Senior citizens were honored with a luncheon on Tuesday at Lodge of the Four Seasons. Seniors of note were Mr. and Mrs. Norman Moore of Kansas City, who were celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary at the Feast. But even they had to take second place in the contest for longest marriage as Herb and Marge Niblock, also of Kansas City, edged them out by a year. The Niblocks had celebrated their 65th anniversary a month earlier.
About 90 teens and young single adults attended a dance that evening in the Valencia Room at Lodge of the Four Seasons. Gary Jones II provided a good cross section of uplifting music for the occasion.
Wednesday evening was family night. Vi Gunn organized games and crafts for the younger children. Vi was better known during the evening as Rosebud, a lovable clown. Gary Jones II once again provided music for dancing, and Ric Wilson was master of ceremonies for the dance portion of the evening that included the limbo, twist and polka, line dances and a variety of other dances and music styles. Many comments were heard that this was the best-ever family night activity.
Members also engaged in personal activities such as golfing, shopping, go-cart racing, miniature golf, fine dining and, most of all, just plain fellowship. The numerous condo units available to members provided wonderful opportunities for friendly get-togethers. The pleasant weather also provided opportunities for members to share a barbecue with friends old and new.
The consensus was that Feast of Tabernacles '99 at Lake of the Ozarks was spiritually uplifting and one of the best ever! Gerald Weston, Blue Springs, Mo.
In the shadow of Popocatepetl
METEPEC, Mexico--Seventy brethren from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, the United States and Spain enjoyed a meaningful Feast in this beautiful and secluded site.
Metepec is in the foothills of famous Popocatepetl, an active volcano near Mexico City. When you spend the Feast near an active volcano and an earthquake shakes the place, instead of fear you experience a profound assurance of God's protection over His people.
In every Spanish Feast site as in all the other Living Church of God Feast sites, the Feast started and ended with the inspiring messages from Presiding Evangelist Roderick Meredith.
The major themes presented in the Feast messages were meant to stir up the vision of tomorrow's world and to expound on the rule of the righteous King and the need to bear spiritual fruit in order to rule with Christ. Mario Hernandez.
A time of healing
MOMBASA, Kenya--The Feast of Tabernacles this year took place at Kenya's beautiful south coast at a site sponsored by the Living Church of God. The site was located at scenic Maweni Beach Cottages, a few kilometers outside Mombasa.
Sixty-five were in attendance, but the Last Great Day had 68.
The three Kenyan congregations and our scattered brethren attended. Guest speaker was Pieter van der Byl from South Africa, along with Ernest Owino, the local church elder and Kenya representative.
During the course of the Feast, the brethren engaged in various activities. Many enjoyed swimming in the sea, sheltered from the open ocean by coral reefs. Others could be seen having a great time just playing in the water.
Some of us traveled to places outside the site. Some toured the nearby port city of Mombasa, Kenya's tourist attraction. Others visited Ukunda.
We had one healing. Two-year-old Joseph Munyao, Mr. and Mrs. King'oo Muteti's grandson, was healed of a fever moments after Mr. Van der Byl and Mr. Owino anointed and prayed for him. Pwia M. Kyondu.
Spiritual unity in Quebec
MONTREAL, Que., Canada--More than 55 French- and English-speaking brethren from Canada and the United States celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles at Ste. Adele in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains, about 30 miles northwest of Montreal. Spectacular fall colors and rustic mountain scenery served as a perfect backdrop for what proved to be the best Feast ever, both spiritually and physically.
God's presence in Canada and at this Living Church of God site was clearly evident as brethren from different languages and cultures bridged those differences, giving a foretaste of the unity and cooperation we will experience in the Millennium.
Although they could have been a barrier, the language differences only served to help make us more determined to get to know each other, and by the end of the Feast we were all sad to leave our new brothers and sisters in Christ.
We experienced an abundance of spiritually and physically refreshing activities. Bilingual translations were provided as eager members stayed late, fellowshipped and enjoyed beautiful special music together, just as in the early days of the church.
Spiritually rejuvenating messages helped brethren to focus on restoring apostolic Christianity by preparing them to teach these principles in tomorrow's world.
Trips were taken to old Montreal; members participated in a slide show and cultural evening, a barbecue, boating, swimming, fishing and simply relaxing by the pool.
On the Last Great Day all the brethren attended a special luncheon in honor of our seniors and their many years of dedicated service in God's work.
During the middle of the Feast we received a special visit from Canadian regional director Charles Bryce and family, who had traveled by train from Niagara Falls to be with us. Mr. Bryce's inspiring and encouraging messages explained how we are learning to be whole and complete people by fearing God, doing the work and keeping God's commandments.
Another highlight of the Feast was the variety show, in which brethren--young and old--participated in music and comedy. One of our French-speaking Canadian brethren, Roger Baillargeon, with warmth and love served as our bilingual emcee. He proved once again that language, culture or humor poses no barrier to the unity of God's Spirit. A marvelous time was had by all.
As the last light of the Feast of Tabernacles passed on Friday evening, the festival coordinator and his wife played host to a champagne reception in their motel suite for the brethren. At sunset we raised our glasses together and gave a toast to the Last Great Day, with all that it pictures in God's plan of salvation for the world.
As "To the Kingdom!" echoed, truly this indeed had been the best Feast yet! Richard A. Sedliacik and Rodger L. Bardo.
Model of a small Feast
MYSTIC, Conn.--About 40 people kept the Feast of Tabernacles at Mystic, near an area rich in American history.
The messages were timely and the fellowship warm. We sampled many attractions, including Mystic Seaport, where we saw the reproduction of the Amistad; Mystic Aquarium, which had on display some recently found oil and wine jugs from a Phoenician ship dated 150 B.C.; and the Pequot Museum, which had state-of-the-art exhibits depicting life there over time. It was not your usual John Wayne version of events!
One day was spent seeing the nearby Newport, R.I., attractions, including the original Sabbatarian meetinghouse.
This model of a structured small Feast site was well received, and we may repeat it at Mystic or another part of the Northeast next year. Rodger Sandsmark, Simsbury, Conn.
Restoring apostolic Christianity
PANAMA CITY, Fla.--The great God certainly poured out His Spirit of love and joy as evidenced in the smiling faces, encouraging words and enthusiasm expressed by more than 800 brethren who attended this year's Living Church of God Feast of Tabernacles in Panama City.
The sermons and sermonettes surpassed all in recent memory. We were admonished to volunteer for service, because "many helpers make the load light." Many people volunteered to serve in every capacity. Even our youths pitched in by ushering on Teen Usher Day and Youth Day.
Carl McNair was the keynote speaker for the first half of the Feast. He asked us if the work of God is finished. He proved that the work of God will continue until the return of Jesus Christ and even into the millennial rule of Christ on earth. Mr. McNair also showed us that to be leaders in the Kingdom we need to learn to be leaders and servers now.
Dr. Roderick C. Meredith led us the last half of the Feast and spoke of how prophesied events are speeding up. He admonished us to grow continually closer to God and to pray, study and fast often. He gave us a brief history of Herbert W. Armstrong's life while doing God's work and showed us how we, too, are an integral part of God's work, that in keeping the whole way of life we are restoring apostolic Christianity.
Rand Millich pointed out that no other nation ever had laws, statutes and ordinances as did ancient Israel, nor was any other nation in such close contact with God. He said that, in the Kingdom, people "will shake hands, not fists," and we will help teach God's holy days to the whole earth.
Rod Reynolds reminded us to consider true enjoyment. He told us our enjoyment must go beyond the mere physical to the real reason we were at the Feast in the first place.
Jim Nork helped us realize the world sees us as "loving our brothers" when we show we care about them. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it.
John Shelton opened up communication. He pointed out that, just as in the time of Babel, we once again nearly have only one language worldwide.
We were shown why we are here by Lehman Lyons Sr., who said truth is why we are here.
"Abel's Message" was brought to us by Randall Kobernat, who compared our calling to Abel's in that "God doesn't care where we started, but He cares deeply where we end."
Carl Ponder took us over the Lord's Prayer and showed us how to utilize it in our own personal prayers.
On the Last Great Day Martin Fannin drew a beautiful picture of how the billions of people who have lived will have their day of salvation for the first time. This is the time in which living waters will flow, and we, the elect, will finally be able to help all peoples who suffered so in this present age.
We had a variety of activities to appeal to all groups. The seniors had a luncheon on Thursday. There was an elegant dinner and dance Sunday evening for the older singles, and on Monday evening, for the young singles, a fun-filled beachside family day and family dance at the Boardwalk Convention Center. Last, but certainly not least, the teen dance was on Sunday.
One last note: The locals seemed really nice. They appeared to enjoy our people, finding us to be courteous and friendly.
What a wonderful way to look forward to the special time when we will be privileged to share this way of life with all mankind. Ally Maddox.
Training as kings and priests
PENANG ISLAND, Malaysia--Things went smoothly for the Feast of Tabernacles in Penang Island. Eighty-five brethren, including children, had a wonderful Feast sponsored by the Living Church of God in the Copthrone Orchid Hotel.
Inspiring sermonettes and sermons were given by Ken MacLeod, the visiting minister from Perth, Australia. There were uplifting sermonettes and, from headquarters, spiritually educating video sermons.
Other members from Perth, who had been to Malaysia for past Feasts of Tabernacles, and three members from the Philippines also attended.
Feastgoers rejoiced when three young adults were baptized by Mr. MacLeod and Rajan Moses Sept. 30. They were Gabriel David, Ms. Mahaletchumy and Jessica Sowartha, all second-generation Christians.
The Feast was filled with activities such as a get-together night with games, family beach day, youth day, youth speech club and Bible study with questions and answers.
A fun show allowed the brethren to display their talents. The show included someone reading a poem titled "Teach Me, God," group dances, songs, a comical sketch and a lively international-flavored fashion show.
Rain coincidentally poured after a member sang and danced to "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."
A barbecue dinner featured karaoke singing, a hymn sing-along, and an interesting and stimulating Bible quiz.
A bus tour was organized to a batik-printing factory, a butterfly farm, a tropical fruit farm, a forest reserve and part of the City of Georgetown called Little India, where Indian food, clothing and other products are sold.
It was a successful Feast of training as kings and priests and of great spiritual and physical blessing from the Almighty. Peter Chan.
Gates of Eden Feast site
PEORIA, Ill.--Even though I attended the funeral of a family member on Sept. 26, I was glad to be able to celebrate the first three days of the Feast with the Gates of Eden Messianic group at East Peoria and Peoria, Ill., before leaving for my intended site at Branson, Mo., with the United Church of God.
My only reason for reporting this is to alert Journal readers that here is another group that believes as Church of God people, celebrating the Feast. I don't believe these people's site was ever listed in The Journal.
The Gates of Eden is associated with the Union of Messianic Congregations, yet is independent. The Peoria group organized in May 1995. Its first Feast service was on Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. and every evening thereafter. Greg W. Strier, Normal, Ill.
PORT VILA, Vanuatu--The Feast of Tabernacles in Port Vila served to bring together members of the Living Church of God from the far-scattered islands of Vanuatu. This is the only time in the year that some members are able to attend services with others.
Thirty-nine members and their families attended. They benefited from sermons from visiting elder Kinnear Penman during the first part of the Feast and thereafter viewed special sermons provided by headquarters ministers. Subjects covered included using God's Word to guide our daily decisions and preparing to be the type of people with whom Christ will be pleased to share His throne in the coming Kingdom.
Three Feastgoers took the opportunity to seek counsel towards baptism with a visiting minister. Several people attended the Feast for the first time.
Activities that enabled Feastgoers to enjoy each other's company included a picnic afternoon and a shared meal and fun show that concluded with all singing the song "Family Now and Forever." Kinnear Penman.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada--Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province, was host to 112 of God's people for the Living Church of God's Feast of Tabernacles site here this year.
The hallmark of the Feast was the attitude of warmth and family atmosphere that prevailed as God provided us with warm sunny days and starlit nights.
Brethren were inspired by Dr. Roderick Meredith's messages on opening night and the Last Great Day. Sermons were given on topics that inspired us to look forward to the Kingdom of God and the Last Great Day. Evangelist Charles Bryce spent the last three days of the Feast in P.E.I. after a visit to all other Canadian sites.
Family day was spent at Rainbow Valley, where brethren enjoyed a lunch of sandwiches and homemade ice cream before children (of all ages) spent the remainder of the afternoon on rides and attractions opened especially for our benefit.
A special treat on the Last Great Day was a buffet lunch available to the brethren in the cafeteria of the school in which services were held. This provided everyone a last opportunity to fellowship together before starting home.
Everyone agreed that this Feast was without doubt the best Feast ever. Frank Best.
Feast of gratitude
QUETZALTENANGO, Guatemala--Forty brethren assembled in this colonial mountain town for the Feast of Tabernacles sponsored by the Living Church of God. The outflowing love and joy of the Guatemalan brethren are a powerful witness. They made a profound impression on visitors.
Rocael Ralda, our elder in Guatemala, is doing better. At the end of the Feast he shed tears of gratitude. A few months ago when he experienced a serious liver condition he did not think he would be alive for the Feast. He was thankful for the prayers of the brethren around the world.
Please keep praying for his complete recovery. We need him in Guatemala. Mario Hernandez.
Visitors from afar
ROTORUA, New Zealand--God certainly bestowed His favor upon the 46 Feastgoers who gathered in Rotorua to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, sponsored here by the Living Church of God. Many remarked upon the completely new spirit of cooperation and peace that prevailed, making this a time replete with wonderful experiences and memories.
We were also, for the first time in more than a quarter of a century of meeting in Rotorua, blessed with perfect weather throughout, which enabled us to enjoy the many beautiful natural wonders of the area.
During the first part of the Feast we enjoyed the company of Mr. and Mrs. Irv Woelfle (elder and wife from Illinois). Mr. Woelfle spoke on subjects including the many New Testament brethren we will meet in the resurrection and compared the true value of physical and spiritual riches.
The special Feast sermon videos from headquarters and local elder Kinnear Penman also ensured that the important spiritual food was well provided.
A feature of the Feast was the good number of new people with us. Several households were, for the first time, represented at a Feast of our fellowship. These all were made welcome as we shared a zeal to see the full gospel preached to the world.
Two people, Simon Massey and Susan Church, were attending their first Feast of Tabernacles. These are the first fruits of the Tomorrow's World program shown on TV in Auckland. We were delighted to have with us visitors from as far afield as New England, Missouri and Perth (Western Australia).
Activities, enjoyed by all who attended them, included a barbecue on the evening after the first holy day. This served to bring everyone together at the Feast and was an excellent opportunity to meet new and old friends.
A youth afternoon consisting of a visit to a couple of mazes and a dip in a thermal pool concluded with a potluck dinner for all Feastgoers. Kinnear Penman.
The place to be
SANTA CATALINA ISLAND, Calif.--We just spent one of our best Feasts ever on Santa Catalina Island, 26 miles west of Los Angeles Harbor in Southern California.
Keeping the Feast on this island paradise helped, but it was the close family atmosphere that really set this Feast apart from so many others my family and I have attended.
The Church of God Restored (formerly the WCG Restored) played host to this year's Feast of Tabernacles at Glenmore Plaza Hotel, just a stone's throw from beautiful Avalon Bay.
The Feast began with an opening message and reception on Friday evening, Sept. 24. For the next eight days services were held in the Century Room of the hotel.
This is a small but charming facility that doubled as a clubhouse and meeting place for festival attendees.
The conference room was like a large family room to us, with something constantly going on to keep people entertained.
Every day of the Feast featured morning services as well as afternoon or evening excursions and beautifully catered meals, all of which were sponsored by the church. All the activities were geared to create a family atmosphere.
Sunday evening saw a concert during which professional musicians who are members of the COGR electrified the audience with movie tunes, oldies and contemporary music. Festivalgoers were even encouraged to come up and, in karaoke style, lead the audience in song.
Throughout the week the activities truly emphasized the family and showcased Catalina Island. On one day a glass-bottom boat cruised. On another, festival attendees enjoyed a moonlight tram ride around the island. There was a beach party as well as a family dinner dance and talent show.
When we first arrived we were presented with a registration package that included island brochures, hand-made greeting cards, a large bag of Catalina saltwater taffy (the signature candy of the island) and a beautiful full-color festival brochure describing each day's activities as well as general information concerning the Feast. Each of the festival planners was personalized and reflected the highest level of professionalism.
Although the services were intimate in size, the quality they reflected was exceptional. This was in part thanks to the extraordinary talent of those serving at the Feast.
The sound system was managed by a four-time Emmy-award winner. The meals were catered by a professional caterer who has prepared meals for presidents. The music was provided by accomplished artists. My wife, Linda, was asked to provide special music on three days.
Although the last day required us to return to Catalina from another festival location, the family atmosphere at the Catalina site made it worth the trip. Everyone at this site seemed truly interested in serving, and by doing so we had a tremendous opportunity to learn so much about each other and draw closer as a family.
In addition to the outstanding talent, the Catalina site featured extraordinary messages delivered with power and hope and that captured the attention of the audience.
This year's Feast featured three main speakers. Art Braidic gave powerful messages on hope and healing as well as a dramatic message on the Last Great Day titled "God Saves the Best for Last."
Dennis Fischer gave intellectually insightful messages concerning the qualities of great leaders and why we need to develop these qualities in preparation for our responsibilities in the world to come. Mr. Fischer also spoke about "how to protect your moral compass" as well as preparing Christ's bride for His ultimate wedding.
Mardy Cobb gave three animated sermons emphasizing God's Kingdom. His first was about the King of that Kingdom and how He would rule. His second and third messages addressed the subjects of that Kingdom and the laws that would be applied by God during the Millennium.
Mr. Cobb illustrated his messages with stories that he brought to life with enthusiasm and passion. All the messages reflected great preparation and are among the most exciting I've ever heard at any Feast.
By the conclusion of the Feast, a unified family emerged, each member with his own special memory of this wonderful time. Whether it was the messages, the late-night conversations, the excursions, the music or the meals that made this truly an exceptional Feast, I don't know. But I do know my family and I are looking forward to returning to Catalina for the Feast next year. Eric Obermeit, Pasadena, Calif.
Two Feasts near Bend
SUN RIVER, Ore.--Let the record show there was yet another Feast site in the Bend area this year: Sun River. In fact, the independent site has been there about a dozen years, as I recall one organizer mentioning.
The UCG-AIA's site was 15-plus miles north of Bend (population 50,000) in the smaller town of Redmond. The site at Sun River (population a handful) was in the boonies, 15-plus miles south of Bend.
And beautiful boonies they were: lush meadows, trees, hills, a resort tucked a couple miles away from Highway 97, far from the madding crowd.
The Last Great Day had 132 in attendance at Sun River, highest attendance of my three services there. I attended four times at Redmond.
Certainly the entire region around Bend is lovely. The snowcapped Cascade Mountains to the west are spectacular. The weather ranged from the 20s some nights to the 70s some days. The area gets snow starting about November and little rain, I was told. Downtown Bend (near where I lodged) is a well-kept series of quaint shops and restaurants of all kinds. (Also, Bend has two Starbucks establishments; my quick, caffeinated breakfasts were assured!)
The UCG-AIA's Bob Dick spoke on the seventh day at Redmond. He mentioned that it was rare for a person in the United States and in the Church of God to have actually experienced a ruler lording it over him. He said that if one had been under a gentile or Roman imperial ruler, then he might understand such a condition.
I believe such experiences by brethren in the COGs in this country and in many other countries (democratic or not) have been more common than Bob realizes.
The smaller Sun River site had excellent speakers. Some had a WCG past; some had no past with the WCG. The brethren were friendly and nonjudgmental of other brethren, though some have had poor experiences with personalities and practices in their corporate past. So have I.
There was more of an emphasis on Jesus Christ in the songs and in the messages than one may be accustomed to in the corporate COG world.
Such is also the case at the local independent COG group I occasionally meet with in the San Francisco area. Believers in Christ Church of God is the local group meeting in Redwood City, about 20 miles south of San Francisco. Many of these brethren were at Sun River. Bruce Lyon, El Cerrito, Calif.
TARTU, Estonia--It was the United Church of God's third successive year for the Feast of Tabernacles and the second opportunity to participate there for my wife, Anita, and me.
The overall attendance has increased over last year as a few more from overseas discover this enchanting Israelite-linked corner of the globe (see Steve Collins' book about the lost 10 tribes of Israel).
The typical daily attendance this year was 49, with a high of 54 on the Last Great Day. The Estonian attendance remained at 14, although there was some change in individuals who made up the number.
Lulle Lepik of Tartu was baptized during the Feast.
A weekly Sabbath gathering for the coming year is set up in Tartu with sermons to be provided by Victor Kubik and John Lambert via phone link, with simultaneous translation into Estonian, except for one Sabbath monthly when Henrikas Klovas will travel to Tartu from his native Kaunas, Lithuania, to conduct services.
(For more on the Feast in Estonia, including lots of photos, see firstname.lastname@example.org. For another Journal report on the Feast in Estonia, see the Oct. 25 issue.)
Another highlight of the Feast was an outing to a lake on which we were accompanied by 13 children from the Emajoge day-care school, a facility with 105 developmentally challenged children.
Again this year sermons were given in English, except two sermonettes in Russian, with simultaneous translation into Estonian and German. Ample talent for accompaniment and song leaders for congregational singing was available. The Estonians experienced greater participation in this Feast because 15 of the hymns in the UCG hymnal have been translated into their language.
As last year, a full-day tour of the capital city, Tallin, a two hours' bus ride north, was well attended. I opted to stay in Tartu and spent four hours exploring some of the outlying areas by bicycle, which can be rented for $13 daily.
Tartu is the second-largest city of Estonia and is with its university a bastion of Estonian culture and heritage. We sampled a small part of that with a privately arranged performance of Estonian folk dancers.
The food selection and variety improve each year; the beer is a delightful experience; and I even got to the Tartu McDonald's this year for a milkshake.
The Spirit of God works in this part of the world, which has just since 1991 been released from communist antireligious influence and is struggling to establish an atmosphere in which serious, open study and inquiry into the Bible is not looked at with disdain. Marcus Strange, Blossburg, Pa.
Singing in the dark
TOBAGO--The Feast site sponsored by the Living Church of God was the Golf View Apartments on Shirvan Road, adjoining a beautiful golf course. Most of the brethren stayed at the site, with a few lodging next door at the Old Grange Inn or a short walk away at Patino's.
Fifty-four brethren were here from Trinidad and Tobago, 12 from Barbados and nine from the United States. Children and other young people were 27 strong.
We seemed to have brought a blessing to Tobago, since it rained especially at night, easing drought conditions. Remarkably, the rain never interfered with our activities.
The inaugural service was interrupted by a power failure, but brethren kept singing in the dark until they ran out of words. After the problem was corrected several minutes later, services continued without a hitch.
Ben Faulkner, the visiting minister, was scheduled to visit Barbados and Guyana and return for the last two days of the Feast. Immigration officials in Trinidad, however, informed him he would not be able to return to speak and possibly not be allowed even to step off the plane once he returned!
This was a new law to all of us. After making all reasonable efforts to change the situation, Mr. Faulkner decided to stay for the whole Feast.
Mr. Faulkner tirelessly and powerfully delivered eight sermons plus a Bible study and conducted a song-leading session.
Sermon topics focused on the significance of the Feast and on Christian living in the last days. Several sermonettes were also given by a local and visiting men.
A highlight was the song services and special music. Singing was accompanied by a pianist (Mrs. Glenda Faulkner or Mr. Michael Lowe) and three violists (Ruth and Pearl Roach and David Lowe).
Special music was provided every day except for the first service, performed by members of the Lowe family ([Mrs.] Claudine, Desiree, Michael, David and Christopher), Mrs. Faulkner and daughters Beth and Caroline and the Roach sisters, with the grand finale performed by the festival choir at the last service. The music and singing were truly memorable and inspiring.
A variety of physical activities enabled brethren to rejoice. These included a trip to a tropical reef and swimming in a marine pool, a children's party, a family day at a private beach, a singles' and youth day and a dinner and dance.
Many were heard to remark that it was their best Feast ever and an unforgettable experience. Ramsumair Sookram.
A light to Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz.--Four hundred fifty brethren and visitors attended the Tucson Feast site sponsored by the Living Church of God, where there was not a cloud in the sky to dampen the good old Southwest setting.
Even the mountains, the cacti and the sunsets seemed to glow.
It was like being at a spiritual oasis in a physical desert. Our guest speakers, evangelists John Ogwyn and Richard Ames, gave inspiring and motivating sermons focusing brethren on how to prepare for and reach our ultimate goal: teaching and training our future brethren in the soon-coming Kingdom of God.
The choir, directed by David Poloski, performed on several days to the delight of the members.
The children played an important part of the Feast here in the Southwest, and there surely were many of them. The children's choir sang exuberantly under the direction of Debbie Woods. Tears welled up in more than one member's eyes as the children sang.
Popular attractions included the Old Tucson movie set; the Sonoran Desert Museum; Kitt Peak Observatory; Tombstone; Nogales, Mexico; and of course the 27-mile drive up to the ponderosa pines on Mount Lemmon at 9,400 feet above sea level.
At the Western-themed barn dance and dinner, we enjoyed live music by Arizona Joe Rosignolo and Billy Bob Brazil, a comedy skit by the Bonjour family, and silly shenanigans by Mrs. Sandy Davis.
Ranch Dance Productions and Fred Field, a local square-dance caller, taught Feastgoers how to do several old-time and modern square dances.
In the back of the room Aaron Eagle and his wife taught a gaggle of little ones how to do the chicken dance. Because everyone was having so much fun, the hired band went well beyond the time it was paid for.
The musicians seemed to have as much fun as we did!
Several days later Phil Steagall, the local deacon and host, received an E-mail from the square-dance caller. His comments were positive. He was impressed by the brethren's desire to get back to traditional values and have good, clean fun, and he commented on how mostly cheerful, cooperative and enthusiastic they were.
He mentioned how much the energy and excitement the Living Church of God gave them to keep playing and entertaining.
We were definitely a shining light to those from the area. We do have what this world needs.
For this we should always thank God and Jesus Christ. Phil Steagall.
Spiritual food via videotape
WEWAK, Papua New Guinea--The Papua New Guinea members send their thanks and gratitude to all the Churches of God in Australia and to Pastor Bruce Tyler for the financial assistance, which helped the 43 members here to celebrate God's Feast of Tabernacles.
We were not able to have a visiting minister but appreciated the wonderful spiritual food provided by videotape from our ministers at the Living Church of God headquarters in San Diego, Calif.
The Feast was held in Wewak, a sea town on the northern coast with beautiful beaches, golden sands and swaying palms.
We had wonderful fellowship together, both spiritual and physical. We live scattered through the country, and the Feast is the only time when we are able to meet and visit each other. Peter Devis.