November 25th, 2020
Greetings from Charlotte,
I received a very interesting letter in response to my mention of Thanksgiving celebrations. Who would have guessed a North American-style Thanksgiving is celebrated on a remote island in the South Pacific? Our lone member there wrote: “I read with great interest the above article about ‘American Thanksgiving Day’ celebrations in Canada and America. Wow, I think you may find this very interesting but we here on Norfolk Island (an Australian Territory) also keep American Thanksgiving Day as a Public Holiday celebration; however, we keep it on the fourth Wednesday of each November. I believe it was introduced to this island (population approximately 2,000) in the 1870s by the influence of the many American whaling boats/ships which often called in here for fresh food, water and other supplies.”
On a very sobering note, we received this report from Mr. Joseph Gonzales in the Philippines about Typhoon Vamco: “We have two families in North Luzon that were severely affected by the typhoon. One household had their two-story house submerged from the flood while the other family had their first floor affected. As far as we know they are not cleared to return to their homes yet, as clearing and cleaning operations continue. Here in Metro Manila, four families had their first floor submerged in flood waters. One family had only a one-story house and had most of their belongings, including their car, submerged. They had to leave their belongings to seek higher ground.” Vamco was the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and left large sections of the nation devastated with powerful winds and flooding rain.
We truly live in perilous times. Let us pray for one another and continue to be focused on doing the Work and preparing for the Kingdom of God to rule on this troubled planet, while we have time.—Gerald Weston
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.
We look forward to meeting virtually together!
Kansas City Family Weekend—December 25 to 27
The Kansas City Family Weekend is back! We are offering an extended weekend of fellowship, fun, and food—spiritual and physical—to our regional brethren and any beyond who would like to come. In cooperation with Headquarters, we will share the same dates as the Charlotte Family Weekend: Friday, December 25 through Sunday, December 27. So pick one and come spend time with brethren!
We can’t hide it: it’s mostly cold in December in Missouri. But we’re embracing the cold and are excited to offer a new activity this year: snow-tubing at the nearby Snow Creek Ski Area (just northwest of Kansas City). Snow Creek offers skiing and snowboarding options as well. Other activities will be held near the KCI Airport, including Sabbath services, seminar, Bible study, Bible trivia mystery game, two catered dinners, and our unique brand of evening entertainment.
There are two hotel options: the Embassy Suites near KCI starting at $109 +tax per night, and the Holiday Inn near KCI starting at $69–$79 +tax per night.
For more information registration log into your MyLCG account at: MyLcg Account
So pack your winter layers—your face is already covered anyway—and head to Kansas City for a warm family welcome at the 2020 Kansas City Family Weekend.
Schedule of Activities
Friday, December 25, 2020:
- 1:00 p.m. – Seminar
- 3:00 p.m. – Bible trivia mystery game
- 4:00 p.m. – Hotel check-in
- 5:30 p.m. – Catered pasta dinner
- 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study
Sabbath, December 26:
- Breakfast on your own
- 2:00 p.m. – Services (replaying earlier HQ livestream)
- 6:00 p.m. – Catered brisket dinner
- 7:00 p.m. – Entertainment
- 8:00 p.m. – Fellowship
Sunday, December 27:
- 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. – Snow Creek tubing
Reminder: Charlotte Family Weekend 2020—Additional Information
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. We are still awaiting the completion of the contract for the event, and we expect 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 four 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 ($25 or $30/adult depending on the meal selection), child’s dinner for $16 / 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.
Log into your MyLcg account.
Watch World News! Jesus told His disciples to watch for the fulfillment of Bible prophecies indicating that the end of the age and His second coming are near (Matthew 24:42–44; 25:13). However, these same prophecies reveal that many will be surprised by dramatic events that erupt to mark the arrival of the last days, because most people do not understand the prophetic significance of world events that are making news today. This is why God has given His Church a “more sure word of prophecy” so it can function as a watchman to proclaim the real significance of events we see in the news today (2 Peter 1:19–20, KJV). The moral decay and declining influence of the Israelite nations (Leviticus 26:14–19; Deuteronomy 32:29), the growing fears of war, and the eruption of pandemics and the spread of natural disasters (Matthew 24:1–8), an alliance of nations in the Middle East and North Africa (Daniel 11:40), and the emergence of a military power in Europe with links to the Roman Empire promoted by an ecumenical-minded papacy (Revelation 17:1–5, 12–13; Isaiah 47:8)—all point to end-time events outlined in Bible prophecies. As we see these prophecies coming alive today, we need to draw closer to God and continue to watch world events so we are not caught by surprise when Jesus Christ returns to this earth (1 Thessalonians 5:1–6).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 25, 2020
EU Military Independence: “After four years of hostility towards NATO by U.S. President Donald Trump, the EU, led by France, wants to become a stand-alone military power… strong enough to fight on its own” (Reuters, November 19, 2020). With this reality in mind, EU defense ministers are working on their “Strategic Compass” document, described as “the path for the EU to plan, spend and cooperate together in countering next-generation threats.” EU leaders have also commented, in reference to the U.S. presidential election, “Europe is going to have to work out how to do more things for itself” (Deutsche Welle, November 4, 2020).
EU defense ministers are focusing on the development of advanced weaponry, and each EU nation is ramping up its own military preparations. France is already carrying out high-tech military training as it prepares for future wars using modern, upgraded military equipment (Defense News, November 19, 2020). In a recent interview, the Vice Admiral commanding the French surface fleet observed, “So what we’re trying to do is to permanently improve the equation between our training and the reality of the theaters where we might be deployed.” France is preparing for future wars and developing the ability to win them.
America has led the world militarily since World War II. But, in recent years, much of the world no longer sees the United States as a military leader—the nation’s willingness to lead seems diminished, and the gap between its capabilities and those of its rivals appears to be shrinking. Bible prophecy is clear that a German-led European “beast” power will emerge and will impact the world, including the Holy Land (Daniel 11:40–43). As geopolitical tides shift, we appear to be watching not only the decline of U.S. military might and influence, but also the rise of a future European military power. Students of Bible prophecy should continue to watch this developing situation. For more on this topic, read “Why Is Germany Rising?”
The Risk of WWIII: The head of Britain’s armed forces has warned, “Current global uncertainty and anxiety amid the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic could risk another world war,” and that “an escalation in regional tensions and errors of judgment could ultimately lead to widespread conflict” (Reuters, November 8, 2020).
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger also issued a dire warning: “America and China are now drifting increasingly toward confrontation, and they’re conducting their diplomacy in a confrontational way.… Unless there is some basis for some cooperative action, the world will slide into a catastrophe comparable to World War I” (November 16, 2020). Mr. Kissinger went on to note that the advanced military technologies being developed by both nations could make such a future crisis even more difficult to control. He pushed for likely incoming president Joe Biden to move quickly to restore meaningful communication with China.
Wars have always plagued mankind. Bible prophecy makes plain that conflict between nations will be a part of life as we approach the end of the age (Matthew 24:4–7) but strife will eventually be far more threatening and hold far greater risk than any previous conflict in human history. While prophecy does predict a coming world war, it does not point to the U.S. and China as the main opponents—highlighting, instead, very different regions of the globe. For more prophetic insight about the future, be sure to read or listen to Armageddon and Beyond.—Scott Winnail, Dexter Wakefield, Francine Prater, John Strain, and Chris Sookdeo