Rev. Rob McDowell, Pastor of Assimilation & Discipleship at Dartmouth – Hillside, candidated in Easton Wesleyan on May 23rd. He received a unanimous call to be their senior pastor and he has accepted.
Westchester Wesleyan (WWC) is one of our smaller congregations (lya 19). WWC has had a supply pastor this past year. Rev. Waldo Grandy is a retired minister who is part of their congregation and he has graciously assisted them as their pulpit supply. His last Sunday with this responsibility was May 30th, and he feels he can no longer continue. His health has become a factor. Thank you, Pastor Waldo, for your care and your ministry among these folks.
Rev. Raymond Fancy, Amherst Wesleyan (AWC), after discussions with the DS, met with the lay leadership of the WWC last Tuesday (5-25-10) to dialogue about pastoral care for WWC, and their weekend services going forward. AWC is 40 minutes away and they are very open to assisting WWC in the up-coming year. Good news resulted from this meeting. Amherst Assistant Pastor, Linda Fillmore, will provide Sunday morning leadership and the message on the first and third Sundays of the month. The Westchester congregation will take responsibility for the second Sunday of the month. The AWC Praise Team and Senior Pastor, Raymond Fancy, will provide an evening service to be held on the last Sunday of the month. The Amherst staff will provide pastoral care in times of crisis such as death/ funerals, and also hospital visitation in Amherst. Pastor Ken Banks, Central Nova Wesleyan in Truro, NS, has agreed to provide pastoral care to the members of WWC in the event of hospitalization in Truro. The churches involved plan to give this arrangement a six-month trial run, beginning June 6th, to see if it is workable. My heart-felt thanks to Pastors Raymond Fancy and Linda Fillmore, and the AWC and WWC congregations for their willingness to try this “experiment.” It is a different approach which will allow us to keep a ministry presence in this rural community.
Good news! All of our churches have pastors or a pulpit supply at present, and for this we are grateful.
Beulah Camp 2010: There is an increasing anticipation and excitement as we move toward another Beulah. It will be a great time as old friendships are renewed and new ones are made. There is one other important detail, however, that must not be overlooked. It will make the difference between a camp where we say, “Wasn’t that nice,” or, “God showed up!” We need to “seed” this camp in advance with our prayers. Here’s the challenge over the next 30 days….could you give a minimum of 5 minutes every day for the next 30 days to pray for Beulah Camp 2010? Pray for the speakers, the musicians, those responsible for all the behind-the-scenes details. Pray for the people who will be attending the services. Pray that their hearts would be prepared, and they would be open to what God would say to them (don’t forget to include yourself!). 5 minutes x 30 days = 150 minutes. 150 minutes x 2,000 people = 300,000 minutes. 300,000 minutes is 5,000 hours of prayer! God is not going to ignore 5,000 hours of prayer! He is going to release His Holy Spirit to accomplish His Kingdom’s purposes! Over 9,000 people meet in our churches every week for worship on the Atlantic District. So, this amount of prayer is a very conservative and realistic goal. Pastors, I challenge you to lead the way and set the example.
Special thanks to the folks who shared in the Beulah Work Day on May 29th. The Camp Caretaker and his wife, Bruce & Roxie Cheney, report that things went very well. The weather was perfect, and 55 people were on hand to cheerfully do all the jobs the Cheneys had listed. What a great help this was in getting the campgrounds ready for Camp Meeting, and for the groups who come during the summer season. We appreciate the willingness of all these folks to show up and put their “shoulders to the wheel.” This day represents over 400 hours of donated labour. Thanks for the gift of your time and energy.
May 22nd, Joanne and I worshipped in the Saturday night service at Presque Isle Wesleyan. There were 350 + people present for this first of two weekend services. This was the farewell weekend and reception for Pastor Scott & Elizabeth Rhyno as they leave the PIWC staff. Scott has already assumed his new responsibilities as Director of Admissions at Bethany Bible College. We enjoyed our contact with the staff and people, and our time with Lead Pastor Bud & Irene Fancy afterwards.
Sunday morning (May 23) we were at Fort Fairfield Wesleyan. There were 42 people present (lya 41). Pastor Dee Lower is one of the most enthusiastic people and pastors that we have in the District. She hugs everybody into church and then hugs them out. Pastor Ed Lower is the assistant pastor and is a positive compliment in this ministry. Pastor Dee is on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce in the town. This involvement, along with other community endeavours, is helping Pastor Dee and the church gain favour in the town. The Lowers are strongly committed to getting out beyond the walls of their church and reaching their community.
Last Sunday, we were with Pastor Glen & Eleanor McVicar in Lower Brighton. There were 56 people who gathered to worship (lya 51). This is a good crowd in their sanctuary. The worship was spirited, I was privileged to bring the message, and the fellowship over a potluck dinner with the McVicars and the people afterwards was excellent. The church has a large heart for children’s ministry, and also for global missions. They take time to pray for those they support overseas, and they stay informed about what is happening in the lives and ministries of their missionaries.
Amazing Ladies Day: The Hartland Wesleyan Ladies Ministry sponsored a very inspirational day, May 15th, with nearly 200 ladies present. Stephanie Israelson and Band led the worship. Missionary, author, and international speaker, Carrie McDonnell, shared her riveting testimony of survival from an insurgent attack in Iraq. Her message of hope told of God’s miraculous power to deliver, heal, forgive, and extend grace. People from both the church and the community were present, and it left a powerful impact for Christ on all who attended. Mel Norton is the Senior Pastor.
Rev. Mark Gorveatte will assume his responsibilities as the eleventh president of Bethany Bible College on June 1st. Rev. Gorveatte is an alumnus of BBC. He has been serving for the last ten years as the District Superintendent of the West Michigan District. The Presidential Inauguration will take place September 24, 2010, 7:00 PM, at the Saunders Irving Chapel on Bethany’s campus. General Superintendent, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, will be delivering the Inaugural Address. Save the Date for this historic event in the life of BBC.
This Friday, Pastor Rod Guptill (Wood’s Harbour Wesleyan) and I will travel with the General Director of Global Partners, Dr. H.C. Wilson, to Cuba. There is a group with whom The Wesleyan Church (TWC) has had intermittent contact over the last few years through former GP missionary Rod Guptill and Yuri Benitez, a Cuban American Wesleyan church planter from the Iowa/Minnesota District. The Cuban group is led by Rev. Nehemias Cardenas. It is made up of 18 churches, 19 preaching points, and 24 missions, with a total membership of 3000, or so. They are now a part of the global family of The Wesleyan Church. This weekend I will be privileged to be present, along with Dr. HC and Pastor Rod, when the Cuban Group is officially welcomed into TWC. We thank the Lord for this new addition to TWC family. Remember to pray for them in their ministry. Look for a further up-date in the next Under Sail. We will be sharing more about it at Beulah.
“God asks for the heart, and we must spell our answer in terms of deeds.”
– Abraham Joshua Heschel, In Search of Man