Greetings from Pasadena: We are all fine here and the International Directors are just now starting to arrive for the conference, which begins tomorrow morning. It is great to see them again and to hear about the growth in their various areas overseas.
Mr. Herbert Armstrong just returned from a very helpful and profitable trip to visit the church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our minister there, Mr. Don Mason, reported that Mr. Armstrong gave a very warm and loving sermon which encouraged the congregation a great deal. However, because of very serious wrong attitudes and wrong accusations which he made, Yr. David Robinson, the former pastor there, has been terminated from God's ministry.
Also, along this somber note, I do feel compelled to state once again that all ministers who have chosen to go "non-career" are — unless otherwise advised by P.A.D. — to be regarded merely as laymen in God's Church. They are to exercise no ministerial authority or responsibility whatsoever. And any such individual who acts in defiance of this directive — which comes from Mr. Herbert Armstrong — will have to be disfellowshipped and possibly even marked if he is trying to cause division. Mr. Arthur Mokarow, for instance, is no longer a minister of the Worldwide Church of God or any of its affiliates. He is not now in any way employed by God's Work or serving as our representative in any capacity.
If we decide — with Mr. Armstrong's permission — that some few of those who have gone "non-career" or have been "laid off" because of past budgetary cuts should serve in a local elder capacity, we will let that be known to the individual, and to his minister and all his immediate superiors in the Work.
Last Thursday evening, Mr. Dennis Luker buoyantly returned from what he said was a most inspiring conference of all the men in Mr. Ron Kelly's area! Everything seems to be going well in that area. The men are warm and supportive, and Mr. Luker was inspired by their interchange and by the results of the conference.
We hope to hold many more such conferences in your local areas in the months to come, and I am sure we can all be more together in Christian fellowship and service when we have opportunity to talk and think and work together in such an atmosphere.
Speaking of growth and unity, the international areas have had the greatest amount of this in the last year or two. WHY?
Frankly, the answer is not too hard to come by. Because of the fact that many of these areas — such as Britain, France, Germany, etc., have either had very little or no exposure from GTA — they have really been growing in membership, in financial income and in unity and brotherhood MUCH MORE than many areas in the U.S. Obviously, they were not exposed to the liberalism, playboyism and subtle spirit of self-will and rebellion which was spread so much from GTA and a number of his present followers over the last few years. The 'put-downs", the negative attitudes and accusations expressed so often in may areas of the U.S. simply NEVER REACHED many of our international areas in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, etc. Or, if some of these negative "vibes" did reach those shores, they were so diminished by the time they arrived that it had very little or no effect — especially since we had positive, loyal and enthusiastic leaders in, these areas to counteract such garbage!
Therefore, God is BLESSING many of these areas now — and has been for the past few years even during a time of stagnation here in the U.S. That is WHY Britain, New Zealand, and some of these areas are growing 15 to 20% a year and the overwhelming number of our brethren there are loyal and solid and untroubled by the intellectual and spiritual garbage which has been allowed to flow around so freely in certain U.S. church areas.
Let's all back off from our immediate situation from time to time and see this BIG PICTURE!
Frankly, fellows, the time for "fence-sitting" is OVER. I now want to ask every one of you to get SOLIDLY behind Mr. Herbert Armstrong and this Work and to convey that to your congregations in definite, specific and enthusiastic terms! Too many have sat on the sidelines to "wait and see" what will happen. Too many — by lack of enthusiasm, by raised eyebrows and questioning looks and subtly phrased negative intimations — have let their congregations know all too clearly that they are not WHOLEHEARTEDLY supportive of the leadership of God's apostle, Mr. Herbert Armstrong, or this very Work of God.
God tells us: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..." (Ecc.9:10).
Sure, we know that there have been misunderstandings, upsets and confusions. But that time should now be over. A loyal and clean and dedicated leadership at Pasadena is now backing God's apostle and the Work and Church are going to go forward. Let's all be sure that we do our parts with ENTHUSIASM to join in this growth and show God and the people under our charge where we stand.
Again, let's become a fervently- praying Church and ministry and keep our eye on the BIG PICTURE and on Jesus Christ, our living Head and Savior.
With Christian love, Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. John Prohs has asked, me to add a note regarding the need for members to operate sound systems at each of the festival sites this year. Please announce this need to your congregations. If there are any members who are qualified in this area, please have them write to Mr. Prohs with their sound system experience background, address and telephone number. His address is. John Prohs, 300 West Green St., Pasadena, CA 91123.