Full-moon Feast in Nova Scotia
We are considering the possibility of a Feast of Tabernacles site in Nova Scotia, Canada beginning approximately Oct. 9 (based on a full moon calendar). This would be a non-aligned feast site based on a Bible study format. For more information contact Kevin and Ada Macpherson: AMacPherson@webtv.net.
New Site, CoG Assorted Flavors
The Assorted Flavors 7th Day Sabba tarians Directory is now at a new location. Check it out for information on groups:
I have been in contact with Richard Nickels about the educational literature offered by the Bible Sabbath Association and Giving & Sharing. He is interested in having some of the materials translated into other languages.
If you are able to assist or can suggest someone who can, please get back to me as soon as you can. In addition to this, I would like to have some articles published on the Origin of the Nations translated, but this is secondary to the BSA and G&S materials dealing with Sabbatarian history etc. Here is a list of the languages desired for translation, but translation into other languages is fine too: Greek, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Croatian, various Baltic languages, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Hindi, Mandarin etc.
Craig White, firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching the Law
Mordakhai Joseph and Dale Stogner are pleased to announce the beginning of a taped presentation of Genesis through Deuteronomy entitled Teaching The Law. The series will be taped in 45 minute lessons and will feature Mordakhai Joseph teaching from the Bible.
Mordakhai Joseph was born to a strictly biblically oriented orthodox family in Aden, Yemen. From ages four through 19 he was raised in Israel. After that, he lived a few years in Paris, France and then moved to New York. In 1969 he became a member of the Worldwide Church of God. From 1970 through 1975 he served on the faculty of Ambassador College, Pasadena teaching modern and biblical Hebrew. In 1975 he was sent to the field ministry, serving in the Pasadena area and other local congregations nearby. Later, in the mid-1990s he served for two years in the Global Church of God. He presently attends with the Orange County Fellowship of God (Calif.).
Distribution of the Teaching The Law series will be featured on the Internet at www.biblestudy.org as downloadable audio files. Anyone with Internet access and the ability to play audio files will be able to hear the Teaching The Law series at no cost. Those who wish to obtain a copy of the audio tapes can do so by contacting the Bible Sabbath Association; 3316 Alberta Drive; Gillette, WY 82718; 307-686-5191; email@example.com; internet: http://www.biblesabbath.org
There will be a nominal charge of $2.50 per tape (which includes postage) by BSA to cover the costs of duplicating a tape, wear and tear on their equipment, overhead, and labor. This is not a money-earning venture from those who are interested in learning the Law, but BSA needs to recoup their costs. We appreciate their efforts to distribute the series. Again, Internet access allows for the free downloading of the teaching. Each tape will have two lessons on it.
Since this is a strictly volunteer effort, lessons will be recorded as time allows. Both Mordakhai Joseph and Dale Stogner have jobs and families and are donating their time. Hopefully, other qualified teachers of the Law will be recruited and other sections of the Bible will be recorded as well. This is a humble effort that is definitely starting small. For those who might be interested in supporting the effort, Barnabas Ministries accepts donations to cover the cost of the Internet site. Audio files take up quite a bit of space and Internet service provider companies charge based on the total megabytes downloaded. Hopefully, we will have a very large Internet bill. There really are no other costs to cover in this effort. Barnabas Ministries may be reached at PO Box 3393; Farmington Hills, MI. 48333; USA; Internet: www.biblestudy.org; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By "the Law" we mean to explain what the Law is and why there is a need to study it in a systematic way. For example, it is hard to understand the New Testament if you do not understand the Old Testament. Many of the controversies surrounding the books of Galatians and Romans, etc. could be avoided if people had the proper background. The New Testament magnifies the Old Testament so the Old Testament needs to be understood. Further, the Law of God is really expressed throughout the entire Bible and includes Gods value system, Gods character and personality, how God thinks, etc. The Law of God is not limited to the Ten Commandments and the Old Covenant. That would be a narrow, superficial, and incorrect view. Also, we will attempt to point out the difference and the errors made between legalists trusting in obedience for salvation and those who have a false idea of what grace is to the point where they believe there is no Law today. And we believe that the Jewish traditions, while perhaps containing some wisdom, are not scripture and scriptural teaching has precedence over any man or group of mens teachings.
This effort will not reference the Worldwide Church of God, nor any of its off-shoots. This will hopefully make the lessons timeless and usable by any group that sees value in them. We do not intend to have only one or two distributors. If any group would like to become a non-exclusive distributor, please contact Dale Stogner at 714-730-3561. The lessons are copyrighted but not for the purpose of money making. Anyone can reproduce and distribute individual lessons so long as they do not edit the lessons, and reproduce them in their entirety. We need all the help we can get distributing the lessons and a grass roots effort will be welcomed. Dale Stogner
UCG Literature On the Way
This week, UCG publications managing editor Scott Ashley informed the UCG Council of Elders by teleconference about upcoming booklets and magazines. Upcoming cover themes for the Good News include:
· The real star wars (May-June)
· What happens after death? (July-Aug)
· Can you believe Bible prophecy? (Sept-Oct)
· Just what is the Millennium? (Nov-Dec)
· Are we on the threshold of a new age? (Jan-Feb, 2000)
Booklets planned include:
· Are we living in the last days?
· The Lost Ten Tribes in Prophecy
· The Book of Revelation Unveiled
· Seven Laws of Success
· Making Life Work
· Where Can You Find Lasting Values?
· Heaven and Hell
· Who and What is God?
· Which Biblical Laws Should a Christian Keep?
· Why Does God Allow Suffering?
· Transforming Your Life
· This is the United Church of God
· Is There Really a Devil?
· Who Was Jesus?
Mr. Ashley updated the Council on the Good News print run size, which with the May-June issue reached 193,318 copies. In addition, the 32-page special issue, with general interest articles and a cover story of "How to Raise a Moral Child," will add 100,000-110,000 copies, but will be used as a promotional copy for new subscribers, gift copies, and waiting room introductory packets.
Development of several direct mail packages is i288Mr. Ashley updated the Council on the Good News print run size, which with the May-June issue reached 193,318 copies. In addition, the 32-page special issue, with general interest articles and a cover story of "How to Raise a Moral Child," will add 100,000-110,000 copies, but will be used as a promotional copy for new subscribers, gift copies, and waiting room introductory packets.
Development of several direct mail packages is us generate perhaps 20,000 additional literature requests.
[It seems that the UCG-IA and other groups are doing a good job producing literature, but when they do attract new members, they are often bewildered by problems in the local congregations. See the next news item. NSE]
Lansing Brethren Exit UCG-IA
The United Church of God Lansing (Michigan) was incorporated in 1995before the UCG-IA. The need to leave the WCG was recognized by the brethren and ministry long before the UCG-IA was a reality. The role of the church organization was also frequently debated: should it be a "headquarters" governing local congregations or should it exist to provide service to local congregations? Some of the Lansing brethren clearly wanted to be a part of a corporate church, others wanted to be independent. Numerous times, the Lansing board considered taking a vote on the issue, but they knew it would divide the congregation, so they refrained.
Melvin Rhodes, the UCG-IA Lansing and Ann Arbor pastor made an effort to include a variety of ideas in his services, including interactive Bible studies, questions and answers after messages, more variety in music, etc. Mr. Rhodes even wrote articles for The Journal which were critical of the corporate church functioning of the past. It appeared to some that Mr. Rhodes might decide to become an independent minister. On the other hand, some members found the local congregation too tightly attached to the UCG-IA headquarters and began to meet with the fellowship where this writer attends.
During April and May of 1999, Melvin Rhodes made it clear that he was a UCG-IA corporate minister and that any congregation he would pastor would be a UCG-IA congregation. About 40 of the UCG Lansing members began meeting separately, and within a week, those in the fellowship that this writer attends joined them. The new group was sharing a building with the UCG-IA group until the latter opted for a new place last week. The new group does not yet have a name or any designated "leader". The emphasis is on "doing what the Bible says" rather than on organization and structure. The families rotate the task of planning and conducting the service each week. Of interest, a family with no previous COG experience, who discovered the Sabbath in the Bible, has attended nearly every service. NSE
Third Alternative to WCG?
A group of the Worldwide Church of God brethren met for Pentecost in the Pasadena Elks lodge to discuss a third alternative to those troubled by the doctrinal changes of the WCG. The two main alternatives have been to leave the WCG or to remain in it hoping God will "fix it". This "third approach" proposed was to remain in the WCG, but actively believe and teach Herbert Armstrongs old doctrines. A 22-point doctrinal statement was distributed. Plans were announced for literature, a cassette program, a feast site and a radio program. Half of the tithes and offerings collected would be distributed back to the WCG. Offering envelopes were passed out.
We hope these brethren, apparently led by Hal Finch, will realize that this idea is not new. It was tried by the "Philadelphia Faithful" in Mississippi and elsewhere. All they are doing is forming a separate group while being members of the WCG. The WCG can sever the relationship anytime that they want to by disfellowshipping the entire group. They have done so in the past.
It is good that these brethren are accepting personal responsibility for serving the Eternal. But if a new person became interested in their Gospel preaching, how could they possibly hope to explain their WCG membershipand sending half their money to that organization? Should they also send a portion of their money to the Church of God Seventh Day or even the Catholic Church because some time in the past they came out of that? NSE &