Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Douglas Winnail returned Wednesday from his trip around the world, conducting ministerial conferences and Tomorrow’s World presentations. I returned from a most encouraging trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin on Monday, after giving two TWPs.
Council of Elders members will be congregating in Charlotte this coming week for meetings to discuss matters of importance to the Church. Please remember to pray for these meetings that begin Tuesday and end Thursday, and also for safe and uneventful travel for the men and their wives, whether flying or driving. Flying can be an exciting adventure when you don’t do it very often, but the luster wears off for those of us who must do so on a regular basis. While it is a marvelously safe and convenient method of travel when compared to how past generations got around, no one likes standing in long security lines, dealing with delays and cancellations, or lost luggage. So please do remember our ministers as they travel about, serving God and His people.—Gerald Weston
Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Last weekend was marked by another run of successful TWPs. Seven initial and three follow-up events drew a total of 182 guests. One notable TWP was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that drew 44 guests. This weekend, we will host two initial and five follow-up TWPs. We greatly appreciate your prayers for the success of these presentations.
Feast of Tabernacles
2023 Feast Registration Now Open
As of this writing, more than 3,200 Living Church of God brethren and guests have successfully registered for the 2023 Feast of Tabernacles. This year, we have approximately 96 Feast sites around the world, with 16 in the United States and 80 outside of the United States. If you have not registered, please do so, even if you are going to your assigned site.
If you are waiting for transfer approval…
If you have requested a transfer and have not yet been notified by email of an acceptance (or denial), please be patient. A number of sites are nearing capacity. These sites are Branson, Missouri; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; St. George, Utah; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; St. Augustine, Florida; and Cavan, Ireland.
We may be able to accept more transfers to these sites in the future, but we cannot guarantee it. If you applied for transfer to one of these sites and have not been notified of your acceptance, please consider transferring to another site. You are welcome to stay on the waiting list; however, we cannot guarantee that your transfer will be accepted.
These sites have ample space and are welcoming more transfers:
- Boerne, Texas
- Florence, Oregon
- Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
- Poconos, Pennsylvania
- Rockport-Fulton, Texas
- Williamsburg, Virginia
If you have not yet registered for the Feast, please do so, even if you plan to attend your assigned site. Registering helps us know how much open space there is for those on waiting lists. To register, go to the Feast Registration system at fotreg.cogl.org (or visit the members.lcg.org website, click the “Member Resources” link, then click on “Feast Registration”) and log in using your MyLCG credentials. For information about each Feast site, click “Feast Sites Information” at the bottom of the page.
Living Youth Program
The Texas and West Virginia Preteen Camps are both at capacity and registration has closed.
The only camps still accepting applications are Missouri Preteen Camp (staff and campers) and Texas Teen Camp (campers).
All camp information can be found at http://camp.livingyouth.org.
Importance of Mercy: One of the fundamental qualities that Christians need to develop to become like God and reign with Jesus Christ is mercy. Showing mercy involves patience, understanding, compassion, and unmerited pardon. The Bible reveals that God is full of mercy and compassion (Exodus 34:6–7), and that He looks for those same qualities in us (Micah 6:8). Solomon states that those who show mercy to the needy honor God (Proverbs 14:31). Jesus taught that the merciful will obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7) and that God values mercy over sacrifice (Matthew 9:13; cf. Hosea 6:6). Jesus also taught that mercy is an important key for good human relationships (Matthew 18:21–35). In human relationships, we are sometimes quick to judge others, yet the Scriptures tell us that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). As we strive to develop the mind of God, we must also come to understand the importance of mercy.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 4, 2023
Haiti Continues in Chaos! Lawlessness abounds in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, and the sitting government appears helpless to arrest it (Deutsche Welle, April 28, 2023). Public lynchings are increasing, and the government seems powerless to stop them. About two weeks ago, a dozen suspected gang members were pulled off a bus, stoned, and burned alive by a mob—a horrifying instance of vigilante justice that occurred in broad daylight in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Widespread violence is increasing, as is the level of brutality. This prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for other nations to send troops to restore order in the failing state. Aid workers in Haiti are ceasing operations due to the danger of traveling. Two hospitals suspended services for a time, citing security concerns. Gangs have a choke hold on the nation’s capital and, with the government immobilized, citizen mobs are starting to take justice into their own hands. The chaos of the situation is sadly increasing, and Guterres has warned that circumstances in Haiti have “reached levels comparable to countries in armed conflict.” Some are comparing the rapid deterioration to that of Somalia.
The humanitarian situation in Haiti is sobering and frightening. Over 11 million people made in God’s image are suffering from disease, lack of food, and terror as the ways of man play out. Sadly, human beings under the sway of Satan the Devil naturally act only for themselves, ignoring the needs of others—an attitude not unique to Haiti. Thankfully, one day soon Jesus Christ will return to the earth as the Prince of Peace, and, when needed, He will enforce that peace with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15). The peace He brings with Him will be a true and lasting peace—one in which people can live in “unwalled villages” (Ezekiel 38:11) and “in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:18). To learn more about this wonderful future, be sure to read or listen to “Can There Be Peace on Earth?”
Drought in Europe: Over a quarter of the European continent is currently in drought, and summer has not yet arrived (Politico, April 28, 2023). “A key reservoir serving millions of Catalans is dwindling away. A conflict over water triggered clashes in France, where several villages can no longer provide their residents with tap water. And Italy’s largest river is already running as low as last June.” Rains expected in the coming weeks should help surface moisture and crops but will have little effect on groundwater. As the Spanish prime minister noted, drought “is going to be one of the central political and territorial debates of our country over the coming years.”
France just experienced its driest winter in 60 years. And the winter’s low snowfall in Europe does not bode well for the coming summer months. A senior researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research noted that “if there’s not a lot of precipitation now… then a drought is essentially locked in.” Catalonian reservoirs are currently at only 27 percent as the region prepares to enter an early heat wave.
As if the political climate in Europe is not tense enough with the refugee crisis and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, many experts are predicting water wars in Europe in the future too. Jesus Christ warned that humanity would experience global conflict and a dramatic lack of essential needs at the end of the age (Revelation 6:4–6). We should not underestimate the impact a lack of accessible water can have on international relations.
Thankfully, there is a future coming in which water scarcity will be a thing of the past! This will be a time when rain falls in due season and even the deserts will “blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1). To learn more about this awesome future and how it will contrast with the world today, be sure to read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?— Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Chris Sookdeo