News from

Local
Congregations

CGI Hymnal Tapes Available

The Church of God, International (CGI) is making piano accompaniment tapes available free of charge for both their green and blue hymnal. Tapes will be ready in the middle of February. These are ideal for using in services when a piano player is not available. Please mention Servants’ News and write Vivian Rust, 1603 Northwood Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45237 or E-mail at krust@fuse.net.

Free Hymnal Exchange

Servants’ News will gladly serve as a free hymnal exchange. We have run out of our supply of the old WCG purple hymnals (Dwight Armstrong) and gave them away to whomever asked for them. We still do receive requests for them and have found that some people are storing hymnals which they no longer use. If you have any old "Church or God" hymnals that you like to give to someone else who would use them, please send them to us—even if they are badly worn. We will store them on our literature shelves and freely send them to others as they are requested. If you know someone else who has unused hymnals, please let them know.

While we believe it is ultimately best for a growth-oriented congregation to use a hymnal that is still in print, there are many small groups who presently need the unifying factor of singing the same songs that they have sung many years before.

Southern WV Church of God

We have changed our name from United Church of God—Southern West Virginia to Church of God—Southern West Virginia, dropping the United name. The change may help others feel more at ease visiting us—they will not mistake us for a part of the UCG-AIA.

We are going on the air Friday night at 7:30 on a 50,000 watt radio station with Ron Dart’s "Born to Win" program. The radio call letters are WEMM, 107.9 FM out of Huntington WV. We are excited to see the results of this program in our area.

—George Hampton

Kansas City Youth Retreat

The teen and young adult winter retreat that was held at the Mokan Salvation Army Camp in Kansas City, Missouri, began on Friday morning December 26 and ended on the following Sunday afternoon. There were about 45 in attendance.

On Friday, we went to either the game room, the gym, or stayed in the main building and got acquainted.

That night, we had a Bible Study (three different age groups were divided into separate groups) and talked about several different things, one of which was "dealing with temptation."

Saturday evening, we had a pizza party and a dance (with refreshments of various soda pop and trail mixes), after which we played board-games, cards, and volleyball and basketball in the gym.

Sunday, we had breakfast and lunch, played more games, and headed home. It was a lot of fun, and I would definitely go back!

—Darleah McCulley (teen), Missouri

Twin Cities Church of God Busy

The Twin Cities Church of God sponsors Ray Wooten’s Hope for Humanity program on Minneapolis community access cable TV. This show can be seen on MTN channel 58A/ 36B at 8:30 PM every Saturday.

We are also receiving periodic sermon videos from Mr. Wooten and these will be available for Sabbath services and used in the ongoing production of Sabbath Sermons now on MTN’s channel 58A/ 36B every Friday at 7:30 PM. In addition, we also air videos from CEM, Tom Justus, and Church of God Outreach Ministries.

We continue to air Ron Dart’s Born to Win radio program on KNOF 95.3 FM at 8:00 AM Saturday and on KKCM 1530 AM at 11:30 AM Saturday.

Our web site is constantly being updated with local congregation activities and other articles of general interest to Sabbath keepers:

http://www.mtn.org/tccg

I would be glad to help anyone seriously interested in starting similar public access TV in their area.

—Bob Petty, Minneapolis, MN

612-722-5339 or bpetty@mtn.org

Washington Gathering of Brethren

Danny Joe, Dave Madsen, and Chris James are establishing a fellowship that will be meeting regularly in the Rosedale Community Center, 8205 86th Ave NW, Gig Harbor, Washington (room for 100 people).

We held our first meeting on December 20, 1997 with about 45 in attendance. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the new environment, although we obviously have a lot to learn about how best to conduct the proceedings in a manner that suits everyone’s preferences. We will continue to meet the second and fourth Sabbath of every month.

For the past few years, most of the members of this group have attended regularly with both GCG and UCG. We all now feel that we can make better spiritual progress as a local fellowship without having special ties to any of the corporate churches.

We don’t really know at this point if anyone who attends with us will be excluded by others from attending their services. Certainly we hope this will not be the case, as it is our strong intention to encourage all who attend with us to avoid any kind of exclusivity.

A special gathering for sabbath-keepers from all over the Northwest is planned for January 17, 1998 (there will be no proselyting).

The schedule for this gathering is:

1:00 PM Doors open

1:30 PM Services begin. Format: Hymn, Scripture Reading. Message from Bob Gentry, Hymn, Message from Rick Stanczak, Special Music, Message from Lee Lisman, Hymn, message from Danny Joe, Hymn

3:30 PM Services end

4:00 PM Pot luck

4:30 PM Open forum discussion

During the open forum we will be discussing topics of mutual interest. Some of the subjects might be:

• Sponsoring the CEM Born to Win broadcast

• How to build bridges and maintain friendship with the church so very scattered

• Home fellowship lessons learned.

• How to stay independent while attending a corporate church

For directions and details contact:

—Danny Joe, 253-858-7109

—Toli Bohonik, 360-825-7433.

Perspectives Now Offered Free

Perspectives is a quarterly newsletter published for the purpose of informing and helping its readers understand the broad cultural, social, political, historical, and prophetical events of today’s world. The subscription price is being discontinued. The second issue is now available. It contains the real story of Anastasia, among interesting articles. Contri butions are still accepted, and can be made payable to the United Church of God, Lansing. For a free subscription, write Perspectives, PO Box 153, Okemos, MI 48805-0153.

UCG-AIA Moves Toward Isolation

We received several reports of increased isolation from other groups by the Arcadia-based United Church of God, an International Association. Victor Kubic, one of the Founders of the UCG-AIA was asked to remove a number of documents and "links" from his Internet web-site. Most of these items referred to other church groups or evangelistic efforts not under the control of the UCG-AIA.

Similar sentiments were expressed to the brethren in the Hartford, Connecticut, UCG-AIA congregation. Members were told by the ministry that visiting other Sabbath-keeping groups is dis-loyal enough to UCG-AIA that those doing it cannot have leadership positions in that organization. Several speakers and even a piano player were dropped from service because they visited other groups. A detailed story was published in the November 21, 1997 issue of The Journal, News of the Churches of God (send $18 for 12 issues to The Journal, PO Box 1020, Big Sandy, TX 75755.).

Some big organizations do not seem to understand the large number of brethren that have friends, relatives, and even prospective mates who attend other organizations. The only way a person can fellowship with friends and relatives split among organizations and have meaningful congregation services opportunities is to join a group that does not restrict attendance to itself—usually, an independent group. For information on the new independent group that formed in Hartford, contact Rick Beltz, 860-342-5547. —NSE

Lee Colburn Obituary

Lee Edward Colburn, 47, died Wednesday, December 31, 1997 at Dell Rapids Hospital as the result of an automobile accident.

Lee was born December 27, 1950 in Clark, SD. He graduated from Brookings High School in 1969 and from South Dakota State University in 1973. For 11 years he held the all-time scoring record for the SDSU Jack Rabbits basketball team, and was somewhat of a statewide celebrity.

He married Connie Sue Wikle on May 12, 1973, in Sioux Falls. She died in 1984. They had one daughter, Cristina, now 16.

Lee had been the co-owner, with his brother Lorre, of MC&R Pools and Spas in Sioux Falls since 1975. He was also involved in several other businesses.

He married Karen Roufs Dickerson, on December 30, 1984, in Brookings. Karen had lost her husband to cancer in 1977. Her three daughters, now grown, think of Lee as their second dad. His three stepgrandchildren called him papa.

He has been a member of the WCG, UCG and was independent at the time of his death. He was ordained a deacon while attending WCG. His brother Zoell began receiving the PT in 1965 which Lee eventually began reading. He was baptized in 1981.

Though Lee’s life was cut short, the years he lived were full and rich. His zest for living and his youthful enthusiasm enriched everyone he came into contact with. He was a gift to those who knew him, and we thank God for the time he gave us with Lee.

—Elizabeth Stith

Bible Reference Web Sites

A great amount of Bible Study information exists on the Internet, most of which is free. Try the following:

On Line Resources:

http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible The Worldwide Web Bible Gateway. Full listing of books from the: NIV, NASB, RSV, KJV, Darby, and YLT. Bibles in other Languages: German, Swedish, Latin, French, Spanish & Tabalog.

http://www.lib.utulsa.edu/guides/bible2.htm Many foreign Bible links.

http://ccel.wheaton.edu/index. html Christian Classics Ethereal Library—Links to some commentaries and early Christian writings and more.

http://www.berean.edu/library/ Stanley M. Horton Online Library—Links to OnLine Bibles, Bible references, sermon notes, freeware/shareware and more.

http://members.aol.com/biblelinks/index.htm Christian Bible And Religious Resources—Links to almost anything.

http://www.mit.edu/people/aaronc/christianity.html Virtual Christianity Page—Links to commentaries, Bibles, Bible dictionaries, and more.

http://www.goshen.net/pst/ Goshen Net—Links to Commentaries, Lexicons, Dictionaries and more

Shareware/Freeware:

http://www.parsonstech.com/software/eastons.html Easton’s Bible Dictionary.

http://ian-vink.icis.on.ca/bible/winbi ble.htm WinBible—an computer Bible.

http://www.pcis.net/cool/soft ware.htm Bible Software Page—Many references in ZIP file formats.

Bible Software:

http://www.wordmicro.com/web logos.htm Logos Research Systems - Various translations, original language texts and tools, dictionaries, commentaries, and more.

http://www.churchillsystems.co. uk/churchill/bible.htm Churchill Systems Bible Software. —Will Benedetti

Free Bibles on Disk

The Bible on disk, available to anyone who wants it to study: King James Version, Revised Standard Version, Darby Translation, Young’s Literal Translation. Also, The Complete Works of Josephus is available. Sent freely on 3.5" disk formatted for Microsoft Word version 6.0. Write:

—Will Benedetti, 2557 Bexley Park Rd

Columbus, Ohio 43209

Read Sabbath vs. Sunday Debate

The famous Dugger-Porter Debate, a ca. 1930s Sabbath vs. Sunday debate, has been reprinted by The Bible Sabbath Association. Andrew N. Dugger, Church of God (Seventh Day) leader, and Curtis Porter, a Church of Christ minister and writer, engaged in a rough and tumble debate, which causes both Sabbath and Sunday keepers to squirm. It is a classic Sabbath vs. Sunday contest, and very relevant today, because of the Worldwide Church of God’s doctrinal changes relative to the Sabbath. In order to defend the Sabbath, we need to know how Sunday-keepers like Porter think. Could you do a better job than Dugger did in answering a well-versed Sunday proponent like Porter?

This 128-page book is available for $8.00, or on computer disk (both ASCII and Word format) for $2.50, from: The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. Toll free (USA), 888-687-5191.

In Australia: Henk Merison, 23 Linden Street, Sutherland, NSW 2232.

WCG Observes Christmas, Sunday

Tammy Tkach, wife of Worldwide Church of God Pastor General Joseph Tkach, Jr. wrote a letter published in the WCG’s Women of Service Ministry, Cincinnati West Congregation explaining her need to keep Christmas. She mentioned that her children enjoyed the nativity scene that she set up in 1996, but that she wanted to do more this year. She expressed her desire to "celebrate all of him [Jesus]"—inlcuding his birth and resurrection. Tammy Tkach hopes to "put Christ in Christmas for her children." She also advised WCG women: "We don’t have to embrace all the holiday traditions. It can feel uncomfortable after our years of shunning Christmas and its ‘paganism’."

We received several other reports of WCG members and ministers observing this old holiday with many of its customs borrowed from false religion. For information on the origins of Christmas and how Christ was never in it, write for Servants’ News free article The Reason for the Season.

We have also received reports of Worldwide Church of God congregations observing or planning to observe Sunday. These include Dallas, Texas; Lakeland, Flori da; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minne sota; Flint, Michigan; Sydney, Aus tralia; and the Philippines. We have made little effort to search out all of the WCG congregations meeting on Sunday, so there may be others.

The study paper by Paul Kroll (of the WCG) on why Hebrews 4:9 is not a command to keep the Sabbath seems quite deficient. He admits that the Greek text appears to mean: "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;" as the NIV translates it. He appeals to his overall conclusion that the book of Hebrews is about the end of the Old Testament law, so he concludes Hebrews 4:9 must be talking about a symbolic rest. In reality, the book of Hebrews is about the end of the Old Testament priesthood and sacrificial system. Only two verses later we find "Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience" (Heb 4:11, NIV). This verse warns against disobedience—how can one be disobedient if there is no law? Hebrews did not do away with the "golden rule" (Lev 19:18) or the "ten commandments" (Ex 20). Paul Kroll makes a big point of saying that there is no other possible command in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath, but completely fails to mention that all New Testament examples of early Church history indicate that the Sabbath was the day that Jesus’ followers met to worship and study.

It is sad to see organizations lose easily understandable truth that they once taught. —NSE

Creation 7th-Day Adventist Feast

The Creation 7th Day Adventist Church, consisting now of three small congregations, converged on Buck's Pocket State Park in Northeastern Alabama for Feast of Tabernacles last October 14th. The surroundings were secluded and very peaceful, making for an atmosphere to foreshadow the future New Earth.

We had a few visitors from other Sabbath-keeping congregations come to share in our convocation times. Since no hotel/motel accommodations existed close by, some who would have attended, having to commute from long distances, chose not to travel and camp for the duration. We were disappointed by their absence but understood the situation.

Blessings were abundant as the main topic of the speakers was not planned, but centered upon the need of serious preparation for the soon coming of Messiah—"Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him." YAH's people have been sleeping, and it is past time to awake and be alert. Practical lessons on health characterized the children's portion of the program.

The meal preparation was "community style," with a delightfully healthful menu. Much of the food was raw and simple as it comes from the hand of the Creator. Some were impressed that we were so "in tune" with what is commonly known as the "Adventist health message."

The high point of the feast came as we re-baptized a young man who had been raised Seventh-day Adventist, but had always been a "black sheep" in the church. Relating how he had been subjected to "famous" Adventist figures through the years, he admitted that the message of "freedom from sin" had never quite penetrated his heart as much as when he heard the gospel presented by the Creation 7th Day Adventists. "YAH is Our Right eousness" "HalleluYAH!" "Come quickly, Lord YAHSHUA."

—Pastor "Chick" McGill &


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