Announcements for April 23, 2015
Online Donation Update
From Ken Treybig: Use of our online donation system continues to be very steady, and we appreciate how many of you are using the eCheck system, since it is extremely economical for us—27 cents per transaction, regardless of the dollar amount. One feature that has been requested several times is the ability to split donations between funds. We recently discovered a way to do this by offering a “Split” option in the drop-down list, along with a memo field for you to describe how to divide the total.
Similar to what we ask for holy day offering envelopes, we request that you not include anything in that memo field except a description of how to distribute the donation. Typing other things in that field creates additional work for our donation processing staff. The field is limited to 25 characters, so you will need to be brief and abbreviate the fund names.
We hope this additional capability will be helpful to those who like to donate electronically.
Summary of March PCD Activity
From Cecil Maranville: Our PCD team answered 307 emails for March. That is about the same rate of mail as February, approximately 10 per day. The 307 figure does not include 18 that were simply “thank you” notes or emails that needed no reply for other reasons.
A woman describing herself as born again asked about marriage to an unbeliever. We encouraged her to marry within “the faith,” explaining the potential conflicts in a marriage to an unbeliever. Her self-description also gave us an opening to direct her to study the question of what “the faith” truly is. We directed her to our article on being born again and our material on conversion.
Another woman, in a tragic marriage situation, asked for advice. Her husband has been unfaithful, despite “repentance” and promises. She wanted biblical guidance on marriage failure and divorce. It is clear that she does not want to go against God’s will, regardless of the pain and humiliation she is enduring. We were able to encourage her, outline the biblical teaching, and direct her to a fuller explanation in our articles.
After reading our material on the 10 Commandments, a man asked us how important forgiveness is for Christians. We confirmed that it is essential, a part of true repentance. Then we led him to publications that could start him toward conversion if God is opening his mind.
A friend of a mother whose child committed suicide asked for our advice on how she could comfort her friend. We directed her to our material on suicide, so that she would be knowledgeable about what the Bible says on the afterlife. We also offered The Last Enemy booklet. Helping in such a circumstance is a delicate matter. Much depends upon how close the friends are, what the mother wants to talk about, whether the mother would be interested in religious material, etc. We offered advice on how to help. More may come of the contact, but at least we had an opportunity to introduce the friend to some little known truths about the afterlife.
A man wanted to know why God does not permit some couples who would be wonderful parents to have children, while He allows people who are terrible parents to have many children. We explained that God doesn’t control everything that happens to every person and introduced him to our material on free will and predestination.
A woman asked if Christians should accept homosexuality. This is a potentially controversial subject, but we address it scripturally and factually. That keeps us away from those who use this issue as a political crusade. Being nonpolitical enables us to speak with more authority, because we have no agenda to push. We simply tell the truth.
A contact confessed to struggling with “battles of the flesh.” He wants help to overcome. We have a wonderful series of articles to help him. He seems to have spiritual understanding, and he appears to be genuinely committed to changing. So, the door was open for us to encourage him to study and think about the broader question of true conversion, explaining that only with the power of the Holy Spirit would he be able to succeed.
After reading the encouraging Bible verses article, a woman asked how she could be holy. The Daily Bible Verse Blog commentary “Christ’s Sacrifice Makes It Possible for Us to Be Holy” on Colossians 1:21-22 was the perfect introduction to explain the way to conversion.
A member of the Church of God from years ago wanted local COGWA congregation information. Another person asked the location of the nearest COGWA congregation but offered no details about his personal situation. A Sabbath-keeper in India asked if we are Seventh-day Adventists and inquired about COGWA congregations in his country. Yet another Church of God group that is living God’s way of life in Kenya contacted us to talk about associating with COGWA. An Australian woman wanted to know if we have a congregation near her family. We do, and we gave her the contact information, as well as the material on the holy days. Her question came just before the spring festival, so it was an opportune time to introduce her family to this truth.
A woman asked if COGWA observes the seventh-day Sabbath. We affirmed that we do, and we introduced her to our doctrines via the booklet Welcome to the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (posted on cogwa.org). A man wrote that it seems wrong for Christians to be keeping Sunday in light of the facts that God created the Sabbath and He does not change. We confirmed that his conclusion was correct, and we directed him to our library of Sabbath material.