Greetings from Charlotte,
Plans and preparations are proceeding for the 2018 Summer Camps and the Feast of Tabernacles that will be held later this year. Please note the announcement about Feast sites that are now closed to transfers and those that are still open to transfers. Mr. Weston is visiting the office in Toronto to tape several new Tomorrow’s World programs. Mr. Rod McNair held an Internet conference on Monday for U.S. Festival Site Coordinators to go over numerous technical details. A Tomorrow’s World Presentation will be held this coming weekend in St. Louis, and follow-up presentations will be held in Macon and Columbus, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Weslaco, Texas and Dothan, Alabama. Last week, 69 visitors attended TWPs in these areas. So far this year, nearly 1,000 visitors have attended TWPs. Your prayers for these efforts to preach the Gospel are both needed and appreciated.—Douglas Winnable
This week, we sent out acceptance letters to a number of applicants to our on-site program in Charlotte. The remainder will be contacted shortly, as we finalize some of the necessary steps in their applications. Congratulations to those who will be coming to Charlotte in August—our Living Education staff is busily preparing for you! For those who are interested in our first Living Education–Online class, which also begins in August, pre-enrollment is still open. This simply means you’ll be given a first glimpse at the course as well as specific reminders and direct communication regarding the class. As a reminder, this class will be “The Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus Christ,” and will include lectures Dr. Roderick C. Meredith recorded for Living University. In addition to the videos, there will be written information and study guides to highlight important lessons from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For more information and to pre-enroll, just go to lcgeducation.org.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Some of the best memories of the Feast of Tabernacles are built serving other brethren. If you have not yet signed up to serve, there’s no better time than now! Most Feast sites will need ushers, greeters and parking attendants. Business office and information table volunteers will be in high demand. Brethren with First Aid training will be necessary to respond to occasional health issues. Men, women and children who can sing or play an instrument will be bringing praises to God and inspiring the whole congregation. Others will dive in to the “behind the scenes” prep work for activities, making decorations, serving food, setting up tables and taking down chairs. There are so many things to do at the Feast—the hardest part is what to choose! Take a look now at what service opportunities are available at your Feast site. And sign up today! With the Feast of Trumpets only 13 weeks away, your Festival Site Coordinator is already busy planning out manpower needs. Your assistance and contribution this year are vital.
To sign up for service opportunities, go to the Living Church of God website (www.cogl.org), click on “Feast of Tabernacles,” and follow the links.
Feast Site Information
Sites now closed to transfers: U.S. Sites still open to transfers:
● Carry-le-Rouet, France ● Snowmass, Colorado
● Panama City, Florida ● Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
● Marble Falls, Texas ● Seaside, Oregon
● Hilton Head Island, South Carolina ● Mount Snow, Vermont
● Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
If you are waiting on transfer approval to one of the closed sites, please consider transferring to another site. For more information, contact the Festival Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living Youth Program
Medications for Minors at Teen and Preteen Camps
Due to state regulations, all campers must bring a doctor’s prescription or physician’s script for all medications any minor will take or might take during camp. This includes any homeopathic and/or natural remedy medications. If your child will be taking any sort of medication or supplements which were not listed on the original application form, you need to let us know. Also, if you have an EpiPen for emergencies, please bring that as well. We look forward to seeing you at camp!
Medical Professional Still Needed for Texas Preteen Camp—Must Read
The Texas Preteen Camp still needs a medical professional (RN, LPN, EMT, MD, PA, etc.) on staff. If you are qualified for the position and are able to attend, please consider applying.
Sunday Is the Deadline for Applying to the Texas Teen and Preteen Camps
Applications to attend the Texas Teen Camp and the Texas Preteen Camp must be submitted by Sunday, June 10. This is for both staff and campers.
Prove Your Beliefs: Many today assume that simply “believing in Jesus” and “accepting Him into your heart”—and perhaps going to church—are all that is required to be a Christian. Yet, the Bible teaches differently. The Scriptures warn that false teachers will also talk about believing in Jesus and will deceive many people (Matthew 24:3–5; 2 Corinthians 11:1–4). The Apostle Paul advised Christians to “Test [examine carefully] all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The New Testament shows that our beliefs can and should be based on solid facts, not just emotional feelings. Luke records that the people of Berea confirmed the teachings of Paul and Silas from the Scriptures (Acts 17:10–11). To validate the resurrection, Luke records that Jesus was seen alive by many witnesses after His crucifixion (Acts 1:1–3), and this is also confirmed by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1–8). Peter emphasized that the apostles were eyewitnesses to the things they were teaching about Jesus (2 Peter 1:16), and that Christians should be able to give sound reasons for their beliefs (1 Peter 3:15). Paul confidently provided a defense for what he believed (Acts 26). If we take time to carefully prove what we believe and understand the evidence that supports our beliefs, we, too, should be able to confidently explain and defend what we believe—to ourselves and to others!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 7, 2018
Human Attempts at Peace: We live in the twenty-first century—nearly 29 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall—and nations are moving away from democratic governments and reverting to hardline leaders with dictatorial and tyrannical tendencies (Washington Post, March 20, 2018). In this atmosphere, it is sobering to note that, since the year 2000, Latin America has experienced more than 2.5 million murders (The Guardian, April 26, 2018)! With just 8 percent of the world’s population, this region of the world records 33 percent of the world’s homicides, most of which occur in just four countries: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Estimates suggest the murder rates in this region of the world will continue to increase through the year 2030.
In reaction to the increasing violence, presidential candidates in various parts of the world are calling for stronger measures, including cutting off the hands of those caught stealing (Business Insider, April 23, 2018). As an old saying goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and human governments seem to be reverting to this old philosophy when faced with difficult situations. But will man’s attempts to eliminate violence really work? Will more extreme measures finally bring peace?
The Bible indicates that God has allowed humanity plenty of opportunities to explore different avenues to peace, yet, so far, no human efforts have been successful in the long term. As the prophet Isaiah observed long ago, “The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8). The Bible reveals that there is only one way to peace (Matthew 7:13–14), and that way involves learning to live by the laws of God (Psalm 119:165). Bible prophecies also state that real peace will only come when Jesus Christ returns to set up His government on this earth in the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 9:6–7). To learn more about how and when true world peace will come, read “The Way to Peace: The Missing Dimension.”
Unthankfulness Is the Norm: Have you noticed that in today’s fast-paced and self-centered society, few people take time to say “thank you” or show appreciation? Others have noticed as well. Recent research based on recordings of more than 1,000 conversations in eight languages revealed that very few people express appreciation when others help them out. “While the English language emerged as an outlier in the study, with thank yous being used more than in any other language, the phrase or similar ones were still only witnessed in 14.5% of the conversations recorded” (The Guardian, May 22, 2018).
Scientists do not link this lack of appreciation with increasing rudeness, but with people just assuming that others will cooperate with them. Thus, if people will help you regardless of your response, why should you bother showing appreciation? The authors of the study note that the overt expression of appreciation is no longer necessary when assistance is expected.
The Bible states that one of the characteristics of the “last days” is that people will become increasingly “unthankful” (2 Timothy 3:1–2). What researchers have noticed, that people expect assistance without giving thanks, the Bible indicates is a sign of the times, when people are increasingly self-focused— “lovers of themselves… despisers of good” and “lovers of pleasure” (vv. 2–3). Instead, thankfulness is a godly trait that Christians are urged to express (Colossians 3:15). In a world that is moving further and further away from biblical morality, it is not surprising to see decreasing expressions of thankfulness. For more insight about the importance of being thankful, read “The Power of Gratitude.”—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater and Chris Sookdeo