The Atlantic District Ministerial was held this past week at Kings Valley Wesleyan Church with 150 people in attendance. Thanks to the Atlantic Team for making this a priority. Dr. Tom Clegg, our special speaker, was well received and his messages appreciated. Thanks to Pastor Brent Ingersoll and those who led us in worship. It was great! There was excellent feedback on the “conversations” (breakout sessions), and we appreciate the folks involved in leading those. God’s Presence was in the place, the fellowship and connections were strong, and our host church went “over the top” in making us feel welcome. They hosted us with warmth and class. Our thanks to Lead Pastor Jim Agrell, the KV ministry staff, and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this all happen.
Sandford’s “Investment” – It was my privilege during one of the sessions at the District Ministerial to present to Peter Hayes, Pastor of Havelock, NS Wesleyan, a cheque for $80,000 from the District! This money is for Havelock’s Building Fund and it came from the net sale proceeds of the Sandford Wesleyan parsonage. The Sandford church closed last summer. Havelock lost their church in a fire last spring, and they are in the process of rebuilding. The District Board of Administration felt it was fitting under the circumstances to keep these funds in Southern Nova Scotia, and assist in this way.
Dave Steeves, Pastor of Student Ministries and Missions at Moncton Wesleyan (MWC), reports that for the first time in the history of MWC, 102 different people took a step out of their comfort zones during 2011 and went on a short-term missions trip to either Haiti, the Congo, or New York City. This is exciting news! Thanks for cultivating a global view in the local church culture!
Pastor AJ Thomas reports that on January 8th, Halifax-Deep Water broke the 300-mark on a “normal” Sunday for the first time. It was a great day to announce that they are going to be adding an additional worship gathering!
Fort Fairfield Wesleyan had 33 people present in the service on January 29th, a cold, blowy winter morning. Pastor Dee led the service. I brought greetings on behalf of the District and Pastors Ed & Dee Lower are co-pastors in Fort, and they team-taught the AM message on “Forgiveness.” This approach seems to be well received by the congregation. It helps people to stay engaged, gives two different voices to listen to, and allows for “give-and-take” in the presentation. Both Ed & Dee are now working in secular employment, as well as at the church, and this has helped the church financially.
Black’s Harbour Wesleyan had approximately 80 people present for the service on February 5th. I assisted Pastor Jeff Hoyt as he received five covenant members into the fellowship of this local congregation. The church has had 48 people saved in the last three years and has grown by 37%. There are several younger families that have started to attend, and the children’s ministry has strengthened. I brought greetings in the service, and Pastor Jeff brought a good message.
Pastoral Resignations: Pastor Jeff Hoyt resigned from Blacks Harbour Wesleyan Church on January 29th. I met with the Black’s Harbour LBA last Sunday to begin the pastoral search process.
Pastoral Recall Votes: The following churches will be conducting recall votes on their lead pastors between now and March 11th: Easton; Fredericton – First; Havelock, NB; Lower Brighton; Maple Ridge; Mount Pearl – Solid Rock; Shelburne; Westchester
Sackville Wesleyan Name Change – Pastor Michael Zottarelli reports that The Wesleyan Church of Lower Sackville has now officially changed its name to Crossroads Wesleyan Church, Crossroads for short. Their signage and new website www.mycrossroadschurch.ca is up and running!
In Memory of Stephen
We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the family of Stephen. While serving God among the Karis people, Stephen, a GP missionary, passed on to his eternal home as a result of an accident in early February. Stephen was following God’s call on his life and in his own words he had stated, “At first I had romantic notions about missionary adventures and wild stories, but my spirit settled with a steady realization that God would have me be a missionary for the purpose of the ministry. I want to give all my life for this cause, and God has brought me to this place where I can.” Stephen had connections to the Atlantic District. Pray for his family, the Karis people ministry team, and Global Partners as we all grieve the passing of Stephen. May his life and death minister to the hearts of the Karis people he loved, and may Christ be honored even in the midst of this tragedy.
Cheryl Hudson was taken by ambulance to Charlottetown Hospital on Saturday, February 4th. Her cancer has come back; it is in her lymph nodes, kidneys and liver. She started chemo this past Monday, and underwent three consecutive days of intravenous treatment. Her next treatment will be Feb. 21st. Gene & Cheryl Hudson are retired Wesleyan missionaries who served the Lord and The Wesleyan Church in Zimbabwe. Please keep them both in your prayers.
Congratulations to Pastor Dave & Lynnette Mason on the birth of their new daughter, Lyla Kay Mason. She was born January 13th (5 weeks premature) and weighed 5 lbs 10 oz. Lyla was in the NICU for 19 days but is now home and doing well. She has an older brother, Landon. Pastor Dave is the Youth Pastor at Kings Valley Wesleyan Church.
2012 Easter Offering Sneak Peek…A New Approach!
The Department of Evangelism & Church Growth (E&CG) for The Wesleyan Church has already circulated information informing us that “Taking Grace to New Places” will be the theme again in 2012 for the Easter Offering for North American Missions. The goal is to intensify prayer, raise up partners for more evangelism and church growth, and pursue our Wesleyan passion for multiplying Christ-followers and new churches in cities across North America.
E&CG is taking a radically new approach for the Easter Offering this year. Instead of asking every pastor to make a direct appeal to those in the pews, the General Department of Evangelism and Church Growth is simply asking each Local Board of Administration to set aside a gift of at least $150 or more to send to E&CG during the month of April. There may be local churches that would still like to invite individuals to contribute personally toward the Easter Offering. E&CG will provide downloadable artwork for PowerPoint presentations or printed bulletin inserts. However, they will not be sending out printed materials and offering envelops as in the past. This is a great approach, and allows every church to be able to participate in a far-reaching impact for a minimal amount. In 2011, the Atlantic District was in the top ten districts (9th) in actual giving to the Easter Offering.
General Conference 2012
The Wesleyan Church will hold its 12th General Conference at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky, June 2-6, 2012. Church leaders and delegates, along with exhibitors, visiting guests, and their families will meet to review the worldwide ministries of the denomination. The General Conference is convened every four years. “Loving Christ, Embracing our World,” is the theme of this Conference. Updated information about General Conference 2012 can be accessed at www.wesleyan.org and will include Lexington area attractions and non-delegate registration. Wesleyan leaders are asking the Church worldwide to be in prayer for the conference.
What is success?
“At the end of the day, I measure ministry success by asking, “Are we reaching, teaching and helping more people in Jesus’ name this year than we did last year?”
– Robert Emmitt, Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church, San Antonio, Texas