Havelock, NS Wesleyan Church was destroyed by fire on March 22nd. The fire started about 6 PM and in an hour or so the church was gone. The cornerstone reads June 14, 1954, although the history of the church spans 104 years. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is strongly suspected it might have to do with electrical issues. The parsonage suffered four broken windows, damaged siding on the end next to the church, and on the back of the house. Thankfully the house was saved with no apparent structural damage. Two firemen I spoke with told me that they did not save the parsonage; God saved it. A note of praise and thanks is that no one was hurt or injured. I attended the Sunday AM service, March 27th. The service was held in the parking lot next to the church ruins. There were 170 people present (lya 88) standing in front of the flatbed trailer that served as a platform or sitting in their vehicles. Pastor Peter Hayes did a fine job sharing from his heart, stating that God can raise good things up out of the ashes. Several members from the congregation brought words of testimony and hope. Five different volunteer fire departments had responded to the fire. Representatives attended the service and were acknowledged. Many from the community who do not attend the church were present to show their support. I brought words of greeting and encouragement from the District. I also presented a NKJV Wesley Bible to Peter Hayes from the District to replace the Bible he had received at his ordination but lost in the fire. The whole service was fitting and impacting. 80 to 100 people stayed and shared sandwiches and refreshments at the parsonage following the service. Beginning this coming Sunday, they will be moving into the Weymouth A D Lab, located behind the Weymouth Consolidated School. There is a conference room there that will accommodate 170 people. The congregation has been granted permission to make this their home for the next year. This will allow them to set up chairs and equipment and leave them set up for the duration. The generosity of those who own the building is truly amazing! Good things will come out of this tragic set of circumstances! The congregation now begins a new chapter. “…we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:12
How can we help? Churches and individuals have been asking me, “How can we help?” in the aftermath of this fire. I asked Pastor Peter Hayes that question and he sent me a list of needs for the temporary setup of their church. He is not expecting that all these needs will be met, but at the same time, we know there may be churches that want to help in some way; you might be able to supply something. Here’s the list: a laptop computer for their youth pastor; 2 office printers; a wireless microphone; 2 or 3 handheld mics and cords; 60 or 70 chorus books; Sandford Wesleyan has offered 60 hymnals, and piano books to match, but they may need more; 2-drawer file cabinet; 2 or 3 music stands. They are coordinating with Art Hiebert on sound but may have needs in this area. Please contact Peter Hayes at email@example.com if you can help, have questions, or need more information. Continue to hold them up in prayer as they seek God’s direction over the next several months regarding the multitude of decisions that have to be made.
This week, Millville Wesleyan Church voted 79% in favour of joining with the Maple Ridge Wesleyan Church following Beulah Camp. Rev. Mark Cooney resigned March 6th from Millville Wesleyan after having served the church for 18 years. I met with the Millville LBA March 17th to begin the search process for a new pastor. Millville board members brought up the idea of joining with Maple Ridge. Consequently, I held a congregational meeting that was publicly announced and took place Monday, March 28th at 7 PM at the Millville Wesleyan Church. The discussion was good and “high road.” This was a bold decision and a difficult decision on the part of the folks in Millville. I commend the Millville congregation for being Kingdom-minded and proactive. The Millville and Maple Ridge churches are only 5 km apart.
Huddle Updates: Linda Lamos, District Director of Children’s Ministry, shares that they had a great turnout for the Moncton Huddle on March 26th from 9am – 3pm. Pastor Kathy Shanks and her group of volunteers did a wonderful job hosting the Huddle with 10 breakouts, a Teddy Bear picnic for lunch, and 4 resource tables provided by Group Publishing, Cook, Awana, and Miracles Christian Bookstore in Halifax. The speakers were Rev. Colleen Derr from The Wesleyan Church Spiritual Formation Department and Pastor Kevin Matthews from Moncton Wesleyan Church. There were over 150 participants during the event from 4 different denominations.
The NS Huddle is happening on April 9th at Yarmouth Wesleyan from 9 am – 12:30 pm. The day has been shortened to allow for travel and make it more convenient for leaders in the area to attend. The registration is $20/person or $99 for 5 or more attendees. Churches should contact Linda Lamos at firstname.lastname@example.org to register their group. Those leaders attending will enjoy a morning of equipping and encouragement with breakouts, speakers, networking, and refreshments. Don’t miss this great opportunity for your Sunday School teachers, nursery volunteers, and Children’s Church leaders to be encouraged. They will go home with new ideas!
March 20th was my third opportunity to be at Brazil Lake Wesleyan for a weekend service. This church is one of our stronger rural congregations, and I always enjoy worshipping with these good folks. Pastor Amy Corey will be finishing her second year in Brazil Lake this coming July. There was a wonderful time of prayer and praise during the Sunday service. On Saturday, a little boy named Zaden had fallen down a floor grate in a house and got caught in a furnace pipe. Thankfully the furnace had not been on since the early morning. The fire department cut him out of the pipe and he was not hurt. Evan Oxner, who is from Brazil Lake and a graduate of Bethany Bible College, has been serving in a part-time capacity on the staff with Pastor Amy. We had opportunity to connect with a number of people. There was a church potluck dinner following the service and many stayed for this.
Robin White, Atlantic District GP Missionary to Japan, in an update on March 22nd, said that the people in Japan are getting tired. At that point there had been 315 aftershocks over magnitude 5 and 600 over magnitude 4 in a ten-day period. The week following the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Robin went to help out at the CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope) Tohoku Relief command center in Tokyo. He was there for just over a week before returning to his responsibilities in Nagoya. He says the need in the affected area is so great that he keeps wishing he could do more, but he also understands that the biggest need right now in all of Japan is for hope. Pray for the still-unresolved situation at the nuclear plant in Fukushima, for the people in the affected areas, and for the ongoing relief efforts.
Beulah Lots: The Camp Board is making plans to expand the number of lots at Beulah in the future. If you would have interest in this, please contact the Beulah Caretaker, Bruce Cheney, at (506) 468-2900 or
Cottage for Sale at Beulah Camp: Contact Lloyd & Bunty Hayes at (506) 693-8646 for details.
Easter Offering: “Taking Grace to New Places” is the theme of The Wesleyan Church’s Easter Offering this year. Bulletin inserts and other resources were mailed out to all our churches over two weeks ago. This offering is a vital source for the resources that allow the Department of Evangelism & Church Growth (E & CG) to serve our leaders and churches throughout the year. It is one way you can contribute to the church planting effort on a larger scale.
Congratulations! Pastor Jacob & Nikki Ebbett, Havelock, NB Wesleyan Church, are pleased to announce the safe arrival of their new son, Israel Amos, who was born March 30th. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 8 oz., and arrived very healthy. This is the Ebbetts second child. Their daughter, Azlee, now has a younger brother.
The Roof Fund for the Children’s Tabernacle at Beulah now stands at $1,200. Thanks to those who have contributed thus far. The goal is $6,000 which will provide a steel roof for the building.
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