April 23, 2020

Sabbath services—April 25 and May 2, 9, 16 and 23

  • On April 4, U.S. pastors began webcasting entire services or sermons to their congregations. Congregations that are hosting webcasts have their information posted in alphabetical order on cogwa.tv. If your church area is not listed, contact your pastor to receive information about your local webcast. 
  • We are also webcasting a full Sabbath service (hymns, sermonette or split sermon, announcements, sermon) from headquarters at12 p.m. Central Daylight Time on cogwa.tv and Roku.
  • All local services will be held either before or after the webcast from headquarters, so there will be no scheduling conflict. As of April 2, 21 church areas are webcasting in the afternoon and 19 in the morning.
  • You can access the headquarters webcast simply by going to cogwa.tv (no password necessary) or your Roku channel. We will also be providing simultaneous translations in Spanish and in French (also available on cogwa.tv and Roku).

Foundation Institute currently accepting applications

While public and private schools and colleges in Texas are closed through the end of this school year, most are planning to reopen in time for the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year. Likewise, we at Foundation Institute believe we will be able to begin our next year of classes as scheduled, on Aug. 23.

We encourage those who have been considering Foundation Institute to submit their applications as soon as possible. You can download and mail your application, or you can complete and submit it online. Start the process either way by going to the Foundation Institute website (foundationinstitute.org) and clicking on the “Apply Now” link at the top of the page. Further details about the program and its costs are also available on the Foundation Institute website.

It is important that your application be submitted by May 31, and sooner if possible. This allows us to ensure we have adequate student housing available. Applications submitted after that date may still be considered, but we cannot guarantee housing.

Foundation Institute is a full nine-month immersion program in God’s way of life. Classes cover the entirety of the Bible along with such special classes as Principles of Christianity; Comparative Religion; Fundamental Beliefs of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association; and Service in the Church. This coming year we are planning to introduce a new course: Modern History of the Church.

The education at Foundation Institute is unique and unavailable anywhere else. We look forward to receiving your application and having you join us for what promises to be an exciting year ahead.

2020 Foundation Institute Continuing Education summer seminars

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the administration of the Church, together with the Foundation Institute faculty, has decided to cancel the two Continuing Education seminars scheduled for June 8-12 and July 13-17.

While the governor of Texas has announced plans for gradually easing the lockdown restrictions, it is far from clear whether and when we would be allowed to have an event such as these seminars. Given that participants need to make their plans for the summer, we determined the responsible course of action is to cancel this year’s two sessions.

We realize this will disappoint many of you (as it does us), but in lieu of summer classes, this could be a good time to catch up on any of the FI Online classes you might have missed over the past few years. And rest assured, we plan to resume the Continuing Education program in the summer of 2021.

Thank you for your interest, and we hope to see you some time in the not too distant future.

COGWA Youth Camps video 

The COGWA Youth Camps 2020 video presentation that was played during the headquarters webcast on April 11 is now posted on the CYC web page. We hope everyone will tune in to view this short but encouraging seven-minute video about our youth camps and plans for this coming summer.

Festival registration update

Registration for the 2020 Feast of Tabernacles opened on Sunday, April 12, at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Two U.S. Feast sites—Park City, Utah, and Tucson, Arizona—are now closed due to having reached capacity.

We ask that all COGWA households, whether attending in the U.S. or internationally, please complete the online Festival registration. If adult members in one household are attending different sites, you will need to register individually. We also ask that those not attending please register as well by selecting NOT ATTENDING as their site choice. This gives us more accurate figures for planning.

You can register by clicking on the “Registration” button at feast.cogwa.org. (Or you can go directly to portal.cogwa.org/acct if you already know where you want to attend.) The email address of the registrant will be used to identify that person’s or family’s registration account.

All registrants will receive an email verification immediately after completing the first step of registration. To complete the process, simply access that email, click on the link provided and finish your Festival registration. Members without Internet access should be assisted by their local Festival adviser.

One Accord revised publishing schedule

You will soon receive the April edition of One Accord. After that, we will change to producing six issues annually instead of 10, but each issue will increase to 24 pages. We rely far more on our weekly In Accord video for communicating up-to-date Church news, and when a cost analysis showed we would realize a substantial monetary savings by publishing six issues, it was an easy decision. Plus, it will free up much-needed time for our editorial team to devote to more pressing media projects.

Rights to privacy

The Church’s long-standing policy is that pastors should not share prayer requests about any member’s health situation unless the member who is ill gives specific permission and makes such a request. Federal law (HIPAA) also prohibits this for a number of people in various professions. We urge all members to be mindful of that guideline as well. Even though we are well-meaning, we should respect people’s right to privacy and their right to be the first to disclose their personal health information at the time and in the manner of their choosing. This is especially applicable during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19. If there is a situation where some confusion or uncertainty exists on the part of the member and/or pastor, the pastor is encouraged to contact Ministerial Services for advice.

Office update

The office is temporarily closed, and employees are working from home, with the exception that we are allowed to have people on-site to prepare for and conduct video or teleconference services. We continue to monitor local regulations and will abide by the governmental directives to do our part in stopping the spread of the virus.

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