September 19th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
This past week we had Tomorrow’s World presentations in the U.K., the United States, and Canada. There were a total of 110 guests in attendance. The Feast of Trumpets is just around the corner, less than ten days away, and it has profound meaning for those whom God is calling and also for the world. However, we notice that when a Holy Day falls between Monday and Friday, our attendances are lower than when a Holy Day falls on the weekend. Everyone should be prepared to take time off from work or school, as this is an annual Sabbath, a Holy Convocation (a commanded assembly—Leviticus 23:4, 23–25). The difference in attendance is not great, but it is noticeable. The discrepancy is probably due in part to newer members not understanding the importance God places on these annual Sabbaths. Now is a good time to review our booklet The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan. Also, please check out the special Feast of Trumpets Living Education focus unit—more about that below. What an incredible Day the Feast of Trumpets pictures! Remember also that we take up offerings on these special days, and I hope all are preparing for this in advance. Sometimes people write checks for money they do not have in their accounts. Sadly, this costs them exorbitant fees, but what many do not realize is that fees are also charged to the Church. Please prepare in advance for these special days and do not give what you do not have.—Gerald Weston
How was the trumpet used in the Bible? Have you ever seen a timeline of significant biblical events at which the trumpet was blown? Would you like to see a live interview with a trumpet expert demonstrating different types of trumpets and how they compare to the shofar? Is the Jewish Rosh Hashanah the same as the biblical Feast of Trumpets? If this piques your interest, then check out our “Feast of Trumpets Focus Unit”!
You’ll also find an interview with Mr. Dexter Wakefield, discussing his article “The Theme of Separation in the Fall Festival Season.” Mr. Phil Sena gives background to his article “What if I Don’t Want Christ to Return?” in a video segment. And Mr. Michael DeSimone shares a “behind the scenes” look at the “End of the World Timeline” prepared by the media team for YouTube. Finally, in a studio interview, Mr. Gerald Weston highlights the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets and how he was able to explain this important Holy Day in his recent telecast, “The Biblical Holy Days, Part 3.” And just for fun, there are practice quizzes included too!
This focus unit is the first in our ongoing “Fall Holy Days” course that will ultimately be part of our Living Education Library. To get involved, just go to lcgeducation.org and look for the “Feast of Trumpets” button!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Health Issues and the Feast
Stay Healthy as you prepare for—and travel to—the Feast! As the Feast draws closer and last-minute preparations are made, it is not uncommon for many of us to push ourselves and compromise on our sleep and diet. Start preparing now to stay healthy and even improve your health before the Feast.
Love your brother or sister—go light on the perfume: For some brethren, even being in the same room as someone with a lot of perfume or cologne can send them to the Emergency Room. Please be mindful of this.
When you’re expecting: The long-standing tradition of the Church is to recommend that you stay home from the Feast if your due date is around Feast-time, for the sake of yourself and your unborn child. As in all matters of health, it is a personal decision, which must be weighed carefully and prayerfully, and with the advice of your physician or midwife.
Beware of bedbugs! Check the beds of your accommodations when you check into your Feast hotel. If you see signs of bedbugs, request a different room. For more information, check out the U.S. EPA link: https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/tips-travel.
If you can’t go to the Feast: Feast sermons are uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at lcg.org for those who have Internet access. Also, many of our Festival sites will offer remote, live services to shut-ins. If you wish to connect via Internet livestream or telephone hook-up, contact the Festival Site Coordinator for the Feast site you are assigned to.
For more details on these and other Feast-related issues, download the “Know Before You Go” FOT Info Digest on the MyLCG website. Log in to MyLCG, and click on the link provided, under “Feast of Tabernacles 2019.”
Day of Atonement and the Weekly Sabbath Before the Feast—Must Read
We are now posting a list of information about services to be conducted on the Day of Atonement and the Sabbath before the Feast. This information includes which congregations will hold services, what time services will be held, and whom to contact for more details. You can access this information at MyLCG (cogl.org).
Feast of Tabernacles Site in Mexico Is Now Closed
The Feast site in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, is at capacity and closed to further transfers.
Boerne, Texas Feast Site—Must Read Where Applicable
It is critical that those of you who are going to Boerne for the Feast pay for the activities you signed-up for by Wednesday, September 25! Some have asked if they can pay at the Feast. The answer is “No.” Some have signed up for activities but have not yet paid. If you haven’t paid for the luncheons or the dinner dance, please do so by the deadline, Wednesday, September 25. You can pay with a credit card, or by mailing a check or money order. With your payment, make it clear what activities you are paying for. Make checks payable to the Living Church of God, and sent to Mr. Raymond Garcia, 9706 Valley Ranch Pkwy W., Irving, TX 75063.
Please do not send cash in the mail. Also, if you know any seniors or others who want to attend the Family Dinner Dance and/or any of the luncheons, and who don’t have a computer or access to one, please pass this information along to them, as it is very important that payment for activities signed-up for is made by this deadline. You can pay for your activities by credit card or mail your payment by Wednesday, September 25. Please see your Festival Advisor if you need any assistance in making your payments.—Gary Stein, Festival Site Coordinator
Hilton Head Hotel Accommodations
If you are going to Hilton Head and haven’t made your hotel reservations yet, consider the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Resort, if it fits within your budget. Each room booked at the Resort helps defray the costs of the Feast meeting hall. For more information, call the resort at 1-800-475-3631 and use “code 306” to get the special, discounted room pricing.
Williamsburg, Virginia: Added Activity for Singles—Repeat Announcement
Singles Mixer (ages 36 and up)
Location: Riverwalk Restaurant, 323 Water Street, Suite A-1, Yorktown, VA 23690
Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Cost: $30 per person (price includes tax, service charge, and tip)
Description: Riverwalk Restaurant is an ideal location for this year’s “Singles Mixer.” This fine restaurant is located on the York River in beautiful historic Yorktown. Appetizers will include Seared Tuna with Sticky Rice and Wasabi Sauce, Beef Tenderloin Sliders, Caprese Skewers, Sweet and Sour Chicken Bites, and Slow Braised Short Rib Sliders. The Riverwalk will ensure that everyone has plenty of food to eat! Come and enjoy the evening on the York River in an elegant private banquet room and get to know other singles attending the Feast in Williamsburg.
U.S. Deadline for Payments Before Feast—Repeat Announcement
Please note that our last scheduled day to print checks will be Thursday, October 10. After that date, we will not be able to print any checks again until Thursday, October 24. Any invoices we receive before October 7 will be paid before the Festival break. Any invoices we receive after October 7 may not be able to be paid until October 24.
If you have any questions concerning specific invoices or payments, please contact Michelle Broussard in the Accounts Payable Department at 704-708-2234 or Meagan Meredith at 704-708-2237. You can also e-mail [email protected].
Holy Day Envelopes (U.S. Only)—Repeat Announcement
Green Holy Day envelopes for the fall Festivals were mailed on August 28. If you have not received yours by now, please contact us at [email protected] or call the office at 704-844-1970 and we will send you a new set. Please include your PIN (the 11-digit number above your name on mailings from Headquarters) on any correspondence. Using the pre-labeled green envelopes for your offerings speeds up processing and saves the Work money. We also recommend that you place your envelopes with your church materials so you do not forget to take them with you to Holy Day services.—Jerry Ruddlesden
Perseverance—A Vital Quality: Perseverance is one of the laws of success! The word means tenacity, remaining steadfast under pressure, and the determination to continue on a chosen course of action in spite of difficulties and opposition. The Scriptures emphasize the importance of this vital quality in our daily lives. Solomon wrote, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). Jesus stressed, “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). The Parable of the Sower explains the consequences of compromising when we face temptations or become distracted and discouraged, or buckling when we encounter trials and difficulties (Matthew 13:18–23). The Apostle Paul warned, “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). Jesus inspired the Apostle John to give the same encouraging advice to the Philadelphia Era of the Church, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world… Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10–11). When trials and difficulties come our way, let’s remember these important words!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—September 19, 2019
War in South America? Venezuela and Colombia appear on a collision course. Due to President Maduro’s crushing economic policies, over one million Venezuelans have left the country and now reside across the border in Colombia (Deutsche Welle, September 11, 2019). Colombia has accused Venezuela of harboring terrorists who appear to be using the nation as a base from which to attack Colombia. In response, Venezuela recently sent 150,000 troops to its border with Colombia. Venezuela’s President Maduro has stated, “The moment has come to defend our sovereignty and national peace by deploying our defense resources in full force”—accusing Colombia of preparing to invade Venezuela.
In response to the troops massing on Colombia’s border, ten regional nations and the United States invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) in support of Colombia and against the Maduro regime. The ten nations are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, and Dominican Republic (CNS News, September 12, 2019). In his comments regarding U.S. involvement in the invocation of TIAR, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo observed, “Recent bellicose moves by the Venezuelan military to deploy along the border with Colombia as well as the presence of illegal armed groups and terrorist organizations in Venezuelan territory demonstrate that Nicolas Maduro not only poses a threat to the Venezuelan people, his actions threaten the peace and security of Venezuela’s neighbors.”
It is not clear whether any military action will be taken by Venezuela, Colombia, or other TIAR nations. However, this tense situation in South America is just one of the latest “rumors of war” emanating from different parts of the globe. Bible prophecy warns that as we approach the end of the age, we will hear more reports of “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6–8), something Jesus Christ called “the beginning of sorrows.” For greater insights about end-time events, read or listen to our booklet Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.
Fracturing German-U.S. Relationship: According to German news source Der Spiegel, “Never since the founding of postwar Germany have relations between Berlin and the United States been as fragile as they are today” (August 21, 2019). President Trump and Chancellor Merkel communicate very little and have not had a good relationship. In addition to President Trump’s comments that Germany needs to pay more for Europe’s defense, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany—normally a politically neutral position—has made provocative statements about Germany’s internal domestic politics.
The article, titled “German-U.S. Ties Are Breaking Down,” reported that America “is more unpopular with Germans than ever before. A survey conducted for the Atlantik-Brücke found that 85 percent of Germans view the relationship with the U.S. as negative or very negative.” In fact, 42 percent of Germans see China as a more reliable partner than the U.S. Many Germans, including those in government, now reject President Trump’s ideas reflexively. But the president is not the only American pressing Germany. Der Spiegel summarized the express position of a researcher at the American Hudson Institute: “The Germans need to finally get over the idea that they can remain a kind of giant Switzerland in the middle of Europe forever.”
The U.S. and its current president seem to be pushing Germany to move away from the pacifist, team-playing position they have followed since World War II and to begin playing a bigger role on the world stage. While current events seem to be propelling Germany in that direction, Bible prophecies reveal that a German-led Europe will emerge to play a major role that will impact the world in the years just prior to the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the age. The rise of this German-led Europe will have serious consequences for America and many other nations. To learn more about the German people, their history, and their future, watch our TWNow program “Germany Will Lead Europe Again!”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater