Beulah Camp 2012 was much anticipated, and is now behind us. Rev. Scott & Elizabeth Rhyno gave excellent oversight to the music and worship. Both speakers, Rev. Steve Wilson and Rev. Larry Wilson, presented biblical truth that was relevant to life. There were several services with people finding help at the altar, and many people benefited from the faithful ministry of the Holy Spirit to our hearts. People appreciated the expanded activities schedule that was offered. We say a special thank you to Executive Director of Camping, Pastor Rob Trafton, and Beulah Activities Director, Andrea Gunter, for providing a wide selection of things to do on a daily basis. The activities were family-friendly. Choices were available for all age groups, and took in a range of different interests. Rev. Mark & Karen Cooney, and Rev. Nick & Beth Graham did a good job leading the VBS program throughout the week. On Wednesday evening, while the tabernacle was comfortably full, and people enjoyed the musical ministry of the Webb family and the preaching that followed, 200 teens and another 50 adults met on the Beulah ball field for a first-ever evening Rally for teens. This was under the direction of Willie Thompson and the Rhynos. It was a winner! Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, our General Superintendent, was present for our District Conference on Thursday, and then the Ordination Service on Friday. This was her first time to be with us since her election as GS. This year, the following people were ordained, commissioned, and validated: Ordained Ministers – Kyle Belden, Jeremy MacDonald, and Vince Robertson; Commissioned Minister – Jasper Rideout; Commissioned Special Worker – Debbie Rooney; Validation of Ordination for Minister Transferring from another Denomination – Nelson Koonce. Sunday afternoon, the last day of the Camp, nine pastors took part as 16 people were baptized! One of those was a spontaneous, in-the-moment step of obedience! th anniversary for EXALT. What a wonderful celebration! Our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers and pastors who contributed to make Beulah possible, and special thanks to our caretaker and his wife, Bruce & Roxie Cheney. The dates for Beulah 2013 are July 5-14, 2013. The speakers are Rev. Dwight Robertson, Founding President & CEO of Kingdom Building Ministries, and Rev. AJ Thomas, Church Planter & Founding Pastor of Halifax-Deep Water Wesleyan Church. Rev. Scott & Elizabeth Rhyno will be returning as the Worship Leaders.
Dr. L.D. Buckingham, after 38 consecutive years (1974-2012) as the Atlantic District Assistant DS, did not allow his name to be nominated for re-election by the DBA. Pastor Buckingham served with four different DS’s: Dr. H.R. Ingersoll, Rev. Ray Barnwell, Dr. H.C. Wilson, and Rev. David LeRoy. His contributions, insights, and counsel across the terms of four DS’s has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. The District presented Pastor Buckingham with a Citation and a gift of appreciation, and then held a reception for Pastor and Mrs. Buckingham following District Conference and the Thursday evening service.
New Assistant DS: Rev. Tim Guptill, former Lead Pastor of Fredericton-Crosspoint Wesleyan Church, and the new Lead Pastor Elect at Moncton Wesleyan, was elected by the DBA in its July 6th meeting to serve as the new Assistant DS. This became effective at the rise of the District Conference.
Charlottetown Sunrise is in a transition. Pastor Greg and Shera Hanson spent 11 years with this church, having planted and forged a group from the ground up. The Hansons feel their time in Charlottetown has come to an end, and God has released them from this ministry responsibility. Several conversations have been held in the last three months with the folks at Sunrise. It appears that they will most likely disperse to other local congregations, including some to Hampton – Island Wesleyan. Pastor Greg Hanson will be serving as a part-time staff person at Kings Valley Wesleyan.
St. John’s Avalon is a church plant that was born out of the calling of Pastors Darren and Janel Clark to Newfoundland seven years ago. There is a core group connected with the Avalon Church that sees the potential and are prepared to step up to help it happen. The Clarks feel released from this ministry and returned to the mainland in early July. They will be partnering with Kevin and Laura Myers in the Sydney New Roots church plant. This will strengthen the team and ultimately increase the harvest.
Benchmarks for Atlantic District Churches: I talked with our pastors at our District Ministerial last February about “benchmarks” for our local churches that would be realistic and obtainable targets. Benchmarks have been set based on the stats that were submitted at the end of the last fiscal year. These were distributed to the ministerial and lay delegates at District Conference. The criteria for the benchmarks are as follows: 1) Your church has clearly articulated a missional component in its vision and core values. 2) Your church reports salvations that number at least 5% of your average primary weekend worship attendance for the year. 3) Your church reports baptisms that number at least 25% of those who have been saved during the year. 4) Your church has invested 10% or more of its annual operating budget into specific community, regional, or global outreach, which includes church planting or missional initiatives. 5) Your church is growing its primary worship gathering by a minimum of 5% each year. It’s understood that a few churches would have to stretch to make their benchmarks, and other churches would need to re-set their benchmarks higher in order to have realistic targets that stretch them, and involve a faith element. Churches that apply this will be in a better place in 2-3 years!
District Best Years Fellowship Retreat 2012: The annual District BYF Retreat is set for Friday, August 17 – Sunday, August 19 at Beulah Camp. Pastor John Symonds is overseeing the event this year. Pastor Conard Symonds is the special speaker and music will be provided by Mark Gorveatte & Friends. Registration information has been sent to the pastors and local churches. For further registration information, contact Hugh McKnight at (506) 472-1116. The registration deadline is July 27th.
The JESUS film is going to Cuba: Within the first 48 hours at The Wesleyan Church’s Twelfth General Conference, June 2-6, in Lexington, KY, enough funds were raised to show the JESUS film throughout Cuba over the next three years.
Through a joint effort on Sunday morning of the conference, church leaders, delegates, and visitors raised $39,000 designated for the JESUS Film Partnership of Global Partners. Prior to the offering being taken, Dr. H.C. Wilson, former General Director of Global Partners, announced the monies would be used to help fund Campaign 300, a promotion intended to take the JESUS film to 21 countries via 30 teams in the next three years. The hope is to reach three million people and plant 300 churches. Word was received that very day that permission had been given by the Cuban government to offer public showings of the JESUS film. Global Partners officials quickly determined to use the $39,000 for the open door in Cuba. On Tuesday morning of General Conference, District Superintendents and Global Partners’ District Directors attended a breakfast sponsored by the Missions Division of The Wesleyan Church. They were challenged to add to Sunday’s offering to fully support the Cuban JESUS film team for a total of three years. The response was overwhelming, and this challenge was exceeded with additional commitments totaling $44,000. The total General Conference offering and commitments for the JESUS film totaled $83,000. The Wesleyan Church presence in Cuba includes 37 congregations and house churches in four different provinces. Wesleyans in Cuba are eager to use the JESUS film to help spread the gospel. The Cuban JESUS film team will be launched in August 2012. The JESUS film is the most translated film in history, available in more than 1,100 languages. The initial goal of Campaign 300 was $1.8 million, and Global Partners is pleased to report that at present nearly $2 million has been received in cash and pledges. For more information visit the Global Partners website. (Source: Global Partners)
The Atlantic District partners with The Wesleyan Church in Cuba, and will contribute $6,000 to this venture over the next three years.
This past May, Crandall University awarded their Leadership Award to Dr. Arthur W. Maxwell, Kingswood University’s former President and Academic Dean. Given in “recognition of Dr. Maxwell’s career in Christian higher education within The Wesleyan Church and his influence beyond,” the award was presented during Crandall’s morning graduation ceremonies on May 5th at which Dr. Maxwell delivered the convocation address. Congratulations Dr. Maxwell!
Captain Ashley Collette, daughter of Angela (Morehouse) Thurston, and granddaughter of Rev. Ron & Kay Morehouse, grew up in Sandford, Yarmouth County, NS. She received the Medal of Military Valour from Governor General David Johnston at a June 22nd ceremony in Ottawa, ON. The medal recognizes an act of valour or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. Captain Collette received the medal as a result of her 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. She was a platoon commander from May to December 2010, and demonstrated frontline leadership that was critical to her soldiers’ success during intense combat in Afghanistan. We extend our congratulations to Captain Collette, and express our sincere thanks to her and to all who serve in the Armed Forces. We concur with the Governor General who said in his remarks to the recipients of the various awards that day: “You are all striving for and working towards a more peaceful, more just society. As members of the military, you know that peace is a sign of strength, that it is a force more powerful than war, and that it requires vigilance to maintain.” (Source: Yarmouth County Vanguard, June 23, 2012)
Nina Haywood passed away at Carlton Manor in Woodstock, NB on Friday, July 13, 2012 at the age of 86. She was part of a very unique fraternity. Nina was a Reformed Baptist missionary. From its inception in 1888 until it merged with The Wesleyan Church in 1966, the RB’s had 37 missionaries. Nina, and her husband Eric, are part of this group. Nina went to South Africa in 1951. Eric arrived in 1954, and they were married shortly after his arrival. When the Rhodesian field opened, the Haywoods became the pioneer resident missionaries to Bethesda Mission Station near Livingstone and Victoria Falls. Nina set up a medical clinic and ministered to the physical needs of the people while her husband preached and addressed the spiritual needs. They served in Africa in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They were at Bethany Bible College in ’79-’80, Havelock, NS Wesleyan from ‘80-’89, and Amherst Wesleyan from ’90-’92. In her most immediate family, Nina is survived by her husband, Rev. Eric Haywood; and a daughter, Deborah Grant (Paul) of Woodstock. Several other relatives survive her as well. Please keep Eric and the family in your prayers.
Westchester Wesleyan Church will celebrate its 110th Anniversary on September 8-9, 2012. The Anniversary Service will be held on Saturday, September 8th at 2:30 PM. Former pastor, Charles Bain, will be the special speaker. Other things are planned for the weekend as well. Contact Pastor Linda Fillmore at email@example.com for more details.
Joanne and I will be on vacation for the next two weeks starting July 30th. We will be back in the office August 13th. My Administrative Assistant, Karrilee Bremner, will be available in the Moncton Office (506-383-8326) during regular summer office hours (Monday-Thursday). In case of emergency, contact the Assistant DS, Tim Guptill, at 506-857-2293.
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is adjusting to God’s willingness.” – Ivan French