This edition of Under Sail is coming to you later than originally planned and hopefully will allow you to catch up on some of the District happenings and events.
Haiti Earthquake Response: The response to the earthquake in Haiti has seen widespread involvement across the District. Thank you so much. Many pastors have emailed me, letting me know of the special offerings and financial contributions from their churches. Dean Stephenson has been instrumental in taking a medical team to Haiti, and they are currently on site. The aftermath clean-up and attention to the needs of the people is mammoth. This will be on-going for many months, possibly years. If you wish to contribute individually or as a church, you can do so through a variety of agencies as you well know. I want to remind you that you can help the Wesleyan family by channeling your contributions to Global Partners or World Hope, keeping the following points in mind:
Please make your check payable to “The Wesleyan Church” and mail to: “Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund”, 13300 Olio Road, Fishers, Indiana, 46037.
For Canadian donors: Relief cheques are to be made payable to “The Wesleyan Church of Canada” and mailed to 1830 Mountain Road, Moncton, NB E1G 1A9.
You may also direct your donations through World Hope International and World Hope Canada, the primary partners in ministries of compassion for The Wesleyan Church. Thanks for caring.
Beulah Wastewater Project: I spoke with the contractor, Ken Prosser, last week. The piping for the project is in the ground, all the digging is done, and everything is connected. Testing is yet to be done on the pipes before hooking them up. This will be done later in the year, when ice is not a factor. The UV Building (by the Children’s Tabernacle) is up and has replaced the old water-trickling system (the dome). Last week, electricians were working on the electrical service in the UV Building. The camp is still on the old system, and will be so until the power is connected and the pipes are tested. All in all, we are well on target to be operational with this system well before Beulah 2010. The final draw on our WIF loan for this project has been received, and we made our first payment on our indebtedness for this project on January 15, 2010. In the near future, lot lease holders will be receiving a letter from me regarding necessary lot lease increases, as directed by the Camp Board.
Pastoral Changes and Recall Votes:
Resignations: Pastor Wayne Blinn from Maple Ridge, NB. He is retiring this year.
Pastor Connie Stewart from Shelburne, NS.Amy Smith, Children’s Pastor, from Fredericton Crosspoint, effective in April.
Andrew Benson, Pastor of Connections, from Moncton, NB. His last Sunday was Feb. 7/10.
Recall Votes: The six pastors up for recall this year have been on initial two-year calls. These votes will be conducted in the first two weeks of March.
Black’s Harbour – Jeff Hoyt; Fort Fairfield – Dee Lower; Quispamsis – Jim Agrell; Sandford – Perry Ingersoll; Sussex – Rob MacCallum; Yarmouth – David Wilcox
Mini-sterial North: Our thanks to Pastor John Symonds for organizing and hosting the regional mini-sterial, held at Fredericton Corbett Avenue January 26, 27, 2010. This was the counterpart to the mini-sterial held in Nova Scotia in October. This was an interactive learning time with lots of opportunity for dialogue and Q & A. Kevin Vincent, Senior Pastor of Atlantic Community Church – Apohaqui, NB and Denn Guptill, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, Hammonds Plains, NS were the key-note speakers. Both of these men have planted churches, and their stories were used as a springboard for our discussions. Perley, the Magician, had some “out of sight” magic stuff at the close of our Tuesday evening session! There were 38 of our ministerial personnel present. Thanks to all who were able to attend.
DS Weekends and Travels: I spoke at the first Sunday service of the year in Moncton (Jan.3/10). It was a stormy day, but a good service. The Brooksville Atlantic Snowbird Breakfast was well attended on Jan. 9/10 despite a very cold day for Florida! There were 54 present. The fellowship was rich, and their interest in the District remains keen. I attended the GS/DS Institute in Orlando, FL (Jan. 11-13) for the Eastern Area District Superintendents. This was hosted by our Area General Superintendent, Dr. Tom Armiger. It was a very beneficial time of interaction. The discussion relating to the leadership and missional aspects of the Wesleyan Church was an important focus. Joanne and I enjoyed a week of vacation following this event before returning home.
Hartland Wesleyan Church: Joanne and I worshipped with this congregation in their morning service January 31st. There were about 120 present. We’re grateful to Pastor Mel and Sandra Norton for their hospitality and the good meal on Saturday evening. We gathered with the LBA and their spouses for a noon meal which allowed for good interaction with core leadership people. In the service, an offering was received for Haiti over and above their regular giving in the amount of $2200.
Halifax – Deep Water: One of our youngest Church Plants has acquired space on Breton Street in downtown Halifax, across the street from where Deep Water holds their services. This new space, which the congregation has named “The Abbey,” makes provision for office space as well as meeting other needs. January 31st, Deep Water had 189 in attendance, their second largest attendance in their two and a half year history! A.J. Thomas is the pastor.
St. John’s – Avalon: Between November and January, three people made commitments to Christ. The church is averaging in the high teens, and continues to make new contacts in the area. The January Home Group started with fourteen people, more than double last year. Pastors Darren & Janel Clark live in the community where they minister and work secular jobs while forging out this new work.
Church Planters Pre-Assessment Seminar: I attended this seminar, held at Bethany Bible College, on Feb. 3/10. Chris Conrad, who serves in the E & C G Department and has planted two churches, was the keynote presenter. Mark Gorveatte, DS in the West Michigan District, who has had leadership experience in the planting of many churches in his district, spoke from a DS’s perspective. Three of our own Church Planters had significant presentations throughout the day – AJ Thomas, Halifax Deep Water; Denn Guptill, Hammonds Plains Cornerstone; Greg Hanson, Charlottetown Sunrise. All three of these pastors did an excellent job. There was a good group of students in attendance as well. I was appreciative of the opportunity to interact with the presenters and the students.
Ghana Team: Pastors Denn Guptill, Nick Graham, AJ Plaizier, and Bill Lea were a recent team to Ghana. They spent the first week teaching 20 Pastors New Testament Survey and Basic Theology. The second week they were in the North where they ministered in seven different churches and baptized 86 people. They flew out on Friday (Jan. 22) for home which was good because Pastor Denn was finally supposed to get his suitcase on Thursday! J
Woodstock Wesleyan Church: The building that has housed the Atlantic District’s first congregation for over 121 years was torn down last Thursday, Feb. 4/10. While it is the end of one era for this church family, it certainly is the beginning of the next chapters in their journey.
Beals Wesleyan: Pastor George Woodward shares that the Sunday AM service attendance is running 50-60 (lya 26). Three people have given their hearts to Christ in the last 2-3 weeks. This is what’s it’s all about!
Rev. Bob & Brenda Bagley, Atlantic District missionaries, are returning to Africa to serve as the Area Director after a few years hiatus teaching at a college in the US. It is a priority for GP to have the Bagleys on site as soon as possible. They are critical pieces to an important puzzle. As the Area Director for Africa it is GP’s Top Priority to have them serving in the field as soon as possible. The Bagleys are Global Partner missionaries building their support team and heading to Johannesburg, South Africa. Their hearts are with those whom they have been called to serve. Global Partners is working with the Bagleys to help them reach their support goal (100% faith promise) by finding partners to invest in their team. Currently Bob and Brenda are at 52% of their faith promise. All of our missionaries are worthy of our support. The strategic nature of Bob’s responsibilities heightens the imperativeness of this situation. Go on line: http://www.wesleyan.org/gp/makefaithpromise/WM04-0350 or call Global Partners: 1.800.707.7715 (ask for Heather Bradley) for further information if you would like to partner with them.
Scarborough – Coastal Community Wesleyan Church was privileged once again in 2009 to partner with Impacto Ministries (Pastor Luis Martinez) for the fourth year. They sent three teams (14 people) to Guatemala, along with one of their engineers. Several trips were required to help get water to El Morro (the Zacapa Region), through a well system. Coastal’s LBA approved a four week sabbatical in November ’09 for Pastor Dwayne Hopkins, a majority of which was spent in Guatemala assisting Pastor Luis. The church family/leadership did an outstanding job leading the church ministries during that time, with health and growth in the church. Also, the church family continues to serve bi-monthly at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen in Portland. This local mission has been a thrilling extension of the ministry of Coastal in the past couple of years, which serves over 400 meals daily (on average) to the homeless.
“How we live our days is…how we live our lives.” – Annie Dillard