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.
Isaiah 64:6—“ All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
Isaiah 61:10—“ I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of and arrayed me in a robe of , as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Ellen White: “Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His of righteousness. He presents us to the Father clothed in the white raiment of character. He pleads before God in our behalf, saying: I have taken the sinner’s place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on Me. Does Satan plead loudly against our souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey, the blood of Christ pleads with power.” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 8-9)
Christ Our Righteousness
1 John 2:1 NKJV—“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the .”
Jeremiah 23:6 NKJV—“Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR .”
1 Corinthians 1:30—“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our , holiness and redemption.”
Christ is our .
N. T. Wright: “[God’s righteousness] is an outward-looking characteristic of God, linked of course to the concern for God’s own glory but essentially going, as it were, in the opposite direction, that of God’s creative, healing, restorative . God’s concern for God’s glory is precisely rescued from the appearance of divine narcissism because God, not least God as Trinity, is always giving out, pouring out, lavishing generous on undeserving people, undeserving Israel and an undeserving world. That is the sort of God he is, and ‘God’s righteousness’ is a way of saying, ‘Yes, and God will be true to that character.’” (Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision 70-71)
Wright: “. . . God’s righteousness is that quality or attribute because of which he his people. His ‘acts of righteousness’ are thus the acts he performs as outworkings or demonstrations of his covenant faithfulness.” (71)
Wright: “Indeed, it is because God will be true to that outward-facing generous, creative that he must also curse those ways of life, particularly those ways of life within his covenant people, which embody and express the opposite [of his creative love]. . . . and therefore [he] must curse everything that thwarts and destroys the blessing of his world and his people.” (71)
So what is a loving and righteous God to do now?
John 3:16—“For God so the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Timothy 1:15—“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to sinners—of whom I am the worst.”
Romans 3:25-26—“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his . . . so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
How did this loving and righteous God pull it off?
2 Corinthians 5:14, 21—“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for , and therefore died. . . . God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the of God.”
White: “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 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.’” (Desire of Ages 25)
Romans 5:19—“For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Christ] the many will be made .”
Wright: “The language of ‘righteousness’ in the Old Testament regularly refers to the lawcourt, or quasi lawcourt situations. . . . Let us imagine a fictitious scenario in ancient Israel. Azariah and Bildad go to law before Gamaliel, acting as a judge. Azariah accuses Bildad of stealing a sheep. Gamaliel hears the case and finds in favor of Bildad: the court declares that the accusation is unfounded and that Bildad is innocent. That ‘finding in favor,’ that declaration, is ‘’; its result is that Bildad is now ‘righteous,’ that is, ‘in the .’. . . He is, in other words, the vindicated defendant.” (68-69)
Romans 5:18—“One righteous act resulted in and life for all people.”
White: “With His own blood [Jesus] has signed the emancipation papers of the .” (Ministry of Healing 90)
White: “[Christ] took in His grasp the world over which Satan claimed to preside as his lawful territory, and by His wonderful work in giving His life, He restored the race of men to favor with God.” (Selected Messages 1:343)
“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through [Pastors] Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of . They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” (91-92)
Romans 1:16—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. . . . For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.”
Psalm 33:6, 9—“By the of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the of his mouth. . . .For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
John 6:63—“‘The I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.’”
2 Timothy 3:16—“All is God-breathed and is useful for teaching . . .”
E. J. Waggoner: “When the word of God names something, then the thing that is named is formed. Whatever is described by the word, exists in that word. Thus it is impossible for God to lie, for His word makes the thing so.” (Living by Faith 13)
Hebrews 1:3—“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful .”
Waggoner: “The breath of God, which has creative energy in it, is that which gives us the precepts and promises of the Bible. That creative is the power of the Gospel. . . . The power of redemption is the power of , for redemption is creation. . . . To declare is to speak, so when God declares His righteousness in Christ for the remission of sins [Romans 3:25], righteousness is spoken into and on you, to take the place of your sins, which are taken away. And it is not simply a passive righteousness that is declared on you, but real, active righteousness, for the word of the Lord is alive, and God’s righteousness is real and active.” (14-15)
Hans LaRondelle: “However, justification implies more than a mere legal transaction. The righteousness of Christ is a power, ‘it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct.’—The Desire of Ages p 556. Many have too abstract and narrow a view of forgiveness and justification. This led E. G. White to state: ‘God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart.’—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing p 114.” (Christ Our Salvation: What God Does for Us and in Us 47)
“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.”
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!