Vernon Advent Christian Church
Sunday, June 07, 2020
A Unique Church of Understanding People

January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014 View Comments Comments (0)

January 2014                                                                                                                           EASTERN REGIONAL ASSOCIATION

A Growing Network of Healthy Churches
Dear Lisa,

"Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord 

will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:28-31


I love this scripture passage!  Especially how verse 28 begins.  "Do you not know?  Have you not heard?"  How sad it would be to not have known of the mighty God; to not have heard of how "he gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."   I am making this the year that my goal is to live my life so that others will know and hear of our God; what He means to me and how I cannot live without Him giving me strength day by day.  


My prayer for you today as you read this that you will be renewed with strength because your hope is in the Lord.


Berkshire Institute for Christian  Studies 

at Hope Community Church

 in Dover, NH - February 6


The Hope Community Church in Dover, NH located at 197 Sixth Street, Dover, NH will host the students of the Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies during their morning worship service at 9:30 a.m.


For more information please contact the church at (603) 749-2646 or by email as

Church Spotlight - Disciple Tree
Littleton, NH by Pastor Mark Bickford

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:18-20.  "A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."  John 13:34 & 35.  


Disciple Tree, Littleton, is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ through living life together and learning to love each other as Christ loves us.


Disciple Tree, Littleton, launched on October 12, 2013 in borrowed space at 475 Whitefield Road in Bethlehem, NH.  New Life Assembly of God Church has been graciously allowing us to use their facility and we are thankful to them for the provision of the space.  To avoid Sunday morning conflicts we are currently meeting on Saturday evenings at 6PM.  In addition we have three life groups meeting, one in Bethlehem, one in Littleton and one in Whitefield.  Two of these life groups currently have attendees who are not part of our Saturday evening worship and we consider these life groups to be the heartbeat of what the Lord is calling us to do at Disciple Tree.  Each life group is as unique as the individuals who attend it.


We desire to be an active part of the "Church, the body of Christ" in the area and focus more on what we share with other believers than on what makes us different.  We desire to see the Church united under the headship and authority of Jesus Christ with all parts working together to accomplish His will and work both here, above the notch, and around the world.  Towards those goals we are working to build deeper relationships with leaders and individuals in other churches and to work with them to make disciples in this area.  We are also working to be a vibrant, active part of our local communities and to build caring relationships with the lost so that we can share the gospel and have the kind of relationships with them that will allow us to continue to help them grow to maturity in Jesus Christ. 


In order to help develop those relationships we will be offering Community Chaplaincy courses to believers in the area, starting in March.  When we have set a beginning date we will be sharing information on those courses with other churches in the area and are praying for a variety of people attending. 


If you check out our web site, the banner on our opening page reads "Building Disciples of Jesus Christ, one relationship at a time".  Our focus is on relationships over programs.  When we see the relational elements of the early church we desire to have those types of relationships with each other.  We periodically hold prayer services in place of our worship service to seek the Lord's direction for the future of Disciple Tree.  We desire to obey His voice and receive His blessing rather than to ask Him to bless what we are doing.  Come and visit us some Saturday evening. 


Triennial News The 12th triennial and 57th session of the Advent Christian General Conference of America, Inc., will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 21-25, 2014.

If you have any questions, please call 1-800-676-0694 or e-mail us at We hope to see you there!


Calling all Women 

Across the Eastern Region


SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 2014, 9AM-3PM



Join with us for a day filled with Connection, Communication and Commitment, as we seek the Lord in ways to "Be Intentional" in our service to Him.


Seminars throughout the day:

Be Intentional in Seeking the Lord:  by Jean Beal

Be Intentional in our relationships with one another:  by Deb Rodgers

Be Intentional in Loving the Lost: by Becky Nicoll


Each Conference President will host the Annual Meeting for their Conference following the Lunch break.  It is very important for you to be there.  It does not matter if you are a "member" of a WHFMS/ or Women's Ministry in your Church; it is YOU we would love to have come and connect with us! 


This is a great day!  So much packed in to one day; but it is a day filled with learning, quite a bit of laughter, and enough love to take you to the RETREAT, which happens to be Sept. 19-21, 2014.


Cost is only $30 for the day and it includes lunch.  Overnight accommodations are available to you for Frida  y into Saturday, the cost is only $65.00 (which includes a breakfast, and your lunch)!


Please mark your calendars and plan to come and connect with friends; old and new!    "BE INTENTIONAL" and I will see you there!
  Rebecca Nicoll

From the Super

In November I harkened back to my roots as a youth Pastor by attending the National Youth Workers Convention with Brandon Twitchell (Rochester), Andrew Blackstone (State Road), Rebekah Arntsen (Oxford, ME), Ed Cilley (Emmanuel), Alicia & Ashley Szostak (Windham, ME), Josh Brown (Calvary Bible).  While there, we met up with Sam Warren, Matt Larkin, Lana Jernigan, and other AC youth leaders from across the country.


 In December, I was able to visit Northern Maine and check in with the folks in West Chapman and be present for the first sermon by Nathan Gardiner since his bout with Leukemia.  It was good to see him "back in the saddle" and to visit with the wonderful people in that congregation.  One of whom remembered staying in my Grandmothers house for a WHFMS  meeting 60 years ago!


 I took part in the installation service for John Walsh on December 8th at the Crouseville, AC Church along with a number of other ministers.  It was a good service and we want to welcome Pastor John to the AC family.


My family and I were able to attend the One Voice Christmas Musical in Meredith New Hampshire and saw a number of AC ministers there.  Some of us even got together afterwards to compare beards!  Pictured: Ashley Szostak (Windham), Greg Twitchell (Rochester), Heath Keniston (Cross Roads), Josh Brown (Calvary Bible).  


The month of January has been a time for me to catch up in the office, make plans for the year, organize some Antioch Courses, clean the basement of the Regional Office/Residence.  Please keep Castle Hill and East Norwalk in prayer as they seek out Pastoral Leadership.  


"Garage Sale"


As a suggestion from one of our ERA pastor's we are going to be listing and requesting items to help with costs of our local churches.  I am sure your church has a closet full of old Sunday School material, VBS programs, etc. that are just sitting and waiting to be reused.


If you are looking for material, or have material to give-away or sell we would love to list this for you.  Please contact Carolyn  Schaeffner at the Eastern Regional Office by phone (603) 332-1412 or by email at


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

In This Issue

Church Spotlight

Triennial News

Calling All Women

From the Super

Garage Sale

Couples Retreat

Attention all Camps and Campmeetings

2014 Dates for your calendar

Responsibility of the Church. Part 1 of 6


Emmanuel Advent Christian Church

 Presents -

The Art of Marriage

 - Getting to the Heart of God's Design


 January 31 at 7 p.m. & 

Februry 1 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


You won't want to miss this 2-day seminar being held at Emmanual Advent Christian Church located at 34 Eastern Avenue, Rochester, NH.  Or call (603) 332-5355.  Cost is $40 per person.  It is past the deadline but they are still taking reservations.  Call soon!



Musings by Clayton Blackstone

 Clayton Blackstone

Winter Storm Warnings


"No one knows for certain, but pundits have served notice: NewEngland is staring into the teeth of a nor'easter the likes of  which we haven't seen in years.  Not good  news to my bride once scheduled to fly to North Carolina

onSaturday.  The early models project snowfall of 

twelve to eighteen inches with winds gusting to forty miles an hour.  An optimistic forecast given the forty- four

inches one site predicts, causing one Facebook friend to

quip, "Weather forecasting is the only job where one can't

be fired for being wrong."


Time will tell.  For now, all is quiet on the north lawn

outside my study window.  The view looks more like late

fall or early Spring-vivid blue sky, bare trees, brown grass

and not a trace of powdery white.  But in 48 hours and 

a single February storm, our twenty-­-inch snow deficit

for the year will all but vanish.
Employing computer software, barometers, weather 

balloons, satellites, and radios on des that measure 

atmosphericpressure, temperature, and humidity, 

meteorologists ply their trade to provide often-­-

accurate predictions of precipitation and wind speed.

So...unless the models mislead, we will get snow.  The

amount - anybody's guess.  

Still, the bare lawn and cloudless blue sky lulls me into compliancy.  I am tempted to remain with my feet up, dreaming of daffodils, flowering crab apples and the smell of new--mown  grass.  Instead, multiple weather postings and a promised fifty minute wait to speak with a United Airlines customer service representative about Hazel's plane reservation prevents me from taking "ease in Zion."

Before the sunsets, I must pick up a prescription at 

the pharmacy, purchase and assemble a soft cab for
the new snowblower, and make certain a topped-off
gas can sits just inside the garage door.

In prepping for the storm, my thoughts wander to the 

nor'easters of trial and testing that barrel into my life

with out the advantage of an early warning system.
Peter says, "Friends, when life gets really difficult,

don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job.

Instead,be glad that you are in the very thick of what 

Christ experienced.  This is a spiritual refining process,

with glory just around the corner."1 
"Don't be surprised." 

Advanced notice enough I suppose, but some days I wish for a little heads-­-up.  An EWS that  sounds mystical sirens when tests threaten.  Seasoned meteorologists of the soul who watch the signs and alert metotrials certain to upset my innerequilibrium.


A friend acknowledges angst that threatens to pull him 

under at any moment.  Until a few days ago, the sun was

shining and he had not a care in the world.  A new baby.

A month of paternity leave.  The warmth of  "downunder"

summer.  Days of harvesting the bounty from his "patch."  And then, without warning, slammed with a storm of epic proportions he never saw coming.  

"Don't be   surprised."  

He knows the text.  He is, after all, a pastor well versed in New Testament studies. 


But he was caught off guard as I have been.  


I struggle to live with evident joy and freedom when my tendency is to steel myself for future storms.  To brace for the dropping of the next shoe.  To rush like one crazed to prepare for all possible trials and tests so surprise will not catch me napping.


And then there's the part about being glad I'm in the thick

of things.  At the heart of a spiritually refining process that

will result in "glory around the corner."  


It's one thing to exegete the text, another to live in a storm's center.


Two days after resting my feet on my desk and staring at bare grass, I will brave snow driven by high winds to free my driveway of the results of the winter storm.  No glory that I can see, but necessary winter work.


Tomorrow's prediction reminds me to not be surprised when  tests and trials strike.  To pray for sustaining faith when doing  the messy and unpleasant work of cleaning up the damage  they leave in their wake.  To ask for faith to believe that when  the snow stops falling and the wind howling, the next day will  dawn glorious with His grace.

 1- 1Peter4.12-­-13  TheMessage



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  Help us, help you in getting the word out for your 2014 dates.


2014 Dates 

to Mark on Your Calendar


New Life Conference - March 8 at Waterbury (New Life Christian Church) 258 Montoe Road, Waterbury, CT


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


Heritage ConferenceApril 26, North Scituate Advent Christian Church, 212 Rockland Road, North Scituate, RI


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

2141 Broadway, Bangor, ME
New York - TBA
Nova Scotia - TBA
Pastor's Wives Retreat is May 2-4

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

Responsibility of the Church
Part 1 of 6

greg green backgroundI believe that the church today is losing its strength today in part because we have abdicated our responsibilities in so many areas.  When we look in scripture we see that the church is given a number of assignments to fulfill.  Not least of which is to fulfill the Great Commission.  Loving the lost, developing leaders and establishing churches is our primary mission.  Over the next few issues, I'd like to touch on some other areas of responsibility that I feel we need to address.


How do most people view Christian Education today?  Whose job is it to teach the Bible to children and youth?  Where does that happen best?  How many of our church programs are geared toward this solution?


I'd like to start in Genesis 3, where we see the story of Adam and Eve disobeying God by eating of the unidentified fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Afterwards, they realize that they are naked, sewed fig leaves, and hid out when they heard God coming.  Notice in verse 9, that God calls to "the man".  Why doesn't he call to "the woman" who ate of the fruit first?  Or more naturally, why didn't God call to the two of them?  I believe that this is because the man is responsible as the head of the household.  We see this teaching later in scripture, and I believe that this is a foundational teaching, that God looks to the man to be responsible for his wife and children and will be held accountable for them.


Eph. 5:21-6:4 builds on this idea when it talks about wives submitting to their husbands.  This passage has been used to treat women unfairly for years, and that is unfortunate, because when this is understood properly, it reinforces the order that God designed for families.  The Greek word for submitting does not refer to being under the absolute control of another but to voluntarily place oneself under the authority of another. That husbands should love and protect their wives and will be held responsible for them.  This love implies a willingness to die to self and lift the wife's needs above our own.  With this understanding, wives should willingly submit to their husband's leadership in the home. 


Sometimes I wish we didn't have chapter breaks, because I think they often come in the middle of a continuous thought or message.  I believe that the first part of chapter 6 in Ephesians goes along with the end of chapter 5, concluding with the responsibility of the Father in verse 4.  According to this passage, who's responsibility is it to lead in Children's spiritual development?  The Dad's!  We see this repeated all through scripture:


Gen. 18:19, "For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him." [1] 

Deuteronomy 6:7, "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." 

Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."


 Men need to step up and not expect this to happen in S.S. or leave it up to the Youth Pastor or even our wives.  The "Church" will only have a limited impact on people.  They are only here a couple hours per week, while parents can model, teach, and instruct all week long.  I believe that we (church's) need to teach the men in our church how to disciple their families and that it is their spiritual responsibility to instruct their family in the Word, instead of having the church continuing to offer programs that do it for them. 


How much time and effort and programming does your church spend on teaching men to step up and lead their families well and to take responsibility for the spiritual, emotional and physical well being of their families. Just as he did in Genesis, God will come calling your name someday and will hold you accountable for your family.  This is an important lesson in the Family of Families model.  Fathers have abdicated their responsibility to teach their children/families and the church has neglected her responsibility to teach them.  This is one responsibility that needs to change if we hope to see strong believers and strong churches in the future.


"Lord, help me to lead my family well.  Show me the areas of my responsibility and may I take seriously my role as a husband and father.  Help me to faithfully teach others this important lesson and to disciple the men around me to be good heads of their households.  Amen."


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


ERA Board of Directors


Rev. Dr. Glenn Rice, President

Rev. Paul Carter, Vice  President

Rev. Allen Latimore, Clerk

Mrs. Karen Emerson,   Treasurer

Rev. Doug Tourgee, Heritage Conference Representative

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



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