Under Sail

Avalon – St. John’s – Pastors Darren & Janel Clark are moving quickly toward the official launch date for their church plant – October 19th.  They have been holding services weekly since September, and have been averaging about fourteen people.  There is a core group of about 6-8 people who are helping the Clarks, and there are about 20-30 people who have been checking Avalon out.  Plans are in hand to start their Children’s Program in conjunction with the launch date.  Please make the launch service for this church plant a matter of prayer in your church services this weekend.  It will mean a lot to the Clarks, and it will certainly release the Holy Spirit into the situation on this important day.
Pastor Denn Guptill, Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone, reports they started a second Sunday morning service this past weekend.  It is an “experiment” called “Double Double” that will go through the rest of the calendar year and then be assessed at that point.  This first weekend saw a combined total of 217 people with no double counting (lya 202).  In addition, a new program to help their people get into the Bible, “Discover the Word,” kicked off with 13 small groups.
Pastor Tim Guptill shares that Fredericton – Crosspoint has averaged 336 for the last four weeks (lya 255).  The church held a meeting yesterday (10-05-08) to discuss buying land, and it was very enthusiastically received.
Rev. Phil Stevenson, General Director of E&CG, was on our District for various meetings last week.  Denn Guptill, our District E&CG guy, and I met with Phil last Thursday in Hammonds Plains, NS to discuss M3 (missional multiplication movement) strategic implementation on our district.  Then last Friday, Phil and Denn, as part of our District E&CG efforts, conducted an all-day seminar at Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone called “Leadership by Design”.  I really appreciated the good response from our pastors and some key lay people in NS.  There were 24 people in attendance, which represented most of our pastors/churches within about a two-hour driving distance.  Thanks to the attendees for making the effort to be present.  The seminar input and the time together were both profitable.
Ingomar Wesleyan Church (Pastor Alvin McComiskey) celebrated its 50th Anniversary September 26-28.  Former pastors, Rev. Les Hicks, Dr. Bill Burbury, and the founding pastor, Rev. Oland Kent, all spoke over the weekend.  There were 55 people present for the Sunday morning service, and I was privileged to bring greetings and remarks on behalf of the District.
Resignation: Pastor Alvin McComiskey resigned yesterday morning.  He has served the Ingomar congregation for fourteen years.  The church has experienced a decline in numbers and finances over the last two years especially, and is now facing serious financial challenges. So, this decision is primarily a financial decision.  Pastor Alvin is pursuing some other options, and the church will be utilizing pulpit supplies over the next several months as they consider their future.
Pastor Graham Perry reports that Mount Pearl – Solid Rock Wesleyan Church had a few more faith promise cards come in for missions.  Their total missions giving over and above tithes and offerings, now stands at $13,416.00 for the year.  PTL!
This past weekend, I was in the Kentville – New Hope (Pastor Scott & Shari Prime) for the Sunday morning service.  It was four years ago on this very weekend that their new church facility was dedicated.  Pastor Scott asked those new to the congregation since the dedication of the building to stand, and over 50% of those present got to their feet!  There is a wonderful spirit in this group, and it is a welcoming place to be.  They have a significant ministry to ex-alcoholics, and I had the privilege of meeting some of these individuals who have been redeemed, saved from their sins, and saved from their addictions.  I enjoyed a meal and excellent fellowship with Pastor Scott and Shari following the service.  Also, thanks to Rev. Fred & Lilyan Whittey for the wonderful overnight accommodations, food, and fellowship.  I did my BBC pastoral practicum in the Woodstock Wesleyan Church in 1972 when the Whitteys pastored there.  It’s always pleasant to re-connect with these folks.
Advance Planning for Pastors and Youth Pastors – “Rally in the Valley” is scheduled for May 1-2, 2009 and the cost is only $45.00!  The special speaker is Matt LeRoy (no relation to the AD DS).  The band is BD & The Valley Boys.  More details as the event draws closer.
Pastors and Spouses, be sure to protect the dates of February 3-5, 2009 on your schedules.  Those are the dates of our District Ministerial with Dr. H. B. London, Vice President of Pastoral Ministries with Focus on the Family.  We will be holding the event in Moncton this time. More information will follow in the next few weeks.
Pastors, one last reminder from Rev. C. E. Stairs – he asks that you send any orders for his new pamphlet and any monies received from sales along to him at: York Manor, 100 Sunset Dr., Fredericton, NB E3A 1A3. Thank you.
Since the last Under Sail, I have also (among other things) spoken in a BBC Chapel service; met with our insurance representatives to review the district’s property insurance coverage; along with Dr. L.D. Buckingham, as BBC Trustees, met with an Evaluation Team as part of BBC’s accreditation review; met with the Ingomar LBA; and traveled 2,400 kms (1,500 miles) on District business.  Thank you for your continued prayers and on-going interest in District matters.
“Those who stand highest in the esteem of men are most exposed to grievous peril.”
– Thomas À Kempis

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