WORDS FROM THE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT
GREETINGS: As we begin 2015, Judi and I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Although our Christmas & New Year’s celebrations were different than usual considering my knee replacement surgery and recovering process, we had a most enjoyable fellowship as family gathered together. This recovery time has been a good time to reflect on God’s goodness and focus on intercessory prayer for the district ministries. Judi and I appreciate all the gifts and greetings of love and prayers during this time.
CHURCH STATISTICAL YEAR END: It’s hard to believe that we are less than three months from the end of the 2014-2015 church statistical. This is a good time to evaluate our progress in all areas of our ministry and make any necessary adjustments to accomplish our goals.
ARAB CHRISTIAN - MESSIANIC JEWISH CELEBRATION: For those following this annual ministry celebration, the next date is May 30, 2015 at Life Pacific College in San Dimas. This is a tremendous opportunity to witness the unifying power of Jesus Christ. More information will come later.
PASTOR CHARLES “CHUCK” SMITH: Our Northridge pastor, Chuck Smith, on December 29 received and aortic stent and there have been complications in his recovery process. Please continue to pray for him and Dixie and the Northridge congregation.
PASTOR RODRIGO QUEMA & NEW HOPE AT THE HILLS: January 19th is the deadline for our Mission Hills congregation to vacate their facility due to its sale. Various doors for them to relocate have been closed. Please continue to pray for them for the Lord’s leadership.
RETIRED MISSIONARY LYDIA WILKIE HOWARD: Lydia Wilkie Howard completed her journey to heaven at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28. She was 107 years old. On Feb. 3, 2015, she would have celebrated her 108th birthday. She will be cremated and the burial will be in the Rose Hills plot next to Evert and Garnet Howard. Her memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, in the Marian Chapel at The Atherton Retirement Home in Alhambra, CA.
Donations may be made in Lydia's name to: Kansas City Rescue Mission Women's Center. 1520 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO 64108, Phone: 816-421-7643
GRANITE RIDGE CAMP: Due to family crisis, Adam Reed has resigned as director of Granite Ridge Camp effective December 31, 2014. Please be in prayer for the Reed family as well as for the camp board in making leadership decisions for the camp operation.
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.
DISTRICT BOARD OF MINISTRY: This next week is the beginning of the interview schedule for ordination and district license candidates. This process will continue through March for those candidates having license renewals. Please pray for the board members making these decisions for recommendation to the district assembly.
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.
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.
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 CENTER: The east half of the second floor is still vacant. Continue praying for this issue.
THOM RAINER.COM: Church consultant, Thom Rainer, recently published his “Fifteen Trends for Churches for2015.” You may read his comments on each trend by looking at his web site. I’m listing them in reverse order of their potential magnitude as Thom Rainer did:
15. A rapid increase in bi-vocational church staff.
14. The tipping point of churches eliminating Sunday evening worship services.
13. More emphasis on congregational singing.
12. Growth of verbal incarnational evangelism.
11. The waning and reconfiguration of denominational structures.
10. Congregations growing in favor in their respective communities.
9. Continued flow of people from smaller churches to larger churches.
8. More partnerships between denominations and churches.
7. More focus on theological education in local churches.
6. The tipping point for a plurality of teaching pastors.
5. Continued increased in the number of multi-site churches.
4. The beginnings of prayer movement in our churches.
3. The tipping point for small groups.
2. Increased difficulty in matching prospective pastors with churches with pastoral vacancies.
1. Smaller worship gatherings.
I share these as food for thought.
ENCOURAGEMENT: Join with David in singing this song in Psalm 24 - “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory. Selah” NIV.
Have a great week!
Jerry L. Ferguson