The Day of Rumbling Tummies arrives Thursday this week, and then observant COG members will be busy preparing for the Feast of Tabernacles. To all who are traveling: have a safe and enjoyable trip.
With the seasonal slump in blog hits pending, AW will be taking a break. Comments can still be submitted, but there may be some delay in posting them. Of course, if any major news breaks - Rod Meredith meets the Pope for example - an exception will be made to cover the story.
Before your jaundiced blog-meister toddles off with the fishing gear, here are a couple of items of interest.
Survey launches October 20: Probably the most significant survey of ex-WCG members ever launched kicks in on the 20th. British academic David V. Barrett will upload an online questionnaire on that date at www.quest.thenewbelievers.com.
Barrett is author of The New Believers (Cassell, 2001) which included a substantial chapter on WCG. Now, as part of his PhD thesis on WCG, he is taking the time to listen to the views of former members. He writes:
I've written a questionnaire for former members and ministers of WCG which... should take about 25 minutes to complete... I'm particularly trying to find out things like this:
* What it felt like for members and ministers to discover that their own church was abandoning its teachings.
* What was it like to leave WCG after years of loyal membership.
*Why people left when they did - what was the trigger?
*Why members initially went to PCG, to GCG [Global] or to UCG.
*Why many members later moved on from these to other churches.
*How members of COGs that had separated from WCG earlier, such as Raymond Cole's Church of God, the Eternal or Garner Ted Armstrong's Church of God, International, were affected by the massive changes in WCG and their aftermath.
I aim to end up with the first major unbiased account of what happened in the years following HWA's death.
More information about the survey will be published in the upcoming Journal, and David Barrett has taken pains to keep the various COGs informed.
... I am doing this study with the full knowledge, and I hope cooperation of your church leaders... I'm hoping they will be as open and honest in their replies as I am certain you will be with yours.
I personally have great confidence in David's professionalism and impartiality, qualities that are very evident in his earlier book. More on this important development straight after the Feast when the survey goes online.
New Blog: Corky, a name familiar to AW readers through his perceptive comments to many posts, has launched his own blog. A refugee from WCG, Corky fell under the influence of the Christadelphian sect before moving on to a skeptical path. You can read his thoughts at ex-christadelphian.blogspot.com.