Kingdom of God Bible Seminars: Round Two Reports Coming In
January 31, 2012
Very encouraging reports are arriving from Kingdom of God Bible Seminar presenters about their events held over the past two weeks. Despite some wintry weather in North America, more than 1,000 guests attended—and we still have 35 congregations yet to hold their seminars during February. We anticipate upwards of 1,500 total guests when round two of the seminars are completed. This is very similar to round one.
Due to snow and ice in some locations, we were saddened to hear that three seminars had to be canceled. However, in some cities more guests arrived than expected. But, of course, some congregations had less than anticipated—and just a few had no guests show up at all.
As the Father Calls
As we pray for God’s blessing and guidance on these seminars, we are reminded that it is the Father who calls and that His timing for each person is perfect. In some instances, for a person whom God is calling to even get out of their comfort zone and show up, is a big first step! As God’s elect, may we “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).
Even just one or two guests at a seminar or Sabbath service, who would otherwise not have graced our church doorstep, can be considered a success. Jesus Christ, as the Head of His Church, has a plan for each person. Some congregations considered it a great success with just a handful of guests. A few areas were very pleased to have dozens of new people show up. 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 some cities.
Here is just a sampling: Bacolod, Philippines (42); New York, New York (35); La Paz, Bolivia (35); Knoxville, Tennessee (33); Tacloban City, Philippines (29); Houston, Texas (24); Jacksonville, Florida (21) and Lusaka, Zambia (20). And, remember, we still have 35 seminars yet to be held—including places in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, New Zealand and the Philippines.
A Sampling of Comments
Let me share with you some of the comments received by a number of our presenters. It does appear that God is working in the lives of our readers and viewers, and that they are hearing the good news of the Gospel of His Kingdom!
- Kalamazoo, Michigan: “I want to share how well our KOG Seminars went this past Sabbath. We had six new people attend along with three others from independent groups. The messages were received very well by everyone. Seven of our guests stayed around after the seminars to ask questions and fellowship. I am so encouraged by the involvement and excitement of our members. Our members feel like they are really helping to preach the gospel as representatives of Jesus Christ.”
- Bend, Oregon: “I am really getting excited about these seminars! The results are far better than any “public Bible lectures” of the past that I can recall. I am also excited about the focus of the seminars and of Beyond Today—the Kingdom of God. Not only is that the foundation of the gospel, it is also what makes us (and other WCG offshoots) unique. Our Bend KOG seminar was a fantastic success! After only one new attendee the first time, we had 10 at this one! About half of them said that they want to attend Sabbath services—including a former WCG member and her adult daughter who said that she plans to bring her two children to services. Since we sent out only 130 letters, I guess by industry standards our return rate was quite good.”
- Lusaka, Zambia: “In all there were a total of 55 in attendance including 20 visitors. During the seminar I could hear the occasional ‘amen’ and exclamations of approval from the visitors seated behind me! One man and his wife travelled 200 kilometres to listen to the true word of God. This is the first time that the truth has been publicly spoken in Zambia. At the information desk, people eagerly sought the Good News magazines and booklets that we had on offer—with many leaving their contact details to be included in the Church’s literature distribution. The overall opinion was that the meeting went off very well with the visitors showing a keen interest in UCG and in what we believe. It will be interesting to see those that God calls and their response.”
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “I wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how things went at the KOG Bible seminars yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Despite the weather we were able to have the seminars. We had three people who had never been to a UCG service before in attendance. They seemed to be very attentive and very happy to be there. They talked with many of the brethren both before and after the seminars. Considering the weather, I think that was very good since we had nine registered.”
- Bacolod City, Philippines: We just had the first Kingdom of God Bible Seminar for the second round in Bacolod City yesterday, January 21. Out of the 67 total in attendance, we had 42 new people. It will be recalled that in first round of Bible seminars last September 2011, our attendance for new people in Bacolod was 25 (which was a bit more than the congregational attendance). This time the Seminar attendance is almost double the regular congregational attendance! (By the way, four people from the September seminar last year have started regularly attending the Bacolod congregation.)”
- New York City, New York: “We had three inches of snow in Queens today and more to the north. This cut down the attendance but we still filled the hall with attendees. Best count right now is 35 [guests] and 35 members in attendance. The new people stayed around and talked and seemed very interested. Many said they would be back next week. I had a very good feeling with everyone in attendance today. Many new people stayed for hours afterwards talking. A very good spirit here.” (Post script: many guests did return the following Sabbath.)
Dates have been set for round three of our United Church of God Kingdom of God Bible Seminars. Please set aside the Sabbath of May 12, with May 19 being the main alternate date.
May we all continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services