The Friends of the Sabbath Connecticut Chapter.
[We realize that this announcement will arrive too late for brethren to attend, but tapes will be available.]
We are pleased to announce the formation of a Connecticut chapter of the Friends of the Sabbath, and organization dedicated to Seventh-day Christians. Our chief purpose is to sponsor seminars, conferences and the like of interest to all Sabbatarians, for whom there is a rich heritage in New England.
On the weekend of October 25-27 we will be sponsoring a conference in the Hartford area on the subject of the Sabbath. We have been given a rare opportunity to hear some very qualified people come together and discuss God's day from several perspectives. It should be well worth attending, whether you are new to the Sabbath or have been keeping it for many years.
If you're from outside New England, it is a great time of the year to come visit us. The location will be the Windsor Locks High School in Windsor Locks Connecticut (right next to the Bradly International Airport).
The speakers include: Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi, Seventh-Day Adventist scholar and writer of several books on the Sabbath; Ronald Dart, author, lecture and President of the Christian Education Ministries; Jerry Johnson, Pastor of The Pine Street Gospel Chapel (Seventh Day Baptist); Rabbi Paul Saal, Congregation Shuvah Yisrael (Messianic); Dr. Donald Ward, United Church of God Board member and now President of the International Biblical Learning Center.
Tapes of the conference will be available in a few weeks. For information contact:
Friends of the Sabbath
P.O. Box 14
Weatogue, CT 06089
Phone (860) 651-7690
GCG at a Crossroads
The Global Church of God has continued to press forward with an aggressive television program. Among many other stations, they have recently landed a half-hour time-slot on television superstation WGN, Sundays at 6 AM Eastern Time. The first two programs each received over 400 responses.
This progress has not come without its cost, however. The Global Church of God has recently borrowed 1.2 million dollars in order to pay current bills and to continue on their TV stations. This is substantial when one considers that the annual domestic intake of the organization is only about 7 million dollars. The economic basis of the loan is to reach out to stay-at-home and other Sabbath keepers in the hope that they will join Global and help to finance their work.
Like most organizations that sprang from the Worldwide Church of God eventually do, Global has begun to reach a plateau in growth. Feast of Tabernacles attendance was up about 5% this year from last year and donations increased by not too much more. Some employees are being laid off in an effort to keep spending in line.
Within a year, it will be evident whether this 1.2 million dollar loan was a good idea. If the Eternal is going to use Global to do a large work similar to the WCG, then this all-out effort to put their program before so many people will be money well spent. But if growth remains slow or reverses, then Global will find itself in a much worse financial situation than if they had never taken out the loan.
We pray that all of the Eternal's people will seek and be granted a clearer understanding of His will for them.
Norman S. Edwards
UCG at a Crossroads
The United Church of God's constitution gives certain specific powers to the general councilwhich is composed of all "ordained" elders in the church. (See Servants' News, December 1995 for details.) If 25% of the elders request that an item be put on the agenda for the annual meeting, it must be put on and put to a vote.
At present, some elders are attempting to include an agenda item that would not allow an officer of the corporation to also be a council member. If placed on the agenda and passed at the April meeting, David Hulme would no longer be able to be both the president and a council member. The idea behind this proposal is to limit the power of any single individual. At present, 8 of the 12 council members must agree to vote in a new president.
This proposal does not cover any doctrine, but simply the governing of the UCG. If this proposal is put on the meeting agenda and ratified, it will be a strong message that the UCG elders can and will make a difference in how their organization is run. If it is not on the agenda or is not approved by vote, then it is likely that the UCG will continue to be run largely by its headquarters. Voting took place during the first UCG general conference, but all votes (except for the election of council members) were simply approvals.(e.g. the budget was either approved or disapproved; there were no choices to make).
About 300 of the 400 voting elders in the United Church of God are "unpaid"they do not have to be concerned about losing their job if they support proposals contrary to the desires of their headquarters. Many people have expressed opinions to Servants' News about the "real nature" of the UCGgovernment. Some say it is truly trying to draw from the collective wisdom of all of the elders, others say it is a hierarchy in "democratic" clothing. Many people are waiting to see the results of this proposal. We realize the Eternal can work through many or through few. We hope that He will be served in whatever decision is made.
Norman S. Edwards
Sabbatarians Learn Together
I was recently asked to address a group of independent Adventists. This past Sabbath I addressed them. There were only about 24 present, including 3 from the United Church of God and 1 from the Independent Church of God. These independent Seventh Day Adventist's are not very happy with the watering-down of their doctrines in their Church.
Anyway, they wanted to know about what happened to the Worldwide Church of God and were interested in the rise of Germany. So my talk was split into 2 parts:
1. The rise and fall of the WCG
2. The rise and rise of Germany
I spoke for over 2 hours and had a break half way through with questions during the session. I was grateful for this opportunity as I (and most men) have never had any opportunities in the Church over the years.
This is the third talk this year:
1. I spoke to a group of WCGers for over 2 hours early this year disproving Tkach's tape on the real history of WCG;
2. Then spoke at a SDA church in August promoting the Friends of the Sabbath Associationonly about 8 minutes.
They are shocked about what has happened to WCG. They seemed convinced at the Assyria=Germany connection. So I hope we can learn from each other.
With all the research I have done on the origins of the nations, this is the first time ever that I have had the opportunity to speak on the subject. Several afterwards asked me to talk me on the subject again.
So we might organise a trial seminar over a weekend with participants from various Sabbath-observing groups. I will need to prepare visual aids for that occasion. I will give 1 or 2 talks and we may not even have a theme as there are so many with different areas of expertise. But it will be a good training ground for Christians to assist in doing the work.
I shall continue to encourage laymembers to get involved. I hope to forward a submission to the Council of Elders soon on putting in place a system to ensure member participation and equal opportunity in non-ordained positions.
All the best and any feedback would be welcomed,
Craig Martin White
GPO Box 864
+61 2 9745-2964
We hope that our readers can learn from Craig White's example. We do not need an "ordination" or even the blessing of a big organization to speak to other groups of Sabbath Keepers. We need a worthwhile message (some knowledge), and the desire and willingness for the Eternal to use us to present it. Many of us have studied for years and are prepared to teach, but have never looked for opportunities. Your opportunities will probably not be the same as Mr. White's, but we can all ask our Father to open the right doors for us and then help us walk through them.
Need Sermon Tapes?
The following organizations will send weekly sermon tapes to home groups. Servants' News does not endorse everything taught by these groups, but we believe the majority of the messages will be beneficial. Some of these groups may encourage you to fellowship only with them. The groups in boldface recognize that the Eternal is working with people in many places and will not try to "get you to join them." We know that this is not a complete list and that there are other good tape ministries which we may not have included.
We encourage people to get on tape lists only when they really listen to most of the tapes. The mailing of thousands of never-heard tapes is a waste of resources committed to the Eternal's work.
Associated Churches, Inc. (Ken Westby), 4449 S. Star Lake Rd., Auburn WA 98001. (206) 859-1017.
Christian Biblical Church of God (Fred Coulter), PO Box 612440, San Jose CA 95161.
Christian Educational Ministries (Ron Dart), PO Box 560, Whitehouse TX 75791. (903) 509-2999.
Church of the Great God (John Ritenbaugh), PO Box 471846, Charlotte NC 28247-1846. (800) 878-8220.
Cornerstone Ministries (Jim Rector), 3802 Olive St., Texarkana TX 75503. (903) 792-1352.
Fellowship Church of God, 10316 NE 17th St., Oklahoma City OK 73141. (405) 769-4738
New Mexico Region Church of God (Lon Lacey), PO Box 20457, Albuquerque NM 87111.
Talents Ministries (Ted Phillips), 5065 Lakeview Circle, Suisau CA 94585. (707) 864-2250.
The Churches of God (tapes from 7 ministers available), PO Box 114, Hawkins TX 75765. (800) 611-8080.
Triumph Prophetic Ministries (Bill Dankenbring) PO Box 292, Altadena CA 91003.
United Church of God, Birmingham (Ray Wooten), PO Box 36134, Birmingham AL 35236-1334. (205) 444-5052, Fax 444-5049.