Weekly Update

June 13th, 2024

Greetings from Charlotte,

Mr. Gerald Weston is in western Canada this week, and is planning to be in the Sacramento, California, area for the weekly Sabbath and Pentecost. Mr. Mario Hernandez is traveling to El Salvador for the weekend and invited me to come along, as well as Mrs. Nohora Kennell, from the Accounting Department, to assist in translation. We’re looking forward to seeing brethren gathered there from Costa Rica, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Panama, and El Salvador! Many other ministers and brethren all over the world will be traveling as well, to gather for Pentecost. Mr. Htoowah Laybeh reports that our four Living Education volunteer teachers in Thailand were warmly welcomed by the local Thai authorities where they will be teaching. In a formal reception, the Mae Ku Municipality mayor spoke and expressed his profound and heartfelt gratitude to the Church for the volunteer English teachers. Let’s pray for one another as we keep the Feast of Pentecost.—Rod McNair

Church Administration

Tomorrow’s World Presentations

Last week we held one initial presentation in Bridgetown, Barbados. We also held follow-up presentations in Crossville, Tennessee; Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; Bordentown, New Jersey; and Georgetown, Guyana. These presentations drew a total of 30 guests. This week we will hold one follow-up presentation in St. Michael, Barbados. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for the Tomorrow’s World Presentations.

New Hymnal Project

After reviewing more than 150 song contributions from our membership, we’re winding down the process of finalizing the new songs that will be added to our hymnal. To all who contributed a song: Thank you! The outpouring of creativity was remarkable and appreciated greatly. For those whose hymns have been selected for the hymnal, you can expect to receive additional communication shortly. Again, thank you to all!—Jonathan McNair

Feast of Tabernacles

This week we closed further transfers to Branson, Missouri, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. This is the complete list of Feast sites that are now closed to further transfers:

  • Branson, Missouri
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica

There is currently a waitlist for Port Barcarès, France. Thank you to those on that waitlist for your patience as the French coordinators determine how many we can approve in France.

Living Youth Program

Camp Staff: Necessary Certifications for Some Positions—Repeat Announcement

First Aid/Lifeguard Certificates
If you have a current Certificate in First Aid/Lifeguarding, etc., and will be serving in this capacity at any of the USA camps in 2024, then please send a copy of your Certification to Jill Ewers ([email protected]). The Certificate must be current and valid through the entirety of the camp(s) where it will be used.

Food Handler Training Program
If you have received certification through an ANSI-accredited food safety program for the State of Texas as a Food Handler or Food Manager and will be attending Texas Teen Camp or Texas Preteen Camp in 2024, please send your certificate to Jill Ewers ([email protected]) and copy Joshua Penman ([email protected]).

TrainRight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training
All staff members who are 18 years old and up are required to participate in an online training program for awareness and prevention of child abuse: TrainRight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training Program. This is an online training course that takes about one hour to complete. Once you have been accepted as a staff member at one of the camps, you will receive an email from [email protected] titled “Invite – Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training Program” with a link to register for and complete the training online. Note: The Certification for this TrainRight course is good for two years, the year it’s taken plus the next year. For example, if you took the course in 2022, the Certification was valid in 2022 and 2023. Therefore, you would have to retake the course in 2024 to receive your new Certification for 2024/2025.

If you have any questions, please contact Jill Ewers ([email protected]).


Prove Your Beliefs: Many today assume that simply “believing in Jesus” and “accepting Him into your heart” is all that is required of Christians. However, the Bible teaches differently. Numerous scriptures warn of false teachers who will talk about Jesus and deceive people (Matthew 24:3–5), even labeling them as ministers of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:1–15). This is why the Apostle Paul urged Christians to “Test [examine carefully] all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Luke writes that the beliefs of early Christians were based on eyewitness accounts and provide “many infallible proofs” of Christ’s miracles and resurrection (Luke 1:1–2: Acts 1:1–3). The Apostle Peter urged believers to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15) as Paul confidently did before Roman leaders (Acts 26). If we take time to prove our beliefs, we can do the same thing.

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—June 13, 2024

Germany Prepares for War by 2029: Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius again forcefully highlighted Germany’s need to strengthen its defense capabilities (Deutsche Welle, June 5, 2024). During a question period in Germany’s lower house of parliament, Pistorius stated, “We must be ready for war by 2029”—five years from now! He pointed out the need for the government to back such efforts financially with materials and personnel and reiterated the possibility of reinstating compulsory military service for young Germans, saying, “In an emergency, we need strong young women and men who can defend this country.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised to support the defense industry and has pushed for more cooperation between European defense manufacturers. Scholz announced the purchase of an additional 20 Eurofighters, and the German Defense Ministry announced purchase of two additional frigates. Germany has also signed a defense agreement with France and Japan to jointly develop railgun technology (Aviation Week, May 31, 2024). This weapon is intended to be a defense against hypersonic missiles.

Currently, nations across Europe are increasing their military capabilities, updating military hardware, and developing advanced military technologies—due in part to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Russia’s military industrial complex is in high gear, and Europe is beginning to conclude that it must not be left behind. To discover what Bible prophecy records about future events in Europe, watch “Russia, Ukraine, and the Future of Europe.”

Regular Churchgoers Are Happier! We live in a world where religious observance and church attendance are rapidly diminishing, especially in Europe and the United Kingdom. Yet research continues to support the idea that religion is important to health and happiness. Gallup, Harvard and Baylor universities, and the Center for Open Science collaborated in an effort to discover what factors help people flourish, based on “measures of happiness, character and virtue and social relationships, among other values” (ReligionNews.com, March 28, 2024). They conducted a massive study, interviewing 200,000 people in 20 nations. According to their findings, one factor that clearly impacts individual happiness and a sense of flourishing is regularly attending religious services. A professor of social sciences from Baylor University remarked, “We’re not shocked at that because there’s a lot of other research that indicates that faith is important to human flourishing, but it may come as a surprise to people that religion would be an important thing.”

While results from this and past studies highlight the impact of regular attendance at religious services on human flourishing, many psychologists write off religion as simply creating an opportunity for human interaction. Many do not consider the importance and impact of the worship that occurs during religious assembly, and its specific effects on happiness. And while many believe it does not matter what church you attend, the Bible clearly says otherwise. To learn what Scripture reveals about where we should go to church, be sure to read or listen to our booklet Where Is God’s True Church Today?

In February 2025, the next stage of analysis for this multi-nation study should be published, including an examination of the differing effects of specific religions on human flourishing. Those findings may be interesting.—Scott Winnail, Bob Rodzaj, Rick Wilson, and Francine Prater