Labour Day is now in the rearview mirror! I trust you all had a great summer. Under Sail is well overdue, so thank you for your patience. Let me pass along to you a few things that are happening around the District. It’s not exhaustive, but it will give you a little taste of what is happening in the life of our people and churches.
Benchmarks: During our District Conference I spoke about “benchmarks” for each of our churches. Two of those benchmarks are in the areas of people coming to Christ and baptisms. We have 58 churches and in the last week I have heard from 13 of our pastors. Since May 1st, in those churches alone, 44 people have been saved and 49 people have been baptized! The churches are: Bangor-Pathway, Crystal, Digby, Easton, Florenceville-Bristol, Fredericton-Crosspoint, Grand Harbour, Havelock, NS, Kentville, Maple Ridge, Moncton, Seal Cove, and Sussex.
Caton’s island: In that same vein, Caton’s island had a great summer of ministry to children, teens, and families. 60 people gave their lives to Christ, and another 68 made re-commitments for a total of 128 people making commitments to follow Jesus!
Perth-Andover Wesleyan Church: The residents of Perth-Andover, NB have been dealing with the devastating aftermath of the Saint John River flooding this past March. Pastor Reg Thomas gave me a brief update on the church’s progress since then:
- In June they received their final settlement from the insurance company, a little over $100,000. That is a lot of money but it does not cover the renovation costs. Nothing has been received from EMO or the Government.
- The Local Church Board (LBA) made the decision to refinish the basement to the point of usability for the church’s ministries, Fall launches, and Winter programs.
- A Flood Futures Committee has been appointed with the express purpose of finding a way to get the church out of the flood plain!
- Construction started about mid-July and is approx. 1/2 done. The target for completion is mid-September.
- The Fall programs launch on Oct 7th.
- There has been a wonderful spirit of renewal in the church in the last 3 months.
- There has been an influx of young adults and young married couples who are hungering for God.
- Pastor Reg says, “We’re probably about a year behind program-wise but a year ahead in community building! So it’s all good!!”
The pastors and people of Perth-Andover Wesleyan express their sincere appreciation to every church and person on the District who gave so graciously to help them in their time of need.
Thank you! During Beulah, in addition to the regular offerings, over $10,000 was raised to purchase a dumping trailer for Beulah/Caton’s and a much needed riding mower (used) in good condition for the maintenance of the Beulah grounds. These are practical tools that make a big difference to the staff and volunteers who do such a good job of maintaining the grounds. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Atlantic District Huddle on Location – Sept 15, 2012 – Presque Isle Wesleyan, ME – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
I have already forwarded to our Pastors an important announcement from our District Children’s Ministry Director, Linda Lamos. It concerns the up-coming Atlantic District Huddle for Children’s Ministry Teams. This is a great opportunity for your Children’s Ministry Team to interact with other children’s ministry leaders and glean some helpful and practical ideas to use back in your own church. Linda and those that assist her always do a great job, so I encourage you to take advantage of this. It’s only $25/person or $100 for 4 or more leaders. For more information, or to register, contact Linda Lamos at firstname.lastname@example.org
Willow Creek’s Annual Leadership Conference never fails to offer practical insight and inspiration for church leaders of any age, denomination or experience. This year the Canadian Summit will take place on October 18-19, 2012. More information is available on-line. Google: The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada.
Our Condolences and Prayers are extended to the following families:
Richard Thomas, father of Pastor Rich Thomas who serves at Jonesport Wesleyan, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 13, 2012. The funeral was held in the Digby Baptist Church on August 17th. Pastor Rich was the officiating minister. Thanks to the Atlantic District ministers and spouses who were able to attend. Thirteen were present. Rich and Katie really appreciated this support.
Rev. Eric Haywood, retired pastor and missionary, passed away on August 22, 2012 at the age of 88. His funeral was held at the Woodstock Wesleyan Church on August 25th, with Rev. Dale MacDonald officiating. He was predeceased by his wife, Nina, who died just a few weeks earlier on July 13th. Eric was part of a very unique fraternity. He 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. Eric was part of this group. He arrived in South Africa in 1954, and married Nina 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 Eric 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 his most immediate family, Eric is survived by his daughter, Deborah Grant (Paul) of Woodstock. Several other relatives survive him as well.
Terry McDonald, wife of Pastor Norm McDonald who is responsible for Pastoral Care at Fredericton – Corbett Ave. Wesleyan (CAW), passed away on Monday, September 3rd. Her funeral is today, September 7th, at CAW with Rev. John Symonds officiating, and Rev. AJ Plaizier and Rev. Pete Thomas assisting.
Our congratulations! Pastor David Hockley and Amy DeMings were married in the Wood’s Harbour Wesleyan Church in Nova Scotia on Saturday, August 11, 2012, with Rev. Rod Guptill officiating. David is the Pastor of Faith Wesleyan Church in Ingomar, NS. This is also Amy’s home church. Amy did her Bethany/Kingswood internship at Wood’s Harbour.
Westchester Wesleyan Church will celebrate its 110th Anniversary this weekend, 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.
Pastor Kevin Matthews, Executive Pastor at Moncton Wesleyan Church, has been on the staff at MWC for 15 years in various roles. He has served as Executive Pastor for the last 10 years. He has accepted a call from the Newcastle Baptist Church in Miramichi, NB and will transition by October 1st. Thank you, Kevin, for your many years of service at MWC and we wish you God’s best in your new responsibilities.
Snapshots: I have conducted installations for two pastors – Mark McCluskey in Black’s Harbour on July 29th, and Dave Ziglar at Scarborough-Coastal on August 26th. The District BYF weekend at Beulah in August had one of the highest attendances ever with just over 150 registered. Everyone enjoyed the ministry of Pastor Conard Symonds, and the music of “Mark & Friends.” The Beulah Labour Day Wrap-Up Service was well attended. Thanks to Joanne and all who helped her with the surprise birthday celebration for the DS that followed…and he was surprised!
“We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast and our trust fixed on God.” – St. Francis de Sale