Summer 2009 â€˘ Volume 56 No. 3 USPS 165-700
Pennsylvania-Delaware Ministry Network 4651 Westport Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Editor: Stephen R. Tourville Managing Editor: Carole Bongiorno Phone (717) 795-5921 Fax (717) 795-5928 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.penndel.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 PennDel Assistant Superintendent (Retired) 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
F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , v i s i t w w w. p e n n d e l c h a r i t i e s . o r g 2
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council 4651 Westport Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-4887
Pastor Stephen Tourville, D.Min. Superintendent email@example.com
M o n e y o r M a n dat e ? Citizens of the United States of America have enjoyed an extended time of relative peace and prosperity within our borders. Those few events, like 9-11, that create such anxiety for us, have been relatively few and far between. The result is an expectation that life should be enjoyable, we should be prosperous, and all should go well. For believers, obedience to The Great Commission has become a matter of prayer, concern, and missionary offerings that enable missionaries who are called to various parts of the world to fulfill their distinct assignment from the Lord. However, giving $5 or $10 in a missions offering will never accomplish the goal of global evangelization. The Mission will never be fulfilled just through a contribution of money. Much more is expected and required by our Lord. Acts 17:26-27 provides a clue to our paradigm for the mission. God “determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live…so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” This Scripture confronts us with some hard cold realities: • This changes our view of immigration in America. People from around the world are not coming to America just for jobs or political asylum. God’s purposes are not directed toward national prosperity or our personal convenience, but for eternal values. • God is intentional about people having the opportunity of hearing the Good News. He has “times set” for them, meaning there is a time of harvest when people are given an open door to respond to the Gospel. America has been given a “time,” and we are living in
that opportunity to fulfill our destiny. People coming to America may participate in that opportunity by receiving Christ and becoming part of the Kingdom of God. •A merica’s time of visitation will one day come to a conclusion. We must seize our opportunity while it is available. •G od is also intentional about where people live; “the exact places where they should live.” Have we thought of our neighbors being placed by the Lord so we can influence them for the Kingdom? It changes our perspective when their dog uses the front yard for a latrine. It makes us think about the language we use that the whole neighborhood can overhear. Our neighbors are not living close to us by accident. Perhaps Luke 10:30-37 (The Good Samaritan) deserves another look in light of the Mission. We are all ambassadors for Christ and will be held accountable for what we say and how we say it. We may never travel around the globe to preach a salvation message to those who have never heard, but our mandate is clear! When the offering plate is passed, go ahead and write out a check to assist the missionaries to fulfill their call. The mandate remains to make disciples of every nation, even those who are living in our community, county, state, and nation. The Mission does not just require us to give money. We are required to respond to the mandate and walk in obedience to the Great Commission of Christ.
We are all ambassadors for Christ and will be held accountable for what we say and how we say it. Luke 10:30-37
Connexions Summer 2009
Think Like a Paul E. Grabill, D.MIN. Assistant Superintendent PGrabill@aol.com
This summer issue is full of great advice for furthering a historic core value of the heart of God (and of the Assemblies of God)—missions. I’d like to turn the tables on this page and suggest that it’s of no value for us to say “we are all missionaries,” unless we actually think like missionaries. Yes, the United States has had the gospel preached fervently and pervasively throughout our national history, yet we still have the 5th largest nonChristian population in the world. In fact, recent polls suggest that Christians are losing ground, not gaining ground. Now, many, many nations in the world have a higher percentage of born-again Christians than we do in the U.S. We need to (again, like years ago) think missional. America is not just a missions sending nation (thank God for that), but is itself a “missions field.” In fact, we should probably get rid of that unbiblical term. The whole planet is God’s “missions field.” From everywhere to everywhere. So, get ready. I’m really going to challenge your thinking a bit (actually, probably a lot).
1. Repeat to yourself 100 times this line from an old gospel song: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through...” My friends, I’m really serious here. It’s obvious to God and everyone else that we American Christians care much more about this world’s kingdoms than we do the heavenly kingdom. A missionary understands that their home is not in 4
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Missionary the nation to which they are sent. Neither is ours. America is not (repeat— not) our “home, sweet home.” Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20). The next time you hear someone bemoaning “our culture” on Christian radio, feel free to shout back at the radio, “it’s not our culture!” If friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4), then many (most?) of us have become idolaters in our total love of America. Idolatry is the most serious sin in the Bible. I beg of you; stop it now. God will not bless idolaters.
2. Cleanse yourself of national pride. A missionary may have a degree of affection for the nation to which they are sent, but they don’t become big flag wavers. In fact, the Assemblies of God is officially apolitical in every nation, except the U.S. Remember that “pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18). I am aware of only two nations since the Protestant Reformation where the Christian churches made it a normal practice of placing the national flag in a prominent, honored place in their worship spaces. One of those nations killed 6 million Jews and had a great fall some 60 years ago. The other, officially and systematically, has killed over 50 million innocent babies, and yet Christian churches still proudly wave the flag and gladly send our young people to fight and die for earthly, evil empires. God help us to get rid of our pride before He gets rid of using us.
3. See people as God sees them. Years ago there was a song, “Let me see this world, dear Lord, as though I were looking through Your eyes…” Like missionaries, we should not see people from a worldly point of view (2 Cor. 5:16)—good looking, rich, educated, Republicans, liberals, ethnic identity, etc. There are two categories of people on the planet: Jesus followers and nonJesus followers. That’s it. Every other perspective gets in the way of being missional.
4. Live simply. Since where we live is our temporary home, let’s get our focus off of houses, lands, and stuff (yes, and 401Ks), and be willing to lay it all on the line for the sake of our eternal Kingdom. These things (Matt. 6:33) are only necessary parts of existing for a time which will soon fade away (James 4:14). Nothing short of this is New Testament Christianity.
5. Know your calling. God didn’t place us in America to live a comfortable life and die a respectable death. He has called and equipped every single one of us to give ourselves away to reach the lost all around us. That’s what Jesus came to do. What are you doing? So, do you think like a missionary, or just like a missions contributor? The U.S. Assemblies of God needs a lot more than 2+ thousand full-time missionaries.
We need 2+ million whole-time missionaries.
Bring Missions Home A missions experience can challenge people to break out of their shell. Placing someone in a different culture and language helps to break down one’s inhabitations. The best missions experience is one you can bring home and continue in your own neighborhood. Looking for just such
a trip? Ministering to the homeless and poor in a culture and language you are familiar with will help you bring the missions experience home. Travel with us to New York City to minister to the poor and homeless. We will work with the “New York School of Urban Ministry” ministering to the homeless on the streets every evening and feeding Thanksgiving dinner to those in need throughout the city.
George Krebs Christian Education firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: November 20-22, 2009 WHERE: New York City, NY HOUSING: Dormitory style rooms at NYSUM INVESTMENT: $195 before Oct 15; $205 after Oct 15
arketed to issions trip is m Our New York M any age; t is also open to young adults, bu y. ams accordingl we will assign te le ab rd fo e most af This is one of th d. fin ill w u riences yo missions’ expe
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David Crosby Secretary and Treasurer World Missions email@example.com
New & Upgraded Credentials: Certified Minister: GORNICZ, Matthew GUITERREZ, Anthony HUNSINGER, Dennis YINGLING, Leah
Licensed Minister: BRYAN, Jessica BUCHANAN, Gary CORNWELL, Alexandria FISCHL, Matthew FITZWATER, Joshua GRENIER, Abbeylyn GUERIN, Sarah HEIST, Timothy HOOPS, Ashley KLINE, Daniel LEE, Joshua LEHMAN, Andrew LEINS, Christopher LEMON, Andrew MARKER, Renee MICHAUX, Timothy OPENBRIER, Amy REESE, Matthew SABELLA, Phillip SANTISTEVAN, Mark SHAFFER, Jonathan STEINSDOERFER, Michael WILLIAMSON, Beau WILLIS, Susan ZINGER, Gary
Specialized Licensed Minister: NAGEL, Megan 6
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Ministers Transferring Out:
LOWANS, James (Ordained) – To Southern Missouri PARKS, William (Ordained) – To Potomac SCRIMALE, Charles (Ordained) – To New Jersey SCRIMALE, Jean (Certified) – To New Jersey VAN HOUWE, John (Licensed) – To Indiana
Karey L. Schaffer to Fair Ridge Pentecostal Assembly of God, Shade Gap, PA.
Ministers Transferring In:
Stephen White to Rock Full Gospel Assembly of God, Mifflin, PA.
Jonathan Srock to New Life Assembly of God, Shillington, PA.
HALEY, Marshall N. (Ordained) – From Potomac Kevin Garman to Pleasant Valley LINDSAY, Michael (Licensed) – From Ohio Assembly of God, Brodheadsville, PA. MILLER, Nathan (Ordained) – From Potomac MINSTER, Ralph (Ordained) – From West Florida RICE SR, Norman A. (Certified) – From Peninsular Florida VAJDA, Brittany N. (Licensed) – From Southern New England WEST, James L. (Licensed) – From New York
With The Lord: Kevin Wagley, age 33, died on Saturday, March 7, 2009 because of an automobile accident. Kevin failed to stop at a stop sign and drove into the intersection where he hit a utility trailer another vehicle was towing. His car ran into a ditch and he was ejected from his car. Kevin was a Licensed Minister serving as Youth Pastor/Evangelist at the Duncannon Assembly of God. His service was held at the Duncannon Assembly of God with Pastor Dale Rosenberger officiating. Daniel Schreiner, age 85, went to be with the Lord on January 28, 2009. Daniel pastored Round Top Assembly of God, Middletown, PA for 33 years from 1957-1990 and he held full-time employment with Hershey’s Chocolate. Daniel never married.
Robert H. Shipp Celebrates
Robert H. Shipp celebrated his 100th birthday on June 18, 2009! Robert was born in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Dormont High School. He committed his life to Christ while attending a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, was Spirit-filled at Bethel Tabernacle, and was water baptized at the Mahaffery Camp Ground. His first Biblical training was at Whiteside Memorial Bible School in Pittsburgh, then he was a 1931 graduate of Nyack Missionary Training Institute. Following graduation, he was an instructor at Emmanuel Bible Training School of Pittsburgh until 1937. In the 1940’s Robert pastored a church in Washington, PA when he received a License to Preach with the General Council. He was ordained at Living Waters Camp, Cherry Tree, PA in 1943. Robert pastored Glad Tidings Assembly of God, Canonsburg, PA until 1961 when he was called to Pentecostal Lighthouse Assembly of God, Windsor, PA. He served the church for 13 years and then retired in 1981 after 37 years of pastoral ministry. Robert will be married to Lillie 72 years on August 4, 2009. They were married in Coraoplis, PA by Rev. McKinney and Rev. Welker Bevingten and honeymooned in Washington DC. They are the proud parents of two children, Gerry Cook of Dallas, Texas, and Donald of East Petersburg, PA., and one granddaughter, Tracy Wenzel of Shippensburg, PA.
PennDel Missionary Family News Kevin and Annie Folk have completed their assignment in Spain and returned stateside for a year of itineration. They have been approved for reassignment to Mexico where Kevin will work in a national Bible college. Gary and Cindy Higgins have completed compassion ministry to 4 countries. In El Salvador they distributed food to 800 families plus food to refugee centers. In the Philippines they installed water purification units in 3 different regions of the country. In Venezuela they assisted in a new church plant with grocery distribution, dental care, health screening and haircuts. More than 140 people made commitments to Christ. And in the West Indies they trained 55 church leaders in disaster training for compassion ministry. Sam and Jan Mayeski assisted in a new church plant on the Great Exuma island of the Bahamas in February. Mike and Debbie Hampton will complete language training in August and then transition to the Netherland Antilles in September to begin their missionary work. Fred and Betty Howsare continue to see God open doors in restricted countries of Asia Pacific. Jeff and Rebecca Wiles need construction team in Jamaica for building projects of churches and Latin American Child Care facilities.
Top Ten PennDel Churches In Missions Giving
1. Camp Hill, Christian Life..................... 494,792 2. Bethel Park, South Hills....................... 259,818 3. Reading, Glad Tidings.......................... 236,068 4. State College........................................ 207,972 5. Roaring Spring, Faith........................... 191,038 6. Monroeville.......................................... 186,523 7. Newark DE, Praise................................ 172,716 8. Littlestown, Bethel ............................. 149,036 9. Allison Park Church............................. 145,405 10. Erie, First............................................... 132,611
Our Newest Missionaries Juan and Shirley Ocasio served as Missionary Associates for the past three years in the Republic of Georgia as Missionary Associates. While learning the Georgian language and culture, they taught English to young adults, led discipleship groups from their home, served as leaders and bookkeepers within the Tbilisi International Christian Fellowship, and helped develop church planting profiles. Following the brief war in August 2008, they became very involved in compassionate ministry among people displaced during the war. Their team delivered many different kinds of supplies to several sites and encouraged people, letting them know that they were not forgotten and they are loved. Recently, they learned that three churches have been planted at the sites of humanitarian aid distribution! The Assemblies of God World Missions Board approved Juan and Shirleyâ€™s missionary appointment in April 2009. After itineration, they will return to Georgia to continue in the discipleship ministry with young couples and families, compassionate outreach to displaced people, and partnering with the national church in church planting endeavors. They will continue to learn the Georgian language and culture to broaden their opportunities for missionary ministry.
Juan and Shirley Ocasio
Connexions Summer 2009
The driveway to Cowboy Church was lined with horse trailers. Inside, visitors stomped the mud from their boots as country music filled the length of the arena. Many wore their cowboy hats. The atmosphere was relaxed, the sermon straightforward and assisted by Bentley, a 4-year-old Dutch Warmblood.
Cowboy Church’s mission is to reach those in the equestrian world who don’t regularly attend church or have felt injured or intimidated by conventional Christian settings.
Assistant to the Superintendent HonorBound Church Planting and Development
“They’re a community that doesn’t go into a church that often,” said Brandy Crago. “For some reason, rodeos and horse shows are often on Sundays.”
Cowboy Church, meets monthly and is a site church of Freedom Valley Worship Center, Gettysburg. Horse owner Pat Gentry of Cumberland Township has attended Cowboy Church since its launch. She’s found it allows those in the horse and rodeo community to learn about God on their own turf. “Some people I’ve invited to church won’t come,” she said, “but they will come here because there are horses and it’s not a ‘church.’”
Shining Stars Riding Ministry Every weeknight throughout the summer, the outdoor arena at Freedom Valley Worship Center on Route 30, west of New Oxford, bustles with activity. Volunteers prepare for the evening’s therapeutic riding lessons of grooming and tacking up horses, and positioning barrels, poles, and props within the arena. A riding helmet is fitted; the student is mounted; safety checks are completed; and with the command “Walk on!” the lesson begins. Shining Stars Riding Ministry was founded by Gardner’s resident, Brandy Crago, with only “a dream and a shoestring budget. The dream has become a mission of Shining Stars: To provide therapy for persons with special needs, using horsemanship skills to help them overcome their physical, learning and emotional disabilities. Since then,
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Shining Stars has grown to 83 students and 110 volunteers. The public schools have now contracted services for their disabled students. During school hours, students are transported to one of the ranches where the horses reside, for lessons. Finally, the host church is considering building an indoor riding arena to allow SSTR to operate year-round. Crago sums up the life-altering effect of Shining Stars on the participants: “For those unable to walk, riding a horse becomes a means of movement. Their disabilities disappear when they are on a horse. Therapy riding literally puts these kids on top of the world.” For more information, go to www.shiningstarstherapeuticriding.org
Speakers: Date: October 16-17, 2009 Place: Trinity Assembly of God Lutherville, MD
www.penndel.org Registration: 410-781-6376
Workshops: “Moving Your Life into Overdrive” Leadership “Tachs and Tips” Technology “Avoiding the Wreck” Purity “The Ride of Your Life” Mission Trips “Building a Great Pit Crew” Men’s Ministry “Raising the Next Generation of Racers” Parenting “Team Sponsorships” Personal Finances “Racing to Win” Marriage
Men of Promise
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A young woman feels God confirm her call to missions. A teenage boy decides to start giving to missions. A family makes a commitment to kneel and pray together for missionaries and the lost souls they reach. An entire church sees exponential growth in missions giving almost overnight. What’s the impetus for such events? The Eurasia Experience. Wherever this unique, new, elaborate and powerful missions tool has gone it leaves a wake of stirred hearts and opened eyes. “The Eurasia Experience opened my eyes to the aching hearts of lost people,” says Leah Cammack, a young woman in Louisiana. “What you hear from other people cannot compare to experiencing their world and feeling their need for hope, love and forgiveness.” Pastors and district leaders who have exposed their people to the Eurasia Experience report a dramatic increase in missions support. “The Eurasia Experience created the atmosphere for the greatest missions convention our church ever hosted,” says pastor Andy Harris of Central on the Hill (AG) in Haughton, LA. But what is this Experience? What makes it so powerful? If you can imagine the following, then you are only getting a taste… You arrive with your group at customs and an “immigration agent” eyes you suspiciously (he’s a volunteer actor). A teenage girl in your group is asked, “Are you a Christian?” She answers “yes.” So she is thrown in jail. Next, your group emerges into a marketplace. Vendors and pickpockets converge on your group. The marketplace experience is intended to be multisensory. A blend of aromas flows over you. 10
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Some are familiar. Others are completely alien. Already, some in your group are overcome. A few are crying. They didn’t expect it to be so real. There is a “no customer service” attitude here. This is Eurasia. You feel like a stranger in a strange land. After you experience Eurasian religious culture—possibly a Muslim Imam calling others to prayer—you come to the end and are greeted by someone portraying an Assemblies of God missionary or a national worker. They tell you shocking and inspiring stories you won’t hear anywhere else. At the conclusion he or she says, “Why do I live here? Why would I bring my family to such a place? Because these people are lost and they need Jesus Christ. And we love them.” After you leave the Eurasia Experience and have seriously processed the issues our missionaries and national brethren face each day, there will be few dry eyes in your group. You’ve experienced life across Eurasia in a realistic way in just one hour. Gary Denbow, president of Central Bible College, recalls his first one-hour walk through. “I just don’t know of any other experience that can open your eyes to the needs of millions of people in our world who do not have an adequate witness of Jesus Christ.” The Eurasia Experience is for everyone. We are bringing it to the PennDel Ministers Enrichment and I challenge every pastor to let the Experience do something powerful in his church. We receive reports of people called into missions, inspired to give sacrificially, or moved in their spirits to pray because of the Eurasia Experience. Yes, even entire congregations are radically moved to missions-mindedness. Just ask the pastoral staff of
Central Assembly of God in Houston, PA. “Every pastor needs to see this as an investment in the future of missions giving and praying,” says Steve Getchell, senior pastor. Adam Brock, a staff pastor at Central, says, “What an awesome and creative way to open up eyes to something that we, as Americans, hardly ever get to experience.” Take a trip through the Eurasia Experience. I truly believe your church and district can have the greatest missions conference and missions-giving year in its history.
Omar Beiler is Eurasia Regional Director for Assemblies of God World Missions. He oversees ministry in 44 nations, focusing on establishing a gospel witness among the 4,000 plus unreached and neglected people groups across Eurasia. His passion is to see God raise up new workers, both missionaries and national believers, who will go to the hardest places of Eurasia with the gospel. He also serves on the World Missions Executive Committee. Omar holds a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and a master¹s degree from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. He and his wife, Pat, have two children, Jennifer and Justin, and a grandson, Benjamin. Connexions Summer 2009
2009 PennDel M
Evangel Heights Assem
50 years of Service Educational Qualification Committee
50 years of ordained Ministry
Ar o u n d
s i tric D e t h t Dedication of Education Wing Pastor Don & Robin Immel Assembly of God, New Stanton, PA
6th Anniversary Pastor Vincent & Pamela Bellanca Eagleâ€™s Nest Assembly of God Greenville, PA
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90th Anniversary Pastor David & Sarah Martin Special Guest: Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent Pitcairn Assembly of God
mbly of God â€˘ Sarver, PA
2009 Ordination Class
Phillip & Beth Baker
Paul & Jill Boisvert
Liz & Steven DeFrain
Jason & Sarah Fitch
Jason & Wendy Gornicz
Scott & Danielle Gray
David & Sarah Martin
K.R. & Gina Mele
Philip & Jane Propson
Todd & Tina Pugh
R. Lee & Christine Rogers
Frederick Pettet III
David & Laura York
2009 Ordination Class Connexions Summer 2009
Congratulations to the 2009 District Youth Scholarship Recipients First Place Recipient John Mowery from Salunga, PA. John attends First Assembly of God in Lancaster PA. This fall John will attend Valley Forge Christian College. He received a $1,000.00 scholarship.
Doug Sayers Youth www.penndelyouth.com
Second Place Recipient Samuel Krahe from Wattsburg, PA. Samuel attends First Assembly in Erie, PA. Samuel will attend North Central University this fall. He received a $750.00 scholarship.
Third Place Recipient Audrei Heath from New Freedom, PA. Audrei attends Shrewsbury Assembly of God in Shrewsbury, PA. This fall Audrei will attend Valley Forge Christian College. She received a $500.00 scholarship.
Discount Hersheypark Tickets Available Whether you need Hersheypark tickets for your family or for your group, you can purchase them from PennDel Youth Ministries for $34.00 (ages 9-54) and $28.00 (ages 3-8 and 55+) until our discounted supply is gone. Please send a check (made payable to PennDel District) for the full payment along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Park Days 2009, 4651 Westport Dr., Mechanicsburg, PA, 17055.
Bible Quiz Training Camp Bible Quiz Training Camp is August 13-15, 2009, at the Philip Bongiorno Conference Center in Carlisle, PA. This three-day camp offers practical hands-on experiences that will prepare veteran quizzers and coaches for the new season, as well as help train first time quizzers and coaches. For $81, both teens and adults will receive housing and meals, instruction on Bible Quiz techniques, quizzing, coaching, officiating, and more. Whether your church has a Bible Quiz team, is planning to start a quiz ministry, or wants to learn more about Bible Quizzing, you will benefit from the experience of BQ Camp! The deadline is August 6th and space is limited, so send in your registration today! Please contact Pastor Bernie Elliot, Jr. at Elliotbq@aol.com for further information, or call (412) 469-3959 14
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Bible Quiz Regional Finals Congratulations to the PennDel Bible Quiz teams that competed in the Northeast Regional Bible Quiz finals. Placing in the top 10 of the A division was: Journey Church in Bridgeville, PA – 3rd place Evangel Heights AG in Sarver, PA – 7th place South Hills AG in Bethel Park, PA – 9th place Christian Life AG in Chambersburg, PA – 10th place Congratulations to Grant Warnock from Journey Church who was the number 1 quizzer earning a total of 1555 points, averaging 130 points per round! We are very proud of these students’ accomplishments as they memorize the Word of God!
When we think of Missions, our mind quickly goes to the far lands of countries we’ve never heard of and to people who look and live much different than ourselves. We are fully aware that a small percentage of these people have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The representation of “Christ followers” is so small in that area that the need for missions and outreach seems so obvious. When you consider a community of people who have such a low percentage of Christians among them, it might come as a surprise to learn that a similar group exists much closer than you may realize. There is no question that missions consists of far reaching, but there is truth that missions also exists within arms reach. The public schools of America represent such a missions field where an average of less than 4% are exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jason Lamer Youth Alive firstname.lastname@example.org
I encourage you to pray and consider what God would have you do in reaching out to this important community. As we begin our 6th year of the Seven Project in the PennDel District, we are asking God to give us 5,000 student salvations in the upcoming school year that will match the numbers we have seen in the previous 5 years combined. The need is great, the time is short. The need is reachable, the time is now.
Ideas for Reaching the Public Campus: • Register and equip students as Campus Missionaries to their schools (www.yausa.com). • Set aside the entire Sunday morning or a few minutes on Campus Awareness Day, September 20 to commission Campus Missionaries and to pray for the schools of your area. • Coach a Campus Club or assist a student in developing a Christian Club on their campus. Contact PennDel Youth Alive for ideas or support. • Sponsor a Seven Project Community outreach to your city. For a free promo packet, email your request to email@example.com. Connexions Summer 2009
Zambia, E. Africa
Faithful to the Call Kristian Walker District Music & Worship Liason www.kristianwalker.org
I recently had the opportunity to take a worship team to Zambia, E. Africa to teach seminars and lead worship services. It was an incredible experience for our team and truly life-changing, but we actually came home wondering what kind of impact we had on our Zambian brothers and sisters. They already know how to worship (and do so with so much passion) and have unbelievable natural musical ability. Why did we leave our families for 2 weeks, go through the effort of raising the financial support, take the risk of exposing ourselves to unusual diseases and go to a land thousands of miles away to do what we do at home every week? One answer has flooded my heart and mind as I have ‘debriefed’ with God and reminisced with Him about the trip: WE WERE CALLED TO GO. Bottom line… How many times do we ask the question, “What am I really accomplishing in my ministry?” We often don’t see the immediate tangible results of our efforts for God and that can be difficult, but we are called to
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be faithful in offering what little we have to be used in God’s hands. A few days after returning from Zambia, I received this email from one of the ministry leaders we worked with that really convicted me of asking those questions. Here’s an excerpt: “Hi Pastor Walker and team. We praise God for the time you had with us. The seed you planted in Zambia is already bearing fruit. The hearts of our people have been stirred. We had one of the best Sundays of worship we have ever had this past week and exciting things are happening… We are very grateful for everything you taught us! Thank you for hearing from God and following His call. He is faithful! Regards, Djondo Sikalangwe.” Continue to be diligent in following God’s call even when there seems to be no tangible results, and know that “the One who called you is faithful, and HE WILL DO IT” (I Thess. 5:24). May “the eyes of your heart be enlightened, that you may know the hope to which He has called you…” (Eph. 1:18)
Rethinking the Mission
Rethinking the Mission The Royal Rangers has spent the last 18 months evaluating its ministry to boys and men alike and making important directional changes to take the ministry to a new level of ministerial influence and effectiveness. Our goal is to “influence more boys and young men than ever, more effectively than ever.” At our 2009 National Council new designs purposed to enhance outpost success were unveiled. The improvements will make Royal Rangers more responsive, affordable, and flexible with greater emphasis on being boy-led and to creating a wider range of advancement-interests to facilitate the mentoring relationship. Everything has been purposefully designed to lead boys closer to Christ. Opportunities to challenge boys’ lives abound in every community. Our job is to be with Christ so we tune into His voice and see His creative response to those opportunities. We must focus our efforts to equip men and boys to transform the next generation of boys and young men into Christlike manhood, and to empower lifelong servant leaders. Believe it or not your ministry reaches further than you think, all the way into eternity to be exact. It is our responsibility to work together as local, district, and national leaders to ensure that the ministry of Royal Rangers is appealing and attractive to all boys and that no “calls” are lost through a too narrow application of our ministry methods. Our Assistant General Superintendent, L. Alton Garrison, told the Council “I have never been more convinced that ministry to young boys should be of the highest priority in the Assemblies of God.” He emphasized that our passion for discipling young men will pay great dividends for the kingdom of God. Ranger leaders have to hold above all else their personal commitment to evangelize (reach), equip (teach), and empower (keep) boys for Christ. I truly believe that Royal Rangers can be all (and more) that we’re believing it can be. It won’t be easy. “With God’s help” as our motto says, we are determined to be the premier mentoring ministry for future men in America – period! There are many ideas in people’s minds that will need to be explained away and replaced by our new vision and methodologies. If your church is searching for a life-changing ministry to boys, throw away all those preconceived notions and past experiences and check out the new Royal Rangers. Also, if you are not aware of or have not seen information on the joint Royal Rangers-Girls Ministries “Together Plan”, check it out. It is now available online at www.royalrangers. ag.org/programs/. For more information on any of the above contact your sectional commander, or district Royal Ranger office at (302) 736-3058.
New Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship Scout Congratulations to Chris “Spinning Hawk” Hamilton of Outpost 311, Greater Johnstown Christian Fellowship church, who earned the title of Chapter Scout for the George Washington Chapter of the FCF. Chris earned the position through a series of skills and knowledge tests he underwent at the FCF Spring Trace held at the Penn-Del RR Camp Berry in May. He wasted no time in implementing his new position by holding a Young Buck meeting to ask the boys what they liked about the current FCF ministry and what they would like to see changed or introduced. He received a great response from our future young leaders and I think you will like their ideas. Chris is also a Gold Medal of Achievement recipient and I know we will see many great things from him in the near future as a young leader in our ministry.
Greg Scott Royal Rangers firstname.lastname@example.org
g n i m o C s Event9: in 200 District BB Gun Competition Newport A/G, Newport, PA July 25th District Self-Assessment Staff Development Seminar First Assembly of God, York, PA July 31st - August 1st District Leaders Conference First Assembly of God, York, PA August 1st West Division Fall Camporee Laurel Hill State Park, PA September 18-20 East Division Fall Camporee Camp Bashore, PA September 25-27 Northeast Region Colonials Territorial Rendezvous Yards Creek Scout Reservation, Blairstown, NJ October 9-11 Connexions Summer 2009
Ruth puleo Women of Purpose email@example.com
A Trip of a Lifetime
In September, 2008, God used a Missions Team of 28 women to touch the lives of hundreds of women and children in the slums of New Delhi, India. We witnessed many give their hearts to Christ in spite of persecution, individuals received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and miraculous healings took place. They were forever changed and so were we. Everyone on this Missions trip actively participated in some form of ministry as they worked with their team leaders to make a spiritual impact on the women and children of the slums. With the help of many fine national leaders we were able to share the love of God with women at two women’s conferences and ministered in two churches on Sunday. Our children’s team organized three children’s crusades and taught children’s Sunday School classes in
“I will never forget this time.”
a national church. The paint team created masterful murals in the Carmel Community Church and the Grace Karuna Children’s Home which were both recipients of our Project Offering for 2008. We are planning an India Missions Trip for 2010. If you are interested, contact Ruth for more information.
“This is another of those awesome experiences God has given me.” “I will never forget the children, people, and country of India.”
“Refresh and Refuel ” Sessions November 13 & 14 Friday 9 – 11 am
Women of Purpose Conference 2009 How did I get so busy - Valorie Burton Raising up Boys - Sheri Rose Shepherd Raising up Girls - Dannah Gresh 18
Connexions Summer 2009
Refresh & Refuel Sessions are for everyone this year. There are three different sessions to select from. We ask that you select which one you wish to attend and indicate this on the registration form in order to help us with the seating. These sessions are offered on a first come basis due to limited seating in each room. You may divide your group so ladies are able attend different sessions and later they can share together about what they have received.
sharon poole Girls Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org
ek e W s e i r t s i n i M ls r i National G
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National Sle September 2
26 Theme: “Call ed to Stardo Scripture: P hilippians 2:1 m” 2-18
Achieving vs. Mentoring In high school I was not involved in organized sports. It’s not that I had anything against sports, but I just wasn’t that interested. Looking back on those days, I wish I had been on a “team” of some sorts. It would have enhanced my social life as well as my education.
As we are teaching, let’s not forget to live the practical side of it. Let us not forget to mentor.
I love reading stories of athletes and how they relate to their coach. A coach is an important part of the team. With no coach, the team would be without direction, experience, and the vision to see where each teammate is to work towards. I wonder what is more important, winning or the lessons learned through the mentoring of a coach? Certainly (being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan), the achieving is significant. Why work towards something if there is not a goal? Achieving in a sport (or a Club such as Girls Ministries) would seem to be the ultimate. But I wonder, in today’s world, as we look at athletes and their lack of moral depth: Are they better for winning or for having played the game?
Girls Ministries is a wonderful achievement program through the Assemblies of God. It has ministered to and mentored thousands of girls in the PennDel District. I believe in it and the core values that it teaches. But if it is simply achieving and not mentoring, we are failing the very girls we hope to shape. I believe it is more important to meet the spiritual needs of our girls than to have them become Honor Stars, Friends Graduates and Girls Only Graduates. Don’t misunderstand: Those who achieve are incredible and should be honored. But we need to see the whole picture of the whole girl. The material we have to share is the best foundational mentoring program available today. As we are teaching, let’s not forget to live the practical side of it. Let us not forget to mentor.
Connexions Summer 2009
4651 Westport Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-4887
Planning for Retirement Did you know the HIS Fund website, www.hisfund.com has ten unique financial calculators to help you become a more effective steward of the financial resources the Lord has entrusted to you? The Retirement Planner calculator helps you determine what it takes to work towards a secure retirement. You can use this calculator to help you create your retirement plan. It allows you to view your retirement savings balance and your withdrawals for each year of your entire retirement. Visit www.hisfund.com and click on â€œcalculatorsâ€? for details.
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Denise Folk Administrative Assistant dfolk@HISFund.com
Michael bongiorno Chief Executive Officer mbongiorno@HISFund.com
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