Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
The Day of Atonement begins at sunset tonight. And in New Zealand, where my wife, son, and I now are at, it has already begun.
We left our house Wednesday afternoon, drove the 200 miles to Los Angeles International Airport, went through security, got on the plane, and arrived in New Zealand this morning New Zealand time.
Tomorrow, I plan to speak before the Continuing Church of God congregation in Auckland. And, then on Wednesday, in Whangarei, New Zealand for the start of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Here are where the CCOG-related Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013 are expected to be:
- Ndhiwa, Kenya contact Deacon George Otieno, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Whangarei, New Zealand contact John Hickey, email email@example.com
- Silay City, Philippines contact Oscar Meidavilla email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Santa Maria, California, USA contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email email@example.com
First services for the Feast of Tabernacles will begin at 7:30 pm on September 18, 2013 in at least two of the above sites.
More information on the sites can be found in the link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013.
Doing the Work and Feeding the Flock
Fantastic news! We now have the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God in Swahili/Kiswahili on the internet. Here is the link: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. We are pleased to be able to now have begun to have some information in that African language and hope to have more information in the future.
We now have information in a few European languages, a couple of Asian languages, and now an African language. This all helps fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20 and is part of the preparation for The Final Phase of the Work.
We received notification that the registration of the Continuing Church of God as a charitable entity in New Zealand has been approved. This is good news and will assist with matters such as income tax deductibility of donations made there.
For those who will not be at a Feast of Tabernacles’ site for 2013, we now have several sermons available for the Feast of Tabernacles online. It is my hope to have most of those I am doing in New Zealand and the USA put up online as well. We hope to be able to put them up at the ContinuingCOG YouTube channel. This is where the future ones would appear first. Because of time zone differences and internet uploading speeds, as well as other issues, I am not yet sure when they will be up, but the plan is to put one up most, if not all days (Sunday, September 22, 2013 may be the most difficult as we fly back to the USA that day).
These sermons may also end up being available as links from the Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013 page. That page also has some suggested sermonettes on is. Other possible sermonettes are available at the Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel.
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:
- 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there also is some Choral Accompaniment online).
- Opening prayer.
- Offertory Sermonette: Offering for Atonement? Other sermonettes are also available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon which for most will be a recorded one titled: The Bible and the Day of Atonement. There is also a related article titled The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p.
We recognize that the YouTube videos do not play well unless one has a high-speed internet connection, which is part of why we try (when we have them) to list related articles that can be read.
I would like to close this letter with the following quote from the Book of Isaiah:
6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free,And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:6-14)
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God