It’s a week for big news! Yesterday, Deep Water (AJ Thomas) announced they will be launching Deep Water Dartmouth this fall in downtown Dartmouth. This congregation will have the same vision, values, and culture as Deep Water Halifax but with freedom to contextualize in ways that will best reach people in Dartmouth. Matthew Thomas (pictured below with his wife Alyssa and their children) has joined the pastoral staff and was introduced this week in preparation to lead the 100+ people it is hoped will be sent in the fall from the Halifax congregation across the bridge to be a part of reaching Dartmouth for Jesus.
In other big news, Aaron Birtch (Metro) led a town hall meeting with this BLT (Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea) congregation yesterday to share information in preparation for a members vote on February 10th. With the full support of the DBA, the Deep Water (AJ Thomas) Leadership Team (LBA) has voted to extend an offer to adopt the Metro family. If the vote by Metro is favourable, this congregation will celebrate its final service on February 24th and will officially close and join Deep Water. This will eventually result in Deep Water launching a BLT satellite campus following the successful launch of Deep Water Dartmouth. The Birtch family will remain on staff through the time of usual pastoral transition this July. Stay tuned for more details in the February 11th edition of IMA!
In more big news, a Maximizing Impact Team traveled this Thursday through Sunday to the Moosabec Reach which connects our Jonesport (Andy Phillips) and Beals (Nick Wilson) congregations. The MI process was modified to serve the current merger exploration of these more than century-old, historic church families. The team included Lead Pastor Steve Sinclair and Assistant Pastor Rich Thomas of The River who are pictured above delivering an excellent Saturday morning session to leaders of both congregations on the lessons they learned from the 2016 Bangor church merger.
It was a privilege to lead this team which also included Denn Guptill (Cornerstone) who is pictured above with ViceChair of Beals, Willis Beal. Willis has constructed 26 wooden boats in his career as a shipbuilder and now enjoys making miniatures in his retirement. Denn also preached yesterday morning at a combined service held in the Beals sanctuary.
The Pastors and LBA members of both churches are to be commended for their incredible diligence, spirit of unity, and missional focus in the exploration of this Kingdom opportunity. A beautiful Sunday service was planned and conducted by leaders of both congregations and concluded with the reading of a multiple page report including a myriad of details which had been unanimously approved by a joint session of the Local Boards of Administration on Saturday evening. Key components for the February 10th respective congregational votes to merge include the four-year election of Andy Phillips as Lead Pastor with Nick Wilson continuing as Assistant Pastor AND the unanimous recommendation for a significant interior upgrade to be completed in the Beals location in preparation for becoming the primary worship site for the yet-to-be-named new congregation which will begin on Easter Sunday. Stay tuned for more details in the February 11th edition of IMA!
Denn & I enjoyed a meaningful visit and time of prayer with Pastor Emeritus Jack MacKenzie (SJ1) en route to the Moosabec Reach on Thursday afternoon. Your intercession for this godly leader is deeply appreciated.
We celebrate the recent graduation of twenty-one nursing students from the Wesleyan University School of Nursing with L’Église Wesleyenne d’Haïti. The training, education, and dedication that led to their Bachelors of Science in Nursing degrees will have such an impact on health in Haiti. We’re so grateful for Atlantic District Global Partners missionaries Dawn Wheaton and Hope Graham and their commitment to these students and nursing school.
Jacob Ebbett (Lower Brighton) returned this weekend with several church members from a missions trip that included 32 people, 9 different churches, 5 different denominations, 588 people given medical treatment, 1350 lbs of rice given away, 40 salvations, 2 roofs built, 7 sewing machines – all provided in 7 days! #strongertogether
Executive Director of World Hope International (Canada) Tanya Nace enjoyed the special opportunity this week to serve her staff as an Ordained Minister. Tori DeSchiffart, Sponsorship Coordinator, shared that since she began working at World Hope, her relationship with the Lord has grown deeper. She has been a believer for a long time but felt God leading her to take the step of obedience toward baptism. Tanya celebrates, “I had the privilege of baptizing her in the bathtub that is located in our office building!”
World Hope International raised $1,357,244.78 globally for their year-end clean water challenge. With a goal of raising $1.3 million by December 31st, together, we ‘blew it out of the water’ and were able to exceed the goal. Through generous donors, another $1.3 million will be donated to Clean Water initiatives. Thanks to everyone who contributed for their support!
Retreat to Advance: As mentioned last IMA, especially for those who missed The Gathering, there will be a “Retreat to Advance” offered at Beulah Camp and Conference Center on February 26-28. Attendance is optional and the program will vary somewhat from previous formats. This will include opportunity for prayer and meditation, teaching from Dr. Allen Lee (District Clergy Care Director and KU Program Director and Professor of Christian Counseling), and an in-person workshop with EFC Director of Research and Media Relations – Rick Hiemstra. The only cost for those who register will be travel to/from the event. To register please email Karrilee on or before February 15th.
Canada Summer Jobs Update: Since applicants are no longer required to attest to their agreement with government ideology on abortion and sexual issues, the Canadian Council of Christian Charities is encouraging all Christian charities to apply for funding. For more details regarding this recommendation please read “To Apply or Not to Apply for CSJ” by CCCC Legal Director Barry Bussey. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind the deadline for application is February 3rd!
Congrats to Children’s Pastor Olivia Jordan (Blacks Harbour) on officially becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada last Thursday! Way to celebrate with such a great Canadian tradition.
- You don’t fail God’s tests, you just keep retaking them until you pass. (Steve Sinclair)
- How much you have in the world has no bearing on how much hope you have. (Erwin McManus)
- Church merging is a lot of hard work… and on your knees praying, but merging can produce fruitful results. It can generate new life and energy towards spreading the message of Jesus Christ. Successful merger will only happen when everyone involved is willing to let go of their former identities and control and allow God to help reshape and form us into a “new church” and it many not be exactly what people expected, but it will be the result of our faithfulness and commitment. (Nancy Durkee, Jonesport Board Member)
The Buckingham Leadership Institute (Kingswood University) is offering a new leadership opportunity for “Express Mentorship” the end of February. Details regarding this two-day event are offered with online registration for this excellent opportunity to deepen the effectiveness of your leadership in the local church.
Children’s Ministry Pastors and Lay Leaders: NEXT registration for Saturday, April 6th, in Halifax is now open @ http://cbacyf.ca/next. The first 100 participants to register through their Wesleyan Church using the code “NEXT2019” will receive a $20 scholarship discount from the Atlantic District.
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.