May 2nd, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Our traveling speakers returned to Headquarters this week. Mr. Ames did well, but came back with a bit of congestion, and Dr. Douglas Winnail was a day late getting back from visiting congregations in the Caribbean, due to a flight cancellation. Dr. Wilner Pierre sent this encouraging note from Haiti: “On the weekly Sabbath following the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, 16 new people attended services in Petion-Ville. These are new people who have contacted the Church after watching the French telecast…. We switched to ZoukTV earlier this year, and it’s bringing us good results in Haiti, and many GOTOs.” Mr. Botha reports that South Africa’s President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, declared seven days of national mourning for more than 70 people who died in the recent floods. This next week we are scheduled to hold three days of meetings for the Council of Elders. Your prayers for safe and uneventful travel, and that our meetings be productive and successful will be appreciated.—Gerald Weston
Second Passover—Repeat Announcement
The Second Passover this year is on Sunday, May 19, which means that it will be observed on Saturday evening, May 18, shortly after sunset. This Passover is for those baptized members who were unable to take the first Passover due to unavoidable circumstances, as instructed in Numbers 9:1–14.
Saratoga, Wyoming Family Weekend at Capacity
The annual Saratoga Family Weekend is now full. Because of the very positive response this year, we have reached our meeting hall limitations. We look forward to seeing you next year!—Ben Whitfield
Charlotte Annual BRiC Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend)—An Opportunity for Singles
We are now just a few weeks away from the Charlotte BRiC Weekend! Registration is underway and many singles from all over are planning to attend. If you are single and interested in joining us for the weekend, please visit our webpage at charlottelcg.org/bric (password BRiC2019) to register. This is truly a great opportunity for singles of all ages to be together. There will be dancing, dinner, sports, and of course BRiC Talks! If you have any questions concerning the weekend, please contact me ([email protected]) for more information.—Jacob Hall
More than 500 members enrolled in our “Passover Focus Unit” over the past six weeks. Thank you all for your participation and encouraging comments. If you would like to access this unit or any of the “Life, Teachings, and Ministry of Jesus Christ” units, they are all open and freely available. Just go to the Living Education website (lcgeducation.org) and access our online course library anytime, from anywhere! Our newest class, “The Acts of the Apostles,” will begin on June 2, the week before Pentecost.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Have You Registered Yet?
If not, now is the time, even if you are planning to go to your assigned site. Your registration helps us know how many confirmed seats we’ll need at each site. Some brethren have been concerned that if their assigned site is closed before they have registered, they might not be able to get in. Not to worry! We have had to close several sites for that very purpose: to reserve enough space for those assigned to the site, but not yet registered. If you are in that category, you can rest assured that, yes, you will still be able to get into your assigned site. With that in mind, if you have not yet registered, please do so soon!
Consider Transferring to Cathedral City, California
We have a number of Feast sites in the U.S. that are now closed to transfers. Therefore, this week we highlight Cathedral City, which still has ample room available.
Cathedral City, California: Cathedral City is the Living Church of God’s California location for celebrating the 2019 Feast of Tabernacles. This community sits between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage and is one of the nine cities making up the Coachella Valley. This picturesque area is nestled beneath the San Jacinto Mountains and is a short drive to the San Bernardino National Forest. Cathedral City is a wonderful location to gain a glimpse into tomorrow’s world, a time when peoples of all nations will go up to the mountain of the LORD to be taught His ways and learn to walk in His paths. Festival services will be held at the Doubletree Hotel & Golf Resort by Hilton. It is a beautiful venue for gathering with brethren of like mind to worship God and build the bonds of unity in Christ. So, if you enjoy lots of sunshine and blue skies in a setting that will help you envision tomorrow’s world while learning more about your role in bringing that world to fruition, start making your plans to join us in Cathedral City, California next October, for what promises to be a most exciting and inspiring Feast of Tabernacles. For more information, contact Festival Coordinator Stephen Elliott at [email protected].
Feast Registration Announcements
The following International Feast site is closed to further transfers:
- Carry-le-Rouet, France
The following U.S. Feast sites are closed to further transfers:
- Williamsburg, Virginia
- Boerne, Texas
- Sandestin, Florida
- Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
The following U.S. Feast sites have ample room, and we encourage brethren wishing to transfer within the United States to register here:
- Mt. Snow, Vermont
- Cathedral City, California
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Goa, India—Open to International Transfers
Goa, India, will once again host the Feast and it is open to international transfers! The Feast will be held in Candolim at Le Seasons Beach Resort, which epitomizes Goa’s true spirit and flavor. It is the sole luxury resort in Candolim, and is just 600 meters from the beach. The resort offers the best in accommodations and cuisine, with facilities and services to serve as the perfect host venue. There are 38 well-appointed, spacious rooms, and expansive options for dining, from Pan-Asian to delectable Goan cuisines.
Goa is a state in western India, stretching along the Arabian Sea. Panaji is the beautiful state capital, and Vasco da Gama the largest city. Goa is beautiful and exotic, and is best known for its sun-drenched beaches, serene blue seas, and lush greenery. Popular beaches, including at Baga, Calangute, and Candolim, stretch the length of the coastline, intersected by the city of Panaji and laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda. The historic city of Margao, preserved 17th-century churches, and the area’s tropical spice plantations evidence its long history as a Portuguese colony. The Portuguese first landed in the early 16th century as merchants. They conquered it soon thereafter, and for about 450 years, Goa was the Portuguese overseas province of Portuguese India. It was annexed by India in 1961.
Many international and domestic tourists visit Goa each year because of its white sand beaches and World Heritage-listed architecture. Come to Goa for a memorable and wonderful Feast site in 2019! More details can be found on the Festival website at fot2019.lcg.org. For more information, contact Mr. Rajan Moses, at [email protected].
Living Youth Program
Teen Camp in Texas: Deadlines for Applications
The deadline for staff applications for the Teen camp in Athens, Texas, is May 12 at midnight (EST). Camper applications are due by June 1. Anyone applying after the deadlines will be accepted only if space allows, and time permits for staff member background checks.
First Aid/Lifeguard Certificate and Archery Certificate
If you have a current Certificate in First Aid/Lifeguarding and/or Archery, and you will be serving in this capacity at any of the U.S. camps in 2019, then please send a copy of your certification to Jill Ewers ([email protected]). The certificate must be current and valid through the entirety of the camp(s) where it will be used.
Food Handler Training Program
If you have received certification for the state of Texas through an ANSI-accredited food safety program as a Food Handler or Food Manager, and you will be attending Texas Teen Camp or Texas Preteen Camp in 2019, please send your certificate to Miss Jill Ewers ([email protected]) and copy Mr. Sheldon Monson ([email protected]).
TrainRight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Training
Beginning last year, all 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 you complete it plus the next year. For example, if you took the course in 2017, the certification was valid in 2017 and 2018. Therefore, you would have to retake the course in 2019 to receive certification for 2019/2020.
Missouri Preteen Camp
With only about two months until the Missouri Preteen Camp kicks off, planning is moving to full speed ahead! If you are considering joining us this year at beautiful Knob Noster State Park and have not yet applied or have not completed your application, then please do so soon. We will be selecting department heads in the coming days and need additional staff volunteers in several areas. Each camp activity provides an opportunity to help our youth develop relationships with one another and even more importantly, with our Creator. We deeply appreciate all those who are able to give of their time and serve our youth in this unique way. See you soon!—Yancy Taber, Missouri Preteen Camp Director.
Do You Love Your Neighbor? Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another, and He stated that the capacity to show love for one another would be a sign that would identify His true disciples (John 13:34–35). This command from Jesus takes on even more meaning when we realize that this instruction was given at the Passover—the last meal the disciples would have with Jesus until after His crucifixion—and in light of the fact that the disciples had actually been arguing among themselves at that dinner about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:24). Regrettably, these same attitudes of strife and competition are still with us today, even within the Church, the body of Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, if we profess to be Christians and followers of Jesus Christ, but continue to hate (offend, despise, argue with, talk against, or be jealous of) our brothers and sisters in the faith, we are deceiving ourselves and actually walking in darkness (1 John 2:9–11). The spring Holy Days that we have just completed are designed to help us identify and root out these wrong and sinful attitudes so we can more faithfully follow Jesus’ instructions to love our neighbors. Let’s strive to live up to this commandment in the days and months ahead.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 2, 2019
Brexit Slogs On! A few weeks ago, less than 24 hours before Britain was scheduled to crash out of the EU on April 12, European leaders agreed to a six-month extension of “Article 50”—the exit clause for nations wishing to leave the EU. This was the second extension in two weeks (Telegraph, April 11, 2019). The UK now has until October 31 to decide how (or if) it will leave the European Union. Some European leaders also indicated they might be willing to extend the terms even further if British MPs cannot come to agreement.
In order to make the extension possible, British Prime Minister Theresa May worked tirelessly in lobbying EU leaders for the extension. Her last trip to the continent before the extension vote included a visit to German Chancellor Merkel, pressing her to support the extension—a visit referred to in the German press as Mrs. May’s “begging tour” (Telegraph, April 10, 2019). The on-going saga of Brexit certainly continues to sour relations between the UK and other European nations. However, it is also exposing cracks in the ongoing “European Experiment” that the EU represents, increasing the division among the union’s member nations.
We could very well be witnessing events in Europe that will lead to the rise of what is commonly called the “Beast of Revelation”! Bible prophecy says that this “beast” will consist of ten “kings” who give their power over to a central figure and government (see Revelation 17), and it will eventually violently oppose many Israelite-descended nations, such as Britain. For many today, Brexit might literally be “oceans away.” But the fallout from Brexit could ultimately grow to impact the whole world—economically and, eventually, militarily. For more scriptural details of the coming European “beast,” read or listen to our insightful booklet The Beast of Revelation, or watch our telecast by the same name.
“The Worst Disease Ever Recorded.” In a March 28 article, The Atlantic described a fungal infection known as “Bd.” This infection targets amphibians, such as frogs, and eats away at their skin, resulting in heart attack. Described as “a singularly apocalyptic fungus that’s unrivaled in its ability not only to kill animals, but to delete entire species from existence,” this fungus was first identified in the 1970s and has proceeded to devastate entire animal species ever since.
A team of researchers from the Australian National University “estimates that the fungus has caused the decline of 501 amphibian species—about 6.5 percent of the known total. Of these, 90 have been wiped out entirely. Another 124 have fallen by more than 90 percent, and their odds of recovery are slim.” The research team leader, Ben Scheele, stated, “It rewrote our understanding of what disease could do to wildlife.” Scientists believe the fungus is moved around the globe by global shipping and trade. And because of the interconnected nature of the ecosystem, the destruction of one species, say, a particular type of frog, often causes collateral damage to the species that feed on the frog and those preyed upon by the frog. So far, scientists have been unable to stop or even slow the spread of this destructive, mutating fungus.
Jesus Christ warned that one of the “signs” of the end of the age will be devastating pestilence or disease (Luke 21:11). The Bd fungus provides a glimpse into the devastating power of pestilences. What would be the global impact of a pestilence with the power of Bd if it entered livestock populations? Bible prophecies foretell dramatic events will impact the creatures of this earth in the last days (e.g., Hosea 4:1–3; Revelation 8:8–9). Thankfully, these terrible events will be followed by the return of the Savior of the world—Jesus Christ. For more information about end-time events, read or listen to Armageddon and Beyond.—Scott Winnail and John Meakin