel may be made by calling the hotel directly at (704) 357-1414 or by using the link provided on the Facebook page. Technically, the deadline to reserve rooms has passed, but the hotel is still allowing our group to book at the special rate. We do not know, however, how long this will last, so book soon! Due to the Christmas holiday, most restaurants in the Charlotte area will not be open on December 24 and 25, so please remember that when deciding whether or not to eat the catered meals at the hotel. So grab your dance shoes and your tennis shoes and come join us for an exciting weekend of physical and spiritual rejuvenation!—Jim Meredith
Kansas City Family Weekend
“Kansas City, here I come!” The Kansas City Family Weekend, from Friday, December 30 through Sunday, January 1, is just three weeks away. Our theme for this year’s dance and entertainment is “Step in Time.” So get your dancing shoes on and dress in formal or Sabbath wear from any era within the last century or so. Please use discretion and modesty when choosing an outfit.
The deadline to reserve rooms at the KCI Airport Embassy Suites is tonight, Saturday, December 10. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, please pay for your dinner via the PayPal link, or by mailing a check, per the instructions on our Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site). If you plan to bring artwork, poetry, quilting, etc. to our art show, please sign up on the Web site so we make plenty of space for you.
The deadline for registering your team for Sunday’s Family Games or sports is next Sunday, December 18. On the Weekend Web site, just click on “Sunday Activities,” then choose the activity (Family Games, volleyball or basketball) that you’re creating a team for. Finally, follow the step-by-step instructions. You can always add other team members later.
If any of this applies to you, then relieve any feelings of stress and urgency by visiting our Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site), click “KC Family Weekend,” and take care of any unfinished business. Parts of the site are password-protected and “security” (all lowercase) is the password. We look forward to seeing you soon!—Michael Keesee
Internet Department
Improved Online Donations Interface
Many people now make purchases, pay bills and do their banking “online,” so a few months ago we deployed a new, secure online donations system to make it more user-friendly to pay tithes or make offerings online.  The feedback is that people really like this new system.  Online donations reduce paperwork for you, and they also reduce paperwork and administrative time for headquarters.  Last week we added functionality to the donations system to support “recurring” donations.  Many of us in the office have been using the “recurring donations” feature for the past few weeks, and it works great.  It is easy to set up.  Just click the “donate” link at the bottom of the Web sites.
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, December 16, will be on “Pentecost—Only ‘Firstfuits’ Now Called!” This is Lesson 27 of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible Studies, we encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern time) and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. You can find instructions for joining the Bible Study and also access it 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 “Feast of Unleavened Bread—Our Part in God’s Master Plan,” can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Living University
Living University: Registration for Second Semester
Registration for second semester classes is now underway! The spring semester will begin on Wednesday, January 11. You may register for the spring semester (autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) anytime between now and January 10. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. This semester, along with many of our traditionally offered spring classes, we will be offering two completely newcourses. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of second semester courses can be viewed on the Living University Web site under the link “Spring 2017 Class Schedule.” Those age 65 and above are eligible to audit one class per semester without a tuition fee. High school students interested in taking LU classes while in high school can register for the Early College program and take classes at a significantly reduced rate. Brethren in many developing nations are also eligible for a 50 percent reduction in tuition. 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 or questions, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at mbroussard@livinguniv.com or 704-708-2294.
THL 413 – Epistles of Paul II. This is the second course focusing on the Apostle Paul’s life and writings. Its emphasis is on the final five of his letters to the seven churches (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and 1 and 2 Thessalonians), his letter to the church-at-large (Hebrews) and his letters addressed to individuals (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon). This class examines the historical, archaeological, and cultural background of the life and times of the Apostle Paul and the start of the New Testament Church. THL 412 is a prerequisite for this course.
THL 428 – Working with the Elderly in the Church. As society around the globe ages, the need to understand aging populations is increasing. This course deals with identifying the needs, both physical and spiritual, of people as they age. Emphasis is on learning and applying necessary care skills to meet these needs, and developing an awareness of available community resources. Students in this class will learn to be sensitive to and proactive in dealing with the challenges and needs of an aging population, e.g., spiritual/religious, social, biological, physiological, and psychological.
THL 437 – Biblical Prophecy I: Major Prophets. This course deals with the role and function of the biblical “major” prophets with an in-depth study into the prophecies found in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. We will also examine the historical background of each prophet and the writing of each book. THL 212 is a prerequisite for this class.
Comments
Transforming Faith:  How has your faith influenced or changed your life? The Apostle Paul urged New Testament Christians, “do not be conformed to this world, but betransformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). The word “transformed” comes from the Greek word metamorphoo, which means a complete and total change—as when a caterpillar undergoes a metamorphosis into a butterfly! Jesus told potential Christians that they must repent (Greek metanao) which involves learning to think differently and turn with sorrow from a past course of action. As we regularly study and meditate on the word of God and ask God to help us change, we will develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). As we make conscious decisions to think, talk and act as Jesus would—as we crucify the old self—Jesus Christ will be able to live His life in us (Galatians 2:20). This is the transforming faith that enables us to come out of the darkness of this age and be the lights to the world that God is looking for in individuals who are called to become members of His family (Ephesians 5:8-10).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 8, 2016
Horrors of War in Syria: The Associated Press headline reads starkly, “No More Room for the Dead as Syria’s Aleppo Is Crushed” (December 4, 2016). According to the AP report, “Dignity in death has been lost as the rebel-held enclave that has held out for four years collapses… U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien pleaded Wednesday for access to eastern Aleppo, home to some 275,000, ‘before it becomes one giant graveyard.’ In some ways, it already has. Bodies have been left to rot on the streets. Ambulances and rescue vehicles can’t reach them because they have been targeted or because fuel has run out.” Approximately 450,000 have been killed as a result of the fighting of the War in Syria (Iamsyria.org). So many of those suffering in Aleppo are innocent—simply caught up in the fighting because of where they live. Regardless of the outcome of this particular round of violence and destruction, the horrors of this conflict should call to mind the Bible’s prophecies concerning the eventual destruction of Syria’s capital, Damascus. “Behold Damascus will cease from being a city, and will be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1). “Damascus has grown feeble… Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor… Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all of the men of war shall be cut off in that day” (Jeremiah 49:24-26). Yet, just as God has prophesied the eventual end-time destruction of Damascus, so He also prophesied of the coming Kingdom of God to be set up on the earth (Mark 1:14-15). That Kingdom will finally bring peace to this strife-torn world (Isaiah 11). To learn more, watch our telecast “The Way to Peace.”
Italy and the Future of the EU: “Italy and the eurozone have been thrown into uncertainty after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation following a crushing defeat of his constitutional reform in a referendum on Sunday… Italians rejected Renzi’s reforms by 60 percent to 40 percent and handed a major political win for the anti-euro, populist Five Star Movement” (EU Observer, December 5, 2016). Germany’s finance minister has also threatened Greece, saying it must “carry out unpopular reforms if it wants to stay in the Eurozone” (Russia Today, December 5, 2016). As the EU Observer reported, “With France and the Germany [sic] facing decisive elections next year, and with Italy already in turmoil, Europe could change profoundly in 2017 and put the future of euro into doubt once again. France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen hailed the Italian referendum results and tweeted: ‘The Italians have disavowed the EU and Renzi. We must listen to this thirst for freedom of nations.’” The EU’s current 28-nation bloc or 19-nation Eurozone, is too large to function effectively. Bible prophecy reveals that a final configuration of this group will include “ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.” They will be “of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). The winds of change are blowing in Europe, and 2017 promises to be a very interesting year. To learn more about events in Europe, read or listen to our booklet The Beast of Revelation!—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, Howard Woodard, Deborah Lincoln-Strange, and Francine Prater
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