LCG Weekly Update 12302016

Greetings from Charlotte,
Reports have been very positive regarding the Charlotte Family Weekend and the live transmission of Sabbath Services. It is difficult to have exact figures because we don’t know how many people are watching for every Internet connection, but we estimate about 5,000 were tuned in. In addition to giving the Sabbath sermon, Dr. Meredith started the evening dance with his great-granddaughter—a touching moment. The South African summer camp began this past week (see details below). There are a few pictures of campers and activities from the New Zealand and South African camps on the Living Youth Web site and Facebook and Instagram pages. Mr. Mario Hernandez gave an enthusiastic report on the Guatemala summer camp. Mr. Rob Tyler reports the brethren in the Philippines are safe after the super typhoon Nina swept through the region last weekend. Messrs. Ames, McNair, and Smith all recorded new Tomorrow’s World programs this week and I am in Kansas City for the Kansas City Family Weekend. I am sorry to have to mention that Mr. Ron Peterson, a long-time elder in the Tampa, Florida congregation, died this week. France and the Netherlands held their annual Board of Directors meetings this week, and we were encouraged to learn that the Dutch Web site has seen a 52.9 percent increase over last year. This is primarily due to the updating of the site, a steady stream of new material for the site and more advertising.—GEW
Church Administration
Charlotte Family Weekend a Success!
Almost 800 people enjoyed the Charlotte Family Weekend, which included Dr. Meredith’s exciting livestream Sabbath message, as well as a Bible Study, seminars, dances, bowling, a sports day and even two baptisms! Dr. Meredith’s message was heard by thousands around the world and was simultaneously translated into Spanish and French. God blessed us with everything from good food and fellowship, to nice weather and few technical difficulties. It truly had a wonderful atmosphere, which many commented on. A big thank you to the hundreds of you who traveled to Charlotte and helped make this year’s family weekend a big success and to the scores of people in the Charlotte congregation who worked to make it happen!—Jim Meredith
Feast of Tabernacles 2017
Even as the Feast of Tabernacles 2016 fades into our rear-view mirror, Festival 2017 is already appearing on the horizon! The Festival Office has been hard at work for months to get contracts underway for this coming year’s Feast. We are pleased to be able to announce Feast sites for 2017 in the United States and in some international areas. (Please note: The international list is not yet complete—more information will be forthcoming as plans are firmed up.)
Please stay tuned to The World Ahead for more information about the Feast of Tabernacles 2017!
United States Feast Sites in 2017:
AK, Anchorage
CA, San Diego
CO, Snowmass
FL, Panama City
MO, Lake of the Ozarks
OH, Cincinnati
OR, Seaside
SC, Hilton Head
TX, Lake Conroe
VT, Mt. Snow
WI, Lake Geneva
International Feast Sites in 2017 (partial list, added sites in bold font):
Argentina: Villa de Merlo, San Luis
Australia: Nelson Bay, NSW
Barbados: Christ Church
Brazil: Moscou
Canada: Kimberley, BC
Canada: Niagara, ON
Chile: Concón
Colombia: Armenia
Guatemala: Antigua
Guyana: Georgetown
Haiti: Paillant
Jamaica: Montego Bay
Kenya: Kendu Bay
Martinique: Ste. Luce
Mexico: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
New Zealand: Hanmer Springs
Nigeria: Lagos
Papua New Guinea: Port Moresby
Peru: Huaychulo
South Africa: Port Shepstone
South Africa: Stillbaai
Tanzania: Nansio, Ukerewe
Thailand: Chiang Mai
Tobago: Bon Accord
Togo: Afagnan
Vanuatu: Orap Village or Malekula
Feast Site in Spain
We have had a number of inquiries about the planned small Feast site in Spain this year. Please note that this Feast site will not be open to general registration, as it will be a very small site, with only a very few number of attendees. If you have any questions, please contact festival@lcg.org.
Living Youth Program
South African Youth Camp
The fifth year of the Living Youth Camp in South Africa has started off with great anticipation and excitement. Twenty-six campers and staff are all participating in various activities and games in the African bush at Camp Discovery. On the first four days we have experienced the best weather that could be prayed for, with overcast conditions and moderate temperatures alternating with sunny and warm weather to create just the right conditions for an energetic bunch of campers. Every day starts on a spiritual note with the Christian Living classes in the morning, and ends with Evening Reflection, during which campers and staff reflect on lessons learnt that day and how they can be applied spiritually and in daily life. So far we have had classes in volleyball, netball, water polo, riflery and archery, soccer, arts and crafts, ultimate Frisbee, and dancing. Other activities include Capture the Flag, X-box dancing, minute-to-win-it, and a team building and obstacle course. The campers and staff are all full of enthusiasm and new strong bonds are being formed. It truly is a blessing to see how our young staff are growing as leaders every year. We look forward to the last four days of camp.—Lawdi Ferreira
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Studies
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, January 6, will be on “Feast of Trumpets—Why the World Won’t End in Cosmocide.” This is Lesson 28 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 can be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Living University
Register for Second Semester Now!
There are just 1½ weeks remaining to register for Spring semester classes. Those interested in taking classes this semester should register as soon as possible to order textbooks and be prepared for the start of classes on January 11, 2017. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first (online), and then register for your selected course. For a listing of classes being offered this semester, visit our “Spring 2017 Class Schedule” link on the Living University Web site. Those age 65 and above are eligible to audit one class per semester and Living University will waive the 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. For a list of nations that qualify for this tuition break, visit the ISI Web site: https://www.isi-web.org/index.php/resources/developing-countries. 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 mbroussard@livinguniv.com or 704-708-2294.
Call for On-Campus Students in Charlotte (U.S. Only at This Time)
For those seeking a unique and exciting learning opportunity, LU is now accepting applications for full-time students to study on campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in the fall of 2017. On-campus students experience special opportunities beyond online study. Students meet for weekly discussion classes with many of their professors, including Dr. Germano, Mr. Ames, Drs. Douglas and Scott Winnail, Mr. Ken Frank, Mr. Peter Nathan, Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka, and Mr. Jerry Ruddlesden. Weekly Assemblies are delivered by many of the Church leaders based in Charlotte and around the world. Monthly student outings and other social activities are planned and students also participate in congregational opportunities unique to the Charlotte congregation and Headquarters (including Spokesman Club, Singles’ Bible Studies, Outreach activities, service during Council of Elders and Ministerial conferences, and much more). Student housing is available for both male and female students. Most of our on-campus students also participate in our work-study program—working part-time in different departments throughout the Work and Living University. Student work-study helps defray most living costs.
Application to the on-campus program can be made online through the University Web site (www.livinguniv.com). Additional details and requirements for on-campus students can be found online, as can an estimate of costs associated with on-campus study. If you are interested in on-campus LU study and have questions, please contact us. At this time, we can only accept on-campus students who are legal residents of the U.S. Our hope is to expand this opportunity to international students in future years, as God allows. Interested students should plan to complete their applications by February 2017. Those with no previous college should submit college entrance test scores (ACT or SAT) along with other application materials and should plan to take that examination soon. You can find out more about these exams through a local high school guidance counselor or local community college or university testing service. Home-schooled students are also encouraged to apply. If you have questions about on-campus study or to find out more, please contact Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-708-2292 or swinnail@livinguniv.com.
Comments
The Way to Peace:  Each year in December, sermons are given, prayers are offered and hopes are expressed for “peace on earth.” The hope for peace and a life free from fear are common desires shared by people around the world—yet peace remains an elusive hope. In spite of wars fought to “make the world safe for democracy” and “peace keepers” sent by the UN to trouble spots around the globe and attempts by world leaders to negotiate peace agreements—there is no peace! God reveals in His word, “the way of peace they have not known” (Isaiah 59:8), and “the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly” because their efforts to bring peace continue to fail (Isaiah 33:7). David records the true way to peace involves learning to live by the laws of God, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165). Isaiah 32:17 tells us, “The work of righteousness [obeying God’s laws—Psalm 119:172] will be peace.” The Bible reveals that peace will come to the world when Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7)—returns to this earth and the law of God goes forth from Jerusalem in the coming Kingdom of God (Isaiah 2:2-4). At that time, Jesus Christ and the saints will show the world the true way to peace.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 29, 2016
World Changes in 2017: In the coming year, Britain will continue work on its exit from the EU, and America will inaugurate a president with no political experience. France will hold elections and could select a social conservative who may move closer to Russia (Rasmussen Reports, November 29, 2016). Italy’s political future is uncertain, and anti-immigration sentiments are growing in Holland and Germany. “In welcoming Muslim immigrants, Germany’s Angela Merkel no longer speaks for Europe, even as she is about to lose her greatest ally, Barack Obama” (ibid.). “Geert Wilders, the Party for Freedom frontrunner for prime minister of Holland, echoed Le Pen: ‘They [illegal immigrants] hate and kill us. And nobody protects us. Our leaders betray us. We need a political revolution. Islamic immigration/Is an invasion,’ he went on, ‘An existential problem/That will replace our people/Erase our culture’” (The American Conservative, December 23, 2016). Other reports suggest, “2017 will be the most important year yet for the continuity of the eurozone as political and economic risk reaches the bloc’s very core in Germany, France and Italy” (Stratfor, December 13, 2016). Around the world, governments are unraveling and drifting toward chaos (ibid.). Long ago, Jesus warned that as we approach the end of the age, the news would be filled with accounts of “wars and rumors of wars,” as well as ethnic and international strife, violence and natural disasters—droughts, famines, and disease epidemics (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), which He said are only “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8). Christians must watch world events so that we are not caught unaware (vv. 42-44). For more details on future world events, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.
Desire for Strong Leaders: In a recent survey of some 51,000 households in 34 nations, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development found that just “over half the respondents from former Soviet states also thought a return to a more authoritarian system would be a plus in some circumstances” (The Guardian, December 13, 2016). One researcher commented, pointing to the U.S. election and Brexit as other examples, that “the survey showed people’s appreciation of democracy and open market economics was wavering” and that currently “in most of our countries the majority doesn’t seem to prefer democracy over authoritarian rule” (ibid.). It should be sobering that people who have enjoyed the “freedoms” of Western societies are looking for the stability that stronger controls once seemed to provide. However, the lesson of history is that authoritarian leaders also brought much oppression and suffering. Bible prophecies reveal that Jesus Christ is going to return and rule “with a strong hand” (Isaiah 40:10-11), and His government will bring peace and justice to the peoples of the world (Isaiah 9:6-7). He will not be elected by voters, but will be placed on His throne by the Almighty God (Revelation 11:15). To learn more about where this desire for a strong leader will lead, read “One ‘Strongman’ to Rule Them All?
The Importance of Fathers: A recent study reports, “Children of confident fathers who embrace parenthood are less likely to show behavioural problems before their teenage years… a man’s attitudes towards fatherhood soon after his child’s birth, as well as his feelings of security as a father and partner, are more important than his involvement in childcare and household chores when it came to influencing a child’s later behaviour” (The Guardian, November 22, 2016). In our modern world, where more children are growing up in fatherless homes and where fathers are more focused on their jobs and themselves than on their family, the results of this research is important to recognize. The Bible reminds us that children are a gift of God and are a happy blessing to fathers (Psalm 127:3-5), and Scripture emphasizes that fathers are to be loving leaders in the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; 6:1-4). Bible prophecies state the time is coming when the hearts of fathers will be turned toward their children, and the hearts of children will be turned toward their fathers (Luke 1:17; Malachi 4:6). Christian fathers today must work hard to focus on leading their wives and children, and when they do, their children will reap many blessings! For more on this critical topic, read “Fatherless Families?”—Scott Winnail, Deborah Lincoln-Strange and Francine Prater
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