St. John’s – Avalon in Newfoundland had its official launch service this past Sunday with 27 people present! Pastors Darren & Janel Clark report that they had a wonderful service. Some folks returned who they hadn’t seen in a while (from the preview services), and there were new people as well. The pastors sense excitement about Avalon Wesleyan and the ministry that has begun there. The highlight of the morning was that someone made a re-commitment to Christ, which is what it is all about! They will be holding a “Coffee House Service” next Sunday morning, and people seem eager to get involved. Continue to keep this new church plant and the Clarks in your prayers.
Pastor A.J. Thomas says that attendance at Halifax – Deep Water has averaged in the low 90’s so far this fall. There is a constant stream of new faces. Pastor A.J. asks you to please pray that God will help this young congregation to become more and more effective in the mission He has given them in Halifax. They are helping people who are far from God become followers of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Kevin and Laura Myers (Sydney – Harbour) request that if anyone has the names of any contacts in the Sydney, NS area, please let them know. They would be delighted to follow up with any names submitted as they endeavour to plant one of our newest churches. You can reach the Myers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fredericton Corbett Ave under the leadership of Pastor John Symonds is well into its “experiment” with two Sunday morning services. They offer a traditional service at 9:30 AM and a contemporary service at 11:00 AM. Their sanctuary hits the 80% capacity margin at about 200 people. The “experiment” started in September after Labour Day, and through the first Sunday in October the church has averaged 212 with a high attendance of 242 the first weekend in October (lya 187). Approximately one-third of the people are attending the early service and two-thirds are attending the second service.
Graham and Rebecca Perry (Mount Pearl – Solid Rock) have a new baby son, Nathan Adam Perry. He was born Friday, October 17th and weighed in at 9 lbs, 8 oz. Rebecca and Adam are doing fine, but it took a half-day to find all the buttons off Graham’s shirt! The proud grandparents are Rev. Walter & Margo Perry, currently serving on staff at Mount Pearl – Solid Rock, and Rev. Bob & Cindy Croft who pastor in Hyde, PA.
Pastor Connie Stewart, Shelburne Wesleyan Church, reports they had a lady give her heart to the Lord Sunday night (10-5-08) after the service! Joanne and I were in Shelburne October 12. I conducted the pastoral installation ceremony for Pastor Connie, and preached in the service. She and her husband, Duane, arrived in Shelburne in August to take up their new responsibilities. The church has done significant work to the parsonage and has warmly embraced this couple.
Volunteers from Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone served over 250 Thanksgiving dinners to parents and staff at the IWK Hospital for Children and the Ronald McDonald House on Thanksgiving Monday. Denn Guptill is the pastor.
185 people showed up for Thanksgiving turkey at the Beulah Hotel on Thanksgiving Monday!
Pastor Doug (Tina) Taubin, former Pastor of Discipleship at Presque Isle Wesleyan, has accepted a position with Pastor Rick Kavanaugh at First Wesleyan in High Point, NC. He began his responsibilities this past weekend in an Executive Pastor role. We wish them well.
I chaired a meeting of the Camp Board at the Beulah Hotel October 7th. Both Beulah and Caton’s have had good seasons this year.
We continue to wait on the results of our latest application for government funding for the Beulah Wastewater Project. The date for applications closed October 10th. I had a telephone conversation with André Chenard, Director of the Green Infrastructures Programs for the Province of NB on Tuesday of this week. His department favours this project. He informed me that 74 applications had been received, and the Technical Review Committee has met. They score the projects in order to prioritize them. The Oversight Committee meets November 13th, and they will determine which projects are recommended to the Federal Ministers. It will be December before any projects receive approval, and there will be no contracts before January. I’m told our project is in a good position and it’s definitely not at the bottom of the list. Our project has the support of the NB Southwest MP, Greg Thompson, who was recently re-elected in the federal election, and also the MLA for Fundy – River Valley, Jack Keir continues to lend his support. However, keep in mind this is not a “done deal.” I am grateful for all of the encouraging signs but I ask for your prayers that we will reach a definite and positive resolution to this important matter.
Focus on the Family Canada is hosting a “Parenting Matters Tour” in key cities across the country. The special guest speaker is Dr. Tim Kimmel, executive director of Family Matters™ and one of North America’s top advocates speaking for the family today. The one-evening event will consist of two information-packed sessions with a 20-minute break in between. Dr. Kimmel’s topics will be: Grace-Based Parenting and Raising Kids for True Greatness. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $16 each or $13 each for 10 tickets or more. Moncton Wesleyan Church is one of the locations for this event on Monday, November 3rd. All ticket orders and event inquiries should be directed to Focus on the Family Canada. For further information, call 1.800.661.9800 or email email@example.com
One of the most exciting and heart-warming things is when the “family takes care of the family.” Pastor Mark & Karen Cooney (Millville Wesleyan) have both had some serious health issues to deal with over the last 2-3 years. Karen’s health concerns caused her to have to give up her position at River Valley Christian Academy. This put added financial strain on the family, and was causing them to question how they could continue to keep their son, Seth, in the Academy. They believed God would find a way, and He did! Pastor Rob MacCallum, Sussex Wesleyan, became aware of the need and spoke with me about it. He asked if it would be all right to contact some of our churches to see if they’d be willing to help. Several of our churches were made aware of the need and stepped up without hesitation to make a difference for the Cooneys. This is the list of participating churches:
Blacks Harbor Wesleyan – (Jeff Hoyt); Brown’s Flat Fellowship – (Wayne Briggs); Fredericton Crosspoint, – (Tim Guptill); Fredericton First – (Karl Ingersoll); Hartland Wesleyan – (Mel Norton); Havelock, NB Wesleyan – (Nick Graham); Hillside Wesleyan, Dartmouth – (Jay Guptill); Metro Wesleyan, Halifax – (Kevin Wilson); Perth-Andover – (Ryan Farrell); Saint John First Wesleyan – (Eric Hallett); Solid Rock Wesleyan, Newfoundland – (Graham & Rebecca Perry); Sussex Wesleyan (Rob MacCallum)
The total amount for the school bill was more than covered! The additional funds raised will be given to the Cooneys in the form of a gift card to help cover other expenses they will incur. For instance, Karen has to travel to Montreal next week to meet with a specialist regarding her medical needs. Please keep this family in your prayers. My heart-felt thanks to the participating pastors and churches for their generosity, and for making a difference. The biggest gift was not the love offering itself, but the care and concern expressed through it.
I received a communication this week from the General Director of Global Partners, Dr H.C. Wilson, on the Top 100 churches in GP Missions Giving for FY08. In FY07, according to GP Worldview (July – September 08) the Atlantic District had three churches in the top 100 giving churches, and none in the top 50. The FY08 list shows that we have five churches in the top 100, three of which are brand new to the listing! In addition, three of the five churches are not only in the top 100, they are in the top 50! Congratulations! Here’s the detail:
Moncton Wesleyan (L.D. Buckingham) ranks 18th (last year’s rank – 94th) and gave $66,502 to GP.
Sussex Wesleyan (Rob Maccallum) ranks 47th (new listing) and gave $29,842.
Fredericton First Wesleyan (Karl Ingersoll) ranks 48th (new listing) and gave $29,128.
Quispamsis Kings Valley Wesleyan (Jim Agrell) ranks 54th (last year’s rank – 61st) and gave $27,400.
Woodstock Wesleyan (dale MacDonald) ranks 91st (new listing) and gave $18,463.
And what’s really huge is our over-all district giving to GP has gone from $239,863 in FY07 to $421,998 in FY08!! That’s an increase of 76% – $182,135!! Thank you to all of the churches, organizations, and individuals who contributed to this significant Kingdom impact through the Atlantic District!
Joanne and I were in Yarmouth Wesleyan this past Sunday. Pastor David and Dawn Wilcox assumed their responsibilities in Yarmouth in August. I installed Pastor David as the Senior Pastor, and the congregation has enthusiastically embraced their new leader and his family. Pastor A.J. and Julia Plaizier have continued on in staff positions and the transition has gone well. There is a high level of optimism and anticipation on the part of the people as they look toward the future. This was an inspiring place to preach. The people were very responsive to God’s Word.
“Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart.” – Ruth Graham