Over the past winter, six congregations of the Living Church of God hosted weekend gatherings across the United States, providing enhanced fellowship and educational opportunities for regional brethren. Brief reports summarizing these events were kindly provided to the Headquarters office, and we at the Living Church News thought these would be encouraging for our brethren around the world. We hope you enjoy them!
A week into December, God miraculously opened the door for us to hold the Atlanta Family Weekend at the newly renovated DoubleTree by Hilton. This facility had previously served us well during the 2020 Feast of Tabernacles. Plans quickly came together through the diligent efforts of our local leadership.
On Sabbath morning, Evangelist Richard Ames gave an insightful Bible Study on the Epistle of James. One new member commented that it had been many years since he and his family had heard such an in-depth Bible Study. In the afternoon, Mr. Ames set the tone and purpose for the weekend with his sermon titled “Develop Godly Relationships.” That evening, we enjoyed a scrumptious dinner with smoked brisket, pulled chicken, and all the fixings. After dinner, Braselton congregation member Ms. Elizabeth Moore entertained the brethren with humorous stories from her childhood. The evening concluded with the “Behind the Work” video from the 2021 Feast of Tabernacles.
On Sunday at 9:00am, the brethren gathered for fun and a variety of table games, including chess. A delightful lunch concluded the special weekend.
Charlotte, North Carolina
The Charlotte Family Weekend proved to be a very special occasion for our Church family. The Sabbath service attendance of 263 included about 60 visitors from nearby congregations. Mr. Gerald Weston gave the sermon, and the service was streamed to eleven surrounding congregations. The Sabbath service was followed by an outstanding chili dinner and lots of fellowship. After sunset, the evening concluded with a very entertaining talent show that featured four mystery performers in our production of “The Masked Singers.” Few in the audience were able to guess who the performers were—but we had a lot of fun trying!
Sunday activities at a local sports facility, enjoyed by 243 participants, included carnival games, group games, volleyball, children’s games and activities, silent auctions for baked goods and various arts and crafts, and a lunch of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. With activities designed for participation by brethren of all ages, we enjoyed a true family weekend.
From December 31, 2021 to January 2, 2022, 29 enthusiastic young adults from several U.S. states joined Mr. and Mrs. Gerald and Carol Weston and Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Carla Rodzaj for a wintry Young Adult Weekend on the shore of Delavan Lake in southeastern Wisconsin. Interactive group sessions, presentations, Sabbath Services, a question-and-answer session, and messages by Messrs. Weston and Rodzaj addressed the needs and issues young adults face today. The purpose of the event was to bring young adults together in a focused learning environment to revisit the foundational teachings and mission of the Church, to receive reinforcement and encouragement in their roles, and to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Delicious and relaxed meals, enjoyable group games, and free time provided plenty of opportunities for everyone to mix, share their stories, build bonds, support each other, and simply enjoy time together. In every way, the event fulfilled its purpose.
Kansas City, Missouri
The Kansas City Family Weekend went extremely well. God blessed us with relatively warm weather for the time of year, making travel easier. On Friday, we rented a gym so that our youth could get together for fellowship and any sports they might enjoy.
On the Sabbath, 238 attended in person, plus 91 online, for a total of 329. Mr. Mike DeSimone gave the sermon and Mr. Mark Sandor gave the sermonette. A catered meal was served afterwards. For the evening, families participated in a “Kahoot” trivia night featuring general, Bible, and Church topics. This was done online with smartphones and computers. Those who had personal devices shared them with those who didn’t. The event organizers provided questions for the very young as well as questions for older folks. Almost everyone stayed after the dinner and participated. Some commented that this would also be a good game for other local activities.
On Sunday, families participated in a Bible-themed carnival. Booths included a mirror maze, a “road to the Kingdom” game using remote-controlled cars, a ring toss with prizes that were intended to be given to others throughout the day, a cake walk, and many other interesting activities.
This event was a team effort, and many commented on how much they appreciated that the activities included the entire family. Those setting up their booths seemed as excited as those who enjoyed them, and the children, especially, all seemed to have their favorites.
The Texas Family Weekend at the Hidden Pines venue in Mineola was a total success. There were 207 in attendance for Sabbath services, followed by a delicious fajitas dinner, as well as a talent/fun show and dance after sunset.
On Sunday morning, 165 attended the Bible Study, which was followed by a first-class brunch and more fellowship and fun.
The weather was perfect, and we had plenty of outdoor space for touch football and for young and old to fellowship in peace and safety. The messages were outstanding, the food and fellowship were exceptional, and all had a delightful time. The goal of the event was to recapture foundational family values, and these were reinforced and cemented during this very worthy and successful Texas Family Weekend!
The Family Weekend in Montgomery, Alabama, was a great success! Eighty-nine brethren attended Sabbath services, including those online and on the telephone. Our guest speaker, Mr. Dexter Wakefield, gave a Friday evening Bible Study, as well as a sermon titled “War: What Is it Good For?”
On Saturday evening, 57 members attended the activities, including dinner and karaoke. Sunday activities involved family games, including a sack race, a shoe race, and an unwrapping contest with prizes.
We all enjoyed a weekend of fellowshipping, games, and much eating together as a family. Some complained about a little muscle soreness later, but we survived!