Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
SpeakerDwight 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.
“Don’t Cry Alone”
□ John 11:35
- “ .”
Brennan Manning: “When Jesus wept . . . , the ground of all being shook, the source of all life
trembled, the heart of all love burst open, and the unfathomable depth of God’s immense,
inexhaustible revealed itself.” (Lion and Lamb 128)
William Blake, “On Another’s Sorrow”:
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh, And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear, And thy Maker is not near.
O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our is fled and gone He doth sit by us and .
- Adam Clarke: “It is abolishing one of the finest traits in our Lord’s human character to say that he wept and mourned here because of sin and its consequences. . . . The soul of Christ was troubled, and he mingled his sacred tears with those of the afflicted relatives.”
- Clark Pinnock: “Scripture speaks of the of God. God’s heart can be close to breaking (Hos. 11). God knows his people’s condition and feels their pain (Exod. 3:7f). God and mourns over them. Even for Moab God says, ‘My heart ’ (Is. 15:5). The issue for Christians is not whether God could suffer but how God could . . . . He would be less than God if he lacked sympathy or refused to share in the suffering of creatures.” (Most Moved Mover 89)
N. P. Wolterstorff: “. That is why he suffers. To love our suffering, sinful world is to suffer. God so suffered for the world that he gave up his only Son to suffer. The one who does not see God’s suffering does not see his love. God is . Suffering is down at the center of things, deep down where the meaning is. Suffering is the meaning of our world.
The of God are the meaning of history.” (In Pinnock Most Moved Mover 90)
- Isaiah 63:9—“In all their affliction, He was .”
Desire of Ages: “His tender, pitying heart is ever awakened to sympathy by suffering. He
with those that weep.” (533)
- □ An anonymous letter
□ Galatians 6:2
- “Carry each other’s , and in this way you will fulfill the law of .”
It is not enough to know that God suffers with us—though He feels our pain, too often we cannot
sense His .
1 Corinthians 12:26—“And if one member suffers, the members suffer with it; or if one
member is honored, the members rejoice with it.”
“Jesus did not shun the weak, unfortunate, and helpless, but He helped such as needed help. He
did not confine His visits and labors to a class more intelligent and less faulty, to the neglect of the unfortunate. He did not inquire whether it was agreeable for Him to be a companion of the poorest, the most needy. These are the ones whose company He , the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(2T 75)
- GROW Groups
Frederick Buechner: “Sometimes, by the grace of God, I have it in me to be to
other people. And so, of course, have we all—the life-giving, life-saving, and healing power to be saints, to be , maybe at rare moments even to ourselves.” (The Longing for Home 28)
To carry and to care just like Jesus
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.