I am writing this letter on a plane while returning to Pasadena from New York City. Yesterday we had a combined service in Manhattan with approximately 2000 people observing the day of Pentecost — the birthdate of the Church of God.
The overwhelming impression that left its mark on me as we observed this annual Holy Day was the strength and durableness of God's people. The brethren in the greater New York City area are solid in the faith. In this they are representative of all our brethren — God's children — around the world. They are tried and proven, having already been tested in about every conceivable way. Yet, they remain basically stable, responsive, loyal and always anxious to see God's Work move forward, with new programs developed as needed, and the Work being done.
These remarks are intended as a sincere tribute arid recognition of the faith and dedication of the people of God around the world. The members of God's Church have, in the main, done their part well by their faithful prayers and generous support through troubled times as well as times of blessings and rejoicing. They remain committed to seeing this Work grow and reach out to humanity with God's message more effectively. They certainly deserve our expression of gratitude and encouragement.
Motivation, conviction, second and third effort are natural by-products of action, accomplishment and success. The greater the Work's effort in genuinely trying, and the more we actually do, the greater the enthusiasm, support and motivation we have among our people. But whenever we bog down or spin our wheels, when programs become stagnant or don't bring adequate results, then the people begin to lose momentum. They tend to languish, grow indifferent, lose the will to press on, wondering whether it's all worth it or not.
We have seen this phenomenon in action for some years. The Church seemed to lose its way. Growth was minimal and finally became nearly non-existent over the last year. Our efforts to accomplish seemed to fizzle out. Drastic changes were sometimes effected in the hopes we would recapture a winning way. But you ministers, more than any others, know we have been struggling to once again establish a winning combination. Because of this, your work of keeping a "turned-on" membership, a "with-it" support base, "a motivated people of God" has been increasingly difficult.
I sincerely believe this will be turned around. I am convinced that through Jesus Christ our Head and Master directing His servant Mr. Herbert Armstrong, the collective work of God's church will bear the kind of fruit God is looking for and reap the harvest in human lives committed, to God's Way of life. In the weeks and months ahead, we hope to see new programs inaugurated which should cause the church to go forward aa never before in fulfilling the commission of Jesus Christ!
It is now Tuesday morning, and in just a few minutes we will begin our first meeting with the area coordinators in my office. By now most of you have probably heard various rumors about recent developments regarding Mr. Ted Armstrong. Instead of trying to recount some of the details in this letter, I am having an article that appeared in this morning's Pasadena Star-News reproduced in this Pastor's Report. You can feel free to discuss parts of the article with the members. Use your own judgment as to how much of it you read to your congregation.
That's it for now. I must go to the meeting. Keep encouraging the people of God.