General Conference 2012: The 12th General Conference of The Wesleyan Church met in Lexington, KY, June 2-6, 2012. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon was elected as the sole General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. She was elected in 2008 as the first female General Superintendent in the history of The Wesleyan Church. Dr. Lyon is an ordained Wesleyan minister. She is the founder of World Hope International, the official relief and development partner of The Wesleyan Church. Along with moving to the sole GS model, the Headquarters structure has been reconfigured to four main Divisions, each with an Executive Director, overseeing the work of the church. The four Divisions and their Executive Directors are: Communication and Administration, Rev. Wayne MacBeth; Church Multiplication and Discipleship, Dr. Jim Dunn; Global Partners, Dr. Dennis Jackson; Education and Clergy Development, Rev. Russ Gunsalus. The Atlantic District had 14 elected delegates in attendance at General Conference and 57% of those were first-time delegates.
Beulah Camp 2012 starts next week! The dates are July 6-15. Pastors Steve and Larry Wilson are the special speakers; Scott & Elizabeth Rhyno are the worship leaders; the EXALT Choir will be returning – it’s their 10th anniversary!; the Webb Family will be joining us for Wednesday evening; ministries for children and teens will be happening throughout the week; other special events will be taking place as well. Plan to make Beulah part of your summer experience. Check it out on the Beulah website. You can access the detailed schedule at www.beulahcamp.com
Special thanks to Beulah Caretaker Bruce Cheney and his wife, Roxie, and the many volunteers who have accomplished so much in the last month as the buildings and grounds have been prepared for the summer camping season. The place looks great! IT IS SINCERELY APPRECIATED!
May 27, 2012 was a mile-marker day for Sackville – Crossroads Wesleyan Church. Church members, parishioners, and friends gathered to dedicate their recently purchased church facility. The Sackville congregation has been meeting at what was the former Peace Lutheran Church for the last few years. The Lutherans held their last service in the building December 27, 2009, and agreed to sell the building to the Wesleyans. Several years ago, under Pastor Charles Bain’s leadership, the church had purchased 13 acres of land for $160,000. In recent years, a land developer has been interested in the property. They sold the land to him for $800,000, and then purchased the Peace Lutheran Church and seven acres of land for $650,000! We were privileged to dedicate this facility debt-free in a real estate market where land is premium! Sackville-Crossroads has only had three pastors in its 32-year history – Church Planter and Founding Pastor, Rev. Charles Bain; Rev. Mike White; and the current pastor, Rev. Michael Zottarelli. All three pastors were present, and took part in the service. (Crossroads is the new name of the Sackville Wesleyan Church).
Mel K. Norton was elected Mayor of Saint John, NB, the largest city in the province, on May 14th. His brother, Greg Norton, was also elected to serve in Ward 1 as a councillor. I was privileged to be present at the swearing in ceremony on May 28th in the Saint John Council Chambers. The new mayor’s father-in-law, the Honourable Justice B. Richard Bell, administered the Oath of Office, and the mayor’s father, Rev. Mel T. Norton, offered an anointed Prayer of Invocation for the mayor and the new Council. It’s a wonderful thing to see young men and women with Wesleyan heritage stepping up to serve in places of responsibility where they can make a positive difference.
Pastor Mel Norton, Hartland Wesleyan, says that this past year, in addition to their regular giving to local missions and outreach projects, their church raised close to $8,000 for Global Partners to go towards the purchase of the Jesus Film Kits. The Jesus Film is currently the single best return on investment in reaching people with the Gospel.
I was at Crystal Wesleyan on May 20th. Peter Main is the pastor. There were 27 in attendance for the Sunday morning service (lya 24). It is very evident this congregation ministers to the needs of their parishioners, and have a global view. They make a concerted effort to support missions and the ministries of the District. Thanks for being team players!
Pastor Dwayne & Melodie Hopkins had their last official Sunday at Scarborough – Coastal Community Wesleyan Church on May 27th, after 13 years at CCC. Assistant Pastors David & Trista Collins are currently leading the services and sharing the preaching until the new pastor, Dave Ziglar, arrives in mid-July. They asked if I could come for one of those Sundays, and so I was with them June 17th. It was good to connect with the congregation in the midst of the transition. Several families were away due to Father’s Day family commitments but that didn’t dampen the spiritual energy! There was a good range of participation by congregational members in the service. The people are grateful for the ministry of Pastor Dwayne & Melodie, and they are excited about the future.
We have ten churches on islands! Joanne and I visited Grand Manan Island this past weekend and were able to connect with all of our pastors and their spouses – the Rideouts (North Head), McComiskeys (Seal Cove), Perrys and Branscombes (Grand Harbour). We were at Grand Harbour – Central Wesleyan on Sunday morning. Kirk Perry is the Senior Pastor and Tim Branscombe is the Associate Pastor. Good coffee, friendly people, warm church “climate,” good generational cross-section, and a good service led by Pastor Kirk.
River Valley Wesleyan Church in Grand Bay-Westfield, NB is hosting their annual dinner meeting for the Wesleyan Missionary Alumni Fellowship to be held July 14th at 1:00 PM. Any missionaries who have served with Global Partners or Wesleyan World Missions for two years or more are invited to attend. Contact Joyce Moore at (506) 474-0362 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
Kings Valley Wesleyan recently baptized 21 people – one a 96-year-old man! Jim Agrell is the Lead Pastor.
District BYF Retreat 2012 – The annual District BYF Retreat, under the leadership of John Symonds, is set for Friday, August 17 – Sunday, August 19 at Beulah Camp. Pastor Conard Symonds is the special speaker and music will be provided by Mark Gorveatte & Friends. Registration information has been sent to the pastors and local churches. For further registration information, contact Hugh McKnight at (506) 472-1116. The registration deadline is July 27th.
Kingswood University held their Annual Golf Classic June 16th. Contributions from Corporate Sponsors covered all expenses for the tournament and enabled KU to invite golfers to play for free, and focus solely on the purpose of raising scholarship funds and making friends for Kingswood University. There was 100% turn-out from those registered and 75 golfers raised $22,000 in support of students at Kingswood.
Beulah – District Office: The District Office at Beulah opened on Tuesday, June 19th. The DS and Joanne are operating out of the Beulah office (506-468-2286). Karrilee is still in Moncton (506-383-8326) until next Wednesday when she will re-locate to Beulah for 2-3 weeks.
Pastor Ben & Bayley Medel are pleased to announce the birth of their second child, Ari William, born June 22nd, weighing 6 lbs. 8 oz. Ari has a big brother, Jasper! Pastor Ben has just joined the staff at Hammonds Plains-Cornerstone.
York Care Centre Request: York Care Centre is in need of some decent hymnals. Sixty – Seventy books would be great. Many of our churches are not using a hymnal these days so here is an opportunity to put them to good use. If you have hymnals you would be willing to donate then contact Pastor Pete Thomas, York Care Centre Chaplain, at email@example.com or (506) 444-3880 ext.2208.
“There are two kinds of people—those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” Indira Gandhi