April 8, 2020

Sabbath services—April 11, 18 and 25

  • 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.

Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 9

  • First holy day services will be webcast from headquarters at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time on cogwa.tv and Roku.
  • In regions where, because of the time difference, it is not feasible to log on to the webcast from headquarters, pastors will plan how to provide local services and will notify members in those areas.

Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 15

  • Last holy day services (one service only) will be webcast from headquarters at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time on cogwa.tv and Roku.
  • If pastors desire to webcast a second service locally, that is certainly permissible, as long as it does not conflict with the time of the headquarters service. We believe that under these unusual circumstances, having one service is appropriate on the last holy day of Unleavened Bread.

Connecting to the headquarters webcast

You can access the 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).

COGWA Youth Camps Video 

We will be showing the COGWA Youth Camps 2020 video presentation during the headquarters webcast on April 11. 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. We will also post the 2020 camp video on the CYC web page (camps.cogwa.org) sometime next week.

Festival registration

Registration for the 2020 Feast of Tabernacles opens on Sunday, April 12, at 10 a.m. Eastern time. 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.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday, April 12, 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.

Sabbath services in May

As we have learned in the last few weeks, everything is quite unpredictable in this situation. But we will soon be making contingency plans for May and will be prepared for continuing as we are or making applicable changes. We will keep you informed.

Holy day offerings

For U.S. members: Instructions regarding the holy day offering are available here. For members outside the U.S.: Each region is responsible for determining how to best collect the offering, and pastors will communicate that to the members.

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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