Here is a comment left on the last posting by “Jim”. I am not able to verify its authenticity, but it’s consistent with other internal announcements.
————- Following is the text of the announcements —————–
These are some miscellaneous announcements that are being made prior to the Feast that some will need to be aware of concerning being asked to give opening prayers at the Feast. This matter of giving an opening prayer also obviously applies to anyone doing so at any Sabbath service.
There is more information contained in this email that applies directly to many in the ministry, however, it would be good to make this material available to all within the Church. So those of you to whom this is being sent are being asked to go ahead and email this to the rest of the ministry in the area you are located and/or the region you are over (just as you forward other ministerial information). This should also be made available to all the brethren for their learning and understanding as well. This entire announcement is to be made available in its complete form.
Although this is primarily being sent out so that everyone being asked to give opening prayers at a Feast site have this information, these guidelines also need to be followed by anyone who gives an opening prayer on the Sabbath.
The primary purpose of giving an opening prayer is to help establish the right atmosphere for the beginning of a service, where everyone is to focus keenly upon the message that God has blessed the Church to receive that day. Such a prayer helps to establish a needful transition from general fellowship with one another, to that of a quiet, respectful, and focused attention upon the message.
There are always basic matters that are to be addressed at such a time that should help everyone to focus upon the fact that we have gathered together before God to receive what He and His Son have blessed us to be able to receive. So thanks should always be given to God at such a time and a request for help to receive what He is offering to give us.
These opening prayers are a time that are to reflect the hope, desire, and gratitude that each individual in the congregation has toward the service that God is blessing them to partake in, as well as the fellowship being made available that day, so that each person can indeed say “Amen” – that they are in agreement and are themselves saying, “so be it.”
One of the main reasons for sending this information concerning opening prayers, is that this is an opportunity to petition God for all who are gathered together before Him, and this should be received and given in a strong spirit of humility. This means that the individual giving the prayer will want to do so in a way that does not unduly draw attention to themselves because this most certainly is not about the individual giving the prayer. It is about God and the right spirit of humility and meekness each of us should want to express and live toward Him.
However, there have been some who have been approached in the past concerning the wrong example that they have too often set when giving a prayer. Although sometimes, they seemingly don’t hear what is being said. Giving a prayer is absolutely NOT a time to draw attention to self. It is NOT a time to give a mini-sermonette. It is NOT a time to preach or teach. It is NOT a time to show how well we can present ourselves and/or show how spiritual we are.
It would be good to understand, that because some have consistently done this, that they have held themselves back in potential greater service to God’s Church. Sometimes, such individuals are no longer even asked to give a prayer because of some of these tendencies.
Some in the Church may not be aware of a requirement upon the ministry to send in monthly reports to the Church. Such reports are to reflect any concerns about a troubling situation that may exist in an area, perhaps some difficult trial someone may be experiencing, or to address some question of concern someone may have. Such reports are mostly to consist of a personal response from the minister as to the affects of current posts, sermons, or other things may be impacting their personal life. These reports are needful to help those in the administration of the Church to have a good sense as to the ongoing welfare of the Church and the ministry worldwide.
In the past, within the Worldwide Church of God, monthly reports were required of full-time ministers for basically the same purpose of keeping the headquarters of the Church informed and up-to-date concerning the Church and ministry. In my experience, it was always an unimaginable thing to hear about some in the ministry who did not follow that directive from headquarters. For me, it later magnified how these same men had a wrong spirit of service to the Church and did not stand fast for God and His ways within the Church. Such individuals reflected a variety of wrong thinking, practice, teaching, counseling, and service to God’s Church. That kind of spirit of neglect and/or rebellion reflects a spirit toward God that cannot be allowed to exist within the ministry.
Since some have been negligent in sending reports, they have either been reduced in their service within the ministry or have simply been removed from the ministry. The ministry needs to be aware of this, as well as the Church. Government, and the administration of God’s way of life, is a most basic characteristic that each member of the Body of Christ is to embrace and heartily live toward God, and most assuredly this applies to a minister. We are also now requiring that if both a husband and a wife are in the ministry that each one needs to send in a separate monthly report.
This is being written because some are still being negligent in sending in monthly reports and it needs to be understood that we are now WELL beyond any grace period that has been given too often to too many. It is for this basic reason that there will still be some who will be removed from the ministry if they do not follow through with this very simple request to respond as responsible servants to God’s Church. It needs to be taken seriously that we are in a most unique period of time in the measuring of the temple and God is moving the Church to be in the forefront of this process.