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!
Gone to the Birds
Lessons from the Divine Ornithologist - Part 3
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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
"Gone to the Birds: Lessons from the Divine Ornithologist"—3
- Matthew 23:37
- Jesus: "How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not."
- Craig Keener: "Jewish tradition claimed that Jewish people were under God's wings, and when a Jewish person converted a Gentile, he or she brought that Gentile 'under the wings of God's presence.'" (The IVP Bible Background Commentary 111)
- "No more poignant or tender expression of solicitude ever came from the lips of Jesus." (SDABC 5:493)
- Desire of Ages: "Divine pity marked the countenance of the Son of God as He cast one lingering look upon the temple and then upon His hearers. In a voice choked by deep anguish of heart and bitter tears He exclaimed, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!' This is the separation struggle. In the lamentation of Christ the very heart of God is pouring itself forth. It is the mysterious farewell of the long-suffering love of the Deity." (620)
- Psalm 91
- KJV (vv1-2)—"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High [Elyon] shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [Shaddai]. I will say of the LORD [Yahweh], He is my refuge and my fortress: my God [Elohim]; in him will I trust."
- Ellen White: "God's commandment-keeping people stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence." (8T 120)
- Psalm 124:7—"We have escaped like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped."
- NET Bible dictionary: "FOWLER: A professional birdcatcher. In the days previous to firearms, birds were captured with nets spread on the ground, in traps and snares. . . . or the use of the throw-stick (Ecclesiasticus 11:30). This was a stick 1 1/2 feet in length and 1/2 inches in diameter, hurled with a rotary motion at the legs of the birds and was very effective when thrown into flocks of ground birds, such as partridge or quail, especially if the birds were running up hill." (http://classic.net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=FOWLER)
- Ecclesiastes 9:12—"Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them."
- Patriarchs and Prophets: "The great mass of the world will reject God's mercy, and will be overwhelmed in swift and irretrievable ruin. But those who heed the warning shall dwell 'in the secret place of the Most High,' and 'abide under the shadow of the Almighty.'" (167)
- Psalm 91:4—"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge."
- Psalm 17:8-9—"Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me."
- Psalm 57:1—"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by."
- Psalm 91:11—the line Satan left out—"He will guard you in all your ways."
- Memorize Psalm 91—
- "Let the more important passages of Scripture [e.g., Psalm 91] . . . be committed to memory, not as a task, but as a privilege. Though at first the memory may be defective, it will gain strength by exercise . . ." (CG 511)
- According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 287, No 6, p 742), the National Institute of Aging found that "adults who regularly participate in intellectually stimulating activities [such as memorization] may reduce their risk of developing dementia such as Alzheimer's disease by as much as 47%."
"Under His wings I am safely abiding"
William Orcutt Cushing
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.