July 2nd, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
We continue to look for new quality stations to air Tomorrow’s World. Just as I began writing this, I received information on new avails (available slots to air the program) from one of our agents, which we will discuss today.
Canada reports that we have gone live with the French-language Viewpoint channel. The first three weeks have received more than 14,700 views and generated 349 subscribers and 250 likes. The Canadian office has entered Stage 2 of reopening, and is now able to begin recording Tomorrow’s World telecasts once again. God blessed us in that, though we did not know about a future lockdown, we recorded a good number of English and French telecasts right before the shutdown.
Regarding the Texas Teen LYP summer camp, we are taking all precautions we know how to, including limiting the age of staff and screening everyone before entering camp. There are many risks in life, including driving a vehicle to get to camp, but each staff member and parent must take personal responsibility in making decisions based on risk versus benefit. This goes for in-person Sabbath services as well as teen camps.—Gerald Weston
Hymns for Living Church of God Services—Repeat Announcement
One way we honor God is by praising Him in song. The Scriptures give us the words of many songs composed by David and his musicians, as well as by Moses and others. We have also been blessed with the legacy of some of these songs set to music, primarily the work of Mr. Dwight Armstrong. More recent hymns were added by others during the latter years of Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s life. We sing many of these hymns every week in our congregations around the world.
With our recent reliance on streaming technology, including our musical praise of God, it seems appropriate to update our hymn recordings using the most recent recording technology. As part of this effort, Mr. Weston has approved including additional hymns written by talented musicians in the Living Church of God. As we read in Psalm 98:1, it gives glory to God to “sing to the Lord a new song!”
If you would like to submit a hymn for possible inclusion in our updated collection, please bear the following guidelines in mind.
- Submitted hymns should be based closely upon scriptural passages.
- Much “Christian music” today expresses religious feeling but does not reflect the words of the Bible.
- Submissions should be in the traditional format that we use for congregational singing, typically with two to four verses in a four-stanza framework.
- A song written for congregational singing is arranged differently than a song performed for special music. For example, some of the songs in our current hymnal were initially written for special music and later modified for congregational hymns.
- Melodies should be clear, simple and singable, able to be quickly learned and easily remembered.
- Lyrics should be well-formed and pleasing to the ear, maintaining the clear, powerful style of the written word of God.
- Complete arrangement of a hymn is not required for consideration.
- Complete compositions are certainly acceptable. However, simply submitting lyrics and melody together would be adequate for initial consideration.
For more information, please contact me at [email protected].—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Two More Feast Sites (USA)
As previously announced, we strongly encourage all brethren to attend their assigned Feast site this year, due to the COVID-19 crisis and related circumstances, including that some states, provinces, or territories are restricting access or requiring quarantine for residents coming from other jurisdictions. With that in mind, please note the following Feast-related announcements:
- Some have asked if Festival Registration is open. The answer is “no.” We are planning to begin Festival Registration in late July or early August.
- Even though Festival Registration is not yet open, we are announcing the U.S. sites which have signed contracts. Last week we announced 18 such sites (see the MyLCG website for the complete list). This week, we are announcing two more (see below).
- If you attend a congregation that is assigned to the sites announced last week or this week (see below), you may make housing arrangements.
- For the two new sites—Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Florence, Oregon—please wait until Monday, July 6, to make housing reservations. This will allow the hotels to prepare their systems and organize their staff to take the calls. Housing reservation information can be found in the Feast Housing Review, on the MyLCG website.
This week’s new U.S. Feast sites are:
Feast Coordinator: Mr. Jim Meredith (626-695-6939, [email protected])
Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Crossville, Etowah, Knoxville, Nashville
Feast Coordinator: Mr. Brandon Fall (253-292-0698, [email protected])
California: Eureka, Fresno, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento
Oregon: Myrtle Creek, Portland
Washington: Richland, Seattle/Tacoma, Tonasket
Living Youth Program
2020 Texas Teen Camp Will Proceed As Planned!
The Texas Teen Camp is drawing near. We look forward to an epic year! Members of the Camp Staff should arrive no later than noon on Sunday, July 12, and campers no later than Monday, July 13, at 5:00 p.m. All campers and staff will undergo a required health screening at check-in. Mandatory all-camp orientation meetings are scheduled prior to camp. See you there!—Sheldon Monson, Living Youth Programs Director and Jason Fritts, Assistant Living Youth Director
Texas Preteen Camp Canceled
Due to a large number of camper and staff cancellations, the Texas Preteen Camp has been canceled. Hope to see you all next summer!
Texas Teen Camp Airport Pick-up—Must Read Where Applicable—Repeat Announcement
Anyone who will need airport pick-up or drop-off before or after the Texas Teen Camp, please submit your arrival and departure details, including times, airlines, and flight numbers, immediately. You can send this information through the Camp registration system (https://camp.livingyouth.org) or you can e-mail it directly to Jenny Penman at [email protected]. Even if you think you’ve already sent these details, please double-check your registration on the camp website so we can be sure you are on the schedule.
TrainRight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training—Must Read in the U.S. Where Applicable—Repeat Announcement
Beginning two years ago, all USA camp staff 18 years of age or older are required to participate in an online training program for awareness and prevention of child abuse. The program is approximately one hour in length. Once you have been accepted as a staff member at one of the camps, you will receive an e-mail 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 in plus the next year. For example, if you took the course in 2018, the Certification was valid in 2018 and 2019. Therefore, you would have to retake the course in 2020 to receive your new Certification for 2020/2021.
Pondering Independence Day: This week, on the Fourth of July, America celebrates Independence Day—244 years from the day that 13 colonies declared their independence from England, one of the most powerful nations on earth at that time. History records that the Founding Fathers asked for and saw the Hand of God at work in the birth and development of this new nation… a nation based on biblical principles, dedicated to liberty and religious freedom. As the nation spread across the continent and then spread its influence around the world, few realized that God was working out a purpose and fulfilling the Covenant He had made with His Chosen People. The terms of that Covenant included blessings for obedience to God’s laws, and punishment for disobedience. God warned the Israelites, “If you do not obey… these commandments, and if you despise My statutes… I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:14–19). Today, we see America and other Israelite nations turning away from God and rejecting His commandments and statutes. The question we need to ponder is, “How much longer will God let this deliberate disobedience go on before He brings the punishments that He warned about when Israel agreed to the Covenant?” We need to draw closer to God while we have the opportunity and “seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6), so we can be prepared for what the future holds.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 2, 2020
UK Universities Lose Respect: A recent Guardian article title tells a sobering story: “UK universities suffer worst-ever rankings in world league table” (June 9, 2020). For centuries, English universities have garnered tremendous respect around the world. Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, and other universities in the United Kingdom have long been recognized as some of the best in the world, and have been tremendous sources of pride for the English.
In recent years, however, UK universities have been losing ground to their Asian competitors, falling in international rankings for four years running. While Imperial College climbed one spot last year to eighth in the world, it was the only one in the top 20 universities to improve its position. In fact, nearly 75 percent of the country’s schools—including Oxford—fell in the rankings, in what The Guardian reports was “the UK’s worst-ever performance.” Universities in the United States are experiencing a downward trend, as well, “which has seen the country’s share of the top 100 universities fall from 32 to 27 over five years.”
The pride that nations place in their world-renowned universities cannot be understated. However, the Bible warns, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Bible prophecies warn that at the end of the age, God will “break the pride” of the power of Israelite nations because they will turn from Him and reject His ways (Leviticus 26:14–19). Certainly, for the UK and the U.S., substantial declines in the ranking of their flagship universities is a humbling reality. The Bible reveals that the days ahead hold even greater examples of the breaking of national pride. To find out what the future holds, be sure to read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
The Germans Are Coming: Ursula von der Leyen is the current EU Commission President, and on July 1, Angela Merkel took over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council. Both women are German, and they will occupy Europe’s two most powerful posts. In the words of Spiegel International, “the European Union is set to be run by two German women with a long history. The Continent might never be the same” (June 17, 2020). What impact will Germany have on the European Union and its future as these two experienced and intensely driven individuals hold Europe’s highest positions for the next six months? In fact, Ursula von der Leyen will remain in her post after Ms. Merkel steps down at the end of the year. What lasting effects on the EU and the world might we see?
Politicians, academics, and pundits have been demanding more aggressive international leadership from Germany for years. German money has contributed greatly to Europe’s success in recent years, but strong German leadership is now being called for. A noted German academic and politician recently observed, “If Germany doesn’t show leadership in Europe, there won’t be a Europe” (Politico, June 25, 2020).
Although English and French have long functioned as the languages of commerce in Europe, the German language is becoming increasingly popular throughout the continent (Politico, June 26, 2020). Bible prophecy is clear about the fact that Germany will play a powerful role in Europe and the world at the end of the age. The political situation in Europe is now ripe for a strong, sober nation to come to the fore. The next six months could have a major impact on the future of Europe and Germany’s coming leadership role. To learn more about this important subject, be sure to read or listen to “What Is Prophesied for Germany?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater