Greetings from Charlotte,
We now have over 600 people signed up to take the first online Living Education course beginning in August, as stated in the announcement below. Please be sure to read the announcement, as important points are given. As with anything new, there will be a learning curve on how to navigate the Living Education website, but we have made every effort to make it simple and easy to negotiate. Our first North American youth camp begins this week in North Carolina, for pre-teens. I’ll be making an overnight visit to the camp to record material for this year’s Festival “Behind the Work” video.
Wyatt Ciesielka and Ryan Dawson made a one-day trip to Kansas City to meet with USA800, one of our call centers, to touch base on a few matters, including the possibility of them taking calls in the Philippines. We are scheduled this Sunday evening to begin airing Tomorrow’s World in the Philippines on CNN. As many of you realize, CNN has lost a lot of market share in the United States, but it is huge internationally. Tomorrow’s World Presentations are scheduled this weekend for Seven Oaks in the United Kingdom and several locations in the United States.—Gerald Weston
Death of Elder Mickey Mayeaux
We are saddened to report the death of an elder in God’s Church, Mr. Mickey Mayeaux, of Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. Mayeaux, an elder since 2014, died on June 7. Please remember his widow, Clara Belle, in your prayers, as well as the brethren in the area. He will be greatly missed.
Canadian Family Civic Weekend—Repeat Announcement
The Canadian Family Civic Weekend is just six weeks away! Join us August 3–6, as we will be transported back to Medieval Times, watching elegant equestrian displays and tournament, as well as jousting, falconry and games. There will be Bible Studies and a seminar, giving us a chance to grow together as we learn more of God’s way. Also, we are planning brunch options that will provide a fantastic opportunity for fellowship and building brotherly bonds. At the end of the weekend, we plan to visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens Trail, which will inspire us to apply Philippians 4:8. This year we will also be having a talent show, so if you would like to be part of it, or if you have any questions, please contact Tim Dranov at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the price, accommodations, and much more, and to register, visit our website: Lcgontario.org/cfcw(not an official LCG website).
On August 15, we’ll begin our first online course, “The Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus Christ.” At this point, more than 600 members and ministers have pre-enrolled to take part in the course. This is very encouraging! I trust that the course will be beneficial and inspirational. We are blending Dr. Meredith’s lectures from the Living University classes with our new format for the class material. These lessons will be adaptable to those with more time or less time, a desire to do more reading or less reading, and to a preference of either listening to an audio version of the lecture or watching a video version. Local ministers will be an integral part of the course, as additional instructional material will be made available to pastors and elders. Here’s an important point in preparation for those who are planning to be involved: each participant will need to use their unique Living Church of God Personal Identification Number (PIN). By doing this, you’ll be able to view your progress through the course material. Even if you plan to do the course together with a mate or family member, it will be helpful to chart your own progress. Don’t worry if you don’t know your own PIN. Every member has one, even if you’re not aware of it. When you actually start the first lesson, we’ll help you find it and make sure you’re all set! In addition, it is best if each person has a unique email address. This simply makes it easier to make sure we keep everyone’s records straight. Thanks for your cooperation!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Every year we accomplish Festival registration in two phases: (1) Site registration, and (2) Activity registration. Here is how it’s done:
Site registration opened April 15 and will remain open up until Feast time. As of this writing, there are 7,541 members and guests successfully registered for the Feast. During site registration, you can sign up to volunteer (music, parking, ushering, etc.). Some Feast sites are now closed to additional transfers (see the list below). If you are on the waiting list for a closed site, you will need to transfer to another site.
Activity registration will be the second phase of online Feast registration. Activity registration is not yet open, and will not open until later this summer—stay tuned for more details! To find out advance information about planned activities, check the Festival website (go to lcg.org, click on “Feast of Tabernacles” and follow the links). When Activity registration opens—later this summer—members and guests will be able to sign up for (and in most cases pay for) Feast activities.
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only
Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Monday, July 16. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. Festival Assistance Request forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG Web site (www.cogl.org).—Festival Office
Feast Site Information
Sites now closed to transfers:
- Carry-le-Rouet, France
- Liverpool, Canada
- Baguio, Philippines
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
- Marble Falls, Texas
- Panama City, Florida
U.S. Sites still with ample room:
- Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
- Mount Snow, Vermont
- Snowmass, Colorado
If you are waiting on transfer approval to one of the closed sites, you will need to transfer to another site. Or, you can attend your assigned site. We would appreciate you changing your registration as soon as you can. For more information, contact the Festival Office at email@example.com.
2019 Greece Feast of Tabernacles
We are pleased to announce that there will be a Feast of Tabernacles in Greece next year. Although we are still in the process of working out exact details of what the tour will involve, rest assured it will be educational and inspirational! Festival attendees will remain in the same location during the Feast, but will be able from that location to tour historical sites in and around Athens and Corinth. An optional pre-Feast tour to Thessaloniki, Philippi and Veria (Berea) will be available, as well as an optional post-Feast tour that includes Crete. If seeing this part of the world, where the Apostle Paul and other biblical figures travelled, is on your bucket list, then sign up now to have the opportunity to be on this tour. Due to needing to make firm commitments to hotels soon, pre-registration for this Feast will only be open until July 29. To pre-register, go to https://goo.gl/forms/
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Program 2017 Camp Pictorial—Repeat Announcement
The pictorials from last year’s camp programs have arrived in Charlotte. They cover the Teen camp in Texas, Adventure camp at Mount Rainier, as well as the North American Preteen camps in Missouri, North Carolina and Texas. We’re also excited this year to have been able to include most international camps: Belgium, New Zealand, South Africa and Togo.
The pictorials will be distributed a bit differently this year: if someone in your household attended one of the youth camps last year, your household will automatically receive a copy, free of charge. To minimize mailing costs, most of the pictorials can be distributed at the summer camps. Distribution will be primarily at the Texas camps. However, if no one from your family is attending in Texas, but is at one of the other camps, yours will be available there, instead. If someone from your family is attending one of the camps in Texas, please don’t try to pick up a pictorial at an earlier Preteen camp, as those camps will only have enough copies for those who won’t be attending in Texas. If you have any questions, or want to double-check how you will receive your pictorial, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.—Joshua Penman
Are You a Peacemaker? Jesus Christ described a fundamental aspect of Christianity when He told His disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The Apostle Paul advised brethren in Rome, “as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Paul explained that we can become peacemakers by not seeking revenge, by not mistreating others when we are mistreated and by overcoming evil with good. Solomon wisely observed, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Solomon also stated, “He who covers [overlooks and forgives] a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats [passes along gossip, keeps talking about or won’t let go of] a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Jesus warned that reacting angrily to a brother or sister is the same as murder, because it breaks the spirit of the law (Matthew 5:21–26). Real peacemakers are willing to go to their brother or sister when problems arise and talk things over in a spirit of meekness (Matthew 18:15; James 3:17–18). David wrote, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165). One important lesson we must learn as Christians is that peace comes when we follow and learn to apply the laws of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 21, 2018
A Coming Universal Church? This week Pope Francis made a highly anticipated visit to the World Council of Churches (WCC) headquarters in Geneva. In an earlier interview, Evangelical pastor Martin Robra, a senior WCC official, commented, “[I]t looks as if we have reached a new spring with Pope Francis and his initiatives” (Vatican News, May 31, 2018). He stated further that “there is so much more that unites us than what separates us.” Concerning the future, Mr. Robra looks for a time when “the Pope is not speaking just in the interest of the Catholic Church but rather anticipating the one, holy, apostolic and catholic [universal] Church with those who are separated until now.” Essentially, Martin Robra and many others look for a time when Catholics and Protestants come together again as one universal church.
Does this vision seem far-fetched? Is it even possible for a church divided by the Protestant Reformation to come together again? Many Protestant and Catholic leaders certainly think and hope so—and Bible prophecies indicate this will actually happen. Revelation 17 speaks of a woman, or great universal church, that will ride the end-time “beast” (v. 3). This church is the “mother” of many churches that have come out of her (v. 5)—churches that may very soon make their way back into her fold. The leader of this church is prophesied to ultimately perform “great signs,” including bringing fire down from heaven (Revelation 13:13).
The Bible has much to say about the future of the Roman Catholic Church and her Protestant daughters. For more information on this fascinating topic, be sure to read “Who Is the Harlot of Revelation 17?”
And Now—Disease X: Public health officials are preparing for what they call “Disease X”—a hypothetical disease that would be virulent and infectious, with the potential to become a pandemic (a worldwide epidemic) and kill large numbers of people (The Economist, March 23, 2018). This disease might be manmade, a brand-new disease or a genetic variant of an existing disease. With global trade and international travel, public health officials know that deadly diseases can and will spread very quickly around the world.
“A new strain of bird flu which kills 38 percent of those it infects has been identified by the deputy chief medical officer for England as the most likely candidate to spark a worldwide flu pandemic” (The Telegraph, June 15, 2018). The China-based H7N9 flu “is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans. It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic” noted Professor Jonathan Van-Tam. This bird flu variant is younger and stronger than the H5N1 variant that drew much media attention in 2003, and some think it has the potential to be the next “Disease X.”
New infectious diseases appear every year, and they vary in their strength and ability to spread. These diseases are so worrisome that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dedicated an entire monthly journal to their study—Emerging Infectious Diseases. Whether the relatively new H7N9 bird flu strain will be the dreaded “Disease X” remains to be seen. However, Bible prophecy warns that major disease epidemics will appear at the end of the age. Jesus warned that deadly “pestilences” would be one sign of His imminent return (Luke 21:11). The Apostle John prophesied of extensive end-time fatalities related to war, famine and disease (Revelation 6:8). The concerns expressed today by disease monitoring organizations indicate these ancient Bible prophecies are reflected in a frightening and growing reality. To learn more about this and other signs of the end of the age, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater and Chris Sookdeo