Well Greetings again from the Festival Office!
This year we’ve worked hard to make this the best Feast Yet! For us!
Attendance is expected to be up, due to our inflated figures from last year, so you need to pay attention to our instructions or you won’t get any. Umm, reservations, that is. Or maybe we were right the first time.
We know you will be anxious, very anxious indeed, to get something, anything, to stay in while you are at a FABULOUS resort town or perhaps a large crowded city where we have decided that we can have a convention for some thousands of people who are ready, anxious, and able to spend 10% of their gross income to come to listen to the inspired and inspiring messages that drone on from our special Evangelists delivering a stentorian didactic sermon designed to edify our active children and a few of our adults. We are sure to have a special message from the thirteenth or fourteenth or fifteenth Apostle Himself, but probably only via intercontinental beamed satellite at a really bad hour (unless you attend in a more convenient time zone) and maybe only by telephone hookup, if you are in some unfortunate third world county, or maybe even a video tape a day later or, perish the thought, a REALLY primitive country, a cassette tape delivered after the Last Grateful Day.
We’ve worked hard to get the standard rates that you would pay if you were paying in full without discount and added 20% because the resorts all know what nice people we are–make that read suckers. To make this special deal, you must all work together to get into these inferior accommodations and ONLY these inferior accommodations a dozen miles or more from the actual auditorium separated from you by heavy traffic during rush hour. Unless you attend at one of those FABULOUS resorts where we don’t have any members because no one would believe that we have something better to offer in the World Tomorrow than what they have already, you will have to transfer! And we tightly control the transfers. Except, anymore, with our declining membership, we can’t get away with refusing anyone. The point is, YOU MUST STAY WHERE WE TELL YOU! Or we will lose our kickbacks! And if you ever want to get into that Fabulous Kingdom, which might actually be nearly as good as the remote resorts where some of the privileged of us stay, you have to follow the rules.
Don’t make those reservations now!
In the spirit which is so much a part of the Church of God Tradition, we make you wait before making reservations. You have to wait to show your meekness and willingness to sacrifice. Remember it is more blessed to give than receive. We have no intention of fostering competition among members for limited resources. Remember, we have God’s Spirit of Love! We are willing to sacrifice for our fellow members! We would give up our lives for other members! We love one another! This may be a sacrifice for some of you with large families who need three bedrooms and a kitchenette, but you have to learn to live together in tight quarters for the sake of other Christians such as yourself. Remember too, that God practices birth control. That is why He has called only a small number of people to be converted and live with Him for a thousand years, while others must wait. So if you have too many children to take care of, that’s unfortunate, but you should have followed God’s example. Maybe you could rent adjacent rooms with connecting doors, or something, if they are all available after you call. Meanwhile, rejoice in the fact that the single bachelor with a tremendously high income from working in the Information Technology Field has that three bedroom condo with the full kitchen and fireplace because he got through the telephone lines first. Actually, he may have made reservations over the Internet, but that’s another story. Or maybe a Canadian got it. They usually get the kitchenettes, but only if they are the lowest cost. (We think that the Canadians invented kitchenettes.) Anyway, follow the rules, or you may be burned up in the Lake of Fire (and this has nothing to do with Tierra Del Fuego) by a loving God.
You must WAIT until 10AM Sunday in the time zone of the festival site before you call for the reservations. That is the rule. There are no exceptions.
You might find that all the accommodations are already taken, even if you get through the busy telephone lines right away! The reason for this is that the MINISTERS must make reservations at exactly 10AM on Sunday ONE WEEK BEFORE REGULAR MEMBERS. They have first crack because they have a special job to do. They must show members what it is like to have the best! This is what the World Tomorrow is all about! Since there is a lot of demand for good accommodations, you may want to give up and bring a tent to stay in our designated camp sites. Hopefully, they won’t be full too.
We are already having discussions with potential Festival sites NOW in preparation for next year! We want to make sure that you keep coming to Church with US!
Be prepared for the Feast!
Too many people come to the Feast unprepared physically and spiritually for the Feast. Remember that you may be driving for two or three days, or have changed four flights across three or more time zones, so you must plan ahead. We want you to be enthusiastic for our evangelist messages about esoteric things, so give some thought and planning to just what you are going to do when things don’t go according to your thoughts and planning. You must remember that the money you bring to keep the Feast is NOT the same money that you will give to our coffers during the Feast to promote bringing more people like you into the Church so they too can attend the Feast too. You have to keep the money separate or God won’t like it much. And remember that you have to have a good attitude about this because God only likes CHEERFUL givers and not the other kind, no matter how much they give–although we appreciate it, since it contributes to our salaries, which we jealously guard from the competition of other Church Members. You must be happy to give. You must rejoice in making sacrifices! Remember the sacrifice of Cain! You don’t want that to happen to you, do you? Of course not!
So you need to prepare monetarily for sure. But here are some handy tips:
Exercise–you will need the stamina for the marathon sermons and activities. Remember this is an extremely stressful situation, but fortunately you have to endure this once a year, and that, shortly after you fasted with no food and water for 24 hours–which could lead to some dire circumstances in itself;
Lose weight–a lot of it! You are bound to gain during the Feast, that is, after all, inherent in the definition of a Feast where you expect to have a lot of food. This is especially true if you have access only to fat laden, high calorie food so accessible in areas where we send you;
Get extra sleep–at home, because between the activities, the accommodations, and the travel, you won’t sleep much during the Festival time;
Prepare for emergencies. Each year at that time, lots of emergencies crop up, especially because of the stress you will be subjected to. Remember that you have God’s help, but God only helps those who help themselves. Be aggressive to meditate on anything that might go wrong. This is especially helpful if you actually think of something that mitigates a real situation that comes up. It is also helpful because by the time you get to the Feast, you’ll be so depressed that anything would be an improvement;
Prepare spiritually. You just know that one or more of the ministers are going to bring up something that is patently heresy, so be prepared by studying the Scriptures diligently and having an answer for anyone who would listen to you;
Giving. You know already that you must give at the Festival. We want you to make it a habit. Give to the Church, certainly, but also make some token effort to help someone less fortunate than yourself, if such a person exists, like a widow (now living comfortably on the Insurance from her deceased husband), or the fatherless (now making lots of money from the business he started for himself by learning that only you are responsible for your success), or the stranger (usually someone mentally ill who wanders aimlessly around Church services the rest of the year–not to say that you don’t have mental health problems of your own by virtue of the fact that you attend Church at all);
Consider using OUR travel agency. They kick back a little to us, so at least consider it.
The Tithe of the Tithe
We have to pay for all this roving around the country(s) to find these Festival Sites and to pay for the MINISTERS to stay at the Feast, since they can’t save money for themselves so you have to give us even more money to prepare for the Feast. Send us ten percent of the ten percent that you saved to go the Feast.
We get you all excited about the Festival with our brochure before the Spring Holydays, but we don’t really let you see what the accommodations are until, oh May, and sometimes later. We list each Festival site along with the accommodations in each area. There is a heading for the hotel / motel / condominium with the telephone number [Hint: It is definitely cheaper to use the toll free numbers, but they may connect you to the chain rather than the actual accommodation, so beware. Usually though, if you use the toll number it gets you to the same place and you end up with an horrendous telephone bill.] The address is given, then various rooms, then feature codes.
When we say one bedroom, it could mean anything! Do you expect us to, like, stay in these places!? We don’t even look at the rooms. We completely trust the manager when he tells us that by the time we get there, the storm damage will be fixed and furthermore they will have actually built the new wing. So don’t expect to rely on us for accurate information! In many cases, it’s an outright lie, but don’t blame us, since we don’t check these things out! Let the buyer beware!
Before listing the feature codes, let us assure you that we do have effective methods to eliminate the cockroaches from you hotel / motel room. You can do more than just keep the lights on all the time, so they won’t come out! So write us for more information. The bad thing is that it takes a week and by the time you get rid of them, it’s time to leave anyway.
Now here goes the feature codes:
|H – it’s a pretty hot climate and the room has no air conditioning;|
|A – it’s an “Adult” motel the rest of the year and usually they expect you to rent by the hour, but we made a special deal;|
|K – they have free kittens;|
|C – camp ground. Beware, since the word camp may be used to imply that it is a place for gay people to congregate;|
|R – rude service;|
|Sf – Stinking fish, meaning that there is a rendering plant nearby;|
|L – money laundering available (especially popular in Florida);|
|Hr – no free parking, must pay by the hour;|
|St – steep extra fees for staying there–be especially careful of normally free telephone charges from the accommodation;|
|P – playground is nearby, mostly for drug dealers;|
|UF – no cable television available and only rabbit ears can be used bring in the UHF channels;|
|Wf – waterfall, referring to defective plumbing in the unit;|
|W – walking distance to the auditorium [we need to check why will still use this code, since it no longer applys]|
|Ip – your unit has it’s own TCP/IP address for Internet connection;|
|Op – there is a systems operator for the Internet on the premises;|
|Kq – the king size beds are really smaller than the queen size;|
|Ac – the air conditioning unit is broken;|
|E – the elevator is broken, and you must climb the stairs;|
|T – there are telephones in the room, in plain site, and they may actually be hooked up as a ploy to make more money for the owner;|
|Yl – Yaw’ll come: Reservations are for some friendly motel in the Southern States;|
|Yu – The name of the owner of the Chinese Laundry;|
|N – not only is there no maid service, but you have to provide your own blankets and sheets, towels and anything else in the single room. Be glad there are beds and mattreses;|
|Ec – there is electricity in the city or town where the Festival is held. |
Either that or only Home Economic Majors may stay in the facilities;
|Sw – the street is an open sewer;|
|Sh – there are shower facilities, often from the broken plumbing;|
|Wa – you have to pay extra for water;|
|Te – there is a strip Tease joint nearby;|
|D – there is an Internet expert who reads dumps on site;|
|Cb – Another Southern States feature–CB radios are available;|
|Cp – Don’t bother to bring your Cell Phone because it is out of service area.|
We’ve come to rely on the unconverted pretty much over the years so consider yourself on your own. We would not want you to lose an opportunity to build patience and faith from a severe trial. We might pray for you if you can find us to ask, but it had very well be something really important, or forget it! We aren’t sure whether we have the Faith that God heals, so asking for an anointing is sort of a mixed bag. AND WE DON’T CAST OUT DEMONS ANY MORE. We do, however, have a certified psychological councilor who charges reasonable rates independent from the Church. [He councils our Evangelists with the severe mental problems they have.]
Also, if you have any complaints in services about the man with schizophrenia who’s been stalking your wife, even after all those years of our “counseling” where we never told him it was wrong, you need to be aware that we are responsible for his being there: We arranged it to punish you for exposing us publicly for our sins. We suggest you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, while you dial 9-1-1.
Have a Joyous Feast!