Letter: August 9, 2013

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

We hope and pray you all had a productive and blessed week.

We remain incredibly busy here.

Upcoming Holy Days

The ‘Fall’ Holy Days will be here in a few weeks.

Some videoing for a ‘behind the works’ type presentation was done this week and it is hoped that this will be ready in time for the Feast of Tabernacles.  I am also trying to figure out how to possibly squeeze in other videos to help a couple of Feast of Tabernacles’ sites.

Instead of videoing the usual one sermonette and one sermon in the week, we did two of each (though one of the ‘sermons’ was intentionally shorter, as it is intended as the opening night message for one of our Feast of Tabernacles’ sites).

The next Holy Day will be the Feast of Trumpets. It will be observed from sunset September 4 to sunset September 5, 2013.

Other than the weekly Sabbath, the next Holy Day will be the Day of Atonement. It will be observed from sunset September 13 to sunset September 14, 2013.

If any of you wish to host services in your area for those Holy Days, please email me: cogwriter@aol.com.

The Feast of Tabernacles is also coming up. This year it begins the evening of September 18th and continues until the Last Great Day which is September 26, 2013.  If any of you plan to come to Santa Maria, California, and would like to speak or lead songs, please let me know as we do need speakers.

As mentioned before, we have a webpage with information on the Feast of Tabernacles this year. You may wish to view from time to time as we updated it with more information this week: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013.

Please think about where you may attend this year and let the coordinator for your preferred Feast site know via email.

For those intending to possibly attend the site in Kenya, the following from our Deacon, George Otieno, is helpful as it shows pricing in US dollar equivalents and Kenyan Shillings:

The hotel management is expecting us to book the rooms next month, to enable them do the necessary arrangement on time. This year the Feast of Tabernacles will be held at the Prudence Hotel in Homa Bay on the shore of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. Single rooms will be $ 6and double rooms will be $12 per day. Children 18 and under stay free. The meeting hall and hotel are on the same complex.

The Feast of Tabernacles will be held in Western Kenya, Homa
Bay County, Ndhiwa District on the shore of Lake Victoria. The Hotel
is known as Prudence. The Charges are as follows:
1. Single room Kshs 700 per day.
2.Double room Kshs 1400 per day.
3.Meals Kshs 1200 each person per day.

Some call Ndhiwa the “real Africa.”  There are also safaris and other activities in the general region.  Ndhiwa is close to the famous Lake Victoria as the above shows.

Please try to decide where you plan to attend.

Doing the Work

We spent a lot of time this week on internet matters, including holding a variety of meetings.

We now have our first item in the language of Hindi.  Hindi is the language with the fourth most number of native speakers (Mandarin is first, Spanish second, and English third).  It is a slightly edited version of the book Mystery of the Ages (I edited a few parts and provided notes in English where I did so).  Here is a link :  Mystery of the Ages edited Hindi VersionMystery of the Ages was chosen because it had been translated already into Hindi and it cost us very little to get it usable.  I wanted to add some Hindi content to our new www.ccog.in website, and so this is a start.  We also hope to receive Continuing Church of God materials translated into the language of Telugu (another Indian language) in the future, which we would also add to the www.ccog.in website.

Several articles were translated in the Spanish language and put on one or more of our websites.

Furthermore, we went ‘live’ this week with the website www.ccog.eu   While it looks almost identical to our main www.ccog.org website, it is intended to have more materials in European languages other than English, than our primary English language site:  We spent a lot of time this week working on trying to figure out how to get more materials up in languages that we do not understand (we in Arroyo Grande are only fluent in English).

We in the Continuing Church of God are reaching people all over the world and leading the final phase of the work.

The Bible Hymnal

We spent a lot of additional time this week on the hymnal project. We have now basically produced an updated version of the 1974 hymnal.  What that means is that while we have included all the unedited songs from the 1974 edition of The Bible Hymnal of the old Worldwide Church of God, we added our own front and back cover, as well as added ten additional hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum after the 1974 hymnal came out.

We ordered 100 of The Bible Hymnal of the Continuing Church of God to be sent to the African nation of Kenya yesterday.  We paid for expedited shipping, so that they would hopefully get them prior to the Feast of Trumpets.  Please pray that the books will get there safely, including through customs, and be able to be used by our many brethren in East Africa.

There are still other details to be worked out for the hymnals to go to other places.  It is my hope and prayer to enough out prior to the Feast of Tabernacles this year so that a version can be available at the Santa Maria, California, USA and Whangarei, New Zealand sites.  My wife and I plan to visit both of those sites this year (1/2 time at both sites) and expect to bring the hymnals with us personally to New Zealand.

World News Events

Today, as well as three days ago, remembrances of the dropping of the nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were conducted (see Nagasaki remembered 68 years after detonation).  Calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons were made.  While the time will come when the Prince of Peace will return, until then, wars and greater devastation will happen.

The British ‘sea gate’ of Gibraltar was in the news.  The United Kingdom believes that Spain has been agitating in that region as Spain wants that territory back.  In response the UK sent some ships from the Royal Navy to try to send a signal to Spain to stop bothering the British people of Gibraltar, and Spain is not happy about this (see also the article Will the UK Lose Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands?).  This week’s recommended video sermonette covers what is expected to be the ultimate outcome there (Will the UK Lose Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands?).

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services on August 10, 2013:

Note: If you have a slow internet connection and/or prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played. So, this is an option we have made available.

As the Apostle Paul wrote:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:8-9)

Thank you for your prayers and support.


Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God

Posted in Letters to the Brethren
About CCOG
The Continuing Church of God, which attempts to represent the most faithful remnant of the Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7) portion of the Church of God, bases its beliefs on the Holy Bible. Read CCOG's statement of beliefs for more information.