Greetings from Charlotte,
All of our traveling speakers for the Days of Unleavened Bread have returned to Charlotte safely, and have given positive reports of their visits to various areas around the world. Dr. Meredith’s article series on the Protestant Reformation is being put together in booklet form. We believe this is an important statement by Dr. Meredith and the Church regarding Christianity, showing the difference between the true Christianity of Christ and the Apostles and the counterfeit Christianity of Revelation 17. Our Spanish language website is doing exceptionally well. Mr. Mario Bais, who lip-syncs our English language Tomorrow’s World telecasts into Spanish, reported that the El Mundo de Mañana YouTube Channel reached a new milestone, exceeding 10 million visits. I recorded a new telecast on “The Attack on Patriarchy.” Our magazine article “Tame the Social Media Monster” has appeared at an opportune time, with Mark Zuckerberg being called on the carpet before congressional committees for two days, to answer questions about Facebook. Major issues regarding social media, all of which should be of concern to each of us, are the loss of privacy, censoring of views not politically correct, and the deliberate design to addict you and your children to these social media platforms.—Gerald Weston
The Second Passover this year is on Sunday, April 29, which means that it will be observed on Saturday evening, April 28.
Congregational (blue) Hymnals—Must Read
From time to time, the HQ office in Charlotte is asked to supply additional congregational (blue) hymnals for a particular congregation. While we are glad to do so, we want to make sure that the ones already distributed are being put to use. In other words, we want to make sure no blue hymnals have found their way into brethren’s homes, like sheep that have lost their way! So, we’d like to ask everyone to check to see if they have any blue congregational hymnals in their own collection of books at their homes. And if any blue congregational hymnals are found—please bring these lost sheep back to services!—Church Administration
Charlotte BRiC Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend)—An Opportunity for Singles
All singles are invited to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the BRiC (Building Relationships in Christ) Weekend on May 25–28! This weekend will give singles of all ages an opportunity to fellowship, hear inspiring messages, and enjoy fun-filled activities. If you are interested or plan to attend, please visit our webpage at charlottelcg.org/bric (password bric) (not an official LCG website) to see the schedule of events and to register. If you have any questions regarding accommodations, housing with local brethren, or details concerning the weekend, please contact Mr. Jacob Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
This week in The Wall Street Journal, an article titled “One Year Alternatives to College Pop Up” highlighted the growing recognition of the place for one-year educational programs. The traditional four-year degree is still the norm for post-secondary education, but the rising cost of education and the burden of debt that it places on our “next generation” have highlighted the benefit of a one-year program for specific educational goals. In our case, one of our primary mandates is to “feed the flock.” In other words, focus on education and training. Our Living Education-Charlotte program aims to do just that for our young adults, the pillars of the Church and Work into the next generation. For more information, and to apply, go to LivingEducation.org. We still have openings for the 2018-19 school year.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Registration Begins Sunday!
It’s here! Festival registration will begin Sunday, April 15, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, 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.
Congregational Assignments for the Feast of Tabernacles, USA
To find out what Feast site your local congregation is assigned to, please consult the following list. You may request to transfer to a site other than your assigned site. Please do not make housing reservations until you have registered and have been approved for your choice of site.
La Quinta, California
California: Banning, Concord, Eureka, Fresno, Garden Grove, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego
Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno
Arizona: Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Tucson
Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Grand Junction
New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Fe
Wyoming: Casper, Saratoga, Thermopolis, Wheatland
Panama City, Florida
Alabama: Athens, Birmingham, Montgomery
Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Lake City, Ocala, Pensacola, Tampa
Georgia: Columbus, Thomasville
Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Ferriday, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans
Mississippi: Columbus, Jackson, Laurel, Ocean Springs
Puerto Rico: San Juan
Alaska: Anchorage, Homer
Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Knox, Terre Haute
Kentucky: Berea, Louisville
Michigan: Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City
Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima
West Virginia: Bluefield, Charleston, Morgantown
Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Crossville, Etowah, Knoxville, Nashville
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Arkansas: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville
Iowa: Des Moines, Dubuque, Keokuk
Kansas: Chanute, Wichita
Missouri: Columbia, Joplin, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Joseph, St. Louis, Springfield
Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
Montana: Great Falls, Helena
Oregon: Myrtle Creek, Portland
Washington: Richland, Seattle/Tacoma, Tonasket
Hilton Head, South Carolina:
Georgia: Atlanta, Augusta, Blairsville, Braselton, Macon
North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Statesville, Sylva
South Carolina: Anderson, Walterboro
Virginia: Bristol, Norfolk, Richmond, Williamsburg, Winchester
Marble Falls, Texas
Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Big Sandy, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Lufkin, Midland, San Antonio, Temple, The Valley
Mount Snow, Vermont
District of Columbia: Washington
Maryland: Baltimore, Salisbury
New Hampshire: Tilton
New Jersey: Hammonton, Rahway
New York: Albany, Binghamton, Corning, New York City, Plainview, Rochester, Syracuse
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Tannersville
Rhode Island: Providence
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Illinois: Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Springfield
Minnesota: Duluth, Minneapolis
North Dakota: Bismarck
Wisconsin: Appleton, Merrill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Studies on Summer Break
The Friday evening online Teen Bible Studies are suspended as we prepare for, and during, the camp season. Some LYP Christian Living classes will be posted online during the summer. The regular online Bible Studies will resume on November 9. Archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies can be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Pastoral Evaluations Needed for Camp Applications
Note to Pastors: We kindly remind you to complete the “pastoral evaluations” for LYP camp applications as soon as possible, because we need your evaluations as we fill the rosters of campers and staff.—Sheldon Monson
The Blessings of Unity: I have just returned from visiting congregations in Australia, Africa, United Kingdom, Europe and the Caribbean. During those visits, I found our brethren warm and welcoming and definitely reflecting what David wrote in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” It is also worth noting that Jesus prayed for His disciples, “that they may be one as We [God and Jesus Christ] are” (John 17:11). The Scriptures reveal that while the disciples had different perspectives (Acts 15; Galatians 2), they learned to work together as a coordinated team to achieve their mission of preaching the Gospel to the world (Mark 16:15) and preparing a people to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom (Luke 1:17). The disciples obviously realized that if they each marched to their own drum, their job would not get done. This is why Paul stated that as we do the Work of God, we must be respectful and patient with each other, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). If we are willing to be led by God’s Spirit, we will see divisions diminish and we will be more “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). On these recent trips, it was encouraging to see the peace, harmony and unity that is possible among Spirit-led Christians in our widely scattered congregations in this troubled world. Let’s all strive to do our part to promote godly unity in the body of Jesus Christ.
Have a pleasant and profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—April 12, 2018
Russia’s Future? Today there is growing animosity between Russia and the West—Europe, Britain and the United States. Some experts note that “China, Russia, India, Turkey, Iran, and others are seeking to carve out a new space for themselves in the newly emerging international system, as the United States is struggling to redefine its place and identity in the new world” (Oxford Research Group, January 2, 2018). “Although the West continues to possess the power of influence, Western leaders have not been effective in using such power. Instead of devising a strategy of selective engagement and recognition, they largely rely on containment and political confrontation in relations with Russia.” Regardless of the causes, Russia is being pushed away from the West and toward nations aligned against the West.
Just 14 years ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin referred to Europe as Russia’s “natural, most important partner” (Institute for Security Studies, 2004). What happened in the intervening years, and why has Russia gone from a friend of the West to a perceived foe?
The answer may be found in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The Apostle John prophesied that at the end of the age, a 200-million-man army north and east of the Holy Land would attack the end-time European Beast power in a devastating conflict that would kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:13–18; Daniel 11:40–44). This army will likely comprise troops from some of the world’s most populous nations east of the Euphrates River (see Revelation 16:12), including China—and it may take Russian military hardware and know-how to support and transport such a vast army. While some are surprised by Russia’s relatively rapid pivot from west to east, it is also sobering to witness the increasing animosity between Russia and the West in the light of what Bible prophecy has long foretold. For more insight into Russia’s fascinating future, read “What’s Ahead for Russia?”
Demise of the “Christian Default” in Europe? A recent study verifies what many have observed over the last couple decades in Europe: that “Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good—or at least for the next 100 years” (The Guardian, March 20, 2018). In a region that has given the world popes, Martin Luther, and the Bible printed in common languages, the majority of young Europeans today identify as “not religious.” They do not attend regular church services, and they never pray.
These facts help explain the changes in priorities that European nations and European leaders have demonstrated in recent years. And as younger leaders take center stage in Europe, this unreligious perspective will have an even greater impact on society and national decisions.
However, end-time prophecies indicate that in the coming years, the Catholic church and its chief prelate will play an influential role in European leadership. In particular, this individual will use powerful “signs and wonders” to gain attention and support (Revelation 13:11–18). For decades Catholic popes have called for Europe to return to its “Christian” (i.e., Catholic) roots—a call we should expect to hear more frequently in the years ahead. To learn more about the role of the Catholic church in Europe’s future, read “Who Is the Harlot of Revelation 17?”—Scott Winnail, Chris Sookdeo and Francine Prater