Pastor Kevin Myers shares “a little good news” from Sydney – New Roots. They are holding their kick-off for the fall this coming Sunday. The good news is – this past Sunday they had 27 people in attendance at their service, and gave out 7 New Roots mugs to folks who were attending for the first time. Best of all, Pastor Kevin gave people a chance to receive Christ at the end of the service and 5 people raised their hands indicating they wanted to start a relationship with Jesus. Most, if not all, come from very difficult backgrounds. One just recently passed the five-month marker celebrating being clean from drugs. Actually, this is more than “a little good news!” Please keep our church planters in your prayers.
Pastor AJ Thomas shares that Halifax – Deep Water had an amazing “first Sunday back from summer” on September 12th. They had one of the biggest groups ever in their kid’s ministry – 17 (plus the nursery)! They had their largest attendance ever – 230! And, their offering was over $9,000! Pastor AJ says, “I know numbers aren’t everything and that these big days come and go but if this is any indication at all of the fall we are headed into it’s going to be a very exciting one. Praise the Lord!”
This past Sunday, I was in the Mount Pearl – Solid Rock Wesleyan Church in Newfoundland and conducted my third pastoral installation since Beulah Camp (three more to go). Pastor Stuart and Kellie Marples arrived at the end of July to take up their new pastoral responsibilities, and we welcome them to the Atlantic District. The people have received the Marples warmly and are looking to the future with expectancy. Pastor Stuart is laying the groundwork for a special “Rally Day” Sunday, October 3rd, as he asks the question, “What would our church look like if…? The church is located on Park Ave. in Mount Pearl, and there are 996 residences on this road and the “off-shoot” streets. Monday morning of this week 1,000 flyers went in the mail to those homes introducing the church and the new pastor, and heightening awareness of the church’s presence in the neighbourhood. It outlined what is offered by the church especially on Sunday morning, and particularly for children. It’s a good move. It might surprise you to know how many people could throw a rock and hit your church, but they don’t even know you are there! We enjoyed and appreciated the fellowship and hospitality of Stuart & Kellie.
While I was in Newfoundland, I had opportunity to spend time with Pastors Darren & Janel Clark who pastor the St. John’s – Avalon church plant. They are encouraged as their attendance is showing a slight increase, and in August they recorded their highest month of giving YTD (almost $2000!). On Aug. 4th, they set up a booth at the St. John’s Regatta which is one of the single biggest annual events held in Newfoundland. The Clarks felt this was a huge success for the church as over 400+ people visited their booth and received flyers and information on the church. They had great conversations with some people discussing “who we are” and “why we are doing what we are doing.” Pastor Janel officiated at her first wedding on August 23rd (a co-worker of hers). The Avalon Puppet Team did 1 ½ hours of puppet ministry at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market on August 28th. This is a completely unchurched environment, and sometimes an anti-church environment. The organizers of the market were looking for some children’s activities during the summer, and the church offered to do something for them that they do well. Many families heard the gospel message – kids, parents, grandparents – and the Puppet Team members had a great time building relationships with the people who organize the Farmer’s Market.
Pastors! Please note a special opportunity to sit under the excellent teaching ministry of Dr. Wayne Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt currently oversees Wesley Seminary at IWU, and is the former Senior Pastor of Kentwood Community Church (KCC) in the West Michigan District. He will be on the campus of BBC in October. He is scheduled to speak in Chapel on Tuesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 21st. (You are welcome to attend). President Mark Gorveatte has graciously blocked off time with Dr. Schmidt on Tuesday evening and Wednesday (October 19-20) in order to make that time available to the Atlantic District pastors. I’m very appreciative of him giving us this incredible opportunity to glean insights from someone who has served for many years as a local church pastor and who has a proven track record. Information on this has already been distributed to the pastors. I strongly urge you to capitalize on this excellent opportunity to sharpen your leadership skills, and to do so for modest cost. I’ll hope to see you there!
Pastor Jay LaScolea reports that Bangor Pathway had 109 people walk through the doors of their church this past Sunday (lya 68) as they launched into their fall schedule. More importantly, lives were changed for Jesus Christ. These were people that had been prayed for, and then invited to church. The pastor has challenged the people to commit to 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting from September 1 – October 10th.
The 2010 District Journal is now available and will be distributed to the pastors and churches as per our usual policy.
The Gathering ‘11 is fast approaching. This is a Wesleyan ministry conference which will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, January 4-7, 2011. This event is sponsored by The Wesleyan Church Board of General Superintendents and will bring hundreds of Wesleyan ministers together for a concentrated time of revival built around vital topics, anointed speakers, Spirit-filled worship, and practical networking with ministry partners. The Atlantic District is strongly encouraging our pastors, assistant pastors (and if married, your spouse) to attend, and is offering a scholarship to assist with the cost. Now is the time to do two things if you plan to attend: 1. Arrange your travel plans. Those who are flying need to check on airfares and make your airline reservations. Those traveling by car or van may want to “double up” with another couple (or couples) to share travel costs. 2. Register on-line at www.wesleyan.org/Gathering and then let the District Office know you have registered. I will send you the scholarship reimbursement. You can register by using a credit card or by sending a check. I cannot register for you as they are requesting information that I do not know concerning you. The early bird rates end October 30th, which is a savings of $50. We appreciate the support and encouragement that our churches are giving to their pastor and pastoral staff to attend this important occasion in the life of The Wesleyan Church. The Gathering ’07 was an event like no other held in the Wesleyan Church, and this promises to be even better!
The Beulah Summer Wrap-up Services were held Labour Day weekend in the Tabernacle at Beulah Camp, Sunday, September 5th. The evening service saw several of our churches in the surrounding area coming together, and about 250 people were present. Brown’s Flat Fellowship Pastor, Wayne Briggs, welcomed the people and emceed the service. The Worship Team was from the Sussex Wesleyan Church, and led by Assistant Pastor Rob Trafton. They also provided the special music. A significant offering of $682 was given for the Wesleyan work in Cuba! I was privileged to bring the message, and the traditional after-service lunch was enjoyed by all in the dining room following the service. This has been a wonderful summer for all of our camps on the District.
Carrie (Mrs. Paul) Mullen died August 13, 2010, and her funeral service was held in the Tabernacle at Beulah Camp, Brown’s Flat, NB on Wednesday, August 18th. Pastor Wayne Briggs officiated. Mrs. Elsie Kent paid tribute to this special lady. Assistant District Superintendent, Dr. L. D. Buckingham, brought greetings on behalf of the Atlantic District in my absence, as I was off the District at the time. We extend our condolences to the Mullen family connection, and remain grateful for the many years of ministry from this much-loved Atlantic District family.
Rev. Eric Haywood suffered a stroke about three weeks ago and is still in the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville, NB. The stroke has weakened him and affected his ability to give full response. His strength has not returned. His wife, Nina, also has health issues. Please keep the Haywoods in your prayers as they seek God’s direction on their “next steps.” These good folks served faithfully for many years as missionaries in Africa.
I was in northern Maine on August 15th for the Sunday morning service at Crystal Wesleyan. Pastor Peter Main, and his wife Joan, continue to give fine leadership to this rural congregation. They had just completed a week of VBS where they joined with the Patten Pentecostal Church to hold the event. This was well attended with 80 children participating and 40 workers involved, including 7 from the Crystal Wesleyan Church. Joan led 5 children to Christ during the week. Pastor Peter was also involved as one of the key teachers in the program. I applaud the church for their participation in this program and their willingness to cooperate with another church in their area for Kingdom concerns. We enjoyed a potluck dinner with the congregation (27) and they honored Joanne and me with a surprise Anniversary cake. This was a pleasant start to our two-week vacation.
Sunday morning, August 29th, I spoke at Havelock, NB Wesleyan, and installed Jacob Ebbett as the Pastor. Jacob is a Bethany student, and will continue his studies this fall. His wife, Nikki, is a Bethany (BTh) graduate. They and their little daughter, Azlee, have been warmly welcomed by the congregation.
A missions work team from Hartland Wesleyan (Pastor Mel Norton) were in the Ukraine in early August with the Allisons and World Hope Canada. The temperatures were in the high 30’s and even low 40’s Celsius (that’s just plain hot however you slice it!). Kerry and Carole Allison reported that the team worked with a huge servant’s heart, and had a smile on their faces in spite of the heat. They also connected positively with the 15 girls currently living at Hope House. This was Hartland’s first Missions Team venture. Well done on this ‘trial by heat!’
BBC Presidential Inauguration: The inauguration of Rev. Mark Gorveatte as President of Bethany Bible College will take place September 24th at 7 PM in the Saunders Irving Chapel on the BBC campus. The guest speaker will be General Superintendent Dr. JoAnne Lyon. A reception will follow the inauguration. Alumni and the public are warmly invited to attend.
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C.S. Lewis