Under Sail

It has been a busy month since I last communicated with you through Under Sail.  We are in that season of resignations and transitions with pastors and churches.  Here’s the up-date on pastoral resignations since the last Under Sail:  Eric Hallett – Saint John First; Charles Bain – North Head, Grand Manan Island; Mike Tapper – Bangor Pathway; Jesse Merchant – Beals Island; Graham Perry – Mount Pearl Solid Rock.
The membership of the Maple Ridge Wesleyan Church recently voted unanimously to extend Pastor Wayne (Grace) Blinn’s term of service for one more year, to conclude in the early summer, 2010.  The Blinns will be retiring having served the people of Maple Ridge and surrounding areas for 23 years, and they will have completed 43 years of full-time Christian ministry at that time.

Black’s Harbour Wesleyan
started a new children’s program in January.  It’s called “Kids Jam” (J-A-M, Jesus and Me).  They have averaged 40 kids so far!  There is exciting, upbeat worship, interactive teaching, and cool science experiments that tie in with the lesson. Some weeks they have also included games or crafts.  The main leaders, Liz Hoyt and Janatta Burton, are always in an appropriate costume for the role they are playing that particular night  (ie, Loonie Liz, Granny Fanny, the REF, or Professor Gizmo).  The entire leadership team is very excited, not to mention the kids that keep coming back!  It is the only show in town, and a much needed ministry.  Pastor Jeff Hoyt says, “Please pray for wisdom as we endeavor to minister to the parents as well.  We realize that it is critical for these parents to know Jesus also, if these kids are really going to be able to move forward on their spiritual journey.”
Fredericton Crosspoint recently voted to purchase five acres of land for $350,000.  This property is on the edge of Marysville but in Nashwaaksis.  It is across from Leo Hayes High School, and near the YMCA and the new hockey arena.  The church will be challenged to make financial commitments, and Pastor Tim Guptill says they are also going to promote a large down payment offering to be received on Easter Sunday.

Pastor AJ Thomas, Halifax – Deep Water
, says they transitioned to a larger theatre February 8th, and it went well.  Attendance continues to increase and the church is now running between 110 and 120 on a regular basis on Sunday morning.  The first theatre they occupied seats approx. 115.  The one they just moved to holds 325.  They have a new storage closet which is twice as big, the nursery space is better and the space for Upstream (age 4 – grade 4) is a massive improvement.  The first Sunday in the new theatre 20 people filled out a card indicating that they were new and wanted to know more about the church.  This has been a good move, according to Pastor AJ, and it’s provided a good shot in the arm for the church.
Pastors Darren and Janel Clark, Avalon Wesleyan Church, St. John’s, NL, share this update:    Since beginning morning services in September, Avalon has seen over 70 people come through the doors.  Their home group has doubled in size, and 26 people have connected in a significant way with Avalon Wesleyan.  The core group of fifteen people is strongly committed.  They are averaging fourteen each Sunday (with a low attendance of eight and a high attendance of 27).   The church is gearing up to focus on 40 days of prayer and fasting, using the SpringLife series as a guide.
Here are three specific prayer requests:  1) Janel has lost her job in retail, due to the store closing.  Please be in prayer that she quickly finds another job that is right for her.  On the positive side, they believe this is an opportunity for her to make new contacts in the city for Christ.  2) They have many contacts who would like to attend faithfully, but have no encouragement from home or friends.  Please pray these people would find the courage to attend.  3) Pray for the core group to continue witnessing, investing and inviting with the people who are in their sphere of influence.
The Annual Atlantic District Ministerial was held in Moncton Feb. 3-5.  It was well attended with 150 of our pastors, ministers, and spouses present, in spite of a storm Tuesday night!  We found out in the middle of January that our scheduled speaker, Dr. H.B. London from Focus on the Family, had to cancel due to health reasons and travel restrictions.  We made the decision to continue with the event, and had six of our own ministry personnel each take responsibility for one of the sessions.  The theme was “Hot Buttons,” and each person spoke on something they were passionate about, and felt the church needed to hear and/or address.  I took one session, and my thanks to Steve Elliott, L.D. Buckingham, Don Ingersoll, A.J. Thomas, and Karl Ingersoll for taking one of the other sessions.  These sessions were followed by “dialogue time” led by the speaker of the session, and the participation was very good.  Jay and Sharon Guptill took over-all responsibility for the music.  Don and Janet Ingersoll graciously led the worship Wednesday night with the help of the Moncton Worship Team.  We were also ministered to by the Moncton Choir.  Dr. H.C. Wilson gave a very encouraging GP Update.  We were glad he could join us for part of Wednesday.  The fellowship and connection with the Atlantic Team is always a highlight at these events.  Thanks to all who made a concerted effort to attend, and to everyone who stepped up to make this event a meaningful time, both those named and un-named.

Pastor Ken and April Banks (Truro – Central Nova)
shared that their thirteen-month-old daughter, Adasa, received second degree burns in an unfortunate accident from a spilled cup of tea.  She was burned on approx. 20-25% of her body.  She received care at the IWK Hospital in Halifax, and went home last Friday.  They will have to make some return visits for dressing changes.  Both Ken and April would appreciate your prayers.
Our area General Superintendent, Dr. Tom Armiger, underwent emergency gallbladder surgery February 6th, and we are happy to report everything went well.  Dr. Armiger is recuperating at home following the surgery.  Pain from the surgery is decreasing and he anticipates returning to his work schedule soon.  Please pray for his quick recovery and the return to his normal routine.
Karrilee and Dale Bremner share there have been major improvements in their son James’ condition, for which they are thankful.  James was in a serious car accident and faced life threatening injuries.  There are still many hurdles to be faced.  The Bremners want to thank everyone for all the prayers and continuing support.
Our prayers and sympathy are extended to Pastor Gary (Debbie) Churchill.  His sister, Sharon Marritt, passed away at the Miramichi Regional Hospital Sunday, February 8th, after battling cancer.  Her husband, Bruce, is the treasurer at Miramichi Wesleyan.  Her funeral was Tuesday, February 10th, with Rev. Wayne Briggs officiating.  We offer our condolences to Bruce, Gary, and the rest of the family on their loss.
Mr. Douglas “Doug” Mitchell died suddenly at the Saint John Regional Hospital on February 11th.    Doug served at Bethany Bible College as high school principal and instructor from 1954-1963.  He was an active member of Saint John First Wesleyan Church.  His funeral service was held at the church last Saturday, February 14th.  He is survived by his wife, Robina; David, who served on the BBC faculty; Debbie, who has served as a missionary for many years; Jane Wheaton, married to Rev. Mark Wheaton; Jennifer Marples, who serves with her husband, Richard, in Papua New Guinea; and Heather (James) Hockley, who is active in Kentville – New Hope Wesleyan Church.
Beulah Wastewater Project:  I spoke with André Chenard, Director of the Green Infrastructure Programs for the PNB this morning to get an update on the status of our application.  There are a number of projects that are being considered from the applications.  The good news is we are still in the running!  The Oversight Committee met February 9th.  The PNB has finalized its list, and up-dated it even as late as this morning.  The PNB is waiting on official word from Ottawa before they proceed with the letters of offer.  The appropriate Ministers in Ottawa need to add their signatures to what is being proposed, as this is a joint venture.  Letters to the approved applicants may go out as early as next week.  Please continue to make this a matter of prayer.
Cottage for Sale – Beulah Camp:  3 Ebenezer Ave.; winterized with electric heat; new bathroom; 2 bedrooms; living room; kitchen; furnished and priced for quick sale – $17,000.  Contact Frank Stevens at (506) 456-2270 or 755-0456.
On January 27, 2008, Garth Moore, president of PCS Potash, presented a naming gift of one million dollars to support the construction of a civic center adjacent to Bethany Bible College in Sussex, NB. The new PotashCorp Civic Center will house a six-lane swimming pool, swirl pool for toddlers and seniors, fitness center, and walking track.  Bethany students will have membership privileges to this world-class fitness center for health and recreation purposes. Including the commitment of three million dollars from the federal and provincial governments confirmed in July 2007, funding is now approaching the six million dollars goal needed to complete the project.  Bethany’s president, Dr. David Medders, who serves as project chairman, gives praise to God for His favor and strength that has sustained the civic center committee for over twelve years in seeing this community dream become a reality.
In the last month I have been in the weekend services at Port Maitland, Millville, Grand Harbour, and Lower Sackville (including Sackville’s Valentine’s Dinner last Saturday night).  I have also met with nine church boards, and conducted one congregational meeting.  This includes beginning the pastoral search process with three of these churches, and conducting two extended reviews.
“These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.”
– G.K. Chesterton

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Main Office:(Year Round)

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E1G 1A9

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