Snapshots from Easter 2010:
Pastor Raymond Fancy reports that Amherst Wesleyan reached out to their community with the Easter Story in a way that was a “first for them. They did a “Walk Thru’ Jerusalem” Presentation which was written and directed by Pastor Linda Fillmore. There were 52 people from the church involved as the cast, and 157 people from around the community took the “Tour.” People were guided through eight different scenes which portrayed Christ’s humanity as well as the power of the Resurrection. The majority of the responses from the comment cards were very positive. Pastor Raymond says, “There is a definite awareness of the keen impact that this “Outreach” has had on the Amherst community, as well as the church family. We are rejoicing in God’s blessing and have already had new people attend the Sunday morning worship service as a result!” In addition, 106 people came out for a great time of celebration on Easter Sunday, and 101 were in attendance on Good Friday. Those attendances were record crowds for both these services at AWC!
Pastor A.J. Thomas, Halifax – Deep Water, shares that they had five people make a decision for Christ in the last month, and they baptized four people Easter Sunday morning.
Pastor Dwayne & Melodie Hopkins report Coastal Community Wesleyan Church, Scarborough, ME presented “Eyes of Faith” in the Scarborough High School auditorium on Saturday, and Easter Sunday morning. This was a major outreach endeavor for the church and over 400 people attended the two services (lya 124) of music and drama. Coastal’s Celebration Choir had 30 voices, as well as band, drama, sound and lights. It was a blessed weekend with many visitors, family members, and friends coming together to celebrate the Risen Lord.
Supply Pastor Benjamin Pass, Ingomar Wesleyan, says they had a wonderful turn-out Easter Sunday morning – 75 people (lya 34). But the best news of all is that one person came to the Lord for the first time, and one person rededicated their life to the Lord! I was in Ingomar for a service the last Sunday of March. There were 37 people present and there was definitely a spirit of optimism and celebration in the service. Pastor Benjamin says they have also had six people start coming regularly to the church over this past year. Their Bible Study has been steadily attended by 8-12 people every Wednesday night. The church has experienced some difficult days in the last two years, and these things are positive signs of God’s moving in answer to our prayers.
Pastor Ken Banks, Central Nova Wesleyan in Truro, NS shares that they had 170 out Easter Sunday morning, double their normal attendance (lya 83). The congregation had been encouraged to participate in the “Every Name Has a Soul” outreach, and invite friends/neighbours to church. The gospel was clearly presented throughout the service, and though there were no public commitments to Christ, many seeds were planted. They also held an early service and breakfast prior to the regular morning service.
North Head Wesleyan: Pastor Jasper & Debbie Rideout shared that Easter Weekend was full of excitement. Easter Sunday started with a Sunrise Service with 31 in attendance and nine of those were from the Youth Group. Breakfast followed with 34 attending, more than double last year. The Morning Worship had 61 in attendance (lya 57). The Sunday after Easter they took in seven new members ranging in age from 19 to a lady in her 80’s.
Pastor Tim Guptill, Fredericton Crosspoint, shares that they had 514 people in two services on Easter Sunday, and seven salvations!!
Pastor Gary Churchill, Miramichi Wesleyan, shares that 64 people attended the Easter Sunday Celebration Service. Their week-end highlights were two presentations of the 12-disciple drama “A Night to Remember” on Good Friday and Saturday night, with capacity crowds. The congregation had their first event in their new sanctuary – Easter breakfast at 9 a.m. The workers rose to the challenge of the make-shift kitchen without water. The congregation is looking at September before they can really start using the new expanded facilities. In the last two weeks they have finished gyp-rocking in the upstairs area of their new facility, and now the focus of attention will be on the downstairs area.
Dartmouth – Hillside: Pastor Jay Guptill shares that on Easter Sunday two ladies were baptized. They used the Bridge theme for the morning message and had a 14-foot long by 4-foot wide bridge with handrail on the stage. People were given the opportunity to walk across the bridge to accept Christ or to renew their love for Christ. The church is still following up on those who crossed the bridge who they believe were making salvation decisions. Close to 50% of the congregation made their way across the bridge to renew their love for Christ. The Easter Sunday attendance was 199 (lya 156). April 11th, Hillside launched an eight-week trial run of having two Sunday morning services (9:00 and 10:30) to inspire greater levels of engagement and involvement in the Sunday morning experience, to challenge their people to invite new friends, and to attract new visitors. They are also hoping it will increase the expectation for people to make their attendance more consistent. In addition, they are launching a six-week church wide series with daily devotionals, Sunday sermons and through-the-week small groups as they explore what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Pastor Rob McDowell and a team of people he recruited from Hillside created the model, and Rob has written the material for the devotionals and small group studies as well as providing the foundation for the sermons. They are praying people will clearly discover what it means to be a disciple of Christ and that they become a church full of authentic Christ Followers. So be it!
Saint John First: Pastor Greg Dakin reports that they had 350 people out on Good Friday for their Alto Mare Chorus and Orchestra led by their very own Rachel and Hok Kwan. The church was so packed that they had to use old wooden chairs for the extra seating because they are smaller. There were 203 out for the Easter service (lya 179). Most importantly, there have been 19 salvations this year! They are planning a baptism service in the very near future. Pastor Greg says, “We are very encouraged at the working of God’s Spirit and anticipate His continued moving.”
Pastor Rod Guptill, Woods Harbour Wesleyan, shares that they had three saved, and nine joined the church on Palm Sunday. They will be holding a baptism service on May 16th with a half dozen people already planning to be baptized.
Other Praise Notes from the Churches:
Sussex Wesleyan has baptized nine people so far this year and will be baptizing three more folks very shortly. Rob MacCallum is the pastor.
Havelock, NB Wesleyan: Pastor Nick Graham reports that their church is planning a baptism service in June. They don’t have a baptismal tank and so it’s always nice to wait until the ice is out of the river! They had a month long “Step up” financial campaign where the people were challenged to honor the Lord with their time, talent and treasure (taken from Proverbs 3:9-10) and on the last Sunday, sixteen people came to the altar signifying they would honor the Lord in one, two, or all three of the ways. It was encouraging!
Hartland Wesleyan: Pastor Mel Norton shares that one young lad was saved during their mid-week Boys Stockade Program (ages 8-11) recently. It was so exciting to hear the leader share this experience with the entire congregation in a recent Sunday service.
Pastor Joel Wydysh, Hampton – Island Wesleyan, reports that they baptized their first two people ever inside their church. They borrowed a portable baptismal tank from a Charlottetown church and had a wonderful service of celebration. Also, discipleship is in full swing as 23 individuals and couples from the church are half way through a six-month intense discipleship program called In “Christ’s Image Training.” It has been transformational for all involved. The children’s ministry continues to grow, and the Holy Spirit’s presence is very much in evidence in the services.
Pastor Peter Main, Crystal Wesleyan, says that this past year they have had five baptisms and taken in four new members (lya 27).
On Other Fronts:
Our prayers and condolences go out to Pastor Mike & Nicki White and their family on the recent death of Mike’s sister, Mona White. She passed away unexpectedly on April 15, 2010, at the age of 35. She leaves behind her daughter, Ashlee, and her life partner, Flavien LeBlanc. Mona was the youngest of four siblings. Her parents are Gordon & Jane White. The funeral service was held at Yarmouth Wesleyan Church on Monday, April 19, 2010, and was conducted by Rev. John Symonds and Rev. Dave Wilcox. Please keep this family connection in your prayers.
Celebration Postponed: The 60th anniversary celebration of the ordination of Rev. C. E. Stairs and Rev. R. T. Benson at Corbett Avenue Wesleyan in Fredericton on Sunday April 25th has been postponed until a later date, which has not yet been determined.
Beulah Camp 2010: The dates for Beulah this year are July 2–11, 2010. The evangelists are Dr. H.C. Wilson, Director of Global Partners, and Rev. John Symonds, Senior Pastor of Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan Church. Rev. Don & Janet Ingersoll will be overseeing the music and worship. Pastor Don is the Associate Pastor at Moncton Wesleyan. More information will follow in the next few weeks.
Beulah Wastewater Project (BWP): The BWP is now at the 90% completion stage. The main lift station is almost operational. Two smaller lift stations are yet to be installed. The line pressure testing was successfully completed. The goal is to have the system operational by mid-May.
“A study of married people by the University of Texas showed that having strong families was a much better predictor of happiness than money. Although money did have a minimal effect on happiness, it only helped up to a point. Strong family relationships were much more important.”
– (Source: WebMD, June 20, 2008)