Weekly Update

December 24th, 2020

Greetings from Charlotte,

The year 2020 will be history by this time next week and it cannot end soon enough for most of us. However, it is hardly a given that 2021 will be any better. Health officials report from the U.K. that two new coronavirus mutations have been detected and at least one is significantly more contagious, though thankfully not more deadly. However, let us not become discouraged. We must never forget Jesus’ admonition, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). Yes, we have an understanding that the world does not have. We understand why these things are happening and what will be the outcome. As Peter reminds us, God has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). The future can be scary, but for those of us who know the Truth, one way or the other, it will turn out well for us if we remain faithful to the calling given to us. And remember, that calling right now is to do the Work and prepare for the wonderful world under Christ’s rule.—Gerald Weston

Church Administration

Livestreamed Sabbath Service on December 26, 2020

The Headquarters Sabbath Service will be livestreamed on 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 December 26 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.

No Church-wide livestreamed services are planned for January or February, but the Headquarters Holy Day service on the First Day of Unleavened Bread, March 28, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, USA is scheduled to be livestreamed to all congregations.

We look forward to meeting virtually together!

In Memoriam: Dr. John Riehm

Dr. John Riehm, an elder in the Louisville, Kentucky, congregation, died recently after contracting the COVID-19 virus. He also had underlying health problems. Dr. Riehm was ordained in 2007 and has served faithfully in the Louisville congregation for many years.

Appreciation for Years of Service

We have many ministers who have been serving God’s people for decades. This week, we are honoring those evangelists, pastors, and elders who have been ordained at least 50 years, and at least 25 years. We would prefer to recognize them in person and had planned to do so at the Ministerial Conference scheduled for this past spring. But of course, that became impossible, with the cancelling of the 2020 Ministerial Conference as a result of the COVID situation.

Accordingly, we want to note here in The World Ahead those who have reached these milestones and express our appreciation to these men and for their wives. Please join us in acknowledging these individuals for their dedication and sacrifice in serving God and His people.

Ordained At Least 50 Years

  • Richard Ames (U.S.)
  • Lambert Greer (U.S.)
  • Rand Millich (U.S.)
  • James Wells (U.S.)

Ordained At Least 25 Years

  • Ephraim Abok (Kenya)
  • James Arnaldo (U.S.)
  • Frank Best (Canada)
  • Felipe Casing (Philippines)
  • Henry Cooper (Ireland)
  • J. Davy Crockett III (U.S.)
  • Eldon Davis (U.S.)
  • Carl Derstine (U.S.)
  • Gary Ehman (U.S.)
  • Rees Ellis (Belgium)
  • Jeffrey Fall (U.S.)
  • Martin Fannin (U.S.)
  • Kenneth Frank (U.S.)
  • Franklin Frye (U.S.)
  • Michael Germano (U.S.)
  • Michael Grovak (U.S.)
  • Daniel Hall (U.S.)
  • Arnold Lalum (U.S.)
  • Joseph Lozano (U.S.)
  • Lehman Lyons, Sr. (U.S.)
  • Jonathan McNair (U.S.)
  • John Meakin (UK)
  • Peter Nathan (UK)
  • Robert Nork (U.S.)
  • Michael Norris (U.S.)
  • Laurie Nyhus (Canada)
  • Samwel Ongow (Kenya)
  • Hadden Pace (U.S.)
  • Ronald Poole (U.S.)
  • Robert Rodzaj (U.S.)
  • George Schaubeck (Costa Rica)
  • Jacques Secours (Canada)
  • Paul Shumway (Barbados)
  • Richard Stafford (U.S.)
  • Gary Stein (U.S.)
  • John Strain (U.S.)
  • Rodney Stream (U.S.)
  • Thomas Tial Hoe (Myanmar)
  • Stuart Wachowicz (Canada)
  • Dexter Wakefield (U.S.)
  • Harold (Kui) Way (U.S.)
  • Gerald Weston (U.S.)
  • Robert William Whitaker (U.S.)
  • Benjamin (Mary Pat) Whitfield (U.S.)
  • Douglas Winnail (U.S.)

Human Resources

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What to Remember: As the world celebrates the December holidays—that find their roots in the ancient Roman Saturnalia with its feasting, drinking, gift-giving, and partying that culminate on the winter solstice to commemorate the rebirth of the sun around December 25—it is good to remember that Jesus Christ was not born on that day, but probably in the fall of the year 4BC around the time of the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus’ message did not focus on Himself or His birth but on the coming Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15; Matthew 6:33) and a way of life based on His laws (John 14:15). It will be His government that will bring peace and justice to this troubled world (Isaiah 9:6–7) as He rules from Jerusalem with His saints (Revelation 5:10; 11:15–18; Isaiah 2:2–4). The biblical Holy Days are designed to keep us mindful of God’s Great Plan of Salvation for all mankind (Leviticus 23). The mission of God’s Church is to proclaim the knowledge of that plan to all the world before He returns (Matthew 24:14). The time is coming when the pagan-based revelries of December will give way to the true Holy Days of God and what they picture for all mankind and for all time.

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail