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Jubilee '95 in San Antonio compares perspectives on Holy Days

By Mac Overton

SAN ANTONIO, Texas--Jubilee '95 Texas, attended here Dec. 23-25 1995 at La Mansion del Rio Hotel by more than 200 Sabbatarians from various churches and other organizations, discussed the Sabbath and Holy Days from varied perspectives.

The jubilee was sponsored by Friends of the Sabbath, founded by United Church of God member John Merritt and other nonordained Sabbatarians who had sponsored Jubilee '95: The Sabbath in the 21st Century May 28 and 29 at Dana Point, Calif.

On the first day, a Sabbath, Samuele Bacchiocchi, a Seventh-day Adventist university professor and expert on the history of the Sabbath, presented the keynote address, "My Search for the Sabbath at a Vatican University." (He spoke on this same subject at the earlier jubilee; see In Transition, June 23.)

Maximum attendance was about 250 Saturday night as about 50 Seventh-day Adventists from San Antonio congregations came to hear Dr. Bacchiocchi discuss whether the Sabbath is a "Holy Day or holiday."

Jim Franks of Houston, a member of the United Church of God's council of elders, gave "The Sabbath in Early America," complete with slides and a history of Sabbath-keepers in colonial times he compiled while serving as a Worldwide Church of God minister in New England.

Richard Nickels of Gillette, Wyo., presented "Examples of Sabbatarian Cooperation: The Bible Sabbath Association, and Giving & Sharing." Mr. Nickels founded Giving & Sharing, a service organization based in Neck City, Mo., that sells books and other study materials at a discount, and is executive director of the Bible Sabbath Association, Fairview, Okla.

Calvin Burrell, president of the Church of God (Seventh Day), based in Denver, Colo., gave a history of his church in the 19th and 20th centuries.

That evening, Ronald Dart, an elder and founder of Christian Educational Ministries of Whitehouse, Texas, presented "Typology of Holy Days in the New Testament."

He was followed by Dr. Bacchiocchi's discussion, "Holy Days or Holidays." On Sunday Dr. Bacchiocchi again led off the day's activities, with "Divine Rest for Human Restlessness," a reprise of another topic he had covered at Dana Point in May.

Donald Ward of Hawkins, Texas, a member of the UCG council of elders, then presented "Sabbath and Holy Day Linkage," followed by Peter Nathan of Thatcham, England, another member of the UCG council, who gave his address, "Holy Day Observance in the Early Christian Church."

Larry Walker of El Paso, Texas, a UCG minister, presented "Paul and the Holy Days," followed by a panel discussion, "Holy Days in Galatia and Colosse," by Drs. Bacchiocchi and Ward and Messrs. Nathan, Burrell and Walker.

Mr. Burrell then presented a Church of God (Seventh Day) perspective, "Are the Feast Days for Christians?" He was followed by Larry Salyer, Global Church of God minister from St. Peters, Mo., with "Holy Days for Christians: an Overview."

Dr. Bacchiocchi then presented "Update: My Research on the Biblical Holy Days," in which he reported on his coming to believe that the Holy Days are appropriate for Christians.

Herb Solinsky of the Dallas-based Congregation of the Almighty; Norman Edwards of Springdale, Ark., founder of Friends of the Brethren, and Ernest Martin of Associates for Scriptural Knowledge of Portland, Ore., participated in a panel discussion called "Determining Time: Biblical and Historical Calendars."

Meanwhile, in another meeting room, Jerold Aust of Placentia, Calif., minister in the United Church of God, read a paper he had prepared titled "Holy Days in Revelation: Language and Symbolicity."
He was followed by John Sash, an independent Sabbatarian from Eldon, Mo., who presented his research, "Passover Controversies."

Dr. Martin led the first discussion Dec. 25 with "The Biblical Holy Days and Their New Testament Significance."

After that, Mr. Salyer presented a paper, "Sukkot and the Millennium," and Mr. Nathan read a paper, "Yom Kippur's Two Goats."

Simultaneously, in another meeting room, short presentations tackled the subject of "diversity among Sabbatarians." Speakers included Alan Ruth of Barnabas Ministries, Detroit, Mich., who spoke on Churches of God in the 20th century, Norman Edwards of Springdale, Ark., who talked about Friends of the Brethren, which he founded; Richard Nickels, who discussed Holy Days among Sabbatarians; and Dr. Greg Walburn of the Institute for Ethical Monotheism, Fairbury, Neb., who spoke on "the Noachide covenant."

A panel made of up Messrs. Solinsky, Nathan, Nickels and Sash and Dr. Walburn discussed "new moons," while Drs. Bacchiocchi and Martin participated in a debate on John 5:17 moderated by Mr. Dart.

Literature from researchers and groups was available in an information room near the main hall.

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