A feature of pre-Feast planning this year is the number of members who cannot physically attend at a central site. The main reason is age and related health issues. Many simply cannot make the trek from where they live to St. George, Utah.
So, what is developing is a series of satellite sites. These are locations where a small group gathers together in a place that does not require extensive travel. They will be able to stream live services from the main site and enjoy socializing with brethren.
We have had such a site for the past number of years in Boise, Idaho. Last year we also supported a small group in Sonora, California. This year sites have developed in several states and in England. Of course, there are some who simply cannot leave home. Their health issues don’t allow them the choice of attending anywhere.
The Council had already discussed that this year would be the last year where we attempt to gather everyone together at a central site. While that situation is desirable, it is not practical given the dynamics. We saw the handwriting on the wall and began to develop the concept of a satellite site program. It seems necessity has beaten us to it. For all the ills of technology, when it is used for good, it is a great tool in God’s service.
The reality of God’s admonition through Solomon is upon us. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come …” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). We certainly are in difficult days. For example, as of now, it appears that no COG group will be able to assemble for the Feast in Australia. It is a country in lockdown. It is also a country with a population ready to explode, as indicated by the civil unrest the oppressive lockdown is causing. Authority is being administered in an “overlord” manner which is resulting in strained relations between those who rule and those ruled.
Solomon also had old age in mind – the time when difficult days come. If we live long enough, we will all experience the debilitating aspects of the body wearing out.
The admonition should be taken by us all. Use your days to build a strong relationship with God – while you are of the body and mind to do so. There are people not able to attend the Feast this year who, a year ago, absolutely believed they would be attending this year.
Also, there are younger people experiencing illnesses now that they knew nothing about a year ago. The words of Solomon are God’s loving guidance for our good. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth …”.
The Apostle Paul acknowledged that Church members would experience difficult days – “the days are evil” – and he encouraged a response to that situation. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time …” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
We have very little idea of what will transpire in the next twelve months, which means that now is the preparation time for the time ahead. Build your solid foundation on the Rock while you have the freedom to do so.