We have selected a title for each letter for easy reference. If writers supply their own title, we will be happy to use it.
Letter: July 31, 1996
I hope you are well and settling in after your move to Michigan. I am writing to thank you for all of the food for thought and for our growth as God's people. Also, to encourage your whole staff of volunteersyour efforts are appreciated.
With the Word of God being spread in so many ways by dedicated people we surely will grow stronger and be better prepared for the return of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.
I am not employed so cannot contribute as much as I want. However I very much appreciate that you continue to send the Servants' News to me.
Christine Reeves, El Paso, TX
Response: We have enough money to send Servants' News to all who want it, even though some cannot contribute. We will send it as long as you want to read it. This is completely consistent with the offering principle in Deut 16:17.
Thank you for your encouragement in our tiring, but otherwise successful move.
Letter: July 30, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards,
Your new arrangement with friends of like mind who can help you and of getting much less expensive quarters is wonderful.
I feel so blessed that I, for some reason, have had your literature from the beginning. I am always surprised to find people who have never heard of you. Your July issue has moved me to take steps to correct this situation a bit. I am including the names of friends, some of whom I know do not take your paper and some of whom I am not sure. I do not know what your policy is, but would you please send them this issue at least. I do not think I am sending it to anyone that has not stuck with the truth. Thank you so much. I know that this costs money. I hope that what I send MORE than covers at least their first paper.
I so appreciate your work. God bless you all.
Eva Schultz, Ocala, FL
Response: If readers know of someone that they think would like Servants News, we are happy to send them a sample issue with a letter asking them to contact us if they want a continuing subscription. If you are able, we are also happy for you to make copies of your issue and send them to friends directly.
Some people try to send Servants News to friends in an effort to "wake them up" to what is happening in their church organization. However, this usually creates friction between the friends as well as Servants' News. We would ask that readers not send us names of people who are content with their current fellowship and not interested in reading other religious literature.
Letter: April 23, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards:
I would like to enlist your aid on a research project I am doing. I am trying to establish the B.C. year in which the Exodus took place, using the present calendar layout. Phrased another way, if I started counting backwards from Jan. 1, 1996, what would the number be for the Exodus year, assuming no zero year between A.D. and B.C.?
I look forward to your response, and thank you in advance for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Raymond A. Rousseau
25 Rounsevell Dr, East Freetown, MA 02717-1713
Response: We know enough to know that there are varying views on this subject: Christians, Jews, and various Sabbatarian groups all have an opinion. Since we have not studied the issue at length, we will not try to give our opinion.
We hope that some of our readers who have studied it will contact you.
Letter: April 25, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards:
Thank you for printing my previous letter. I've received several wonderful responses! I would like to mention two ideas for your consideration.
(1) Because there seems to be a need and desire (and no one else doing it), I would like to start a pen-pal service for scattered church brethren. If anyone wants to participate, they can contact me.
(2) My husband suggested I send you the following, thinking it may be useful to new small groups. It is a modification of the principles which have preserved unity and effectiveness in a self-help program for over 60 years.
I. Our common welfare should come first. Personal development depends upon our group's unity.
II. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authoritythe loving God as He may express Himself in our prayerful group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern.
III. The only requirement for membership is the desire to know and obey Biblical truth.
IV. Our group should be fully autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or the Church as a whole.
VI. Our group ought never endorse, finance, or lend its name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
VII. Our group should be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
VIII. Our group should remain forever non-professional but we may employ needed special workers.
IX. Our group, as such, ought never be "organized" but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
X. Our group has no opinion on outside issues, hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
XI. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion. Every member is responsible to represent our group by his/her good example rather than placing this responsibility on any single person.
XII. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our group and its traditions, ever reminding us to rely on Him alone and to place principles before personalities.
We do hope you will feel these two ideas may be helpful to our brethren.
Much thanks for the service you provide!
James and Sadie Morgan
221 Ivy St, Rossville, GA 30741-2031
Response: We think the Pen Pal service is a fine idea. We do not really have time to do it, so brethren interested in Pen Pals can write you directly. If you would like to send us a short article on how the service is going every few months, we would be glad to print it. That would help others learn about your service.
Most of your points for organization seem very good. I would like to add a little commentary to three points:
VII. You certainly do not want to rely on continued funding from an outside person or organization, but if your group produces tapes or literature and an outsider occasionally sends a contribution, I see no harm in accepting it.
X. Not having an opinion on outside issues is probably the best way 95% of the time. There is no need to be involved with most "issues of the day." However, John the Baptist, our Savior, and the Apostles did speak out against corrupt leaders who were leading the people astray.
XI. Every member should be responsible for setting an example and attracting others as you suggest. However, that should not stop your group from making itself known in the phone book or newspaper. People differ. One person may seek to better understand the Bible by talking to his or her friends to see if anyone knows a good place to learn. Another person may prefer to consult the phone book or paper. I think we can serve both.
Letter: April 3, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards,
We sincerely appreciate Servants News.
The letters echo our thoughts about what is happening in the Churches of God, and the articles have been very helpful in sorting out the Truth.
We sincerely appreciate the efforts and balanced approach contained in this paper.
We believe you are sincerely doing your part in living the Work of God. We are grateful to God for giving you the faith, courage and willingness to help God's people.
Our prayers are for all of you to continue in the love and faith of Jesus Christ.
In Christian Love,
Mr. & Mrs. G. C., Coseur D Alene, ID
Response: We are continually amazed at the volume of letters that come our way. We print less than half of the significant letters that we receive.
Letter: March 24, 1996
I had a friend give me a copy of your "newsletter" and really enjoyed it. This is a real nice service to God's people all over to keep up on things and people in the church. My wife and I resigned ourselves from the CGI a few weeks ago now and can't support what is happening in the organization any more! So many people have left the CGI and have a hard time where to turn for fellowship. We are so scattered! We can't understand why these people who went through what most of us went through with the WCG are still staying with the CGI...The handwriting is on the wallRound II is taking place and people are sticking it outpeople who we would think would be the first to leave. Anyway, thanks again and thanks for your efforts in serving all of us out here!
George Burgess, Filer, ID
Response: Many of us have learned a lot from Church organizations, both what does work and what does not. When leaving an organization, the single most important thing is to remain dedicated to Bible study, fellowship and living the life that our Savior desires of us. May the Eternal bless you in your new fellowship.
Letter: February 12, 1996
I must not be much of a judge of character. I went from WCG to CGI. Of course, you know of the scandal there. I've been very depressed about this. I'm now in a small private group.
Your writing on this controversy was insightful and personally very helpful.
[literature request omitted]
Kyle Williams, Rogersville, MO
Response: We were depressed also when we realized that the groups we "joined" were not what we expected. But our depression was turned to joy when we realized that we are now trusting directly in our Savior rather than in men. If the group we meet with now disbands, we know that He and we will go on working together.
Letter: May 7, 1996
Dear Mr.Edwards and Staff,
I am enjoying the Servants' News newsletter. Thank you all for all the effort you're putting into it.
Having recently left the CGI and going independent, it is nice to try to keep up with the scattered brethren of all the Churches of God. [literature request omitted]
B. R. Brown, LaRue, TX
Response: Keep on keeping up!
Letter: April 6, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards,
Just read in the March/April '96 Servants' News of your decision to end the corporation and not seek tax-exempt status. Good for you! Surely, God doesn't need to have a tax-exempt status to do His will.
Servants' News is a very welcome publication in this house and will continue to be regardless of whether it's tax-exempt or an "official" corporation. As long as we receive truth, nothing else really matters.
Appreciate your hard work (and also those who assist you) and dedication in putting out S.N. Of all the publications I subscribe to and read, yours is the one which is most balanced and unbiased. So many so-called "shepherds" today produce slanted materialit seems even the men of God have axes to grind.
What's so refreshing and unique about S.N. is your willingness to admit you don't know all things and to change when proven wrong (church government). [literature request omitted]
Thanks so much for being there and filling a void.
Linda R. Darrow, Chester, NY
Response: Thank you for your encouragement. We have received very few negative comments about our decisions to unincorporate and drop our tax exempt status. The lack of non-profit mailing rates and other savings given to such corporations is small in comparison to our ability to be able to state the truth as we see it. There are a number of items in this very issue that might be considered political and not acceptable for a tax-deductible church to print.
Letter: April 4, 1996
Hello from Texas!
Our family was reading the March/April 1996 issue, and we were so pleased to see your decision to follow God and not man. We consider what you're doing a sincere and serving ministry.
Your efforts will remain in our prayers.
Sincerely in Christian love,
Robert, Jeana, Betina and Lee Payne, Manor, TX
Response: Thank you. We assume this is in reference to our terminating our corporation and tax exempt status.
Letter: April 15, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards,
Recently through a friend, we were able to read the February issue of Servants News.
We would appreciate being put on your mailing list. We are presently attending with the United Church of God but in the last few months have realized it is not where we need to be.
[literature request omitted] Please keep up the good work you are doing. God knows where His people are and He is seeing to our feeding through many sources, of which you are one.
Again, I say keep up the good work and thank you from all of us out here...
Much Christian love,
Tony and Mary Carbo, Pipersville, PA
Response: We hope you can keep your old friends as well as find a place to serve even more in your new fellowship.
Letter: September 10, 1995
Dear Servants News
I would like to receive the next few issues. I am 59% disabled due to another driver's carelessness and unable to find work. This man's company was underinsured but had enough money, however, to retain a better lawyer than I. So in court, (and even though the accident was proven to be the other driver's fault) I got next to nothing as far as a settlement. What I did get is almost gone.
I have been getting copies of Servants' News from others until now, and would like to receive my own. And I would also like to say, "Keep up the good work!" I don't care what anyone else says about you. You're doing just fine in my opinion.
Please don't let anyone stop you from telling it like it is. We need to stay on top of ALL OF GODS CHURCHES. Perhaps that way, they'll be more inclined to keep things straight!
"Thanks" once again from someone who does appreciate what you are trying to do!
K. M. T., Texas
Response: We are saddened to hear about your accident, but realize that "justice" does sometimes go to "the highest bidder" in our courts. We have prayed for your healing and suggest that you follow all of the instructions in James 5:14-16. Some people have a tendency to leave out the "confess your trespasses one to another" part. We believe that the word elder here refers to any mature, older man who is will grounded in the Scriptures. We suggest that you call upon two or three who you know and ask for healing.
Letter: May 2, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards:
Greetings. I came across your service through In-Transition.
I have been affiliated with WCG and now UCG these past 20 years. I have come to see that many things we heard from the ministry were not always Biblically correct.
I am excited by all the information we have access to now. Being a member of the two mentioned organizations, I say with sadness that information was controlled and stifled.
I am currently studying many subjects. Of current interest are the calendar, tithing, etc.
[literature request omitted]
God bless and thank you.
Richard P. Trecek, Sacramento, CA
Response: Yes! Worship suddenly changes from just showing up each week to actively studying many issues that we formerly left to the "professionals." I think there is enough spiritual meat (not to mention technical issues) that we can spend a life-time studying the scriptures and still keep learning something useful.
Letter: April 28, 1996
Dear Mr. Edwards:
My family and I left WCG about two years ago, and we have been functioning more or less independently since then. We are concerned about the trends of non-accountability, intolerance, and concentration of power which we sense in the United group; so we have not associated ourselves with any group, although we continue to observe the Sabbath and Holy Days.
The recent article on Servants News in In Transition resonated well with us, and we would like to become subscribers. [literature request omitted]
If you publish electronically, we would be happy to pull the publication off of the Internet. It is not necessary to send us anything via regular mail. Do you have a World Wide Web site? If not, I would suggest that you make use of one, in conjunction with automatic electronic mailing lists, as a very effective and cheap means to disseminate your information.
In addition to a subscription, we would like to know of others in the Denver area who have disconnected themselves from centralized control. We would like to fellowship with them. Please feel free to put our name and address, and e-mail address on any lists or databases which might be made available to others with similar interests.
1010 Tony Place, Denver, CO 80503
Response: Some of Servants News is available on a website, but not all. We are in the process of establishing a new website and will list it here when it is ready. We could consider distribution of Servants News electronically, but some time would be required to format it so it would be easy for everyone to read. At this time, it is easier to simply mail the publication, but that may change in the future.
We will help you get in contact with others in the Denver area in a separate letter. Later this year, we will publish a list of cities and states of our readership so people can send letters to others in specific geographical areas.