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YOU

Fall 2008 • Volume 55 No. 4 USPS 165-700

You are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13

In your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15


Sowing Compassion John Castellani

Pennsylvania-Delaware District ConneXions 4651 Westport Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Guest Contributor

Editor: Stephen R. Tourville Managing Editor: David Crosby Sr Associate Editor: Carole Bongiorno Phone (717) 795-5921 Fax (717) 795-5928 Email: dcroz@penndel.org Website: www.penndel.org

John Castellani currently serves as executive Director of Penn-Del Charities. John has previously served as the executive Director of the teen Challenge training Center in Rehrersburg, Pa and the director of teen Challenge international Usa. John also pastored For 27 years in the PennDel District. John and his wife, esther, reside in Myerstown, Pa.

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enn-Del Charities is a non-profit organization sowing compassion throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware. We exist to meet special needs of the economically, physically, socially, and spiritually challenged members of our society. We are an existing ministry of helps reaching out to serve new and existing community outreach programs such as local food banks, youth centers, senior assistance programs, educational programs, and emergency relief programs. Many of our PennDel churches have ongoing assistance programs and Penn-Del Charities would like to come along side of you to help with support and resources. Recently, an appeal letter went out to each of our PennDel churches accompanied by a DVD, which could be shown to the congregation or missions committee, inviting them to participate in this compassion outreach. Questions asked are: Will we receive AGWM credit? Can we do this by making a monthly commitment? The answers are YES and YES. You can send your support directly to Penn-Del Charities and you will be given missions credit. Proverbs 11:24 gives great credence to the spirit of giving. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” In the NIV worship Bible there is a prayer in the margin pertaining to vs. 24-28 that is the passion and heart of this ministry: “You O God are the great provider, and we are the storehouses of your provision. You faithfully provide for us so that you may graciously provide through us. Nothing is ever lost when it is given in your name. Lord you multiply our offerings and feed not only others, but us as well. Open my grip on what little I have so that I might receive from your boundless wealth. Let me be your hand of blessing to a needy world. May compassion and generosity accompany my confession of the gospel of Christ, and result in thanksgiving to you.”

Together we can make a difference!

Thanks, John

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For more information visit our website at www.penndelcharities.org.

ExEcutivE PrEsbytEry Stephen R. Tourville, Superintendent Paul Grabill, Assistant Superintendent David Crosby Sr, Secretary-Treasurer Jonathan Baker, NC Section James Balzano, SCW Section Christopher Clark, NCW Section Daniel Clark Sr., SE Section Steven DeFrain, EC Section William Ellis, SWM Section Donald Immel, SWS Section Jeffrey Kettering, SC Section Kenneth Martin, NW Section Randall Rhoads, SCE Section James Rugg, NE Section Timothy Satryan, DEL Section GEnEral PrEsbytErs Stephen R. Tourville David Crosby Sr Bryan Koch Honorary GEnEral PrEsbytErs Philip Bongiorno, PennDel Superintendent Emeritus James E. Morris ConneXions ConneXions (USPS 165-700) is the official periodical published quarterly by the Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council of the Assemblies of God. Periodical postage paid at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Circulation stands at approximately 7,500 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council 4651 Westport Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-4887


Evangelism

Relationships

PastoR stePhen toURville, D.Min. superintendent

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have been around long enough to see many fads come and go through the church. our styles and preferences change from time to time, but few remain constant. one of the unchanging purposes of the Church is evangelism. the Great Commission is the clear mandate to “make disciples of all nations.” some would neglect global outreach by overemphasizing local needs, while others neglect the local community while sending dollars and missionaries overseas to reach people of a different language and culture.

Jesus made our mission very clear when he instructed his disciples to be witnesses in “Jerusalem, in all Judea, and samaria and to the ends of the earth” (acts 1:8). he did not leave us a how-to handbook; however, he did give us a mandate to accomplish his mission. Many methods have been developed. among them are such strategies as street evangelism, door-to-door evangelism, crusade evangelism, evangelism explosion, friendship evangelism, media evangelism, compassion evangelism, life-style evangelism, and incarnational evangelism, just to name a few. evangelism Made easy and the Roman Road provide basic approaches that assist believers in sharing their faith with others. organizations like Convoy of hope, PennDel Charities, and teen Challenge effectively work to meet the needs of hurting individuals and communicate the love and power of God to people whose lives are impacted by problems of many kinds and restore them to wholeness and fulfillment in Christ. Whatever program or method you find helpful should be encouraged and employed. our culture of technological advances tends to diminish personal relationships. Perhaps the most critical approach for us is to develop intentional evangelism relationships. these are relationships with friends, family, and co-workers with whom you naturally connect that do not have a personal relationship with the lord. People who know and trust you are those who will most readily respond to the reality of Christ in you. When we become true friends with people around us and are faithful to live and act in a manner that reveals the person of Christ, we will lose the fear of a conversational approach to evangelism and more readily lead others to become followers/disciples of Jesus. Recognizing that all relationships are ultimately opportunities to share our faith in Christ, we are motivated toward living a life worthy of our calling.

supt@penndel.org

Recognizing that all relationships are ultimately opportunities to share our faith in Christ, we are motivated toward living a life worthy of our calling.

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PaUl Ul e.. GRabill, abill, D.Min D.M D.Min. in. assistant superintendent uperintendent

Yes or No? I’ve always been lousy at evangelism. Have you ever been passionate about something, but personally were lousy at it? Like football, or Olympic sports, or professional wrestling. Maybe it’s like that. Maybe not. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had opportunity to lead scores of people to Jesus through the years, but they were usually people who came to me (publicly or privately) or were made so incredibly ripe by the Holy Spirit that, well, it was easy pickins. That’s one of many reasons that I am a revivalist at heart. Of course, when I was growing up, there were two evangelistic themes that were staples: the imminent return of Christ/Rapture (as in the “Thief in the Night” movie) and hell. In more recent years we’ve been advised to emphasize more the love of God, but that can have its imbalances too. With some songs I hear, sometimes I wish we had not rediscovered the Song of Solomon. Others seem to want to give the social gospel of the 1920’s another go around.

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A recent study has shown that fewer and fewer Americans believe in a literal hell. In a survey released this summer by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, just 59 percent of 35,000 respondents said they believe in a hell “where people who have led bad lives, and die without being sorry, are eternally punished.” That is down from 71 percent just seven years ago. Note, too, that this question would fully accommodate those who believe that you get to heaven by being “good” and that hell is only for really bad people. I have written on my own weblog repeatedly about a creeping universalism (that everyone or almost everyone makes it to heaven) in American evangelicalism. The emphasis for many has been to try to create heaven on earth. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for any degree of heaven on earth that we can experience here, but the point of the writings in the New Testament to the suffering church was that this is not heaven. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, and this election cycle will certainly produce neither.

I’ve taken criticism in the past for hosting ministry dramas such as “Heaven’s Gates, Hell’s Flames,” yet I would point out to those questioning it that not only did Jesus speak of hell more than heaven, but Jude 22-23 speaks of snatching people from “the fire.” As I write these columns, I sometimes wonder if world events will make what I write totally irrelevant by the time it is published. Should Jesus return shortly after I write, this column will never see the light of day. That is our Blessed Hope. Beware a gospel that is earthbound. Beware the tendency to think that everyone or almost everyone makes it to heaven. Beware the pressure of society to make all religions of equal value and, thereby, deny the cross. In fact, always be ready to ask the question to relativists, “So, why did Jesus have to come and die?” It was about more than setting an example of self-sacrifice. He died to save us…from you-knowwhere, among other things. And that’s not just an incidental thing.


Teen Challenge DR. JosePh s. batlUCk, sR. Guest Contributor

Teen Challenge is a premier real-life evangelism, disciple-building ministry that presents Jesus Christ as the solution to adult and adolescent drug addicts and alcoholics. For the past 50 years Teen Challenge has proven time and again that the “Jesus Factor is the change-factor” and it all starts with the plain, straight-forward presentation of the Gospel. One government and two university studies verify the Teen Challenge, 78% success rate in contrast to less than a 15% success rate through secular programs. Don Wilkerson, co-founder of Teen Challenge, said recently, “A good faith-based drug and alcohol program is a little like the Army, a little like a family, a little like a Bible college, and a little like a church.” It all boils down to life transformation through the power of the Gospel. Every day at Teen Challenge we witness real-life evangelism and disciple-building. Once God arrests the heart of a man, woman, or adolescent the process begins and for the first time freedom from sin is discovered and freedom from addiction becomes possible. Growing in one’s faith involves both receiving and giving. Each student is expected to pass on the life changing story of God’s love. The journey to spiritual health and a substance-free life is a team effort involving family, friends, the church, neighbors, and other caring individuals. Following are some basic guidelines to assist in the recovery process.

Dr. Joseph s. batluck, sr. serves as President/executive Director of teen Challenge training Center, inc. Dr. batluck has extensive ministry, leadership, management, development, and drug/alcohol rehabilitation experience. he retired as a Chaplain (Colonel) after 30 years of active Federal service in the U.s. army. he is married to irene since 1972 and has 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

10 Steps to get a person into & through Teen Challenge* Step 1

identify the addiction as substance or alcohol abuse (vs. other addictions). Step 2 ascertain family’s level of help and interest to facilitate this process. (it makes a world of difference if you have the family’s support.) Step 3 Confront the addict with their need and present teen Challenge. Step 4 Contact the appropriate center to introduce the potential student and to establish church support. For adult men:

harrisburg Crisis & Referral Center telephone – 717-303-5829 email: teenchallengecrc@gmail.com

For adult women:

Philly house telephone – 215-843-2887 email: intakegerri@yahoo.com

For adolescent boys: new hope academy (boarding school)** telephone – 570-945-0161 email: jlowans@newhopeacademytc.org Step 5 Pray, pray, pray, encourage, encourage, encourage. Step 6 help the individual: gather resources ($750 induction fee minimum for adults); arrange transportation, show up, follow through. Step 7 keep in touch with them via mail and visits. support is key! Step 8 attend graduation (last Friday of each month January to october). Step 9 be part of their re-entry plan. they need you more than ever following graduation. Step 10 Proactively follow up, follow up, follow up. *Contact the Crisis and Referral Center for questions and/or specific guidance **Separate fees apply to boarding school students.

NEWS FLASH!!! valley Forge Christian College (instructional site) is at Rehrersburg! this is a great opportunity to begin or continue your college studies at a convenient location and at a very affordable cost! Courses toward an aa Degree are offered with vFCC approved faculty. Join us for the 2009 spring semester. Please contact our office for information on courses being offered.

Contact us at: admissions@rehrersburg.vfcc.edu • (717) 933-4182 Ext. 347

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About People Ministers Transferring Out: CABAn, simone (licensed) – to new york HAY, Jeff (licensed) – to Potomac HoFFMAn, eric (licensed) – to illinois

DaviD CRosby secretary and treasurer World Missions dcroz@penndel.org

MAsHTARe, Daniel (licensed) – to texas MenKe, Gerald (ordained) – to ohio MoRAnTe, Christopher (licensed) – to new Jersey Ross, Marilyn (licensed) – to new york Ross, Wendell (ordained) – to new york RoYse, William (ordained) –to indiana sTAPinsKi, stephanie (Certified) – to new Jersey ZieRLe, Charles (ordained) – to southern new england

2009 Ministerial Credential Interviews: a new format for ministerial credential interviews will be introduced in 2009. the credential interviews will be conducted at the Conference Center, Carlisle, Pa, in conjunction with the Presbytery sessions. Credential applicants should plan to have their file completed for the interview about fourweeks before the scheduled interviews. interviews will be conducted on: January 13, March 17, and september 15, 2009.

Ministers Transferring In: HeMKeR, sandra R. (ordained) – from new york to reside in Mansfield, Pa with her husband, allen. HoLLis, Ashlee (Certified) – from kansas as the bride of elijah and they serve as youth pastors at the Power Place, kennett square, Pa. MUsCeDeRe, Mary Ann (licensed) – from Potomac to serve as Junior high Minister with Central assembly of God, houston, Pa. PAisLeY, James D (licensed) – from north Carolina to join the Faith assembly of God, hazleton, Pa, staff as youth pastor. James is married to Wendy. ReiGeL, Thomas A (specialized licensed) – from southern Missouri to state College assembly of God as Chi alpha pastor. thomas is married to Rebecca.

Church Transitions: Timothy imes to Pinchot Park assembly of God, Wellsville, Pa Wayne shaffer to new life assembly of God, altoona, Pa Dennis sproul to the assembly of God, lewistown, Pa Travis Richendrfer to Grace tabernacle, slippery Rock, Pa John Lanza to Glad tidings assembly of God, Middletown, Pa John Blake to the assembly of God, Mifflinburg, Pa.

With The Lord: Croft M. Pentz, age 77, joined the Church triumphant on July 2, 2008. Rev. Pentz was an accomplished author having written sermon outlines, quotes, poetry, and Christian handbooks with over 1 million books sold. he was a minister to the deaf for 44 years, serving 42 years as pastor at the Calvary Chapel of the Deaf in elizabeth, nJ. For the last 11 years he served as pastor to senior adults at Calvary assembly, Waynesboro, Pa. services were held in Calvary assembly of God, Waynesboro, with Rev. Dwan n. newsome, Rev. Walter a. stuart, and Rev. Carl J. Colletti, officiating. 6

Connexions Fall 2008

C. earl stubbs, age 65, passed away suddenly on July 15, 2008, in hyderabad, india. Rev. earl stubbs was married to arlene sorbo and God blessed them with 2 daughters. they were appointed as assembly of God missionaries to india for the last 34 years where they have been involved in various capacities, but a large part of their ministry has been the pioneering and pastoring of new life assembly in hyderabad. in 25 years, it has grown from four people to around 6,000 people in attendance each week. services celebrating his life and ministry were held in india and in springfield, Mo. Lloyd e. Kipp, age 90, went to be with the lord on July 22, 2008. Rev. kipp received his exhorters credential in 1942 while he was a church planter in Garrett, Pa. and he was ordained in 1951 at the Wilmington De District Council. he served churches in apollo, Mifflinburg, and newport, Pa. in 1960 he found employment as a security guard with the state of Pa while serving as a pulpit supply pastor. he retired in 1984 and relocated to Florida. Rev. kipp lived with his daughter, Caroline, at the time of his passing. a private service with the family was held at the gravesite with his son, ken, officiating. William Farrell, age 87, joined the church triumphant on Monday, september 1, 2008. Rev Farrell graduated from eastern bible institute in 1949, was licensed to preach and upgraded to ordained minister in 1952. he and laura, his wife, served churches in lock haven, Meadville, Dover, Cleona and Manchester. in retirement he served as visitation pastor at First assembly, york, Pa. laura preceded him in death in 1997. a service celebrating his life and ministry was held at Christian life assembly of God, Camp hill, Pa with Rev. Dwayne Campbell and Rev. Philip bongiorno officiating. Rev. Farrell was buried in Prospect hill Cemetery with veteran’s honors. Franklin R. Linton, age 74, went to be with the lord on Monday, september 1, 2008. Rev. linton transferred his credential from the Potomac District in 1974 when he became pastor of the Clairton assembly of God. he also pastored Calvary assembly in Connellsville, the village Church in bedford, and Gospel tabernacle in Phillipsburg. Rev. linton is survived by bonnie, his wife, and four children. a service honoring his life and ministry was held at Faith assembly of God, Roaring spring with Rev. tony baker and superintendent tourville officiating. Ruth Weitkamp, age 92, passed away on Monday september 1, 2008. Rev. Weitkamp was an appointed missionary with the General Council and served her lord and the church in spain. she was a resident of Maranatha village, springfield, Mo, since her retirement in 1989. a service commemorating her life was held at the Maranatha Chapel.


MISSIONARY EVANGELISM IN ZIMBABWE!

2009 Spring Mission Emphasis The network-sponsored spring missions emphasis takes on a new look. There will be two teams of three missionaries visiting churches in the western and eastern sections of PennDel. Services at the invitation of local pastors will be scheduled for Saturday evening, Sunday morning and evening in participating churches. Dates for the Spring Missions Emphasis are February 21 to March 29.

A Noble effort. . . for A Noble PeoPle rePort To date the Burkina Faso project stands at $427,000! PennDel churches and individuals have given or made a faith promise of these funds to help build the infrastructure of the Burkina Faso church. The challenge goes out to help us reach our goal of $500,000! The partnership will continue throughout 2008 to raise the additional funds to exceed our goal. We still need commitments to drill water wells and build bush churches. Check the progress of the project and construction at www.penndel.org, click on world missions.

TWMS2 – It’s Up To Me! It’s not about me, but it is up to me! The World Missions Summit 2 is a gathering of college students, young adults, church leaders, and those who are abandoned to Jesus’ call to reach the lost around the world. Over 6000 participants are expected to attend TWMS2 that will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 30, 2008 – January 1, 2009. At this historic meeting participants can expect to hear real time reports of what is happening around the world and needs that they can fulfill. TWMS2 speakers will deliver relevant and challenging teaching that will build a solid missiological base and have great impact. Meals will be shared alongside missionaries (who will become missionary mentors throughout TWMS2) where attendees will be inspired, hearing the heart of our missionaries and real missions stories. Attendees will participate in “Windows To The World” where their senses and emotions will be activated as they experience the smells, sounds, cultures, and challenges in the global regions of the world. Each will be exposed to the multiple facets of Assemblies of God missions works around the globe through engaging exhibits. At the conclusion of TWMS2 those in attendance will be challenged to do their part in expanding the Kingdom of God. Online information at www.ag.org, click world missions.

Our last crusade was held in July at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The power of God shook Victoria Falls through this crusade. Huge multitudes of people came to hear the Gospel every night and received the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. God also confirmed His Word with signs, wonders, and miracles. Many lame and paralyzed people stood up and walked; blind eyes were opened, and many deaf people were healed. Every night we also saw many demon-possessed people being set free from the powers of darkness. On the last night Pentecostal fire fell and over 20,000 were baptized with the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. There was great joy in the city and Jesus was glorified. Christopher Alam leads Dynamis World Ministries, a classic Pentecostal organization planting churches in Burma plus conducting 10 large Gospel crusades in Africa every year. Brother Alam is a PennDel missionary evangelist, and he resides in Lancaster Country, PA. Last year more than 1 million people came to Jesus in the crusades. Over the years, more than 1000 churches have been planted worldwide through Dynamis Ministries. Brother Alam partnered with Convoy of Hope to deliver a 20 ton container of cornmeal, rice, and beans for distribution through Assembly of God churches in Zimbabwe. In addition, water wells are being drilled providing fresh water for needy people.

BACK TO THE FUTURE “

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t is interesting to observe that the least reached parts of the world are also the most resistant to the gospel. They remain neglected and unreached because they are not open to traditional missionaries and/or approaches to missions. We refer to them as creative access countries. We can get there, but we have to be creative. Preachers and Pastors are not always the best suited to go into these areas. We need tentmakers too.” . . .Omar Beiler Tentmakers are needed to reach into the restricted access countries. Our usual donor supported, career missionaries face great challenges to gain entrance into these countries while a tentmaker would have less scrutiny. The international job market is wide open with the globalization of industry and education and tentmakers could evangelize while at work and in their free time. The tentmakers would be tradesmen and professionals who could receive adequate pay to support themselves and/or a family. This could be a win-win situation. A win for the US church since the sending base is really saturated with missions budgets and appeals. A win for the Kingdom and non-traditional evangelism. Our network leadership is searching for creative ways to send tentmakers to unreached people groups. We pray the Spirit captures the hearts of the PennDel delegation at “The Summit” and for many to respond to the call to become tentmaker missionaries. We look forward to the day when at least 50% of the new missionaries from PennDel are tentmakers going into restricted access countries evangelizing and planting house churches. Isn’t this the way it was with Paul and the book of Acts? Come with us “Back to the Future!” Is God calling you? Connect with Dave Crosby Sr. at 717-329-2122. Connexions Fall 2008

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IDEAS

THAT WORK

toM Rees assistant to the superintendent

COLD WATER

honor bound Church Planting and Development

emmanuel Assembly of God, Allentown, PA meets many saturday mornings at 10:00 aM to pass out water with a little tag attached that says,

COMMUNITY IMPACT DAY

Central Assembly of God, Houston, PA has encouraged their 230 small group members to reach out with community projects. this year people were blessed by these simple acts of kindness:

tom@penndel.org

PennDeL DisTRiCT

boot Camp

“We’re glad we had the chance to serve you! We hope this small deed brings some light into your day. It’s a simple way of saying that God loves you—no strings attached. Let us know if we can be of more assistance.”

• Free car wash • Baby shower for pregnant teens • Bible giveaway • Cleaning of a local barber shop

each family brings a case of water, they put it on ice and when the light near their church changes they go out to the car and say, “have a nice day compliments of emmanuel assembly of God.” Philip bongiorno Conference Center November 3–7, 2008 be a part of an intense five-day training event that prepares you for reaching your community for Christ. it is a high energy learning environment to help you map out a ministry plan, learn leadership styles, understand your gifting, and clarify your vision. For more details contact me at Tom@penndel.org

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since they include a map and church info on the back, they receive letters, cards and e-mails thanking them for the water. some even come with a testimony. but the real blessings are those who have come to the church because they reached out in that way. Pastor Robert Coutts says, “People want to know you care without asking for something in return. It works and when they come, you get to give them the Gospel!”

• Cookout at the race track • Financial blessing to needy families • Bubble giveaway and cookout at the park • Baking cookies for nursing homes, shut-ins and local police, fire and eMt stations • Christian CD giveaway • Parking token giveaway at parking lots • Gift baskets for Pregnancy Crisis Center • Gospel movie and lunch at retirement home • Care packages for college students

soCCeR one of the most successful things First Assembly of God, Hermitage, PA has done is to put in soccer fields and have Upward soccer in the spring. this past season they had 160 children playing and 60% were not connected with the church. Marlene Martin says, “We feel because of this program, we have seen our attendance increase greatly.” they are now building a huge gymnasium so they can have Upward basketball in the fall.

• Small Groups Pastor, Kurt Jenkins, describes it as “a small act of love with a huge impact on eternity”

GAS BUY DOWN Pocono Community Church worked out a deal with a local gas station to buy down gas to a certain dollar amount. they had volunteers at the gas station washing windows and handing out water bottles. through this practical way to demonstrate the kindness of Christ, people checked out the church. in addition to the tons of buzz it created in the community, Pastor Dave Crosby baptized 3 people that came to the church through this outreach.


Men of Promise

adventure Groups

Men are made for adventure! several churches across the nation have had success with Men’s adventure Groups. you may not be able to offer all these events but may find a few that you can offer in your church. these activities are a great way for men to connect and develop relationships that help them to become followers of Christ.

Groups include: • archery Dart video league • Clay bird shoot • Cycling • Fly Fishing • hiking • Motor Cycling • Mountain biking • River trips

Where do they meet? adventure Groups have been known to meet in church, at restaurants, leader’s homes, favorite golf courses, hiking trails, or public parks.

Who Can participate? adventure Groups are open to everyone in the community.

When do they meet? it really depends on the group, their activities, schedules, needs, and season. some groups may meet once a month; twice a month or others may meet for a season.

What if I want to lead a group? leading a group is starting a group, and it is easy. Find your niche, spiritual gift, hobby, business or study interests. Pray about it for leading a group has its responsibilities. talk with your pastor about starting up a group. Find some guys that want to join your group.

“the conference... provides inspiration, information and acceleration to men’s ministry leaders across our nation.”

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JaMes balzano Guest Contributor Pastor, Pleasant valley assembly of God, altoona, Pa

Pastor Jim graduated from youth Challenge international bible institute in 1990 at which time he continued on staff as the Development Director and as a member of the faculty. in 1992, he also received his bs in social services from springfield College. Jim and his wife, Pennie, pioneered “the nehemiah Project,” a Christian drug and alcohol outreach in 1991. in october of 1999 he was elected as the lead Pastor of Pleasant valley assembly of God in altoona, Pa.

“So there was great joy in the city.” Acts 8:8

I read those words and in an instant I knew I had found it. Two days spent away from the office in prayer had produced the answers I needed. I now knew who we were and what we were to do. PVAG was a city church that was to minister kingdom principles to city issues. It is our firm belief that the kingdom of God provides solutions for every issue that faces our city. Ministering Kingdom Principles to City Issues has led us to one of the most exciting endeavors. Beginning in the fall of 2005 we assumed ownership of a 15,000 square foot building in one of the worst sections of the city. The building, a former church, was abandoned by its former owners and officially condemned by the city of Altoona. It had become a home for the homeless and an abode for the addicted. Those in need of money had stripped anything of value from the building. It was a project in excess of $1,000,000. We didn’t have any money just a firm belief that God wanted us to do it. We didn’t start with a 15,000 square foot building in the worst part of town. We started with a mindset to bless the city. We started with all kinds of ministries that simply sought to meet the issues facing our city. Our pattern was the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah that gives the account of rebuilding a devastated city. I believe those principles still work today. This article is to be in reference to real-life evangelism. Certainly others are more qualified to address this than myself, but I believe I have seen the reality of our city: Reality tells me people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, money, sex and sin. Reality tells me children in our city went to bed hungry last night. Reality tells me a wife was abused last night. Reality tells me a son or daughter has overdosed this week. Reality tells me poverty, despair, and dysfunction are the norm for some. Reality tells me a successful businessman still feels like a failure. Reality tells me the church is viewed as having no answers. Yet, the truth of God always overrides the reality of the situation. Truth tells me God delivers people from addiction. Truth tells me we are to feed hungry children. Truth tells me an abusive husband can love his wife as Christ loved the church. Truth tells me prodigals return to their parents. Truth tells me the devastated cities are rebuilt by a Godly remnant. Truth tells me the church is that remnant that has answers. Since last June over $500,000 has been put into the project. Countless hours by volunteers has leveraged that money. There is no longer a condemned sign on the door. There are no more broken windows and leaking roof. No longer is it a haven for ungodly activity. The symbol of a decaying neighborhood has been redeemed. Yet, this isn’t about redeeming buildings its about redeeming people. As we step into their reality, with the truth of His Kingdom, we undoubtedly will see the harvest He promised.

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O

It Changes You

n a ride-along with the police one evening we were called to a local bar where an alarm had gone off. Standing there with the officer and the bar owner, I had a thought. “Would you be willing to let our church put a chaplain in your bar?” The surprised officer looked at the bar owner who after a moment responded, “Sure. Why not? I don’t know what to tell these people.” We returned to the squad car where the officer with me (who had recently received Christ through the police chaplaincy program) was staring at his watch. “What?” I asked. “That took 15 seconds,” he answered, referring to the time it took to establish a new branch of our pastoral chaplaincy services. I laughed. When God moves, He moves. And what a ride it has been. The chaplaincy program was born following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Our church held a special service to honor the first responders of our city. This included the police, fire, and emergency medical services. From that event by God’s appointment,

a chaplaincy ministry was born to two Carlisle police departments involving myself, my associate pastor, and two other pastors from the area. One Sunday morning at 4 a.m., I was called by the police to deliver a death notification to the sister of a young man who had been killed in a car accident. That morning, I came to realize that everything I did, from giving the notification, to crying, hugging, empathizing, consoling, and at her request, telling her more about God, could be done by a host of people in my congregation. That is when the chaplaincy program expanded in an attempt to reach every potential point of pain in our city, including funeral homes, police, emergency medical services (EMS), the hospital, a nursing home, our truck stop, a daycare, and even a local bar. God has our lay people now functioning as strategically commissioned ministers of Bethel Assembly to save, heal, and restore hurting people. Providing these pastoral services in out of the way places has born fruit that has remained in my congregation.

ChUCk kish Guest Contributor Pastor, bethel assembly of God, Carlisle, Pa

Pastor Chuck kish is lead Pastor of bethel assembly of God church in Carlisle and a Chaplain to Carlisle and north Middleton police as well as an e.M.s. he is married to Michelle and has two daughters alaira and shaylee.

You see, when as a POLICE CHAPLAIN you put on body armor to go and help people in your city, not knowing if this could be the night you don’t come home, it changes you; or when as an EMS CHAPLAIN you suit up to ride in the ambulance, wondering if this call will be the one that exposes you to the premature death of a child, it changes you; or when as a BAR CHAPLAIN you sit surrounded by blaring secular music and profanity feeling like you’re at a masquerade ball, it changes you; or as the HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN you go to pray with a man about to enter into eternity without Christ, and you have one shot to make sure it is well with his soul, it changes you; or acting as a NURSING HOME CHAPLAIN you want to make sure that before a client exits this world they know that God is not prejudicial of time, that Christ can be received at any age, and it is not too late even though they keep telling you their life was spent in sin, it changes you; or being the DAYCARE CHAPLAIN you discover there is a set of parents a million miles away from God, but their sick child needs someone to pray for the family because the doctors are out of answers, it changes you; or when as a FUNERAL CHAPLAIN you know the suicidal deceased was an atheist, that the crowd gathered is not in the mood for a God-filled message, but you follow the next-of-kin’s wishes and publicly offer salvation… then a lady raises her hand to accept Christ, and three days later the officer who was involved in the situation accepts Christ, it changes you; or when after five years as the TRUCK STOP CHAPLAIN you observe the 500 decision cards representing nearly every state in the Union, knowing none of these truckers will ever attend your church, but can recall the many heartfelt tears of appreciation, like when that trucker found out his wife was just diagnosed with cancer, but he couldn’t get home because of his job, and you were there when he needed you, it changes you. And how does it change you? You begin to look a little more like Jesus.

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GeoRGe kRebs Christian education george@penndel.org

Children’s Ministries Leadership Summit

Climb higher than ever before You are not alone as you scale the heights of Leadership. spend two days as part of a team, establish your base camp, set your goals, and ascend to places you have never gone before. this is an equipping event for Children’s pastors and that key leader who makes children’s ministry happen in the local church. The climb begins January 26-27, 2009 base Camp = PbCC in Carlisle

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und the o r A

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World Missions Commissioning Service David and Nancy Cawston, Tony and Jamie Sebastian Central Assembly, Springfield, MO

Installation Pastor Dennis and Barbara Sproull Lewistown Assembly of God

Installation Pastor Paul and Leslie Kemper Christian Life Church, Harleysville, PA

80th Anniversary Pastor David and Julia O’Brien Moosic Assembly of God

Dedication of Resurrection Life Church, Philadelphia, PA Dr. Stephen Tourville, Rev Charles Hackett, Rev Otto Wegner (pastor), Rev Dan Clark

Chaplain David Cyr, now stationed at the Pentagon, was promoted to Brigadier General on May 30. He was sworn in by Cecil Richardson, also an A/G chaplain, who was promoted to two-star general and commander of all chaplains in the Air Force. General Cyr has been a member of the PennDel District for 30 years.

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DoUG sayeRs youth www.penndelyouth.com

Visit penndelyouth.com to download the 2009 application and rulebook.

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More than an Event

Jason laMeR youth alive youthalive@penndelyouth.com

as a youth alive Missionary i must admit, it is exciting to take part in events like the seven Project. in its five years of existence here in PennDel, the event has seen more than 4,000 students come forward to acknowledge their need of a savior. What an experience it is to watch that happen. i admit it’s a rush for me. i must also admit that i’ve come to find a greater joy in watching one student step forward and commit their lives as a Campus Missionary to their school. More than 600 students have made that commitment right here in our District. each Campus Missionary represents a life that is committing to the G5 Commitment. these students have made it their desire and goal to PRay, live, tell, seRve & Give on their campus. each month they are held accountable as they submit online reports asking them to tell of their G5 experiences. 19 of these students have shown great faithfulness in their commitment by submitting sufficient numbers of monthly reports. We recognize them for their commitment and faithfulness during the 07-08 school year.

2007-08 CM Honor Roll: Michael arrigo

brent Mosser

emily summers

olivia birkhimer

John Mowery

Patrick swartz

kylie Chivington

Jessica oberholzer

karen taylor

lizabeth Fasnacht

Rachel Ritter

lea toth

Jonathan Jones

Jordan sargent

Mathias Wagman

David lopez Jr.

hannah smith

Whitney Monahan

laura sproull

We can be excited for events and the results they produce, but we are even more excited for the commitments and the lives they produce. effective evangelism is more about the being than the doing. our CMs are being evangelists and not just doing evangelism. We say thank you to them and to God for the impact they are having on our schools and communities.

To learn more about Campus Ministries or the G5 Commitment visit www.penndelyouth.com/youthalive

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2009 Youth Advance Connexions Fall 2008


Rangers,

Is It More Than Camping? the answer to the above question is a big, “yes!” Royal Rangers is much more than camping. historically, camping has been a big part of Royal Rangers. it remains an important part of Rangers today because boys love the out-of-doors and the sense of adventure it brings. however, on occasion, we have heard the critique that “Rangers will not work in our church.” “our potential leaders don’t camp.” “We just don’t have a budget for camping, so it is best not to even try Rangers.” these conditions are not show-stoppers for Royal Rangers in any church. Rangers is not “just camping.” this is especially true with today’s updated Royal Rangers program. in fact, it is possible for a church to have a successful Rangers program without overnight camping at all. let’s take a look at the flexibility of today’s program.

Ranger Kids Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades this program was specifically designed as noncamping. in fact the recommendation from the national office is to limit activities away from the church to day camping, picnics, and field trips.

advancement awards, except the Gold Medal of achievement, without an overnight requirement. of the 21 gold merits and 51 green merits provided with the adventure program, only the Camping merit (gold) and the backpacking merit (green) require overnight activity.

Discovery Rangers 3rd through 5th Grades

Expedition Rangers 9th through 12th Grades

although this program allows for the introduction of overnight camping to Discovery-aged boys, there is no requirement to do so. not a single requirement contained in the 20 red and 30 blue merits designed for this age group needs to be completed in an overnight camping environment. if your church is new to Royal Rangers, lacks camping equipment, or prefers to be a non-camping church, then the Discovery boys in your Royal Rangers outpost can still earn all of their advancement awards including the Gold Falcon, hawk, and eagle.

Can a start-up Ranger program or non-camping churches successfully operate the expedition Rangers age group? once again, the answer is definitely “yes.” only 6 out of the 77 generally available silver merits require overnight activities. this provides expedition Rangers numerous opportunities to successfully earn merits during their entire expedition Rangers experience. the achievement (air and sea Ranger options), activity, and service medals can all be earned without overnight outof-doors camping.

Adventure Rangers 6th through 8th Grades Can a start-up Ranger program or non-camping churches successfully operate the adventure Rangers age group? the answer is definitely “yes.” once again, the flexibility provided in the new merit-driven advancement system allows the adventure Rangers to complete all of their

So, Royal Rangers, it’s more than camping! i believe the following statement can be made: “Royal Rangers: something for every boy, something for every church.” today’s new Royal Rangers ministry, like never before, provides every church many ways to “Reach, teach, and keep boys for Christ.”

GReG sCott Royal Rangers gscott@pdrangers.org

Coming Events in 2008: District RoTY Testing Christian life assembly, Camp hill, Pa oct. 31 – nov. 1

Coming Events in 2009: Regional RoTY Testing location tba January 3 Regional Leaders Conference Fountain and life Center burlington, nJ January 23-24 JLTA Junior Computer Camp altoona, Pa Feb. 20-22 District Leaders Conference location tba March 28

District Powwow and Gold Medal of Achievement Association Reunion a Success over 565 persons attended the 40th anniversary District Powwow and approximately 50 former recipients of the Gold Medal of achievement attended the 25th anniversary GMaa reunion and barbque this past June. our special speaker was national Commander Doug Marsh. there was plenty to do for everyone, boys and men alike. District Commander Greg scott is seen taking part in the repelling activity, while he and national Commander Doug Marsh are seen after their joint participation in the Mud Wallowing event, which helped to raise over $3,000 for the Camp. Cmdr. Doug Marsh later took the time to relax and cool off in the creek. Connexions Fall 2008

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“I

RUth PUleo Women of Purpose rpuleo@ptd.net

n a world that believes too often in luck, randomness and chance, everyday people head out the door with no idea why they’re alive on this earth or how to live through the day ahead of them with purpose and meaning. In sharp contrast to this vague groping for significance, in a world of randomness, God makes it plain that we can live an intentional life…one with profound meaning, clear direction and eternal value. You can almost hear God echoing, “…and I mean it!” when Paul writes these words from Ephesians 5:17 (The Message): “Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.” Our national Women’s Department has presented us with this challenge from God’s Word to make 2009 our year of living intentionally in all that we do. Intentional living has many applications for women today. We are often remarking that we have to “put it on the calendar” or we just won’t fit it into our schedules. That very remark shows the need for intention. I find it absolutely necessary to place my devotional time with God and my exercise time on my schedule or before I know it, my day will take on a life of its own. I also find that I must be intentional about making time for family and friendships. It just doesn’t happen randomly. I must make the effort to contact them, set a date and schedule it in. The busier we all get, the more challenging it is to find an agreeable time to meet. Yet as I get older, I realize that the value of relationships and the lives we invest in is the legacy that we leave behind. Everything else pales in comparison. Sitting in an airport with a delayed flight, waiting in line at the post office or team tasking with a co-worker provides intentional opportunities to share my faith. Just last week as I sat on flight #1083 to Chicago, I chatted with a gentleman that had recently returned from serving with our armed forces in Iraq. I found it both natural and intentional to bring up the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in our conversation. Three days later on return flight #8388, I sat by a young woman headed for college with many questions and concerns on her heart. As she shared about her future, we discussed how important it was for her to know that she could find courage and strength in the forgiveness that only Christ can give. My life-long mentor for intentional evangelism has been the Rev. Jesse D. Owens, an active retired Assemblies of God missionary and the founder of Global Renewal – a partnering ministry with Teen Challenge. Jesse makes every encounter he has with people (perfect strangers or not) both hilariously fun, but a profoundly God-focused experience. It is true that some people have a gift and a unique personality. However, that doesn’t get us off of the hook. Everyone has the ability to be pleasant and spiritually intentional about our interactions with people that God sends across our paths. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” Ephesians 5:15, 16 (NIV).

Women of Purpose Conference november 14 & 15, 2008 Prayer Walk on thursday from 7 – 9 p.m. (nov. 13)

leaders time apart with kay arthur on Friday from 9-11 a.m. (nov. 14) 18

Connexions Fall 2008

• Three main sessions with special guests Kay Arthur & Sue Dodge • Featured guests are Kate Gosselin, Dannah Gresh, Sue Duffield & Rhonda Marsh • Five restaurants on site with Cash-N-Carry meals served in the lobby • Pre-registration open until October 29 – by mail or on-line • Pre-registration packets will be mailed out by October 31st • For all info www.penndelwomenofpurpose.org


by now most students are in the routine of the “school year.” the schedule becomes habitual, usual, and boring. a time to rise, a time to leave for school, a time to study, a time to go to bed. and then it begins again the next day. somewhere in the midst of the ordinary, something extraordinary happens: education. students learn in their classrooms, in their relationships, in their experiences. it is how God ordained it to be. i believe that God uses all that we learn, all that we experience for his glory. the experiences and education so much more important when we look at them that way! the mundane becomes

purpose-filled. the math and spelling have more of a reason to be studied. i remember complaining that i would neveR use the history or geometry or sociology that i had to study. how very wrong i was! somehow, God has called upon me to remember what i was taught.

shaRon Poole Girls Ministries penndeldmc@yahoo.com

as adults, it should make us more responsible for what we are teaching to our students. our preparation is vital. each time a lesson is presented, the students deserve to receive the very best that we have to offer! i don’t want to neglect my obligation to give each girl what she is going to need someday.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” ecclesiastes 9:10a niv

Check out the national Girls Ministries website for new and helpful information: ngm.ag.org Forum – a place to discuss ideas and solve issues. When you enroll, you are connected with other Girls Ministries leaders nationwide. iHeart Podcast – listen to individuals from the national office share their excitement and ideas for your local Girls Ministries Club. neW sonGs – you can now download the brand new songs for Girls Ministries. “honor you” is a song written to be used on a weekly basis in your Clubs. “all i long For” works very well for honor Celebrations. the music, lyrics, and sheet music are available on the website.

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HERITAGE INVESTMENT SERVICES FUND PhiliP bonGioRno Chairman and President pbongiorno@hisFund.com

Denise Folk administrative assistant dfolk@hisFund.com

MiChael bonGioRno Chief executive officer mbongiorno@hisFund.com

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The initial interest rate on all Notes will depend on the effective interest rates at the time of purchase. Term Notes pay interest at a rate fixed at the time of issuance. Once fixed, the interest rate on a Term Note will not be changed until the Note matures. At least thirty (30) days prior to any decrease in the interest rate on a Demand Note, the Loan Fund will notify the holder of such change. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities. The offering is made only by the prospectus. These unsecured debt securities are NOT available to residents outside of Pennsylvania or Delaware. The notes are not savings or deposit accounts or other obligations of a bank and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, any state bank insurance fund, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation or any other governmental agency.

Rates Effective AnNovember investment that works 1, 2008 ($500.00 Minimum investment)

Demand note ...........3.25% 6 Month note ...........3.50% 1 year note ...............3.75% 2 1/2 year note .........4.25% 4 year note ...............5.00%

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