WORDS FROM THE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT
GREETINGS: Let’s continue to do all we can in our own spheres of influence to work for reconciliation among the various people groups that make up our mission field. Walt Kelly, in his comic strip, “Pogo”, says it all: “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.” With the help of the Holy Spirit and our commitment to obedience, we can make a difference in our communities. In Southern California, we praise the Lord for much-needed rain. We have a long way to go before our drought will be considered over; however, this has been a refreshing time. Those who love the mountains will enjoy a white Christmas. Those who enjoy looking at the mountains will appreciate the gleaming white coming from the mountains.
PASTOR RON SALSBURY UPDATE: Please see the end to this “In Touch.”
JUAN FAJARDO FAMILY: Pastor Juan Fajardo is our pastor at Los Angeles First Spanish Church of the Nazarene. His sister who lives in Guatemala was recently murdered there. Please be in prayer for the family during this tragic time.
DISTRICT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Our jurisdictional general superintendent, Dr. David Busic, recently met with the District Advisory Committee to begin discussion and preparation for the election of a new district superintendent at the district assembly in June 2015.
Per Church Manual paragraph 236, “The District Advisory Committee (DAC) shall be composed of the District Advisory Board, the chairperson of the District SDMI Board, the president of the district NMI, the president of the district NYI, the district secretary, and the district treasurer.”
Please be in prayer for them as this process continues.
NEW HOPE AT THE HILLS: The owner of the building where this congregation has been meeting for the past decade has sold the building and this congregation has to vacate the facility by January 19, 2015. Please be in prayer as they seek the Lord’s wisdom in how to move forward in addressing the housing of the Mission Hills congregation.
CREDENTIAL DEADLINE: This is reminder that the deadline for getting all ministry credential paperwork to the district office is December 15, 2014. In order to be interviewed by the District Ministry Board, all paperwork must be submitted.
PRAYER FOR DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT: On December 17, Pastor Ferguson will undergo complete left knee replacement surgery. He will be out of commission in recovery and rehabilitation for several weeks. Thank you for your prayers.
DISTRICT PASTORS’ DAY: Make sure your calendar shows March 3, 2015 as District Pastors’ Day at Newhall Church of the Nazarene from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Special presenter for the day is Ted Baehr, founder of MovieGuide.com. He has a unique view of the Hollywood film industry and is able to provide us moral and spiritual guidelines in our evaluation of the various film media to which we’re exposed. This will be an important day.
DISTRICT CENTER: The east half of the second floor is still vacant. Continue praying for this issue.
CHURCH PLANTING WORKSHOP: March 9-13, 2015, our district will host a church planting workshop to be held at our Temple City facility. There will be a three tracks of training: “Church Planting Essentials,” “Churches Planting Churches,” and “Certified Trainers.” The material is prepared by Dynamic Church Planting International. Dr. Bill Wiesman, Director of New Church Development for the USA/Canada Region will be assisting with this training. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will lead the right district pastoral teams to attend these training sessions.
DISTRICT 21-DAY FAST: The annual district 21-day fast is set for January 11-31, 2015. I’m calling on our people to intentionally give up something of their own choosing that they believe is interfering with their sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. This is not meant to be approached from a legalistic standpoint, but is an open willingness to focus on the spiritual aspect of our lives. Each year, I look forward to the reports of the Lord’s blessings on our people.
LOS ANGELES DISTRICT TRAINING CENTER: Director, Dr. Peter Lundell, sends the following information:
Please visit www.LADTC.org for all forms and information. There you will also find our 2014-2015 Academic Calendar.
For your winter planning:
Exploring Christian Holiness will be held Jan. 9-10 and Feb. 6-7.
History and Polity of the Church of the Nazarene will be held Jan. 23-24 and Feb. 20-21
All LADTC courses are required for ordination.
Please contact Dr. Lundell soon if you have questions or wish to take the class and have not already contacted him.
ENCOURAGEMENT: Join with the saints of all ages in celebrating John 1:14-15 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, “‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another” NIV.
Have a great week!
Jerry L. Ferguson
PASTOR RON SALSBURY UPDATE: December 1, 2014 - “Immanuel - God with Us” - Christmas is really good news! God has come to us in Christ! The “gods” of other religions are distant, impersonal, and unknowable. Christmas is all about a God who wants a close relationship with us! Jesus did not come to start a new religion, but to make possible a whole new relationship with God. God came in Christ to be “with us!” This was the Christmas promise given 700 years before that first Christmas in Isaiah 7:14 and then stated again in Matthew 1:23 (NIV) 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
Christmas allows us to live our lives in a loving relationship with God, through Christ. What good news! What a gift! In this relationship, we know the peace of having our sins forgiven, the joy of knowing God’s purpose for our lives, and the hope that our future is safely held in God’s hands. Knowing God personally allows us to fully trust him with joyful confidence.
I’m very thankful for this kind of confidence. It’s at the center of God’s peace - the kind of peace that transcends understanding (Philippians 4:7.) Facing an uncertain future is so much better with this kind of peaceful trust, rooted in an intimate relationship with God.
I’ve had ample opportunities to trust God in recent years. He has kept me in the “trust zone.” I just got back from my oncologist who gave me the results of a PET scan I had done yesterday. It was a 9 month follow-up from my stem cell transplant for lymphoma done this past March. The results of the PET scan were good. He said that there were three lymph nodes that did show some “activity,” but very slight. And if not for my history of lymphoma, they would not be worthy of mention. So, I’ll see him again in 6 weeks and I’ll have another PET scan in 3 months. It was a good report. Thank you for your prayers.
When my doctor gave us the news, Cathi and I smiled at each other because it always seems to be “something,” and we never seem to get out of the “trust zone!” But maybe that’s a good thing! Maybe that’s exactly where he wants us to live our lives! He has come at Christmas that we might know him, love him, and trust him.
We’re all called to live our lives in the “trust zone!” But living in that place is a joy when we have the peaceful confidence that comes from really knowing God.
I hope this Christmas that you will discover peaceful, confident trust in your life. In your “trust zone,” and in the challenges you face, I hope you will grow deeper in your love for and trust in God. This is why Christmas is such good news – we can live our lives in relationship with Immanuel – God with us!
Merry Christmas, Pastor Ron Salsbury