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.
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.
v 30 NLT: “But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus' disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with such scum?’”
Two major points for third millennial followers:
#1—The call of Christ is to .
o The church is not a for saints: it is rather a for sinners. o Luke 15:1, 2 NIV: “This fellow sinners, and eats with them.”
o Any church that calls Jesus “Lord” must sinners.
#2—The call of Christ is to .
o Matthew 9:12, 13—“Go and learn what this means: ‘I, God, desire , not sacrifice.’”
o The line Luke left out declares that for the community of faith, more desirable to God than the of worship (“sacrifices”) is the of worship (“mercy”).
o James 2:13—“Mercy over judgment.”
Glen Harold Stassen: “ . . . a thick, historically-embodied, realistic understanding of Jesus Christ as revealing God’s character and thus providing norms for guiding our lives . . . [will] not reduce Jesus to a thin principle or high ideal or only doctrinal affirmation without solid grounding in his actual history.” (A Thicker Jesus: Incarnational Discipleship in a SecularAge 16)
1 John 2:6—“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as .”
1 Peter 2:21—“You should follow in .”
□ Seven ways the church must live out the radical example of our Lord Jesus:
#1—We exist to call to the community of Christ.
Luke 4:18, 19
#2—We must become a for all sinners seeking refuge in the Savior.
Safe-haven means protecting their .
Safe-haven means offering them .
Safe-haven means providing them a community or circle within which they can experience mercy, compassion and love unconditionally while they toward God, even if they struggle all their life.
#3—We will not fear those who mistake our loving sinners with on their behavior.
#4—We must expect .
Luke 7:33, 34
#5—We will teach and defend Christ’s high calling to moral purity and holiness—“Go and sin no more”—by seeking to become .
#6—We will celebrate not only the pardon of Christ at Calvary in forgiving all our sins, but also the power of Christ at Calvary for all our sins.
#7—We will live and worship with continual , confessing that we too fall far short of God’s glory.
Steps to Christ: “God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation. . . . The drunkard is despised and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven; while pride, selfishness, and covetousness too often go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially to God; for they are contrary to the benevolence of His character, to that unselfish love which is the very atmosphere of the unfallen universe. He who falls into some of the grosser sins may feel a sense of his shame and poverty and his need of the grace of Christ; but feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.” (31)
Paul: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst!” (1 Timothy 1:15)
“Be like Jesus”
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!