Weekly Update

April 15th, 2021

Greetings from Charlotte,

Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Weston are travelling to Kansas City for a Tomorrow’s World Presentation Friday night and church visit on the Sabbath. Last week, 17 visitors attended an online TWP conducted by Mr. Wallace Smith and Dr. Richard Franz for selected cities in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. We also had nine repeat visitors to an online follow-up TWP given by Mr. Dan Hall in Atlanta. This week at the office, we have been busy working on Feast ministerial assignments, “Behind the Work” film plans, and Festival Advisor assignments.

Mr. Jerry Ruddlesden shared encouraging news this week that the numbers of both donors and co-workers are trending upwards. This represents brand new people who are being moved to see that God’s Work has the answers this dying world desperately needs, and they want to contribute financially. The third on-site Living Education academic year is nearing its end, with only about four weeks left. Graduation day is on May 14. Please see the notes below on the cyclones and earthquake in Indonesia, and volcanic eruption in the Caribbean. Reports are that brethren are all fine, but please do keep them in your prayers.—Rod McNair

Church Administration

Volcanic Eruption in St. Vincent

The following report is from Mr. Paul Shumway, pastor in Barbados, on the volcanic eruptions on nearby St. Vincent: “The island of Barbados was shut down on Sunday and Monday with ash slowly falling. Tuesday morning was beautiful—first time we saw blue sky and clouds in four days! I thought we had weathered the storm, but our respite didn’t last long. We’re back to the gray, overcast sky with limited visibility.… I estimate that we’ve received about ¼ inch of ash here where we live, with some areas north receiving more.”

Cyclones, Flooding, Earthquake in Indonesia

The following report is from Mr. Arius Nusantara, pastor in Indonesia: “Indonesia has been hit with several natural disasters since last week. Heavy rainfall has caused several floods in some eastern parts of Indonesia. This is worsened by the two cyclones, Seroja and Oddete. Last week, Seroja pounded the eastern part of Indonesia. The result of the devastation is bad. Hundreds of people lost their homes, 20,000 people were evacuated, and the number of deaths is more than 40 people. The flood has cut off five bridges and collapsed substantial infrastructure. This week, Oddete came ready to pour out its heavy rain on south Sumatra, Java, and Bali islands. It has been many days that dark clouds are hanging above Malang. Almost each day we have thunderstorms and torrential rain.

“Yesterday, 10 April 2021, after the Sabbath services we experienced a strong earthquake. Around 14.00 PM, a tectonic shift in the southern coast of Malang beach shook the surrounding area. Its depth was only 25 kilometers. This made people run outside of their homes, malls, and other occupied buildings. The quake was 6.0 magnitude and impacted many cities along the coastline of southeast Java: Blitar, Malang, Lumajang and Bali, not including other small cities and villages. This morning we felt another shake from yesterday’s same epicenter. Yet, the depth is 99 kilometers. It measured 5.5 magnitude. I can say that we are all safe and sound although shocked.”

Second Passover—Repeat Announcement

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.

Living Education

We have sent out a number of acceptance letters for the Living Education-Charlotte program for the 2021–22 school year! We still have openings, however, for both men and women. If you are just graduating from high school and want to lay a foundation for your life, nine months in our intensive program will set you well on your path. Or, if you are in college and feel that it would be a good time to take a “gap year” to re-focus on life from a different perspective, again, LivingEd might be the perfect place to do so. We also have young men and women who have finished college, professional, or technical training and want now to focus on biblical principles as they begin their journey into adulthood in earnest. To apply or for more information, just go to lcgeducation.org or contact us directly at [email protected].—Jonathan McNair​

Feast of Tabernacles

Festival Registration—Where Congregations Are Assigned—Repeat Announcement

This year, in the United States, we are planning for a maximum attendance at most of our Feast sites of around 350–400. We have arranged for venues with room to accommodate this level of occupancy with social distancing. In the United States, we will also be allowing a moderate level of transfer requests (keeping our attendance levels at 350–400 max). However, since transfer requests will not be unlimited, we do encourage as many people as possible to go to their home site. (We’ll have more information about International Feast sites and International transfers soon.)

Please note: Festival registration is scheduled to open on Sunday, May 2 at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA).

For your information, the following is a list of the United States Feast sites and the congregations that are assigned to them:

Boerne, Texas

Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Big Sandy, Dallas, Midland, Temple

Branson, Missouri

Arkansas: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville

Kansas: Chanute

Missouri: Joplin, Springfield

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Tennessee: Memphis

Florence, Oregon

Alaska: Anchorage

California: Bay Area, Fresno, Sacramento

Idaho: Boise

Nevada: Reno

Oregon: Myrtle Creek, Portland

Washington: Richland, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, Tonasket

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

South Carolina: Anderson, Columbia, Walterboro

Georgia: Atlanta, Augusta, Braselton, Warner Robins

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Iowa: Dubuque

Illinois: Chicago, Peoria

Indiana: Indianapolis, La Porte, Terre Haute

Minnesota: Duluth, Minneapolis

North Dakota: Bismarck

Wisconsin: Appleton, Merrill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Iowa: Des Moines

Illinois: Springfield

Kansas: Wichita

Missouri: Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Joseph, St. Louis

Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha

Midway, Utah

Arizona: Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Tucson

Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Grand Junction

Montana: Great Falls, Helena

New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Fe

Utah: Layton

Wyoming: Casper, Cheyenne, Saratoga

Mount Snow, Vermont

Connecticut: Danbury

Massachusetts: Auburn

Maine: Waterville

New Hampshire: Tilton

New Jersey: Hammonton, Rahway

New York: Albany, Corning, New York City, Plainview, Rochester

Pennsylvania: Tannersville

Rhode Island: Pawtucket

Natchez, Mississippi

Alabama: Athens, Birmingham, Dothan, Montgomery

Florida: Pensacola

Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport

Mississippi: Jackson, Laurel, Natchez, Ocean Springs

Texas: Lufkin

New Bern, North Carolina

North Carolina: Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Kannapolis, Raleigh, Statesville

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Georgia: Blairsville

North Carolina: Asheville, Sylva

Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Crossville, Etowah, Knoxville, Nashville

Virginia: Bristol

Puerto Rico

San Juan

San Diego, California

California: Banning, Garden Grove, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara

Nevada: Las Vegas

South Padre Island, Texas

Texas: Baytown, Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, The Valley

St. Augustine, Florida

Georgia: Columbus, Thomasville

Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Lake City, Melbourne, Naples, Ocala, Tampa

Sandusky, Ohio

Indiana: Fort Wayne

Kentucky: Berea, Louisville

Michigan: Flint, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City

Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

West Virginia: Morgantown

Williamsburg, Virginia

Maryland: Baltimore, Salisbury

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg

Virginia: Norfolk, Richmond, Winchester

West Virginia: Bluefield, Charleston


Ministerial Feast Assignments—Repeat Announcement

On April 6, all pastors and elders were sent a memo with a link to a survey where they can express their Feast of Tabernacles preferences. If you are a pastor or elder and did NOT receive the Ministerial Survey memo, please contact Church Administration right away at [email protected].


Our Opinions or Christ’s Mind: How many times have you made or heard comments like, “Here’s how I see it,” or “Here’s what I think,” or “Here’s the way it should have been handled.” All too often, these comments are directed at people in leadership positions—even in the Church. Moses was criticized by men who held different opinions (Numbers 16), and Peter differed with Jesus over an issue and even rebuked Christ (Matthew 16:21–23). In both cases, the people expressing critical opinions did not recognize the real source of their negative and divisive thoughts and actions. Before we share our “different” opinions, we need to remember God’s warning, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isaiah 55:8). As Christians, our focus should not be on going around spreading our own ideas, but on developing a godly perspective that reflects the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5). Jesus told His disciples, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19) as He sought to think and walk in harmony with His Father. We also need to remember the Scriptural admonition, “the carnal mind is enmity against God” and His ways—including His government (Romans 8:7). Long ago, Solomon wrote, “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11). It is always good to ask ourselves, “Are we promoting our own opinions and ideas, or are we developing the mind of Christ?”

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—April 15, 2021

World Hunger Set to Rise: Based on a recent, sobering report from the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Deutsche Welle reports, “Acute hunger will increase in over 20 countries if the global community does not take action soon” (March 23, 2021). Thirty-four million people—a group roughly equivalent to the population of Canada or Peru—are experiencing extreme malnutrition, a condition considered “close to dying from starvation.” According to the report, Yemen, South Sudan, and northern Nigeria are in an especially dangerous state, and “acute hunger could also increase in many other countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Haiti.”

Experts identify the causes of starvation as war and conflicts, COVID-19-related hunger, extreme weather, locusts, and lack of access to those most at risk (caused by local governments or conflict). Three factors appear to be critical to prevent more starvation: an end to war and fighting, the ability to access and help vulnerable populations, and funding (WFP and FAO estimate $5.5 billion is needed).

The tragic reality is that mankind has not been able to bring an end to fighting and war, and because of this, access to the planet’s most vulnerable populations will not come soon enough for many. From a human perspective, the situation is dire and defies solution! The Bible has long predicted that if Jesus Christ does not return, “no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22). However, the good news is that Jesus is going to return to establish the Kingdom of God, and His government will cause wars and fighting to cease (Isaiah 2:2–4) and put an end to suffering and starvation (Amos 9:13). To learn more about this very real and awesome future, be sure to read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?


Noise Pollution Is Killing Us: Researchers and physicians have long understood the connection between stress and environmental noise, and recent studies continue to demonstrate that relationship. Traffic and aircraft noise has now been linked to a number of cardiovascular risks, including heart attack and stroke (BBC, March 15, 2021). Scientists are also beginning to understand why these risks exist, and it relates to chemicals produced when the body is under a great deal of stress.

According to a 2018 German study of more than one million people, “People living near the Frankfurt Airport, for example, have as much as a 7% higher risk of stroke than those living in similar but quieter neighbourhoods.” A study in Zurich found an increased risk of death with nighttime flyovers. The risk of death and disease increased with the amount of noise, even if people were asleep and not conscious of the noise. Researchers expect this trend to continue as more people move to cities. In 2018, the United Nations recorded that 55 percent of the earth’s population lived in cities, and that number is expected to increase to almost 70 percent by 2050.

Cities, as we know them today, are hubs for trade and finance, but they bring with them many negative consequences—including poor health, crime, high stress, and loud noise. In the coming Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ will restructure human societies to eliminate unnecessary sources of stress and trauma. The prophet Isaiah told of a coming time when God says, “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:18). This will be a time when “the whole earth is at rest and quiet” (Isaiah 14:7). To learn more about this exciting future, listen to “Global Utopia: The Impossible Dream.”—Scott Winnail, Rod McNair, and Francine Prater