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What's in issue No. 71, dated Dec. 31, 2002?

Christmas was in the air in December, and the history of Christmas was making a splash on the Internet. The Washington-based online magazine interviewed Intercontinental Church of God evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong and other U.S. religious leaders, pro and con, regarding the history and appropriateness (for Christians) of Christmas. The Journal reprints WND's article, including the GTA interview.

The Australian national council of the United Church of God decides not to distribute the November-December 2002 issue of the UCG's flagship publication, The Good News, to the general public.

Observers of Feast of Tabernacles 2002 wrap up their annual reports in this issue of The Journal. The reports include historic photos from the 1958 Feast in Big Sandy. The pictures, by Robert Macdonald, were all taken of campers in the Piney Woods and include images of Max Kuhlman, Carn Catherwood, Lloyd Hohertz, Janice Roemer and Mr. and Mrs. Walt Curtis.

Experts say the southern wall of what is believed to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem could collapse soon if not immediately repaired.

Is the curtain falling on the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena? It sounds like it. If someone doesn't buy it soon, the auditorium could literally come crashing down.

If the cartoon fits, Alan Ruth says wear it. The Webmaster of the Churches of God's largest Web site ( is creating a new comic strip, "The World of Odd." Its first installment appears in this issue of The Journal.

Letters to the editor include comments on whether the Sabbath is appropriate for Christians; opinions on when is the Last Great Day; and more than a pageful of lively letters about Dean Neal's Sept. 30 Journal advertisement titled "Where Are the Women of Proverbs 31?"

On page 3, The Journal's "Columns and Commentary" page, Janet Treadway says disadvantaged people sometimes set the best examples; Dave Havir declares we can learn from people who accuse everyone else of Laodiceanism; and Horst Obermeit thanks Gerald Flurry and Cal Culpepper for an apology.

The Church of God Big Sandy's annual Family Fellowship Weekend in December accommodates 250-plus of the brethren from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

Brian Knowles usually writes editorials for The Journal, but this time he pens an essay, "What Was so Good About Jesus Christ's Good News?"

Sandra-Mae Robinson, appearing for the second time as an essayist on these pages, writes "The Church Oughtn't to Be Democratic: A Defense of Hierarchy." Her article is based on her award-winning presentation at the Feast of Tabernacles observance in September in Jamaica.

His broadcasting peers and the general public in Jamaica have picked Journal contributor and Church of God International pastor Ian Boyne as one of the top two journalists in Jamaica. Mr. Boyne has been host on a popular television talk show for 15 years and writes articles for Jamaican publications.

Member Melvin Johnson of Woodbury, Tenn., releases a new music CD, "Guard the Family Altar."

A WCG congregation in Pasadena prays for Muslims each day during Ramadan.

"Notes and Quotes" notes the passing of Selmer Hegvold and lists the dates of some popular youth camps for 2003.

In this issue one of The Journal's resident Southern belles, Darlene Warren, recalls a childhood of being blown to and fro on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

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