Dear Fellow Ministers:

   Greetings from Pasadena! We are all fine here and I just got a fine report on the Shreveport campaign.

   We have cut the campaign format to two nights as it is more effective. So in Shreveport they had 576 people — with 71 new attendees — Friday night: and 333 total people — with 51 new — attending Saturday night. Mr. Ron Kelly, who acted as master of ceremonies, said everything went well, Mr. McMichael did a fine job and the brethren were very enthusiastic and much helped by the campaign in addition to a good response from the new people. We will be letting you know the follow-up Bible study statistics as we get them all compiled and will be planning more of these campaigns for the fall season after the Feast of Tabernacles.

   Mr. Armstrong had a busy week last week and had long meetings with a number of our executives and administrators from Pasadena — plus talking to several of us here in Pasadena on many matters by phone. So he is certainly keeping on top of things.

   By the way, following Raymond McNair's example in the British churches while he was in charge there, I would like to ask ALL of you ministers around the world to have a talk with your elders, deacons and leading men in each church area who lead in prayer. Remind them of Paul's instruction in I Tim. 2:1-2, and ask that the one who opens the church service in prayer specifically — as part of his prayer — lead the congregation in asking for God's blessing, guidance, wisdom, strength, etc., to be with Mr. Armstrong — the human leader and apostle whom he has placed over his Church and Work. Then, if the man who opens in prayer should by some chance forget to do this, be sure the man who closes with prayer does do it.

   I sincerely feel God will be well pleased with this as we should especially pray for Mr. Armstrong in the high office God has entrusted to him.

   Doing this will help focus our brethren around the world on this fact, and tend to cause them to think more about the worldwide Work and so help all of us to be more unified in our thoughts and in our personal prayers to our Creator.

   Also, I would like all of us, worldwide, to become — far more acutely aware of the DANGERS of alcoholism in our midst. I have had two or three fine talks with Mr. Dale Hawton recently — as has Mr. Armstrong — and we have both been impressed with the seriousness of the alcohol problem right in God's Church! Later, I talked to some of my grown children and other young people besides, and they very quickly admitted it: is a BIG problem to many, many of our young people in various church areas.

   One factor most of us have not focused on is that too many of our people think they "must" have liquor at an occasion for it to be "special" or successful. The idea of just getting together a group for an outside barbecue or an inside card party or gathering with lemonade or iced tea or some similar drink as the only beverage is pass& with perhaps most of our people!

   Somehow, the idea has been instilled that you're not "with it" unless you serve alcohol: that you are supposed to drink alcohol every day: that you have got to have that light-headed feeling or "happy glow"; that you must have two or three drinks before you can really "be yourself" and have a good time!

   Fellows, that kind of reasoning is just simply wrong and in fact cunningly evil!

   We, who should be FILLED with God's spirit — with a sense of brother-hood in our purpose and JOY through that spirit — should NEVER need to have our minds dulled by alcohol in order to relax with one another, to "be ourselves," etc. In fact, the "self" we become through alcohol may easily become a WRONG personality — one who is frustrated and insecure and afraid of reality and therefore seeks to blot it out through alcohol. Then, slowly and subtly, the NEED for alcohol often "sneaks up" on such a one and he becomes its absolute SLAVE — a confirmed alcoholic!

   We must STOP this thing in God's Church, fellow ministers!

   So let's cease working so hard to educate the "Bible Belt" types into drinking and spend more energy intelligently teaching and warning ALL our brethren about the increasing DANGER of alcoholism in this degenerate age of mankind. Teach them to have more socials and friendly gatherings without the presence of alcohol. And show them that "moderation" is NOT two or three martinis after dinner and then the ability barely to walk out the door without stumbling or falling!

   Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Hampton, and others of us will give you more on this later, but I want you to know that we in Pastoral Administration are very serious about this matter! Working with Mr. Hampton and others, we hope to develop an alcoholism prevention program as well as programs to assist those already "over the brink.

   So you also take this seriously, fellows. Set the example yourselves and start to give your congregations the biblical overview of what is becoming a major CURSE in western society and even a growing threat to many of our own people.

   Keep up the good work overall that is being done out there in your areas! Thanks again for your loyalty and love and all your letters of encouragement. Keep praying for Mr. Armstrong and for one another.

With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith

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Pastor General's ReportJune 18, 1979Vol 3 No. 23