We are awaiting the return of our six Beyond Today team members who are completing the last day of on-location recording in Europe. They will be flying back to the United States tomorrow, Friday. From reports and postings on Facebook and our internal communications facility, it looks like there will be a tremendous amount of video, commentary and B-roll for Beyond Today television in both English and German. The postings of the last two days have been from Brussels and the site of the Battle of Waterloo.
Also, Aaron Dean and Larry Darden are traveling in Malawi and Zambia, and will be returning next week. Aaron has also traveled to Zimbabwe. Along with visits to our elders and leaders in these countries, they also spent time with our expatriates Lewis and Lena VanAusdle and Brennan and Michala Hilgen in Lilongwe. It is so important and encouraging to visit our congregations.
With so many having gone to camps, Europe, Africa and vacations, it’s been a bit quiet here at the home office. Various people come for lunch in my office on various days. I invite anyone to come during the lunch hour. On Monday, a few ladies from mail processing came by with a tray of envelopes responding to my latest co-worker letter which offered the booklet Who is God? We decided to spend the time together to sort through the request cards, notes and donations. Monday’s response to the co-worker letter was 438 pieces of mail.
I was gratified and encouraged to read subscriber comments showing appreciation and support. They commented about how they valued our literature and all things Beyond Today . These are people who contribute regularly. Included in many of their responses were donations of all sizes to the Church. We value these people who find benefit in what we publish and who show such support.
Visit by Natasha and David Teagu e
Natasha Teague, our Russian language coordinator and translator, along with her husband David, visited the home office last week. Natasha lays out both the Russian and Estonian versions of the Beyond Today magazine and works closely with Johnnie Lambert, Senior Pastor for Eastern Europe, the Baltic Republics and Scandinavia. We discussed our Russian website, http://ru.ucg.org .
While very few of us know Russian, you may want to take a look at our website and see all of the material that has been translated and is available to people around the world in the 8th most spoken language in the world. We have booklets, the Bible Study course and archived issues of Beyond Today / The Good News available. The following booklets have also been translated and will be scheduled for publishing:
- Jesus Christ — the Real Story
- Heaven and Hell
- Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God
- How to Understand the Bible
David Teague is a renowned artist and he is in the process of painting and donating to the Church a collection of paintings depicting the Feasts of the Lord. He brought with him his latest, which represents the Day of Pentecost.
It is a portrayal of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost, specifically Acts 2:36-38 Acts 2:36-38 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×. The moment highlighted is: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” They were reacting to the whole sermon, but perhaps especially to verse 36: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
The moment in time that the painting pictures was the moment “they were cut to the heart”—the moment that God opened their minds to the need to do something. It was—and still is—the moment of conviction that leads to repentance and baptism. It is the seminal moment of conversion and the birth of the Church.
Jorge and Kathy de Campos left for Angola Yesterday
The purpose of the trip is to visit the Church of God in Angola (Igreja de Deus Mundial em Angola), which is formally working together with United Church of God, an International Association , to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God around the world.
The Church of God in Angola is Portuguese-speaking, has approximately 6000 brethren (3000 baptized members) and 31 ordained elders.
Jorge and Kathy will visit the combined Luanda congregations on the Sabbath for services in the morning and a Bible study in the afternoon. They expect about 700 brethren to be at the combined services.
From Monday through Wednesday, they will conduct discipleship and leadership training, doctrinal studies, sermonette-giving exercises, and ladies training to serve and encourage the congregation in a godly manner.
We also hope some of the Angolan leadership will be able to attend the mini-ABC training in December in South Africa. Lastly, but not least, they will visit a few local Angolan governmental entities during those few days.
You can follow their travels on their travel blog at http://v2.travelark.org/travel-blog/jorgedecampos/6 . They have an ambitious schedule. Please pray for a successful trip.
Australia UCG Streaming Radio On the Air!
I have been listening to this wonderful service providing 24/7 streaming of United Church of God content, and I’m hooked! I listen to it some in my office, at home and in my car.
UCG-AU Radio was launched June 22, 2017. Initial feedback from listeners since that time has been extremely positive and complimentary, with many saying how much they enjoy listening to the interesting line-up of Bible-based teaching and programming throughout the day and as they travel.
Geoff Robertson, principal manager of this new service made this announcement earlier this month:
The United Church of God Australia is pleased to announce the launch of our own Streaming Radio Station! The radio station is now streaming 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It may be accessed via the internet at our websites, and also by using our own mobile app—for Android and Apple devices.
Use the links below or simply search “UCG Radio” at the app stores and download the free app to your phone or iPad.
A program guide will be provided soon.
The program schedule includes Bible readings, Bible Q&As, sermons, booklet and magazine readings, ABC Bible class lectures (e.g. Epistles of Paul, General Epistles, Acts of the Apostles, Fundamentals of Theology, Harmony of the Gospels, Practical Christianity, Early Church History, weekly Bible Studies, UCG IA podcasts, and the BT Daily series.
This service provides a great deal of Bible instructional material any time of the day. The program content also includes station IDs, and booklet promos and announcements that are recorded by local church members (several have already been recorded).
UCG-AU Radio is currently launched on a trial basis for one year. Please tune in to the station (via the Internet) and let us know what you think. Your prayers for its effectiveness in subscriber development would also be greatly appreciated.
Download the app or go to http://ucg.org.au to listen. There are plans for more development and expansion of this medium, but what I’ve listened to has been wonderful.
As you see, there’s a lot of good happening in the United Church of God. God has indeed blessed us and we look to Him to direct our steps in the way that would please Him and accomplish His Will and Mission.