Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
Since my last letter, we have prepared a short festival brochure for Santa Maria and sent information to New Zealand for the brochure there. Speaking of New Zealand, they received the banner we sent them for the Feast of Tabernacles. I have not heard if the sites in Kenya or the Philippines have yet received the Feast-related materials that we recently sent them–but hopefully all materials will arrive safely and in time for the Feast of Tabernacles.
As far as the sites go, here are where the CCOG-related Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013 are planned to be:
- Ndhiwa, Kenya contact Deacon George Otieno, email email@example.com
- Whangarei, New Zealand contact John Hickey, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Silay City, Philippines contact Oscar Meidavilla email email@example.com
- Santa Maria, California, USA contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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
We worked on getting materials in Swahili/Kiswahili ready of the internet. It is expected that something will be online soon.
The Swahili language, or Kiswahili, is a Bantu language…
Although only around five million people speak Swahili as their mother tongue, it is used as a lingua franca in much of the southern half of East Africa. The total number of Swahili speakers exceeds 140 million. Swahili serves as a national or official language of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also one of the official languages of the African Union. (Swahili. Wikipedia, viewed 09/05/13)
Since we have a lot of interest and supporters in Africa, we are pleased to be getting some of our materials translated into an African language.
Interestingly, we are now receiving visits from a link of something in Chinese from a China-based website. Our reach to China has greatly increased in the past several months.
In the Spanish language, we received a draft of the next edition of the Bible News Prophecy magazine, so that has been sent to the graphics company for layout.
As far as the English language goes, internet interest has picked up as summer vacations have tended to end and as we have entered this Holy Day season.
World News Events
The situation in Syria has been dominating much of the news. Even the Pope has gotten involved (Cameron, Obama, Russia, G20, & Syria and Pope Francis’ ‘solution’ to Syrian crisis will not work). He has called for a fast on September on ‘Mary’s’ birthday to appeal to her to bring peace to the region.
In the meantime, much else is happening in Europe. While Europe is not yet in a position to lead major military interventions, it has been developing techologies that will help it do so in the future. It also is putting together plans for technology to help build its economy, and essentially lead the world (see European technology plans).
In the USA, itself, the professional American football season began yesterday. Despite the fact that it harms people (Should Christians watch American football?) and is opposed to biblical principles (NFL season began, should you be watching?), many who profess Christ consider it appropriate entertainment. There is violence in the land (Ezekiel 7:23).
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.
- Sermonette. Here is a link to to one suggested for this week: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. A related article link would be the article titled Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 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: Questions and Continuing Church of God Answers. 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.
If you 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 (but we are also looking into ways to try to improve that as well).
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 Apostle Peter:
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For
“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12)
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God