Norma Lee Ricker, wife of Pastor Hazen Ricker, has been in the thoughts and prayers of many of you for the last several months. In recent weeks her health has been deteriorating more rapidly. Late Sunday afternoon Norma Lee went home to be with her Lord. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Wallace Funeral Home, 34 Sunnyside Drive, Sussex, (506-433-1176) where visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 13th from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. A Celebration of Norma Lee’s life will be held at the Sussex Wesleyan Church on Wednesday, October 14th at 2:00 pm. Please keep the Ricker family in your prayers.
We were saddened to get the news that Joel MacCallum passed away in Moncton, NB on October 1, 2009. He was a man who lived his faith, and endeared himself to many, many people with his Christ-like spirit and winsome way. He served in his local church, Moncton Wesleyan, faithfully, and also served in the past on the Atlantic District Camp Board. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bette, and his children and grandchildren. His daughter, Kenda Wilcox, serves on the DBA.
Burton Frankland, stepfather to Karl Ingersoll, pastor of First Wesleyan in Fredericton, passed away after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer. The good news is Pastor Karl had the privilege of leading him to the Lord last February. Burton was a retired lobster fisherman from White Head. He was married to Karl’s mother, Dawn, for 27 years. The family is relieved that his battle with cancer is over. Pastor Karl has the funeral Wednesday, October 14th. Please keep the Frankland and Ingersoll family connections in your prayers.
Milestone Event: Pastor Dale MacDonald and the congregation of Woodstock Wesleyan will be holding the last service in their old sanctuary on Main St. this Sunday evening October 18, 2009, at 6 PM. Woodstock is the “mother church” of the Atlantic District. They have met in this facility for over 120 years. This will be a historic event, as the building has been sold, and the old part of the church will be torn down. The Woodstock congregation realizes many people have had association and memories with this place across time. Everyone is invited to attend, and I would encourage all who can be to be part of this transition in history.
Last week, I sent an email to our pastors reminding them of a positive challenge we all received at our District Conference this past summer to close the gap between the number of people we are reporting as coming to Christ, and the number of baptisms being reported. Several of our pastors have responded even in the last week with some great praise notes in this regard. I pass some of them on to you for your encouragement:
Pastor Dale MacDonald, Woodstock Wesleyan, reports that they baptized ten people on Sunday, October 4th, and have another baptism planned for the morning of the 18th of October.
Pastor Jay LaScolea, Bangor-Pathway, emailed me to say they are preparing to baptize three men in the near future.
Pastor Steve Sinclair, Bangor – River City Wesleyan, sent me a quick note on baptisms in their church. Since the close of last year’s church reports, seven people have been baptized at RCW. They have no inside baptismal tank, so they are trusting for another group to be baptized come the spring.
Pastor L.D. Buckingham says Moncton Wesleyan has baptized 24 people so far in this church year.
Pastor Peter Main reports that Crystal Wesleyan (lya 27) had five people baptized in August; three from their church, and two were Pastor Peter and Joan’s grandchildren. It was an exciting day and they had a great time gathering down at the brook. About the time the service was to start it began raining very hard, but they endured, and continued on. Just when the service was over the sun came out and it was absolutely beautiful.
Pastor George Woodward reports that Beals Island Wesleyan has baptized one person, taken in three members, and attendance has doubled (lya 26).
Pastor Jim Agrell, King’s Valley Wesleyan, says that to date, KV has baptized 16 people and believes God will help them to go beyond the challenge given at District Conference this past July in the area of baptisms! Pastor Jim also shares these praise notes: They have had approximately 26 new families visit their church over the summer months looking for a church home, and expressing interest in KV. They recently had a “Pizza with the Pastors” for new families and had 12 of those families come to meet the staff and learn more about the church. The majority of these families are young adults with small children, and KV is praising God that He is sending families who are responding to the direction and vision of the church.
Festival on the Island with Steve Wingfield was held on Grand Manan Island September 25-27. The Festival Chair, Pastor Kirk Perry, had a very positive report to share. Different events were held leading up to the actual Festival. Pastor Kirk said 1,000 residents of the Island were involved on one or more of these various events, including the actual Festival services. The pastors involved in the Festival are currently doing the follow-up on people who have come to Christ.
Pastor Mel Norton, Hartland Wesleyan, shares that their church has concluded the 3rd week (as of Oct. 4th) of intentionally trying to target their community in an outreach endeavour. On September 20th, The Supreme Court Jesters Drama and Puppet Team were at the church presenting the gospel in a creative way as Hartland Wesleyan kicked off the fall season. The morning concluded with Dinner under the Big Top. September 30th, six people were received into membership, and a reception for new families was held following the service. There were fifteen people, besides the Departmental Leaders, who enjoyed a light luncheon together and then a time was given to allow folks to get better acquainted with the ministries of the church. Two more individuals will become members in the near future. October 4th, the church honored the local volunteer fire department headed up by their own Michael Walton, the Fire Chief. There were 196 people in attendance. One of the Chief’s grandchildren, 3-year-old Mason, who is also a part of the church family, presented his Grampy with a statue of a fireman holding a child. A dessert reception was held at the close of the service.
Bristol Wesleyan celebrated their 40th Anniversary October 4th. Pastor Graham & Rebecca Perry hosted in their home a supper for several of the former Senior Pastors and their spouses on Saturday night. Sunday morning, former pastors Mark Thompson and Walter and Margo Perry provided special music, and Dr. Art Maxwell brought a challenging message to remember your past but commit to the future. There were 127 people present for the service, and a fellowship time followed.
I attended Dartmouth – Hillside’s 35th Anniversary Celebration October 4th and brought greetings on behalf of the District. It was our joy to be there as we also had the privilege of pastoring the church for four years in the early 80’s. Dr. H.C. Wilson, founding pastor of the church, brought the morning message. It was wonderful to see families who have been connected to this church for much or all of its journey, and also meet new people who have been added to the church and the Kingdom.
Moncton Wesleyan, on Sunday evening October 4th, honored Pastor & Mrs. Buckingham with a Celebration recognizing them for 40 years of dedicated service at Moncton Wesleyan Church, and fifty years of ministry. I had the privilege of representing the Atlantic District at this occasion. A large crowd filled the Celebration Centre. Clergy from different denominations, and representatives from different levels of government, as well as ministry friends via pre-recorded video, were present to offer congratulations and bring appropriate comments. It was very fitting evening filled with fun and laughter along with the more serious comments. The Buckinghams were presented a gift of a Mediterranean Holy Land Cruise by the congregation. Congratulations!
Easton Wesleyan celebrated its 40th Anniversary this past Sunday (10-11-09). The sanctuary was filled to capacity Sunday morning. Many people associated with the history of the church were present and Rev. Dr. Kim Richardson, a founding member of the church, and presently the pastor of the Nazarene Church in Beverley, MA, brought the morning message. Pastor Matt and Suzanne Maxwell have served in this church since July, 1996.
Humorist Coming To Southern New Brunswick: Award winning humorist and comedy writer Torry Martin is coming to the Atlantic District in mid-November. Torry’s special recipe for laughter takes the ingredients of his own hilarious personal experiences, human observations, and spiritual application and then blends them together to result in a crowd-pleasing humorous concoction called “Torry Stories.” He is scheduled to be in the following churches:
Kings Valley Wesleyan Friday Nov 13 – 7pm
First Wesleyan Fredericton Saturday Nov 14 – 7pm
Sussex Wesleyan Sunday Nov 15 – 10am
Moncton Wesleyan Sunday Nov 15 – 6pm
Admission is free; a love offering will be received.
Torry will give his testimony in the BBC Chapel Service on Thursday, Nov 12 at 10am
Local contact: Professor Dave Trouten, Bethany Bible College, firstname.lastname@example.org, 506-432-4473
Beulah Wastewater Project: It is on schedule, and progressing nicely. Some of you have made pledges to the wastewater project in the last two years, and many have paid their pledge in full. If you have an outstanding balance against your pledge, this would be a very good time to take care of it. It is not just a matter of the completion of the project, it is also a matter of servicing the loan. The less we owe the more we save in interest, and the easier it is to care for the monthly operation of the campground. Thank you for your attention to this important detail.
Pastor Jay Guptill, Hillside Wesleyan, is wondering if any of our churches may be discarding their baptismal robes because they no longer use them. Hillside is looking for used robes and if you’re willing to pass yours along to them contact Pastor Jay at email@example.com
Catch men. Bear fruit.
“God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope, a life-changing experience…” – Timothy Keller