Under Sail

St. John’s, NL – Avalon Wesleyan celebrated its 3rd Birthday this past Sunday!  Joanne and I were privileged to be there to experience the morning celebration with them.  Church Planters, Pastors Darren & Janel Clark, shared that they were encouraged by the good fall season the church has been having.  The church has been growing, and their Sunday AM attendance has doubled since this time last year.  There were 25 people present in the service this past Sunday (lya 13).  It was exciting to see the new faces, and the children!  Families that are new to the church are starting to take ownership, and become involved.  Avalon has started a Kids Ministry for the toddlers and babies which allows the parents to join the AM service.  They have also introduced two mid-week Home Groups, and these have gotten off to a great start.  Avalon is still looking for a new place to hold their Sunday morning services.  They need a more kid-friendly location with wheelchair accessibility.  Special thanks to the local churches across the District who keep St. John’s Avalon on their prayer list and also on their financial support list.  I know the Clarks appreciate it.  On a personal note, the Clarks are excited to announce that they are expecting their first child (a little girl) at the end of December!
Sunday evening (Oct. 16th), we worshipped with the Mount Pearl, NL – Solid Rock folks.  There were 43 people out for the evening service, and 78 in the AM (lya 53).  Pastor Stuart and Kellie Marples are into their second year.  It is evident that they are well-loved and appreciated by the congregation.  Attendance is up, giving is up, and there are new people attending.  Four years ago, the church purchased the house and property next door.  Solid Rock has “harvested” a good piece of this property’s backyard for parking purposes, re-configured the property boundaries, and have recently sold the house and the smaller lot.  They will be able to liquidate their loan against the property and enjoy the advantages of their larger parking lot.  God is at work in our Newfoundland churches!
On October 2nd, I was at Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan (CAW) and conducted my third pastoral installation this year.  Pastor AJ and Julia Plaizier transitioned after Beulah to CAW from Yarmouth Wesleyan where AJ was serving as an Assistant Pastor.  AJ’s dad, Rev. Jack Plaizier, who is the Associate Pastor at the Kingston ON Standard Church (now part of The Wesleyan Church), was present in the services and offered prayer as part of the installation ceremony.  CAW continues to have two Sunday AM services, a traditional service at 9:30 AM, and a more contemporary service at 11:00 AM.  The total attendance for the two services that day was 244 (lya 246).  Pastor Norm (Terry) McDonald has lived in the area since 1989 and is on staff as the Minister of Pastoral Care.  Darrek (Stephanie) Thornton is the new Assistant Pastor having joined the staff this summer.  He is responsible for the youth ministries and also leads worship.  CAW put out a Thanksgiving challenge to their people in order to help the Salvation Army Food Bank.  The goal was to bring in more pounds of food than the combined pounds of the pastoral staff which totals 564 lbs (that’s for three pastors, not one or two!).  The food was weighed and in two weeks, the “Corbetters” brought in just under 1000 lbs. of food!  Way to go!  Thanks for caring for those less fortunate and resonating with God’s heartbeat!
October is Pastor Appreciation Month in The Wesleyan Church.  Several of our churches have already capitalized on this opportunity to say “thank you” to their pastors for their leadership and ministry in the church and community.  It’s still not too late to do something.  The timeframe doesn’t have to be limited to October, if another month fits better with your church calendar.  I encourage those of you that are part of local church boards and in positions of leadership in your church to take the initiative to help the whole congregation get involved.  You will find a complete planning guide at http://www.wesleyan.org/em/pastor_appreciation if you need creative ideas on how to make this a significant time for your pastor(s) and their families, and your church.
Pastor Nick Graham, Maple Ridge Wesleyan Church, shares that they averaged 106 for the month of August and 115 for the month of September (lya 76).  That is very encouraging!  The church is in the midst of the “40 Days of Purpose Campaign” and it’s going very well.  They now have 5 small groups with 12-13 people in each group.  Pastor Nick says, “The rooms are full!  The spirit of anticipation is tremendous.  This is the right thing at the right time.”  He also states that there is a great spirit in the services, and many people are responding to the Word of God.  The transition of joining the Millville Wesleyan Church with the Maple Ridge Wesleyan Church has been positive and effective.  The people are anticipating great days ahead!
Halifax – Deep Water had 280 in attendance on October 2nd, one month shy of their 4th birthday!  AJ Thomas is the pastor.
Woodstock Wesleyan had 318 people in church on October 2nd (lya 193).  Coincidentally, they had 193 people present on the same Sunday one year ago, the same number as their last year’s average.  It was a Sunday of celebration as they baptized 10 children (ages 8-13), and then another 4-5 children this past Sunday (October 9th).  Giving has been strong through the summer months, and they have entered the fall season with good momentum.  The Senior Pastor is Dale MacDonald.
Exciting News from Miramichi Wesleyan: Saturday Sept. 17th was a great day of celebration as two people were baptized in the Miramichi River.  Both candidates gave testimony of their commitment to follow Christ.  The newest convert recited the Apostle’s Creed which she had heard Dr. Steve Lennox preach about at Beulah Camp in July.  A celebratory Church Picnic was held following the baptism, and several folks new to the church attended.  Sunday, Sept 25, “Covenant Sons,” a musical group comprised of the Casey brothers from northern Maine did an evening concert with 127 in attendance.  Pastor Gary Churchill further reports that nearly $4000 was received in a Thanksgiving Debt Reduction Offering October 9th which cleared up two outstanding bills related to their Church Expansion Project.  (The new building was dedicated this past May).  The Pastor and leaders are looking forward to a “Building For Tomorrow” Retreat scheduled for Sat. Oct. 22nd with Dr. Stephen Elliot, Director of Pastoral Ministries & Church Planting Studies, at Bethany Bible College.
Pastor Jason Rooney, Monticello Wesleyan, reports that they had a special “Family Service” which included puppets, a story, a luncheon, and horse rides for kids after the service.  The service went extremely well.  One lady from our church accompanied children from the church, and they went door-to-door to pass out invitations to the service.  There were 53 in attendance (lya 25)!  It was very encouraging to see a number of young couples there, which was one of the main goals for the service.  Pastor Jason says they received good feedback, and everything went well.  Praise the Lord!
Westchester Wesleyan News: Pastor Linda Fillmore reports that on Thanksgiving weekend they held a special Music Evening, and 65 were in attendance (lya 23).  The offering went toward renovations for the church and parsonage.  They’ve recently upgraded the electrical in both buildings.  The church kitchen has been doubled in size, and cupboards and cabinets were donated.  Also donated was carpet to redo the church platform, and the pastor’s study.  The church has started two Home Groups this fall.  Dorothy MacDonald, who has served as the treasurer for 50-plus years, has resigned.  She and Assistant Treasurer, Margaret Rushton, were honoured on Thanksgiving Sunday.
Pastor Ryan Farrell reports that Nackawic Wesleyan recently held their annual “Well Walk” with 83 in attendance.  To date they’ve raised $3,285 to dig wells overseas.  Every year they do this!  You guys are the “well champions!”  Way to go!
Ashley Zottarelli, wife of Pastor Michael Zottarelli, Sackville Wesleyan, is now a P. Eng!  She became a member of the Association of Professional Engineers Nova Scotia (APENS) effective August 25, 2011.  She has been working full-time as an Engineer-in-training for the last four years.  Congratulations, Ashley, on this significant achievement!
The Atlantic District had 27 pastors attend the recent Canadian Global Leadership Summit at one of the satellite locations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland.  In addition, many of these pastors had lay leaders and other staff personnel accompanying them to the event.  This represents a good number of people from across our churches taking advantage of an “iron sharpens iron” opportunity.
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 at Bethany Bible College on November 9, 2011.  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 very helpful.  Just under 30 pastors have already registered in less than a week.  I encourage others to register and take advantage of this great opportunity.
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.  Dr. Clegg has just returned this week from a sabbatical and we will firm up the details shortly.  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.
Houlton Wesleyan still has eight spots left on their bus that is going to The Women of Faith Conference next month in Hartford, CT.  The dates are Nov. 11 & 12.  The bus leaves Houlton, ME on the 10th and returns late on the 12th.  Cost is $300 (includes registration, bus, hotel and a couple of meals).  For further information and/or registration contact the Houlton Church at 207-532-9056, or Brenda Robertson at:  bren@pwless.net or at 207-532-3647.
President Mark Gorveatte reported in the latest Bethany Bible College newsletter that the College is off to a strong start in the new school year with 62 freshmen on campus.  BBC also had seven enroll in their first online course, Wesleyan Church History and Discipline, taught by Dr. Art Maxwell.  Eighty students of the current student body are from the Atlantic District of The Wesleyan Church – the highest count since 2005!
Seasoned Saints Day at Bethany Bible College – A special invitation is extended to those in the 55+ age to attend Chapel on October 20th at 10:00 AM.  Chapel will be followed by a delicious roast beef dinner in Wesley Hall.  Guest speaker for Chapel is Dr. Clyde Dupin from Kernersville, NC – America’s small-town Billy Graham.  Contact Debbie Benson, bensond@bbc.ca or 506.432.4411 for more details and to register.
Seminar Classes will be offered at Bethany Bible College, January 9-13, 2012.  These classes are one-week intensive courses that are taught by visiting professionals who possess significant effectiveness in a particular area of ministry.  If you are not currently a student but are interested in enrolling in a seminar course, please call Admissions at 888-432-4422 for the details.


“Those who pursue holiness can find both holiness and happiness while those who pursue happiness can find neither.” – Randy Alcorn

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