March 12th, 2015
Greetings from Charlotte,
As prophetic events speed up in Europe and the Middle East, and the so-called "Christian" nations of the Western world continue their downward slide into immorality and perversions, God's people once again have the opportunity to observe the spring Holy Days that picture the initial steps in God's Plan of Salvation for mankind. It is important that we don't let the swirl of daily events interfere with our preparation for, and observance of, God's Holy Days. Here in Charlotte, we are preparing to send out a sermon that Dr. Meredith gave just this past Sabbath on Jesus Christ as our Passover. Mr. Ames is taping a new Tomorrow's World program today. This week, we had a profitable and encouraging Council of Elders meeting by phone. It is also very encouraging to report that during the month of February we held four Tomorrow's World Presentations that drew 257 visitors. So far in March we have held five TWPs that have drawn 336 visitors, and we have ten more TWPs scheduled this month—including four this coming weekend—in St. Joseph, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; and Jacksonville and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Your prayers for these efforts to preach the Gospel and warn of coming events are greatly appreciated.—DSW
Ministerial Appointments: Mr. Stephen Elliott has been designated as the Area Pastor of congregations in Southern California and Nevada. Mr. Bob Rodzaj has been designated as the Area Pastor for congregations in New Mexico and West Texas. Mr. Peter Nathan will serve as the Assistant Regional Director for Africa in addition to his duties with Living University. Mr. Kinnear Penman will become the Area Pastor for congregations in the Philippines. We wish to thank Mr. and Mrs. Dayrell Tanner for their years of dedicated service to the brethren in the Philippines.
Tomorrow's World Presents in Thomasville, Georgia; and Lake City, Florida
God blessed us with good weather and fine facilities and there was standing room only on March 7 at the Holiday Inn Express in Thomasville, Georgia, as Mr. Dan Hall gave the sobering news of what lies just ahead. The room was packed with 67 visitors and 31 members, all of whom were engrossed in what they were hearing, about events soon to come on this nation and the whole world. There were nods of agreement and some "amens." Mr. Hall gave the second presentation on God's Master Plan as revealed in the Holy Days. The refreshments were very good and appreciated by all, and contributed to the great fellowship. Many asked to come to Sabbath services.
The next day, March 8, Mr. Hall again gave very animated and powerful presentations in Lake City. There were 49 guests and 21 members present to hear him explain what is ahead for this nation and the world. Here also, many were very pleased to hear the Truth of God's word and asked to attend services. I want to thank not only Mr. Hall for a job well done, but also the ladies in the congregations for the fine decorations and snacks they provided for all.—Joseph Brown
Tomorrow's World Presents in Columbia and Rolla, Missouri
The Columbia and Rolla congregations hosted Tomorrow's World Presentations on March 7 and 8. A total of 32 guests heard insightful messages by Regional Pastor Rand Millich, who spoke on "The Five Keys to End-Time Prophecy." This message plainly illustrated where we are heading and how we can prepare. The follow-up presentation, "The Mystery of God's Holy Days," complemented and expounded upon the first message. All the brethren who served the guests truly exemplified Dr. Meredith's admonition to "go all out." We look forward to many of the guests returning next Sabbath to learn more about God's way of life and we are all highly energized and inspired by the presentations.—Richard Franz
Passover 2015—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2015, the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, April 2. 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 and letter instructions (available in English, French and Spanish) and you have not yet sent the request in, please do so immediately.
Also, if any members will be unable to keep the Passover with a congregation, you can request for them to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. Please direct your requests right away to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] immediately.
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend in Greenville, April 3–5—Repeat Announcement
The Anderson congregation invites you to join us for our eighth Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, April 3 to Sunday, April 5, in Greenville.
Mr. Dexter Wakefield is scheduled to be our guest speaker from Headquarters. He and his wife plan to join us for this exciting annual event. The weekend promises to be filled with inspiring spiritual messages, uplifting fellowship, and fun activities. For full details about the event, prices of meals, and registration instructions, go to the event Web site: http://lcganderson.org/ (not an official LCG Web site). Or, you may contact me for further information at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at [email protected].
Weekend events will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, South Carolina. We have secured a discounted room rate of $95 (plus tax) per night for guests staying at the Hyatt. This guaranteed rate expires March 13.
The deadline for receipt of payment for weekend events is March 27. Please register soon if you plan to attend.—Manuel Burdette
Roku Advertising Launch!
God has commissioned His Church to preach with power the Gospel of the Kingdom of God through all of the "doors" that He opens for us. We know that Mr. Armstrong went through the door of radio and then the door of television. We are very thankful for Dr. Meredith's leadership and continuing the powerful telecast that is broadcast around the world in multiple languages. We are also thankful that God has opened up new doors for the Gospel to be preached on various Internet TV platforms, such as Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google TV, and our long-standing Roku channel. Now we are very excited to announce that we have begun a bold, worldwide advertising campaign on Roku—one of the first religious broadcasters to do so!
As many of you know, Roku is an inexpensive "Internet TV" box that connects to your home television. Preliminary 2015 statistics indicate that there are more than eight million active U.S. Roku users, and Roku is aggressively expanding its customer base in the UK, Europe and elsewhere. Sixty-two percent of Roku users are between 18 and 54 years of age, and 80 percent of Roku boxes are connected to the primary household TV. Roku users stream an average of approximately 14 hours of content a week. Indications are that our initial advertising campaign is producing results more than twice Roku's average. One of their ad managers wrote us that our advertising results are "WAY above normal." Please join all of us in praying for the success of this effort as we strive to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15). And if you have a Roku, please install the Tomorrow's World channel and give it a "five-star rating." This will further help our advertising efforts.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Tomorrow's World Presents: Dr. Meredith Online, March 29!—Repeat Announcement
Join Dr. Meredith for a powerful, live, online Tomorrow's World Presentation titled "The Power of Religion!" This live Internet event will be streamed around the world, and is scheduled for Sunday, March 29, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT). Please also join us in praying that God will use this live Web event to inspire and to shake those whom He is witnessing to and calling as we approach the end of this age! As those in God's Church understand, Satan has for millennia used false religion to deceive the world, to cause pain and suffering and sin. And Satan will much more in the years ahead deceive and incite the masses to turn away from God and even to want to fight against Jesus Christ at His return. But we also know that God has promised that His true Church would persevere, would preach the true Gospel until the end, and would ultimately prevail! Mark your calendars and join us for this live event, March 29, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
2015 Festival Registration Off to Successful Start!
Festival Registration opened last Sunday, March 8. As of this writing, 3,313 brethren have successfully registered and been approved for their site of choice for the Feast of Tabernacles. If you have registered and received approval (in the case of a transfer request), please go ahead and make your housing arrangements. If you have not yet received approval for a transfer request, please wait to make your housing arrangements.
If you have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible. You will also be able to indicate any volunteer service opportunities you would like to sign up for at your site. Find out information about each of the sites for 2015 by going to the Festival Web site: fot2015.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.") 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.
While most sites still have plenty of room, a few sites are at or are nearing capacity. Here are more details on particular sites:
Sites Nearing Capacity:
The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Feast site is nearing capacity. We currently have more than 270 people on the waiting list for Myrtle Beach. We are looking into the possibility of an overflow room. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Sites Closed for Further Transfers:
The St. George, Utah, Feast site is now closed for further transfers.
Important Notice Regarding St. George, Utah, Feast Site—Must Read
- The St. George, Utah, Feast site is now closed for further transfers.
- Anyone who preregistered with the site coordinator to transfer in must immediately go on-line to officially register on the LCG Festival Web site.
- All who are assigned to the site and who have not yet registered, please register immediately, whether you're planning to attend here or transfer elsewhere. This is very important for our planning purposes.
- Please call or e-mail Mr. Rodger Bardo at: 602-910-1086 or [email protected] with any questions or problems. Your immediate attention to this announcement is very much appreciated!
Hawaii Site Attendees: Please note that even if you have applied to attend the Feast site in Hawaii and have been accepted, you must register again on the main registration site. If you have registered for Hawaii on the early registration site, but have not paid your registration fee, you will not receive an acceptance e-mail. Please go back to the Hawaii registration page and pay the fee; once it is received you will receive the final acceptance e-mail.
If you have not yet registered to attend the site in Hawaii, but would like to attend, you will need to register on both registration sites. Registration on the special Hawaii page (the green heading) will give you access to pay the necessary registration fee, and on the main site to register for activities and sign up for volunteer service opportunities. We are sorry if this seems a bit confusing, but both registrations are necessary. We do expect to approve all transfers made through these two registrations.
New Feast Site in Michigan
We are excited to announce that we have a great new Feast site this year in Traverse City, Michigan. This town was named on TripAdvisor.com as one of America's "Top Ten Charming Small Towns." Traverse City has also been named one of "America's Top Ten Beach Towns" by AOL Travel News. We hope that many will come spend this year's Feast of Tabernacles at this millennial setting and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic and historic town by the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. This hidden gem is adjacent to breathtaking natural surroundings, hiking and biking trails, championship golf courses and is only 45 minutes from the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, which was called "The Most Beautiful Place in America" on Good Morning America.
Fine dining at a variety of good restaurants, wineries and breweries make Traverse City "One of America's Top 5 Foodie Towns" (Bon Appetit) and "One of the Top 10 Places to Enjoy Local Wines" (USA Today).
There is a wide range of activities all around this area for young and old—Go-Karts, High Ropes Course, Kayaking, Fishing, Zip-Lining, Hot Air Ballooning, Parasailing, Helicopter Rides, a Nauti-Cat Catamaran Cruise to name a few. Some may enjoy visiting one of the local wineries, the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, or a museum. Others will go on a hay ride and perhaps even "get lost" in a Corn Maze. Stroll through Traverse City's vibrant downtown shopping district or venture into the shops, galleries and fine restaurants at the historic Grand Traverse Commons.
The Great Wolf Lodge will be the host venue for this site. It has Traverse City's only indoor Water Park and has many rides and slides for kids "of all ages."
We would love it if you would make Traverse City your next destination for celebrating God's Feast of Tabernacles—it will be True North fun!—Bill Long, Festival Site Coordinator
Festival Advisor Documents—Repeat Announcement
All Festival Advisors should have received an e-mail from their pastors with important links to registration and volunteer forms, and an information packet with detailed descriptions of each Feast site. These documents are necessary for you to print, copy, and distribute to brethren who need your assistance in registering. Festival Advisors: If you did not receive these links and documents from your pastor, please contact him right away. Festival Registration is now underway.—Festival Office
Living Youth Program
Online Teen Bible Study Friday Evening
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, March 20, will be on "Common Pitfalls in Marriage," presented by Mr. Sheldon Monson. If you haven't had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible Studies yet, we encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern time) 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 Do's and Don'ts of Dating," can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.
U.S. Summer Camps – 2015
Registration is underway for the following United States summer camps:
- West Virginia – Family camp (Note: This will be the final year for this camp.)
- Texas – Pre-Teen camp
- Missouri – Pre-Teen camp
- North Carolina – Pre-Teen camp
Teen Camp programs:
- Ohio Teen Camp
- Adventure Camp 2015 (Grand Teton National Park) – registration is now closed as this camp is full
Making Travel Arrangements for the Texas Pre-Teen Camp—Repeat Announcement
There has been a tremendous flow of applications for the Texas pre-teen camp! Due to several factors, we are in the process of relocating the camp to another facility and are in contact with two possible facilities in central Texas. Because of this, it would be best to wait to make any travel arrangements, especially airline reservations, until we have settled on a camp facility for our use. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the camp director, Mr. Bob Rodzaj, at 505-209-1497 or [email protected].
Prepare for the Spring Holy Days: In just a few weeks, we will be observing the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. These annual Festivals are a memorial of the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for our sins and a reminder that we need to recognize and eliminate sin and inappropriate thoughts and actions from our lives. For the Passover period to be meaningful and profitable—and not just routine—we must do our part to prepare for this important phase in God's Plan of Salvation. To put the Passover into proper perspective, it will be very helpful to review the gospel accounts of the events that led up to the Passover, the crucifixion and the resurrection. Placing our own period of self-examination within this biblical context will help us appreciate the tremendous significance of Jesus' sacrifice. The Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread provide us with an annual opportunity to examine every aspect of our lives in the light of God's instructions in the Scriptures. Spending some time every day in prayerful study and reflection, as we go through this Holy Day period, will help us grow to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—March 12, 2015
Groundbreaking Marriage Research: A recent study reports, "Couples who want to stay together should marry before they have their first child… The study was based on 1,783 mothers with teenage children who took part in the state-financed survey called Understanding Society. It found that 76 per cent of mothers who married before becoming a parent were still with the father when the child was 14 or 15 years old. By contrast, of those who married after the birth of their first baby, only 44 per cent were still with their husband when their first-born reached the age of 14 or 15" (Daily Mail Online, March 9, 2015). The Marriage Foundation think tank's lead researcher "Harry Benson said the findings indicated marriage is a bigger influence on parents having a solid relationship than education, which is often cited with wealth as a key driver in encouraging couples to marry and stay married" (ibid.). "Out of all the couples still together 15 years after the birth of their first child, 92 per cent were married. With cohabitee mothers who never married, less than a third were still in their relationship with the father 14 or 15 years later" (ibid.). About 6,000 years ago God gave guidelines for marriage between one man and one woman that were to be to be the foundation for building a family and having children (see Genesis 2 and 3). The newly released research from the Marriage Foundation lends modern statistical weight to God's age-old wisdom. For more ways to find joy in marriage, read our free booklet, God's Plan for Happy Marriage.
A Future European Army? Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, recently stated, "the EU should establish its own army to show Russia it is serious about defending European values." During an interview with Die Welt am Sonntag, Juncker said, "Europe has lost a huge amount of respect. In foreign policy too, we don't seem to be taken entirely seriously. An army would allow the EU to react in a 'credible manner' to threats to peace in a member state or in a neighbouring country" (EU Observer, March 9, 2015). German Defense Minister "Ursula Von der Leyen told German radio that she believed that the German army could 'under certain circumstances' be prepared to put soldiers under the control of another nation… She said 'our future as Europeans will one day be a European army' although she added 'not in the short term'" (ibid.). Britain and France have traditionally opposed such an army and Finland has also expressed dissatisfaction with the idea (EU Observer, March 10, 2015). Yet, just last week the Benelux nations of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed an air defense pact to start in 2017 (EU Observer, March 5, 2015). A future European army under control of the prophesied "beast" power is certainly supported by the Bible (Daniel 11:36-43; Luke 21:20, 24). For more on this coming European army, read "Coming: A 'United States of Europe'!"
More Rumors of Wars: In response to Russia's stepped-up air reconnaissance flights and active role in the Ukraine, "The United States on Wednesday placed sanctions on eight Ukrainian separatists and a Russian bank, warning that recent attacks by rebels armed by Russia violated a European-brokered ceasefire in the war-torn country" (Reuters, March 11, 2015). Britain's Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, warned in a recent speech, "Russia could pose the 'single greatest threat' to Britain," and he "accused Russian President Vladmir Putin of 'subverting' international rules which keep the peace between nations and said [Putin's] actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine 'fundamentally undermine' the security of eastern European states" (AFP, March 10, 2015). This week Russia pulled out of a 25-year-old European arms control agreement (BBC, March 10, 2015). Also this week, a three-month NATO military exercise involving the USA began in Europe. This "show of force" is aimed, in part, at demonstrating to Russia that the NATO allies will not stand by and watch Russia take European soil (ibid.). Jesus Christ warned long ago that "wars and rumors of wars" would be one of the signs of the end of the age and His imminent return (Matthew 24:3-7). Russia's actions, NATO's reactions and the spreading strife in the Middle East all point toward the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies. For more on these signs, read Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ's Return.—Scott Winnail, James Bennett, John Strain and Francine Prater