Weekly Update

August 5th, 2021

Greetings from Charlotte,

We are thankful to have received the keys to the new Canadian office this last week, and our staff is now moving in. By the time you see this, the Adventure Camp will be underway in the spectacular Bob Marshall Wilderness Area of northwest Montana and the West Virginia Preteen Camp will be in the history books. The 2021-2022 Living Education on-site program is getting underway—orientation begins next week and classes begin August 16. Mr. Dan Hall will be filling in for me at the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Tomorrow’s World Presentation this Sabbath. Next week we have Tomorrow’s World presentations scheduled for Long Island, New York, and Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Smith announced that the September Tomorrow’s World magazine is now being printed, with 498,000 copies. As with others who contracted the coronavirus at camp this year, Carol and I are recovering. Carol is getting back to normal and I’m following close behind. Please remember to pray for those who have not yet recovered and are still battling this disease.—Gerald Weston

Church Administration

New Ministerial Hires

Jesus said of His Work, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38). As a result of generous tithes and offerings during this past year or so, we have been able to hire 15 new ministers to serve congregations in the USA and around the world. We are very thankful for these additions and the dedicated service of many others.

  • Michael Brown – 2020 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Stuart Wachowicz in Prince Albert and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada
  • Chester Carpenter – 2021 – Assistant Pastor to Dr. Jeff Fall in the Bay Area and Fresno, California
  • Alex Celan – 2020 – Area Pastor in Walterboro, South Carolina, and Assistant Pastor to Mr. Ron Poole in Columbia, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia
  • Shannon Christal – 2020 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Gene Hilgenberg in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and Oklahoma
  • Ryan Dawson – 2021 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Joe Brown in northern Florida and Thomasville, Georgia
  • Etienne Duval – 2020 – Associate Pastor in the French West Indies, French Guiana, and Sint Maarten
  • Michael Elliott – 2021 – Ministerial Trainee in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Adam Jennings – 2020 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Rob Tyler in Adelaide, South Australia (transferring to pastor Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 
  • Htoowah Laybeh – 2019 – Area Pastor in Thailand
  • Joshua Lyons – 2020 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Adam West in New Jersey and Tannersville, Pennsylvania
  • Jamie Meakin – 2020 – Regional Office Manager, UK
  • Anthony Mew – 2019 – Area Pastor in Queensland, Australia
  • Brent Mitchell – 2021 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Adam West in New York City and Long Island, New York
  • Donald Stevens – 2020 – Assistant Pastor to Mr. Rick Stafford in the Houston area and southeastern Texas
  • Barry Walker – 2021 – Regional Pastor in British Columbia, Canada

Living Education

Feast of Tabernacles Virtual Choir

Time is running out to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles Virtual Choir! If you would like to participate, just go to https://www.lcgeducation.org and look for the “Join the Choir” buttonAugust 22 is the deadline for turning in recordings. We had a great response last year and we’re hoping for even more voices this year!—Jonathan McNair

Feast of Tabernacles

Feast of Tabernacles—Activity Registration Opening Soon

The Feast of Tabernacles is quickly approaching! We are busy taking care of the final details necessary to open up the activity registration system. We do not yet have a date set for that to open, but it will be soon. Once the system is ready, we will have an announcement in The World Ahead.

In the meantime, you can see the activities scheduled for your Feast site at fot2021.lcg.org. Simply select your Feast site and then the “Activities” tab on top of the site webpage to view the locations, dates, times, and prices for the activities.—Festival Office

2021 Virtual Worldwide Children’s Feast Choir—Repeat Announcement

Thank you to all the parents who have expressed a desire to have your children participate in this year’s Virtual Worldwide Children’s Choir. As of Wednesday, we had 89 children from 16 countries who would like to take part. The deadline to submit recorded performances is Sunday, August 22. Any parents who would like their English-, French-, or Spanish-speaking children to be a part of the choir, please contact Mr. Marco Manzo III at [email protected] as soon as possible. Mr. Manzo will give you instructions on how to proceed. We would like to extend a special invitation to more French-speaking children as there is still room for more French-speaking participants.

Living Youth Program

Living Youth Camp – Must Read if Someone in the Congregation Attended Teen Camp

This year, we concluded the Teen Camp in Athens, Texas, early because of concerns about COVID cases and exposure. Staff and campers received an email last week describing our efforts to relieve any financial burden that might have been caused by the early shutdown. We are refunding camper tuition and offering assistance to staff and campers who incurred additional fees for flight changes to return home early. As a reminder, the deadline for any requests for assistance is August 11. Please contact Jenny Penman at [email protected] for more information or to request assistance.

West Virginia Preteen Camp

This is day three of preteen camp. We have 87 campers and staff enjoying the beautiful Mercer County, West Virginia, 4-H camp facilities. A week that was forecast to be filled with rain has turned into partly cloudy skies, sunshine, a breeze, and temperatures in the low to mid-70s—“Gorgeous” would be an understatement. We asked God to hold us under His wings and to give His angels charge over us, as Psalm 91:4 and 11 mentions. And wow!—has God delivered! Yesterday (Tuesday) was supposed to be rainy and we had many outdoor activities, including a bonfire and sing-along planned. All have been praying fervently for God’s intervention in the weather. During the sing-along, we felt a couple raindrops hit our sing-along books, but a glance a hundred feet to the side saw rain pouring down… rain that never reached our location. It was as if we had a giant umbrella over us. Overall, health has been good and we’ve had only a few bumps and scrapes and a couple of runny noses. We continue to pray for God’s protection for our health. Things are running very smoothly and there is a level of peace that I’ve not felt to this degree at any of the previous preteen camps I have attended (and I have attended some excellent camps in the past). Our camp theme this year is “God’s Way Works,” and campers and staff are intent on proving this theme to be true. Thursday is our last full day of camp and we are excited about our final activities. We are super grateful to God for His blessings, protection, and mercy.—Scott Winnail

Adventure Camp

We have 27 campers and staff participating in the Adventure Camp this year. Camp started out very well last night, Tuesday, August 3, with orientation. This morning we had a Bible Study given by Mr. Bobby Jacques. Then we hiked seven miles to the summit of Mount Aeneas at 7,477 feet in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area of the Flathead National Forest. We just returned from that hike. After another early morning Bible Study tomorrow, we will depart for our overnight hike from Strawberry Lake Trailhead to Wildcat Lake in the Jewel Basin. We are enjoying warm days in the 80s and cool evenings in the 50s. There is some smoke in the distance, but the Jewel Basin is clear and sunny. All campers and staff are healthy and full of excitement as we continue to enjoy God’s creation in northwest Montana. We are focusing on specific themes this year: God is real and His protection is real, we can accomplish more than we think, God does great things through the faith of His Church youth, and the path of overcoming requires courage and sacrifice. We thank God for His blessing as we practice His way of life and are in constant remembrance that this truly is His camp.—Bill Long


Modern Misguided Leaders: Some of the strongest condemnations in the Bible are directed at the leaders of Israel who “cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness” (Jeremiah 23:32; Isaiah 3:12). Many do not realize these prophetic warnings are dual and apply to leaders in modern Israelite nations today! Not only atheists and agnostics deride belief in God and the Bible, but so do leaders in schools, churches, governments, and the media. The claims that Bible-based values are outdated and repressive, and behaviors condemned in the Bible can be promoted, are going to bring serious consequences on modern Israelite nations who have “forsaken” God and will “reap” what they have sown (Jeremiah 2:17–19). Part of our mission as God’s Church is to be a “voice… crying in the wilderness” (Isaiah 40:3), warning Israelite leaders and nations about the serious consequences that lie ahead. This will take courage and clarity in today’s dark world. Let’s do our job and pray, “Thy kingdom come.”

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—August 5, 2021

Could the EU Expel Hungary? Britain, by its own choice, is no longer a part of the European Union. But, could the EU wind up ejecting Hungary from the Union at some point in the future? “The [European] Commission is launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights” (ec.Europa.eu, July 15, 2021). Poland transgressed EU ideology by creating “LGBT-ideology free zones,” prompting EU officials to ask for more information. Hungary has passed “child protection” legislation prohibiting the exposure of children under age 18 to homosexual propaganda. This is viewed as a problem by the EU because such legislation violates what Europe believes to be “human rights.”

In a forceful reaction to Hungary’s law, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised: be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs.” The Dutch prime minister declared, “Hungary has no place in the EU anymore,” and the foreign minister of Luxembourg openly called for a referendum to be held on whether Hungary should retain its EU membership (The Conversation, July 26, 2021).

It remains to be seen what will come of the current friction between the EU and Hungary. Should the EU eventually reject Hungary or any other EU member nation from remaining in the Union, it will be setting a powerful precedent. Bible prophecy states that there will be a final configuration in Europe of “ten kings,” or possibly nations, who are part of an end-time Beast power. Currently, there are 27 members of the EU, but this number will likely change in the years ahead. To learn more about future events in Europe, be sure to watch The Beast of Revelation.

Iran Feared by Middle Eastern Neighbors? Iran is growing in power and influence throughout the Middle East, especially as the nation continues to gain stronger footholds in neighboring countries such as Yemen, Syria, and Iraq (Gatestone Institute, July 26, 2021). Iran has also targeted Lebanon, where the nation’s infrastructure and society as a whole is in shambles. Analyst Farouk Yusef has noted, “For many, there is no Lebanon. A large part of the international community is no longer able to deal with Lebanon as an independent, sovereign state. It is an Iranian protectorate.”

Many inside Lebanon clearly see what is happening to their nation. As one Lebanese social blogger recently observed, “The Lebanese people are dying…. No medicine, no hospitals, no electricity, no water, and an almost non-existent purchasing power.” A prominent international writer observed, “The international community… has failed to realize [that] Lebanon is about to fall into the hands of Iran.” Another Arab reporter concluded, “The Arabs appear clearly worried about the perceived apathy of the US and other Western powers towards Iran’s scheme to extend its control to Lebanon. They seem particularly alarmed that Lebanon will meet the same fate as Iraq, Syria and Yemen—countries that have been riven by years of civil war thanks to Iran’s continuous efforts to export terrorism and the ‘Islamic Revolution’ to the Arab countries.”

Bible prophecy foretells the coming of a “king of the South” leading a group of nations that band together and attack the European “beast” or “king of the North” before the “beast” charges into the Holy Land (Daniel 11:40–42). Concern about the rising power and influence of Iran could play a major role in stirring this league of nations to form. To learn more about this potentially explosive situation, be sure to read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater