Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Douglas Winnail gave a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Brisbane, Australia for 134 guests and 42 members. He has since moved on to Perth, Australia. I gave Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Pensacola, Florida and Gulfport, Mississippi last weekend, with 29 guests and 59 members in attendance. Mr. Ed Breaux will hold follow-up presentations this weekend. Mr. Richard Ames recorded a new Tomorrow’s World telecast. Mr. Rees Ellis held a Bible Study for 12 people on the French-speaking Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Regional Pastor Rick Stafford visited our Haitian brethren in l’Asile, Gros-Morne and Port-au-Prince. He was accompanied by Dr. Wilner Pierre and Mr. Etienne Duval, who shared in the ordination of Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Jacques Augustin and Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Nicolas as deacons and deaconesses. (See further details below.) Mr. Jonathan McNair is now here in Charlotte, holding meetings and working out details for the new Living Education programs.—Gerald Weston
Report from the French Caribbean
February 17 was a memorable Sabbath for the Haitian brethren. The congregations from l’Asile, Gros-Morne and Port-au-Prince combined in Port-au-Prince to enjoy the spiritual food brought by Regional Pastor Rick Stafford, who was visiting the French-speaking Caribbean, as well as by Dr. Wilner Pierre and Mr. Etienne Duval. Mr. Duval gave the sermonette about the progress of God’s Work through radio, Internet and television. Before the main message given by Mr. Stafford, Dr. Pierre gave the announcements, then the three ministers ordained two couples as deacons and deaconesses: Mr. Jean-Jacques Augustin and his wife Alice from the Port-au-Prince congregation, and Mr. Jeremy Nicolas and his wife Anotte from l’Asile. Mr. Stafford gave a very moving sermon on “Seven Character Traits of the Late Dr. Roderick C. Meredith,” and how we must use his example and build these character traits as Christian soldiers. Mr. Stafford also stressed the importance of keeping our minds focused on the Big Picture, and a desire to be in God’s Kingdom. After everyone shared a wonderful congregational meal, he gave a Bible Study on “The Importance of Persevering,” as we are encouraged to do in Revelation 3:10. It was truly a special Sabbath day to remember always.
Passover 2018—Last Call for Passover Service Supplies
Important Notice to All U.S. Pastors: Any Passover supplies, recordings, and instructions need to be mailed by next Monday. Please let us know immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any outstanding requests for the congregations or scattered members in your area.
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend March 30–April 1—Deadline Reminder
The Anderson congregation invites you to join us—and Mr. and Mrs. Ames—for our ninth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, March 30 to Sunday, April 1. The weekend promises to be filled with inspiring spiritual messages, uplifting fellowship, and enjoyable activities. Come celebrate the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread this year with us in Greenville.
We have secured a room rate of $119 (plus tax) per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. This guaranteed rate expires March 9. Further details about the event, prices of meals, and registration instructions are located on our website lcganderson.org (not an official LCG website). Or, you may contact Manuel Burdette at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at email@example.com for further information.
We look forward to seeing you in Greenville for an inspiring Holy Day weekend!
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles Registration Getting Closer!
The Festival Office and Internet Departments are working together to prepare for Festival Registration for 2018. Currently, Festival Site Coordinators are making last-minute changes to their individual Festival site microsites, and ministerial Feast assignments are also being formulated. The Festival Office is also communicating with pastors to determine Festival Advisors for each congregation. We are also conducting a “Festival service” survey for pastors, to get their recommendations for this year’s Feast. All of this preparatory work is leading up to Festival Registration—we’re getting closer! We plan to open Festival Registration before Passover. More news soon!—Festival Office
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, March 2, will begin at Matthew 10:7 and continue through the chapter. 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. To join the study, go to www.livingyouth.org. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s, covering Matthew 9:9–10:6, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Adventure Camp Registration Closing
Because Adventure Camp fills up quickly, time is rapidly running out to apply for our Adventure Camp in Snowmass, Colorado! Registration closes at midnight (Eastern-time) at the end of February. If you wish to be part of the adventure of the summer, you need to apply before the end of this month! For more information, or to apply, visit https://camp.livingyouth.org. Registration for all the other North American camps remains open.—LYP Office
The Mike Pence Rule: As the Trump administration took office last year after the U.S. elections, it became known to the media that Vice President Mike Pence had a personal rule that he would never meet with a member of the opposite sex in private, alone. He was widely mocked for being naïve, prudish or even sexist toward women because of his policy. Just over one year later, against the backdrop of the almost daily accusations of sexual misconduct by other public figures, Mr. Pence seems pretty smart.
Another public figure who followed this same rule was the late Billy Graham. He died this week in Charlotte, at the age of 99 years old. Apparently it was Mr. Graham himself who inspired Vice President Pence to embrace this personal policy. While we wouldn’t agree with everything these men say, we can surely respect them for their common sense, integrity and desire to hold to honorable standards, even against ridicule and opposition. In the ministry of the Living Church of God, we hold to the same policy, following the admonition of 1 Thessalonians 5:22, which says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (KJV).
Let’s make sure all of us are wise and circumspect about our daily conduct, not allowing ourselves to be put in compromising positions, of whatever type. Follow the Mike Pence rule!
Have a wonderful and inspiring Sabbath,
News and Prophecy—February 22, 2018
The Future of Germany: A couple of weeks ago, Angela Merkel was finally able to piece together a coalition government. Although some are happy, her opponents have been critical of the concessions she was forced to make with the opposing Social Democratic party. Now, an increasing number of people, even within Mrs. Merkel’s own party, are calling for an end to her leadership (Financial Times, February 13, 2018). Many are calling for new, younger leadership in Germany. Speaking of the future of German politics under the influence of the rising Social Democratic party, one reporter commented that these politicians, “most of whom are relatively unknown outside Berlin, will be the ones to shape the politics of Europe and Germany, the EU’s mightiest member, in the years to come” (Politico, February 9, 2018).
Although Chancellor Merkel has vowed to fulfill her four-year term, some are calling for her immediate step-down—after twelve years as Germany’s powerful head (Financial Times, November 20, 2017). Who might the next German leader be? Many have speculated, but whoever it is, this person will likely bring changes to both Germany and Europe.
Germany has functioned as both the financial and political head of the EU in recent years. While other EU leaders desire the leadership reins, their nations are not positioned as Germany. Bible prophecy reveals that an end-time “beast” power will arise from Europe, very likely led by Germany. Its leader will be powerful, shrewd, ambitious and even pompous. Will the next German leader be the one spoken of in Bible prophecy? We must watch and see. Meanwhile, instability continues, as Germany and much of Europe seem to be in a sea of political change—not unlike much of the rest of the world. For more on the future of Germany, watch “Four Prophecies for Germany.”
South Africa’s President Resigns: President Jacob Zuma resigned last week under pressure from his party, the African National Congress (ANC). ANC leadership threatened to present him with a “no confidence vote” if he failed to voluntarily resign in the wake of numerous corruption charges (Al Jazeera, February 14, 2018). Mr. Zuma has been a part of the ANC since 1958 and spent ten years in prison alongside former South African president Nelson Mandela.
“Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa’s president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday and pledged to tackle endemic corruption” (Reuters, February 15, 2018). He will remain in office until full elections take place next year. Many South Africans expressed joy over Mr. Zuma’s resignation.
The book of Proverbs notes, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2). We see that reaction not only in South Africa but also worldwide, as many world leaders aim to elevate themselves on the backs of their people. There is coming a time when world leaders, under the direction of Jesus Christ, will truly serve and care for the people they rule. However, this won’t become reality until human laws are replaced by the laws of God! For encouraging news about the future of Christ’s coming world government, a time when leaders will finally have the best interests of their followers at heart, read “World Government Is Coming Soon: What Will It Be Like?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater