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.
Considering the Adventist Church's historical stance on the separation of Church and State, how do we respond to the increased attention and scrutiny brought on by the presidential candidacy of one of our prominent members? Where do we stand when it comes to the causes of our Evangelical nation? How can we best serve this nation that we love?
Saturday, November 07, 2015
As We Begin
Be Not Afraid (from Elijah) • Felix Mendelssohn
"By the Word of Their Testimony" Baptism
Wayne Allen Smith with Rodlie Ortiz
Jesus Calls Us; O'er the Tumult • Emma Lou Diemer
Worship in Music
Be Thou Faithful Unto Death (from Paul) • Felix Mendelssohn
“Mission Possible: What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America” • Dwight K. Nelson
The heartbreaking terrorist attacks in the streets of Paris only serve as a painful reminder that we live in a broken world. Our planet is filled with cities, and those cities are filled with hurting people who are in desperate need of a few inner city angels.
Nearly 500 years ago, a young monk stood all alone before the the greatest assembly of powers, princes, and pontificates the world had ever seen. His courage would spark one of the greatest social revolutions in history. How can we tap into that same source of strength to start our own social revolution today?
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (May, 2015): “As the 2016 United States election cycle begins, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aware of the increased interest in the presidential candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson’s story is well known to most Adventists, and he is a well-respected physician. The Adventist Church has a longstanding position of not supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office. This position is based both on our historical position of separation of church and state and the applicable federal law relating to the church’s tax-exempt status. While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections.” (http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/05/04/adventist-church-issues-statement-ben-carsons-candidacy)
George Barna: Evangelicals (1) have made a personal commitment to Christ (“born again”), (2) believe that by faith in Him they will be in heaven one day, (3) say their faith is very important in their life today, (4) believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians, (5) believe that Satan exists, (6) believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works, (7) believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, (8) assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches, and (9) describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/648-is-evangelism-going-out-of-style#.Vjt4i7erTDc)
Proverbs 14:34 NLT—“Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
Proverbs 16:12; 20:28
Daniel 2:21; 4:25, 27; 5:27; 6:25; 7:26,27; 10:13; 11:36,45
Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore: “People attacked [Roger] Williams as a radical, a ‘church-ruinating’ anarchist, for laying the ideological foundation for a society that takes religion seriously but constructs a state without reference to any religious claims. Such a society is not secular, if by that we mean that religion plays no role in public life. Its politics, however, is godless, and so, in their official functions, are its politicians. Williams reached his conclusions about the urgent need to separate church and state, not because he did not care about the future of Christianity, but because he sometimes appeared to care about nothing else. Williams’s main concern was always the purity of the church.” (The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness 52)
“No one who cares about civil peace would deny that morality is important. . . . The dispute is rather between those who argue that the content of morality is itself a question for public debate and those who argue that morality is an issue already settled by the religious views of the purported majority. To the latter, if public officials don’t profess religion, if they don’t make a link between proper citizenship and churchgoing, if they don’t see to it that schoolchildren pray, then the country is on its way to hell.” (Ibid 64)
Great Controversy: “[The Pilgrims] patiently endured the privations of the wilderness, watering the tree of liberty with their tears, and with the sweat of their brow, till it took deep root in the land. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty.” (296)
“[The Bible’s] principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance. . . . It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness. The feeble and isolated colonies grew to a confederation of powerful states, and the world marked with wonder the peace and prosperity of ‘a church without a pope, and a state without a king.’” (Ibid emphasis supplied)
Ellen White to A. T. Jones April 9, 1893: “Dear Brother, There is a subject which greatly troubles my mind. While I do not see the justice nor right in enforcing by law the bringing the Bible to be read in the public schools: yet there are some things which burden my mind in regard to our people making prominent their ideas on this point. These things I am sure will place us in a wrong light before the world.” “If such a law were to go into effect the Lord would overrule it for good, that an argument should be placed in the hands of those who keep the Sabbath, in their favor, to stand on the Bible foundation in reference to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. . . . My brother, this objecting to the passing of a law to bring the Bible into the schools will work against us . . . who are making so much of the Bible.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1164)
1 Peter 3:13—“Who is going to harm you, if you are eager to do good?”
When you seek common good,
you share common ground.
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!