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.
What do you get for the God who has everything? Especially if He already gave everything He had for you? Jesus gave us the answer in John 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends."
In the year 1789, the crew of the HMS Bounty decided they'd rather go it alone and promptly placed their captain on a lifeboat in the south Pacific and waved goodbye. Could it be that some of us living here in the blessed and bountiful USA are perhaps not so different than that mutinous crew?
□ Susan Reimer on the latest Journal of Consumer Research study
“‘While people tend to define happiness in terms of excitement,
enthusiasm and high stakes arousal, people define happiness in terms of calm, peacefulness and low states of arousal,’ the authors wrote. We still love thrills as we age, the researchers found. experiences give young and old almost the same amount of pleasure. But happiness from experiences as people got older.” (South Bend Tribune 3-2-14)
Ninety-three year old essayist Roger Angell on aging: “‘We’ve outgrown our ambitions. If our wives or husbands are still with us, we sense a trickle of contentment flowing from the reliable springs of routine, affection in long silences, calm within the light boredom of well-worn friends, retold stories and mossy opinions.’” (Ibid)
□ Jesus in Acts 20:35
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “In the Churchyard at Cambridge”:
“Dust is in her beautiful eyes”—a graphic depiction of the unassailable truth that you can’t it with you.
Thus the poet can describe “Christian charity”—the charity of —as “the richest and rarest” of .
The way Jesus Himself lived: “He went about doing ” (Acts 10:38).
□ Tim Aka in End Game Economics: Understanding the Financial Crisis through Scripture
“It has become painfully obvious the world is suffering under a tremendous burden of debt. From Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain in the European Union, to Japan, China, and of course the United States, nations have become saddled with unstainable amounts of debt.” (8)
“Individuals have also taken on great amounts of debt to try to attain and maintain a lifestyle. . . . Of course there are those who are truly impoverished without the necessities of life, but the majority of us have all we need for a comfortable life. Yet we don’t realize the extent to which has played a role in the creation of this lifestyle.” (8-9)
USDTA: “Credit card debt in the USA currently amounts to a total debt of about billion dollars. The average credit card debt per credit card owning household is dollars. This is the total credit card debt divided by the number of households with credit cards. Credit card penalty fees in the US add up to about billion dollars a year.
“Approximately million credit cards are currently in use in the United States, with credit card users having an average of cards each. There are about 176.8 million credit card users in the US. Every year, about billion credit card solicitations are mailed in the USA.
“Students are particularly likely to have credit card debts and they are also likely to have multiple credit cards. The average credit card debt of a new graduate is dollars, with about 20 percent of graduates having credit card debts of more than dollars.” (http://www.usdta.org/credit-card-debt-in-the-usa.php)
Romans 13:8 NLT—“Pay all your , except the debt of love for others.”
□ God in Malachi 3:10
“The 90 Day Tithe Challenge”
“The 90 Day 2nd Tithe Challenge”
“The first tithe was strictly for the support of the priests and Levites [Numbers 18:21; Deuteronomy 14:22]. The second tithe [Deuteronomy 14:23, 28-29] provided either for a sacred family feast before the Lord or for a table provided by Jehovah for orphans, for the poor, and for ‘strangers’ within the land. Levites were eligible to partake of all such feasts. The provisions among Israel for the needy encouraged the practice of true religion. The apostle James expressed the same principle for the Christian church (James 1:27).” (SDA BC 1:1003)
Desire of Ages: “Having undertaken our redemption, [God] will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me.” (57)
“Test Me . . . Again”
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!