April 1st, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Cristian Orrego returned home from a successful trip to Mexico and Guatemala where he baptized two individuals, conducted a wedding, and raised up a new congregation near Guatemala City. Our two members there are now joined by 16 new individuals—wonderful news!
Here in Charlotte, we have a small outbreak of COVID-19 as three employees have tested positive and have mild symptoms. Others have been exposed and are self-quarantining. We will be working remotely for two weeks for all but a few essential personnel. Also, although we know of no one who has contracted the virus from services, out of an abundance of caution and because we do not know the full extent of who may have been exposed, we will hold services this week online.
This situation highlights the fact that COVID-19 has not yet gone away. It also shows how one person can impact many more. No one can fault someone who does not know he is sick, but once that is known, quarantine is essential. Please brethren, do not fellowship with others when you have symptoms, even if they are mild.—Gerald Weston
The Second Passover this year is on Monday, April 26, which means that it will be observed on Sunday evening, April 25, shortly after sunset. This Passover is for those baptized members who were unable to take the first Passover due to unavoidable circumstances, as instructed in Numbers 9:1–14. If you have any questions, please contact your pastor.
Special Music Resources
Our music team has prepared a special song that is available for special music for the Days of Unleavened Bread if any congregation wishes to do so. It was composed and written by Jake and Julia Boyer and performed and recorded by the Charlotte Virtual Choir. Jake and Julia Boyer also edited the audio and video to produce the piece. The song is appropriately themed for the Days of Unleavened and titled “God Split the Sea.” To play or download the song, go to lcgeducation.org and click the “Music” tab on the menu at the top. This will take you to our Music Landing Page. Scroll down to the link for recorded music and select the tab for “Choir Pieces.” You’ll see that “God Split the Sea” has been added to our collection of copyright-free special music to be used in local congregations.
While you’re on our Music Page, you’ll also notice a link to our music library. The Roderick C. Meredith Memorial Library contains almost 200 different musical selections that have been performed by the chorale in the Charlotte area and beyond over the past decade or more. Our library staff has logged them into our catalog system and they are now accessible to review for possible use in local congregations. This online directory will allow our members to peruse all of the pieces in our library, or search for particular songs. When an individual title is selected, you can review details of the piece, and for many pieces, click on a link to listen to the song. Individuals assigned to manage the special music within a congregation can request to check out a limited number of pieces of the original sheet music for use in the local congregation. To access this service, simply go to our Living Education webpage (lcgeducation.org) and click the “Music” tab on the menu at the top of the page. Once there, scroll down and look for the “Library” link near the bottom of the page. It will take you directly to the music section of our library catalog system. Let us know if you have any questions!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
As previously announced, the planned date of Feast of Tabernacles registration is Sunday, May 2. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks, giving more information about the Feast and registration.
Upcoming Holy Day Offerings: U.S. Churches Only—Repeat Announcement
As we have done in recent Festival seasons, we encourage those who are able and want to donate online to make online Holy Day offerings. This cuts down on the time and work involved in processing checks sent by mail. Congregations holding in-person services on the Holy Days will have an offertory message and will collect an offering, as we have normally done. If you attend in person and choose to donate online, simply write “online” on your offering envelope collected at services. Those who do not attend in-person Holy Day services and don’t donate online can mail their offering.—Finance Department
Satan’s Subtle Devices: The Days of Unleavened Bread provide us with an opportunity to carefully examine the motives in our own heart (1 Corinthians 11:29–32). Are we truly motivated by God’s Spirit or by the attitudes of this world? Unfortunately, after years in the Church, we can still be snared by Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11)—even without realizing what is happening. Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren and the source of doubts, divisions, and rebellion against authority, can cleverly beam thoughts, ideas, and attitudes into our minds (Ephesians 2:2), stirring us to criticize, complain, and question decisions, actions, and guidelines of those around us and over us in the Body of Christ. When we remember that Satan tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1–10) and then stirred Peter to rebuke Christ (Matthew 16:22–23), we should realize that we are not immune to Satan’s devices. Jesus warned that harboring animosity and resentment against others and making hurtful comments is the equivalent of spiritual murder (Matthew 5:21–22). At this time of year, we need to ask ourselves if we have the mind of Jesus Christ to esteem others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:1–8)? If we spread doubts and division among others, we have been snared by a device of the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Let’s strive to be real Philadelphia Christians who show love and promote peace among our brothers and sisters in the Church of God.
Have a profitable Sabbath and Holy Day,
Douglas S. Winnail