Plans are continuing for the upcoming Non-Aligned and Open format sites. In the next issue, we will include a survey form so coordinators will know how many people to expect and to whom they should send site information packets (including suggestednot mandatoryaccommodations). If you know of other sites we should list, please contact Norman Brumm, below:
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Contact: Norman A. Brumm
510 Gillespie Street
Locust Grove, OK 74352
Location: Sun River, Oregon
Contact: Al Murrey
210 NW 14th
Pendleton, OR 97801
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Contact: Norman S. Edwards
P.O. Box 6516
Springdale, AR 72766
Location: Snowshoe, West Virginia
Contact: James Rector
3802 Olive Street
Texarkana, TX 75503
Location: Panama City, Florida
Contact: David Owen
4213 Owen Road
Dalton, GA 30720
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Contact: Fred McGovarin
Hastings, Ont K0L 1Y0
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Contact: Ted Phillips
P.O. Box 2109
Corona, CA 91718
(909) 737 0559
Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Contact: Ray Wooten
500 Hoover Plaza, #205
Birmingham, AL 35226
To once again summarize the difference between a "Non-Aligned" site and an "Open" site:
The first is a Non-Aligned Feast. This label means a feast site that individuals have put together that is not affiliated with any other recognized organization and incorporates many of the guidelines published in the January issue of SN. Contact either SN or Norman Brumm for that information if you need it.
The second type is called an Open Feast. An Open Feast site does not have to adhere to all of the guidelines to be recommended as such. This is a site that is sponsored by a recognized organization but also holds to the spirit of true openness as the guidelines try to set. The intent is to be able to recommend an Open Feast site to someone with the confidence that it will be fairly open.
Also, we are interested in knowing of any groups that would like to be listed with us as we hope to be able to recommend a number of sites that would satisfy the varied interests and needs of the members.
For detailed information about these efforts or to pass on information about other groups, please contact Norman Brumm at the address/numbers listed at the top of the first column at left.
Preaching the Gospel
The Church of God Fellowship located in Russelville, Arkansas, has in the recent past broken ties with organized religion as we have come to know it. They have started a course of their own as they intend to personally fulfill the commission of Jesus Christ.
They have already begun a 15 minute radio program called "Points of Truth" that they air on at least 4 area radio stations including the area super-station of KAAY out of Little Rock, Arkansas. On that station the program airs at 6:45 pm at 1090 kHz on the AM dial.
They have a toll-free number (1-800-897-3999), transcripts of most of the broadcasts and are developing Bible Study tapes. They are also planning to offer literature in a magazine format by the second week of May. Incidentally, they are desirous of any basic articles that any can provide to assist them.
The Church of God Fellowship is only a local assembly with no designs of building a "chain" of churches. They wish to serve and cooperate with as many brethren as they can. Anyone that wishes to provide an outreach ministry in their local area is welcome to air their program.
For a sample Points of Truth program or for more information contact:
Larry Lassiter at 501-967-5050
Louis Harris at "Lharris@ cswnet.com".
There are two conferences that we are aware of that are coming up in the near future. The are:
The Tulsa, Oklahoma, Church of God is hosting an Elders and Hosts Conference in their church building on April 12-14.
This conference is to seek God's will and to consider if and how the independent Churches of God should co-operate with each other to reach people in and beyond their local communities. Please email, fax or phone any agenda items as soon as possible, so that your ideas may be circulated and thus trigger others to add their ideas to:
Richard Gawith is the Tulsa point man for arranging transportation to/from the airport, motel and church building. For Tulsa particulars, Richard can be contacted at 918-455-5753 or emailed at 72401,1510@Compuserve.com.
The conference is planned to start Friday evening at 7:30 and end on Sunday around noon or so.
In the spirit of openness, elders, hosts, wives and observers of the independent churches are all invited and welcome.
On April 6 and 7, a conference is being sponsored by Ron Dart of Christian Educational Ministries with the cooperation of Ray Wooten of the United Church of God, Birmingham.
The conference is titled "Practical Helps for a Growing Church" and will be held at the Unicoi State Park near Helen, Georgia. Camp site, cottages and motels are available at the park. Call 1-800-864-7275 to make reservations. Children are welcome as there are already children's activities planned.
For more information contact:
P.O. Box 560
Whitehouse, TX 75791
The Ekklesia in Cyberspace
Are you an "Internet" freak? Or are you barely computer literate but have an online account somewhere where you enjoy "browsing the Web" every now and then? You may be interested to know that the "ekklesia" is starting to make quite an impact in cyberspace. If you are interested in browsing some World Wide Web sites, try these out:
There are a few email lists that are active and full of very stimulating fellowship. By being on the list you are part of a network. If someone makes a comment, everyone hears it. If you post a thought to the network, then everyone hears that as well. The fellowship is with people around the world.
To subscribe to the "LikeMinds" list send an email note to Rick Stanczak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe to "CGI/Ex-CGI" list send an email note to Marilyn Meyers at MZMUNRO@aol.com.
Visit by Church of God (Seventh Day) Minister Exemplifies Co-operation and Brotherly Love
"There is much more commonality between the Church of God (Seventh Day) and the United Church of God than we imagined," members commented after Sabbath services 6 January 1996 at Wollongong. The members were referring to a wonderful sermon by Pastor Richard Cress of the Tulsa, Oklahoma congregation of the Church of God (Seventh Day).
Some time ago the Bible Sabbath Association contacted a member of the Sydney congregation of the UCG advising that Mr. Cress and his wife would be visiting Australia and asked whether a meeting could be arranged. Pastor Bruce Dean of the Wollongong UCG congregation agreed to have a split sermon with Mr. Cress. While having a minister of another sabbatarian group present a sermon at UCG services may seem extraordinary to many members, yet such inter-sabbatarian co-operation has been rather the 'norm' over the centuries, and even by the fledgling Radio Church of God in the 1930s and 1940s which co-operated splendidly with other groups.
[Last year] Dennis Luker and Vic Kubik met with the leadership of the Church of God (seventh day). Calvin Burrell, leader of that Church, "told us ... that we had a friend in Denver who respected our convictions and stood ready to continue the friendship we had established in June 1993". The visit by Richard and Jewell Cress is a prime example of what to expect in future.
Their short visit was a first for the UCG in Australia and we all hope will not be the last. In addition to visiting the UCG, the Cresses also visited the Seventh-day Baptists in the Blue Mountains which, it has been noted, have much more in common with us than previously thought.
Long live inter-sabbatarian harmony and co-operation!
Special Sabbath Announcement
Ken Westby, of The Association of Christian Development and editor of The New Millenium, will speak at Mountain View Church of God in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday, April 6th at 11:00 am. All are welcome and a potluck dinner will follow services. Bring your favorite dish, or whatever is convenient for you. The address is:
10700 E Evans
For more information contact Larry Whitesell at 303-384-3300.
Friends of the Sabbath: Upcoming Jubilees '96
The initial plans for the Jubilee conferences for 1996 have been developed. Instead of 2 large luxury Jubilees with many speakers and many subtopics, the conferences will be more focused, speakers limited to 3-4, and they will be locally coordinated and sponsored. Local community Sabbitarian churches and fellowships that request a Jubilee will support the conferences locally. The Jubilee topics will cover the Sabbath, the Holy Days (same high quality scholarship) plus one other topic of local interest (eg sabbath history, spiritual gifts, Christian service, etc).
Dr Bacchiocchi has agreed to continue to be the key note speaker at all of this year's Jubilees. Efforts will be coordinated in some cases also with the Bible Sabbath Association. Costs have been reduced, local housing will be provided, and more time will be allotted to discussion and fellowship. There will be no conference registration fees.
The focus will be on evangelizing the community as well as fostering sabbitarian cooperation. Fruits of the evangelistic efforts will, of course, be reaped by the local churches who participate.
Conferences, with contact details are as follows:
Contact: Melvin Rhodes517-669-1448.
Contact: Ray Wooten205-822-8524.
Contact: Craig Whitecraigwh1@ozonline.com.au (email).
Contact: Ken Westby206-589-1017.
Possible Future Locations:
Sept 26-27 Arizona
Nov 29-Dec1 England
Dec 27-29 Mexico
For further information contact:
Friends of the Sabbath
27068 La Paz, Suite 500
Laguna Hills, Ca 92656
Lonely WidowSeniorlonging for friendship & companionship with like mind, who keep the Sabbath and holy days. Long time member of God's church. I enjoy Bible research, singing, reading, exercising, gardening, travel and TV, and living life to the fullest. Write to Lonely Widow, P.O. Box 487, Talent, OR 97540.
Approximately 30 members in Kenya, Africa are "looking forward to fellowshipping with other brethren who love the Lord from other parts of the world. Please, do publish my name and the church address ... so that others can contact us." Joseph Kimani, Box 2470, Nakuru, Kenya E.A.
Single, white male age 19+ desires correspondence with single, white female who keeps the 7th day Sabbath, the Leviticus 23 holy days, believes in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and loves God the Father. John Phillips, 1455 Wyandotte, Lakewood, Ohio 44107.
Hoping to write other brethren: Gary Primo, RR3, Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada, K0M 1N0
GTA Problem Continues
The Church of God International sponsored a ministerial conference in Tyler, Texas February 23-25. (Two weeks after the ad-hoc conference of CGI ministers reported in the February SN.) Several proposals were voted on, new members were added to the ministerial council and board, some new committees were added, but Garner Ted Armstrong's position remained intact.
Conference attendees were invited to view over 800 mail-in cards each indicating that the sender still wished to receive sermon tapes from Garner Ted Armstrong. However, little was said of the thousands of people that did not return their cards and there was no way to know if those that returned the cards are aware of the problems. Some leaders have told their local CGI congregations about the lawsuit against Armstrong alleging massive sexual impropriety and others have not.
Because Garner Ted Armstrong has not been removed from allduties, approximately 50% of the CGI ministry and membership have left the organization. We are aware of additional groups planning to leave.Some local congregations have joined other Sabbath-keeping organizations, but it appears that the majority may become locally auton omous. Some have expressed interest in the non-aligned feast sites. The Canadian, Australian, and the English offices of CGI have severed ties with the USAorganizationmaking themselves independent. We will try to print a report on the status of local CGI congregations in a future issue.
In other developments, a Tyler judge accepted CGI's motion for a summary judgment removing CGI from Suerae Robertson's lawsuit. This summary judgment essentially means a judge said "even if everything in the lawsuit is true, there is not a case against the Church of God International." Ms. Robertson's attorney is appealing this decision. The lawsuit against Armstrong has not been dismissed and is still awaiting trial.
Servants' News was able to obtain a copy of the massage therapist's videotape. Our viewing confirmed the accuracy of the interviews we used for previous articles. The video does not show a man making a "single passionate mistake," but over 40 separate attempts to engage the woman in varying types of foreplay. This tape, and the many letters and phone calls from Tyler attempting to cover-up the problem, are a black mark on people everywhere that keep the Sabbath or claim to live by the Bible. The issue is not repentance but church leadershipand the solution is not to keep covering the problem up!
If Armstrong had acknowledged his sin and resigned, or if the CGI board had acknowledged the problem and removed him, there would be no need to make the details public. Unfortunately, many CGI members have been told "people are just out to attack the work," and "the woman entrapped him," and "it was a little one-time slip-up." A few people have believed this cover-up campaign and havethat Servants' News to prove what we print.
If anyone still doubts the validity of what we have said, they may view a copy of the video tape themselves. Gary Porter, a former CGI minister, will send a copy to anyone who feels they need such proof. This tape has not been edited in any wayit is explicit and disgusting. The only value in viewing it is to help people understand that a man can preach the Bible for 40 years but still be so far away from living by it.
You may obtain a copy by calling Gary Porter week-nights at 801-562-2532 or by writing him at 11968 N. Honesty Lane, Pocatello ID 83202. There is no charge. Post-paid envelopes or postage would be appreciated.
Leaders should be people that live righteous private lives and that are full of the holy spirit (Acts 6:3, 1Tim 3:1-13, Tit 1:6-9). Matthew 23:3 through 24:2 describes the evil and destruction from leaders that "say and do not do." No amount of preaching righteousness can make a man righteous. What will happen when men and women new in the faith learn that their brethren still accept such a person as a leader? Is the solution to do a better job of hiding our leader's sin? No! It is to remove the leader.
When another corrupt man wanted to be a "church leader," the apostle Peter said: "You have no part or share in this [ministry], for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness" (Acts 8:21-23, NRSV).