United Church of God

Pastor's Notes and Announcements for November 19, 2022

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Pastor's Notes and Announcements for November 19, 2022



Pastor's Notes and Announcements for November 19, 2022


Greetings Brethren,

      Earlier this week I listened to an interesting Podcast about how Christians throughout time have faced corrupt and evil governments. As I listened, I was reminded of why God expects His people to live with a sense of urgency and to consider their ways, (Haggai 1:5, 7). It’s that sense of awareness that encourages us to actually consider what we’re thinking, what were involved in, and what we’re allowing to influence us. That awareness is also an important aspect that motivates us to prepare for the trials and tribulations that we’re about to face, (Acts 14:22).

     If we fail to have this sense of urgency and are not putting Truth as the center of our lives, we will find ourselves resembling this profane society more than that of a holy people. It’s no secret that this world can’t continue in its current trajectory and is coming to swift and destructive end. We should clearly see the evidence that “The night is indeed far spent; the day is truly at hand. It’s high time we awake out of sleep, casting off anything that resembles the work of darkness in our lives and cloth ourselves with the armor of light”, (Romans 13:11-14). That cry to “come out of her my people” should be ringing in our ears, (Revelation 18:4, Isaiah 52:11). If we remain asleep and close our ears to that cry, enduring to the end will not be our reality, but only a fantasy.

      However, if we can see the evidence and hear those words, this means God is revealing an important warning to us. If God is revealing this to us, we have the responsibility and expectation to act upon it. The question to consider then is this, Are we responding as God commands? We must be honest with ourselves as we answer this question, because when hatred is turn directly toward us, it will be a time of great pressure. How we respond then depends on how we prepare now!

     During this Podcast the gentlemen shared examples recorded throughout the Old and New Testament of Godly men who dared to stand with God against such workers of darkness. Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego), were ordered to worship an idol/image of Nebuchadnezzar. While everyone around them bowed to worship as the government commanded, these brave and courageous men stood in faith with God. They refused to submit despite the consequences they had to face, (Daniel 3).

    Even Daniel faced death by a decree of a corrupted government. A law went forth that prohibited Daniel and anyone to pray to God. During a thirty-day period of time, all prayers and petitions were required to be directed toward the king or they would face death in the lion’s den. Daniel refused to submit to this abomination. He put his faith toward God first and he didn’t even try to hide it. He openly obeyed God and faced some hungry lions, yet God blessed his faith and obedience, (Daniel 6).

    The apostles and early church leaders were arrested and some beaten and killed for preaching Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Although they often faced such painful and humiliating circumstances, they boldly preached as they were instructed, (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1,4-7, Hebrews 11). These recorded examples should serve as sources of great inspiration of what we must do as the current Ambassadors of Christ and that soon coming Kingdom, (Hebrews 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 2 Corinthians 5:20). 

     We must consider how our fellow brethren faced this evil Babylonian system during their day, because that system is rising more powerful as the seconds pass. We too will eventually come face to face with some powerful adversaries and trying situations. We may hear, “No worshipping, no praying, and no preaching of God, Jesus Christ, and the Coming Kingdom.” How will we respond?

     We’ve been called to be the lights to a dark world. Satan will do everything in his power to put that light out. He will even try to convince us to put that light out ourselves. If we’re not prepared, if we’re not close to our God, if we’re no listening to the true shepherd’s voice, will we have the strength and faith to endure to the end? Will we fail to carry out the commission that has been entrusted to us? (Daniel 11:32, Matthew 5:13-16, John 10:7-30, Isaiah 58:1). Something to think about as we enter this sabbath.

Have a wonderful and spiritually enriching Sabbath, Ryan Hall

For the Youth - Bible Trivia:

1. Who did Abraham take as a wife after the death of his first wife Sarah?

*Hint: Genesis 25:1

2. The prophet Jonah is well known for being swallowed and remaining in the belly of a great fish for three days and three nights for his attempt to flee from God after refusing to take a message of repentance to the people of Nineveh. What City or region is Jonah from?

*Hint: 2 Kings 14:25

3. What two animlas in the Old Testement talked to humans?

*Genesis 3:1-5, Numbers 22:21-33


North Canton Announcements:

  1. Sabbath Service Time (November 19th): 2:00 PM
  2. Next Week (November 26th): 2:00 PM
  3. Sabbath School: Going forward, Sabbath School will take place on the 2nd Sabbath of every month.  Please plan to have your children present December 10th for class.
  4. Thanksgiving Potluck: We are planning a belated Thanksgiving themed meal for December 10th. Turkey will be provided.  Please plan on bringing either sides, drinks, and desserts for the meal. There will be a themed based activity so please try to attend. Please contact Debbie Kuhns or Rose Szymkowiak if you have any questions.
  5. Brethren Helping Brethren: We are all facing some very difficult times and things seem to be getting worse. The young and elderly may be struggling or may struggle moving forward.  We would like to reach out to our N Canton Brethren by setting up a table in the back of our fellowship hall for donated non-perishable items. (paper products, cleaning supplies, canned goods etc.) If you would like to participate please bring in your items on December 31st. Depending on items donated and need we will update with the next donation date whether it be monthly or bi-monthly. Please contact Debbie Kuhns with ideas or questions.
  6. Marriage Seminar Weekend: Why settle for a good marriage when God gives us the tools to have a great marriage. Marriage is under attack and it’s never a waste of time to invest in strengthening this special relationship between a husband and wife. This special weekend will provide the opportunity for our married couples to come together as a family to learn how to protect and develop even more what God has blessed us with. The seminar/activity will take place from Friday evening January 27 to Sunday afternoon January 29th. Location will be the Holiday Inn Boardman, OH. More details, as well as a registration for those who desire to attend and or volunteer will be coming soon. Please don’t let finances hinder your decision.
  7. COE: The next Council of Elders Meeting will take place December 5th - 8th. Your prayers for God’s guidance are greatly appreciated.
  8. Ambassador Bible College Magnetic Yearly Calendar: The ABC Calendar is BACK! This calendar/planner features God’s Holy Days and Feasts for the year 2023. The calendar is a 11 by 8½-inch glossy magnetic calendar that features a blank section on the lower portion for additional information such as reminders and lists. This calendar can be written on with any dry erase marker for your convenience. This year’s ABC class has already pre-ordered and printed calendars, so they are ready to be distributed for $7 each.                                                                                There are multiple ways you can purchase a calendar. There is a link on the eNews with a form that each congregation can print out and have available for members to place their orders. We’d like orders to be forwarded to us by Dec. 6, to allow time for packaging and shipping before the new year. Once the order form is filled out, please mail the form and payment (payable to “ABC Student Fund”) if already collected to: Ambassador Bible College 555 Techne Center Dr Milford, OH 45150                                                                                                                                       The ABC class will ship to the pastor/congregation contact for member pickup at services. Individual calendars can be ordered and shipped to a home address. Due to extra processing costs, an additional $1 fee will be incurred, increasing the price to $8/calendar. If you have questions about your order, or to order individual calendars, email ABCfundraiser@ucg.org.                                                                           Calendars will also be sold at an ABC fundraising table during Winter Family Weekend along with other items. Thank you so much for your support of the ABC class of 2023.
  9. Winter Family Weekend: Don't forget to get registered for WFW 2022!! Everyone planning to attend the WFW (even if just for Sabbath services) is asked to register at wfw.ucg.org, whether participating in sports or attending other activities.

The deadline to register for sports is coming up quickly November 27th! Secure your teams spot now! Opening events will begin on Friday evening, Dec. 23, with activities ending on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The event will once again be held near Cincinnati, Ohio, with a new hotel and conference center venue located just north of the city in West Chester. It will be a great opportunity for all of us to gather together again for Sabbath services, seminars and sports, which will be offered throughout the weekend. We’ve also been blessed to once again be able to use the same facilities we’ve used in prior years for our basketball and volleyball games. There are also some exciting new activities planned throughout the weekend for folks of all ages.

During the Cincinnati Winter Family Weekend, Dec. 23–27, the teen dance will be a 1980s-themed blast from the past! Get ready to dust off your old Ray-Bans and Members Only jackets! Pizza and other snacks will be provided (no Crystal Pepsi, sorry). We will have a prize for the most 80s-tastic outfit. See you there!

  1. Growing in Faith Weekend: All UCG young adults are invited to join us at the 2023 Growing in the Faith weekend from January 13- 16, 2023 in Stewartville, Minnesota, to discuss how to prepare for a godly marriage. While single, it is the perfect time to learn and grow into the person God wants us to be, even if we haven’t met that perfect person yet. Now is the time to be developing the characteristics that will help us have the successful, happy marriages that God wants us to have when that time comes.

In addition to several seminars given by David Schreiber, Ed Dowd and Brian Shaw, we will have plenty of time for fellowship, sledding, games and dancing. This will be a great chance to spend quality time with fellow brothers and sisters in the faith in a positive, uplifting atmosphere. Please register now at growinginthefaith.com! Special pricing of $170 includes all food, lodging, and activities for the weekend. Don't miss out on this special opportunity!

  1. Young Adult Winter/Ski Retreat: We are excited to announce a Young Adult winter/ski retreat, President's Day Weekend February 17th-20th, 2023! We are hoping to forge new and deeper relationships with people of like mind. We will be eating and staying together for the whole weekend. We welcome all young adults ages 18–29, single or married.

We will be staying in cabins at Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia. Activities will include skiing/snowboarding, sledding, hiking, swimming, bonfire, sports, and lots and lots of hanging out. More information about the activities can be found on the website. We will also have several interactive discussions and Bible studies. The theme of this weekend will be focused on "how can young adults contribute to the future of the Church of God?"

Registration is open, so go ahead and register on the registration tab at ucgyawinterretreat.org, and we will see you there!

If I’ve overlooked anything, Please let me know ASAP.