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December 28, 2016 
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Preaching the true gospel in Europe

What's new in preaching the true gospel of the
Kingdom of God in German-speaking Europe?

December 28, 2016: The Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] now has 15 video sermons, 4 "Beyond Today" videos and a festival video available on its YouTube channel. The videos have been viewed 22,957 times, including 10,962 views for the "Beyond Today" program on the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

December 21, 2016: At the end of the year, 18 ebooks produced by the Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] are available in the Apple iTunes store, the Google Play Store, via the ebook distributor Smashwords, the European ebook distributor Xinxii and German ebook distributors Thalia, bücher.de and Weltbild. 24 booklets are available in print, as well as all 12 lessons of the Bible Study Course.

December 9, 2016: In October and November the MP3 sermons posted to the Gute Nachrichten website were downloaded 371 times. 3 sermons are available for public access and a new sermon is posted each week.

December 2, 2016: Donation income for the Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] for the period January-November 2016 declined by 14.5 percent compared to same period last year. Coworkers and donors (defined as individuals who provide financial support but do not attend UCG-Germany worship services) contributed 14.3 percent of UCG-Germany's income in the first eleven months of the year.

November 28, 2016: The UCG-Germany National Council approved budget for 2017 includes total expenses of 258,000 €. Income is projected to be 210,000 €, with the deficit being paid from cash reserves. The budget provides funds to increase circulation of the "Gute Nachrichten" magazine to 10,000 subscribers and to print one new booklet and reprint four current booklets.

November 19, 2016: 7 visitors attended today's "Open House" church service of the Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] in Dormagen near Cologne. The "Open House" was advertised via the "Gute Nachrichten" and "Intern" magazines.

November 11, 2016: The November-December issue Gute Nachrichten, November 2016 issue of the "Gute Nachrichten" magazine is mailed to a record 9123 readers, a 5.4 percent increase over the 2015 November-December issue. The magazine was mailed to 7509 subscribers in Germany, 751 subscribers in Switzerland and 705 subscribers in Austria. There are also subscribers in 22 other countries, mainly in Europe, but also in North and South America.

November 5, 2016: The Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] hosts another round of "Open House" church services. The "Open House" service was advertised via the "Gute Nachrichten" magazine. 4 visitors attended services in Munich, 3 were present in Oberndorf near Salzburg, Austria, 1 person attended in Winterthur, Switzerland and 5 visitors came to the "Open House" service in Mörfelden.

October 31, 2016: The offering statistics for the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day in the German-language region have been finalized. The offering on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles was 10,672 €, 38.1 percent more than last year. The offering (10,120 €) on the Last Great Day was 22.9 less than 2015. The total offering on the seven annual Holy Days in 2016 was 15 percent less than last year.

October 17, 2016: 210 people from 8 countries meet in Schluchsee in the southern Black Forest to observe the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. Read more »

October 12, 2016: 88 people met at four locations in the German-language region for church services today on the Day of Atonement. In Dormagen the attendance was 31. 23 people met in Mörfelden (near Frankfurt), and 17 were in attendance Munich. In Winterthur, Switzerland the attendance was also 17.

October 3, 2016: 132 people met at six locations in the German-language region for church services today on the Feast of Trumpets. 10 people met for services in Berlin. In Dormagen the attendance was 41. 22 people met in Mörfelden (near Frankfurt), and 25 were in attendance in Winterthur, Switzerland. In Rosenheim the attendance was 24. 10 people attended the afternoon service in Hamburg.

September 30, 2016: Donation income for the Vereinte Kirche Gottes [UCG-Germany] for the first nine months of 2016 was 6.4 percent higher than the same period last year. Coworkers and donors (defined as individuals who provide financial support but do not attend UCG-Germany worship services) contributed 14.6 percent of UCG-Germany's income in the first nine months of the year.

September 21, 2016: The Vereinte Kirche Gottes ["United Church of God-Germany"] produces its first German-language "Beyond Today" telecast, German video sermon Ist Gott eine Dreieinigkeit? ["Is God a Trinity"]. UCOG President Paul Kieffer recorded the telecast at the United Church of God Home Office in Cincinnati and UCG-Germany did the film editing.

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What's new in Germany & elsewhere? 

News on events in Europe and commentary
on diverse topics from Paul Kieffer's blog

December 23, 2016: Can you imagine that beautiful scenery could ever become boring? Probably not. That's what a young couple thought that moved to one of Canada's vacation paradises, surrounded by majestic mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Read more »

December 16, 2016: While it is true that we learn the importance of preparing for the foreseeable future from the ant (Proverbs 6:6-8), we live our lives – including that preparation – now, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. Read more »

December 9, 2016: In his poem "The Lover's Complaint" the English poet William Shakespeare declared that a grievance shared divides its weight (or burden), which in German is the proverb "Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid". Human experience confirms the playwright's declaration. Read more »

November 18, 2016: In the sermon on the mount Jesus emphasized the quality of being a peacemaker for those who will enter the kingdom of God: "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). Read more »

November 11, 2016: There are two possibilities for us when it comes to God's promises: We either take God at His word, or we don't. We either believe His promises, or we don't. Read more »

November 4, 2016: King David planned to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. The ark had rested some 20 years in the house of an Israelite farmer named Abinadab after the Philistines had returned the ark to Israel. But the day of the transfer turned to tragedy. Read more »

September 23, 2016: For the ancient Israelites the Feast of Tabernacles was the most joyful festival. Everyone's needs were taken care of – the widows, poor, Levites and even sojourners. Nothing was left undone to make sure that everyone was able to rejoice before the Lord. Read more »

September 16, 2016: It should not surprise us that the apostle Paul compared the life of a Christian to a race run by a trained athlete competing for a prize. Athletic contests were popular in ancient Greece, and the Corinthians knew exactly what he meant when he wrote about the race for a crown. Read more »

September 10, 2016: Unemployment among young people in the European Union, especially in southern Europe, remains a problem even five years after the critical situation was first highlighted. Read more »

August 26, 2016: With the number of Muslims in Germany numbering some four million (about five percent of Germany's population), it is no surprise that the number of mosques has increased in recent years. The question now is: "How big should Muslim mosques be?" Read more »

August 19, 2016: You wouldn't know it by watching me, but my family was musical – at least some of my six brothers. My mother took care of that with her preference for classical music and her sense of rhythm and timing. Read more »

August 12, 2016: For a research project an author once interviewed 24 people who had been prisoners of war during World War II. None of them had been tortured or in any other manner physically mistreated. Nevertheless, during their imprisonment they did suffer from cold, hunger, isolation and uncertainty concerning their own personal future. Read more »

August 5, 2016: The well-known English saying "Good things come to those who wait" was probably derived from a poem written by English author Violet Fane in 1892. In meaning it is similar to the German idiom, "Was lange währt, wird endlich gut". Read more »

July 22, 2016: Richard Nixon is the only president in American history to have resigned from his office. He became the victim of his own recording system. During the hearings on the Watergate affair, a White House staff member was asked if the president's office was equipped with a recording system. Read more »

July 1, 2016: Years ago someone told me that a person isn't necessarily what he seems to be when he is around people – the way he acts when others are around or the impression he wants to make on others. Read more »

June 3, 2016: Before taking office in January 2009 the newly elected president Barack Obama, a member of the Democrat party, reached out to Republicans to emphasize his desire to work together to make things happen. When he called a Republican member of Congress from Florida, she hung up on him because she thought it was a prank call. Read more »

May 27, 2016: Most members are familiar with the social network Facebook, and some are active Facebook members, having even Facebook friends among their church brethren. Read more »

May 6, 2016: The spring festival reminds us of God's wonderful gift of forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. At baptism God no longer associates us with our old sins, so should we put the past behind us. Read more »