Havelock Wesleyan Church in NB just finished “40 Days of Community” in cooperation with the Baptist Church in the same town. Pastor Nick Graham says he was overwhelmed by how God used this program and how people came together, and worked together to serve the local community. A spirit of oneness was evident. Several people commented that never before have these churches worked together. Now they want to do it on a regular basis. An Outreach Project was held on November 17th. It was called “Free Food and Good Music”, and it turns out they had “tons of food and great music!” Approximately 90 people were in attendance at this event, including several who never attend church. Both pastors believe that through reaching out to the community together people were shown the love of Jesus, and it helped the Havelock churches to see that “we are better together.” The churches are praying about their “next steps” which will probably take place in January.
Olivet Wesleyan in Fredericton held two presentations of “Uncle Phil’s Diner” on November 16-17. This is the second year they have done this. It is an outreach opportunity geared toward the un-churched and the de-churched. Pastor Tim Guptill reports that 180 people attended on each of the two evenings. There was an excellent response from those in attendance. The purpose of the event was to build bridges to people needing Christ, and open doors for believers to have an opportunity for some one-on-one sharing of their faith. The Sunday following (November 18th) 260 people were in church (1ya circa 190) which represents a near-capacity crowd in their sanctuary. There is a spirit of expectancy among the people, and there have been a few conversions this fall. A baptism will be part of the up-coming celebrations.
Rev. Ken Foote headed into the Saint John Regional Hospital on Nov. 27th for his third round of chemo. Last week he received his bone marrow results and they are fine. In two weeks time, after the fourth round of chemo, they will evaluate how things are going. Please keep Pastor Ken, Judy, and their family in your prayers.
Pastor Don Ingersoll writes in the last INSIDEKV, “Wow! The KVWC family did it again. They rose to the occasion and met the need…giving the largest Sunday offering in the history of our church…over $50,000!” King’s Valley Wesleyan gave this offering on November 18th to address pressing budgetary needs. It is a wonderful thing when people understand the vision and mission of their local church and are prepared to make deep and personal sacrifices for the Kingdom’s endeavours.
Saturday, November 24th, Joanne and I had lunch in Westchester, NS with Pastor Jasper and Debbie Rideout. Things are happening at Westchester Wesleyan. The parsonage and garage have been scraped and painted, and a roof put on the garage and office. New siding has been put on the church and this project is almost completed except for a few rows at the very top on the back. It will be finished this week or next. The parsonage needed some work done on the skirting, and the attic has been insulated. Both are ready for winter. An electrician is coming in the near future to install new wiring in the church. Future projects include, new double doors on the front of the church, a kitchen in the basement, a new sign out front, a wheelchair ramp and new front step. These future projects are planned for next spring and summer. Pastor Rideout and his congregation are very grateful to Rev. Dale MacDonald and the men from the Woodstock Wesleyan Church for taking a Saturday to help in getting the siding started on the church. The Westchester community even got involved! They held a “Singspiration” at the local fire hall in August to raise money for the Westchester Wesleyan Church to help off-set expenses for all the work that needed to be done. The community raised $1300.00 and the fire hall was packed! This fall, Westchester Wesleyan has been averaging in the mid-thirties on Sunday morning. This year they were responsible for the Remembrance Day Service in their community and had 60 people in attendance in spite of a power outage just before the service, and snow that had fallen overnight. Congratulations to Pastor Jasper and this local church on taking care of God’s House, and finding ways to reach out to their community.
Selinda Ingalls, currently serving in Manzini, Swaziland at Emanuel Wesleyan Bible College, will be in Canada around July 13, 2008. She will be available for ministry in the churches after that date until the end of 2008. Part of her responsibility will be to raise her support in time to go back to Swaziland in January 2009. Renata Tweedy (wife to Assistant Pastor Paul Tweedy, Wood’s Harbour) is doing all Selinda’s scheduling. Renata will be contacting churches for Selinda while she is still in Africa. If you are interested in having her come to your church, you can either contact Renata at firstname.lastname@example.org or Selinda at email@example.com.
General Superintendent Earle L. Wilson is back in his office as of Monday of this week. It was six weeks ago that he had the spinal surgery to remove a large herniated disk from his neck. The pain in his right arm is still quite severe, and in fact, the pain has been unrelenting for two months now. The heavy pain medicine has made it difficult for him to address his responsibilities in the fashion that is his usual pattern. He had to cancel an overseas trip, and excuse himself from several meetings that are part of his usual oversight. He has been in the office to do some work and kept up with emails and phone calls. He will visit his doctor this week for follow-up X-rays to determine that the spinal area in his neck is healing properly, and to discover if there are other herniated disks which may still be causing him difficulty. This has been a trying time for our GS and his wife, Sylvia. Please keep them in your prayers.
And as you are praying, continue to pray for DS Dan and Shelley Berry of the South Coastal District. According to her husband, Shelley is making a little bit of new progress almost daily. However, the family is facing difficult decisions regarding Shelley’s care. Please continue to remember them in prayer. You can get a daily update on their website: www.caringbridge.org/visit/danshelleyberry
This summer we had nine pastoral changes and I have now completed all the pastoral installations for this current fiscal year. November 18th I was in Monticello, Maine and installed Supply Pastor Jason (Emily) Rooney. Pastor Jason is from Easton and his wife is from Presque Isle so they both are very much at home in this area. They have some previous history with some of the folks they minister to, and are being well received by the congregation. We appreciated the wonderful spirit in the worship service. Joanne and I enjoyed our lunch with the Rooneys and our dialogue concerning church, life, and ministry.
This past weekend was my first opportunity to meet and worship with the congregation of Halifax Metro. This city is an incredible “mission field” with its expanding population. Pastor Kevin (Bev) Wilson has been physically on-site since the first of the month and it was my privilege to install him as pastor. Clayton Park is the area of Halifax where this church presently meets and there is a large number of subdivisions to draw from as housing continues to expand. Please remember our young churches and church plants. Churches that do not have their own facilities always have their own unique set of challenges. They set up and tear down equipment, tables, and chairs, etc. every weekend, and try to find creative ways to connect with people they are trying to reach with the Gospel. Pray they will not become “weary in well doing” but keep the purpose and vision before them.
Rev. Chris Conrad, Director of Church Planter Development for the Department of E&CG, will be conducting a church planting pre-assessment event at Bethany Bible College. BBC has graciously allowed the Atlantic District to take advantage of this, so I would recommend this for anyone that may have an interest in church planting. The purpose is to help individuals determine whether or not church planting could be a good fit for them, and if this is where God could be leading. It will answer many of the questions concerning what church planting is really like, and what is necessary to be an effective church planter. This event will take place January 15-16, 2008. If you would like further information please contact me at the District office at 506-383-8326.
“To me consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all belief, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one [strongly] believes…What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner, ‘I stand for consensus’?”
– Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain
“If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.” – Francis Bacon