Under Sail

Moncton Wesleyan presented their 38th Annual Living Christmas Tree under the direction of Pastor Don & Janet Ingersoll.  Lead Pastor L.D. Buckingham shared that approximately 10,000 people attended over the course of the seven performances, 368 people made decisions for Christ, and 175 children were sponsored through World Vision’s child sponsorship program.  We rejoice with them over these great results!
Pastor Michael Zottarelli, Sackville Wesleyan, shares this exciting news!  They have been seeking approval from the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) to move forward with the sale of their undeveloped property.  A land developer has had serious interest in this land for some time, and needed approval for the development proposal.  After a lengthy process, approval to proceed was given by the HRM on November 25th.  Sackville Wesleyan will receive the funds from the sale of the land by no later than mid-February.  This will allow them to proceed with the purchase of the Lutheran Church where they currently worship.  The Sackville congregation will be able to purchase the Lutheran church building, complete any necessary repairs and upgrades, and be in the facility debt-free!  This is a large answer to prayer!
Dale MacDonald, Senior Pastor at Woodstock Wesleyan, took me on a tour of their new facilities (formerly the Mid-Valley Co-Op) last Saturday.  I had not been in the building for six weeks and the transformation is exciting.  The building is 80% complete and they are on the home stretch.  Things are on track financially.  The capital campaign generated commitments of $500,000 over three years and after one year, close to $220,000 has already been received.  The congregation currently meets near their new location in “The Trip Outdoors” building.  Attendance is steady but they “max out” the rental space.  The congregation hopes to be in the new facility by January 16th, and the official dedication is set for February 20th.  Exciting days!
Digby Wesleyan voted to remove the old parsonage that sits across the parking lot from their church building.  It is in need of significant repair.  The building will be gone by January, the property will be useable for parking in the immediate, and available for future development as the needs of the congregation dictate.  This is a good step.  Andrew Maves is the Senior Pastor.
Bangor – River City Wesleyan (RCW) has been meeting at 146 Center St. in Bangor for several years.  They lease space in a building owned by Webber Oil Co.  RCW was approached recently by Webber Oil for first refusal on purchasing the building which is 19,136 sq. ft.  It sits on 1.2 acres of ground and has a paved parking lot.  Webber Oil plans to sell the building to someone regardless of the church’s decision, so RCW has negotiated a purchase price that is well below the appraised value of the property.  The congregation voted to purchase the property and the DBA has granted approval to proceed.  This will serve the congregation well for this stage of their growth and development.  Steve Sinclair is the pastor.
Pastor Linda Fillmore reports that things are going well at Westchester Wesleyan.  The congregation has used supply pastors for over a year.  The Fillmores took up residence in the Westchester parsonage recently after it experienced several upgrades.  They were encouraged to have 25 in attendance recently in a service that put an emphasis on music using their own people and their musical gifts.  They averaged 23 in attendance for the month of November (lya 21).
Ben Pass, Supply Pastor at Ingomar Faith Wesleyan, resigned this past Sunday.  He has accepted a call to the Bethel Pentecostal Church in Baccaro, NS.  Pastor Ben is loved and appreciated by the Ingomar folks.  He has done a good job shepherding this church, and he will be missed.  We wish him God’s best in his new responsibilities.   His last Sunday will be January 2nd.  Please pray for this congregation as they begin the pastoral search process.
Lead Pastor John Symonds reported that almost 300 people were in the two services at Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan on November 28th.  The church honoured Rev. C. E. Stairs and Rev. R. T. Benson for 60 years of ordained ministry in the second service. Refreshments were served following the service and people had an opportunity to greet both men.
Sandford Wesleyan hosted a combined Fisherman’s Service with the local Baptist Church on November 21st to “bless the fleet” prior to the lobster fishermen heading out December 1st to begin a new season.  There were 57 in the service and 60 for the potluck which followed (Did three people go through the line twice?!).  Perry Ingersoll is the Pastor.
Joanne and I were present when Amherst Wesleyan introduced their first Annual Dessert Theatre November 25, 2010.  This year’s theme was “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and it opened to a full house.  They experienced three sold-out evenings and a total attendance of 340 people (lya 88)! Over 50% of the congregation was involved in the production in one way or another, as cast members or “behind the scenes.”  Pastor Raymond Fancy says, “It truly was an event that brought the church family together as a unified group to expand the Kingdom.”  The event shared His Story and elevated the church’s presence in the community.  Good job!

The Annual Atlantic District
Snowbird Breakfast is scheduled for 9:00 AM on Saturday, January 8, 2011 in Brooksville, FL at the Country Kitchen Restaurant.  Those of you who have “gone south” during this time and are connected to the Atlantic District are invited to join us for this time of fellowship, District update, and good food.
Conditions are difficult for the 25 pastoral families in Cuba that are leading a total of 40 congregations, including preaching points and house churches.  According to a recent communication I received from Rev. Rick West, the Coordinator for the Ibero-America Wesleyan Fellowship, the government of Cuba is drastically cutting back the subsidies for Cubans, and 500,000 people are being laid off from jobs that already have extremely low pay.  The Atlantic District sent approximately $60 each for the 25 pastoral families in Cuba for Christmas in response to a stated need.  Pastor Nehemias Cardenas who leads the churches in Cuba sent this response to me: On behalf of all the pastors, we are very grateful for the funds being sent to assist the pastoral families for Christmas.  This is very meaningful to us, thank you for remembering us in this way.  We want to assure you we are praying for you and the Pastors in the Atlantic District, and look forward to working together with you and the District in [future] plans and ministry projects. Cuba’s District Conference will be held January 21-23, 2011.  Rev. Gary Churchill, pastor of Miramichi Wesleyan and former GP missionary to Puerto Rico, will be representing the Atlantic District at this event.
“Today…a Savior…born to you…Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

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