Under Sail

He is risen!  Easter Weekend – A few “snapshots” from some of our churches:
Doaktown Wesleyan: Pastor Bill Lea reports they had a great Good Friday service with good attendance, including several from the community.  Those who were guests asked if there was an offering, and Pastor Bill said that they would not be taking one in the Good Friday service.  Easter Sunday was very well attended, but to their surprise they only received $348 in the offering.  Their weekly budget is $580.  Pastor Bill prayed about it, and on Monday talked to his wife, Lois, about what all this might mean.  Pastor Bill said, “On the [Tuesday after Easter], God humbled me.”  He went on to share that they held a first aid course in the church for fourteen woods workers.  They did not charge for the use of the building, and Brenda Munn (a paramedic who attends the church) did not charge for the course.  Brenda had some spare materials, so they only suggested a small donation of $10 each to the church for taking the course.  This would help to fix a leak in the church basement.  However, it was made clear that the course was free.  At the end of the day, the fourteen participants donated a total of $720.00!  And to quote Pastor Bill, “What an awesome God we serve!”
Easton Wesleyan presented a wonderful children’s musical called “Good News from the Grave.”  It really shared the gospel message.  Attendance was 281.  Assistant Pastor, Vaughn Martin, oversees the Children’s Ministries at EWC.  Pastor Vaughn also shares God is doing some amazing things in their congregation.  Since January, there seems to be a new surge among the people to seek God, go deeper, and surrender to Christ. The altars have been flooded many times, lives are being transformed, the Spirit is moving, and the people are responding. Senior Pastor, Matt Maxwell, and Pastor Vaughn continue to pray for lasting change in the hearts of their people, that they might be totally surrendered to Christ and live holy lives.  May this truly be a time of great revival in the people of Easton, and across the Atlantic District.
Fredericton – Corbett Ave.:  Pastor John Symonds reports 335 people were present Easter Sunday in the morning worship services.  That is 68 more than were present on Easter Sunday last year.  It was also a great day of giving – the offering totaled $18,085.75!  I was at Corbett Ave. this past Sunday, and this special offering to help the church end the year in the black has now crept over $20,000!
Fredericton – Crosspoint:  Pastor Tim Guptill reports Easter Sunday was a great day at Crosspoint – 14 salvations!  These were first-time commitments – nine adults and five children.  Also, they celebrated three baptisms, received $27,000 + in their “land purchase offering” (in addition to the regular offering), and had 454 in attendance.  A great day honoring our Great God!
Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone: Pastor Denn Guptill reports a group from Cornerstone prepared and served 100 turkey dinners to families of patients at the IWK Children’s Hospital on Easter Monday.  Twice a month this group prepares meals for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House.  I believe this really resonates with the heart of God. 
Pastor Mel Norton reports that Hartland Wesleyan presented a “Walk through Jerusalem” over the Easter weekend.  This was accomplished by the involvement of 80 people from the congregation.  Over 180 people ‘walked through’ on Good Friday evening, and on Sunday evening there were another 100 in attendance.  Additionally, the local newspaper – the Bugle Observer – did a full page spread of color pictures, plus featured the event on the front page with a color photo.  This was excellent involvement in a worthwhile project for this church family, as well as an effective outreach to the community.
Houlton Wesleyan had 470 in attendance Easter Sunday.   Pastor Wayne Robertson believes it could be the single largest Sunday morning service ever – it certainly is during the years he has been there.  They ran out of chairs!  What a great problem to have!
Pastor Gary Churchill reports that Miramichi Wesleyan had a 26-person choir and cast present a musical Easter production called “Eyes of Faith” the Saturday and Sunday nights of Easter weekend. Space was a precious commodity for the Saturday evening presentation as 112 people were present in a sanctuary that seats 75!  Sunday night, 75 people were in attendance. Most encouraging was the attendance of a number of non-church people from the community who had never been through the church doors before. A reporter who attended the Sunday pm presentation gave a full story and picture coverage on April 15th in the local newspaper. On another note, Miramichi Wesleyan continues to work through all the red tape associated with the construction of their new sanctuary.
Moncton Wesleyan presented a major production on Good Friday, and then had a larger than usual attendance Easter Sunday in spite of a major snow storm.  The Gospel was presented in a creative way through a special production called “Portraits of the Passion.”  The combination of scripture, narrative, and drama opened the way beautifully for Pastor L.D. Buckingham to share the Easter message.
Scarborough, ME – Coastal Community Wesleyan Church:  Pastor Dwayne Hopkins reports the church undertook its biggest venture in its 17 year history.   They did an Easter Musical in the High School Auditorium this year.  This included the CCWC Celebration Choir and live instruments.  Nearly 400 people were in attendance between the two presentations.  Pastor Dwayne says they could not have done this in their own facility.  It has created a positive “God-buzz,” and served as a bridge to reach out to the community.
St. John’s – Avalon:  Pastors Darren and Janel Clark share that on Good Friday the Avalon church plant celebrated Communion together for the first time as a church family.  Avalon also purchased advertising on Facebook for the week of Easter and had approximately 150 people click on their website.  In addition, this new church participated in the 2009 Easter Offering which supports Church Planting in our denomination.  They gave $135 towards this, and plan to make it an annual “tradition.” Pastor Darren says, “Avalon Wesleyan has been a recipient of money from offerings like this, and we want to give back in the same way to help other church planters across North America.”  At the end of April, the church’s puppet ministry people are going to be performing with their puppets at the Janeway Children’s Hospital.  Please pray that God will use them to touch the hearts of children and families who are hurting.  One big answer to prayer for the Clarks is Pastor Janel found a new full time job.  Thank you so much for your prayers.
Other news:
Nackawic Wesleyan Church, led by Pastors Carl & Evelyn Brewer, just recently funded their eleventh well in Sierra Leone.   They are planning to fund their seventh well in Asia May 3rd, making a total of eighteen wells funded by this congregation.  PTL!
Millard Mitchell Dies:  We received word on the morning of April 9th of the passing of Millard Mitchell.  Millard was well known on the District as a gospel singer and an original Gospelaire.  He is survived by his wife, Marian, two daughters Gail (Mrs. Ken) McGeorge, and WilloAnn (Mrs. John) Symonds, one son, Cliff (Hoa) and extended family.  Both WilloAnn and granddaughter Nicole (Mrs. Mike) White are pastors’ wives on the District.  The funeral service was held at the Fredericton Corbett Avenue Wesleyan Church, April 13th, and internment was at the Brown’s Flat Cemetery.   Rev. John Symonds, son-in-law to Millard, officiated at the funeral.  Our condolences to the family 
Mrs. Helen Spearman, mother of Rev. Doug (Marlene) Spearman, passed away peacefully at the age of 82, on April 13, 2009 in Belleville, ON.  She is survived by Doug and his family, and his brother, Ronald and his family, a sister and a brother.  The funeral service was held April 18, 2009 from the Belleville Wesleyan Church, with Rev. Mark Sullivan officiating.  Our sympathies and prayers go out to the family.  Doug and Marlene serve as Assistant Pastor at Coastal Community Wesleyan Church in Scarborough, ME.
Karl Ingersoll Update:  We received word last Monday (4/13/09) that Pastor Karl Ingersoll (Fredericton First) was home after spending almost two weeks in the hospital.  Pastor Karl is still in recovery mode as he has not yet returned to full strength physically.  His doctors will be seeing him a couple of times per week over the next little while as they monitor the atrial fibrillation (AF).  It will be some time yet before he is up to full speed.  Your prayer cover is most appreciated by him and his wife, Elaine, in this regard.
HUDDLE Conference: Pastor Debbie Rooney (Presque Isle Wesleyan Church) and Pastor Vaughn Martin (Easton Wesleyan Church) will be hosting a Children’s HUDDLE Conference in September.  They are requesting that every pastor email Pastor Vaughn the name and phone number/email for a children’s ministries contact person in your church whom they could contact with information about the conference. You can email Vaughn at vaughnmartin@myfairpoint.net
Beulah Campgrounds: Many of you have asked if the water has been turned on at Beulah.  The answer to that question, as of this week, is “yes.”  The Campgrounds will be increasing in activity very quickly as we move toward the late spring and summer.  Caretaker Bruce Cheney is scheduling a Volunteer Work Day for Saturday, June 6th.  He is looking for a band of volunteers to help with things such as: raking leaves; painting; washing windows and siding; sweeping, and spring cleaning the buildings.  It would be appreciated if you would let Bruce know if you, or your church group, would be willing to participate.  Dinner will be provided but the Cheneys need to know how many will be coming so they can prepare.  Thanks in advance to those who are able and willing to take part.
Pastoral Placements Finalized:
Beals – George Woodard   Bristol – Graham Perry     
Mount Pearl – Mark McCluskey  North Head – Jasper Rideout  
Presque Isle – Bud Fancy   Saint John First – Greg Dakin  
In addition, one church is waiting on a reply from a candidate following their vote; one church is voting on a candidate this weekend; one church will be making a recommendation on a candidate this weekend; six other churches are in various stages of the search process.
“You measure the health or strength of a church by its sending capacity rather than its seating capacity. Churches are in the sending business. One of the questions we need to ask is, ‘How many people are being mobilized for the Great Commission?’”  – Rick Warren

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