It has been a while since I’ve written for the eNews, so in this last newsletter before Thanksgiving, let me bring you up to date on what is happening here at the home office.
Our Media, IT and MMS departments continue to work on several projects as we, under Christ’s leadership and direction, position His Church to use the resources and technology available in today’s world so that we effectively and boldly preach the gospel message and care for the disciples God calls.
Toward that end, the redesigned ucg.org website project continues to progress. When completed, it will be a dynamic tool that will serve the membership well and will allow people from all over the world to see what the Church believes and teaches, as well as to easily avail themselves of the video and written materials we have to offer.
Understanding the quickly changing world we live in, MMS is working on plans to assist our pastors with biblically based educational materials they can use with their congregations to help them better apply God’s truth and way in their lives and families. These will take some time to develop, but again with the guidance of Christ and with help from our ministry and members, they will get done.
Your continued prayers for God’s guidance and inspiration in all we do is appreciated.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday (in America) next week, there is a scripture that has been on my mind that I’d like to leave you with.
Last week we had the pleasure of being in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Sabbath and their Regional Family Weekend. Families from seven or more states gathered in Tulsa, where they enjoyed each other’s company for three days, including Sabbath services, a great dinner that evening in a beautiful setting followed by a dance, then sports and games on Sunday morning.
It was a wonderful weekend. While all the activities were so well done and enjoyed by all—and we thank Ed and RaeAnn Dowd and their crew for a marvelous job in planning and coordinating the whole weekend—one thing stood out for my wife and me.
Being with the brethren and having the opportunity to meet and talk with so many was so rewarding. God’s people are special. He calls us “His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9), and indeed all who live God’s way are a joy and inspiration to be around.
The Bible verse that comes to mind is Psalm 133:1: “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
Unity, of course, means that we are bound together by God’s Holy Spirit; in fellowship (brotherhood) with Him and each other (1 John 1:1-3). When we are with people of like mind, it is energizing and creates joy.
It is no wonder why God established “holy convocations” and commands us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” Brethren, take the opportunities God gives us to be with each other, at Sabbath services, Bible studies and other occasions. Get to know your brethren. Develop that agape love that leads to brotherly love for each other. It will bring joy and energy to your life, just as it brings joy to God to see His people gather before Him and as they “speak often with each other” (Malachi 3:16-17).
Being part of God’s body leads to the unity and “one-ness” He desires and it leads to another attribute we need to always focus on—gratitude.
God has given us so many physical blessings that we can’t enumerate them all. But the spiritual blessings He affords, which include the joy we have when we are in true fellowship with Him and each other, is cause alone for thanksgiving.
Whether you are in America as we observe Thanksgiving next week, or anywhere else in the world, put on the “garment” of thanksgiving and gratitude. “Count your blessings” as an old song used to say, and be continually thankful for all God has given us, which includes each other and the family He has placed us in (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
We certainly are thankful for all of you—God’s people around the world.
Have a wonderful upcoming day of preparation and Sabbath.