Under Sail

Our Area General Superintendent, Dr. Tom Armiger, in partnership with the DS, is sponsoring a series of Pastors Forums to gather knowledge from the grassroots on what needs to be revived, refined, reinvented, and/or restructured in order for North American Wesleyans to achieve our vision of “Fulfilling the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.”  During an afternoon of conversation, we will discuss what a denomination should look like that is passionately and powerfully spreading hope and holiness to transform individuals, churches, communities, and cultures. There are five key questions that are being asked in the Forums to generate the discussion and interaction.  I will send our ministers the questions and further details in the new year.  All ordained, commissioned, and licensed ministers appointed by the district are invited to participate.  This includes solo, senior, assistant and associate pastors.  Ministers who serve as educators, chaplains, missionaries, or in other active ministry roles are also invited to attend.  Each event will be 3-3.5 hours in length.  Those participating should plan on 1-5 PM for the on-site participation.  We will be well inside that time frame.  We have set up regional locations to allow for greater over-all participation, reduce travel times, and cost.  The following dates, times, and places have been confirmed with the GS for the Atlantic District’s Pastors Forums:
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Sussex Wesleyan Church 1 – 5 pm
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 Hammonds Plains-Cornerstone 1 – 5 pm
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Hartland Wesleyan Church 1 – 5 pm
Pastors & Ministers, please choose the location that is most convenient for you and reserve the date on your calendar.
Pastor John Symonds, Frederericton Corbett Ave., is hosting Mini-sterial North in January.  This is a regional opportunity for our pastors in New Brunswick and Maine (though others are welcome from PEI, NS and NL!).  The dates are January 26-27, 2010, and the theme is “Taking the Next Step.” The first session will start at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, and the last session will conclude at 3:00 PM on Wednesday.  The aim is to provide practical sessions and give opportunity for pastors to come together so that “iron sharpens iron.”  The two keynote speakers will be Kevin Vincent of Apohaqui Community Church and Denn Guptill of Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone Wesleyan Church.  Along with the keynote addresses, there will also be interactive sessions allowing you to ask questions, get feedback, and give input.  The cost is $50.00 per person, and $60.00 if you bring your spouse, provided you register by January 12th.  The registration fee includes all sessions as well as lunch on Wednesday, and all the breaks.  Accommodations are your own responsibility.  A special rate ($95.00 single or double) has been secured at the Ramada Inn near the church (506-460-5507).  Mention Corbett Ave. Wesleyan when registering to receive the special rate.  For further information, or to register, call (506) 472-0044 or email corbettavewesleyan@nb.aibn.ca

Bethany Bible College is hosting a pre-assessment Church Planter’s event, “A Day in the Life of a Church Planter.” It is a one-day event that will be held February 3, 2010, from 9 AM – 5 PM on the BBC Campus.  Any pastors or other individuals with a serious interest in church planting should check this out.  Atlantic District pastors, please contact the DS if you’re interested, and for further information on the event itself or to sign up, contact Dr. Steve Elliott at elliotts@bbc.ca
Linda Lamos, Director of Children’s Ministry at Kings Valley Wesleyan, shares that their church was able to partner with the local elementary school to help with a pancake breakfast for all the children on December 16th.  There are over 500 children at Quispamsis Elementary School, so they cooked over 1000 pancakes at KVWC and then delivered them to the school.  KVWC also provides a hot lunch every Monday and sandwiches every Friday for those children who have no lunch in this same school.  Thanks for this large effort!
Pastor Jasper & Debbie Rideout have quickly adjusted to their new appointment at North Head Wesleyan, Grand Manan. They are involved in many community activities and working with other churches to make a difference during the Christmas Season in such events as the Shoe Box Service and the Empty Stocking Service.  Their church had a Christmas Program on December 13th, “A Tribute to our Saviour’s Birth,” with involvement from every age group in the church.  There were 68 in attendance (lya 57).
Pastor Kevin Wilson, Halifax – Metro, passes along some of the happenings at Metro. Their church entered a float in the Chronicle Herald “Parade of Lights.” It was exciting to see the Metro church people get involved.  The theme of their float was based on their Christmas program “Joyland.”   There were over 50 people from the church involved with the construction and participation in the parade.  The Sunday before Christmas they held their annual Christmas program.  The play was entitled “Joyland,” and over 180 people were in attendance (lya 93). God is doing some great things at Metro!
Beals Island Wesleyan has undertaken a major and necessary repair to their church steeple.  The church was completed and dedicated on February 6, 1897.  In 1915, the original steeple was removed, and the present steeple was constructed.  The “jewel” of the new steeple was the E. Howard clock purchased as a gift to the church by Charles and Sylvina Beal.  Over the past 90 plus years, many generations have heard the bell toll the hour.  It was discovered that extensive water damage over the years has caused major deterioration to the steeple.  The clock mechanism was dropped down into the second story above the vestry, and the steeple was successfully removed by crane on October 29th.  The steeple will be moved to a warehouse (this month) where it will be restored during the winter months, as it was originally built.  When the work is completed, it will be put back in place and continue to be a historic part of the Beals Island skyline.  Pastor George Woodward is supply pastor to the congregation.
We received word this past Sunday that Dr. Steve Elliott’s mother, Nora Elliott, passed away in Belleville, ON Saturday night, December 26th, after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.  She was a committed Christ Follower and was married to her husband, Lorne, for 60 years.  Her funeral service will be held in the Belleville Wesleyan Church on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Mark Sullivan officiating.  We extend our sympathy and prayers to Nora’s husband, Lorne, her children Steve (Helen) and Lois Stather (Tom), and the rest of the family.  Dr. Elliott is the Director of Church Planting & Pastoral Ministry Programs at Bethany Bible College.
Wayne MacKenzie, son of Pastor Jack and Charlene MacKenzie, extends his thanks to the many people who sent expressions of sympathy on the loss of his wife, Shirley, who passed away just before Beulah.  He was very aware of the prayers of God’s people on their behalf, and stated that he felt “carried” as he cared for her at home.
Uta Chase, retired Wesleyan missionary who had long service in Africa, fell December 29th and broke her hip.  She has been transferred to the Saint John Regional Hospital and will undergo surgery at the earliest possible opportunity.  She is resting as comfortably as can be expected in her circumstances.  Please keep her in your prayers.
Shawna Rogers, Assistant Pastor at River Valley Wesleyan, passed along to me word of an opportunity from Pastor Luis Martinez in Guatemala.  Pastor Luis extends an invitation to pastors/missions directors to join him in exploring two ministry areas, Zacapa and Coban, in Guatemala the last week of January.  This is short notice, but for more details, contact Shawna Rogers at pshawna@rvwc.ca or Sarah Poythress at spoythress@newlifelaplata.org
Dean Stephenson, Director of Caton’s Island Camping Ministries, has had a passion for the mission work in Haiti for some time.  He has been a driving force on the Atlantic District to get a new boat for the island of La Gonave.  The missionaries have depended on the Wesleyana, a slow, wooden sailboat typical of the local environment.  It has a payload in excess of 5,000 pounds and transported fuel, hospital supplies, missions teams, and other essential supplies from the mainland to the island.  Dan Irvine, GP Caribe Atlantic Area Director, says, “Since [the Wesleyana] was slow, inefficient, and even dangerous in rough seas, her days were numbered.”  Dean has given himself wholeheartedly to fund raising and organizing the transport of a “new” boat from NB to Haiti.  The Breezy Sea is a lobster boat that has been purchased and then donated to the Wesleyan Mission in La Gonave.  When she arrives at her destination, she will replace the Wesleyana, and provide transportation for the missionaries and doctors from mainland Haiti to La Gonave.  She will make approximately 52 trips each year and transport supplies for the compound and hospital.  The Breezy Sea will cost less to run and carry more cargo.  Thanks to Dean, Preston & Peter Wilcox from Grand Manan, and to everyone who has contributed in any way to make this possible.
Dean Stephenson is taking a team of nineteen to Haiti made up mostly of counselors from Caton’s Island.  Dean has had a four-year dream of running camps there and now it has come to fruition.  They will be providing Day Camps for Splendid House Orphanage on La Gonave Island.  The orphanage is home to 60 children.  The team leaves December 28th and will return January 5th.
The Annual Atlantic District Snowbird Breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 AM on Saturday, January 9, 2010 in Brooksville, FL at the Country Kitchen Restaurant.  Put it on your calendar and we’ll look forward to greeting you then.
I will be attending the GS/DS Institute in Orlando, FL January 10-13, 2010 and then Joanne and I plan to take some vacation time.  Following this, I will be back in the office January 25th.  The next Under Sail will be sent sometime that week.  My executive assistant, Karrilee Bremner, will be in the office and available while I am off the District.  In case of emergency, please contact the Assistant DS, Dr. L.D. Buckingham at 506-857-2293.
It has been great to hear all the reports from our churches of special activities and Christmas celebrations.  But let’s remember, the reason He came was to seek out those in darkness, save people from their sins, and reconcile men and women and boys and girls to God.  So…Catch men, Bear Fruit!
“Most ‘overnight success’ stories are about twenty years in the making.”               – Jim Collins

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