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 email@example.com for more information. We're all in this together. Thank You!
The Last Letter
Reading Between the Lines
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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.
More In This Series
"The Last Letter: Reading Between the Lines"
- Oswald Chambers: "We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves—it is the last conceit to go. The only One who understands us is God. The greatest curse in spiritual life is ." (My Utmost for His Highest 12)
- Ellen White: "God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude. . . . The 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 offensive 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." (Steps to Christ 30)
- Sigve Tonstad: "The Laodicean community revels in a sense of wholeness, ensconced within an all-around edifice of accomplishment. The community has no sense of need. We should assume that the community is too sophisticated to say openly the things attributed to it, but it is capable of behaving in ways that convey the attitude described. The message to the community is the keenest statement of how difficult it is to see the discrepancy between self-representation and ."
- Isaiah 55:1—"'Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no , come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without and without cost.'"
- Jesus and Laodicea
- Three priceless gifts:
- Gift #1—"I counsel you to buy from Me ."
- 1 Peter 1:7—". . . that the genuineness of your , being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
- Hebrews 2:13—"I will put my in Him."
- Revelation 14:12—"Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of ."
- Gift #2—"I counsel you to buy from Me ."
- Isaiah 61:10—"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a of righteousness."
- Isaiah 64:6—"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags."
- Desire of Ages: "Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.'" (25)
- Gift #3—"I counsel you to buy from Me .
- Ephesians 1:18—"I pray that the eyes of your may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you."
- 2 Corinthians 4:6—"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. . . . [But] God made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of ."
- Gift #1—"I counsel you to buy from Me ."
- One persistent truth:
- Jesus became all we Laodiceans are, so He could give us all we Laodiceans need.
- And what do we need most of all?
- Three priceless gifts:
We need Jesus
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-471-6154.
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.
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.
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.
Pioneer office hours are now as follows:
Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
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.
Other ways to help:
- Sponsor a fruit/veggie box to be delivered weekly through Cafe Bon Appetit (269-471-3161 ext. 0 or email email@example.com)
- 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
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!
For your safety, Pioneer Memorial Church offices are now closed until further notice. Pastors and staff continue to work remotely to serve your needs.