Servants' News

Jul/Aug 2002

News from Local Congregations

News from Local Congregations

News from Local Congregations
This column includes information sent to us from a variety of groups. Servants’ News does not necessarily agree with the teachings or practices of these groups. Please ask about them before attending their functions.

Dallas Calendar Conference?

A second calendar conference in the Dallas area is being considered. (See Servants’ News, Jan/Feb and Mar/Apr 1997 for information on the first conference.) It will probably take place in early 2003. Please respond if you would be interested in attending and/or speaking to:

— Michael Turner, 780 Hart Road,

Fairview, Texas 75069

972-569-9175 or 214-395-3096

e-mail: mykelturner@airmail.net

Help Wanted for New Testament Bible Story Project

Many of you will remember the 6 volume set of the Bible Story that was produced by the WCG in the 1980s. Those volumes only covered the Old Testament. Currently I am co-ordinating a project on behalf of Giving and Sharing to produce two more volumes that will cover the story of the New Testament in a similar children-friendly style that Basil Wolverton used.

Currently Keith Hunt is doing a great job with the writing side of the project and is deep into writing the first volume. What we lack at the moment is an artist who might be able to illustrate these new volumes. If there is anyone who might be able to help or know someone who can help out with this very worthwhile project please contact me either by e-mail (rwaite@optusnet.com.au) or by post.

— Roger Waite, 17 Laconia St,

Woodridge, Qld, Australia, 4114

[The New Testament Bible Story sounds like a good idea. Many Church of God children know very little about Mary and Joseph, the Love of Jesus or Christ’s promises to live His life in the believer. I hope you will find an illustrator that is even better than Basil Wolverton. Friends and I often found his drawings grotesque and a poor representation of God. With the WCG hierarchy, little could be done. Now, we may choose. May you find a good illustrator! — NSE]

Bible Study Course CD Offered

This Bible Study Course CD has the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, the United Church of God Bible Study Course as well as the Young Adults Bible Study Course which is the fruit of six months labour on my part. It is nearly 300 pages in length and includes a lot of material not covered in previous Bible Study courses. It is illustrated with a large number of colour pictures and includes very handy short summaries of key points at the end of each lesson for easy reference.

What makes this CD different is that all the verses quoted in each lesson of the three courses are hyperlinked to the KJV Bible to make studying the course very easy. As you open up each lesson, the course lesson opens up in the left hand side of the screen and the Bible opens up in the right hand side of the screen. As you click on an underlined verse in the lesson the Bible will open up to that verse in the right side of the screen allowing you to see the verse and read it in its context.

Not only does this CD contain these three Bible Study Courses, it also contains all the church booklets that have been produced so far by the United Church of God in both HTML and PDF formats, many old WCG booklets as well as all the sermons in the Fundamentals of Belief tape series produced by the United Church of God in MP3 format. Details of the contents of the CD and the Young Adults Bible Study Course can be found at  http://members.optusnet.com.au/~rwaite/CD.html

This CD is being made freely available to all who request it with a suggested donation of US$2.50 to help cover the costs of postage. If you live in the USA or Canada please forward your request to Stephen Featherston either by email (mrpifloyd.nd@alltel.net) or by post (1934 E 31st Street #2, Ashtabula, Ohio, 44004) and he will forward you a copy of the CD. Payment can also be made via PayPal to chrsnstv@alltel.net. If you live outside of the USA or Canada then you can order a copy by forwarding your request to myself by e-mail at rwaite@optusnet.com.au or write to me:

— Roger Waite, 17 Laconia St,

Woodridge, Qld, Australia, 4114

Help Line and Assistance Line available to Church of God members

Help Line was begun in 1999 as a service to bring those in need of help for personal or family problems or just someone who is lonely or depressed to find a compassionate ear. We have seen requests on health questions, addictions, marital problems, and from many prisoners with varying requests. These services are provided at no charge and may be obtained by writing the address below.

Now, with the addition of Assistance Line, we will try to provide for short or long term physical or financial assistance to those in need (housing, medical, food, clothing).

What makes this program unique is that we will maintain a register of persons who wish to assist others directly and will match them to persons or families in need. Ideally, they should be close enough so that the person giving can visit the person in need and verify that the needs are genuine. We believe this is the preferred approach.

However, for those wanting to give anonymously, a reserve will be held in a local bank account to provide distribution of funds.

Since many of us are no longer affiliated with large organized churches, we may no longer be involved in helping the poor at all. Nevertheless, scripture mandates us to care for the poor and needy. The gentiles recognized a need in Acts 6 and seven men were selected to manage the problem.

The story of the sheep and the goats is also pertinent in this regard. Note that both sheep and goats are clean animals but there is a deficiency in the goats; so much so that they were cast into everlasting fire. You can read it for yourself in Matthew 25:31–46 The goats are “called” and “converted” like sheep, but they are distinguished as goats because, as goats are, they are stubborn and refuse to accept the responsibility of caring and helping the needy.

A system of checks and balances are written to minimize problems and avoid abuses. A panel serves in an advisory capacity, consisting of:

Steven Kieler, sskieler@juno.com

Norman Edwards, info@cbtm.info

Danny Foreman, djforeman_1990@yahoo.com

The procedures are as follows:

1. Priority aid will be given to the Fatherless and the Widow (over 60 years old) and the “Household of Faith” (Sabbath keepers) Gal 6:7–10.

2. Assistance will be encouraged to be given on a direct, person to person basis, where possible. A registry will be established to match assistors with the appropriate person(s) in need. Information will be provided and feedback requested to see that the party’s needs are being met. All donors and recipients will remain anonymous, except to panel members who will receive a detailed financial report periodically. A limited report will be sent to donors upon request.

3. Assistance will be limited to the Continental U.S. and Canada for the present and will be limited to individuals and families (excluded: churches and businesses).

4. Care will be taken to avoid conflicts with government programs.

5. Suggestions will be taken for revision, deletion or addition to these guidelines.

6. The staff will not be paid. All offerings given will be distributed or used
for necessary supplies (stamps, envelopes, etc).

It is our sincere hope that this program, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will help us to satisfy a requirement that God has set upon us and be able to provide for those in need.

Offerings, requests to join the registry, and questions may be directed to:

Steven & Suzanne Kieler, Coordinators

2193 Sheker Drive

Fort Dodge, IA 50501-8707

515-576-5743

E-mail: sskieler@juno.com

or:

Giving and Sharing, Richard Nickels

3316 Alberta Drive

Gillette, WY 82718

888-687-5191

Email: giveshare@vcn.com

HWA DVD Video Collection

It has taken over four months to finally complete the conversion of our entire HWA-era Church of God Video collection from frail VHS video tapes to the more durable DVD Video format! DVDs have an estimated shelf life of over 100 years compared to video tapes which generally break down and become useless after 25 years or so even if they are not ever used.

The following listing contains 46 episodes of The World Tomorrow with Mr. Armstrong, and seven special DVDs of various Feast of Tabernacles and other programs. Together, the 23 disks of the HWA DVD Video Collection total over 30 hours of video materials!

These disks will play in most DVD players available today, including DVD players in Windows and Macintosh computers. However, in our testing, the quality of the video images seemed best when played on a DVD player connected to a television set. We did test each disk on both Macintosh and Windows PCs, and experienced some problems, so we strongly recommend that you use these disks on a DVD player connected to your television set. If you do not already own a DVD player for your television set, we used the APEX brand of DVD players available at Wal-mart and found that they handled each DVD perfectly! The current price of the entry-level model of APEX brand DVD player at Wal-mart is approximately US$68.

We experienced the most difficulties with trying to play these disks on Windows PCs, but have determined that the DVDs are indeed Windows compatible, but only with certain DVD drives. So if you plan to use your Windows PC to play these DVDs, then you are advised that you may experience difficulties, and that the DVDs are not faulty.

Each DVD has been saved in NTSC Television format. This is the format used primarily in North America, South America and the Caribbean. The European television format, PAL, is not compatible with the NTSC television format, but there are many ways to convert the NTSC format to PAL. If you are in a PAL television area, please ask your local electronics store if they have a dual-mode DVD player, one that can play both NTSC and PAL DVD videos. We are currently exploring the possibility of offering a PAL version of these DVDs, but if you can find a dual-mode DVD player, then you will not need to wait until a PAL version, if any, is available.

As explained more fully in the DVD listing below, we cannot afford at this time to provide these DVDs to you free of charge. Blank DVDs are very costly, and it takes over 1.5 hours to copy each DVD. So we have made special arrangements with a local electronics store for them the copy each DVD for US$20 a piece. This covers the cost of the blank DVD as well as the labor and equipment costs of the vendor providing this service. This is a very good price because the next lowest price we were quoted was $35 each, and most of the quotes were in the $45–$50 range per disk. But since it would take over 34 hours for us to make a single set of the entire HWA DVD Video Collection, we simply have no alternative but to send these out to be duplicated.

In addition, we request a $5 donation per disk to the HWA Library, for a total cost to you of $25 per DVD, to help offset the expenses of creating the master set of these DVDs, as well as to cover postage and shipping expenses, and other operational expenses of the HWA Library. We were very blessed to have received a major donation that allowed us to purchase the DVD mastering equipment, but there were several thousand dollars of other development expenses to create the master DVDs that were not covered by this very generous donation.

As always, I expect to be criticized by offering these DVDs in this way, but the economics of the situation do not permit, at least at this time, any other way. It would cost approximately $125,000 to have a minimum order of a thousand sets of these disks made and to be able to give them out free of charge. We simply do not have this level of resources at this time. If we could receive 1000 pre-paid orders for these DVDs, then we could offer them at approximately $125 per set (about $5.50 per disk). But until then, it is better that they are at least available in some manner instead of being out of circulation totally. I realize that an entire set may be beyond the financial reach of most households today, but within the reach of several families together or small congregations.

For those needing a little reminder, the WCG did not offer any audio or video materials of the Church free of charge. The only exception I am aware of being cassette tapes for the blind. They charged a modest price for the Bible Hymnal cassette tapes, the Festival Music cassette tapes, and they charged a modest price for the Feast Video tapes. In addition, the Church did charge for other items like the Envoy and for you to have a personal copy of the Bible Hymnal. So I do not feel that there is any obligation upon the HWA Library to provide these videos free of charge or not at all. I would dearly love to provide them free of charge, and am willing to do so, if the resources become available in the future.

Also as a reminder, the Church permitted the use of excess second tithe to purchase the audio and video tapes available at the Feast. And if you plan to use the World Tomorrow telecasts in your weekly Sabbath services, you might consider using first tithe for those DVDs. But that will be your personal decision.

But there is a way that you can receive the HWA DVDs for free! If you have any HWA-era video tapes of The World Tomorrow or other Church tape, and it is not already in our listing, we will send you free of charge one DVD for every World Tomorrow broadcast we do not have or for every Church tape we do not have that we can use to convert to future DVDs. We understand that there might have been a few other Festival tapes offered by the Church that we do not have, so please look through your video tapes and see if you have some we do not have. One caution, though, is that the DVD mastering process is very, very sensitive to the quality of the recording being used, so we must have the highest quality tape possible to convert to DVD. Unfortunately, most of the video tapes we used were copies of copies of copies, and about a dozen episodes of the World Tomorrow we had could not be converted to DVD because the copies were just too weak.

In addition, if you cannot afford these DVDs, and if you do not have any video tapes to exchange for the DVDs, I will start a waiting list for those who cannot afford the DVDs, and if others will send in more than $5.00 per disk, I will send out DVDs free to anyone on this waiting list, as funds are available. I expect a huge demand for the DVDs, so please send in your request either via e-mail or via postal mail to be added to the waiting list and be patient. The mailing address is: HWA Library, PO Box 6025, Woodridge, IL 60517.

As you review the HWA DVD Video Collection list, please remember you can order any single DVD, or any combination of DVDs. You do not have to order them all at once. The only exception is for the 2-disk DVD set of the Behind the Work 1985 Feast tape. Please order both disks at the same time, not one or the other.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email at the HWA Library. Also, as we receive more tapes to convert to DVD, we will post an updated listing, so check back frequently.

— Don Tiger

Herbert W. Armstrong & Church of God Video, Audio, CD Library and Archives,
PO Box 173, Botany, NSW 1455, Australia

e-mail: info@hwalibrary.org

web: www.hwalibrary.org

[I believe Don Tiger is doing a good service—God may well be using him—in accurately preserving the written and electronic messages of Herbert Armstrong. It is much more dangerous for people to have an idealized, “edited’ view of HWA that makes him appear much better than he actually was. An honest, unbiased comparison of HWA’s work with the work of many other religious “cult” leaders and the church “work” described in the Bible should cause people to choose the biblical way. I hope that someday, Don Tiger and others will make that fair comparison.

This library also speaks about the groups that claim to be the continuation of Herbert Armstrong’s work. (The Living Church of God, the Philadelphia Church of God, etc.) Are these groups interested in helping Don Tiger or purchasing a copy of his materials for each of their members? No, they ignore Don Tiger or even tell their members to avoid him. Why? Because they are more interested in continuing their own works, than they are in continuing Herbert Armstrong’s work. Most do not want to acknowledge that people in other groups are being used of God in some way. Furthermore, they all try to convince their members that their group’s doctrines and methods are like HWA’s and they would rather not answer the questions that arise if their members have multiple sources of information. — NSE]

E-mail Craig White, Again

Several people responded to the news item about Craig White’s book, Lost Races of the Ancient World, which he soon hopes to publish (Servants’ News, Mar/Apr 2002). Due to computer problems, the e-mails were lost, so please e-mail send them again to originofnations@tpg.com.au.

— Craig White

 

Send Us Your News!

Believe it or not, publication editors are not people who automatically “know what’s going on”. The only way we know about significant events is by somebody telling us, by reading a publication or by asking various groups what they are planning. We simply do not have time to contact numerous groups before each issue to get their current news. We receive a lot of publications, but cannot read all of them. Many groups do not have a publication.
The most effective way for us to provide timely news is for you to send an announcement 2 to 3 months before a special event takes place, or send a report a week or so after it occurs. Thank you very much for your help.

 


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