Letter to the Brethren – July 13, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends, 

With summer here and with the children out of school, there is an increase in activity. For those who have gardens, they have to be maintained and most of us have lawns to cut because of the increased growth, due to the warm weather. Some have to deal with the planning of activities for the children this summer. With all the increased activities, it is easy to get so caught up in all of this that we begin to neglect one of the tools for maintaining a right relationship with God, and that is fasting. 

As unpleasant as it may seem, it is a crucial element to maintaining a close relationship with God, and it also helps in getting closer to God. Notice the admonition in Matthew 6:16: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

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Letter to the Brethren – June 13, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends, 

Last month, on the 6th May 2023, King Charles the Third was crowned in Westminster Abbey in London as King of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the 14 other Commonwealth realms. His mother, Queen Elizabeth the Second, was coronated on 2nd June 1953, some 70 years ago and so it was an elaborate and archaic ritual not seen in Britain since 1953.

In his first spoken part of the ceremony, Charles said that he had come to “serve, not to be served” and to follow the example of the “King of kings.”

The religious service was carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other senior figures in the Church of England. At the climax of the ceremony, the Archbishop placed St Edward’s Crown on Charles’s head—a solid gold crown, dating from 1661. This is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, and is only worn by the monarch at the moment of coronation itself (not least because it weighs a hefty 2.23kg—almost 5lbs). Unlike royal weddings, the coronation is a state occasion—the government pays for it, and ultimately decides the guest list.

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Letter to the Brethren – May 11, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

Together in unity! This is one of the main themes we aim for during our annual Church conferences, especially when tackling certain doctrinal issues. It’s also a time when we focus on the goal of successfully doing the Work of God, continuing in our efforts in how we carry on the task of preaching the Gospel and feeding the flock. 

During the past few years, the agenda before each conference was a bit slim and quite limited as there weren’t many new topics to address (so it appeared), but that all seems to change in the weeks if not days prior to the beginning of the conference. There is always something to talk about, and making sure we are all on the same page when it comes to doctrinal issues is vital for the sanctity and unity of the Church. 

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Letter to the Brethren – March 10, 2023

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Dear Members and Friends,

Today we live in a world that is subject to constant change. What was considered normal twenty years ago is very different from what is considered normal today. And the media is one very powerful method used to accept these changes as a normal part of life.

 Here in Australia, we have just experienced the WorldPride event being held in Sydney, including the Mardi Gras parade. They have been constantly on the news bulletins with many interviews of the participants being shown during prime TV viewing time. The object of the WorldPride event was for it to be thought of as an alternative but fully acceptable way of life. In fact, those who do not accept it are vigorously criticized.

The question for Christians is, how do we know what is right and what is true, and also importantly, what does God think of the goings-on we see all around us?

Looking at what is true, Truth is a subject that is mentioned over four hundred and fifty times in the Bible, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and its importance is revealed to us.

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Letter to the Brethren – February 15, 2023

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Dear Brethren,

Every day, we have to make judgments about whom and what to believe. Our news, governments, media, and general interactions with others have elements of fact and falsity mixed together, putting a veil over the actual truth. It is not a new problem for anyone, of course. Deception has been rampant in various shapes and forms for mankind since the time that Satan deceived Eve. The most significant difference for us is that our information sources are much more diverse. Even though our modern advancements in sharing information present different challenges, we can learn a lot from the biblical record of Eve’s deception. To be more specific, we can learn from Adam and Eve’s mistake in making a bad choice about whom to obey and what to believe, and apply that lesson in our lives today.

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Letter to the Brethren – January 18, 2023

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

We find constant reminders that as true Christians, the very elect of God, we are living by different standards than other people in the world.

Having just experienced a deluge of “merry Christmas” and “happy New Year” greetings, along with the endless commercialism of these recent holidays, we will soon have to contend with even more. Valentine’s Day and Easter will dominate the societies in which we live, and obedience to the God of the Bible will not even be considered!

As mature Christians, we know the Truth, that all of these false practices are inspired by Satan. We know that God forbids our participating in such worldly traditions, and we are warned, that even among us, there will be those who reject God’s Truth in this regard—even turning back to embrace what they had formerly proven to be false worship:

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Letter to the Brethren – December 24, 2022

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Dear Friends and Co-Workers, 

As I think about this past year while we get ready to move into 2023, I wonder what we are moving towards. During this year, many of us have had significant trials and tests. We have faced them, overcome them, or are currently walking through that “valley of the shadow of death”

Our member letters are meant to be filled with encouragement. They are also written from a very personal point of view. As I am writing this letter, I am thinking about all the things that I have gone through this year and just how it has affected my growth, and then I also see that I need to become more diligent in certain regards or shore up other aspects. I think, we each can relate to the same way of thinking. But this requires us to do some deep introspection. 

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Letter to the Brethren – November 10, 2022

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Dear Members and Friends,

We returned from the observance of this year’s Feast of Tabernacles to look forward to the next spring festival season—beginning with Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Who can tell how many more annual Holy Days we will still be able to celebrate before Jesus Christ returns? A contract for accommodations for next year’s Feast of Tabernacles in Germany has been signed, and we are looking into the possibility of observing the Feast here in the USA in Colorado. Scattered members and friends, including from Canada, the USA, and Australia were listening in to our live services as well.

In Germany, we had nine baptisms, and with a baptism on the Feast of Trumpets, we actually had ten. Also, this was the tenth year that we kept the Feast in Germany as the Kirche des Ewigen Gottes. We also had an ordination to the office of deacon, with more ordinations to follow in time. We also had the highest number in attendance ever in Germany. In comparison, attendance in the USA was down, due in large part to sicknesses and the inability, because of frailties, to attend the Feast site in person. Guests did not show up because our Feast site was not “convenient” enough for them (What a difference in attitude and zeal when considering the dedication of those guests from great distances who attended in Germany). Numerical growth of membership and attendance in the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia is not high at this point, but this might change in the future.

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Letter the the Brethren – September 8, 2022

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

This month, we will begin to observe the Fall Holy Days. On September 26th, the Feast of Trumpets will be observed.

All of God’s commanded Holy Days portray significant parts in His great master plan for the salvation of mankind. Yet, the vast majority of people have not even the vaguest idea of their meaning, and only the precious few understand their significance. Rather, under the blinding deception of Satan’s world rule (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4), so called “holidays” such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween have displaced the true sacred assemblies God has commanded—including Sunday worship in place of Sabbath observance. In fact, God utterly rejects worship associated with these false ceremonies and rituals! (Isaiah 1:12-15; Amos 5:21-23).

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Letter to the Brethren – August 19, 2022

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Dear Members and Coworkers,

Georges Seurat is known for the pointillist technique of painting that he used to create very large paintings. His most famous and recognizable painting, “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, depicts several people lounging on the lawn on a hillside by the water. You would probably recognize it if you saw it. In my early twenties, I had the opportunity to see this painting in person, and only then was I able to appreciate the grandeur. Seurat’s technique requires viewing the painting from a distance to see the full scene. However, when viewing the painting up close, I was amazed to see how the image was composed exclusively of several dots of color to create the impression of an image. I remember the surprise of seeing how the selection of unexpected colors was used to create the illusion of other colors when combined. The green lawn consisted of yellow and blue, but also red and purple, among other colors. To create such a work of art, Seurat needed to focus very closely on the work he performed at a micro-scale, giving attention to the selection of color, one dot at a time.

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