Greetings from Charlotte,
Reports have been very positive from those returning to Charlotte following Pentecost. A number of us traveled to various locations to encourage our members and help with speaking assignments, as many of our ministers have more congregations than they can serve on these Holy Days, even when combining services. I visited Omaha, Nebraska where we had 62 in attendance. This was my first time there since I was transferred to Canada in 2001, and it was encouraging to see the growth. Some of those in attendance had come from the newly forming Lincoln, Nebraska congregation. Kansas City, Wichita, Columbia and St. Joseph combined for Pentecost, with 351 in attendance. We have several announcements in this update regarding summer camps and deadlines for applying. If you have teens or preteens who want to attend camp this year, please be sure to check the announcements regarding deadlines for applications, as time is running out. Twice a year we offer a select group of subscribers a DVD or booklet that we think they will find of value. We offered Prepare for Armageddon to just under 68,000 subscribers in late March and had our highest return ever, with 28.3 percent requesting the DVD. Semi-annual responses for the new booklet, Marijuana: What They Aren’t Telling You, are just now beginning to come in.—Gerald Weston
New Booklets for Member Households—Repeat Announcement
Just a reminder: All member households automatically receive a copy of new booklets when they are produced. There is no need for members to request copies of the new Marijuana: What They Aren’t Telling You or The Plain Truth About the Protestant Reformation booklets, because you will receive them automatically.
Next week we will begin accepting students who have already applied for the on-site study program in Charlotte. We may have a few spaces left after this, but acceptance will be limited to space available. Our one-year program includes exciting classes that delve deeply into the Bible and Christian living topics. There will be extracurricular activities, a chance to build lasting friendships with peers in God’s Church and even the opportunity to “put your hand to the plow” and work part-time for the Work of God. There are still a few remaining slots for those ambitious young people who desire to deepen their spiritual understanding or who are looking for a “spiritual-reboot” after spending several years at university or in the secular workforce. Do you want to grow spiritually? Do you feel like you have been “spinning your spiritual wheels” and need to refocus? If so, our one-year Living Education program in Charlotte could be just what you are looking for. We are seeking applicants aged 18-30. Beautiful and affordable housing near the LCG offices is available for our on-site students. For more details about the program and to apply, visit our website at lcgeducation.org and click on the “Charlotte” tab at the top of the page. If you have questions, please call or e-mail Dr. Scott Winnail (704-708-2292; email@example.com). Opportunity is knocking!
Feast of Tabernacles
With only 16 weeks until the Feast of Trumpets, last Monday we held an online meeting with USA Festival Site Coordinators from around the country. Topics we discussed included Feast banking and accounting, upcoming deadlines, and service personnel at their respective sites. We also discussed Feast activities. Some brethren have inquired about signing up and paying for activities. PLEASE NOTE: We are not yet accepting signups or payments for activities. That will come later this summer. Our Feast coordinators will be working on formulating their activities over the next couple of months. After which—later this summer—everyone will be able to sign up for activities. Watch for announcements.
Living Youth Program
LYP New Zealand Camp 2019 Registration Open!
It is with much excitement that we can announce that camper and staff registration is now open for LYP New Zealand 2019! Camp will once again be held at Eltham, New Plymouth, which was a huge success last year. International applications are accepted and we especially encourage those in the Australasian region to consider taking us up on this incredible opportunity. The official dates for camp are 8 to 17 January, 2019, with staff needing to arrive a day earlier, on 7 January. You can request an application form by e-mailing LYP administration assistant Mrs. Kate Canary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff and camper places are limited, so we do encourage you to request your application form as soon as possible. For any questions, please e-mail Mrs. Canary and we will reply as soon as we can.—Paul Kearns
Missouri Preteen Camp: Friday, June 1 Applications Deadline
Time is running out to register for the Missouri Pre-Teen Camp. June 1 is the last day to register, for both staff and campers. Hope to see you there.—Gene Hilgenberg
North Carolina Preteen Camp: Monday, June 4 Deadline for Camper Applications
In just over four weeks, the North Carolina Preteen Camp starts the North American summer camp season! Camper applications are due by June 4. We look forward to seeing you there!—Mark Sandor
Texas Teen Camp: Camper Applications Due Sunday, June 10
The deadline for campers to apply for the 2018 Teen Camp in Athens, Texas is fast approaching. Any campers wanting to come to this camp must apply by Sunday, June 10. This will give us time to plan for food, make dorm assignments, and plan camp activities. Sign up now, as space is limited!—Sheldon Monson
Texas Preteen Camp: Sunday, June 10 Applications Deadline
We still have room at the Texas Preteen Camp for campers and staff! Deadlines for all applications will be Sunday, June 10. We are currently in need of a registered nurse, so any qualified individuals, please apply. Your service is much appreciated!—Jason Fritts
Perseverance—A Vital Quality: Perseverance is one of the laws of success! The word “perseverance” is defined as tenacity, remaining steadfast under pressure, and determined continuation along a chosen course in spite of difficulties and opposition. The Scriptures clearly emphasize the importance of this vital quality. Solomon wrote, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). Jesus stressed, “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). The parable of the sower explains the consequences of compromising in the face of temptation or becoming distracted, discouraged and giving in when we encounter trials and difficulties (Matthew 13:18-23). The Apostle Paul warned, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). The Apostle John records the same advice to the Philadelphia Era of the Church: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world…. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11). When trials and difficulties come our way, let’s remember this important advice—and be determined to persevere.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 24, 2018
Muslims: “Move as One”! This is the call from Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the recent opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, and what he called a “massacre” in Gaza (National Review, May16, 2018). President Erdogan called for a summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a unification of these nations using the Gaza situation as its catalyst. In recent months a Turkish newspaper also ran an article calling for an “Army of Islam” to form and attack Israel (Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2018). According to the article, this armed force would be the world’s “largest army,” with over five million troops.
The Middle East includes a fractured group of nations divided along religious lines. Sunni and Shia Muslims are often at odds. Whether anyone can unify all Islamic nations remains to be seen, given the animosity between Shia Iran and the many Sunni nations, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Many Arabs see Iran as a greater threat than even Israel, and whatever unity comes is likely to exclude Iran.
Bible prophecy speaks of an end-time “king of the South” that will push against a European “king of the North” (Daniel 11:40–44) who will be in league with a great false religious leader (Revelation 13). History records that Muslim forces from the south have frequently clashed with the European powers to the north. Bible prophecies reveal this historic rivalry will erupt again at the end of the age and will involve the Holy Land and Jerusalem. While this ominous news from the Middle East shows a desire to bring the Islamic states into harmony against Israel, the king of the South will appear as prophesied and will be centered south of Jerusalem. For more insights into the future of the Islamic and Arabic nations, read or listen to our booklet The Middle East in Prophecy.
Unity in Asia? America’s involvement on the Korean peninsula could have unforeseen consequences. “In the first trilateral talks since 2015, the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea sent a powerful message of unity in the push to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons” (Deutsche Welle, May 9, 2018). During their talks, the three discussed a “free trade” pact between themselves and other Asian nations. In the last few weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also twice visited Chinese leader Xi Jinping in China for talks (Deutsche Welle, May 8, 2018).
Even with the “rocky” nature of the proposed summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, Asian nations who were not previously talking and who were at odds with each other over China’s military actions in the South China Sea are now planning together once again. The actions of the U.S. president actually appear to be pushing these Asian nations together.
Bible prophecies predict that a superpower will emerge on the world stage and come from the “East” (see Daniel 11:45). This superpower will muster a 200-million-man army that will cause tremendous worldwide devastation (Revelation 9:13–18). The nations of the East who are currently beginning to work together are likely to play a key role in this coming super-army. Interestingly, China’s trillion dollar “Belt and Road Initiative” could provide the infrastructure to move not only goods and fuel, but also troops across Asia in the years ahead (The Guardian, May 11, 2017). For more information on this important topic and to better understand why these Asian nations may be coming together, be sure to read our article “Return of the Dragon.”—Scott Winnail and Chris Sookdeo