Under Sail

Thanks for Your Prayers – “God is good…all the time!  All the time…God is good!  That’s so true.  I’m grateful that my recent trip to the hospital revealed that my heart is good, and that it is not the problem.  I am experiencing something that many others in our area are dealing with as well – a “viral thing” that causes me to have a gut-wrenching cough, literally.  My doctor said it lasts anywhere from two to six weeks, and you just have to see it through.  I can now have one-on-one conversations with much less difficulty, though a lot of them in the run of a day triggers the coughing.  I have had to change my weekend schedule for this immediate time frame.  I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment at the end of the month, and will be taking the next week (January 16-20) away from the office in order to help the whole process.  Again, thank you for your prayers. – DWL

The Atlantic District Ministerial is just under four weeks away!  February 7-9, 2012 at Kings Valley Wesleyan Church in Quispamsis, NB. The registrations show a good response and they are arriving in the office everyday now.  It’s still not too late to beat the late registration deadline of January 16th!  Dr. Tom Clegg is our guest speaker.  He will be speaking on: 1) Change, futurism, and the church 2) Leading from the future rather than out of the past 3) Spiritual vitality in ministry 4) Deconstructing evangelism, and building a Missional lifestyle.  A lot of other good things will be part of this time as the Atlantic Team comes together.  Lay Leaders, make sure your pastor is there!  The local church always benefits from those things that “fill the tank” of their pastor(s).  Detailed information is already in the hands of the pastors.

Elsie Morgan (wife of Rev. Bill Morgan) – Elsie’s life story (and Bill’s!) will be celebrated at the York Care Centre (YCC), 100 Sunset Dr., Fredericton, NB in a Narrative Ceremony on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 2:45 p.m. in the Friendship Centre.  This is approximately a 45-minute ceremony, and the 15-20 minute DVD narrative is part of that time.  When YCC does such life bio’s they invite friends and relatives to attend and participate.  So, anyone is more than welcome to attend as YCC’s guest to share in these moments with Elsie and Bill.  Many of the recipients of this message will know Elsie and Bill Morgan, an outstanding couple who devoted much of their life to mission work in Africa.

Congratulations to Sherry Robertson! Sherry is the wife of Pastor Dale Robertson, and they serve at Port Maitland Wesleyan in Nova Scotia.  Sherry started her own business a few years ago in Yarmouth, NS, Lifeskills.  She works with adults who are mentally and physically challenged.  This past November, Sherry was invited to a special presentation in Halifax, NS where she and her organization received from the Province of Nova Scotia, the “Lieutenant Governor’s Persons with Disabilities Employer Partnership Award!”  (The Honorable Mayann E. Francis is the NS Lieutenant Governor).  As a recipient of this recognition, Lifeskills is considered a role model for business excellence in hiring, accommodating, and serving Persons with Disabilities.  This award is designed so that Sherry may display it within her organization as a visible sign of their commitment to Persons with Disabilities.  The Nova Scotia government is now sending other groups to her organization to find out why she’s been so successful.  Congratulations, Sherry!

Caton’s Island Staff, under the direction of Caton’s Director, Dean Stephenson, just returned from Haiti where they provided a Kids Camp for 75 orphaned children.  Twenty-one “staffers” went on this trip (Dec. 28 – Jan. 7), and this is the second time that Dean has led such a group to Haiti for this purpose.  I applaud the commitment, passion, and compassion of the Team.  Thanks!

Pastor Rod Guptill (Woods Harbour), Pastor Jay Vienneau (Hammonds Plains-Cornerstone), Pastor Greg Dakin and Doug Findlay (Saint John First) are on their way to Cuba after a delay due to weather.  The purpose of the trip is to “Teach, Encourage, and Connect.”  They will have opportunity to visit different communities that can become potential projects to be adopted by a local church as partner communities for development over a period of time.   The Team will arrive in time to get in on a portion of the Cuba Annual Church Conference, and meet the Cuban pastors before they head back to their respective communities.  The Team will be visiting some of these communities next week.

Congratulations! Pastors Darren & Janel Clark are very pleased to announce the birth of their first child, Jaelyn Viola born Saturday, December 10, 2011.  She weighed 7lbs.  The Clark’s are church planters at the St. John’s-Avalon Church in Newfoundland.

Church Plant in Calgary – Jerry & Amanda Wurnig, Josh Hopkins, and Brock MacDonald, all recent graduates of Bethany Bible College (Kingswood University), have moved to Calgary, Alberta to plant a Wesleyan Church in the downtown area.  Many of our readers may know people in that area, and if you have any names and contact information please pass it along.  It would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your help.  Please send any information to Jerry Wurnig at jerry@mannachurch.ca

Pastor Dwayne Hopkins, Scarborough Coastal Wesleyan, shared an encouraging, personal health update.  He met with his Oncologist on January 12th for his most recent 6-month check up.  He reports that everything is going along just fine!  We’re glad to hear that!  It was four years ago this month that Dwayne began chemo (01/22/08).  PTL!

Christmas Reports to Celebrate!
Special Thanks
– I want to thank all of the churches and individuals who responded to the special requests during the Christmas season to help two of our bi-vocational pastors, Rev. Scott Lewis (Lower Hainesville) and Rev. Nelson Koonce (Bangor-Pathway). These men, because of health issues, could not work their secular jobs, and not only lost the time on the job, they lost the income it provided.  The support was overwhelming, much needed, and gratefully appreciated by both families.  Scott is still facing surgery, and Nelson has to work with the dynamics of the U.S. health system, but God has provided, and continues to provide.  Thanks for being part of the answer to their prayers.

Bangor- Pathway had 98 (lya 65) in attendance for their Christmas Musical with several visitors returning who are expressing interest in Pathway.

Lower Hainesville had a great Christmas Eve service with 45 in attendance (lya 25).

Brazil Lake: Pastor Amy Corey reports that the Walk Through Bethlehem Christmas Production was well attended again this year.  Just under 300 people came to the presentation.  In addition, they raised $600 for an area family that has a family member undergoing cancer treatments in Halifax.

Pastor Denn Guptill reports that Hammonds Plains – Cornerstone had 641 out for Christmas Eve Services, and gave away over 200 copies of the Jesus Film DVDs.  Awesome!  On another note, Pastor Denn is well known for tracking his “historical and numerical” progress.  Did you know that in November, 2010 Cornerstone’s single highest-ever attendance for an ordinary Sunday was 273?  In November of this year they averaged 269 for the month (lya 241)!  This past Sunday (Jan. 8th) Cornerstone’s attendance was the single highest they’ve had for an ordinary Sunday and it was 340.  To put that into perspective, on the second Sunday back in January 2005, the church’s attendance was 52!  Pastor Denn, thanks for “hangin’in there!”

Pastor Jasper Rideout reports that North Head Wesleyan had 73 in attendance (lya 43) at their Christmas Program on December 18th.

Fredericton – Crosspoint had 1,100 for two Christmas Eve Services which were held in the Fredericton Playhouse.  The best news is…there were 80 decisions for Christ!  Pastor Tim Guptill is the Lead Pastor.

This is a smattering of a lot of other good stuff that is happening around the District!

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary can speak.” – Hans Hoffmann

“By removing those things that really aren’t a priority in my life, I will create space for the ‘necessary’ to speak.  I must trim the excess so there is room for the essential.” – Lance Witt

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