September 11, 2013
Dear brethren around the world,
The Feast of Tabernacles falls on the early side of the Roman calendar this year—and it’s already at our doorstep! The Feast has been an integral part of our lives to which we devote time, thoughts and considerable financing through our second tithe.
Often we have heard the term “the best Feast ever” for each completed Feast. Let’s keep it that way by remembering the purpose of this special event of the year for all of us as stated in Deuteronomy 14:23: “And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always” (emphasis added throughout).
The Feast first and foremost is a spiritual occasion, the biggest of the year because virtually the entire Church goes to many sites around the world. Our primary reason for being there is to learn about what God is doing for mankind. While we may be going to wonderful vacation spots and should enjoy the locations where we are, we must be sure to keep the spiritual focus foremost in our mind. By growing in the knowledge of the Feast’s purpose, we make it a better and better Feast every year. We learn the lesson of the Feast by observing it, not just “knowing” what it’s about.
The Feast is a time when our daily prayer, “Thy Kingdom come,” is answered because we are celebrating the fulfillment of the greatest prophecy of all: the return of Jesus Christ to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Feast is for everyone in the Church. Business conventions may be for just the employees or representatives of a company. But it’s not so with the Feast of Tabernacles. It’s for the entire household as we also read in Deuteronomy 14:26: “You shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”
- For families, make sure that you make this time special for all your dependents that share in your learning and rejoicing. For children, the Feast of Tabernacles, with its spiritual focus, family bonding and excitement of travel will be pleasant, lifelong memories.
- When at the Feast look out for singles and those who are lonely. They may need you to especially invite them to share a meal and time with you.
- Pay special attention to children and use the Feast as an occasion for much needed family time.
- For the ministry, I ask that you to do your very best in the sermons, Bible studies and seminars that you may present. People’s expectation’s are to be motivated by all the messages.
May God bless us all at this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. I’m already eagerly awaiting good reports!
In Christ’s service,
Victor Kubik—President, United Church of God, an International Association
May 21, 2013
The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God is continuing its bi-weekly Bible study Wednesday night, May 22. The study begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.
The Book of Hebrews Chapters 4 & 5
Join us as we continue an in-depth study of the Book of Hebrews. These chapters cover some very important biblical beliefs. What does the writer of Hebrews mean when he writes: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God”? And who is our priest according to the order of Melchizedek?
Presenters will be Steve Myers and Darris McNeely.
Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.
Steve Myers—Pastor, United Church of God Cincinnati East
April 16, 2013
Beyond Today program, “The Sabbath in History and Prophecy,” produced by the United Church of God, aired the week of April 7-13, 2013. Hosted by Darris McNeely, this episode recorded an excellent 1,115 total viewer responses on WGN America and the WORD Networks. It placed 7th in overall response and 5th in cost per response out of the 40 programs aired so far this fiscal year.
These results come shortly after Beyond Today program “How Christian is Easter?” hosted by Steve Myers, produced an excellent 1,087 responses during the week of March 17-23, 2013.
The top twelve response-generating programs so far this fiscal year are as follows:
|Beyond Today Program||Week Aired||Host||Response|
|The Rapture: Hope or Hoax?||Jan. 13-19, 2013||Steve Myers||1345|
|Change Your Life Story||Jan. 20-26, 2013||Gary Petty||1267|
|Mideast Family Feud||Nov. 11-17, 2012||Darris McNeely||1249|
|You Are What Your Eat||Sep. 16-22, 2012||Steve Myers||1217|
|Regifting Jesus||Dec. 23-29, 2012||Gary Petty||1154|
|666 and You!||Feb. 10-16, 2013||Steve Myers||1144|
|The Sabbath in History & Prophecy||Apr. 7-13, 2013||Darris McNeely||1115|
|The Lost Tribes of Israel||Aug. 5-11, 2012||Darris McNeely||1107|
|Will I Go to Heaven?||Nov. 18-24, 2012||Steve Myers||1099|
|How Christian is Easter?||Mar. 17-23, 2013||Steve Myers||1087|
|Bracing For the Beast||Aug. 12-18, 2012||Steve Myers||1060|
|Are You in Sync With God?||Jul. 8-14, 2012||Gary Petty||1048|
We are always deeply grateful for your support and prayers in our unwavering efforts to preach and publish the good news of the Kingdom of God in all the world.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
December 17, 2012
KINGDOM OF GOD BIBLE SEMINARS
FIRST SERIES REPORT
A report on the first series of our Kingdom of God Bible Seminars was delivered to the Council of Elders on December 12. Peter Eddington gave the Council a handout that showed a total of 5,680 seminar guests were in attendance at more than 200 locations around the globe.
Here is a breakdown on guest attendance for each round of the series:
|September 2011||Round 1||176 Locations||1,514|
|January 2012||Round 2||190 Locations||1,653|
|May 2012||Round 3||206 Locations||1,258|
|September 2012||Round 4||181 Locations||1,255|
Below is a listing of cities with the top five guest attendance figures for each round. As you will note, the developing areas of the world most often showed the highest interest in the gospel of the Kingdom of God:
- 52 San Antonio, TX
- 50 Santiago, Chile
- 35 Davao City, Philippines
- 33 Got Kachola, Kenya
- 33 Ogembo-Rianyamwamu, Kenya
- 110 Manila, Philippines
- 57 Davao City, Philippines
- 42 Bacolod, Philippines
- 42 Melbourne, Australia
- 40 Sydney, Australia
- 117 Manila, Philippines
- 58 Bacolod City, Philippines
- 43 Mexico City, Mexico
- 34 San Carlos City, Philippines
- 32 Bolivia
- 125 San Carlos City, Philippines
- 108 Johannesburg, South Africa
- 96 Manila, Philippines
- 76 Capetown, South Africa
- 49 Davao City, Philippines
We have people now regularly attending Sabbath services with us as a result of the seminars, and a number of baptisms have stemmed from the seminars too. It can be considered a success if even just one or two guests graced our congregation’s doorstep who otherwise would not have attended. We were successful in getting them out of their homes to come and hear the gospel of the Kingdom.
Jesus Christ, as the Head of His Church, has a plan for each person. While numbers are not everything, results do help us measure our efforts. And, while God’s Church will be a small flock (Luke 12:32), there was a very encouraging number of guests in many cities.
Recommendations for Next Series
Dennis Luker, president of the United Church of God, an International Association, gave his support to the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars program moving forward. The Council of Elders agreed with the approach put forth. Here are a few details on the next series:
- We will keep the “Kingdom of God Bible Seminars” brand and theme, but offer a specific topic under the title. For example: “The Sabbath: A Key to the Kingdom of God.”
- Rather than produce a detailed script for each new seminar, we may choose a relevant UCG booklet to use as core material. For example, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. The presenters can choose which section or chapter of the booklet they’d like to focus on. The ucg.org website also provides a valuable resource for presenters to use in developing their presentations.
- Have two seminars per year, instead of three.
- Choose the months of June and November each year for seminars, with pastors having the flexibility to work as they see best within this timeline.
- Due to budget constraints, use regular Sabbath service halls to avoid additional hall rental. And use local funding for seminar advertising (letters, postcards, etc.) that is not part of the home office budget subsidy.
- Proposed Topics:
- June 2013
- November 2013
- Opening Prayer
- 1 Seminar (60 min.)
- Closing Prayer
- If desired, abbreviated 60-minute Sabbath service either before or afterwards with hymns, prayers and one sermon or split sermon.
We are looking forward very much to our next round of seminars and are asking pastors to choose their seminar dates as soon as possible and get them listed on our website. A number of our readers and viewers are already looking for the next seminar to be held in their city—and they check our website regularly hoping to sign up to attend. So the sooner our presenters get their seminar dates listed the better.
Thank you for your prayers for the ongoing success and God’s blessing on this part of our work to preach the gospel of God’s Kingdom.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
January 12, 2012
From: Dennis Luker, president
United and Living Church of God Representatives Meet
As the end of this age draws near, it seems more appropriate than ever that God’s people, wherever they may reside, support one another in fulfilling the commission Jesus Christ gave us. With this in the forefront of our minds, representatives of the of the United Church of God, an International Association, met with the leadership of the Living Church of God at Living’s Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, on January 9-10 for a two-day visit.
The purpose of the visit was to rekindle friendships and discuss ways to cooperate in serving God’s people. The meetings were cordial and positive and included an open and frank discussion about those things that we have in common, and some of our differences, including church government and the way each Church is organized. We also discussed our different strategies for preaching the gospel in this modern age. There was no discussion of any type of merger.
Discussions about areas of cooperation within the greater Church of God community included humanitarian concerns, disaster relief and other unforeseen events where we can help our members meet critical needs by supporting and loving one another as Jesus commanded. Cooperation could also include helping members who have difficulty getting time off for the Sabbath and Holy Days, and other legal matters that affect both organizations. It was agreed that open communication between Church of God organizations will become more important as world events move towards their ultimate prophetic fulfillment.
Those in attendance at the meetings in Charlotte on behalf of the Living Church of God were Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, Mr. Richard Ames and Dr. Douglas Winnail. Those who traveled from Cincinnati for the United Church of God were Mr. Dennis Luker, Mr. Victor Kubik and Mr. Peter Eddington. Mr. Luker commented that the Cincinnati team felt most welcome and were treated very warmly. In addition to the meetings, the UCG visitors were given a full tour of the Living Church of God headquarters and adjacent media center.
August 24, 2011
It never ends, does it? Waking up at the crack of dawn, working longer hours, running errands, keeping up with chores, rarely taking time to slow down.
Thankfully, God already gave us the answer to the never-ending cycle of stress: the Sabbath. God’s instruction to keep a weekly rest was more than just an instruction—it’s for your benefit and it can be a welcome break from your hectic life. Watch this video produced by our United Church of God Media and Communications Services staff and see if it seems familiar.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
August 14, 2011 [Report from Kourtney Hannaway]
Agra Church Has U.S. Visitor
I just had a wonderful weekend with the brethren in Agra, India. They really wanted me to write something about my experience! I am happy to, so here it is.
In planning for my 10-week school internship to India, I wasn’t sure how possible it would be to meet with United Church of God brethren. I looked around on various Church of God websites but didn’t find much and I wasn’t sure who to contact. After hearing that the Schreiber family had recently visited brethren in India, I e-mailed Mr. Dave Schreiber. After that, everything seemed to just fall into place, with God’s blessing I’m sure.
Despite being a good 15 hours away from Agra, I was able to make the trip this weekend. I had a wonderful Sabbath service with about 10 other people. Mr. Prakash Mandora was also visiting. They were all so kind and generous, helping by giving most of the service in both English and Hindi. I was struck by how sincere and enthusiastic they all are for learning the truth. It is wonderful to see and visit with people across the world, especially who are new in the faith and very excited about any knowledge and fellowship, since everyone is so spread out.
I had a great time with them this weekend. I’m going back to Mumbai in a few weeks (from my position in Falna as an intern) and I plan to visit Mr. Prakash and his family once more before I return home to America. I know God has been with me to allow for these wonderful experiences here with brethren in India.
I attend the University of Oregon and one of my majors is Journalism. I wanted to study abroad in India for this summer so after an application and some interviews my university matched me with an organization called Educate Girls which is based in Mumbai. It’s a non-profit organization that helps find ways for rural families to enroll their girls in school. The head office is in Mumbai, but they do most of their field work in Rajasthan, India, which has the highest gender disparity for children in school.
So I’ve spent a little time in Mumbai and most of it in Bali, Rajasthan. As an intern I have been helping them edit content for their new website that just went live. I also visit the rural areas and interview and document families, schools and villages to make stories about the need for Educate Girls and the impact the organization is having.