Weekly Update

October 14th, 2021

Greetings from Charlotte,

Mr. Rod McNair conducted meetings this week with the U.S. and International Festival Coordinators. We are grateful to our Creator for granting us favor in the 90 locations where we held the Feast around the world. All regions were able to give very positive reports, although a few locations were unable to meet in large gatherings, or even at all, due to local restrictions. Youth Camp Directors are already beginning to plan for next summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, while Directors in the Southern Hemisphere are preparing more intensely as those camps will be coming up in about two months. A new Member/Coworker letter was mailed out this week, a little earlier than normal due to slow mail service. I hope everyone is paying attention to the supply chain breakdown and current inflation issues. We are watching in real time, and on many fronts, the collapse of the world order. It is going to be interesting going forward.—Gerald Weston

Church Administration

Tomorrow’s World Presentations: 23 Guests in Indiana; COVID-Canceled in New Zealand

Last Sabbath, Mr. Jonathan McNair conducted a Tomorrow’s World Presentation titled “The Signs of Christ’s Return” in Terre Haute, Indiana, with 23 guests. Pastor Yancy Taber plans to conduct two follow-up TWPs within the next week.

Sadly, we had to cancel a planned TWP for Auckland, New Zealand scheduled for November because of tightening COVID restrictions in that country. We would appreciate your prayers that meeting restrictions outside the United States would lessen, so we can once again schedule more overseas TWPs.

Other upcoming TWPs:

  • October 24 – Fargo, North Dakota (Mr. Mark Sandor)
  • November 6 – Tampa, Florida (Mr. Gerald Weston)
  • December 4 – Minneapolis, Minnesota (Mr. Jonathan McNair)
  • December 5 – Chattanooga, Tennessee (Mr. Wallace Smith)
  • December 5 – Wausau, Wisconsin (Mr. Jonathan McNair)
  • December 11 – Gaffney, South Carolina (Mr. Richard Ames)

Living Education

Our Living Education-Charlotte students participate in a variety of activities over the course of the year. Some of them involve reaching out to the congregation and the community. This weekend, our LivingEd men are hosting a “Father-Son Campout” in the Smoky Mountains, along the bank of the Nolichucky River. Meanwhile, our LivingEd ladies are organizing a “Little Ladies Tea” for young girls in the Charlotte area and their mothers. Both activities will be a lot of fun and also give our students an opportunity to serve the local members here in Charlotte.—Jonathan McNair

Feast of Tabernacles

God’s Blessings at the Feast

God is our Healer and we look to Him in faith to protect us from disease. At the same time, He expects us as a Church to do what we can to safeguard one another’s health. We were encouraged this week to hear in meetings with Feast coordinators around the world that, considering the number of Feast sites we had this year (90 sites in 49 countries), we had very few cases of COVID. Most Feast sites had zero COVID cases. In those sites where we did have positive cases, the coordinator initiated contact tracing, with some brethren quarantined. To our knowledge, those who came down with COVID are recovering. Please pray for those still dealing with the lingering effects of this disease. All in all, we are grateful that God provided His blessings and protection at the Feast this year. And we thank you, brethren, for complying with the Feast COVID protocols. Your cooperation was much appreciated!


The Value of Hope: Having a hope in the future—something positive to look forward to—is a vital aspect of life. Many have long understood that life without hope is empty. The Bible states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). But what is the real hope of a Christian? King David wrote, “You are my hope, O Lord God” and “I hope in Your word” (Psalm 71:5; 119:147). The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have hope in God… believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14–15), including the promise of the resurrection, eternal life, and the return of Jesus Christ (Titus 1:2; 2:13). We are urged as Christians “to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18), to purify ourselves so we can become “children of God” (1 John 3:1–3), and to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Let’s all be motivated by this same hope today!

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—October 14, 2021

U.S., UK, and Australia Form Special Pact: Australia signed a deal with France in 2016 to purchase several diesel-powered submarines. In the agreement, touted as “the contract of the century,” France stood to gain both financially and politically (Politico, September 16, 2021). However, Australia recently canceled the deal in order to enter into a pact with the United States and the United Kingdom that would net the island continent eight nuclear-powered submarines—and a security agreement.

The trilateral security pact between the U.S., UK, and Australia—dubbed “AUKUS”—was announced by President Joe Biden. It will allow the three nations to share advanced and secret nuclear technologies with each other (Politico, September 16, 2021). China was not happy with the agreement and labeled it an “intensification of the arms race.” The pact was formed as a response to what the allies—especially Australia—view as “belligerent Chinese behaviour” (The Guardian, September 16, 2021). However, this new agreement appears to be alienating France and other European nations (Associated Press, September 16, 2021).

What goes unnoticed in the news today is that there is more to this new partnership than just politics and technologically sensitive information. Students of Bible prophecy also understand that the relationship between these three English-speaking nations involves more than a common language. This is actually an agreement between “brothers,” reflecting a relationship that spans nearly 3,500 years! These nations are descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph and grandsons of the patriarch Jacob (or Israel). They have a blood-bond that transcends their political and geographic differences (Genesis 48). World conditions appear to be pushing this bond to the forefront once again. To discover more about the ancient family history and prophesied future of these three nations—and other nations, including France—be sure to watch “America and Britain—A Special Relationship.”

EU’s New Global Gateway: The European Union is launching a new initiative to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Politico, September 15, 2021). In her recent State of the European Union address, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared, “We want to create links and not dependencies!”—a clear contrast to how the EU and much of the world views China’s project.

In the same speech, von der Leyen also announced a plan to “link up research and design in different countries, coordinate funding among EU states and jointly create a ‘state of the art ecosystem’ of microchip companies.” This European Chips Act is intended to help Europe catch up to the United States and China on microchip technology and eliminate dependence on those nations. Commenting about the venture, von der Leyen stated that the effort is not just about competitiveness, but also a matter of “tech sovereignty.” She reiterated the need for military independence from the U.S. and quoted the declaration of Robert Schuman, one of the EU’s “founding fathers”: “Europe needs a soul, an ideal, and the political will to serve this ideal” (Politico, September 15, 2021).

Europe has great ambitions, but its base of 27 nations—with different languages and cultures and their historical animosities—continues to meet barriers to unified forward action. However, Bible prophecy indicates that a core of European nations led by Germany will come to the fore and lead Europe and the world economically and militarily—for a time (Revelation 17:12). The proposals put forth in von der Leyen’s recent speech could be some of the tools this European core will use to propel itself forward. It may take a crisis and a stronger and more charismatic leader to bring this about. To learn more about Europe’s prophesied future, read “European Political Union Is the Answer!”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater