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 Pugwash Factor:
How to Respond to the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision
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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 Pugwash Factor: How to Respond to the Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Decision”
- The Supreme Court
- “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. . . . It would misunderstand these [same sex] men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf)
- The Creator
- Matthew 19:3-12
- Seventh-day Adventist Church: “Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus Christ to be both monogamous and heterosexual, a lifelong union of loving companionship between a man and a woman. In the culmination of His creative activity, God fashioned humankind as male and female in His own image; and He instituted marriage, a covenant-based union of the two genders physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as ‘one flesh.’” (http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/statements/article/go/0/marriage/30/)
- S.D.A. Theological Seminary: “. . . a marriage between a man and a woman is the Edenic model for all time. This unique heterosexual marital form involving the sexual union of a man and a woman constitutes the divine paradigm, the ‘Creation order,’ for humanity from the beginning. This paradigm means that marriage cannot consist of the sexual union between a man and another man or a woman and another woman. This Creation pattern of marriage between a man and a woman remains the norm throughout Scripture.” (“Biblical View on Homosexual Practice and Pastoral Care,” draft 6 p 2)
- North American Division of S.D.A.: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church acknowledges the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday June 26, legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States. Even with the Supreme Court's decision, the Adventist Church maintains its fundamental belief that marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman. While the church respects the opinions of those who may differ, it will continue to teach and promote its biblically based belief of marriage between a man and a woman. The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that all people, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, are God’s children and should be treated with civility, compassion, and Christ-like love.” (http://www.nadadventist.org/article/1073743014/news/current-newspoints/newspoints-june-26-2015-supreme-court-on-same-sex-marriage)
- The Church
- Russell Moore: “We must embody a gospel marriage culture. We have done a poor job of that in the past. Too many of our marriages have been ravaged by divorce. Too often we’ve neglected church discipline in the cases of those who have unrepentantly destroyed their marriages. . . . We must hold our views and love those who hate us for them. We must not only speak Christian truths; we must speak with a Christian accent. We must say what Jesus has revealed, and we must say those things the way Jesus does—with mercy and with an invitation to live.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/26/why-the-church-should-neither-cave-nor-panic-about-the-decision-on-gay-marriage/)
- Justin Lee: “I’ve talked to many single Christians who find the church a challenging place to be at times. But for single gay Christians, there are even bigger hurdles. . . . Single gay Christians face the difficulties of singleness alongside potential condemnation for their orientation. And while all single people face challenges in our culture, the challenges faced by people who are single by choice or because they haven’t yet found the right person are different from the challenges faced by those who eagerly desire companionship but believe God requires celibacy even if they should fall in love in the future.” (Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate 239-240)
- Seminary: “While being faithful to biblical teaching about homosexuality, we must also seek earnestly to understand and empathize with the struggles and challenges that face those who struggle with sexual immorality. . . . All persons, including practicing homosexuals, should be made to feel welcome to attend our churches while non-practicing gay persons should be welcomed into membership and church office. All should receive spiritual care from the church (Gal 6:1). We stand against any antipathy toward homosexuals as well as any cultural biases that fuel a lack of Christ-like love for them. . . . We strongly affirm that homosexual persons have a place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” (Ibid 16, 17)
- Henri Nouwen: “God, help me to see others not as my enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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.