Under Sail

Pastor Denn Guptill, Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone, shares that Sunday, November 13, 2005 was their last Sunday in the community center they rented at that time.  It was referred to as the “Lion’s Den”.  There were 37 in attendance that day.  The next week is when they began services in their present facility.  Now, three years later, the average Sunday morning attendance for the first three weeks in November this year is 243 (lya 202).  Pastor Denn attributes this strong growth to several factors.  The new building has been a definite contributor, as well as the fact they were ready with the type of music and service for which they have become known.  Also, the “before and after” school care program offered through the week has contributed to the community seeing that the church is there for “the long haul,” and is interested in them.  Way to go, Cornerstone!
Pastors Darren & Janel Clark, St. John’s – Avalon, report three new couples, and one new young adult came out to the service November 16th, and last Sunday (November 23) another five new people were in the service.  These folks are showing interest in becoming a part of this new church plant.  This has energized the core group and motivated them to reach out to the community even more.  Avalon will take advantage of the Christmas season to canvas houses in their community with ‘door hanger’ invitations to the Advent services.  This method has yielded results for them previously.  Please pray for the Clarks, and this initiative.
Pastor A.J. Thomas (Halifax – Deep Water) did a little research recently and determined that in the neighborhood surrounding their church – the Downtown South area of Halifax – there are 27 bars for every one evangelical church.  This church has a mission field in their backyard!  Pray for them!
Fredericton Crosspoint baptized fourteen people this past Sunday, and had their highest “normal” Sunday morning attendance (without a special event) – 384! (lya 255).  Awesome Sunday!
The funeral service of retired pastor, Rev. Jack Fancy, was held at Kings Valley Wesleyan Church (KVWC) in Quispamsis, NB on Thursday, November 13th.  It was a very fitting tribute to a fine pastor, and a man well-loved by his family, friends, colleagues, and former parishioners.  I was privileged to be involved in this funeral along with Pastor Jack and Pauline’s pastor, Rev. Jim Agrell, and others including family members.  Rev. Don Ingersoll, former senior pastor at KVWC, brought the message.  It was heartwarming to see over 125 people from our ministerial ranks attend, and then form the Atlantic District honor guard at the close of the service.  Thank you for your support for this family.  Please continue to remember them in your prayers in these days of adjustment.
Special Thanks:  Pauline called the office today and asked me to express on behalf of the Fancy family special thanks to all who participated in the service, to the many who attended from our ministerial ranks, and thanks for all the calls, cards, thoughts, prayers and donations in his memory.
Rev. Pete (Ginnie) Benson’s father, James “Jimmy” Benson, 78 years of age, went home to be with the Lord on November 14th after complications with various physical ailments.  He had been in the nursing home on Grand Manan Island, NB for the last three years.  His funeral was held from the Seal Cove Wesleyan Church on Monday, November 17th, with Pastor Ward McComiskey officiating.  Our prayers are with his wife, Frances, and all the family members.
Pastor Alvin McComiskey resigned as pastor of the Ingomar Wesleyan Church on October 5th.  He had served as its pastor for 14 years.  He has accepted a call to the Advent Christian Church in Bear Point, NS.  His first Sunday in this new charge was November 23rd.  We pray God’s blessing on his ministry there.  Ingomar Wesleyan is utilizing pulpit supply pastors from the area in these days of transition.
I brought the message at the Truro – Central Nova Wesleyan Church on November 16th as they celebrated their 60th Anniversary.  It also marked the 20th Anniversary of the present sanctuary.  It was a great day, with some former pastors and staff taking part, particularly Rev. Jack and Charlene MacKenzie, Rev. Frank Melanson, and Rev. Keith Sabine.  Rev. Ken (April) Banks is the current pastor.  We extend our congratulations to pastor and people.
Dr. David Medders, President of Bethany Bible College, was one of three members of the Sussex, NB community who were honoured by the Rotary Club of Sussex this November by being awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.  This award, named for the founder of Rotary, is their highest award and recognizes outstanding merit in an individual and their service to the community.  Dr. Medders was specifically recognized for his service as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fundy Civic Centre, an office he has held since 1997.  This community centre has been an on-going project for several years.  Ground breaking took place this past spring and the facility will be built next summer in the field adjacent to BBC’s Burbury Administration Building.  Congratulations Dr. Medders!
This past weekend, Joanne and I were in the Sussex Wesleyan Church.  Pastor Rob (Vallerie) MacCallum assumed the responsibilities of Senior Pastor in this year’s pastoral transition.  He had previously been on the staff there as Pastor of Ministries.  He is being well received by the congregation is his new role.  I conducted his pastoral installation as part of the service, and then brought the morning message.  This was the last of seven installations to be conducted in FY ’09.
Beulah Wastewater Update:  We are still awaiting word on the August application we submitted for government funding for the Beulah Wastewater Project.  We were told that no word would be given before December, and that the earliest any money would be released for approved projects would be January 2009.  Please make this important and large project a part of your prayers.  Ask God to move the hearts of those making the decisions, and that God would give us favor with them.
I attended the Board meeting for The Wesleyan Church of Canada (TWCC) in Toronto this past Monday.  The TWCC Board meets annually as required by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to ensure that matters relating to funds from our Canadian churches meet CRA regulations.
Moncton Wesleyan Church will present their annual Living Christmas Tree, December 3-7, 2008.  Many people in the Maritimes make this a definite part of their Christmas celebration.  Already, over 11,000 people have purchased a ticket to one of the performances.  Pray for this church as they touch the lives of thousands of people through this major event.  Tickets and information are available through www.monctonwesleyan.com
Atlantic District “snowbirds” are already making their way south, and more will follow in the next few weeks!  We will host the Annual Atlantic Snowbird Breakfast on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at the Country Kitchen Restaurant in Brooksville, FL at 8:30 a.m.  Please note this on your calendar.  We look forward to greeting all our Atlantic District snowbirds at that time.
Correction:  In the last Under Sail, I inadvertently attributed a fundraiser for the local food bank to the Amherst church.  It was actually a project of the Central Nova (Truro) church.  My apologies!
“A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s greatest grief.”   – A.W. Tozer

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