Rebuilding, Recall & Searches
I was on-site two weeks ago where the new Havelock, NS Wesleyan Church is under construction. Pastor Peter Hayes gave me the tour and the up-date on the church’s progress. The building sits on a small hill and it stands out as you drive down the road. It is generating a lot of positive interest in the community as well as in the congregation. The building is closed in, the roof is shingled, and the carport over the main entrance has been attached and shingled. The church recently received $15,000 from an estate which will pay for the sanctuary chairs. The congregation had a goal of raising $10,000 for the sheetrock (1000 sheets at $10 each) and achieved their goal this past weekend. Everything they have done to date has been accomplished without borrowed funds. PTL! They are currently waiting on the tenders for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. Tenders close this Wednesday. Pastor Peter says they hope to be in the building sometime in June. A dedication date for the building is still to be determined.
Pastoral Recall Votes: In the last two weeks, several of our churches have conducted pastoral recall votes. In addition to what was reported in the last Under Sail (Westchester, NS; Black’s Harbour, NB), seven of our pastors received strong votes – Stuart Marples, Mount Pearl, NL – Solid Rock (unanimous); Jacob Ebbett, Havelock, NB; Nick Graham, Maple Ridge, NB; Matt Maxwell, Fredericton, NB – First; Rob McDowell, Easton, ME; Glen McVicar, Lower Brighton, NB.
Resignations: Ben Medel resigned from the Shelburne, NS Wesleyan Church yesterday.
Pastoral Searches: The following churches are currently in pastoral transition and seeking God’s direction as they look for the person who will serve as their next pastor: Fredericton – Crosspoint; Scarborough, ME – Coastal Community; Shelburne – Hope. I have had initial meetings with the local boards and search committees at Fredericton-Crosspoint and Scarborough Coastal. I will be meeting with the Shelburne LBA in the near future. This is one of the single most important decisions a church makes, so please pray that these congregations will have God’s discernment and direction. Pray also that the persons who will serve these congregations will have their hearts prepared, and God’s peace as they are directed to take up a new responsibility.
Dr. L.D. Buckingham, Lead Pastor at Moncton Wesleyan, preached a message on baptism yesterday from their church’s baptistry! There were seven people who were already set to be baptized in that service, and they were. At the close of the service, Pastor B. gave an invitation for others who would like to be baptized to come forward. Six people spontaneously responded, and they were baptized in response to the invitation – a total of thirteen baptisms! This is what it’s all about – changed lives!
Pastor Rich and Katie Thomas serve at Jonesport Wesleyan in Maine, and have been there for seven years this summer. There were 50 people in the service (lya 48) on March 4th when I visited this congregation. Pastor Rich has received his green card within the last 2-3 weeks, and that has been a major cause for celebration! A church potluck was held in the basement fellowship hall, and a special cake was presented to the pastor in honor of his green card finally being received. The church has taken positive steps to connect with their community and make a difference. The church’s clothing bank, which was started by Pastor Rich, has become a major outreach opportunity into the community. Also, Harry & JoAnne Bishop, members of the congregation, started a food bank which is also helping the church’s efforts to connect to the community. The Bishops drive 90 minutes one-way to Brewer, ME every week and pick up day-old bread from a local bakery. They bring it back to Jonesport and then distribute it the next day to 30 different locations around the area. This is an effort with serious commitment!
This past Sunday, I was at Kentville – New Hope Wesleyan in Nova Scotia. They have two Sunday morning services. The first one “took a hit” because of the time change, but it was a good service. There were 167 people in church between the two services (lya 164). I brought greetings on behalf of the District, and Pastor Scott Prime continued with the next message in their Restore series. Several people responded to the invitation, and two people gave their lives to Christ! I enjoyed interacting with the people in the lobby in between services. One man told me how he started coming to New Hope, and loved it! He told a friend where he was going to church. He invited this friend to come but didn’t think he would. He showed up the next Sunday…and the next…and the next! In less than a year he’d given his life to Christ. The gentleman told me it was a real joy to see his friend baptized!
Atlantic District Children Ministry Huddles
Yarmouth, NS Wesleyan – April 21, 2012 – 9 am – 12:30 pm – $20/person or 5 or more $99
Presque Isle, ME Wesleyan – Sept. 15, 2012 – 9am – 3:00 pm – $25/person or 4 or more $99
Make plans with your volunteers to attend a Huddle in 2012! Pack the vans and send your Children Ministry Team to The Huddle – a Wesleyan children’s ministry workers training event. It’s a one-day, affordable event for your entire children’s workers team. Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, VBS helpers, children’s church leaders, and volunteers will experience the excitement and energy of discovering practical, new ideas they can use NOW from a team of passionate and dedicated workers. See the latest resources, and connect with others who are “boots on the ground” people in children’s ministry. Don’t miss this opportunity! To register: email@example.com
The Atlantic District has people who have connections to one of our former institutions, United Wesleyan College. If so, you may be interested to know that there is going to be a United Wesleyan College Musical Reunion, October 12, 2012, to be held in the former Fralin Center of the old campus, Allentown, PA. If you were part of a musical group from UWC, then contact David Sheets at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you plan to attend then RSVP at UWCReunion@gmail.com
“Peace doesn’t come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat.” – John Ortberg