Under Sail

Houlton Wesleyan celebrated its 50th Anniversary over the October 17-18 weekend.  Three of the original 10-12 founding members were present for the weekend and for the Sunday morning service – Ruth Black, Don Harding, and Mary Young.  Pastor Wayne Robertson has been the Senior Pastor since 1997, 24% of the church’s history.  The next closest senior pastor tenure is six years, half the time that Pastor Wayne has served.  Pastor Dave Rowe has been the Assistant Pastor since 1998, and as such is the longest to serve in that capacity.  The Sunday AM service was well attended, well done, and involved a good cross-section of the congregation.  I brought greetings on behalf of the District, and also the morning message.  Joanne and I had lunch following the service with the Robertsons, the Rowes, and Pastor Wayne’s parents at the Robertson residence.
Woodstock Wesleyan has been meeting in its present church for over 120 years.  Invitations had been sent out announcing a final celebratory service to be held in the old sanctuary on October 18th at 6 PM.  The building has been sold and the old sanctuary will be torn down to make way for a new development.  The Christian Ed. Wing and the gymnasium will remain, and the congregation will be meeting there until they can occupy their new facilities in the renovated Co-op building.  Many people from other Wesleyan churches were present for this special occasion.  I saw people from Fredericton, Moncton, Houlton, Hartland, and Perth, to name a few places.  The evening was a very fitting tribute to the mother church’s history and ministry in their present location.  Pastor Dale MacDonald did a fine job linking the past history to future ministry.  I was privileged to bring greetings from the District, and preach the message of the evening.
Bangor-Pathway Wesleyan:  Pastor Jay & Cheri LaScolea have been in Bangor three months, coming to us from the Central New York District.  They are making friends and adapting to their new surroundings.  I installed Pastor Jay on Sunday, October 25th, and also dedicated their baby girl, Abigail Grace (Abby).  Bangor-Pathway has scheduled an indoor pool at a local hotel to baptize four or five men.  It’s a great way to celebrate salvations, and also provide a witness to the community.
Norton Wesleyan celebrated its 100th Anniversary this past Sunday (November 1st).  This date was the actual date of the church’s official inception.  It has been served by 21 pastors across the years, including the present pastor, Rev. Randy Forbes.  A good number of previous pastors were present in the service – Pete Thomas, Bruce Cheney, Harold Bubar, and Art Maxwell.  The Bethany Chorale provided special music, and Pastor Randy brought the morning message from the same text which was used 100 years ago, Acts 2:47.  There were 185 people present (lya 51).  Our commendation to Randy and Alma Forbes and to all who contributed to a well presented celebration.

Yesterday (November 1) was Halifax – Deep Water’s 2nd Birthday Party…and they had a party!  “Huge cake, streamers and balloons, goodie bags, the whole deal” according to Pastor A.J. Thomas.  There were 192 people present (lya 89).  Better yet, they baptized four!  It is awesome to see the ways God is at work at Deep Water.
Family and friends of Rev. Garry & Joanne Campbell gathered at the Beulah Hotel October 10th to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  The Campbells renewed their vows in a meaningful way with Pastors Wayne Briggs and Bruce Cheney officiating.  The actual date of the Campbell’s 50th anniversary is December 24, 2009.  Congratulations Garry & Joanne!
The funeral of Norma Lee Ricker, wife of Pastor Hazen Ricker, was held at the Sussex Wesleyan Church, October 14, 2009.  It was a very fitting celebration of Norma Lee’s life, and our hope in the risen Lord!  I want to thank our pastors, ministers, and spouses who made the effort to be present.  There were 110-120 of you there.  It was certainly appreciated by the Ricker family.  The 100+ voice choir made up of our ministerial ranks was a certain reminder of Norma Lee’s love of music.  Please keep the Ricker family in your prayers.

Rev. Walter Fernley, one of our “elder statesmen”, passed away at his residence October 17, 2009. He graduated from Bethany Bible College in 1949 and spent his life in the ministry.  He pastored seven churches on the Atlantic District and was on the staff of two others spanning the years from 1949 to 1996.  He was a founder in one of Pakistan’s small, independent mission organizations, and saw them brought into the fellowship of The Wesleyan Church in 1993.  He served on various boards and committees for the District and Bethany Bible College.  He was predeceased by his wife, Mabel, and son Graham.  He is survived by his daughter, Heather Duley (Danny), son Michael “Mickey” Fernley (Kendra), and several grandchildren.  The funeral was held from the Moncton Wesleyan Church with Pastor L.D. Buckingham officiating.  Thank you, again, to the excellent number of ministers and spouses who made the effort to be present at the funeral.

Faith LaPointe, wife of Bill LaPointe, one of the original Gospelaires, passed away October 28th.  Her funeral was held at Fredericton First Wesleyan October 31st.  The church was full.  Pastor Karl Ingersoll officiated.  We extend our condolences to Bill and all of the family.
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 – 6:30pm
Please Note: Kings Valley has made a change in venue.  Instead of using Torry in a concert format they are going to have a hip of beef buffet dinner with him as the dinner show entertainment.  The cost is $25.
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, troutend@bbc.ca, 506-432-4473

Dr. Steve Elliott, Director of Church Planting & Pastoral Ministry at Bethany Bible College, would like to know if any of the Atlantic District churches are using the H2O Evangelism Program.  If your church is, or you can provide information that would be helpful to Dr. Elliott, please contact him at elliotts@bbc.ca or (506) 432-4464
New Baby Arrives! Dave Steeves, Pastor of Student Ministries & Missions at Moncton Wesleyan Church, and his wife Cynthia welcomed a new baby girl into the world on Wednesday morning, October 28, at 6:15 AM.  Julia Autumn Steeves, 7 lbs – 13 oz, is a little sister for Brooke.  Congrats to Dave, Cynthia, and their expanding family!
On Tuesday (November 3rd) voters will go to the polls in Maine to vote to determine if they want to legalize gay marriage in the State of Maine.  Both sides in the fierce debate over same-sex marriage are hoping the outcome not only favors them but sends a clear message to the rest of the United States.  In May, the Maine Legislature passed a law legalizing gay marriage, and after initially opposing it Gov. John Baldacci signed the measure.  If approved, “Question 1” on Tuesday’s ballot would overturn the new law.  If the measure wins at the polls, it would continue a string of about 30 states where voters have rejected gay marriage.  If it fails, Maine would join the handful of states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Iowa) where legislatures and courts — not voters — have made same-sex marriage legal.  Pray for this important vote as its outcome has monumental consequences.  The Atlantic District has eleven churches in Maine.
Matt Maxwell, Pastor of Easton Wesleyan, underwent an emergency appendectomy last Saturday afternoon.  He is recuperating nicely and hopefully will be back to full responsibilities soon.
Cheryl Hudson, wife of Rev. Gene Hudson, is undergoing a 4-5 hour surgery today in relation to her battle against cancer.  She will be in the hospital for 7-10 days and will have an extensive recovery period.  Friends and well wishers can reach them at genehudson60@hotmail.com Please keep them both in your prayers.
In the last month, I have chaired a Camp Board meeting at Beulah, attended meetings pertaining to the Beulah Wastewater Project, participated in the Bethany Bible College Board of Trustees meeting, attended the District Directors of Global Partners meeting in Indianapolis, and attended and/or participated in four funerals.  These were in addition to the regular flow of business and ministry through the District office, and the DS’s weekend church schedule.
Last week, Joanne and I had a few days of “R & R” in Toronto.  I have a sister who lives in Australia, and she and her husband, Dr. Jim & Melva Ridgway, were in Canada for a few days in conjunction with a larger trip.  We were delighted to be able to connect with them in Ontario, as well as some of our other family members.  This is always an enjoyable experience for us.
I received word this morning that the Doaktown parsonage burned to the ground.  Thankfully no family was currently occupying it.  It was recently put on the market for sale.   The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
“We can be such harsh judges of one another, as if it is a cheap form of entertainment.” – Unknown

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