Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Douglas Winnail left South Africa where he held meetings and gave a Tomorrow’s World Presentation to 207 guests and 46 members and prospective members. Forty-seven visitors requested a follow-up presentation and 27 said they would like ministerial counsel. Only time will tell how committed they may be. Dr. Winnail then traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for a conference with Church leaders in that country. He will spend the Sabbath in the U.K. and hold a two-day Ministerial Conference. TWPs were also held in Garden Grove and Los Angeles, California with 57 guests. There were some delays in the mail system that may have kept attendances lower than expected. Mr. Sheldon Monson and Mr. Jason Fritts were here in Charlotte to update us on the Living Youth Program. Those of us who attended the National Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville came back with a better understanding of the challenges ahead of us. Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council pointed out where we are regarding free speech: “We are not in a marathon. We are in a sprint.” Others echoed the thought that we have a small window before a curtain descends on us, if censorship by the tech giants succeeds.—Gerald Weston
Legal: Care, Custody and Control of Minors—Repeat Announcement
(i.e. during Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, and all other occasions)
Care, Custody and Control of Minors: This applies to all the Church operations in the United States (and is suggested for congregations in other litigious regions, such as Canada, Europe and Australia—but those areas need to access their own national/provincial resources for background checks). If we have a “baby-sitting,” “child-sitting” or “childcare” type situation where the Church takes “care, custody and control” of minors, only adults (i.e. preferably 21 or older, but never younger than 18) who have been attending with Living Church of God for at least six months are eligible to serve. Those adults need to be screened via a background check, and the Two-Adult Rule must be adhered to (in other words, in any situation where the Church itself is taking care, custody and control of minors, no adult should have unaccompanied access to minors who are not his or her own children—i.e. “unrelated minors”). This would apply to any “baby-sitting,” “child-sitting” or “childcare” service provided by the Church during the Passover service, Feast of Tabernacles, or any other occasion. This is extremely important, so that we are doing what we can to protect the children, and also to help the Church avoid unnecessary liability.
If any teenagers are to assist the adults with a “baby-sitting,” “child-sitting” or “childcare” type situation at a Church occasion, then their names should also be checked. It is possible for those under the age of 18 to show up on sex offender registries.
Background Check—How To (U.S.-only): The question has been asked as to what is intended by the term “background check” in the above, since we perform exhaustive background checks for our summer camps. That kind of exhaustive check is not what is intended. For this particular risk exposure (i.e. short-term, non-overnight care, custody and control of minors occurring during Church services or activities—at least two adults must always be present), checking those U.S. residents who will be involved against the National Sex Offender Public Website, operated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, seems reasonable due diligence—here is the URL:
The search function of the above website will search the sex offender registries for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Indian Country, so it is intended to be thorough. To use the site, one has to accept the terms and conditions and then enter a displayed code to get to the search page.
Note: There is nothing for those being checked to know, do, be informed of, or to sign—their knowledge or consent is not required, so this is relatively painless in that regard. The website searches public records, so no notification or permission of any kind is necessary. You will, however, need to have their actual “legal” name in order to perform the search (i.e. nicknames are not sufficient)—so, first name, middle name or at least initial, and last name as they appear on their driver’s license, state identification, or U.S. passport.
Obviously, if a search comes back showing an individual is designated as a sex offender, that person may not serve in any capacity involving the Church having care, custody and control of minor children (in the U.S., that is any child under 18 years of age). No exceptions.
If you need assistance, our office will happily assist you—all we need is the list of the adults you intend to use (a week or two in advance, please), and we will run them on the above website and get back to you. Please include their full name (as it appears on their driver’s license, state identification, or U.S. passport), city and state. Otherwise, if you choose to run them (personally, or through a helper), please send our office a print-out of each individual’s search result (as e-mail attachment(s), by fax, or by postal service) as proof of our collective due diligence for the file here. Please remember to include a note with the name and location of the activity and the purpose for which the Church took “care, custody and control” of minors. Since you may need to clear additional individuals coming up to the very day of the activity, you may wish to send those print-outs to us after the activity, within two weeks if at all possible, please.
If you experience difficulty performing a search, or if a search comes back showing the individual is a registered sex offender, please contact our office for assistance. We are here to help.—Risk Management. Ph. 704-708-2229 or Risk@lcg.org.
Northeast Spring Holy Days Family Weekend March 29–April 1—Last Chance!—Repeat Announcement
The deadline for our Spring Holy Days Family Activity is March 11. The activity will be held at the Frost Valley YMCA camp, in the heart of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. This facility provides an ideal location to focus on the lessons we learn during the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. We will eat together, worship together, sing hymns together and fellowship together. The focus for these three days will be on building bonds of brotherhood, learning more about God’s way, and worshiping God. If you would like to be part of this gathering, just go to www.nelcg.org (not an official LCG website) and click on “Spring Family Weekend” under the “Activities” tab. There you can learn more about the program, facility, and cost for the weekend, and view lots of pictures from previous years. We are looking forward to hosting you at the Feast of Unleavened Bread!—Jonathan McNair
Charlotte BRiC Weekend—An Opportunity for Singles—Repeat Announcement
Plans are well underway for the Charlotte BRiC (Building Relationships in Christ) Weekend! Singles of all ages can begin making plans to join us in Charlotte during the Memorial Day Weekend (May 25–28). This will be a great opportunity for singles to connect, build friendships, and learn more of God’s way of life. There will be Bible Studies, BRiC Talks, team activities, and a dinner and dance. Registration for the weekend will open next week. Upcoming announcements will provide more details. If you have any questions regarding the weekend, please contact Mr. Jacob Hall (email@example.com) for more information.
Canadian Family Civic Weekend (CFCW) 2.0—Repeat Announcement
Join us August 3–6 for the annual Canadian Family Civic Weekend. Bible Studies as well as a seminar will provide a chance to grow together by learning more of God’s way, and there will be many opportunities for fellowship and building brotherly bonds. We will visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens Trail. In addition, this year we will be transported back to Medieval Times, with incredible equestrian displays and a tournament with sport, games, falconry and jousting. We will also have a talent show, and if you would like to be part of that, please contact Mr. Tim Dranov at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the price, accommodations, and much more, visit: LCGontario.org/cfcw or http://eepurl.com/dij1TL (not official LCG webites).—Michael Heykoop
2017 Responses, and Need for a Few More Telecast “Monitors”
As recently mentioned, God has blessed us to go on NewsMax—a growing, nationwide USA cable TV station, and we thank you for your prayers that God will use this station to reach many more people. As with all of our television stations, we will monitor NewsMax results over time, to be “good stewards” of the resources that God gives us to preach the Gospel to the world (Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15). We monitor all of our various Gospel proclamation efforts (cf. Proverbs 27:23) and add or drop stations or make other adjustments when necessary. In reviewing our television station coverage and responses, we are pleased to note that for 2017, our “cost per response” dropped by about 12 percent when compared to 2016! This means that our television coverage is yielding “more fruit” for every dollar spent. On this note, one of the important ways we know that the telecast is broadcast in the assigned time slot and with good quality is that many Church members volunteer as “telecast monitors” and report to us in the rare event of a problem. Thank you to those who help in this way! If you would like to be a telecast monitor—and especially if you receive one of our big “national networks” such as NewsMax, Angel, CWPlus, Word or Impact in the United States, or Vision (Canada), 7Two (Australia), or CBS Reality (UK), we could use a few additional “telecast monitors.” Please e-mail us at email@example.com to let us know if you can and want to help.—Wyatt Ciesielka
New BibleProphecy.org Website Launched—Repeat Announcement
As mentioned last week, we are pleased to have just launched a new website to further promote the weekly “News & Prophecy” newsletter. We hope this new website will be of interest to additional “new people” who are looking for brief prophetic commentary on current news items. Please check it out when you have a moment. The URL is www.bibleprophecy.org.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Registration Will Begin April 15
Mark your calendars! Festival registration will begin Sunday, April 15, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA). It’s easy to remember—that’s tax day (in the USA)! At that time—April 15—all LCG members and guests will be invited to register for the Feast site of their choice. Festival registration will be on the Festival website, which you can access at fot2018.lcg.org or by going to lcg.org and clicking on “Feast of Tabernacles.” The Festival website is currently open and available for you to peruse, and learn about each of the Feast sites that will be held in 2018.
Test Your MyLCG Account
We encourage all brethren to test their MyLCG account, in preparation for Festival registration. Your MyLCG account must be working for you to successfully register for the Feast. You can test your account by going to the MyLCG webpage (cogl.org) and logging in. If you are not able to log in, follow the help menu instructions. If you still cannot log in, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not make housing reservations before registering for the Feast! Your patience in this regard is much appreciated. And, waiting until registration shows love to other brethren who are waiting to arrange housing as well. Once you have registered successfully (and your transfer request approved, if you are transferring), you are free to arrange for your housing.
Pastors and Elders Festival Assignments
Pastors and Elders: We are still finalizing a few last-minute details—but ministerial Feast assignments should be out soon.
Kauai, Hawaii Feast Pre-Registration—Must Read if Applicable
Thank you to all of you who have pre-registered for Kauai! Many brethren have already pre
–registered and been accepted for Kauai and are now looking for accommodations and flights. If you have not received a response e-mail about your pre-registration, please e-mail Brandon Fall at email@example.com.
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, March 16, will cover Matthew 11:1–12:13. 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 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 10:7–42, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Are you a young person considering college? Have you just completed college and you’re at a crossroad in your life? Would you like to build a solid foundation for the rest of your life? If you are willing to rise to the challenge of dedicating one year to immersing yourself in a study of the most important, fundamental principles for successful living, then Living Education—Charlotte is for you. The goal for our intensive program is to teach you how to live, not just how to earn a living. The principles you learn will be timeless and the friends you make will share the same values and beliefs. Enrollment is now open at http://bit.ly/LivingEducation if you’d like to reserve your spot in the program. We’ll continue to provide more detailed information in the weeks to come.—Jonathan McNair
Saving—and Spending—the Festival Tithe: Passover time is self-examination time. It is time to evaluate our lives. And time to adjust and correct areas where we may be falling short. We can ask ourselves, “Am I being faithful in setting aside the Festival tithe?” Over the years, some brethren have fallen into the trap of thinking that saving Festival tithe—also known as second tithe—is optional. In other words, if they cannot afford it, they don’t need to save it. But Scripture shows just the opposite. Saving the Festival tithe is a command that teaches us to have an appropriate fear of God, keeping our focus on Him providing for our needs (Deuteronomy 14:22–23). In “Self-Examination: A Vital Key to Growth,” (LCN, March/April 2009), Mr. Richard Ames explains that we can even “ask God for the ability to give,” and that tithing shows God we “trust and honor Him.” Reviewing that article might be helpful during this season.
Another question we can ask ourselves is, “Am I spending my Festival tithe correctly?” Deuteronomy 14:24–26 shows that the Festival tithe is for going to or using at the Feast. Certainly, that includes the Spring Feasts. If you know you will have enough Festival tithe for the coming Feast of Tabernacles, it is certainly appropriate to use a small portion of it during the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread season. Many brethren use a small part of their Festival tithe for the Night To Be Observed meal. On the other hand, some have, over the years, fallen into the trap of thinking that the Festival tithe can be used for household items or other things throughout the year, or as emergency funds, which have no relation to God’s Festivals. Let’s be careful not to stretch the application of the Festival tithe command beyond its intent.
Why talk about the Festival tithe in March, when the Feast of Tabernacles is over five months away? Because now is the time to examine our Festival tithe saving—and spending—habits.
Passover is only three weeks away!
Have a wonderful Sabbath,
News and Prophecy—March 8, 2018
Are There Any More Good Leaders? Dictators appear to be increasing in number while a growing number of local and national leaders are stepping down under corruption allegations. The global corruption watchdog Transparency International recently released its Corruption Perceptions Index, which reported over two-thirds of nations are corrupt (Deutsche Welle, February 21, 2018). The nations of New Zealand, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and the U.S. were considered among the least corrupt nations. And most other nations—including Mexico and many in eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and most of Central and South America—were scored as corrupt (Transparency International, February 21, 2018). The index ranked 180 countries and territories using data focusing on “perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.”
The report noted that “most governments around the world are moving too slowly to curb graft and bribery.” It also identified the “clear link between high levels of corruption and little protection of the media and civil society groups.”
What is sobering is that most of the least corrupt nations, according to the survey, are the Israelite-descended nations of Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sadly, the Bible prophesies that the condition of these nations will worsen, because spiritually, they are far from uncorrupt. In fact, as time moves forward, these nations are prophesied to become bereft of good leaders (Isaiah 3:1–5), because of their sins (v. 8). The future holds some sobering times before Christ returns to fix society. For more insights into why global corruption will spread and result in a global dearth of good leaders, read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Jerusalem Findings Support the Bible: Archaeologists excavating near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem recently unearthed small, impressed clay pieces (bullae) bearing the seal of King Hezekiah and the name of Isaiah (Biblical Archaeology Review, March-June 2018). The Isaiah bulla was missing a piece which may have had an additional letter. Depending on that single missing letter, the bulla could plausibly have stated that this was Isaiah “the prophet.” Currently researchers are unable to determine whether the Isaiah on the bulla is Isaiah the prophet or just one of the king’s officials also named Isaiah.
The name of King Hezekiah appears in 17 of the 32 verses in which Isaiah is mentioned in the Old Testament (NKJV). It is also important to note that the bullae bearing the names of Hezekiah and Isaiah were found within ten feet of each other at the dig site.
We do not know if this Isaiah was truly Isaiah the prophet. However, for skeptics who view the Bible as a fanciful collection of fables, this finding is yet another nail in the coffin of their skepticism. Many skeptics continue to refer to the ancient nation of Israel and its kings as Bible myths. Yet, over the decades, mounting archaeological evidence supports the veracity and historicity of the biblical text. If nothing else, this finding places the name Isaiah alongside the real, historical figure of King Hezekiah, proving at the minimum that the use of the name Isaiah was contemporary with this king. Given the growing body of evidence, the Bible skeptic is an example of those Paul described to Timothy: individuals who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). It also calls to mind God’s condemnation of the modern Israelite-descended nations, who have a proclivity for “reject[ing] knowledge” they do not accept (Hosea 4:6). For more information on the mounting evidence that supports the validity of the Bible, read or listen to The Bible: Fact or Fiction?—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater and Mike DeSimone
 This applies only to residents of the U.S. Those who do not reside in the U.S.—and therefore whose records are not accessible via the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website—may not serve in any capacity involving the Church having care, custody or control of minor children in the U.S. No exceptions.