Jonesport (Andy Phillips) had their annual children’s Christmas play last night with a performance of “Carol And The Belles” – there were 87 in attendance to hear a 1950’s diner version of the Christmas story!
On Saturday, under the leadership of Jamin Melanson (Assistant Pastor of Amherst with Evan Oxner), more than 40 people (kids, adults and seniors) gathered to volunteer with projects all around town for their annual Christmas Wrap-Up. They wrapped presents for free, paid for people’s laundry, sang carols at a nursing home, packed food boxes for families in need, purchased gifts for three different families, and handed out loaves of bread door-to-door.
Christmas is a very significant and effective season for community connections. Social media has exploded with items from all over the Atlantic District and we pray the many Gospel seeds sown will yield a Kingdom harvest in the weeks and months ahead. The West Head (Vince Robertson) Christmas production (pictured above) was enjoyed by 200+ (too many kids to count!).
Another great example of community connections at Christmas happened this weekend in Brazil Lake (Kevin Myers). The church presented three nights of an original Christmas production which was written by Assistant Pastor Natalie Gidney. There were a total of 245 in attendance and over half were people from the community who are not regular attenders.
It was a privilege to meet via Zoom once again last week with Canadian leadership of the Free Methodist, Nazarene and Wesleyan denominations in continued planning for a combined event focusing on empowering evangelism in the local church.
And speaking of effective evangelism, Kings (Brent Ingersoll) celebrated 29 baptisms this weekend at their four locations – PTL!
General Superintendent Wayne Schmidt convened the quarterly Zoom meeting this week for a group of DS and lay leader representatives of The Wesleyan Church to continue next step co-implementation to increase our denominational strategic focus on the value of Kingdom multiplication. We are blessed by his passion, innovation, and intentionality as he guides this leadership pathway.
I enjoyed spending time at the invitation of President Lennox at the Campus Life Christmas Party on Wednesday at Kingswood. In addition to interacting with the impressive cadre of prophets-in-process, we took a moment to celebrate two staff December birthdays – Dean of Students Kirk Sabine and President Steve Lennox whose birthday is today (December 17th)! We are so blessed by the Lennox’s leadership and the many ways they model serving as a couple in ministry. Why not take a moment and sent a note of appreciation on his special day (firstname.lastname@example.org)? Eileen Lennox captured the moment well and yes, those earrings are blinking tree lights – you might say she really lights up a room!
Camp Ministry Update. The DBA has approved an 18-month Interim Overseer model for the significant operation and impact of District Camp Ministry. Effective immediately, Rev. Brian Murray will be serving as Caton’s Island Interim Overseer through the summer of 2020. He will provide direct upline supervision for Director Dean Stephenson and most importantly will provide ongoing oversight as Project Manager for the Choate Dining Hall Expansion. Welcome aboard, Brian! We are grateful for your willingness to serve and for your decades of effective leadership experience in a variety of entrepreneurial and executive roles which make you an excellent fit for this Kingdom assignment.
Our Executive Director of Camp Ministry, Andrea Gunter, is to be commended as she continues to finish well and is coordinating the baton passing of her responsibilities. Her leadership concludes in February in preparation for her March transition as the new Kingswood University Vice President of Enrolment. Stay tuned for news regarding the Beulah Interim Overseer.
Ellen joins me in expressing sincere condolences on behalf of the Atlantic District to Rev. Gene Hudson on the passing of his brother, Gerry (Adrian) Hudson. His full obituary and Tuesday funeral details are available on the Britton Funeral Home website.
THOT: The natural drift of the church is to turn increasingly inward. The role of its leaders is to keep turning it outward, over and over again, keeping the focus on the mission, which is to serve the least and the lost. (James Emery White)
Bonus THOT: In a church with a growing conglocal heart you will find an increasing balance in expenditures toward meeting the needs of not just congregants, but also the local and global communities. (Bob Whitesel)
January 9-12, 2019
Orlando, Florida at The Caribe Royale
More than a minister’s conference. The Gathering is a reunion of ministry family and friends. A sabbath for our souls. Coming together to stop, rest, pray, play and thrive. A chance to celebrate what God is doing in our lives and ministry through meals, stories, inspiration and worship. We know this will be a gathering you won’t want to miss! Head to wesleyan.org/gathering – there’s still time to register!
Fuel 2019 Next Gen Leaders Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Bring your team of Next Gen workers, leaders & volunteers for breakouts, sessions and connection with other Next Gen leaders. This two-day conference is for both Student and Kid’s ministry leaders, pastors and volunteers. Join us for time to refuel our souls, build deep relationships and learn together! For more information please contact District Youth Co-Presidents, Drew Donovan (Moncton) or Martin Stehouwer (Saint John First).
In EFC’s Canada Watch (Oct/Nov), the lead article by David Guretzhi deals with the question “How do Christians live out our witness in this new context?” It is both inspiring and challenging—well worth reading.
The Oct/Nov Canada Watch edition also contains an article on Renegotiating Faith. CCD Pastor Rick Hiemstra explains the research in a 25 minute interview or watch the 45-minute webinar recorded in early October featuring key members of the research team.
Another valuable resource from EFC is the Palliative Care Toolkit. View the booklet online or request your own copies at 1-866-302-3362 (toll-free). EFC is requesting prayer for their submission against Expanding Access to Assisted Suicide. Read the background story.
Keep up with what the EFC is doing as they seek to be a positive influence and to apply biblical principles to contemporary issues.