Under Sail

The Gathering ’11 (G11) is now in the history books.  Just under 2,000 pastors and spouses gathered for a wonderful time of spiritual refreshment, and renewed focus on our vision and mission.  The Holy Spirit’s Presence was evident in the worship, the speakers were anointed, and the seminars were practical and timely.  It was exciting to hear what God is doing through our pastors and local churches across The Wesleyan Church.  People are coming to Christ, many lives are being transformed, and people are being baptized.  Church plants were high-lighted, and the G11 attendees responded to a project of urban evangelism by giving $75,000 in cash and pledges.  The Atlantic District had one of the larger delegations at G11 with 111 pastors and spouses present.  Thank you to those who made the effort to be at The Gathering, and special thanks to the local churches who invested in their leaders making it possible for them to attend the event.

Atlantic District Children’s Ministry Huddle:  Two locations and dates – Moncton Wesleyan – March 26, 2011 – 9 am – 3pm and Yarmouth Wesleyan – April 9, 2011 – 9 am -3 pm.  The Huddle is a one-day, affordable event for your entire children’s worker team, Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, VBS helpers, children’s church leaders and volunteers.  Experience the excitement and energy of discovering practical, new ideas they can use NOW from a team of passionate and dedicated workers.  Learn new kid’s worship songs, see the latest resources, connect with children’s workers.  Only $25/person ~ 4 or more $99 (includes rallies, breakouts and lunch).  To register contact: linda.lamos@kingsvalley.ca

Rev. John Symonds, Senior Pastor at Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan Church, resigned this past Sunday.  He does not plan to serve as a senior pastor elsewhere, but is planning to do some writing, preaching, and teaching.  I met with the CAW LBA Monday evening.  Their pastoral search process is underway.

Rev. Mark Gorveatte, President of Bethany Bible College in Sussex, NB, was awarded an honorary doctor of theology degree at the 132nd commencement of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in Marion, IN on Saturday, December 18, 2010.  Prior to his election as president of Bethany Bible College in March 2010, Rev. Gorveatte served for over 25 years providing leadership in several districts of The Wesleyan Church.  Most recently, he was the district superintendent of the West Michigan District, which grew significantly under his innovative and capable leadership.  Congratulations, Dr. Gorveatte!
Myra Sanders went home to be with the Lord on January 13, 2011 at the age of 95.  Myra was the wife of Rev. Charles Sanders (who predeceased her).  The Sanders are in that unique group of missionaries who have served with the Reformed Baptist Church, and then with The Wesleyan Church as a result of the merger of the two groups.  Myra boarded a steamship in New York City and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa.  She served as a missionary alongside her husband for 33 years, ministering to the Zulu tribe and beyond.  Her funeral service was held at the Brazil Lake Wesleyan Church, with Rev. Karl Gorman officiating.  Pastor Amy Corey and I also participated in the service.

AJ Plaizier, Pastor of Community at Yarmouth Wesleyan, shares that a few people have had a burden for Pubnico, NS, a community that is 30 minutes from Yarmouth.  It’s a French Catholic community.  Pastor AJ and a buddy started driving out there 18 months ago to plant/lead a small group.  A few weeks ago the people in the group asked if they could have a Christmas service.  They specified that they wanted it to be in English (the Catholic Church holds services in French), and done as a Protestant service.  This was a “mind bender” because according to the locals they don’t think there has ever been such a service in this community.  So, Pastor AJ gave them a date for a service one week later, and asked them to spread the news by word of mouth, and to invite family and friends.  They chose not to do any advertising out of respect for the Catholic Church.  Pastor AJ rented the Pubnico Fire Hall, Matt Bourque put a band together, and AJ spoke.  The small group of 12 people who normally meet were expecting 25-30 people, and so everyone was blown away when 77 people showed up!
Praise note from Pastor Kevin Myer’s Christmas Prayer letter (Sydney – New Roots):  As many of you know, Kevin works a full time job as a carpenter, in addition to his church responsibilities.  Over the last several months Kevin and Laura have been praying and asking God to lead them as to the future of Kevin’s job.  There have been many complications that have presented themselves the last several months.  God is faithful and a new job opportunity materialized at the end of December.  This opportunity is also in the field of carpentry.  The Myers thank God for hearing their prayers and guiding them on the journey.  They ask that you pray for them as they make this transition.
Pastor Scott Lewis, Lower Hainesville Wesleyan, shares that they had a benefit concert to aid a family who has an eight-year-old boy going through lymphoma. He is in the third phase of the disease.  The LHWC people wanted to raise money to help his family with travel expenses to and from Halifax and the IWK Hospital.  68 people came out for the concert and they were able to present the family with $2,255.50 as a result.  Thanks for reaching out beyond yourselves to make a difference in the lives of others.
Lower Brighton Wesleyan put new siding on their parsonage just before Christmas.  This was a $12,000 project that the congregation completed without borrowing any funds.  Pastor Glen McVicar reports that their children’s ministry is doing well, and that they had 28 students attend their youth group in recent weeks.
Pastor Denn Guptill, Lead Pastor at Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone reports that they held five Christmas Eve services with at total of 635 people in attendance (lya 235).  One of the Dads in their church is an airline pilot and was in Hong Kong on Christmas Eve.  He was feeling lonely and left out when he realized that he could join his family for the Christmas Eve service.  So, he logged on to Cornerstone’s live webpage and watched the same service that his family was worshipping in back home!

Dave Mason, Youth Pastor at Kings Valley Wesleyan, says KVWC has some speakers that they are selling – Community Brand (CPL46-64W 3-Way Full Range Loudspeaker). They recently upgraded their sound system and no longer have a use for these speakers. The speakers are in great shape and working order, so if anyone is looking to add boost to their sound system, KVWC is asking $300/per speaker.  For further information, contact Pastor Dave at (506) 847-5343 or dave.mason@kingsvalley.ca
Snowbird Breakfast – There were 67 people present for our annual Snowbird Breakfast in Brooksville, FL.  It’s amazing how far people with Atlantic District connections “roam!”  Several folks drove in from areas surrounding Brooksville to be present.  We had a good breakfast, a wonderful time of fellowship, and I gave a brief update on happenings in the district.
“In today’s modern times, one out of every three people lives on less than $2 a day – 2.4 billion people total. That’s impossible to comprehend. If a third of the world cannot afford one cup of Starbucks a day, that should matter to Christians.”   – The Green Bible (HarperOne, 2010)

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