Letter to the Brethren – April 21, 2015
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Having completed the Church Conference and the Spring Holy Days, we want to review some highlights of what has proven to be an extremely busy and productive period in the Work which God has given all of us to accomplish.
Our newest booklet, “Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man!,” has been published, and we are including a copy with this letter for those who have not yet received one.
The 2015 Church Conference was held in San Diego, California, beginning on March 20th and continuing through the 24th. We began by reviewing activities in all our Church areas. A special focus this year has been the new website and our efforts to present a uniform design presence throughout. Of note is the fact that we have seen increased traffic to our Church websites over the year, most significantly since the launch of the new design. Also, we have recently launched a new media campaign to take advantage of the use of emails, press releases and postings on Facebook to more effectively publicize our booklets, sermons, StandingWatch programs, and other material. In addition, we have also published information on our websites about our observance of the Feast of Tabernacles 2015 in California and Germany.
Sabbath observance guidelines, anointing requests and tithing questions were some of the topics discussed with the resulting goal to present these in future Q&A’s. Subjects for new booklets were chosen, and we addressed the need for reprinting some booklets as well as translating more booklets into German and French, and perhaps other languages.
One of the most effective outcomes of this year’s Conference was to strengthen our mutual bond to diligently carry forward the preaching of the gospel. Being together at our headquarters is purposely scheduled around the time of the Spring Holy Days, and we are able to coordinate our resources in the challenging tasks we face.
During this time, Brian and Jill Gale were able to visit from their home in England on an extended basis. That allowed Mr. Gale to conduct the Passover service in Ramona along with fulfilling other duties during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Also, following the Conference, Rene and Delia Messier met with the brethren in Oregon to observe Passover and the First Day of Unleavened Bread. Passover services were broadcast live from Fort Collins, Colorado, in order to include some members living further east in the U.S.
Due to the needs in Germany, both Norbert Link and Mike Link traveled to be present for the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. Here is a short summary of their visit:
Norbert and Michael Link returned from Germany where they conducted Passover services (31 members in attendance), two baptisms and services on the first and last day of Unleavened Bread and the following weekly Sabbath. Norbert Link gave three sermons and Michael Link gave one sermon in the German language, while other members were given the opportunity to deliver a sermonette and the two offertories. All these messages have been posted on our German website.
The Links also joined the brethren and guests for the Night To Be Much Observed in a nice restaurant and spent much time with counseling. They also participated in social activities with the members who had chosen to stay for the entire time or most of the week-long Spring Festival, including a soccer game and a BBQ, as well as other get-togethers.
A Facebook page for the German church was made public, and arrangements are being made to print four new German booklets, which will bring the number of printed German booklets to 13. Plans are also being discussed to print four additional German booklets around the Feast of Tabernacles time, while translations of more English booklets and articles into German are ongoing.
Brethren, we are witnessing the fulfillment of momentous prophecies! Events are coming together to very plainly reveal that the time of the Great Tribulation spoken of in the Word of God is looming before us! The commission given to the Church of God takes on more urgency every day, and we all must stay vigilant and committed to zealously serving God.
Beyond warning about the terrifying events about to descend on this world, we have to announce the soon-coming establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth. This is “good news” of a future of peace—something nations seek and talk about but are helpless to achieve.
As never before, we need a spirit of unity in order to accomplish the daunting responsibilities set before us. Ideally, that spirit of unity should be manifest in ALL of God’s churches, but this is, sadly, not the case. A unified spirit can only come through God’s help, and we can be confident that He will give that help when we faithfully seek to please Him!
In Christ’s Service,