Pioneer invites worshipers to its Sanctuary on July 11, 2020 for both 9:00 AM and 11:45 AM worship services. Sabbath Schools remain meeting digitally or in smaller off-site groups. For details regarding prevention measures in place and the COVID-19 Pioneer response click here.
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Dwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
“The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel’s message.” (The Great Controversy 449)
□ Revelation 13:11-17—Power #2
What power on earth sprang into existence and began its comparatively rapid growth into global dominance around the (see Matthew 13:17 for same verb)?
What power on earth sprang into existence from the waters, from the masses and multitudes of the great nations of the Middle Ages (compare with Revelation 17:15)?
What power on earth sprang into existence with those credentials and today holds sway?
Given the historical background as well as the time frame for its emergence, there is only one international power that fits the prophetic description of Revelation 13—late 1700s, away from Europe and the masses, growing rapidly into eventual global dominance—the .
“The Lord has done more for the than for any other country upon which the sun shines.” (Maranatha 193)
□ Catalysts of American Confusion
#1—The mistaken belief that the United States is God’s chosen .
Paul Dean: “Most American Christians believe that America has a special place in God’s heart. ‘God and Country’ are inseparable in the minds of many to the point that to be a good Christian is to be a good American and vice versa. . . . [However] we must learn to think biblically about ‘God and Country’ and the connection between the two. We must debunk the popular notions that America is a Christian nation (the is the only Christian nation according to the Scriptures); or that America is the New Israel; or that America will one day establish a Christian government and be the light of the world; or that to be a good Christian is to be a good American. . . . You can be a good Christian anywhere in the world and love your country of origin. The issue is not what country we love but whether we truly love .” (www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-paul-j-dean/the-shining-city-on-a-hill-americ...)
#2—The mistaken belief that any is God’s chosen agent.
Loren Seibold: “It has become virtually impossible to get elected as a Republican without leaning in some way toward conservative Christian values and promising governmental advocacy for the ideas that conservative Christians hold dear. I should clarify that many of these Christian values are also mine. However if were running for president today, it’s unlikely he could even be nominated by his own Republican Party. He was a member of no church, never publicly confessed a creed, and never publicly used religious beliefs to justify his policies.” (“Is God a Republican?” Signs of the Times November, 2012)
“Jesus never placed much value on occupying an earthly throne. His kingdom, He insisted, wasn’t anywhere on this earth (John 18:36). Who ruled the nations down here was far less important to Him than that everyone understood the character and purposes of the of the universe.” (Ibid)
“Suppose, for example, that a politician decided that everyone should worship on Sunday (an idea that has been proposed from time to time through history). That would be fine for most Christians, but it would put Jews and Seventh-day Adventists (who observe the seventh day of the week) in a situation where they’d have to choose between obeying a human law or their understanding of obeying God’s law. The politicians who give one religious group what they want may be taking from another.” (Ibid)
“When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government . . .” (5T 451)
□ The Prayer of John Knox
“Give me America or I die!”
Faith on the Farm Virtual VBS
The Village Church Seventh-day Adventist Church would like to invite all children to join them for a Virtual VBS & Pre-K VBS with singing, crafts, snacks and learning more about faith thru the life of Joseph in the BIBLE. If you have any questions you can email VBS.VillageSDACHurch@gmail.com.
Save the date! Pioneer, Andrews University and The Red Cross will sponsor a Blood Drive on Thursday, July 23 from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM in the Pioneer Commons. Extra precautions will be in place for your safety. More details to come including scheduling your appointment. All types of blood are needed so plan now to donate. Contact Larry Ulery at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We're all in this together. Thank You!
The Least of These
Do you have the heart to serve the "least of these?" One of our Pioneer ministries provides a simple church service to those in the Juvenile Detention Center in Berrien Center. Saturday evenings at 6:00 PM we host an interactive Bible study and sing songs with the young people there. For more information and to get involved contact Rodlie Ortiz at email@example.com or call 269-471-6154.
Sun, Fun, and Faith!
We are inviting all youth to come out to Lake Chapin every Tuesday night from June 30 - August 11 at 6:00 PM to join us for Sun, Fun, and Faith! We will have boating, fun, and worship. Masks are encouraged and attendees are asked to remember social distancing. The Youth Department is asking for anyone with a boat who can bring it to out to Lake Chapin on Tuesday nights to contact Brooke Scott at 269-932-5783 via text or call.
Sabbath School Quarterlies
Do you need a Sabbath School Quarterly? You can always download a digital copy, but if you'd like to have your own physical copy they are located just inside the main entrance of the church. Sabbath School lessons are available for the 3rd quarter for all children and adult divisions as well as Primary Treasures and Junior Guides. The church office is open Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM and Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. For more information, please contact the church office at 269-471-6565.
Going Home July 11
Will the church look any different? The sanctuary still smells new—and it will be just as you left it almost four months earlier. But yes, there will be a new awning entryway on the office (parking lot) side of Pioneer. The inside stairs going up and down from that doorway have been rebuilt with a new no-slip covering. Pioneer is eager to have you return.
That's why the doors to Sabbath worship at Pioneer are opening on July 11. Naturally, we all are carefully weighing our response to spaces opening up to the public in this season of the pandemic. Churches that are sacred space must also be a safe space. James Ford is chairing our reentry task force, and they have adopted the safest congregational protocol possible. Because we not only want you to be safe, we want you to feel safe.
To help us gauge your own perspectives, Richard Parke, co-chair of our Safety Committee, has created a short survey. The questions ask your initial plans regarding a return to our sanctuary. Your helpful response will assist your leaders in their planning for Pioneer's next chapter.
Whatever lies ahead for this congregation and this campus, why not claim God's promise, "I will go before you" (Isaiah 45:2). Knowing He goes ahead and prepares the way certainly makes what we don't know much easier not to know. May He be praised.
Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
Adopt a College Student
COVID-19 has taken a toll in our community and around our campus. As you already know most students have headed home to their families. However, we have some students who were not able to return home and are alone here on campus, many are from international locations with student visa which, means they are not allowed to work off campus to their visa restrictions, and since Andrews University is currently closed they are not able to work at all. Most of these students don't have transportation to get off campus. These students are also missing connection.
Pioneer wants to share God's love and blessings with these students for the next 6 weeks, until our campus opens up. Would you adopt a student? Here's how you can help:
Check in on them once a week - send a text, call them on the phone, pray with them, get to know them.
Be willing to provide at least one meal a week or groceries for the student to cook with.
Be willing to drive them to the grocery store if needed.
Each student needs something different but we won’t know unless we ask them, and get to know them. Some students just need a ride to the grocery store, some students just need to hear that someone cares about them enough to call, others need groceries, but all need our love and prayers.
Get a group together and host a carry-out meal for students. (thank you to the groups who have done this already)
Take a treat to the residence halls
Offer to give a student a ride to the grocery store.
Donate to Student Life Relief Fund
United Way of Southwest Michigan
Report: The (Virtual) Tent 2020
In no way was The Tent normal this year. After all, nothing has been! That is not to say, however, that it was not a win for the Kingdom of God. Although it was online only, God came through in a mighty way! With about 200 different video clips the whole thing came together against all odds. There were decisions for baptism and people tuning in from all over the world!
This was the 7th year of The Tent. Some of our preachers this year were in the first grade when this all began. That year, Pastor Dwight came to Ruth Murdoch Elementary School and asked the 1st graders which of them would like to preach when they were Junior High students. Well, some of those kids preached last week! These messages were driven by the Holy Spirit as they profoundly spoke to events that took place after the messages were even recorded.
It was not just the speakers who did well this year. Micah Leiterman and Marco Sciarabba Badenas welcomed guests every night with intros that were fun and engaging! What was awesome about their video clips was the way that these two students not only wrote the scripts but they filmed and edited the clips together.
The students came together in an incredible way to make the music as well. Each student created their videos for music individually and these were edited together to create music as a team. We had an incredible team of seminary students who helped bring all of this together, and we also depended upon the musical genius of Chuck Reid who did our fine-tuning.
What was most amazing about The (Virtual) Tent was the seamless way all of these pieces made a whole. This is what the Holy Spirit longs to do with us as a church! Imagine what God could do with a church connected to Him! The (Virtual) Tent is a call to action. This is a picture of what God can do in the worst of circumstances with people who are listening to His voice.
We are saddened to inform you that due to COVID-19 FLAG Camp will be canceled this summer. Thank you to each who has applied to be on staff. Please apply again next year for the summer of 2021. We will be working to make next summer a great and safe experience!