News and Views

PBI News Annual Report of the Board

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JulyAugust_2015_cover_FRONT

Dear Readers — The first issue of The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom appeared in July 1918. The effort at that time was to publish Gospel Age Harvest Truth for the benefit of the Lord’s consecrated. That purpose continues. As it was at the beginning, it remains edited by a committee of five brethren appointed annually by the directors of the Pastoral Bible Institute, the parent organization. Our main activity is in the U.S., with wide distribution also in India, Poland, and Africa. During the past year, translation of The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom also commenced in Portuguese and Croatian.

Annual Membership Meeting. The Pastoral Bible Institute’s annual membership meeting will be held on Friday, July 17, from 9 am to noon, at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Members and non-members are welcome to attend. The meeting will also be available by conference call. Those interested in attending in person should contact Bro. Ernie Kuenzli, the registrar for the General Convention and a director of the Institute. The General Convention begins on July 18.

PBI Directors. The annual nomination and election of seven directors was held in March. As is the PBI policy, current directors are not identified on the nominee ballot, each director stands for election annually, and written ballots are received and opened by a member who is not standing for election. Nominations were supervised by a three-member independent committee. Sr. Arlene Jones received and tallied all votes. The directors elected to serve for the 2015-2016 fiscal year are: Bros. Todd Alexander, Dave Christiansen, Len Griehs, Ernie Kuenzli, Tom Ruggirello, George Tabac and Tim Thomassen. These directors will begin a one-year term following the annual meeting. The current directors wish to thank all members of the PBI who participated in the election. We also thank all those members who were willing to stand for election, and those who supervised and monitored the election process.

The fiscal year ended April 30, 2014 and the following financial report was submitted by Board Treasurer Bro. Len Griehs

Religious

Since the pro-Russian separatists declared the Donetsk People’s Republic last April, the Russianbacked rebels made the Russian Orthodox Church the official religion of the self-declared rebel government. Now any religious group outside the Russian Orthodox faith — including Ukrainian Orthodox churches rejecting the Moscow patriarch for the Kiev patriarch — is viewed as a potential enemy of the Donetsk People’s Republic. — Al Jazeera, 3/17/2015

Once again, 75 years after the Holocaust, hatred against Jews is taking place openly in Germany, even in schools. In German schoolyards, the word “Jew” is increasingly used as an insult. According to sources from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a major German newspaper, one of the findings from the Youth Congress indicates that badgering of Jewish students, primarily by Arab children, caused some students to “leave regular schools and transfer to Jewish institutions.” — Huffington Post, 3/4/2015

 Social

The WHO’s latest update says the world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak — which erupted in remote southeastern Guinea in December 2013 — killed 10,980 people and infected more than 26,500. The U.N. envoy on Ebola hailed “extraordinary progress” against the outbreak in West Africa after new cases fell below 20 a week for the first time since mid-2014, but he warned it would take time to end the epidemic completely. — Reuters, 5/5/2015

The American Pharmacists Association adopted a resolution saying participation in lethal injection executions goes against its members’ core values as health care providers. The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists adopted a similar policy for its 4000 members. — AP, 4/3/2015

 Political

The Islamic State appears to be starting to fray from within, as dissent, defections and setbacks on the battlefield sap the group’s strength and erode its aura of invincibility among those living under its despotic rule. Reports of rising tensions between foreign and local fighters, aggressive and increasingly unsuccessful attempts to recruit local citizens for the front lines, and a growing incidence of guerrilla attacks against Islamic State targets suggest the militants are struggling to sustain their carefully cultivated image as a fearsome fighting force drawing Muslims together under the umbrella of a utopian Islamic state. — Washington Post, 3/8/2015

Boko Haram’s leader has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a new audio message, according to a group that monitors extremist activity. In the recording, a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian terrorist group that has killed thousands, vowed to follow Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the U.S.-based SITE Intel Group said. — USA Today, 3/9/2015

 Financial

Greece blamed its creditors for the failure to end the impasse over its fiscal crisis as government bonds slumped and the European Central Bank weighs how much more liquidity to offer its financial system. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) won’t compromise on labor deregulation and pension reforms, while the European Commission insists on fiscal targets. The commission also refuses to consider a debt writedown. — Bloomberg News, 5/5/2015

$11.62 billion — the total compensation for the top 25 hedge fund managers in 2014. — Institutional Investor, 5/5/2015

Israel

Much has been made of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, but the same is true of the United States of late. The annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents published by the Anti-Defamation League revealed a 21 percent increase in anti-Semitism incidents in the US in 2014. — Israel Today, 3/31/2015 The world’s oldest complete copy of the Ten Commandments is going on display at Israel’s leading museum in an exhibit tracing civilization’s most pivotal moments. The 2000-year-old Dead Sea Scroll, from a collection of the world’s most ancient biblical manuscripts discovered near the Dead Sea, has never been publicly displayed in Israel and only briefly in exhibits abroad, said Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. — AP, 5/5/2015

Conflicts in the Middle East are pushing nations in the region, led by Saudi Arabia, into an arms buying spree that could reach an unprecedented $18 billion in 2015. It was reported last month that Saudi Arabia had become the world’s biggest arms importer. — The Israel Project, 4/24/2015

Hezbollah is estimated to have 130,000 missiles in its arsenal. When the next conflict starts, Hezbollah may launch as many as 1500 missiles into Israel every day. — Bridges for Peace, 4/29/2015

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