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WCG surveys members on when to keep Feast of Tabernacles,
Fee proposed to attend Feast site

By Dixon Cartwright

The pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God, in a mailing that included a report on church income, surveyed church members last month about the Feast of Tabernacles, asking them what configuration of festival they would like to see in 1997.

Joseph Tkach Jr., in a letter dated "September 1996" and received by members of the WCG in East Texas, asked members if they would prefer a "traditional eight-day fall festival" or a "weekends-only festival during fall dates."

In a departure from new tradition and old doctrine, Mr. Tkach also asked if members would be interested in a festival during the summer months, with "dates to be selected" later.

He also asked questions concerning the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets and the Day of Atonement:

"How would you prefer to observe the other festivals . . .?" the survey form queried.

The questionnaire, as options for the answer to this question, listed "Traditional dates," "Weekend nearest traditional date" and "I/We do not plan to attend any of the festivals in 1997."

The survey noted that members would be charged a "$200-$250 fee for expenses" for a traditional eight-day configuration. Weekends only during the traditional fall dates would require a fee of $75 to $100. The fee for a summer Feast of Tabernacles would run $75 to $100.

In the cover letter, Mr. Tkach noted that some members have asked, "Can't I go to a different Christian church and remain part of the body of Christ?"

Yes, he said, but "why not stay here and be part of the miracle of grace our Savior is performing in our fellowship?"

Mr. Tkach said daily income in July was $166,000 per day, but the daily income at the end of August was $90,000, with the average for the year at $163,000 per day.

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