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.
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.
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:
- 2-3 hymns (we are using the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG and the choral accompaniment)
- Opening prayer by an appropriate male (if present).
- Sermonette (short 8-15 minute subject) or Bible New Prophecy YouTube video. The suggested one is Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?.
- Announcements (which probably will be this Letter to the Brethren) and one hymn.
- Sermon (which for many will be a recorded one), which for many of you will be Might Petra be the Place of Safety?
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer by an appropriate male (if available).
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