Letter: February 15, 2013

Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:

We had another interesting and eventful week here.

We received some emails from a couple leaders associated with three congregations in Kenya with Church of God background.  Apparently four of their leaders met and unanimously declared that they all wish to affiliate with the Continuing Church of God (there is also significant interest in Kenya from others not associated with them).  One of their leaders (ordained as a deacon by my former association) had contacted me earlier, but at the time I did not realize that he was representing anyone other than himself.  We also are getting additional interest from some in the United States and elsewhere.  I also received an email from Ghana today where I was told that the books that we donated and sent there are producing fruits.

On Wednesday, we were able to pick up our first printed copies of our new magazine titled Bible  News  Prophecy.  We were able to send some to our congregation in New Zealand, the group in Kenya, and some scattered congregants in the USA yesterday.  The magazine is available for pdf download by clicking the following: Bible News Prophecy: January – March 2013.  Those who wish to receive a printed copy, that would be mailed to them can click on the link Get Bible News Prophecy Magazine and provide a mailing address.

World News

One of the big world news items this week was the announcement by the Roman Catholic pontiff Pope Benedict XVI that he intends to resign effective February 28, 2013.   This is the first papal resignation since 1415–nearly 600 years–and it may lead to the fulfillment of various prophecies and speculations.  You can read more about that at the link Pope Benedict announces resignation! Might he fulfill Catholic prophecies and COGwriter speculation?

Because of the pontiff’s resignation, I did a related BibleNewsProphecy YouTube video, that I will propose as the sermonette for February 23, 2013.  We also are working on a campaign to get more attention about this matter, as well as working on something behind-the-scenes, that I hope to announce perhaps next month.

Web Updates

We have had several days where over 10,000 different computers came to our websites this week–and over 21,000 yesterday alone!  A lot of this was due to the information about Valentine’s Day, but also related to those who wanted to know the truth about other days that some celebrated and/or observed this week.  Also, last week’s suggested sermonette, Should Christians Observe Valentine’s Day?, was fairly popular this week (though not nearly as popular as the article Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins which had about 35 times as many views).
While it may seem related (but it is not directly as I did this after getting 10,000 visit days began), I was able to update certain webpages with links to one or more of the relevant BibleNewsProphecy YouTube videos.  This should greatly expand our reach as there are people who greatly prefer to watch a video than to read an article (though most who come to our sites are readers as opposed to video-viewers).  I also was able to have someone else add a related article link to most of the BibleNewsProphecy channel and ContinuingCOG channel YouTube videos so that those who want more information can get it.  Over 5,000 videos have been viewed on YouTube since those channels were began last month.
Additionally, I was able to update a variety of articles at the www.cogwriter.com website as I try to have more information related to the Continuing Church of God and less quotes from one or more other groups.  This is slow progress, but progress is being made.  Furthermore, because of various questions, etc., I added some information concerning myself and biblical leaders to the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God which hopefully will help counter ignorance that many have about New Testament teachings related to prophets, as well as inaccurate information some have circulated about me.

Sabbath Services for February 16, 2013

Since many of you are not in traditional congregations, here is my suggested format for Sabbath services for February 16, 2013:

We thought it would be nice to have the sermonette subject tie into the sermon subject.  And while that will not happen  very often, since it does this time, that perhaps that would be the best way to handle Sabbath services this week.  While there is some cross-over of material, the two are fairly different in content.

Administrative & Ecclesiastical Matters

This past week, I have also consulted with various leaders in various COGs in order to better understand traditional Church of God practices in some areas that were not clear to me.  And this has been helpful.  Not that I do not check what others tell me with the Bible, but since wisdom can come from experience, consulting with others who have some in areas that I have less experience has been useful.

I received a telephone call from someone in Virginia this week who wanted to verify our address for receiving tithes and offerings, which is Continuing Church of God, 1248 E. Grand #A, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420.   So, why did he call?  Apparently we had a wrong telephone number on the Donations’ page, so that he wanted to verify the address since there was a telephone number error.  Anyway, I thanked him for telling me that and then fixed the telephone number on the Donations’ page.  The correct telephone number is 1-805-574-1818.

Brethren I am regularly praying for you and that God’ will will be done and His kingdom will come.  We all need to do so (Matthew 6:9-10).  Thank you for your 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.