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Update from the President: November 19, 2020

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Update from the President

November 19, 2020

A Spike We Like

The latest statistics for viewer response to Beyond Today television programs via the Newsmax TV network have overwhelmingly broken all previous records.

The program, “All About Grace,” hosted by Darris McNeely, generated 932 responses throughout the week of Nov. 1–7 (the week of the U.S. election). In addition, the program “Are the United States and Britain in the Bible?” hosted by Steve Myers, produced 2,205 responses during the week of Nov. 8–14, 2020. This is the highest-ever response and the lowest cost-per-response for any Beyond Today television program—going back to 2006 when telecasting of our programs first began on commercial television! This is exciting because we feel we have found an audience more predisposed to our message.

In Luke 5 Jesus Christ taught His disciples a lesson about marketing during one of His speaking campaigns:

“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

“When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’

“But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’

“For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men’” (Luke 5:1-10 Luke 5:1-10 [1] And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed on him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, [2] And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. [3] And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. [4] Now when he had left speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. [5] And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. [6] And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. [7] And they beckoned to their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. [8] When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. [9] For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: [10] And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Fear not; from now on you shall catch men.
American King James Version×

In this story we find that it was the direction of Jesus Christ that literally netted good results! He knew where the fish were. He also knows the audience in the world better than we do. Let’s pray that we can be shown the best fishing locations for men, too.

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More Free Food Distributed to the Public

On Monday, Nov. 16, the Cincinnati congregations once again distributed nearly 1,250 boxes of food at the home office. All this was done in less than two hours. A steady stream of cars and vans came through our parking lot and were loaded by about 35 member volunteers.

The boxes were available to all who came, especially to those families in need. The food was distributed to food banks, shelters and individuals. Volunteer Susan Curran commented: “As I loaded food for a woman from Batavia coming through, she tearfully exclaimed, ‘We have had such a need for this food at this time.’”

Each box contained fresh vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes, with a bag of apples, a meat product, and dairy, including a gallon of milk, butter and cheese products with a store value of approximately $50 per box.

All this was made possible through the CARES act and the USDA partnering with farmers, distributors and truckers, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other foodservice businesses. The congregation plans to continue participating in the program through November and possibly to the end of December. A large label on each box clearly identified the Church and Beyond Today.

It was exciting to see several hundred vehicles snake their way through our parking lot and see us actively helping our community. I think that this has been one of our best home office tours!

I received text messages from people from the University of Cincinnati Clermont College and the leadership of the Clermont YMCA as well as the Batavia Rotary Club, who expressed appreciation for the United Church of God’s work.

Doing such good works is not our main mission. Nor is it something that we use to entice people to hear the gospel message. But, doing such things is an active expression of our faith. Jesus Christ’s half-brother, James, stated in his letter: “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17 James 2:15-17 [15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, [16] And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? [17] Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.
American King James Version×
). These works are an active expression of our faith.

Mike and Nancy Fike Arrive at the Home Office

We welcome associate pastor Mike Fike and his wife, Nancy, to the home office this week. They are here for training and awaiting travel to their New Zealand assignment after COVID restrictions make travel and immigration possible. Mike will be mentored by Cincinnati pastor Steve Myers and work with our Ministerial and Member Services team. He is also attending Ambassador Bible College classes.

ABC Students Sing for Diane Bailey

On Sunday, seven students with ABC staff member Micah Gunn visited Diane Bailey at her home and sang four songs to encourage her. Diane is in hospice care and this was such an encouraging event for her! Please continue to pray for Diane.