March 13th, 2014
From the Presiding Evangelist
Dear Fellow Servants of the Living God,
We are very grateful to our Father in heaven that we have been able to go on at least nine new TV stations in the last several weeks! Increased responses are beginning to come in—for which we are very thankful. Also, it is now "leaking out" that a number of ministers, elders and members are coming with us from Mr. David Hulme's church. We have in no way orchestrated this, but many of them have felt for months or years that no real work was being done there, and that the full Truth was not being preached. So, after checking us out, many are coming to the Living Church of God. Also, we are going to be able to employ at least three ministers who are coming with us to help out in this Work and in this ministry. I ask all of you, in Jesus' name not to be alarmed or worried about this!
Frankly, each one who is coming with us full-time has been very well known to me, to Dr. Winnail and to Mr. Ames personally. So they are not "unknown quantities" in any way.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nathan, from the Pasadena, CA area are coming full-time and he will be teaching a class or two at Living University, writing articles and helping out with other responsibilities in a number of ways. I have known Peter and Karen Nathan for decades. I even knew Karen as a little girl of five or six when I was helping start the church in London back in 1956-1957. Because of this, both Peter and Karen would take my wife and me to brunch every time they would come back from New Zealand when he was the head of the Work in New Zealand under Worldwide for a number of years. After that, Mr. Nathan ended up working for me for a couple of years during my tenure as Deputy Chancellor at Big Sandy. We did a number of things together socially, in addition to our professional interaction. So they are dear friends, very sound in the faith and very well known to most of us leaders here.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Elliott are coming with us from the Chattanooga, TN area. I have known Stephen since he was a little boy as his parents had a number of us college "boys" babysit their own boys—as Betty Bates was the only girl in the college in those early years! So Stephen and I have been friends and associates and I have known his family for over 60 years. He, also, is very sound in the faith and was concerned for quite some time about the lack of preaching on prophecy and on other key matters in his recent association.
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rodzaj from the Phoenix, AZ area are also coming full-time. Mr. Rodzaj was my Faculty Aide for a full college year back in the winter of 1985-1986—just before I was transferred to be Deputy Chancellor at Big Sandy. So we worked together for many months and I have found him always to be very sound in the faith, very dedicated and a fine and faithful minister of Jesus Christ.
So I hope all of you will have confidence that Jesus Christ—the Living Head of the Church—will lead those of us here in Charlotte in making these decisions. Christ does not want any of you sitting around being negative or "worrying" about decisions which have been thoughtfully and prayerfully worked out. Rather, we should all be very thankful that a few ministers in the greater Church of God are coming with us to help us do this Work and help us minister to the flock. So please welcome these ministers and their families whole-heartedly, pray for them and ask God's blessing in this whole thing as He will guide us as we walk and yield ourselves to Him.
Again, let us all really thank God that He is truly moving things along in prophetic events and that we can see the "handwriting on the wall" more than ever as far as our British-descended and American peoples going down and many other events taking place which our Father in heaven has prophesied. God is with us! Let us be thankful and go forward with faith and courage. Please pray for us here and for me personally—as we all pray for you and thank you all for your faithful service and your loyalty to Jesus Christ.
In Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. News just now came from Mr. Ownby that we have definitely been accepted for the 8:30 a.m. Sunday time on WGN! We have been praying about this for years. So even though we may have to cancel one or two of the above stations to make it work, we are very grateful that God has heard our prayers and allowed us to go on at this good time on Superstation WGN every Sunday morning.
Greetings from Charlotte,
It is encouraging to report that last Sabbath we had a record attendance of 280 people here in Charlotte. Dr. Meredith had a very positive visit to our congregation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, last weekend. This week, he has been busy writing a letter to brethren, chairing a Council of Elders teleconference and holding a number of meetings. Last weekend, Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Armando Orrego visited our congregation in Lima, Peru. We hope to finalize a small Gulf Coast Feast Site soon that will primarily serve those living in the area and a limited number of transfers. We have been very encouraged by the new ministers and members who are coming with the Living Church of God to do the Work. The ministers we employ will work closely with Area Pastors or Regional Pastors where they will serve. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Meredith are in Florida for Feast work. Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka was in Texas this w eek for a congregational visit and a technical conference. This Sabbath, Mr. Wakefield will be speaking in Raleigh, NC, and I will be in Chattanooga, TN for services and a number of visits.—DSW
Passover 2014—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: This year the Passover Service will be observed on Sunday evening, April 13. Let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording. To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we should have this information by March 17 for U.S. congregations. Information for international congregations should already be here.
Also, let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. For U.S. members, we need the information by March 17. International requests should have been received by now. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Carolina Singles Weekend 2014
Registration is now open for the Carolina Singles Weekend 2014! We look forward to what is shaping up to be another memorable Memorial Day weekend. Don't miss this opportunity to spend some time in Charlotte, NC with family and friends. Vital messages, exciting activities and pleasant fellowship await you here. We look forward to you joining us then!
For details about the weekend and information on how to register, please see the Charlotte LCG Web site (charlottelcg.org) (not an official Church Web site).—Jonathan Bueno
God has instructed His Church to preach the Gospel as a warning to all the nations (Matthew 24:14), and in the midst of the recent dramatic events occurring in Ukraine, He has opened up yet another big door to now broadcast the Tomorrow's World telecast to all of Ukraine in the Ukrainian language! Final preparations are underway and programming should start next month. Look for us on the powerful Amos2 satellite in Ukraine, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Moscow time; and also in Ukrainian on YouTube anywhere in the world.—Wyatt Ciesielka
New Tomorrow's World Web site Update!
The final touches are being made to the new Tomorrow's World Web site, and we again thank you for the hundreds of positive comments and excellent suggestions that so many of you have made. If you haven't tested the new Web site yet, please check it out at beta.tomorrowsworld.org. We plan to go live soon, after which time we will focus on migrating our French and Spanish Tomorrow's World Web sites. As many of you will notice, this new site is "responsive" in that it automatically optimizes for mobile and tablet devices which now make up a majority of our visitor traffic. There are also a few very powerful new features built into the new Web site, some of which we have not "turned on" yet… so as we often say on the telecast, "stay tuned" for some exciting updates soon. And most of all, thank you again for your prayers for the success of this major new Web site launch.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles Web Site—Repeat Announcement
The Feast of Tabernacles 2014 Web site is now available! We appreciate all the hard work of ministers and members around the world who have put so much effort into preparations for the annual fall Festivals, and we hope you will find this beautiful Web site informative and helpful as you make your plans to observe the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day at one of these sites where God has placed His name. Please watch Mr. Ames' inspiring introductory message on the FOT Web site home page, and use the interactive map or the drop-down listing to learn more about the various Feast sites. Just go to lcg.org and look for the "Feast of Tabernacles" link on the left side menu.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
2014 Festival Web Site "Live"—Repeat Announcement
Brethren are now able to access Feast site information on the 2014 Festival Web site. Please note: Festival Registration is not open—we will be announcing the registration date in the next few weeks. If you do not have Internet access, please contact your Festival Advisor to print off information for any site(s) you are interested in attending. If you do not know who your Festival Advisor is, please check with your local Pastor.
To access the Festival Web Site, go to: fot2014.lcg.org. (You can also access it by going to the Living Church of God Web site (lcg.org) and clicking on "Feast of Tabernacles.")
Pastors: Please make sure that Headquarters has been notified about any changes in your local congregation rosters. For example, please let us know of any Church Youths (CY) who have turned 18 and now should be listed as Prospective Members (PM). Please also let us know of any other changes in status of any brethren in your area (i.e. baptisms, etc.) or if any brethren have moved to another congregation. Send these status updates to [email protected]. Please also fill out your Festival Advisor survey if you haven't done so already.
All brethren: Please make sure your MyLCG account is working. This will be necessary for you to register online. To test it, go to www.cogl.org and sign in to MyLCG with your username and password. If you don't have one, you will have the option of creating one. If you have any problems logging into MyLCG, please e-mail [email protected].—Festival Office
2014 Feast of Tabernacles Israel Tour—Repeat Announcement
We still have a few spots open for the Israel Feast tour this year. If you are interested in participating in this very special Feast in the Holy Land, please register on the MyLCG page of the Church Web site. This is the last year we will be offering this opportunity to keep the Feast in Israel in the foreseeable future, so unless you go this year, you might have to wait until Christ returns to stand on the Mount of Olives. The trip this year has a revised itinerary from last year, and includes Masada and the Dead Sea on the main tour. The full tour description is posted on the MyLCG page, so check it out for details and pricing.—Jim Meredith
Living Youth Programs
Online Teen Bible Study—Friday Evening
The online Teen Bible Study Friday evening, March 21, will be on "Are We Living in the Last Days?," presented by Mr. Sheldon Monson. If you haven't had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible Studies yet, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible Study runs from 8:00-9:00 p.m. (EDT) and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. You can access this Bible Study at livingyouth.org. We hope as many of our youth as possible will join us for this wonderful opportunity for godly fellowship and learning. For those of you who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening's on "The Mystery Religion of Babylon," can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Registration for LYC 2014 Camps
We are still accepting registrations for four of the camps in the United States—Ohio, Texas, Missouri and West Virginia. If you haven't applied already, you can find out more information at lyc.lcg.org. The Adventure Camp, however, is now full. If any of you are still interested in participating in this camp, please send an e-mail to Mr. Sheldon Monson at [email protected] and your name will be placed on a waiting list.
Pastoral Evaluations for Camp—(Notice for Pastors Only)
Every year, as part of the application process for both campers and staff for the various LYC camps, we send pastoral evaluation requests to pastors of applicants. These help us to put applicants into the right staffing positions at camp, as well as aid in selecting and placing campers. If you can return the evaluations as quickly as possible, it will help us to process applications: we can't accept an applicant until we receive the evaluation back. Each evaluation should take no more than a few minutes to complete. If you have any questions regarding the pastoral evaluations, please contact Jenny Penman at [email protected].—Sheldon Monson
Young Adults Activities and Adventure Camp
We are planning to have a winter activity for the younger adults (ages 20-35) in the Church, after the Charlotte Family Weekend in December. We are looking for the ideal venue for this winter activity that will include skiing, snowboarding, sledding and other fun activities, as well as Bible Studies and discussions that will relate to the young adults. So if you are interested in attending this activity, put December 28 to January 1 on your calendar!
We had hoped to be able to offer an Adventure Camp for the young singles this summer, but for a number of logistical reasons, it has been decided not to have this activity. However, we are definitely planning to have one in the summer of 2015.—Jim Meredith
U.S. Only: This week we mailed out the green Holy Day envelopes. These pre-coded envelopes save the staff hours of processing time when they are used for Holy Day offerings. We would suggest that you place these envelopes with your Bible and notebook that you take to services. If you do not receive your envelopes by March 26, please e-mail [email protected] and we will resend them to you.—D. Jerry Ruddlesden
Mileage Reimbursement: Ministers, unpaid elders, and others who are reimbursed for their Church-business-related mileage: there is a new 2014 mileage form on the MyLCG site. This form has the new reimbursement rate of $0.56, which is different from 2013. Please use the new form when submitting 2014 mileage for reimbursement. Thank you for your service to God's people and for using the updated form for Accounting purposes.—Josh Lyons
Pride vs. Humility: Bible prophecies reveal that in the last days people will be proud, boastful, haughty and headstrong (2 Timothy 3:1-5), and that scoffers will ridicule the idea that a real God inspired the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:3-5). Many today are unaware of what God reveals in His Word about pride and humility. The Bible states that "pride goes before… a fall" (Proverbs 16:18), and that humility is a prerequisite for honor in God's sight (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23). God says that He looks on the humble (Isaiah 66:2), that He dwells with the humble (Isaiah 57:15), that He raises up the humble (Psalm 147:6) and that He give grace (unmerited pardon) to the humble (Proverbs 3:34). Jesus said, "blessed" are the humble (Matthew 5:5), and Peter urged Christians to "be clothed with humility" (1 Peter 5:5). The Scriptu res reveal that God used Moses because he was humble (Numbers 12:3), and that Jesus Christ was exalted because He humbled Himself by dying on the cross for our sins (Philippians 2:8-9). While many today doubt that God exists or wonder what His will is, the Bible clearly explains what God is looking for in each of us—"to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 13, 2014
California's Killer Drought: "In late January, California officials, for the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project, announced they were cutting off the flow of water from the northern part of the state to the south, affecting both farms and cities… This as California's Central Valley, producer of half of America's fruits, vegetables, and nuts, is experiencing its worst drought on record" (Christian Science Monitor, February 19, 2014). California produces over 11 percent of all U.S. agriculture and is the leading state for cash farm receipts—totaling over $44 billion in 2012 (CDFA.gov). According to a new st udy, only three out of the last 500 years have been as dry as this year (AccuWeather, February 20, 2014). Weather expert Ken Clark noted, "Already, there is talk of farmers having to leave fallow more than 1 million acres this year as there will not be the water to grow crops" (ibid.). As a result, "Water restrictions may cost California $11 billion in annual state revenue and affect 40 percent of Central Valley jobs" (ibid.). End-time prophecies indicate this situation will get worse (Revelation 6:5-6). Long ago, God warned nations that disobey His laws, "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl… the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks… The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust" (Deuteronomy 28:15-18 , 24). Bible prophecies also reveal that when Jesus Christ returns, the droughts and famines will come to an end, and that better times are definitely ahead (Amos 9:13)—see our informative booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?
Gender Confusion! "The concept of gender-neutral parenting first became popular among feminists in America during the 1970s" yet, it is still around (Daily Mail, February 14, 2014). One U.K. couple is raising their son as both a boy and a girl—leaving the ultimate determination of his gender identity to him. His 23-year-old stay-at-home mom commented "'If Max wants to wear a pink tutu and fairy wings, then he can'... Parents raise their son as a boy AND a girl so he won't 'grow up aggressive'… 'It doesn't matter if he's homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or asexual as far as I'm concerned. I didn't give birth to him to say "I'm only going to love you if you're this way". I love him for who he is'" (ibid.). Both parents are mutually supportive of this method of raising their son, and the father's biggest concern about the whole issue is, "Does Max have the right shoes to go with that dress!" (ibid.). Sadly, parents who experiment with their children's gender identity ignore important facts. Human anatomy and physiology clearly reveal that males and females are different, and the Scriptures reveal that God made males and females different for profound reasons (Matthew 19:4; Genesis 2:18, 24). God instructs parents to train their children for their future roles (Proverbs 22:6). However, Bible prophecies state that at the end of the age, misguided leaders would "call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 3:12; 5:20). Thankfully, when Christ returns, there will be a restitution of true values and gender confusion will end (Acts 3:19-21). For more about godly parenting, read our free booklet, Successful Parenting: God's Way.
North Korea's War Crimes? Following a year-long investigation, UN investigators recommend "North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un himself should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities" (Reuters, February 18, 2014). Extensive interviews of defectors, "including former prison camp guards," showed that "The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world" (ibid.). The Bible reveals that the human heart, apart from God, is evil and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), as witnessed by many world governments. However, successful, godly leaders esteem others better than themselves" and are not self-serving (Philippians 2:3). One of the benefits of the soon-coming Kingdom of God will be a world government based on righteousness and justice (Isaiah 9:6-7; 32:1). For more about this exciting future, read our article, "God's Kingdom Is a REAL Government!"—Scott Winnail, Brenda Fulford and Leatrice Erlander