Weekly Update

November 19th, 2020

Greetings from Charlotte,

Americans and Canadians share a common holiday each year, although on different calendar days. Canadians celebrate a day of Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. While these are national days, they ought to remind us that our nations have been greatly blessed. Even in a most difficult year, those of us who know the Truth and live by it have much to be thankful for. Perhaps it will do all of us well to take a few moments at the end of every week to count our blessings, both physical and spiritual, and thank the One who gives us so much. On another subject, but one for which we can be thankful, we had a friendly and productive meeting with the organization that owns the Lone Star Camp in Texas where we plan to hold our teen and preteen camps for the next six years. This coming year we will offer the opportunity to some teens ages 16 to 18 to work as staff at a much lower tuition rate. Look for announcements regarding registration in the near future. And for our teens, this is a wonderful time in North America to earn a few dollars to help pay for your camp experience. There are always leaves to rake or snow to shovel, and there is some real money in those two chores for anyone willing to work.—Gerald Weston


Church Administration

Special Livestreamed Sabbath Services for U.S. and Canadian Congregations—November 28 and December 26—Repeat Announcement

The Headquarters Sabbath Services will be livestreamed from Charlotte on November 28 and December 26. All U.S. and Canadian congregations, and other congregations for whom it is practical, are requested to tune in. Services will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST, USA. Livestream access information for November 28 is below, including a phone number for those who do not have Internet access. For those who live in time zones where tuning in to the live service is not practical, or for those who need a translation of the message, a recording and translation will be available later.

Reminder: Charlotte Family Weekend 2020—Additional Information

Hello, Brethren, 

The Charlotte, North Carolina, congregation will again be hosting its annual Charlotte Family Weekend this year! The dates for the event will be arrival on Thursday evening, December 24, with departure on Sunday morning, December 27. See the tentative schedule below. Because of state regulations, this year will present a unique version of the weekend that we believe you will still thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, due to governmental coronavirus regulations, please note that we will only be able to accommodate an attendance of up to 400 brethren, and we are nearing that threshold. We plan to have a firm registration form available next week for those who can commit to attending the Family Weekend. Anyone considering attending the Family Weekend should review their local/county/statewide ordinances concerning quarantine when traveling out of state and/or traveling to North Carolina. 

Rooms at the Embassy Suites Concord will cost $109 (plus tax) per night, and that includes two plated breakfasts. Additional details will be provided with the firm registration form. 

We hope to see you here in about five weeks at the Charlotte Family Weekend 2020! 

  • Thursday evening, December 24 – Arrival 
  • Friday, December 25 – Morning seminars / Afternoon activities / Friday night Bible Study 
  • Saturday, December 26 – Afternoon Sabbath Services / Evening plated dinner, $30/adult / Saturday night Talent Show 
  • Sunday Morning, December 27 – Departure 

This year, we are planning a music show in lieu of a dance on Saturday evening. If you’d like to know more about our theme and how you can participate, please email Mr. Chris Pringle at [email protected] for more details.

John Strain


Human Resources

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A Matter of Heart: The Bible states that God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and that David was chosen to be king because God saw that David was “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22). But what exactly did God see in David’s heart? God saw that David was a person “who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22). God saw that David was teachable and that he “loved” God’s law and meditated on it daily so he could learn God’s mind and gain God’s perspective (Psalm 119:97, 105). David did not argue with the Scriptures or look for ways to get around instructions that God clearly revealed in His word (Psalm 119:16, 18, 27). David praised God with his whole heart (Psalm 119:1–2) and he repented wholeheartedly when he realized that he was wrong (Psalm 51). This is why David will reign as king over the children of Israel in the Kingdom of God (Ezekiel 34:23). We need to remember that God is examining and testing our hearts (Psalm 7:9). If our thoughts, words, and actions reflect what God is looking for, we will be given the opportunity to reign with Jesus Christ and with David in the coming Kingdom (Matthew 19:28–29; Revelation 5:10). The Bible reveals that our reward will be based on what is in our heart!

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail


News and Prophecy—November 19, 2020

A Biden Presidency and Europe: If, as expected by many, Joe Biden is inaugurated as America’s next president, what changes can the world expect concerning the relationships between the United States and the international community—Europe in particular? Many are suggesting that Mr. Biden will bring a thaw to the currently chilly relations between America and the nations of the world, developed during the Trump administration. “Overnight, the transatlantic tone will shift from one of hostility to one of mutual respect,” mused Matthew Karnitschnig at Politico, noting that “many European decision-makers will see the Biden presidency as a golden opportunity not just to repair the transatlantic alliance but to renew and redefine it for the coming decades” (November 8, 2020). Still, as he notes, such hopes may prove too optimistic.

Although a Biden administration may encourage more positive international relations, it could also lead to a further erosion of biblical values in America. Bible prophecy indicates that at the end of the age, a German-led European “beast” power will be at odds with America and other Israelite-descended nations, including the UK. This European power is predicted to take these modern Israelite nations into some type of captivity, because they have turned away from God (see Deuteronomy 28:15, 25, 36; Jeremiah 5:11–19). The presidency of Donald Trump may turn out to have played a role in increasing the animosity between Europe and the U.S. Perhaps Mr. Biden will cool this animosity a bit. Regardless, relations between the United States and the European Union will be worth watching very closely, as prophecy will move forward.

What many today do not realize is that God actually guides the course of history (Job 12:23) and “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21)—to accomplish His plan according to His will (Isaiah 46:9–11). Just as Mr. Trump was before him, Mr. Biden will also be a tool in God’s hand to fulfill the prophecies recorded in the Bible. To learn more about the prophesied future of America and the UK, be sure to read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.


Nile Basin Water Crisis: New satellite data concerning the Nile basin reveals the growing threat of a water crisis (The Conversation, November 4, 2020). Although there has been more rain in recent years, studies show that the region is still highly “stressed” and that is only likely to increase as the population in the area continues to grow.

The Nile River flows through eleven African nations and provides water to one-quarter of Africa’s population. Water from the Nile is crucial for development planning and for producing food and energy. One big challenge is that water rights are not evenly distributed. Up-river nations have major water needs, yet down-river Egypt relies on the Nile to provide 80 percent of its water. Egypt and Sudan are also worried by the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project now underway on one of the Nile’s main tributaries, the Blue Nile. The current water stress is just the tip of the iceberg, as the population of the region dependent on Nile River water is projected to grow to 800 million by the year 2050.

Jesus Christ predicted that “wars and rumors of wars” would be one of the signs that would precede His return at the end of the age (Matthew 24:4–8). While some fight for power or oil, wars over water could also emerge as populations expand in water-stressed areas of the world. Water has long been a volatile issue in the Middle East and regions of Africa, but it is a critical factor in other parts of the world as well. For more information on this increasingly important topic, be sure to watch “Could Your City Go to War over Water?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater