Dear Fellow Ministers, (November 22, 1978)
Mr. Armstrong is sending a letter to our brethren and Co-Workers informing them that every current indication is that we should continue to publish Quest Magazine as one of the major activities of the Ambassador Foundation.
Personally, I am delighted with this news!
Right from the time the first conceptual planning for the setting up of our own Foundation took place in the early summer of 1975, I have supported it! I still do!
In the Ministerial Bulletin dated June 3, 1975, I had a long article showing why we needed the Foundation and gave several major reasons why I supported its being established. It seemed obvious then, and still does, that we should be involved in charitable, humanitarian and cultural activities to "let our light shine before men." In Matthew 25 Jesus clearly outlined a major responsibility for His servants in performing needed services to other men. This kind of attitude and good works "glorifies our Father who is in heaven."
Another very important and major reason for the Foundation was to better enable Mr. Armstrong to accomplish the Great Commission Christ has given him. A strong proof that the basic concept was sound is that despite the doubtful and disparaging comments by some of those who may have failed to understand the founding concept, the actual results, the fruits of the Foundation and of Quest have produced good reports from every community in which they have been-Involved. Worldwide! Even during our most recent crisis the positive activities of the Foundation have been producing good and uplifting reports and helping to diminish negative ones.
The film on AICF presented during the recent Feast of Tabernacles was prepared to show how the Gospel was spread in areas outside the U.S.A. with the help of the Foundation and Quest. It explained how ministers from various areas used the Foundation and Quest to directly and tangibly further the Work. The South African area, because of a combination of factors, was able to produce the most visible results so far. Bob Fahey has 3 large albums clearly depicting what can be achieved and produced by the Foundation in harmony with the Church. I was especially moved during the film presentation by Mr. Armstrong's closing remarks to the Turnhalle Convention in Windhoek, Namibia.' He told them that Jesus Christ said there is a storm coming more terrible than any before. But that the storm would pass and the sun would. shine through. A time of peace and prosperity would be ushered in by Jesus Christ. That is the Gospel! The first contact with government leaders there was through the Foundation.
In the June 3, 1975 Bulletin I wrote: "We who had an opportunity to be directly involved wanted it to be a magazine Mr. Armstrong could lay before kings. A prestigious publication, graphically beautiful, and up to date, with well-edited contents. It is just this and more. It is the kind of publication that gives one a sense of proper pride in what we are doing." We all agree that so far the product has not matched all our hopes, but that is no reason to give up!
When we began to consider selling Quest, we found that a number of leaders of the media industry were interested in buying it. Some seemed eager to buy it. They saw Quest as a new concept in magazine publication and wanted it as their flagship publication to represent their corporations at the highest level of business and government.
Frankly, the number of enthusiastic buyers who wanted the magazine as it is now, to represent them, has given us second thoughts about whether or not we should sell it.
What's more, our investment in terms of the idea, money and hard work have produced an established magazine. We have the staff and systems operating. The name and fame of Quest is growing. There is a backlog of excellent material from top writers ready for publication. Over 300, 000 subscribers are waiting for the next issue. The awards from the publishing industry are in hand. The prestige is there — and we own it! Those factors that may have withheld God's blessing, that to us tarnished our hopes, either have been changed, or are being changed, or as they are recognized will be changed. If we were to sell now, we would be in Winston Churchill's words "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
Based on these and perhaps other considerations, Mr. Armstrong has decided not to get rid of Quest for at least the rest of this fiscal year or longer, but rather to "fix it" and make it the tool to accomplish the work it should do. Not the only tool in our toolbox, but a significant one!
In the early days of the Work, many members wondered why Mr. Armstrong kept going to new areas to preach the Gospel. They thought he should stay home and look to their needs. Most members now understand the need to go worldwide in doing the Work. But it takes VISION, FAITH, to follow Christ's lead before the fruits are present for all to see.
Mr. Armstrong saw the need to go, not to a new area, but to a new technique — a Foundation and a significant activity of the Foundation-Quest Magazine. All of us as ministers of the Church need to support that decision enthusiastically, knowing that Jesus Christ has given him the Commission and inspired his leadership in fulfilling it.
I know we are all concerned about every activity of God's Work. We all wish to deeply identify with and support whatever Christ leads us to do in fulfilling His Great Commission. Based on this personal, emotional concern and identification, we all react with feelings and with conviction to our successes and to what may at times appear to be weaknesses. We are all part of the Body of Christ! God's Work is integrally connected as a part of our empirical self! We love what is ours! We are disappointed at our mistakes. We rejoice for those things where we succeed. We weep over our failings and sorrows.
This is all as it should be!
Let us never forget that the greatest need we all must always bear in mind is that we are not a body without a head. Jesus Christ is very much alive and well and on the job.
Let us serve Him and His servant on earth with our whole hearts.
Sincerely, in Jesus' Name,
C. Wayne Cole