Miramichi Wesleyan Church filled their small facility to capacity on several occasions last year. A Facility Expansion Committee was formed early in 2008. A floor plan presentation for additional space was made at the church’s Annual Business Meeting in May. The plan addresses the need for more space for sanctuary, foyer, and the fellowship needs of the church. The congregation voted unanimously to prepare to build. Under Pastor Gary Churchill’s leadership, Miramichi Wesleyan designed its own capital campaign called “Building for Tomorrow.” The highlight of the Campaign was a banquet held at Rodd Miramichi River Hotel on Sunday evening, June 15th. God is always in the details. The congregation felt they could only afford a very modest dinner. However, the Rodd Inn manager wanted to help this congregation. He provided a delicious meal with dessert and full service absolutely free for nearly 50 people! District E & CG Director, Rev Denn Guptill, was the special speaker for the occasion, and three-year commitments totalling $82,500 were received. The Goal is to have $30,000 on hand by the time ground is broken in May, 2009. To date, nearly $9,000 has been received!
This past Sunday, Sept. 7, was “Launch Day” at Miramichi Wesleyan with 100 helium balloons released in the sanctuary. Each had a “message of hope” attached to it. The morning included a concert by “Emmaus Road,” and dinner followed. There were many first-time guests among the 92 people who attended. Pastor Gary states “If the 21 regulars who were either away or sick had been there, we would have far exceeded our goal of 100. We’re trusting God to provide some ‘miracle surprises” along the way for we’re a small church with a big vision.” Congratulations to Pastor Gary and the people of Miramichi Wesleyan for taking these important steps of faith.
Pastor Mike White, Sackville Wesleyan Church, told me they had 70 out to church on Labour Day Weekend. There were eleven new people, and eight of them were Koreans! It’s always exciting in the population areas where we have several nationalities to see more than Caucasian faces in the congregation! Sackville Wesleyan continues to work on plans for a new building as they contemplate how best to address the congregation’s needs, and also reach their community.
Pastor Dee Lower took up her pastoral responsibilities in the Fort Fairfield, ME Wesleyan Church after Beulah. Since she and her husband Ed arrived, the church put a float in the town’s Potato Blossom Parade. They had a concert and raised $211 for their local food pantry from an offering they received. They had a church BBQ, and started Wesleyan Kids For Missions (WKFM). Seventeen children attended the first meeting! Fort Fairfield is celebrating 150 years, and to help celebrate, the churches are having a progressive dinner in October, and the Wesleyan Church will be taking part. Some other things are planned for the fall months as well. Pastor Dee says, “We’re busy, and we’re happy! We believe the Lord will help us turn some things around and [see our church] grow.”
Rev. Ken Foote entered Palliative Care at the Saint John Regional Hospital on Sept 3rd, and passed away in the early morning hours on Sept. 4th. These last several months have been a difficult period for Ken’s wife, Judy, and the entire Foote family as Ken battled cancer. His funeral was conducted from Saint John First Wesleyan Church, Monday, September 8th. Dr. H. C. Wilson officiated, and internment was at the Brown’s Flat, NB cemetery. There were 34 of our ministers present as well as several spouses. Thank you very much for this strong representation from our ranks on a Monday morning. Please keep Judy and the Foote family in your prayers during these days of grieving and adjustment.
Pastor Barry and Melissa Vernon are on loan to the Baptist Church in French Lake, NB. They want to pass along the good news that Melissa gave birth to a baby boy on August 21st, 2008. His name is Josiah Stanley Baker Vernon and he weighed 6.13 lbs and was 20 inches long. Mother and baby are fine, and Nautica, his big sister, is happy to finally have him here! We extend our congratulations and best wishes to the Vernons.
I conducted a public meeting at the Beulah Hotel August 30th concerning the Beulah Wastewater Project. Mr. Jochen Schroer of NaTech Environmental Services, and Bruce Cheney, our Beulah Caretaker, assisted me in the meeting. There were 98 people present including representation from our Beulah neighbours, folks from the Brown’s Flat community, and our own “Beulah-ites.” We reviewed our progress to date. Some important steps that have been accomplished are the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Certificate of Determination, a watercourse and wetland alteration permit, and a memorandum of understanding with our neighbours allowing us an easement for the pipeline across their property. We received word that applications for government funding are now open to be received from July 10 to October 10. Our application has been completed and was submitted August 18th. We will not receive word regarding the status of our application before December. We will keep you informed about the latest developments as we become aware of them. We ask that you make this a matter of prayer. Pray that this important project will have favour with those that make the decisions. We need this project to go forward at the earliest opportunity.
I was in the morning service at Blacks Harbour Wesleyan on Sept. 7th, and conducted the pastoral installation of Jeff Hoyt. I brought greetings on behalf of the District, and Pastor Jeff preached a good message on being an authentic Christian, and not a hypocrite. There was a good attendance for the holiday weekend, and some new faces and young families were present in the congregation. People always like to “check out the new guy!” We enjoyed our conversation and fellowship with Pastor Jeff and Liz, and Jeff’s mom, Pearl Hoyt, following the service. Thank you for the kind hospitality, and thank you, Liz, for a great meal.
It’s hard to believe the summer has slipped away so quickly. The annual Beulah Wrap-up Service took place Sunday evening during Labour Day Weekend. There was a good representation from several churches in the service – about 250 people were present. The Sussex Wesleyan Church provided the music, and I brought the message. Dr. Steve Elliott from Bethany Bible College shared an inspiring testimony about faith and the faithfulness of God.
I will be attending meetings in Odessa, Ukraine September 11 – 16 as part of a group from the World Hope Canada Board. One important task (among others) will be the evaluation of current ministries and developing new ministries to help the children of the Ukraine. This is done in conjunction with World Hope Ukraine. Should any emergencies arise while I am away that require immediate attention, please contact the Assistant District Superintendent, Dr. L. D. Buckingham, at 506-857-2293.
“You can’t tell people about the love of Christ when their family is lying in the street.”
– Huldah Buntain, Buntains’ Calcutta Mission