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July 29, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During the three days of the Dallas conference last weekend the attendance ranged between 185 and 250. Dr. Ross Jutsum was on hand to provide worship music and was joined by Murdock Gibbs at the final service. Many told me that this was the best conference that we have done to date.

29TX LL . 29TX CL . 29TX RR

A new showing of the art of Basil Wolverton is currently on display in New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery until Aug 14. The link is: http://www.gladstonegallery.com/wolv.asp?id=1632

The New York Times has posted a nice history (with slideshow) of MAD Magazine’s “grossest and funniest illustrator” to accompany the show. Here is a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/arts/design/23basil.html?_r=1&th&emc=th


From Stuart Foster:29 Northern Ireland 11

In Northern Ireland the concept of a “retreat” conjures up images of several days of fasting and walking barefoot – more of a type of penance. But, as the combined Craigavon & Ballymoney congregations discovered, the Ballymoney Summer Retreat, a first for GCI Northern Ireland, was no fast but a veritable physical and spiritual feast!

29 Northern Ireland 22We were all looking forward to getting together – it had been some time. The first day, Saturday June 20, was hosted at Ballymoney’s regular church hall. This enabled members, many of whom are elderly and could only attend one day, to sample the flavor and more relaxed atmosphere of a retreat. The Ballymoney ladies, renowned for their catering skills, enhanced the occasion by preparing a delicious lunchtime spread for the 45 attendees on that day. Over the course of the weekend around 60 people participated in the event.

29 Northern Ireland 33The theme for the weekend, perhaps recognized and recited by us all since childhood, was “The Lord’s Prayer.” Though viewed by Christians as a simple outline or rote mantra, our mentors Messrs. James Henderson and David Stirk, with enlisted helpers – we, the audience – examined and amplified every nuance of each word and verse over the two-day period. By Sunday evening, we had, only just scratched the surface of this profound passage of Scripture. A quote taken from Deacon Will Linton’s Retreat program put it this way, “Rather than a prayer to be repeated, the Lord’s Prayer is more like a magnificent house to explore.”

The whole occasion proved to be more than a lesson in biblical exegesis or how to study the Bible. It was an opportunity to explore and share our own personal understanding with friends and communicate with our loving Father.

Unanimously the Northern Ireland brethren decided to meet again next Spring.

Craigavon member wins bowling competition

by Marlene Foster

29 Annie1My mum, Annie Darlison, arrived home from a Chest Heart & Stroke activity recently with a big smile on her face. She had been presented with 2 trophies, one gold to keep permanently and one silver, her name engraved on them both. We knew she was good at bowling but we didn’t know she was that good! We were pleased for her to have won the CHS bowling competition. She was the first woman in five years to do so.

Mum suffered a severe stroke about 15 years ago. She has had to adapt to using her left hand because she was paralyzed down her right side. Learning to bowl has been a great achievement for her, and her motivation to learn new skills has been encouraging to all the family. No matter our age or disability, we can all try something new. Annie’s two other daughters (my sisters) attend GCI in Liverpool and Ipswich.

Dells Celebration 2009

From Doug Johannsen:

You’re all invited to our annual Dells Celebration at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI, from September 17, through 20, 2009. Our theme this year is “From Exclusion to Inclusion.” Join us on this four-day journey as we examine four major areas of life where people are commonly unjustly excluded and learn practical ways to include all.

Step 1: Reserve your room at the Kalahari by Monday, August 16, 2009. The Kalahari is the premier family resort in the Dells featuring the world’s largest indoor water park and new theme park. Phone 1-877-525-2427 for reservations.

  • HUT— $109 per night plus tax, 1-4 people only
  • LODGE SUITE – $129 per night plus tax, 1-4 people only
  • COMBINATION SUITE (lodge and hut) —$238 per night plus tax—sleeps up to 8 people
  • VILLAGE (lodge and two adjoining huts)—$347 per night plus tax—sleeps up to 12 people

You must call the Kalahari Resort no later than August 16th to reserve your room. After August 16, the low prices we’ve negotiated will no longer be available! Let the reservation personnel know you are with the Worldwide Church of God/Grace Communion International. The Kalahari reservation number is: 1-877-525-2427.

You may also book your room online:
First, go to: https://res.kalahariresort.com/V1Web/GroupComments.aspx
Then enter:

  • Group ID 10646
  • Password: 244
  • Contact Password (Optional): leave this blank
  • Click on “Make Reservation” and follow the prompts.

Step 2: Register with Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God HQ online at: www.wcg.org/go/wisconsin. Follow the prompts and pay with your credit card.

Or you may download a registration form, fill it out and mail your registration with a check to:

Grace Communion International
PO Box 5005Glendora
CA 91740-5005

Or if you do not have Internet access, contact Dells Coordinator Doug Johannsen by phone (763-576-1086) or by mail: 14210 Uranium St NW, Ramsey, MN 55303, and he will mail the forms to you.

Step 3: Come celebrate Jesus with your family and friends. Enjoy good food and many other activities! (By the way, the Kalahari is a very family activity oriented facility. It has a huge water park and a brand new theme park!)

Northern Light Summer Camp

Northern Light Camp Director, Todd Fox wrote:

29 camp groupWe have successfully concluded Northern Light Summer Camp in Lanesboro, Minnesota. There were 26 campers and 18 staff members.

Activities included: Oneota Life, Pioneer Life, South Treetops (for the older campers – the facility’s toughest treetops course), East Treetops (for the younger campers), Earth Exploration, Group Challenges, Archery, Minimum Impact Camping, Rock Climbing, Basic Orienteering (for the younger campers), GPS Pathfinders (for the older campers) and canoeing. We also held workshops for the campers in Arts & Crafts, Videography, Photography, Worship Leading and Prayer Journaling.

We started each day with camp devotions led by the campers. It was especially nice to see the depth that developed within the entire group of campers as the devotions were led by the older campers.

A dynamic that contributed to the overall synergy of the camp was the mix of ages for evening workshops. This was the first time in this camp’s history that we mixed campers out of their dorm assignments. We found that the older ones ‘looked out’ for the younger ones and the younger ones looked up to the older ones. The older ones showed more respect in helping the staff members teach the lessons as well.

29-camp-canoe . 29 camp laugh .


From Yasmin Ann D. Maninang:

“Dedicated to the Honor and Glory of God”, was the theme of the Evangelism Explosion (EE) graduation of the GCI North Hills Village Church, held at the Multipurpose Hall in Bangaray Tigbe, Norzagaray, Bulacan July 5. The training was headed by the local church EE Coordinator and Lecturer Pastor Med and Sister Neng Maninang. This is their 11th year of equipping local church leaders and members about friendship, evangelism, discipleship and healthy growth. One hundred and twenty-five people accepted Jesus Christ during the training. One hundred and twelve attended the graduation ceremony.

Disaster Relief Fund

Because of the generosity of several of our U.S. Congregations and individual members, here are some of the ways we have been able to provide help to fellow members in times of disaster.

  • 2006: $20,000 to Bangladesh to build a disaster shelter
  • 2006: $11,400 to the Philippine church members for typhoon damage
  • 2007: $4,000 to Solomon Islands church members for earthquake damage
  • 2007: $5,000 to the Philippine church members for typhoon flooding damage
  • 2007: $4,000 to Bangladesh church members for monsoon flooding damage
  • 2007: $10,000 to Bangladesh church members for monsoon and typhoon flooding damage
  • 2008: $9,000 to the Philippine church members for typhoon flooding damage
  • 2008: $1,000 to Baton Rouge, LA church members for hurricane damage
  • 2008: $1,000 to Beaumont, TX church members for hurricane damage
  • 2008: $3,300 to Houston, TX church members for hurricane damage
  • 2009: $5,000 to the Honduras church members for earthquake damage

Prayer Requests and Updates

From our ministry leader in Holland, Frans Danenberg and his wife, Lamberta:

29Frans&Family1A week or so ago my dad had a fall resulting in a serious head injury and a broken hip. He was operated on, and survived that, but he died peacefully in his sleep, at 4 a.m. this morning. I will be preparing the services with my youngest brother and a catholic priest to honor my dad. He reached the age of 93 years, and we are thankful for that.

Yesterday we visited Lamberta’s father, whose health is rapidly declining. He gets oxygen daily and is very weak with heart problems and diabetes. So it is a very sorrowful time for us. Please pray for the family, and I know you will. That gives us peace.

Cards may be sent to:
Hopklaverstraat 18

Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer, for we belong to Christ, and by the Spirit it is in Christ that we pray. Prayer and other spiritual activities help keep our hearts in tune with God and remind us of who we are in Christ. He is our all in all, and in him we are eternally beloved of the Father and blessed to share his good news with others.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach