Fifty-four pastors from more than six denominations gathered at Bethany Bible College for a seminar on The Spiritual Life of the Pastor with Dr. Doug Hardy. Dr. Hardy is Professor of Spiritual Formation at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City (MO). Eighteen Wesleyans from our own district were joined by Baptists, Nazarenes, Salvation Army, Anglican, Pentecostal, and others from independent churches. After an insightful Chapel message on developing the inner core in relation to God and others, the College provided a turkey dinner that was enjoyed by all. This was followed by a thought provoking interactive session in the afternoon. Thanks to all of you who participated. Professor David Higle appreciated the great feedback provided, and says BBC looks forward to offering other helpful seminars in the future.
The second weekend of the month (2/8-9/08), I spent Friday evening and a good part of Saturday in a retreat setting with the Presque Isle Wesleyan Church pastoral staff and the Local Church Board (LBA). We had some excellent interaction and exchange on the roles of the LBA and the staff in a larger church, and how the infrastructure changes as a church grows. We also discussed at length the importance of communication between staff, board, and congregation, and how this must have a high priority so everyone has “buy-in” to the church’s mission and vision. I brought greetings on behalf of the district in the Saturday night and Sunday morning services. Pastor Rick Kavanaugh is currently doing a series from the Book of James on “Authentic Faith.” He brought an excellent message entitled “To Tell The Truth” using James 5:12 as his text.
Fredericton Olivet is experiencing the exciting dynamics that go with growth and God’s blessing. They are currently renovating most of their basement area for children’s ministry. It will be called “The Factory.” Crews of people are painting, new flooring is going down, and age-appropriate artwork is being done. The pastor has been consulting with a firm in British Columbia on installing a spiral slide for children that will go from the lobby into the children’s area downstairs. Amy Smith is responsible for the children’s ministry and is doing a terrific job.
Pastor Tim Guptill shares that they will hire Ruth Woodworth as Pastor of Worship Arts effective May 01, 2008. She will serve in a part-time capacity. Ruth grew up in this church and is very familiar with its culture. She is loved and appreciated at OWC, and is a good choice to help the church navigate the generational “waters of worship.”
Olivet will be launching a second morning worship service on Palm Sunday. The services will be identical, one at 9:00 AM and the other at 10:45 AM, with a 15-minute window between the services. The pastor projects that if current trends continue, they should have 80-100 people in one service and 200-plus in the other. A couple of very tempting courses will be launched at 10:45 AM in order to ‘encourage’ folks to shift their worship pattern to 9 a.m.
At the Sunday evening “Coffee Chat w/ Pastor Tim” in late January, it was revealed that a proposed name change was in the wind for Olivet. The response has been positive. Many are leaning in favor of “Cross Point Wesleyan Church” from the choices discussed. The church will move forward to officially change the name at their annual meeting in May, 2008.
King’s Valley is hosting the first ever (Canadian and east coast) Children’s Ministry Huddle on April 19th. Rev. Colleen Derr, Children’s Ministry Director for the denomination, will be one of the presenters. This is a “close-at-hand” opportunity for churches to avail themselves of a great equipping event for children’s ministry leaders. The registration fee is $25/person, but you can bring four or more people for only $100! This is an affordable cost for even the smallest churches! It is a wonderful opportunity to network with other leaders, gather useful ideas, receive encouragement and inspiration, and spend valuable time together as a local church ministry team!” For further information, and a detailed weekend schedule, please contact our District Children’s Ministry Director, Mrs. Linda Lamos, at email@example.com
Pastor Greg & Shera Hanson (Charlottetown, PE – Sunrise) are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Nathaniel Gregory, who was born February 8th. He weighed in at 8 pounds 9 ounces, and measured 20 ½ inches. Mom and baby are doing great.
About four weeks ago, Pastor Rebecca (Graham) Perry, Mount Pearl, NL – Solid Rock, had a biopsy done on a small mole on her right forearm. The dermatologist told the Perrys that Rebecca has Melanoma Skin Cancer. Rebecca has a consult with a surgeon on Feb. 22nd and they will hopefully know more after this meeting. The concern is that this does not spread to her lymph nodes. Pastors Rebecca and Graham ask for an interest in your prayers. Pray that the Lord would heal her, and pray that the Grahams would know God’s peace in the “waiting time” as they continue to trust Him.
Pastor Dwayne Hopkins (Scarborough, ME – Coastal) received his second chemo treatment February 14th. He is doing well in the circumstances. You can follow Pastor Dwayne’s journey at: www.caringbridge.org/visit/dwaynehopkins
On another note, Pastor Dwayne was recently featured in an extensive write-up (February 7th) in their local newspaper for his work in counseling trauma victims. He was then honored along with five other people from the Portland, ME area on February 15th at a banquet where he received a “Heroes with Heart” Award. This award recognizes those who have shown compassion and kindness to people in tragic situations.
Continue to pray for South Coastal DS, Dan Berry and his wife, Shelley. Shelley is out of the coma and showing slow, steady improvement. She is being cared for at home. You can follow their story at: www.cambridge.org/visit/danshelleyberry
Pastoral Resignations: Bruce Cheney (Black’s Harbour, NB); Wes McNeil (Fort Fairfield, ME); Bill Moore (Sandford, NS); Ed Otis (Shelburne, NS); Michael & Tammy Hutton (Sydney, NS).
Testify, a music ministry team from Bethany Bible College, is going on a short-term missions trip to Jamaica over March Break. They are collecting Bibles and hymnals for distribution there. The specific request from the field is for the “Sing to the Lord” hymnal, but any hymnals would be appreciated. If you or your church can help, please contact their director, David Klob, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 506-432-4449. The team leaves March 1st.
Amherst Wesleyan Church celebrated their 77th Anniversary this past weekend and also dedicated their new church facility which was a former Roman Catholic Church. Over the last several weeks significant remodeling and up-grades have been done to the church building to allow it to be a more effective tool in ministering to the community. This weekend was a great celebration as former pastors and people associated with the church across the years joined with the congregation for the dedication service, and the fellowship meal following. Special music was provided by the Daybreak Trio from Chipman, NB, and they also brought a concert in the evening service. I was privileged to bring the message in both the morning service and at the dedication service. Congratulations to Pastor Raymond Fancy and the Amherst congregation on a well-planned celebration, and on achieving this significant milestone by the grace and help of God.
Pastor Perry Ingersoll (West Head, NS) has a difficult funeral tomorrow (2-19-08) and requests an interest in our prayers. The Maritime news has been carrying the story of Karissa Boudreau, the twelve-year-old girl that was murdered in Bridgewater, NS. She and her mother attended Sunday School in West Head prior to moving to Bridgewater 2 ½ years ago. Pastor Perry officiated at the marriage of Karissa’s mother and step-father nine years ago. The mother has asked Pastor Perry to conduct this funeral because of their past associations. The funeral is tomorrow at 2:00 PM and will carry a lot of media coverage. Pray for God’s anointing on the pastor, and ask God for His grace and healing to be ministered to the hearts of those in attendance.
Beulah Cottage Lot for Sale: The cottage lot is located at 1 Zion Avenue. There is a 26-foot 5th Wheel Trailer for sale as well. They can be sold together or separately. For more information call Austin & Mary Richardson at 506-456-3860, Blacks Harbour, N.B.
The annual Atlantic District Snowbird Breakfast will be held Saturday, March 15, 8:30 AM, at the Country Kitchen Restaurant in Brooksville, Florida. I will be attending the DS Institute and some other meetings scheduled for DS’s which will be held in Orlando the week of March 17th. Joanne and I will look forward to greeting all of our Atlantic District snowbirds at the breakfast.
“Even a casual inspection of the New Testament will reveal that evangelism was the priority of the early church. Christians are called by God to do many things, but a church that has lost sight of the priority of evangelism has lost sight of its primary calling under God.”
– Dr. Billy Graham