Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Hail Jehovah and Jesus Christ!
Christian Feast Of Tabernacles 2016 - Further Instructions
Glory, honour, praises and thanks to JEHOVAH, the Strength and Preserver of Spiritual Israel through His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ for His mercies towards us – Psalms 40:5.
Further to the circular letter dated September 26, 2016 issued by the Executive Board, I am directed by the Festival Committee of the Lord’s Ministry, GKS, to acquaint all Feast celebrants with the following information/instructions through the various attached schedules.
The schedules include:
1. General Information/Instructions
2. Musical Groups to perform in the Music Festival/Band Stand
3. Some hotels in Warri/Effurun and their rates.
May the Most High God continue to direct us through His Spirit as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of feasts for our own blessings and salvation in the end through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Brother T. T. Iwoh,
Secretary. Festival Committee
FEAST OF TABERNACLES 2016 -SCHEDULE 1
1. Prayers at Saint Urhobo’s Monument: It has been observed that during the Feast of Tabernacles, some delegates, who, no doubt have strong desire to pray to God do go before the monument of Saint G. M. Urhobo in Salem City, Warri to pray. Some kneel down before it, while others stand still with their heads bowed down. This practice, to say the least, is unscriptural. Any prayer made through Saint G. M. Urhobo or any other saint of God is not in accordance with the will of God. Only prayers made through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, are answered by God. (Read 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6; Acts 4:12, etc). Members should therefore, not go and pray at the Monument of St. G. M. Urhobo.
2. Prayers at St. Urhobo Square Artistes’ Stage: Another trend which is gaining ground is the practice in which some Feast celebrants troop in their numbers to the Artistes’ Stage at the close of the day’s activities to pray. The awkwardness of this practice can be appreciated when we remind ourselves that prayers are to be said in a quiet or solemn manner and in a serene environment devoid of distractions and interruptions. Praying while choristers are performing on the choir stand, some celebrants are dancing, others exchanging pleasantries is improper and amounts to indiscretion. (Matthew 6:5-8) Worst still, lying down on the Artistes’ Stage in the glare of everyone around is indecent. Feast celebrants, who want to meditate and engage themselves in prayer session at Saint Urhobo Square should look out for a quiet or suitable time to do so. They can as well use the Service Halls for their prayers.
3. Unwholesome Manners of Prayers: Against the proper manners for prayers specified by our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 6:5-8; Luke 11:1-4), the following manners of prayer are not in accordance with the GKS tradition. They include the following:
(i) Closing of the eyes
(ii) Singing while praying
(iii) Saying “Amen” repeatedly inside the prayer as against using it once at the end of the prayer
(iv) Members of a group of two or more persons holding hands while praying
(v) Placing hands on the Altar Stage while kneeling down on the Artistes’ Stage
(vi) Hitting the air in front of one with clenched fist as in so-called Pentecostal Churches
(vii) Engaging in unnecessarily long and repetitive prayers
4. Youths Dancing in Circles: During the Special Thanksgiving of the Last and Great Day, it has been observed that some of our youths do converge in the midst of the arena with handkerchiefs tied to the top of their walking sticks, dancing in circles. Some observers say that the circling and tying of handkerchiefs to walking sticks emanated from what some dubious occult groups. Youths who did that in the past were advised and directed to discontinue it. The Holy Bible says that we should “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Thessalonians 5:22). Our youths can dance moderately in praise of God, but not in circles in front of the offertory boxes.
5. Drinking of Alcohol: Also, the attention of the Lord’s Ministry has been drawn to some Feast celebrants who are in the habit of leaving the Feast arena when Bible Lectures or other relevant spiritual functions are going on to some nearby drinking spots, where they engage in drinking of wine, unhealthy conversations and unrestrained revelry. The Lord’s Ministry views these unpleasant practices with grave concern especially the spiritual dangers inherent in these acts. (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:1–3) Members who are guilty of these acts are warned to desist from them for their own spiritual good. The Feast period is NOT a time for wild merry-making; but for sober reflection in hearing, learning and fulfilling the commandments of God. - Ephesians 5:15-18; Romans 2:24.
6. Commercialisation of the Feast: The rate at which some members see the Feast as a period for selling of their wares, is assuming a high proportion. Many of the items on display are not related to publicizing the Feast. This is gross misplacement of priority. At times like the Feast period, the Holy Bible says that children of God should “be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools” - Ecclesiastes 5:1; James 1:19.
7. Loitering around the Feeding Centres: It was observed that in the last Feast of Tabernacles, officials had a difficult time bringing order in the feeding centres as many delegates spent time idling away, conversing, scrambling for food; etc when bible lectures were going on at Saint Urhobo Square. Therefore, to curb these excesses, all sale of food and snacks would now be regulated as follows:
· Breakfast: 7am – 10.00am
· Lunch: 12noon – 4.00pm
· Dinner: 8.00pm –11pm
8. Information Desks: The Lord’s Ministry has established three information centres for collection of announcements during the Feast. They will be located at the Main Gate, Reception Centre and Charity Schools.
a. Making of announcements repeatedly from the GKS Studio through the loud speakers in the compound. Individuals and groups should submit their announcements to the Feast Secretaries for proper collation.
b. There will be no announcements about missing children or mothers looking for their children. All such cases would be referred to the Laity Feast Reception Centre where the children would be kept safely under the custody of accredited Feast officials by the grace of God. Parents/guardians are advised to take care of their children or wards.
9. List of Delegates: This should be sent to the Lord’s Ministry Festival Committee on or before Sunday, December 11, 2016 for planning purposes.
10. Feast Greetings/Goodwill Messages: These should be brief and spiritually-meaningful. They should reach the Lord’s Ministry not later than Sunday, December 11, 2016.
11. Feeding: The feeding arrangements would remain the same as organized by the GKS Women Fellowship National using approved caterers and food vendors who would sell food, snacks and drinks. Saint Paul International Group will provide free feeding for children and aged members during the Feast period by the grace of God.
12. Accommodation: The Lord’s Ministry thanks God Almighty and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ for the use of College of Commerce, Warri by the Church for the Feast of Tabernacles. Therefore, nobody should sleep in the service halls. They would be kept clean and used for prayers by members.
13. Sanitation/Security: Branches are to provide Feast Sanitary Officers as well as Security Officers to see to the sanitation and security of the lodging places. List of these officers should be submitted at the Reception Center on arrival for proper coordination.
14. Playing of Football: Youths who have formed the habit of playing football in the field, either in the morning or at night, after the Feast assemblies are warned to desist from it. - 1 Timothy 4:8
15. Dressing: Members should be decently dressed to reflect the glory of God. Our dressing should NOT conform to the patterns of this evil world. - Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-17
16. Hairstyles: The Lord’s Ministry admonishes all members to be modest in appearance. The fashion of this world should not be emulated by anyone. Sisters are to cover their hair completely to all assemblies of the Church as enjoined in the Scriptures. – 1 Corinthians 11:4-9; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
17. Use of Mobile Phones: Members are advised NOT to use their phones either to make or receive calls during the Feast assemblies – Ecclesiastes 5:1.
18. Medical: Delegates with known medical condition should endeavour to bring along their medications that would last them throughout the period of the Feast. We pray God Almighty to help such all ones by His grace. Amen.
19. Use of Delegates’ Tags: For security reasons and ease of identification, members are advised to always wear their “Feast Delegates” tag which can be collected from the Feast Reception Centre in Salem City Warri on arrival.
20. Photography: Members should not engage in photography sessions when assemblies of the Feast are going on.
21. Activities in the Lodging Areas: Members are to avoid doing things that could disturb the peace of other delegates. Cooking close to the hostels, making of noise or musical rehearsals should be done outside the lodging areas. Grown-up boys (4 years and above) are not allowed to stay with their mothers in Sisters’ lodging places. But for some time now, this rule has been flagrantly disregarded by some males. We have also learnt that some mothers, too, have a share in this blame for encouraging their grown-up sons to come and eat or take messages from them in their lodging areas.
22. Children’s Assembly: All children are expected to attend the Children’s Assembly on Saturday, December 17, 2016. Children of the age of 15 and below would remain in Salem City to participate in the Children’s Assembly for their own spiritual benefit by the grace of God.
23. Punctuality at Feast Assemblies: Members should be punctual to all assemblies and give proper attention to the word of God for our spiritual edification and growth.
· Sisters’ Processions: All choral groups and orchestras which can make it to the procession are encouraged to participate to add glory to it. Scriptures say: “In the multitude of people is the king's honour” – Proverbs 14:28.
1. ORDERLINESS should be our watchword. -1 Corinthians 14:33,40.
2. Adequate arrangements should be made for good vehicles by the various groups where necessary by the grace of God.
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