Vernon Advent Christian Church
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A Unique Church of Understanding People

December -2013

Monday, December 16, 2013 View Comments Comments (0)
 

December 2013                                                                                                                           EASTERN REGIONAL ASSOCIATION

A Growing Network of Healthy Churches
 
Dear Lisa,
 

Merry Christmas!  May the Lord bless you as we celebrate the birth of our King!  

 
 
Church Spotlight - Windsor, CT
Faith Community Church
 

Faith Community Church is under revitalizaton!  Working with the Eastern Region they have a team in place. The first team member Jonathan Price was installed in November.  Great things are happening in Connecticut! 

 
 
Sunrise Christian Church, Big Lake Township, ME
 

"NEW POTTIES"

At the Regional Convention an offering was taken up to help the new Church plant in Princeton Maine being Pastored by Ernest Carle.  The Convention attendees contributed $500.00 and this was enough to have the church go ahead with their project before the ground froze.  Here isa picture of the work that is being done.  Praise the Lord for his provision and your generosity!  Praise the Lord for brothers and sisters in Christ helping one another and for a new work being done in the Big Lake area!

 
 
 
 
 
Antioch Banner
Antioch News
 

We are excited to be able to offer 5 Antioch School Courses beginning in January via web-ex.  In the Fall of 2013 we offered 3 courses with 22 students attending weekly courses.

 

"Antioch Courses have allowed me to connect with other Pastors in a way that normally wouldn't happen.  I have enjoyed the accessibility of meeting from my office without having to travel."  Ed Cilley, Rochester, NH

 

 "I believe that this is a great tool for us to use in connecting Pastors all across the Denomination, to unify our ministry philosophies, and prepare us to take this training back to our local churches to develop our lay leaders."  Greg Twitchell, Superintendent

 
 

Leaders                David Patterson       Monday 3-4:30

Pauline                 Greg Moody               Tuesday 6-7:30 Interpreting 2   Greg Twitchell           Wednesdays 3:30-5

Preaching            Roger Brown              Thursdays TBA

Acts                       (pending interest)

 
 
 
 
Convention 2013 Summary
 

The Eastern Regional Convention was held on Oct. 24-26, 

at the Wyndham Boston Andover Hotel in Andover, MA. 

 

By the numbers:                                                                                     

  • 28 Displays
  • 9 Workshops
  • 3 Keynote speakers
  • Over 180 people in attendance

Printed reports available at:

  

A number of people were recognized for their achievements

and service including:

  • Michael Tuttle, for being Ordained
  • Andy Rice, for being Ordained
  • Adam Facteau, Christian Workers License
  • Jonathan Price, for completing Masters Degree
  • Randall Thissell, for completing Masters Degree
  • Glenn Rice, for completing Doctorate Degree
  • Bill Monroe, for completing 50 years of Ministry
 

Convention Videos of all workshops and 3 keynote speakers 

are available through Lion Tracks Ministries:  josh@liontracks.org

 

A Summary of Business Items:

  • 2012 Financial Report with Auditors Report, Accepted
  • 2014 Proposed working budget, Approved
  • Motion to omit the ERA Annual Convention during the year of ACGC Triennial Convention year beginning in 2014 and in its place to call a special one day Annual meeting to conduct necessary Regional Business according to the Constitution, Article VI.  Approved
  • Proposal of Saturday, October 4th as date of Annual Meeting 2014, pending availability.  Approved 
 
 
From the Super
 

greg green backgroundOne of the things that we have been wrestling with in this post-Christian, technological age is the issue of why should people attend church or support institutions.  People can donate to all kinds of good endeavors right from home, like Christian Radio, Compassion International, and the Billy Graham Association to name a few.  They can hear better preaching on the television or internet, read Christian literature, and worship God on the golf course or at their favorite hunting or fishing spot out in God's Creation. 

 

I like to think of these things as snacks.  As a professional "snacker" I know that there are many tasty treats available out there.  I can devour a box of cheez-its on the couch or pick up some donuts on any street corner in New England.  I can even make a meal of snacks as I often do on Sunday night, when my bride doesn't cook and I make a bowl of popcorn and a pan of brownies to sometimes share with the kids.  The problem is that I can't live off of this stuff forever without missing out on the healthy benefits of a balanced diet.  Being involved in a local Church family has the same benefits.

 

Nelson Searcy a Church Planter in New York City has identified 4 benefits to belonging to a spiritual family:

 

1.     You need Healthy Relationships

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the one who falls and has no one to help him up!"  - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

 

2.    You need a place where you can use your gifts  

"Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you. . ."  1 Timothy 4:14

 

3.    You need a place where you can grow

"They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, sharing in the breaking of bread and prayer." - Acts 2:42

 

4.    You need to belong to something bigger than yourself. 

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. . ."  - Hebrews 10:25

 

These are important points to encourage all of those CEO (Christmas and Easter only) Christians in your communities!  But I would take this list a step further and make the case that it is the same with Churches who don't feel that they need to be connected to a larger organization.  This "Spirit of Independence" is not only affecting individual people but individual churches.  We need to realize that God intends for us to be connected to other churches and that having authority over us is a good thing.  I believe that churches need to be a part of #1 Health Relationships with other churches, because we can help each other up as we live in relationships together.  #2 I believe and have seen Churches exercise gifts that have helped other churches.  Helps, resources, words of encouragement, sharing leadership, wisdom, and teaching which is both healthy to extend and to receive.  I believe that we can fulfill #3 better together than we can individually.  We have opportunities to learn and grow from speakers, workshops, and the insight of leaders that can really help us to go to the next level.  I also believe wholeheartedly that we need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  Being part of a larger family and enjoying those relationships is essential for real health and growth. 

 

I am so glad to be part of a greater family with each of you.  I am thrilled to be part of the Evangelical family across the globe, and I am really looking forward to the variety we will find in our Eternal family!  I don't see our Denomination as an Island who have the right answers.  I see us as a family group who overlap and connect with other family groups who, while some may be a little odd, are all part of God's extended family.  There is health in those connections that we need to tap into and appreciate  more and more as we see the final day approaching!

Greg 
 
 
 

ATTENTION ALL CAMPS AND CAMPMEETINGS!

 

Please, please, please help us provide the Eastern Region with your 2014 Camp dates.  We are also in need of your current Board names and or contacts for your camp and campmeetings.

 

You can mail your brochure to the Eastern  Regional Office, Post Office Box 1913, Rochester, NH  03866 or by email to cschaeffner@aceasternregion.org.  Help us, help you in getting the word out for your 2014 dates.

In This Issue

Church Spotlight

Sunrise Christian Church

Antioch News

Convention 2013 Summary

From the Super

Attention all Camps and Campmeetings

2014 Dates for your calendar

 
 
 

ERA Board of Directors

 

Rev. Glenn Rice, President

Rev. Paul Carter, Vice  President

Rev. Allen Latimore, Clerk

Mrs. Karen Emerson,   Treasurer

Rev. Robert Fabian, President, Heritage Conference

Rev. Nick Foss, President, Maine State Conference

Mr. Mark Bickford, President, Maranatha Conference

Rev. George Karl, President, New Life Conference

Rev. George Middleton, President, New York Conference

Rev. Ken Perkins, President, Nova Scotia Conference

Mr. Charlie Merrill, ERA Representative to ACGC

  
 
 

Musings by Clayton Blackstone

 Clayton Blackstone

On Motives Mixed

 

"But Pam... you're treating God as a means to Michael. But the whole thickening process (the way one becomes a person of substance in this fictional account) is learning to want God for his own sake."  

C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce


     "So how do I know whether it's me or God," a young co-­-ed asked.  

     After more than four decades of wrestling with the subject, the question remains above my pay grade.

     For a brief moment, I toyed with the notion of responding with the confidence I felt early in my spiritual journey. I wanted to give her a clear path to discernment. I hoped she would return to her friends with word that I hit her question out of the park, wowing her with profound insights into the ways of the Lord. 

     I wanted to but I didn't. I couldn't. 

     It's not that God doesn't find ways of making his point or inching me towards his will. He does. But I'm more cautious these days because my motives have been shown to sometimes muddle my noble aspirations.

     David Brainerd, a, 18th century missionary to the Delaware Native American tribe in New Jersey, wrote, "My heaven is to please God, and to glorify him, and to give all to Him, and to be wholly devoted to His glory... I see nothing else in the world that can yield any satisfaction besides living to God, pleasing Him and doing His whole will." [1]

     Like Brainerd, I might have written those words in my twenties when I took my motives as they presented themselves. Now into my seventh decade, I know enough about myself to be a bit more circumspect.

      I empathize with Henri Nouwen who acknowledged that much of his life had been built around the idea that his value depended on what he did. He made it through school, earned a series of degrees and awards and built a career. With many others, he fought his way up to a little success, a little popularity, and a little power.

     "But...how violent that journey was. So marked by rivalry and competition, so pervaded with compulsion and obsession, so spotted with moments of suspicion, jealousy, resentment and revenge. Oh sure, most of what I did was called ministry, the ministry of justice and peace, the ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation, the ministry of healing and wholeness. But when those who want peace are as interested in success, popularity and power as those who want war, what then is the real difference between war and peace?" [2]

     

Motives mixed: hard to identify, harder to own. Little wonder God warned the people of Israel through his prophet Jeremiah that the heart is "hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out." [3]

     I covet Brainard's single-­-mindedness but resonate more with another thirty-­- year-­-old who wrote, "It is remarkable that I am never quite clear about the motives for any of my decisions. Is that a sign of confusion, of inner dishonesty, or is it a sign that we are guided without our knowing or is it both? ... The reasons one gives for an action to others and to one's self are certainly inadequate. One can give a reason for everything. In the last resort one acts from a level that remains hidden from us.

     

So one can only ask God to judge us and to forgive us... At the end of the day I can only ask God to give a merciful judgment on today and all its decisions." [4]

     

Because I can never be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that an idea comes from God or me, I trust Him to sort out the mess and redeem my miscues. It's part of the "thickening" process. One day I will want God for his own sake. Until then I "ask Him to give a merciful judgment on today and all its decisions."


[1] Cited in The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. Ed. Jonathan Edwards. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980). 244, 245.

[2] Henri Nouwen, "Adam's Peace," World Vision. (August/September, 1988). 5,6. [3] Jeremiah 17.9 The Message

[4] Dietrich Bonheoffer cited in Bonheoffer by Eric Metaxas. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010). 336.

 
 
 
 

Greeted by Fall flowers & pumpkins at the Convention

 
 
 

Pastoral HealthDisplay at the Convention

 
 
 

Jeff Walsh from ACGC addressing the delegates

 
 
 
Karole-Ann & HeathKeniston.
Many thanks to this hard-working couple.
 
 
 
2014 Dates to Mark on Your Calendar
 

New Life Conference - March 8 at Waterbury (New Life Christian Church)

 

Maranatha Conference - April 12 in Bethlehem, NH hosted by Disciple Tree.  The physical address of the building is 475 Whitefield Road, Bethlehem, NH 

 

Heritage Conference - April 26

 

Maine State Conference - April 25-26 at Bangor AC Church.  Friday night banquet and hosting Northern Lights Youth Choir and business meeting on Saturday.

 
New York - TBA
 
Nova Scotia - TBA
 
Pastor's Wives Retreat is May 2-4
 

Eastern Regional Association - Saturday October 4 - place not determined yet.

 
 

The Eastern Regional Association Newsletter is published as a ministry of the Eastern Regional Association of the Advent Christian General Conference.

  

Rev. Gregory Twitchell, Superintendent

 

Miss Carolyn Schaeffner, Administrative Secretary

 
 
 

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