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Servantsí News gladly accepts news of local congregations, conferences, and other events of interest to the family of the Eternal. We prefer items via e-mail or diskette, but will accept typed or hand-written material as well. We will will fix spelling and grammar mistakes for you! Please send all items to PO Box 220, Charlotte, Michigan 48813, e-mail to

Oklahoma Conference Schedule

In the Footsteps of the Messiah conference schedule has been announced. This Bible Study Seminar of December 25-28 will feature speakers: Ronald L. Dart (Christian Educational Ministries), Norman Edwards (Servantsí News), Joseph Good (Hatikva Ministries), Dean Wheelock (Hebrew Roots) and Ray Wooten (United Christian Ministries). Jim Rector (Cornerstone Publications) will speak on the Sabbath.


24th - Wednesday Evening: Get acquainted fellowship

25th - Thursday 8:45 AM: Sessions start: each of the 5 speakers will have about an hour with Questions & Answers and a break.

25th - Thursday Evening: Family Fun Show

26th - Friday 8:45 AM: Sessions start (schedule similar to Thursday).

26th - Friday Evening: Opening of the Sabbath (Joe Good) and Hymn-Along (Possibly with a famous guest singer)

27th - Sabbath Morning: Worship Service (Jim Rector)

27th - Sabbath Afternoon: Panel discussion among all speakers.

27th - Saturday Night: Family Dance (probably Country & Western)

28th - Sunday 8:45 AM: Sessions start, each speaker will wrap up his/her topic. We hope to end by 5 PM.


We encourage you to bring skits, songs, and other fun things to the Family Fun Show. If you would like to participate, call Tim or Angie Kelley at 903-769-2750. This is most important for those who may need special staging or musical backup. However, if you decide on something at the "last minute", just be sure to contact the Kelleyís on Thursday some time. Everyone will be given an opportunity.

At press time, over 70 rooms were already booked for this conference—with an estimated attendance of 300. See last monthís Servantsí News for more details on the accommodations. If you would like to stay at the Seminar location, please contact Western Hills at 800-654-8240 soon. For information on other places in the area to stay, please contact Norm Brumm at 918-479-8111. If you need more information regarding the seminar, please call or write: Mitchell Smith, 405 N. Main St., Lindale, Tx 75771; 903-882-7446.

Kansas City Youth Retreat

The Heartland Church of God is sponsoring a Youth Retreat December 26-28, 1997 in Kansas City, Missouri. It is open to all Sabbath keeping youth ages 13 and up. Activities will include a dance, volleyball, basketball, game room, Sabbath Services, pizza party, and an all-night social with games and movies. The cost is $15.00 per person. For an application and further information, please contact Roger and Laurinda Armer (phone 816-356-2436 or e-mail or Rick and Paula Frazee (phone 816-461-3252 or e-mail by December 10, 1997.

Sherrod Confirmed to Australia

Dr. Rick Sherrod's trip to Australia has been confirmed for June 1998. He will be visiting Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. [See Sept-Oct Servantsí News for trip details.] Accommodation has been found for him. But we need monies for his flight and advertising.

For this purpose we are setting up a special bank account to take donations toward this worthwhile cause. If you are interested we can send you a free bank deposit book. It will contain no serial number making it impossible for us to track who contributes (unless you specify that you would prefer that). We must hear from you as soon as possible. Planning must commence immediately. Write to or send donations to: History Research Projects (2nd account), GPO Box 864, Sydney 2001.

Friends of the Sabbath, California

Friends of the Sabbath will be sponsoring a January 9-10, 1998 meeting in Irvine, California at the New Community Church, 2025 Alton Parkway. The meeting begins Friday at 7:30 P.M. Sabbath services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Ron Dart and Jon Garnant will be speaking. For details, contact Dale or Rosemary Stogner at 714-730-3561.

Why is Graham Hymnal Stalled?

I need help! I am sending this message to those of God's people who have expressed an interest in our hymnal project.

Here is the situation. We have produced a hymnal for the churches of God who need one. It's good, and it's finished, and has been since April. We chose to include 29 Dwight Armstrong hymns because they are biblical and because they mean so much to God's people.

We needed permission from the Worldwide Church of God to do this, and so I submitted such a request to Joseph Tkach, Jr., in November, 1996. The reply was cordial, and that church's board gave us permission in December 1996. All that remained was to work out royalty agreements. I submitted what I thought was a reasonable proposal for royalties in March 1997. At that point, things could have been resolved in a week, and you would have had the hymnal in April.

To make a long story short, for reasons which I do not understand, the legal department of WCG tells me when I call them that everything is OK and they just have to get an agreement out to me to sign, but they don't actually get around to sending one. I call them regularly, and fax and write. I would think they would be so tired of me that they would wrap things up! I will keep contacting them, but I have reached the point where I feel as though I have done all that I can do, and things seem to have gotten stuck. It is interesting that UCG was able to reach a similar agreement with them, and they had their hymnal at the feast this year. It was a thrill for me to hear my hymns sung and liked by thousands of people, and I am happy that we in UCG have a hymnal, but I still see a need for this other one.

Of course, we have prayed about this project from the beginning, and God has blessed it in many ways. But we have reached a point where the only solution is to enlist your fervent prayers to God that this project be completed and put into your hands. In some ways it is insignificant next to requests that God would heal people from life-threatening illness, but in other ways I think it is very important and directly connected to his end-time work. And so, all you friendly people who have been so supportive so far, please continue to pray for this project, or add us to your prayer list. Please ask him to remove whatever is blocking the completion of this project, or to move the right people to do whatever is called for at this point. Once we receive permission, Mr. Jim Hopkins is ready to put it into print. I have given him the opportunity to back out of this project gracefully, given all the delays, but he still thinks it's important.

I have poured many hours of effort into this hymnal, and it is uniquely tailored to those who "keep the law and have the testimony of Jesus". I seemed to have reached the limits of what I can do. Let's put it even more into God's hands. Please help!

Many thanks,

—Mark Graham, Lakewood, Ohio


Things like this can seldom be proved because there is usually no written evidence—but we cannot help but wonder if old friends now in the UCG and WCG did not make a deal on this one. Grahamís hymnal was ready to print long before the UCG-AIA hymnal, but somehow he did not get an agreement, and the UCG-AIA did. Is someone trying to make sure that an independent hymnal does not become a "standard" that would make movement around the various corporate and independent "Churches of God" one step easier?


1998 Sabbath Campers Fellowship

We are currently in the process of planning campouts for the summer of 1998. At this time, we are planning two—one somewhere in the Tennessee area and the other in the southern Michigan area. As many of you probably know, we at SCF desire to celebrate the things we share in common—faith in God and obedience to Him and the Sabbath. We encourage tolerance, godly love and peace allowing Godís Holy Spirit to join us as brethren in the casual and informal atmosphere of the campground. We hope that many of you, whether independent or affiliated with an organization, will feel free to participate!

If camping appeals to you, please try to join us for the upcoming camping season. If you are unable or donít wish to camp, perhaps you can join us for fellowship and/or Sabbath services. Our motto remains "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).

If you would like to receive our newsletter and perhaps join us at one of the campouts, please send us your name, address, and telephone number and we will forward our newsletter as soon as it is available.

If the planned campouts are too far, why not form a Sabbath Campers Fellowship group in your own area!

Al and Jeanne Raines

5415 Torrey Rd.

Flint, MI 48507-3811

Ph: (810) 232-2288

Fax: (810)232-5562


"Hearing God" Conference

The Church Council of Wisconsin sponsored a conference on "Hearing God", September 20th, 1997. The Church Council was founded by Elder John Purvins. Four speakers from different backgrounds were invited to speak on the subject, and then they all participated in a panel—where Norman Edwards joined them. The meeting was opened with 3 songs sung by members of Godís Church in the Appleton-Green Bay Area, an independent Sabbatarian congregation for nearly 30 years. Ten of the members sang the opening songs, and five played guitars. It was lively, yet respectable and enjoyable.

The first speaker was Augustine Serafini, a Catholic Priest and Author. He said that people hear God through many things: Scripture, tradition, the cosmos, church teaching, liturgy, music, the sacraments, prayer, meditation, religious art, other "holy reading" (in addition to the Bible), sacred art, conscience, and miraculous signs. He did mention that his Church hierarchy retains the power to decide if an individual is really hearing from God in matters that "affect the public order." He cited a personal example of when he thought a colleague really was hearing from God, but then later his Church determined that he was not.

Messianic Jewish Rabbi James Schmadl was the second speaker. His emphasis was on hearing God through the Scriptures. He explained at length how meticulous the scribes were in copying the scriptures: if they found one mistake, they discarded the page it was on; if they found two mistakes, they discarded the whole scroll. At one point he implied that people need to do a better job of doing what God has already written for them, not trying to hear more. He also emphasized that the spirit of God will guide us into all truth.

After a wonderful lunch provided freely to all, we heard the third speaker: Roger Roth, an Elder of the Active Living Fellowship (a charismatic group). He said that people claim to hear from God all of the time, but the question is: "Are the messages they hear really from God?" Most of his presentation was taken up with a discussion of various "3 level" concepts in the Bible. He said there are three levels of growth, and much of the church is at "level 1" where God would like us to be at "level 3". Some of his three levels were: righteousness, peace, joy; law, church, kingdom; good, acceptable, perfect; Father, Son, Holy Spirit; faith, hope, love; spot, wrinkle, blemish; water, spirit, fire; ask, seek, knock; court, holy place, holy of holies; etc. This concept was related to "hearing God" at the end, but this writer did not understand it.

John Purvins was the final speaker. He mentioned that direct communication with God is a gift. Some people throughout history have had it—even though, like Baalam, they were not all righteous. We need to learn to listen to people who appear to have this gift. However, we also need to know the scriptures so we can judge if what they are teaching is true. He noted that Jesus did not tell the Apostles to write a lot of literature after he died, but he set the example of mentoring—of mature believers showing new believers how to relate to God and live their lives.

Norman Edwards was given about 10 minutes to speak at the beginning of the panel. He covered the basic scriptures on prophets, showing that they did not cease in the New Testament but that we should seek this gift today, though we still have to be on the lookout for false prophets (Acts 21:8-14, Deut 13, Deut 18:21-22; Is 8:19-20, Jms 5:17; Is 66:2). A variety of questions were asked of the Panel, such as "have you ever heard from God." Some members indicated that they had on a few occasions, but no one claimed to do so on a regular basis. Overall, the conference was quite informative, and several people met new nearby friends with whom they may begin to fellowship.

—Norman S. Edwards

Servants News November 1997 index