Under Sail

GS Dr. Tom Armiger Resignation: On Monday, September 19, 2011, the Executive Board of The Wesleyan Church received and accepted the resignation of Dr. Thomas E. Armiger as General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. Dr. Armiger’s decision came after being invited by the Board of Directors of World Hope International (WHI) to become that organization’s new chief executive officer, following the recent resignation of Dr. Karl Eastlack, who was WHI’s president and CEO for the past two years. Dr Armiger’s resignation as General Superintendent becomes effective September 30. Following acceptance of his resignation, the Executive Board of The Wesleyan Church approved reassignment of Dr. Armiger’s administrative duties to the remaining members of the Board of General Superintendents. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon will assume responsibility for supervision of the eleven districts and district superintendents in the Eastern Area, which includes the Atlantic District. We wish Dr. Armiger God’s best in this time of transition, and in his new responsibilities.
Caton’s Island 400th Anniversary: Pastor Rob Trafton, Executive Director of Camping (EDC), reports that Caton’s 400th anniversary celebration, held on Saturday, September 10th, was an incredible day. Approximately 300 people from miles around traveled to the Island to experience this historic event. In 1611, the first European settlement in New Brunswick was established on Caton’s Island. The Kingston Peninsula Heritage Inc., led by Eric McCumber, did an excellent job in organizing the celebration which was held in the McCrea Chapel, and included a reception in the Choate Dining Hall following. New Brunswick Lt. Gov. Graydon Nicholas gave an inspiring speech on the importance of historical events such as this, and Trevor Holder, NB Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport, extended words of greeting and best wishes for future endeavors on the Island. Other special guests who participated in the celebration were Ron Tremblay – Wolastoqiyik Nation, Adrien Arsenault – Societe de L’Acadia du N-B, Msgr. Brian Henneberry – Saint John Diocese, Rev. Jim Webb – Jesuits, and Kathy Wilson – NB Historical Society. EDC Rob Trafton and Caton’s Director Dean Stephenson also participated in the ceremony by giving an update on Caton’s Island and its ministries today. We are extremely grateful for the part we as Wesleyans are now playing in the on-going history of this amazing place. We want to extend a special thanks to all the volunteers who came over from Beulah Camp the previous day and worked so hard to beautify the premises. Thirty-three volunteers contributed 180-plus hours of time and labour, and it is deeply appreciated. We also thank the students who came on Saturday and operated the boat and barge. Dean Stephenson, Caton’s Island Director, summed up the celebration with these words; “What a great event!! 400 years of history brought together at a point in time. I don’t think we’ll soon forget this.” Our sincere thanks to Dean and Rob for their part in orchestrating this milestone event.
I attended services at 12Stone Wesleyan Church, Lawrenceville, GA, on September 11th, and then a 12Stone Leadership Intensive (September 12-13) with four of our pastors (Jim Agrell, Quispamsis – Kings Valley; Tim Guptill; Fredericton – Crosspoint; Denn Guptill, Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone; A.J. Thomas, Halifax – Deep Water). This was a leadership workshop for senior/lead pastors in churches of 200-800 from across our denomination. It was by invitation and DS’s were given the privilege of accompanying any pastors attending from their district. It was most helpful, and the “iron sharpens iron” time with our Atlantic District pastors and with those from other districts was very beneficial.
Attendance at Bangor – Pathway has averaged almost 60 through the summer on a regular basis (lya 65) with visitors each week. On September 18th, I installed Pastor Nelson Koonce as the new Pathway pastor, and brought the AM message. There were approximately 70 people in the service. Pastor Nelson has already connected with the folks in the congregation, and is making friends in the community as well. The people have a new spark of anticipation regarding the future, and both Pastor Nelson and his wife, Holly, are very positive about the church’s future as well. We enjoyed a meal with the Koonce family following the service.
Pastor David Hockley took up his new responsibilities as pastor in the Ingomar Wesleyan Church at the end of June. Already he has endeared himself to the people, and they to him. Approximately 50 people (lya 34) were on hand for the service and installation of the pastor this past Sunday. The church shared a potluck after the service, and then followed that with an afternoon musical concert. There is a strong spirit of optimism in the church regarding their future.
This past week, I attended the GP Global Leaders Roundtable in Indianapolis, IN on Tuesday and Wednesday. Leaders from around the world who are involved in the leadership of Global Partners, or partner with them in some capacity (GP Area Field Directors, Missions Pastors, District Directors of Global Partners, DS’s) were present. It was impacting to hear and see what God is doing around the world through the global outreach of the church. This meeting was followed by the annual DS Institute on Thursday and Friday, sponsored by the Board of General Superintendents.
Atlantic District GP Giving: The most recent issue of GP Worldview lists year-end total giving to GP from across the church. The Atlantic District was 5th in total giving out of 34 districts, with a total amount of $479,381 (based on district fiscal year ending in 2011). Three of our churches were listed in the “Top 50 Giving Per Capita to GP”: Grand Bay-River Valley was #10 with $364; Lower Brighton, tied at #34 with $222; Woods Harbour, #36 with $221. Six of our churches were listed among the Top 100 Giving Churches (straight dollar amounts): Moncton, #15 with $88,790; Grand Bay – River Valley, #29 with $50,213; Sussex, #53 with $27,567; Wood’s Harbour, #68 with $23,659; Quispamsis – Kings Valley, #88 with $19,931; Florenceville-Bristol Trinity, #100 with $16,657. In fact, 28 of our churches showed up in the listing as having given $3,500 or more to GP last year. It should be noted that Halifax – Deep Water (pastored by AJ Thomas) is listed as #411 in over-all GP giving with $3,652. Deep Water is a church plant and was 3.5 years old at fiscal year-end. Congratulations to these 28 churches that are making a difference, and helping the GP outreach around the world!
Pastor Andrew Maves, Digby Wesleyan, reports on the blessings happening in their ministry. They had eight people surrender their lives to Christ at the “Bike Blessing” this year. This is an annual event in their town, along with the Wharf Rat Rally. Two of the people accepting Christ are from the Digby community and six returned to their own communities. Pastor Andrew says we are praying they will take the Gospel back to their home areas and let their light shine. Exciting times!
Lead Pastor AJ Plaizier, Fredericton – Corbett Ave., says, “What a great Everybody Sunday we had [Sept. 11]. There were 269 in attendance (lya 246) and many stayed for the BBQ after. This was a great opportunity for people to mingle with other “Corbetter’s” that maybe wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to connect.” Pastor AJ says it was so good to stand back and watch people fellowshipping together.
The Brown’s Flat Wesleyan Fellowship held a memorial service on Sept 11, 2011 which was well attended (200+) by the local area churches as well as the Greenwich and Welsford Volunteer Fire Departments. Pastor Wayne Briggs, a Greenwich firefighter, officiated and shared some of his thoughts and memories from his time as Trauma Counselor for the 9/11 survivors in New York.
Pastor Scott Lewis, Lower Hainesville Wesleyan, informed me that his mother, Ruth Lewis, passed away Monday afternoon (Sept. 26). Doctors had informed the family last week that she did not have long to live. Pastor Burt McCutcheon, Roblin Wesleyan Church, was in to see her just before she passed. Pastor Scott is flying out today to be with his family in Ontario, and will return home Saturday evening. Please keep the Lewis family in your prayers.
Pastor Scott Lewis, Lower Hainesville Wesleyan, announces that there will be Revival/Evangelistic meetings at Lower Hainesville Wesleyan Church October 2nd – 9th. The special speaker is Pastor Dave McElhinney from River Valley Wesleyan. Pastor Scott asks for an interest in your prayers that people would come to Christ, and believers would be refreshed and revived.
Continuing Education and “Iron Sharpening Iron” Opportunities:
First, The 2011 Canadian Global Leadership Summit is scheduled for September 29-30, 2011. This is a great opportunity for churches to capitalize on team building time, refresh leadership skills already learned, and learn new leadership insights. The event will be at three satellite locations in Atlantic Canada: NB – Hillside Baptist Church/hosted at Moncton Wesleyan Church, 945 St. George St., Moncton, NB; NS – StoneRidge Fellowship, 85 Temple Terrace., Lower Sackville, NS; NL – Bethesda Pentecostal Church, 1 Escasoni Place, St. John’s, NL. There is an excellent line-up of speakers from both the secular world and the religious world. You can see the full slate of speakers on-line, and access other pertinent info at this link: http://www.growingleadership.com. Pastors, I strongly encourage you to register and take in the Leadership Summit, along with your key leaders. This is a great opportunity. The Atlantic District will reimburse any of our pastors $50 against your registration costs, if you attend the 2011 Summit. Maine pastors, if you have already attended the 2011 Summit in the U.S., let me know, and the District will reimburse you the scholarship funds as well.
Second, on October 15th, 2011, BBC is hosting their first one-day Creative Arts Conference, sponsored in part by the Atlantic District of the Wesleyan Church. engage is designed to encourage people from local churches of all denominations on what true worship is, and how to engage more fully in our corporate expressions of worship to the Lord. Seminars will be held throughout the day, ranging in topic from “The Trinity in Worship”, “Worship Leading”, “Arranging Music for a Worship Band”, “Sound Engineering in the Local Church’, “Visual Art in Worship”, “Media & Technology”, “Worship Dance” and songwriting for the local church. A host of seminar speakers are coming from across the Atlantic District, as well as from some other community churches. The songwriting day is spear-headed by Ontario ministry, WorshipRises. Pastors and lay leaders: This is an excellent opportunity to bring along some of your people for a day of encouragement, creativity and refreshing perspective on our corporate worship services. Find engage and the complete details at www.bbc.ca under Faith & Service. Register early online to reserve your spots.
Third, on November 9, 2011, Dr. Lenny Luchetti, Assistant Professor of Proclamation and Christian Ministry, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, will be providing a preaching seminar/workshop for our Atlantic District pastors. The location is Bethany Bible College in Sussex, NB. The time frame is from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (with a break for lunch). There will be two sessions, one from 10 am – 11:30 am that is titled “The Stuff I Wish I Knew Before I Started Preaching.” Q & A time will be part of the sessions. Lunch will be from 11:30 am -12:30 pm. The second session, “Tips for Birthing Sermons Today,” will be offered from 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm. This will be a practical workshop that will be helpful to you. I encourage you to put this on your calendar, and plan to take advantage of this great opportunity.
Fourth, Atlantic District Pastors and Ministry Personnel, protect the dates of February 7-9, 2012 on your schedules for the Atlantic District Ministerial. I have been working with Dr. Steve Elliott at Bethany Bible College to secure a date that would allow both the District and the College to benefit from Dr. Tom Clegg’s ministry while in the Maritimes. Dr. Clegg has been on a sabbatical and we will firm up the details after October 17th when he returns. Dr. Tom Clegg is known as a Breakthrough Leader for Missional Transformation. He is President and Founder of the Missional Transformation Network, an innovative learning community of leaders yearning to be more fruitful in ministry. He is a highly gifted and sought after conference speaker, consultant and internationally recognized authority in the fields of evangelism, church planting, leadership development, and missions. He has helped plant and grow many new churches in the past thirty years as a senior pastor, church planter, missionary and denominational leader. His broad experience enables him to provide strategic planning, coaching, team-building, growth and management consulting for ministry multiplication.
On September 13, 2011, U.S. News & World Report released its lists of Best Colleges, ranking the schools within 10 defined classifications provided by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Houghton College was once again ranked among elite national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. Houghton ranks in the “national” category, an important distinction that signifies the college’s reputation and academic achievements. It was one of only 14 member schools of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) included in the listing, and was one of the eight that were ranked in the first tier. There are quite a few people within the Atlantic District who have either attended or graduated from Houghton, and there are those from our ranks who have served on the faculty and staff at Houghton. Dr. Shirley Mullen serves as the President of Houghton College.

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret…” – Jim Rohn

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