Announcements for February 22, 2018
Camp Update for 2018
From Ken Treybig: If you are interested in attending a COGWA preteen or teen camp this year, we have great news for you! The camp website went live in early February, with details for all our 2018 camps with the exception of Winter Camp. That camp runs at the very end of the year, and dates and details are not available until later in the summer.
Our Christian Living theme for this year is “Walking With Integrity,” and we would encourage you to read both Jim Franks’ welcome letter and Dave Myers’ article on the theme. Both are posted on the home page of the camp website.
We are now updating the COGWA portal application system for camps and plan to start accepting applications early in March. In addition, the annual camp video is being finalized. We plan to have it available for pastors to show in their congregations beginning Sabbath, March 17.
Meanwhile, we hope you will take the time to look over the camp(s) of your choice. Many of the short promo videos on the individual camp pages are new for this year. The descriptive text below the videos has been updated, and the embedded photos are all new from our 2017 camps.
Come explore the website at camps.cogwa.org, and we hope to see you at camp this year!
PCD Quarterly Report October-December 2017
From Cecil Maranville: We processed 869 emails and phone calls in the last quarter of 2017. That is up 5 percent over the same quarter of 2016.
An encouraging trend is the high number of requests for direct contact with the Church. Readers asked for local congregation information for Colorado; Perris, California; Pennsylvania; Tulsa, Oklahoma (two requests); Milwaukee, Wisconsin; West Bend, Wisconsin; Fort Myers, Florida; Palm Coast, Florida; Port Huron, Michigan; Wasilla, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Tiger, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Belton, South Carolina; Western Australia and Puerto Rico.
A man who grew up in the Church of God but left for years of rough living contacted us about returning to the faith.
Additionally, we responded to many questions about baptism. Most were general, but the following were from people who seem to be on the way to conversion:
· We had a request for baptism from a reader who recognizes he needs the Holy Spirit. Another asked for baptism information and about finding the true Church. A young teen from a Catholic background, who seems passionately determined to be baptized into God’s Church, began corresponding with us.
· We had rebaptism requests from seven readers (none of whom are Church of God members). One explained that she now realizes she didn’t understand repentance before her previous baptism. Another explained she’d been baptized as an infant and now sees that was not valid. One wrote simply that he knows he needs to be baptized again, but didn’t know who he could talk with about it; he asked for help. Another explained he’d been baptized twice—as a baby in the Catholic faith and again as an adult in a Protestant denomination, but that he understands that he still does not have the Holy Spirit.
Some of the serious counseling issues we addressed include:
· A woman who has lived with severe chronic pain for nearly 20 years wrote that she is so depressed at not being healed by God that she is suicidal.
· A husband whose wife is severely depressed and believes divorce will provide the relief she needs wrote for advice. They have three teenaged children.
· A woman who got involved with a married man (who hadn’t told her he was married), became pregnant and got an abortion. She is now grief-stricken and wants to repent and find forgiveness for the entire mess.
· A Kenyan woman (not a Church of God member) asked for prayers for her people, saying she personally witnessed people burning a church, a policeman shooting a student, and the murder of a young mother and her week-old baby.
· A mother whose son was murdered wrote to us for help.
· Two separate women whose husbands have a long history of drug abuse asked for help in dealing with their damaged marriage and family relationships.
· A wife explained she had prayed for many years for God to soften the “hard heart” of her husband, only to see no change. She is discouraged and thinks that God hasn’t heard her prayers.
· A wife whose husband is now disabled and in need of her care has learned that he was unfaithful years ago. She is struggling with how to forgive him and provide the care he needs. He hasn’t asked for forgiveness and is no longer capable of communicating.
· A husband and father asked for help to save his marriage of nearly 20 years. The only words his wife speaks to him are piercing insults. He wrote that he is lonely and desperate for help.
· A recently divorced woman explained that she hopes she and her ex-husband can reconcile. But she has been learning what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage. She asked if God would permit remarriage to her ex-husband, if things work out.
· Two single women and one teen male asked if it is wrong for a believer to have a romantic relationship with an unbeliever.
There were several from people who had experienced unusual dreams. Often these are so strange that we do not answer, but all of these were answered:
· “I awoke from a dream, the details of which I do not remember. However, I was repeating the word ‘Leviticus.’ I was purposely repeating this word, as I was aware it was important for me not to forget.” She explained she is not a religious person and never used the word; she wanted an interpretation.
· “If our beloved are sleeping after death with no thoughts, consciousness or whatsoever, what is the possibility of seeing them in a dream? I saw my dead sister once about two months after her demise, and she spoke to me. … If there is no thought in the grave, no spirit/soul or whatsoever, where did that dream come from? I don’t want to believe it was my consciousness playing tricks on me or maybe trying to help me grieve. I sincerely believe she came to give me peace/closure. … Please educate me.”
· “Recently my father-in-law passed away. About two weeks after he died, I had a dream, and he was there. I asked him if he was okay, and he shook his head and led me deep underground. … I then came out and left him there. Is he in hell?”
· “I found myself sitting at a student desk in an empty classroom. Then suddenly out of nowhere appeared the angel Gabriel with two angels behind him. He bent towards me and then pinned my forearms to the desktop and, in a serious voice, said, ‘Choose life, Daniel!’ My dream immediately stopped, and I woke up. What could this possibly mean? I feel like I am missing something.”
· “It was this medium-size teardrop that came down from the ceiling; the outside lining of it was like golden oil that you can see through it. The inside was filled with more golden oil, just about a handful of oil. But you could see through it. It disappeared once it got to eye-level. Would love to know what it meant.”
Note: In case you are wondering why we would answer some of these, there was more to the emails!
There are always those unusual questions, such as:
· “I feel strange sensations. It is like something being poured over my head, and it tickles. Could this be the Holy Spirit?”
· “Since God took a rib from Adam to create Eve, do all men have one less rib than women have?”
· “Please send me the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.”