[The United Church of God makes media information about the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles generally available through a news release, which is distributed both to area media in the United States and Canada, and also electronically through a news service. The release is written in a style that takes into account the fact that many recipients and readers might not have a biblical background. The online version distributed includes direct links to a Beyond Today program about Christ’s millennial reign, the Church’s Bible study guide on the Holy Days and more. Below is the text of the media release.]
CINCINNATI -- Advancing a dynamic life journey as dedicated spiritual pilgrims, about 14,000 members and families of the United Church of God, an International Association, will gather to observe the Christ-centered biblical Festival of Tabernacles October 14-21—an eight-day season that portends a future time of unprecedented peace. Church members follow the historic example of Jesus Christ and the first century Church in observing this time of celebration, which biblically reflects the coming Kingdom of God as prophesied by Jesus Himself.
According to Victor Kubik, Church president, United Church of God members will assemble at more than 60 sites in the United States, Canada, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America to take part in a contemporary Christian application of the biblical ancient Hebrew Holy Days.
The festival season reflects the goal of a life-long spiritual journey of Christians, who are taught by Jesus from the Bible to “seek first the Kingdom of God” in the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 33. “Followers of Jesus are generally described in the Bible as disciples—committed people who confidently spend their life apprenticed to learning the ways of Jesus Christ—and pilgrims—people who regard their current life on earth as temporary and one that represents a deliberate journey toward receiving eternal life,” explained Mr. Kubik.
The Church president also pointed out the 14th chapter of the Old Testament book of Zechariah, which predicts a future global restoration and celebration of the Festival. Those alive on earth after the coming return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings (Revelation 19:16 Revelation 19:16And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
American King James Version×) “will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles” (verse 16, New International Version).
“We read in the New Testament book of Hebrews that many disciples over the years died in the faith, but died confident of their eternal reward, recognizing that they were but ‘strangers and pilgrims’ on the earth,” he continued, citing Hebrews chapter 11 in verse 13. “The annual observance of the Festival of Tabernacles is rich with spiritual parallels as members journey to distant festival sites to reside in hotel rooms or camps as temporary dwellings.”
“Many scholars confirm that the early Christian church, whose members originally were mostly of a Jewish background, continued to observe the ancient Holy Days in a new spirit and with a new Christ-centered understanding of their meaning,” said Mr. Kubik. “Today we have the marvelous understanding of how these ancient Holy Days reflect personal and global transformation—and how they represent the important message brought by Jesus Christ which outlines God’s incredible plan for all humanity—including a future time where humanity is freed from concerns and troubles like nuclear war and global conflict.”
“We understand from many biblical references that the fall Holy Day seasons—basically outlined in the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus—actually prophetically picture forthcoming global events that will completely transform the world as we know it today,” Mr. Kubik added.
Daily worship services (typically in the morning) present powerful sermons and Bible studies that magnify and explain these spiritual principles. The eight-day period also features many family activities and opportunities for fellowship, Mr. Kubik noted.
In the United States, members will gather at 18 sites: Bend-Redmond, Oregon; Big Sandy, Texas; Branson, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Glacier Country, Montana; Jekyll Island, Georgia; Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii; Lake Junaluska, North Carolina; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; New Braunfels, Texas; Oceanside, California; Panama City Beach, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; St. Petersburg, Florida; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The Church will also conduct the festival at five Canadian sites (Blainville, Quebec; Cochrane, Alberta; Midland, Ontario; Osoyoos Lake, British Columbia; Spencerville, Ontario; and St. John’s, Newfoundland) as well as sites in the Caribbean, China, Latin America (six sites), Europe and the British Isles (six sites), Africa (10 sites), Australia (four sites), Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Kubik will address all Church members through a special live webcast originating from the Panama City Beach festival site on Saturday, October 19.
How do New Testament disciples observe these days? Church members typically save about a 10th of their income for use at the festival (also called the Feast of Booths in various English translations). These personal funds allow members to fully celebrate the eight-day biblical event, as the Bible specifically directs members to “rejoice before the Lord your God” during this season (see Leviticus 23:40 for details). This helps spiritually foreshadow the coming abundance inherent in the future Kingdom of God.
Church members attend the festival with their families, and the Church provides many opportunities for family time together. The worldwide nature of the festival also gives rise to global fellowship and travel, and many friendships are made or renewed each season.
Visitors who would like to observe these days are welcome to attend. “As spiritual pilgrims, we are striving to become better disciples of Jesus Christ, and we welcome the opportunity to share our understanding and experiences with others,” Kubik noted. A daily webcast of morning worship services from the Panama City Beach and the Osoyoos Lake site in Canada are available. More information is also available at this link: https://www.ucg.org/members/news/2019-feast-of-tabernacles-webcast-information
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About the United Church of God, an International Association: More information about the United Church of God is available at www.ucg.org. The Church publishes a Bible study guide titled “God’s Holy Day Plan – The Promise of Hope for All Mankind,”which describes the biblical foundation for the ancient Hebrew Holy Days in detail. The Church publishes the Beyond Today magazine and sponsors the weekly television program (now airing on WGN-America on Saturdays and Sundays) of the same name: Beyond Today.