Hartland Wesleyan had a full parking lot this past Sunday (11/27), and approximately 150 people attended the Sunday morning service (lya 140*). The population of Hartland is 900, so 17% of the population was worshipping at the Wesleyan Church! There was a good combination of age groups across the congregation. I brought greetings on behalf of the District, and also the morning message. Four children were baptized at the close of the service. It was moving as Pastor Mel Norton gave a brief background on each of the candidates, shared the questions they were asked to make sure they understood what baptism is all about, and then read their testimonies before they were baptized (shy people like it that way!). What a great way to end a service!
Nackawic Wesleyan had 62 people in church for the Sunday AM Worship Service (lya 55) when I was there on November 20th. This is a very warm and welcoming church. It is evident that attention to newcomers is part of their DNA. The church is running at 80% capacity most Sunday mornings. The attendance is in the 58-68 range regularly. Space is a challenge, and most evident whenever they have a “special event” Sunday. Larger facility? Two services? …going to have to wrestle with that one! Pastor Ryan Farrell shared that the church has funded 4-5 wells in the last year, and raised almost $5,000 towards this. Next year is the 10th Anniversary of when they began funding wells as part of their Missions outreach. Preliminary plans are in place to celebrate this important ten-year milestone.
Pastor Rich Thomas, Jonesport Wesleyan, is excited and encouraged. They have had people at the altar recently; there is a renewed desire in the people to grow personally in their walk with the Lord; their numbers are going back up; and they want to reach out to their community. The church has established a “Mobile Food Bank.” They get bread (and whatever else) in Bangor, and then deliver it around town in Jonesport to those who have a need. They also have established a “Free Clothing Closet” as another outreach to the community. Pastor Rich has been in a long process to get his green card. It looks like they may have it by February or March. We’re glad to hear this good news! Please pray that this goes through without any further hitches. He has not been able to leave the USA for the last four years, or attend any of our District events that have been held in Canada.
Halifax – Deep Water baptized 6 people on Nov. 13th! Pastor AJ Thomas is the pastor of this church plant. Holly Churchill attends Deep Water. She recently left to serve as a missionary in Haiti for two years. She is 100% funded, and 90% of the funding has come out of this 4-year-old local congregation. The church has also sent 5-6 missions teams to Haiti in its short history, the most recent one (Team Foxtrot) returning within the last couple of weeks from the island of La Gonave.
Pastor Jim Agrell, Kings Valley Wesleyan, says they concluded their “We Sing” series on worship this past Sunday. They combined their two AM services into one to celebrate all that God is doing at KV, and to release their live worship album, “Rise.” According to Pastor Jim, they had a Spirit-filled Sunday with a huge kids rally in the youth center, and the gathering in their worship center. There were eight baptisms, several first-time commitments to Christ involving every generation, prayer around the altar, testimonies, and 850 people lifting praise to our Savior! It was truly a celebration service on every front! Over half the worship albums the church ordered (over 500) were sold, and have made their way literally around the world. The praises of KVWC to our God can be heard all over the world!
Pastor Peter Hayes, Havelock, NS Wesleyan, reports that as of November 16th excavation has restarted to bring the basement to grade. The footings are started, and everything is going according to plan so far. They anticipate having the building up and closed in by mid to late January, if the weather continues to cooperate.
Cuba: Irene Fancy, District Missions Director, shares that according to Rick West, the Ibero-America Wesleyan Fellowship Coordinator, the 1st Women’s Convention of The Wesleyan Church in Cuba was held on November 4-6, 2011. It was blessed by the Lord in a tremendous way. Two hundred (200) women attended, including a large number of ladies who stood for nine hours in the back of a truck to get there! There were times of praise and prayer, and the wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit was evident. Joy Guptill, wife of Wood’s Harbour Pastor Rod Guptill who coordinates our teams to Cuba, and Susan Murphy, also from Wood’s Harbour, attended the Convention. The Cuban church sincerely appreciates all the support that was given from the Atlantic District to help make this happen. It would not have been possible without the gifts from the district which totalled over $2,500. They send their thanks. The Cuban people were also very pleased with the things Joy and Susan were able to bring to them from the Wood’s Harbour church (from toothpaste to clothing and sheets). Our Atlantic ladies also had a ride on the truck that the Cuban ladies rode on for 9 hours. Their short ride, holding on for dear life, didn’t compare! The Cuban women really wanted to be there! Thanks for helping make it happen.
BBC Name Change: The General Board of The Wesleyan Church (11/16) and the Province of New Brunswick (11/17) gave approval for Bethany Bible College to become Kingswood University. An official announcement was made on campus on November 18th, and a temporary sign was unveiled at the corner of Main & Western Sts. This is only the second time that the College has changed names since its founding in 1945.
Christmas at Kingswood, a free community event, will be held this Sunday, December 4th at the Saunders Irving Chapel, Kingswood University (formerly BBC), Sussex, NB. There are two performances, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM. Admission is free but everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, baby supplies, and/or personal care products for men and women, which will be given to local charities.
Moncton Wesleyan Church is presenting their 39th Living Christmas Tree this week, November 30th – December 4th. There are seven performances and tickets are still available. Call (506) 383-8733 for tickets or go to www.celebrationcentre.ca
*lya – last year’s average
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Matthew 2:10 (KJV)