February 7th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mrs. Shirley Apartian died a week ago Friday, after The World Ahead came out, so many of you may not have heard this. Mrs. Apartian was a longtime member of the Church of God, baptized in 1955. She was the wife of Evangelist Dibar Apartian, who oversaw the Work of God in the French language for several decades until his death in December 2010. Mrs. Apartian’s funeral will be this Sunday here in Charlotte. We received this encouraging note from Mr. Peter Nathan: “This [last] weekend, we will have five new members baptized in the London area. Although we have seen a number buried because of physical death this past year (including two more this past week), it appears that our Father is ensuring that we have others to help pick up the mantle to continue the Work. In addition, we have found a number of ex-WCG people coming to us, one from another group, but most who have gone nowhere since leaving WCG.” Mr. Martin Montgomery conducted a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Melbourne, Australia last weekend with 71 guests in attendance. He will have a follow-up this Sunday.—Gerald Weston
Visit to Indonesia
From December 6–10, Mr. Rajendra Moses visited Indonesia, where he was met at the airport by Indonesian elder Arius Nusantara. He visited a potential Feast site as well as the office of a business that gives assistance in English classes and with homeschooling. Public schools in Indonesia have mandatory attendance six days a week, making it very difficult for the children of brethren to attend. Homeschooling provides a solution. Besides giving a Bible Study and the sermon on the Sabbath, he spent time with the brethren and answered questions about applying the Bible’s teachings today.
Visit to the Philippines
In August, Mr. Robert Tyler and Mr. Ryan Nicholson had a productive trip to the Philippines. Mr. Gonzales has been appointed as Area Pastor for the Philippines, and long-serving deacon Mr. Amancio Cuares was ordained an elder. He serves in the Luzon/Visayas regions, as well as working in the Church office. Also, a new employee was hired to help in the office, which is handling increasing responses from the Tomorrow’s World telecast airing nationwide on CNN. Mr. Tyler and Mr. Nicholson also visited a number of the brethren, one of whom traveled for a number of hours to meet with them, toured a Feast site, visited a potential youth camp site, and conducted a leadership conference. Mr. Nicholson commented, “It was a profitable trip. It is always a wonderful thing to meet our brethren around the world united in Spirit and purpose, and who are awaiting the same hope that we all are.”
Passover 2019—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2019, the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, April 18. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before February 19 for international congregations and by March 19 for U.S. congregations.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. International requests should be received before February 19 and U.S. requests before March 19. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Note to Ministers: Please be reminded that the deadlines are fast approaching to send in requests for Passover service supplies, and the lists of those who will need to be mailed the instructions for keeping the Passover at home.
The deadline for international requests is February 19, and for U.S. requests is March 19.
It saves the Work considerable money, as well as smooths out the workflow at Headquarters, when these requests are received in a timely way. Thank you very much for your help with this.
Feast of Tabernacles
What Festival Advisors Do
We’d like to take a moment to explain what a “Festival Advisor” does. Each congregation in the Living Church of God has a Festival Advisor (and/or an assistant) who serves as the “point man” in the congregation concerning the Feast of Tabernacles. He often acts as a conduit to the Pastor for questions, needs, clarifications, etc. This may mean working with the Pastor to expedite announcements about the Feast, perhaps copying off and distributing Feast announcements or other information. The Festival Advisor also helps members work through many of the steps of Festival Registration, especially those who do not have Internet access, and performs other duties as well.
We want to thank all of our 2018 Festival Advisors—and thank in advance those who will be serving in 2019! Your diligent efforts are invaluable for the smooth running of online Festival Registration, and much appreciated by the brethren you serve.
Pastors: Thank you for notifying Church Administration of your selection of Festival Advisors for 2019. If you have not yet notified us, please do so right away. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].
Congregational Assignments for the Feast of Tabernacles, USA
To find out what Feast site your local congregation is assigned to, please consult the following list. When registration opens, you may request to transfer to a site other than your assigned site. Please do not make housing reservations until you have registered and have been approved for your choice of site.
Cathedral City, California
Arizona: Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Tucson
California: Banning, Fresno, Garden Grove, Los Angeles, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara
Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno
Alabama: Dothan, Birmingham, Montgomery
Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Lake City, Melbourne, Ocala, Pensacola, Tampa
Georgia: Columbus, Thomasville
Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Ferriday, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans
Mississippi: Jackson, Laurel, Ocean Springs
Puerto Rico: San Juan
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Kentucky: Berea, Louisville
North Carolina: Asheville, Sylva
Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus
Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Crossville, Etowah, Knoxville, Nashville
West Virginia: Bluefield, Charleston
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Arkansas: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville
Kansas: Chanute, Wichita
Missouri: Columbia, Joplin, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Joseph, St. Louis, Springfield
Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
Montana: Great Falls, Helena
Oregon: Myrtle Creek, Portland
Washington: Richland, Seattle/Tacoma, Tonasket
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Georgia: Atlanta, Augusta, Braselton, Warner Robins
North Carolina: Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Kannapolis, Raleigh, Statesville
South Carolina: Anderson, Columbia, Walterboro
Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Big Sandy, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Lufkin, Midland, San Antonio, Temple, The Valley
Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Grand Junction
New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Fe
Wyoming: Casper, Cheyenne, Saratoga, Thermopolis, Wheatland
Mount Snow, Vermont
New Hampshire: Tilton
New York: Albany, Corning, New York City, Plainview, Rochester
Rhode Island: Providence
District of Columbia: Washington
Maryland: Baltimore, Salisbury
New Jersey: Hammonton, Rahway
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Tannersville
Virginia: Norfolk, Richmond, Williamsburg, Winchester
West Virginia: Morgantown
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Illinois: Chicago, Peoria, Springfield
Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Knox, Terre Haute
Iowa: Des Moines, Dubuque, Keokuk
Michigan: Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City
Minnesota: Duluth, Minneapolis
North Dakota: Bismarck
Wisconsin: Appleton, Merrill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells
Greece Feast of Tabernacles—Repeat Announcement
Good news! Due to a number of cancellations, we still have room for more people to attend the Feast site in Greece this year. If seeing the places where the Apostle Paul and others walked and taught God’s word, and going to Greece, have been on your “bucket list,” now is your opportunity.
The main venue for the Feast is the lovely Divani Appolon Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, situated right on the Aegean Sea near Athens. The main package will include touring in Athens, Corinth, and Delphi, as well as an optional cruise to the island of Aegina. There is also to be an optional pre-Feast tour of Thessaloniki, Philippi, and Kavala, as well as a post-Feast opportunity to go to the islands of Santorini and Crete.
If you would like to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the Feast in Greece, please e-mail Mr. Jim Meredith right away at [email protected]. Final deadlines for registering are approaching quickly, so make sure to register soon.
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on February 15 will cover Matthew 27:1–46, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chatroom will be open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the study.
To join, just visit livingyouth.org, and follow the links to “Friday Evening Bible Study.” If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Matthew 26:17–75, can be found on the Living Youth website.—Josh Penman
North American Camp Registration Opens!
Registration for the North American camps begins on Sunday! This year we will have three Preteen camps, in West Virginia, Missouri, and Texas; our Teen camp in Texas, and our Adventure camp on the Boundary Waters between the U.S. and Canada. For information on all of the camps, and to begin registration, visit camp.livingyouth.org. Registration for most of the camps will be open for several months, but the Adventure Camp fills up quickly, so registration for it will only be open this month. For planning purposes, it’s helpful for us that people register early, enabling us to start matching people with duties and see what assignments we still need to fill.
If you have any questions about the registration process or require assistance, please contact Jenny Penman at the LYP office at [email protected] or call 980-254-0132. We look forward to seeing you at camp!—LYP Office
Living Church of God Youth Camps 2019
Camp registration for all U.S. camps will open this Sunday, February 10, and applications for the summer camp in Europe are now available from the UK Regional Office (see announcement below for further information). Important Requirement: Be sure to submit a photo of yourself with your application.
The listing of camps in the United States and Europe, with locations, dates and Camp Directors, follows. New information is in bold font.
United States Camps 2019:
Teen Camp – Texas – Mr. Sheldon Monson
Location: Camp Lone Star – Athens, Texas
Dates: Staff arrival on Sunday, July 7, by noon; Camper arrival on Monday, July 8 by 6:00 p.m. – Departure on Sunday, July 21
Adventure Camp – Boundary Waters – Mr. Mike Kreyer
Location: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Dates: Friday, July 26 – Monday, August 5
Preteen Camp – Missouri – Mr. Yancy Taber
Location: Knob Noster State Park, Knob Noster, Missouri
Dates: Sunday, June 30 – Friday July 5
Preteen Camp – Texas – Mr. Phil West
Location: Camp Lone Star – Athens, Texas
Dates: Sunday, July 21 – Friday, July 26
Preteen Camp – West Virginia – Mr. Mark Sandor
Location: Glenwood Park 4-H Campgrounds, Princeton, West Virginia
Dates: Sunday, July 28 – Friday, August 2
European Teen Camp 2019:
European Teen Camp – Mr. Rees Ellis
Location: Domaine de Chevetogne, Belgium
Dates: August 2–11
2019 Adventure Camp: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
This year’s Adventure Camp is an exciting excursion in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Quetico Provincial Park, an all-park region of lakes and islands situated along the International Border between Minnesota and Ontario. The planned route is approximately 50 miles of canoeing in beautiful, pristine waters through breath-taking vistas, portaging around falls and rapids, navigating and exploring various lakes on the Canadian side of the border, and also into Quetico. Quetico, which is paddle only, is a million-acre park with 600 lakes. Quetico has the best pictographs in North America. Three pictograph sites (labeled as Indian Paintings on area maps) are along the planned route, with one site in Quetico. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Quetico are the most extensive canoe regions remaining in the world.
The base camp is situated in this boundary region on Saganaga (Sag) Lake, Ontario, at a wilderness island resort, and hosted by brethren who live there. Campers will be transported via motorboat(s) to/from base camp on the entry and exit days. Saganaga Lake is approximately 20 miles by 20 miles with 300 islands. The theme song of a famous TV commercial filmed on Sag in the 1980s described this area as the “Land of the Sky Blue Waters.” This region is rich in history and was part of the legendary French-Canadian Voyageur route of the late 1700s and 1800s. Never logged, much of the area remains as pure and untouched as it was in that era. This region of clear, granite-bottom lakes is also known as “The Land of the Drinking Water Lakes,” and the motto for camping in this area is “Leave no trace.”
Please note that for this camp you will require a passport book or passport card and will be responsible for acquiring a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit. Information on applying for this permit will be made available upon acceptance.
Camp Director: Mr. Mike Kreyer
Dates: Camper and Staff Arrival: Friday, July 26, not later than 1:00 p.m.
Camper and Staff Departure: Monday, August 5, not later than noon, and departing Minneapolis Airport (MSP) not later than 3:00 p.m.
Applicant Information: To be considered for staff positions, applicants must be 21 years of age or older. Campers ages 13–20 may apply. Preferential acceptance will be given to those ages 15 and up. If there is room available, we will consider younger applicants.
Costs: Application and Tuition Fees: Camper: $5.00 and $350.00. Staff: $5.00 and $250.00
Note: Tuition is due in full by May 31.
Airport Transportation to/from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
Required Documents and Permits: Applicant will be responsible for acquiring the following. BOTH are required to attend LYP Adventure Camp 2019:
1. Passport or Passport Card
2. Remote Area Border Crossing Permit (RABC)
Deadlines: Applications will be accepted from Sunday, February 10 through Friday, March 1.
Apply early, as space is limited and this camp will fill up quickly!
LYP Teen Camp in Europe 2019
Cost: £145 sterling/€165 euros
Applicant Information: Staff – ages 18 and up; Campers – ages 13– 18; Mini-campers – ages 12 and under.
Accommodation: Dormitories, where Sabbath Services, Bible Studies, meals and other indoor activities will take place as well.
Activities: Bible and Christian education, hiking, orienteering, water-skiing, leather work, music, volleyball, football, speedminton, basketball, netball, swimming, softball, nature discovery, speech, and leadership training, schedule permitting. We will enjoy two Sabbaths together for relaxation and spiritual instruction, and the week will culminate with a special Sabbath dinner.
Application Forms: Available from the UK Regional Office ([email protected]) or from Mr. Rees Ellis in Belgium ([email protected]). Camper and staff applications are to be sent to the UK Office and an e-mail copy sent to Mr. Rees Ellis. You cannot apply to the European camp through the North American Camp registration system.
Beware of Misguided Ideas: The Apostle Paul warned, “in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1–5) and that many will not listen to sound doctrine but will prefer to follow their own ideas (2 Timothy 3:1–6; 4:1–4). The Apostle Paul also warned that critics from within and from outside the Church will try to divide the Church to gain a following (Acts 20:29–31). He pointed out that Satan will try various ways to mislead well-meaning people (2 Corinthians 2:11)—often new people (1 Timothy 3:6)—by appealing to the human desire to be recognized as an authority (3 John 9–10). Numerous issues threatened to destroy the early Church: different ideas about foods, hair lengths, the resurrection, circumcision, etc. (see 1 Corinthians and Galatians). However, Paul’s constant advice was to “Guard what was committed to your trust” (1 Timothy 6:20), to “hold fast” to what you have been “taught” (Titus 1:9–11) and “avoid foolish disputes” (Titus 3:9; 1 Timothy 6:3–5). When questions do arise over doctrine, the biblical example is to take the issue to the leaders of the Church for a decision (Acts 15:1–31). Nowhere do the Scriptures encourage individuals to take it on themselves to correct or “save” the Church. That is something that Jesus Christ will take care of in His time as He “builds” His Church (Matthew 16:18).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—February 7, 2019
Russia, India, Iran, and China: Strategic Culture recently published a sobering article titled “Russia, China, India and Iran: The Magic Quadrant That Is Changing the World” (January 25, 2019). The article states that the relationship between these four Eurasian nations has developed as a reaction to the global decisions and actions of the United States and other Western nations. The author notes, “With the end of the unipolar moment, which saw Washington dominate international relations, the richest and most powerful Eurasian countries are beginning to organize themselves into alliance structures and agreements that aim to facilitate trade, development and cooperation.”
The article’s author, Federico Pieraccini, lists several actions to watch for in the future that will drastically impact the current world order—including a shift away from the U.S. dollar as the petroleum purchasing currency. He also comments that China’s “New Silk Road” initiative is a tool that these nations can use to move their nations forward.
The observations in this article are especially relevant in light of Bible prophecy, which predicts that, just prior to Christ’s return, a 200-million-man army will counterattack the Beast power (Revelation 9:13–21). To field this massive army will require nations with large populations—such as India and China. To move and supply a massive force of this size will require an extensive transportation system and a major funding source. Russia, India, Iran, and China are likely to play a very powerful role in the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies. As world events continue to move in the direction that has long been outlined in Bible prophecy, it will be important to watch how these prophecies will be fulfilled. For more insight into this sobering and fascinating topic, listen to our recent TWNow program titled “One Belt One Road Initiative—Will China Take Over the World?”
“Once in a Century” Flooding in Australia: Queensland in northeastern Australia is experiencing devastating flooding. More than 20,000 homes are at risk of inundation as floodwaters engulf neighborhoods—even bringing displaced saltwater crocodiles! Although the rainy season typically brings much rain to this tropical state, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk noted that experiencing such a tremendous amount of rain in such a short period is “unprecedented” and a “one-in-100-year event” (Channel News Asia, February 4, 2019). Unusually high rivers have forced authorities to release dam water which is adding to the flooding of communities downriver. One community received more than a meter of rain last week alone—more than 20 times the average for this time of the year. Yet other areas of Queensland went without. As the BBC noted, “Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said the monsoon rainfall had missed other parts of the state which are in the grip of an intense drought” (February 4, 2019).
Severe floods and drought in the same state may seem unusual, but Bible prophecy warns this type of situation will happen with increasing frequency as we approach the end of the age. The prophet Amos was inspired to warn the nation of Israel that, because of its sins, “I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered” (Amos 4:7). What few realize today is that this and other prophecies will find their ultimate fulfillment at the end of the age in the modern Israelite nations (like Australia) which are also turning away from God and rejecting His ways. While weather events often happen at random within global weather patterns, God also states He will use the weather to draw the attention of certain sinful nations. For more insight into how God does and will use the weather, be sure to read or listen to Who Controls the Weather?—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Chris Sookdeo