Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Ellis reported that he left Belgium at the end of March and joined up with Juvénal Karibwami in the Central African country of Burundi. They then traveled to the Congo to visit GOTO’s and new members. Juvénal then went to Bukavu to visit a group that has shown interest since last year, while Mr. Ellis flew to Kisangani to visit with a fledgling congregation. They later met in Goma on the Rwandan border to meet with contacts from pre-COVID restriction days. These prospects have been translating our material and come from an ex-Church of God Seventh Day group.
Elsewhere, Dr. Douglas Winnail is in South Africa on a busy schedule. Mr. Mario Hernandez is expected to be home by the time you read this. And Mr. Wallace Smith recorded a new telecast, “The War Against Normal,” advertising the “A World Gone Mad” DVD. We have many Tomorrow’s World presentations scheduled for this weekend. Staff registration for the Texas Teen camp has closed, but we still have room for more campers. If interested, please fill out an application at your earliest convenience. —Gerald Weston
Second Passover—Repeat Announcement
The Second Passover this year is on Friday, May 5, which means that it will be observed on Thursday evening, May 4, 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.
Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Tomorrow’s World Presentations are moving forward full force this weekend after the Spring Holy Days. There are nine initial presentations scheduled this weekend and one follow-up. This follows a successful TWP weekend last week which held four presentations. There were two especially notable TWPs last weekend. In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the presentation given by Dr. Winnail drew 55 guests—a 4% response rate to those invited. The other notable TWP was in Marigot, Saint Martin. The presentation, given by Mr. Étienne Duval, drew two guests. What is remarkable is that we only invited 6 subscribers. This is similar to the Jersey TWP from several weeks ago. Even in remote areas, God truly blesses His work. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers for these TWPs around the world.
L4T Activity for Young Adults
L4T means “Living for Tomorrow”. It represents the challenge to the next generation of pillars in the Living Church of God—a challenge to establish a solid foundation in the doctrines and traditions of the church of God, together with other like-minded young adults. Our next L4T activity is scheduled for June 2–4, at the Blowing Rock Conference Center in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. If you are a young adult between the ages of 18 and 30, this is your opportunity to see what L4T is all about! The cost is $125, including accommodation, food, fellowship, fun, instruction, and inspiration! For more information and to register, log in to your MyLCG account by going to members.lcg.org. Select “MyLCG” from under “Member Resources,” login and follow the link provided in the web version of this announcement (“weekly updates” section, April 20, 2023 announcements).
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast Site Location Change—Oregon
Due to recent changes, the 2023 Feast of Tabernacles site in Oregon is moving from Newport to Florence. The congregation assignments will remain the same. Thank you for your patience.
Feast Websites Now Live
The 2023 Festival websites are now live! All LCG brethren and Feast guests can access the Feast write-ups at the following website: https://fot2023.lcg.org. If you do not have Internet access and need help getting Feast information, contact your local congregation’s Festival Advisor. If you don’t know who your Festival Advisor is, please contact your local Pastor. Feast registration begins Sunday, April 30, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Daylight Time, USA).
Festival Advisors: Over the next two Sabbaths, please print out and distribute to brethren who need them the site descriptions and registration forms, in preparation for Feast registration. You can find these Festival Advisor documents by going directly to the Feast registration system at https://fotreg.cogl.org/ and login using your MyLCG credentials, then click the “Advisor Access” link.
Status Updates Needed for Festival Registration
Attention Pastors: One of the most common technical difficulties people have in registering for the Feast occurs when their membership status has not been updated in the Church’s files. For example, if someone is listed as a “Coworker” or “Subscriber” in the Headquarters database, the person will not be able to register. His or her status will need to be changed to “Prospective Member” or, if baptized, to “Member.” Please look over your area’s member lists and let us know if anyone’s status needs to be updated. This could especially apply to brethren who have just recently started attending with us. We need the pastor’s notification to change anyone’s status, so please send any status updates to [email protected].
Living Youth Program
Missouri Preteen Camp – Staff Application Deadline
With just about one month before the staff application deadline (May 18th), planning for the Missouri Preteen camp is moving full speed ahead! If you would like to join us this year at the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks State Park and have not yet applied (or finished your application), please do so soon. We are in the process of selecting department heads and can use additional volunteers—especially adult male staff. Each camp activity provides an opportunity to help our youth develop relationships with one another, and more importantly, with our Creator. We deeply appreciate all who can volunteer their time and serve our youth in this unique way. Hope to see you in Missouri this year! —Yancy Taber, Missouri Preteen Camp Director.
The Real Keys to Spiritual Success: Many believe the key to success is who you know. Yet, God’s instructions are very different. Jesus stressed the importance of humility and teachability when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are the meek” because they will inherit the Kingdom of God and reign on Earth with Jesus Christ (Mathew 5:3–5). God was able to use Moses because he was humble and teachable (Numbers 12:3). Jesus was exalted by God because He humbled Himself and followed God’s instructions (Philippians 2:8–11). Solomon understood that “before honor is humility (Proverbs 15:33). The Apostle James records, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6–10). Peter writes that God will exalt those who are humble and can submit to one another (1 Peter 5:5–6). Isaiah summarizes what God is looking for in those He will reward; “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor [humble] and of a contrite spirit [willing to change, and who trembles at My word [a person who is teachable by God]” (Isaiah 66:1–2). These scriptures provide us with the real keys to spiritual growth and ultimate success.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy–April 20, 2023
Canada Fastest Growing G7 Nation: In 2022, Canada was the fastest growing of 38 nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (BBC, March 23, 2023). The nation grew by over a million people, raising its total population by 2.7 percent. This is Canada’s fastest year of population growth since 1957, and if this rate continued, the nation would double its population in just 26 years. Soberingly, 96 percent of Canada’s growth last year was from immigration, enabled by the need to bring in more workers to meet Canada’s labor shortage.
Many nations use immigration as a tool to meet labor force needs and build their economies. However, rapid and sustained immigration can powerfully alter the culture and values of a nation. Long ago God warned those nations that have descended from ancient Israel, like Canada, of the consequences of the rejecting Him: “The foreigner in your midst will be elevated higher and higher over you, while you are brought low little by little” (Deuteronomy 28:43, International Standard Version). We are increasingly seeing this take place. As these nations move further and further away from a Bible-based morality, immigration numbers continue to rise and cultural change accelerates. Students of biblical prophecy should not be surprised by this trend because it is clearly outlined in the Scriptures. For greater insights into the future of the modern Israelite nations at the end of the age, be sure to read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Global Water Shortages: Nearly a billion people dwelling in cities around the globe are experiencing a crisis concerning access to water, and in the next three decades, that number is predicted to double, according to a new United Nations report (The Guardian, March 21, 2023). In fact, water demand in cities is predicted to increase by 80 percent by 2050. Currently, two to three billion people experience water shortages for at least one month each year. About two billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion do not have access to “safely managed sanitation.”
According to the UN report, global demand for fresh water will surpass the supply by 40 percent, in just seven years! And by 2030, only 37 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa will have access to safely managed water (The Guardian, March 22, 2023). Aside from the challenge of worldwide droughts, many industries also consume or pollute huge amounts of water.
These concerns took center stage at a recent three-day conference on global water needs, hosted by the UN. Many good ideas were proposed at the conference, and billions of dollars were pledged to address the global problem. But will this conference bring about real and lasting change? Mankind’s history and the track record of UN efforts give little hope for significant improvement. As human greed and selfishness continue to be driving forces in individual behavior and political policy, those with access to water will likely continue to exploit what they view as their resource.
God gave Adam and Eve a commission back in the garden of Eden to be good stewards of the creation. Yet, this is an area where mankind repeatedly falls short. This is a major reason why “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). The world needs a real change, and that change will not occur until Christ returns and establishes His Kingdom. When He does, not only will humans learn to cooperate, but the needs of life will become abundantly available, and “the desert shall rejoice and blossom like a rose” (Isaiah 35:1). To learn more about this coming transformation, be sure to read or listen to our exciting booklet The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? — Scott Winnail and Francine Prater