PCD Quarterly Report
April - June 2018
From Cecil Maranville: Our PCD total for the second quarter of 2018 was 717. That is down about 5 percent from the first quarter of 2018 and down about 22 percent from the second quarter of 2017 with 915. Below is a sample of the questions we responded to this quarter.
· What day of the week is the Sabbath? My dad mentioned in the Bible that someone’s donkey got stuck in the mud in a ditch on a Saturday night and was told not to wait till Monday to get the donkey out, leaving the opinion that Sunday was the Sabbath.
· My name is ____ and I have read so many [of] your email drop in my inbox and it’s helping me. I want to know if you have congregation residing in Italy especially in Genova. … If you have, please send me some address or contact number.
· I am glad to see the missionary work being done to date. I want to attend the church services and want to become the member. I am based in Pakistan.
· How can one find a church that worships on the Sabbath? We have been trying to follow the commandments for a few years now and don’t know of any church in the area that keeps Saturday as the Sabbath. We live in Kerrville, Texas. [My] husband is disabled, and [my] family thinks we are nuts for trying to follow the “old Laws” and that the 4th commandment has been done away with.
· What are your requirements for me to be baptized? I am willing to attend the meetings, I am a 66 years old man.
· Hello, please let me know if you have a church in my area. I live in Bear, Delaware 19701. Thanks a lot!
· Greetings from Cape Town South Africa. The first time I have found a site that I can relate to so easily in so many respects—articles are written so well and simply! Thank you and God bless you.
· Thanks a lot for the life-changing and soul-strengthening messages that you keep posting. I am one of the people who are so passionate about knowing the truth because I want to be one of the youth who will keep raising the flag of our Lord Jesus Christ higher. I have read some of your articles, but they are more inspiring than most of the articles I have read before. My question is, Is it okay for me to extract some information from your articles, edit by removing a few things and add some few things, compile and print books in my name that I believe will change the lives of many souls that are hungrily hunting for the truth about the second coming of our Lord Jesus?
· I am not Jewish. I am a gentile (I guess). How do I know how to celebrate “Passover” or other holidays allowed by God? I also thought Jesus gave certain instructions to the Gentiles which didn’t seem to cover holidays at all. Such as do not eat food given to idols, do not fornicate, I forget the others right now lol. Hopefully you are getting my question.
· Please clarify, when are the hours of Sabbath? It seems like many people do their celebrating events on Saturday evenings, and this makes it difficult. Two important events are expecting me to attend Saturday evening, and I don’t want to break my holy day God gave to me. One is a wedding, and the other is my son’s disability prom.
· Thank you for your quick reply. I have known in my heart and spirit for a long time that I want to keep the Sabbath holy. Can I worship God, rest on this day and keep it holy, but not attend a church that worships on Saturday? I am married, and my husband and I have not always had a good marriage. But we do now, and we both pray and study together, but worship and attend church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I do not want to stand in his way of going to church by not going with him. What I’m asking is … Will I be obedient by honoring and keeping Saturday as my Sabbath and go to church with my husband on Sundays? He does not object to this. Please say a prayer with me that God will send me a clear answer because I truly want to please him.
· A teenager asks two questions: 1. To repent for my sins, will I need to also be baptized? If so, where can I go? 2. Should I give up on playing a game called “Monster Hunter World”? The only times I do play is on Saturdays and Sundays. On the weekdays I’m focused on school. Is this okay, or should I quit playing? I’m not addicted or obsessed. It’s mostly just a little hobby really, same with reading. I don’t have violent thoughts after or during playing. So, am I good, or is it time to give [it] up?
· Is the Passover a holy convocation like the Sabbath and holy days?
· What steps should I now be taking to grow closer to God? I am a divorced none Christian. I have repented for all my sins and have a strong belief and desire to know God. I pray daily and read the New Testament and Psalms. I’m not sure which Bible to read with regards to learning scriptures. Would the NIV Bible be the right one? Also can you be baptized if you’re divorced?
· Our Lord Jesus Christ said we should pray in secret, [so] what is the best way to pray for our meal in a restaurant? Yes, our prayer is done quietly, but people will still see us bowing our heads and eyes closed, [and know] that we are giving thanks. We also choose a table at a corner so that we are unnoticeable.
· Where did God take Enoch so that he would not see death?
· Does wearing a wedding band exclude one from being baptized by church leaders and or before God? My wife’s pastor refuses to baptize her because she wears a wedding band.
· Would tithing be a reason to fall from grace, and if so, can you get His grace back again?
· Which are the books in Revelation, besides the book of life? Does it mean those books had names of the wicked ones and their works?
· This year, pagan Easter fell on April 1st, April Fools’ Day. Did God have a hand in this?
· I would like to kindly ask … [whether] when we go to heaven will we still have a free will. Or [will] God … make [us] do only what He wants?
· From a pastor: I interceded for a sister’s safe delivery, but the baby still died. Why? How do I encourage the church, because I made my boast that God will give her safe delivery?
· Apparently from another minister: Explain the church of Pergamos. I have to do it for a sermon tomorrow.
Canada Senior Pastor Trip to the Maritimes
From Doug Johnson: Canada’s eastern regions face some of the same challenges shared by all remote congregations of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. In so many areas of the world, “the laborers are few”—and this is also true for Canada.
While five of the six COGWA congregations in Canada have U.S.-based pastors who travel regularly to be with them (including the French-speaking congregation in Montreal), St. John’s, Newfoundland, does not. David Smith, our elder in the area, cares for this small flock. My wife Janel and I are always encouraged by our annual trip to this easternmost congregation in North America. The group is small, but warm, dedicated and appreciative of visitors.
For our 2018 visit, we traveled to St. John’s from July 11-15. We were able to connect with many of the local brethren early on the trip; then on the Sabbath (July 14) we enjoyed being with the entire group of 12 (including the two of us) for services. Afterward, we were joined by Blanche Smith for the potluck meal and fellowship. (Mrs. Smith’s health makes it difficult for her to participate fully in such an extended day.)
Later that evening, we were able to visit with Deanna Houston, caregiving daughter of deceased member Norma Benson. Mrs. Benson, one of the pioneer Church members in Newfoundland (baptized in the early 1970s), died Feb. 12 after battling Alzheimer’s disease for some years. Her legacy of faithfulness to God’s way is not forgotten.
With contacts to be made in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, we flew to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Sunday, July 15. We visited and shared dinner there with a couple who were old friends from our days at Ambassador College (Pasadena, in the late 1960s and early 1970s)—a pleasant and rare opportunity. We then drove about an hour north of Halifax to get a jump on the next day’s full itinerary of driving and meetings.
Monday morning, we left our hotel near Truro, Nova Scotia, and headed northeast toward Cape Breton Island. Just shy of the easternmost “chunk” of Nova Scotia, we had the chance to visit with a lady who had contacted Mr. Smith about two months ago after finding his phone number on the Church’s website. She has been studying material from the Life, Hope & Truth website and was desirous of meeting with a minister from the Church. My wife and I spent two hours answering questions and discussing challenges she faces in pursuing the truth she’s been finding on the website.
Following that appointment, we reversed direction and headed west for the four-hour drive to Moncton, where we were able to meet with our only member in New Brunswick. She was joined by a longtime friend, a lady who was formerly a member of the Worldwide Church of God. She still strives to carry on with her convictions, and we found we had much in common. The visit with both of these ladies was pleasant and an opportunity to get acquainted with new friends.
Having an extra day in our itinerary at this point, we took a page from French regional director Joel Meeker’s book and visited a nearby area of interest on Tuesday, July 17. Prince Edward Island is home to a national park that includes the “Green Gables” homestead that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s creation of one of the most beloved characters of classic fiction—Anne of Green Gables. We followed that delightful experience with a brief visit to Charlottetown, the provincial capital.
Wednesday, July 18, we returned to our home in Cleveland, Ohio, flying from Moncton, New Brunswick, to Toronto, Ontario, to Cleveland. We covered a lot of ground and met some individuals for the first time on this trip. We trust the time we were able to spend was profitable to those God has called and those whom He may be calling—the ones we came to fellowship with, teach and serve!
Next up on the Canadian docket—visiting the Toronto and North Bay, Ontario, congregations on the Sabbath of Aug. 25. We find it both a great blessing and opportunity, after so many years, to once more be in contact with and of service to our stalwart Canadian brethren, fondly hearkening back to the earliest (and foundational) 16 years of our marriage, family and ministry.