News from

Local
Congregations

New Jersey
Summer Sabbath Jubilee '96

The Church of God, New Jersey invites you to the "Renewing the Spirit Weekend," August 17&18, 1996, beginning 11:00 A.M. at the Woodbridge Sheraton, 515 Rt 1 South, Iselin, NJ 08830, phone: 908-634-3600.

Guest speakers include Ray Wooten, Jim Rector, and John Trescott. Topics include Unity through the Holy Spirit (Ps 133:1), Allowing Brethren to use the Gifts of God's Spirit (1Cor 14), Why Hierarchical Government is Wrong (Matt 20:26), Uniting the Church for Christ's Return, and Our Place in God's Church.

Do you know what your role is in the church as the 21st century approaches? We would like to hear what you have to say about it. All are welcome to this family reunion. We will be discussing the different developments that have occurred in the Church of God in the last few years.

Friends of the Sabbath—Tacoma

You are invited to attend the Friends of the Sabbath conference at the Tacoma, Washington Sheraton Hotel, August 3-5, 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. The conference cost is only $20.00 for all three days. The Sheraton is located at 13th and Market Street, Tacoma, Washington. Rooms at the Sheraton are $79.00 per night, call 206-572-3200. Buffet luncheons (with vegetarian entrees) are $15 including tax and gratuity.

The theme is The Sabbath Facts of Life, "a celebration of the Sabbath!" Sponsoring organizations are congregations from:

United Church of God

Church of God, International

Messianic Jews

Seventh Day Adventists

Church of God Seventh Day

Non-aligned Churches of God

Speakers include:

Rabbi Daniel Lapin: Impact of God's Law on Society (Lapin has a nationally syndicated radio show, Rabbi's Roundtable" and will be speaking before the Republican National Convention.)

Phil Arnold Sabbath Friends and Enemies. (Arnold is an expert on cults and testified before congress on the Waco tragedy.)

Samuele Bacchiocchi: The Little Known History of Sabbatarians.

Kenneth Westby: The Mysterious 7-Day Cycle.

Norman Edwards, The Sabbath Service.

John Merritt, Friends of the Sabbath founder.

Dennis Luker and Larry Walker, of the United Church of God.

Several other prominent clergymen and biblical researchers.

For information call Rick Richardson at 206-804-5593 or send e-mail to Toli Bohonik at Toli@ prostar.com.

Sharashim Hebraic Roots Conference

You are invited to a conference on the Hebraic roots of Christianity, September 12-15 in Collinsville, Illinois (15 miles east of St. Louis). Registration, including seven meals, is $150 (member discounts). Write Conference Department, Sharashim-Teshuva-El Shaddai, PO Box 804, Independence, KS 67301.

CEM Conference in Mississippi

The next Christian Renewal Conference will begin in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at 9:00 A.M., August 3. The faculty for this conference will include Ray Wooten, Larry Watkins, Jim Rector and Ronald Dart. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Christian Educational Ministries, PO Box 560, Whitehouse, TX 75791, tel 903-509-2999, fax:903-5089-1139.

Assembly of Yahweh
Unity Conference

A variety of independent Assembly of Yahweh groups will meet August 1-4 at the Assembly of Yahweh building, 1010 N. Gunnell Rd, Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827. All believers in Yahweh and Yashua, 7th Day Sabbath and Feast keepers are encouraged to send a representative from their assembly. Pastor Samuel Graham may be reached for details at 517-663-3724. August 2nd will be devoted to calendar issues.

Birmingham Christian Conference

The theme of the June 7 through 9 Birmingham conference was The Fruits and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The conference went according to plan and was apparently enjoyed by all. Over 350 people attended on the Sabbath, slightly less on Friday and Sunday. Those attending were about an even mixture of Seventh Day Adventists and people with a Church of God background. There seemed to be an unusual desire on the part of nearly everyone to understand the truth of the Bible even though it may conflict with long-held doctrines.

High quality video and audio tapes of each message are available. Video Tapes are $10.00 for the first tape and $5.00 for each additional tape. Audio tapes are $4.00 for the first tape and $1.00 for each additional tape. The messages and speakers were:

My Search for the Sabbath at the Vatican University, Divine Rest for Human Restlessness, and How I came to Accept the Holy Days by Samuele Bacchiocchi (3 tapes).

Spiritual Gifts and Church Government Parts I and II by Ronald Dart (2 tapes).

Freedom and Christian Responsi bility by Dale Stogner.

Quenching the Spirit by Jim Rector.

I Would Not Have You Ignorant, Brethren by Philip Mills.

The Gift of Prophecy by Norman Edwards.

Walking as Sons of the Kingdom by Art Ferdig.

The Role of Grace in Spiritual Gifts by Ray Wooten.

Spiritual Gifts and the Church—Implementation, Problems, and Solutions. A panel discussion moderated by Alan Ruth.

If you would like to hear one tape that was representative of the conference, we recommend the last tape as it contains nearly all of the speakers. If you would like a little more, we recommend one Bacchiocchi, Dart, Rector, Wooten, and maybe an Edwards tape. Even though Samuele Bacchiocchi has delivered messages with these same titles at previous Friends of the Sabbath conferences, he always seems to add fresh anecdotes and insights each time.

Send tape requests and donations to:

United Church of God, Birmingham

PO Box 361334

Hoover, Alabama 35236-1334

WCG Continues to Wind Down

The Plain Truth Magazine, the Worldwide Church of God flagship publication was distributed free of charge for over 60 years. It will now have a subscription price: $13 for 6 issues. While it will still be free to WCGmembers, it appears that less than 10,000 non-members are willing to pay for it. This is a vast change from the middle 80's when the magazine went to 8,000,000 households.

The WCG-sponsored Ambassador University, Big Sandy, Texas has only about 600 students planning to attend this fall. The campus was designed to handle up to 1800 students. This is placing a great financial strain on the college as costs cannot be cut in proportion to the decrease in student body size. Many teachers already have contracts. Some courses are required to maintain accreditation—they must be taught even if there are very few students in them. Sources indicate that this will be the last year for Ambassador University unless a major new subsidy becomes available (possibly from the sale of the WCG Pasadena campus).

If the college closes, the Plain Truth magazine stabilizes at its new low levels, and membership continues its present rate of decline, the combined efforts of the 3 biggest WCG-split-off groups will exceed the WCG in nearly every significant area. Combined, the UCG, GCG, and PCG will have more total members, magazines, radio/TV time, congregations, ministers, etc.

While the Servants' News editors do not believe that these statistics are the main indication of where the Eternal is working, some of the people in these groups do. Brethren who disagree with an organization, but are staying in it because it is "the big work" will need to rethink their position. If there is no one group that is clearly "doing the work" more powerfully than the others, then the responsibility is clearly on each member to see the guidance of the holy spirit in knowing how to serve.

Attend College with Sabbatarians

You can attend a world renown institution and not get lost in the crowd. At Texas A&M, you can not only get one of the finest educations in the country, but also be around Sabbatarians.

Texas A&M has the largest undergraduate enrollment in the nation. Over 38,000 students live in the small community of Bryan/College Station just two hours north of Houston. The University includes 5,200 acres of land and a physical plant valued at more than $1 billion. Texas A&M offers close to one hundred majors offering Bachelor's degrees. It also has a large variety of master's and Doctorate programs. many of these programs are among the best in the nation, and yet Texas A&M maintains its reputation as an affordable university. Every state and more than one hundred foreign countries are represented in the student body.

With these kind of figures most people can get lost in the crowd, but that is where Aggie Sabbatarians comes in. We offer the most important dimension that Texas A&M has to offer: You can be around those who share your faith. The Aggie Sabbatarians is a new organization looking to grow as more people look for quality education among fellow Sabbath keepers. The Aggie Sabbatarians provide a venue for worship and fellowship among peers of like mind About 30 people attend the monthly Sabbath services at Texas A&M's riverside campus. Weekly services are being planned for next year.

—Greg Baker

Aggie Sabbatarians, 409-696-0599

2400 D Blanco, College Station, TX 77845

e-mail:gab3396@acs.tamu.edu

For decades, many Church of God young people grew up hoping to attend "Ambassador." Since many no longer consider AU an option, what else can they do? Some of the twelve Seventh Day Adventist universities are happy to accept Sabbath-keepers from different backgrounds. A student there will have no conflicts with classes or work on the Sabbath, but may find that there are few others of like mind with which to fellowship. Greg Baker presents another alternative: attend a huge university and create a community of Sabbath-keepers—enough to hold services and provide the social opportunities that college-age students seek. —SN

Magazine for Local Evangelism

I would be pleased to send you a free copy of the first issue of Truth and Understanding. This magazine is for all or any of the scattered groups who wish to use it as a local evangelistic outreach. Articles in the first 32-page issue include:

Is the Law Valid Today?

Did God Create Satan?

The Curse of the Earth and Restoration!

Jesus Christ will return!

Mama Spoke in Proverbs!

What is True Repentance?

The Real Gospel Revealed.

Our Points of Truth radio broadcast has produced a mailing list that stretches from California to New York in only six months. This presented a problem because of the requests for literature. It became more and more difficult to keep track of what was sent to who and when.

So, I believed it would be better to put articles of basic subjects in a magazine format. This would simplify our mailings. And when people requested information on a specific subject we could send that also if it was not addressed in the magazine.

But this gives you the opportunity to use Truth and Understanding magazine as a supplement to your own outreach. And any of you that wish to present articles for publication are welcome. The articles should be directed to new, prospective converts. They must also be subject to editing. You should put them on a 3.5" disk in ASCII format if possible. If this is not possible, please send type-written copy.

Also, you are welcome to air the Points of Truth radio broadcast in your local area. It is a 15-minute program and the cost per airing will vary: as little as $15 for a local station to over $100 for big ones. The local station can add a recording of your own name and address to the end of the program, and you can offer the magazine if you desire.

The current issue is black and white, but if there is enough interest, we would like to start using a nice, color cover. If you decide to use Truth and Under standing magazine in your ministry, we will ask that you send $2 per copy. This amount covers our cost and will decrease as the circulation expands. (We do not have the resources to fund everyone's local evangelism, so we ask that you pay for the issues you need and give them away free.) The inside cover of the magazine has a place where you can put your own label or stamp—our address does not appear in the magazine. You will be completely responsible for teaching those people that the Eternal is calling through your efforts. If we work together, we can offer a quality magazine that all can contribute to and benefit from.

—Larry R. Lassiter

Church of God Fellowship

PO Box 102, Russellville, AR 72811

Phone: 501-890-2601

Little Rock Old Timer's Reunion

On June 30th, a sultry Arkansas Sunday afternoon (on the eve of a blue moon—a rare event), another rare occurrence took place. At Maumelle Park, on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock, 200 or more friends gathered for an "old timers' reunion." The common bond for all of these people is that they were members of the Church of God raised up in Arkansas in about 1961.

People came from all over Arkansas and Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Barfield came from Texas for the event. Many brought photos and other mementos of Feasts, Church socials, float trips and other activities that brought back a flood of good memories. Some brought a few more pounds, some brought a little less hair, some were brought in wheel chairs, but everyone brought a smile, a handshake or an embrace and a glad heart.

In the shade of towering oak trees, a delicious meal of fried fish and potatoes was prepared. The attendees provided the other dishes including vegetables, salads, watermelon and delicious deserts.

The idea for the gathering came about from conversations that Jim Ussery had with members of the various groups now extant. Everyone that he talked to was enthusiastic about it and wanted to be involved.

The event was paid for by donations made that evening by those attending.

In expressing their thrill at seeing so many old friends for the first time in years, several compared the outing to a family reunion, which is exactly the atmosphere that the organizers had hoped for.

The reunion demonstrated the kind of warm, friendly hospitality and cooperation that we should have as God's people.

—Davy Crockett

Little Rock, Arkansas

The people at this reunion attend with a variety of groups. Sometimes, the headquarters of church organizations discourage such gatherings because "their members" are reminded that there are decent, Bible-studying, Sabbath-keeping people in other groups. Nevertheless, this reunion was a good example of the love that should be a sign that we are our Master's servants (John 13:35). —SN

Pen Pal in Wyoming

Hi, my name is Amanda Nickels and I am twelve years old. I would like to have some pen pals. It does not matter what sex or age you are. I'll write anyone who writes me. My address is 3316 Alberta Dr, Gillette, WY 82718.


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