September 29, 2014
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services.
Reviving Ancient Biblical Principles — 21st Century Christians to Celebrate the Coming Kingdom of God
Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ observed an ancient Hebrew festival called the Festival of Tabernacles, which was recorded for future generations in the New Testament book of John. Beginning at sunset on October 8, multiple thousands of 21st century Christians and families of the United Church of God will follow this example of Jesus at more than 50 Festival sites around the world (including the United States and Canada), beginning eight days of celebrating a future time of unprecedented peace and prosperity—the coming biblically prophesied Kingdom of God.
Following the example of the 1st century Christian Church as recorded in history, about 13,000 members and families of the United Church of God will observe the annual biblical Festival of Tabernacles, which will take place at more than 50 Festival sites across the world. Beginning at sunset on October 8, the eight-day Christian Festival, which includes more than 14 sites in the United States and Canada, runs October 9 through 16.
Festival sites for worship are organized through North and South America, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines and elsewhere. All of like and peaceful mind are welcome to join in Festival worship services.
As the Church teaches from the Bible, the annual Festival prophetically reflects a biblically defined time of unprecedented peace and prosperity, representing the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth and the coming reign of Jesus Christ. The United Church of God is a Christian fellowship which follows the example of Jesus Christ (as recorded in the 7th and 8th chapters of the book of John) and the practice of the early Church in observing these important festivals. Numerous biblical and historical accounts record the commitment of 1st century Christians to observe these days, which ultimately were gradually eclipsed by ancient Hellenist (Greek) and other influences. The Church restores the observance of these festivals to come into spiritual alignment with ancient biblical principles, as opposed to human tradition.
“As part of the United Church of God’s commitment to restore and follow the example of the first-century Church, we keep these days, even though they are essentially nontraditional in today’s age and not largely observed by other religious organizations,” explained Victor Kubik, president of the United Church of God. “As authoritatively emphasized in the Old Testament, the Bible teaches that all nations will observe this festival once the Kingdom has truly come,” he continued, referencing chapter 14 in the book of Zechariah.
These three seasons, the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, the festival of Pentecost and the fall festival season, were all observed by Jesus and the first-century Church. The latter season is capped by the seven-day Festival of Tabernacles and Eighth-Day observance. The three general biblical seasons are originally outlined in the book of Leviticus in chapter 23.
Mr. Kubik pointed out that from a biblical perspective, the Festival of Tabernacles pictures the coming time when Jesus will return to earth and directly rule the world for 1,000 years. “As the Feast of Tabernacles represents a coming time of unprecedented harmony and peace, we conduct this annual eight-day event with a strong family focus,” Mr. Kubik explained. Accordingly, members and families take part in daily church services and a whole range of positive family-based activities throughout the Festival.
Church services conducted during the Festival typically focus on the coming Kingdom of God which Jesus taught about extensively during His earthly ministry. The annual festivals observed earlier in the year by the Church represent the Christian’s redemption from sin through Christ’s sacrifice, the commitment of Christians to put sin out of their lives and the coming of God’s Holy Spirit to strongly empower a Christian to live life in harmony with God’s law and prepare for eternal life.
Originating from the Florida festival site, Mr. Kubik will deliver a church-wide message by Webcast on Saturday, October 11. Details for the Webcast and other presentations are available at feast.ucg.org.
“The emphasis placed by Christ on the coming Kingdom of God is important, and Church members accordingly take the opportunity to observe this Festival very seriously,” explained Mr. Kubik. School-age children attend the Festival with their parents, and the Church provides tutoring and academic support at many sites to help students stay abreast of coursework while attending the Festival.
Cities in the United States hosting the festival include Bend, Oregon; Bigfork, Montana; Branson, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Jekyll Island, Georgia; Lihue, Hawaii; New Braunfels, Texas; Ocean City, Maryland; Oceanside, California; Panama City Beach, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Sites in Canada include Canmore, Alberta; Midland, Ontario; Kelowna, British Columbia; and Prince Edward Island. Thirty-seven other cities hosting the Feast of Tabernacles are in Australia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the British Isles, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.
More information about the Festival is available in the downloadable Church publications: God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind, This is the United Church of God, and The Gospel of the Kingdom.
September 22, 2014
Cape Town TV is broadcast on DSTV channel 263 and on open channels 32 and 67.
We will run one season (three months) until the end of December 2014. Depending on finances and responses we will then review proceeding further.
Cape Town TV currently has 2.4 million viewers a month via DSTV and it reaches several countries throughout Africa. The Beyond Today programmes also promote the Kingdom of God Bible seminars and The Good News magazine and other literature.
Your prayers for the success of this United Church of God South Africa effort to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom would be much appreciated.
Jason Webster—UCG South Africa
September 16, 2014
“Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns” Generates 1,842 Overall Responses
The United Church of God is pleased to report that its Beyond Today television episode, “Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns,” which aired September 7-14, 2014, generated the highest viewer response so far this fiscal year.
This program, hosted by Darris McNeely, generated 1,842 telephone and Internet responses and also produced the lowest cost per response this fiscal year.
People from around the world responded very well to “Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns.” Internet responses were recorded from viewers in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, England, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States and Venezuela.
We honor God for His guidance and inspiration in making these wonderful results possible. We also thank you for your ongoing prayers and support.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
Why Were You Born? — Part 2
September 15, 2014
The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God (UCG) is continuing its bi-weekly Bible studies. The study continues on Wednesday, September 17, at the time of 7:30 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.
Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA
September 15, 2014
A welcome video for the United Church of God’s Cincinnati East congregation has been uploaded to the congregation’s home page. Steve Myers provides a warm welcome to those considering attending with us.
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services
September 12, 2014
Ticket-bearing attendees began showing up at the Holiday Inn Eastgate nearly an hour before the 7:30 p.m. seminar Wednesday, Sept. 10, to hear pastor, Beyond Today host and author Gary Petty answer the question “Why were you born?”
Attendance at the event was over 200, including some local United Church of God members and Ambassador Bible College students. (Due to space limitations, the majority of local church members were not able to attend.) In addition, almost 400 webcast connections watched the event live online—representing more than a 1,000 people.
Particularly encouraging, was that the seminar drew 74 new guests, most having reserved tickets ahead of time, with a few showing up at the door for the event. Everybody who attended received a free seminar-themed notebook with pen and a copy of the United Church of God booklet Why Were You Born? (which was previously titled What Is Your Destiny?).
The one-hour seminar had been advertised locally in the greater Cincinnati area for a month. Eight striking, red billboards scattered around the city posed the “Why were you born?” question to commuters with a URL at the bottom and the date of the event. Pandora Internet radio ads also asked the question, creating 1 million impressions over four weeks. Television ads running on Time Warner Cable aired 746 times over two weeks (on Fox News, History, USA, Hallmark, National Geographic and TV Land).
For Internet advertising, Google ads created 85,000 impressions, with 1,010 click-throughs resulting in dozens of ticket “purchases;” social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook created interest using the hashtag #whywereyouborn; 5,400 letters from the president were sent to Cincinnati households on The Good News mailing list; and 28,530 e-mails were sent to Cincinnati residents, and a further 430 went to Good News subscriber e-mail addresses announcing the event.
Steve Myers acted as host, introducing Mr. Petty at the beginning, and inviting everybody at the end to a follow-up seminar on Wednesday, September 17, to be held at the Church’s home office at 7:30 p.m. Seminar surveys were e-mailed to guests today, and those who signed up to attend but didn’t will receive information leading them to a video recording of the seminar.
Asked about his thoughts, one of the 74 seminar guests said, “Very inspiring, surprisingly well done, gave me a lot to think about.” Another guest said: “This is a lot to think about. Amazing what’s in the Bible.” Another guest said she didn’t get what she needed out of her current church and was very excited to learn more about developing her own personal relationship with God.
The entire presentation is archived online at http://www.ucg.org/webcast-bible-study/christian-living/why-were-you-born.
Peter Eddington & Mitchell Moss—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA
September 9, 2014
Hundreds of guests have signed up for the United Church of God’s first “Why Were You Born?” seminar to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 10, at the Holiday Inn Eastgate. Plans are to expand the series across the United States as funds allow.
After advertising the event on Time Warner Cable, Pandora Internet radio, through e-mail campaigns and through online advertising, the Church is now expecting a good turnout for this special event featuring San Antonio and Austin, Texas, pastor and Beyond Today television host, Gary Petty.
If you are not in Cincinnati, you can still join Gary Petty for this seminar live via webcast. The presentation will also be archived on the Church’s website.
Mr. Petty will ask his audience, “What’s your purpose in life?” The question comes when we least expect it. When we’re dazzled by the spectacle of a star-filled sky. Or when we gaze into the innocent eyes of a newborn child. Or when we’re in crisis and all seems lost. The Bible says you were created in the very image of God. What does that mean? The answer can change your life.
We invite you to tune into the seminar at 7:30 p.m. via the webcasting service, or watch the archive later.
Please pray for the ongoing success of the United Church of God as it does its part to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services, UCGIA