Vernon Advent Christian Church
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A Unique Church of Understanding People

January/February 2015

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January/February 2015
                                                                                                          EASTERN REGIONAL ASSOCIATION

A Growing Network of Healthy Churches
Dear Lisa,

If you are reading this newsletter, you are probably part of a church.  And most of these churches have pastor's wives.  We would like to encourage you all receiving this newsletter to encourage your Pastor's wife to consider attending the Pastors' Wives Retreat - held on April 10-12, 2015.


This will be held at the Anchorage Inn (265 Long Beach Avenue, York Beach, ME.)  


This is a fun-filled weekend where relationships are built while basking in the Lord and the fellowship of small groups.  This year's theme is "The Year of the Unexpected"  


For more information contact Faye Reynard at or by phone (207) 647-8418.


Why not give your pastor's wife a treat and pay her way!  Scholarships are available as well.


Cut-off date for registration is March 27, 2015


Church Based Theological Education


Paradigm Shifts - (2 of 12)


We will continue to explore new ideas in this series on Paradigm Shifts. 


We sent out an e-mail to all of our Pastors with material on the topic of Church Based Theological Education.  This subject is near and dear to my heart as I believe that Leadership Development is crucial to the future of our churches.  There is a lot of great content in the articles and video that we have sent out and that are available here.


Join President Steve Brown, Dr. Steve Kemp, Dr. Sam Warren and Greg Twitchell as they discuss leadership development, training planters in the third world, theological education, and First Principals.  See if you agree with their assessment that every church and Pastor needs to consider how they can be involved in training people locally.



 We also want to provide you with some reading that will explain further the history of education and why this shift is important today.  Jeff Reed is the founder of BILD International and is the Producer of the Antioch School Courses and First Principles booklets.  These articles were written to help us rethink our current model of education and to champion the idea that every believer should be discipled, taught theology, and equipped for ministry, not just those who can afford to go to Bible Colleges and Seminaries.  While he believes that there is still an important place for these institutions of higher learning, he would argue that they aren't the only way to accomplish education.  Please take some time to read through these articles and consider how God may use this model in our context in the future.


Church Based Theological Education: Creating a New Paradigm
Church Based Theological Education: Creating a New Paradigm describes the shifts taking place in formal education, reviews the biblical principles of theological education, and proposes a new model of theological education rooted in the local church and shepherded by a qualified leadership team of elders and ministers of the gospel.


Church-Based Theology: Creating a New Paradigm
Church Based Theology: Creating a New Paradigm addresses the fragmented, scientific approach taught today in formal institutions and proposes a new model of theology that is rooted in wisdom and whose focus is the strength and shepherding of local churches.


Church-Based Hermeneutics: Creating a New Paradigm
Church Based Hermeneutics: Creating a New Paradigm proposes a model of interpreting and using the Scriptures in local churches that replaces the act of interpreting as a strictly individualistic endeavor, with an endeavor that is shared by a local church functioning as a critical-thinking learning community.


Church-Based Ministry Training Which is Truly Church-Based
Church-Based Ministry Training Which is Truly Church-Based tackles the complex issue and question: "What makes a training program truly church based, rather than institutionally or organizationally based?"


In the New Testament we see Paul making statements about everyone being a mature follower of Christ, (Hebrews 6:1; Colossians 1:28).  In our culture today, we seem to be content to just have the pews full on Sunday.  Apparently believing that simply by getting people to sit through our preaching from week to week we will produce mature disciples.  I believe that it requires a much more intentional effort to make disciples, that includes mentoring for character development, ministry involvement for development of spiritual gifts, and study to be Biblically literate and able to apply theology to our cultural setting. 


For a long time the church has assumed that this level of development was the responsibility of the Bible Colleges and Seminaries and that the local church was not equipped to prepare people for ministry.  I would disagree.  I believe that Paul created a model in the New Testament whereby people could be developed in the local church for ministry and that we can still do this today.  The local church is uniquely situated and gifted to equip believers.  Eph. 4:11-16 teaches us that the role of Pastors is to equip the believers for ministry.  And that they should work at it till "we all attain to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood."  This tells me that we can equip people through the local church in every way to provide the faith and knowledge they need to be mature in Christ. 


It's time that the church began equipping the saints, instead of attracting spectators.  I believe that this is a very important topic and that we can all learn a lot more about taking our churches to the next level of leader development.  I hope that you will check out these free resources, and sign up for one of the online discussion groups we will have on the following dates:


Discussion Group

Do you agree or disagree?  Or perhaps you have further questions?  Either way, we would like to invite you to participate in the discussion group that we are scheduling.  Please click the link below to register for this free discussion groups.  This group is not intended to be a lecture, nor are we expecting to come out with a plan to change the world.  We are anticipating some good times of discussion.  Members of the Panel Discussion will host the group.  We will utilize a program called Web Ex to host these online videoconferences.  You will need a computer with a web-cam and high speed Internet to participate. 

Friday February 13, at 7 p.m.
Group Leaders:  Steve Brown and Steve Kemp 


From The  Super Headeruper 


As always I want to Praise the Lord in this mini report to you all for God's goodness and provision!  I am pleased to announce that God provided for our financial needs through your generous giving.  We ended the year $700 above expenses and spent less than we had budgeted. 


We are working on plans for recruiting and training leadership to plant and pastor in Canada.  Please join us in praying for God to move in our Sister Country. 


I was pleased to be able to attend the Faith Community Church in Windsor, CT as Pastor Jonathan Price, Pastor Joel Peck and his wife Jennifer were all given the right hand of fellowship as new members.  Their annual meeting was held and we were able to celebrate God's provision in this Revitalization Church.


I was able to visit with Merle Beal and see the completed chimney work that many of you donated toward.  Praise God that the funds came in and the work was completed before winter.


I participated in the Ordination and Installation service for Pastor Ed Cilley in Dover, New Hampshire.  It was a wonderful celebration with a full house made up of family, and members of the Emmanuel and Dover churches.  Art Stone brought the message and many others participated.  


I praise God for how He is at work in so many places.  Praise God for new leadership, new plant possibilities, and developing leaders!  God is good!  All the time!

 Grace,  Greg

2015 Financial Partners Needed


New ERA VisionMonthly Ministry Partners

Monthly Ministry Partners are people who share our passion to reach a lost world with the message of a soon returning Savior.  As a result, they have committed to join with us by giving to the work of the ERA on a monthly basis.  You can join this group of highly motivated, dedicated workers who are committed to helping us underwrite our various regional ministries listed above by giving a set gift each month.


Why is it important?

Everything we do at the Eastern Regional Association is possible because of your financial support.  ERA isn't built on huge gifts; it's the collective power of many gifts that drives us.  Please know that any amount is appreciated and will make an eternal impact and will help us to plan for and sustain future ministry.  We are so appreciative of the many people who are dedicated to God's Word and to faithfully partnering with this ministry. 


Everything we do at the ERA is possible because of your partnership.  United with us to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Why invest in the ERA?

¨ Providing resources and services that equip, empower, and encourage our churches and those they serve to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

¨ Pastors and their families throughout the Region are spiritually and emotionally healthier because of the resources and services made available through the Regional Ministries.

¨ New church leaders and pastors are being cultivated around the Region through educational partnerships and ERA training events .

¨ The future of our Association of churches/ministries in the Eastern Region is dependent upon the decisions and investments that we make today.


Click here for a 2015 Eastern Regional Ministries Brochure




Black logoThe Annual Eastern Regional Convention Date has been set!


Mark your calendars for October 23-24, 2015.  Held at Emmanual Advent Christian Church, Rochester, NH.  Featuring worship, workshops, fellowship, and convention business!


ERA Regional Residence

Shingle Project 2015

May 28-30, 2015



GOAL: 70 gifts @ $100 each

GOAL:  $7000 for materials

GOAL:  Volunteer Manpower                

Attention Church Clerks

1.  When preparing your annual church reports, please don't forget to send a copy to the Eastern  Regional Office either by mail or email!  Thanks!


2.  Beginning January 1, 2015 we will officially be cancelling our Post Office Box.  Please send all mail to the physical address of 32 Four Rod Road, Rochester, NH  03867

2014 Apportionment Giving

Black logoBy clicking on the document below you will see the 2014 Apportionment Giving.


Thank you for your continued financial support.  May you be richly blessed for your commitment.


Get your calendar ready!


2015 Meetings Schedule

New Life Conference                     Saturday, March 7            Calvary ACC, Bristol, CT

Guest Speaker:  Greg Twitchell


Maranatha Conference                 Saturday, April 18            Calvary Bible Church, Meredith, NH

Guest Speaker:  Walid Shoebat


Heritage Conference                      TBA                                        TBA


Maine State Conference              Fri-Sat, May 1 & 2                Bangor ACC, Bangor, ME


Nova Scotia                                        Sat-Sun, June 6 & 7         Bear River ACC, Nova Scotia

Guest Speaker:  Sam Warren


Eastern Regional Convention      Fri-Sat, Oct 23 & 24          Emmanuel Church, Rochester, NH


2015 Retreats and Conference Schedule


Pastors' Wives Retreat                  Fri-Sun, April 10-12          Anchorage Inn, York Beach, ME


WH&FMS Annual Connection   Sat, June 13                         State Street Church, Portsmouth, NH


Sports & Music Camp                    Sun, June 28- Fri, July 3 Alton Bay Christian Conf. Ctr, 

                                                                                                                Alton Bay, NH


Women's Retreat                            Fri-Sun, Sept 18-20          Alton Bay Christian Conf. Center, 

                                                                                                              Alton Bay, NH


If your church would like to add to this calendar of event - please contact the Eastern Regional Office or email:

In This Issue

Paradigm Shifts

From the Super

2015 Financial Parnters Needed


2015 Shingle Project

Attention Church Clerks!

2014 Apportionment Giving

Get Your Calendar Ready!

Musing -by Rev. Clayton Blackstone

Book Review by Dr. Sam Warren

Winter 2015 Antioch Course Offerings

2015 Summer Camp Schedule

We Shall Get There Some Day

Clayton BlackstoneMusing - Rev. Clayton Blackstone


Rivers know this: there is no hurry.

We shall get there some day.

-    Winnie the Pooh


The field mouse zigged then zagged from one side of the snow-blown path to the other then from the dead end near the foundation of the house to the bend in the road that had become its prison. I thought it free when it scaled the snow cliff at the edge of the lane. But, instead of whistling a happy tune and strolling off to wherever field mice live in the winter, it tumbled back into a rodent's Grand Canyon.


I caught the unfolding drama from the bathroom window as I shaved. Though not a fan of the tiny creature, I didn't want it to die. I willed it to slow down. To stop on top of the snow line and think ahead to its next steps.


I missed the ending. I had places to go and people to see.


Later, in a pause-to-catch-my-breath moment, I heard God chuckle. OK, not so much heard as sensed. My over-active imagination kicked in as I "saw" God looking down on me running hither and yon as I tried to extricate myself from my dilemma of the moment.


The visual image reinforced something I read a decade earlier. "We string ourselves out, expending all our time and energy, adding our will to God's, trying to do extremely well at what he never intended us to do at all."[i] Read but not heeded, I might add.


Eugene Peterson refers to busyness as "an illness of the spirit, a rush from one thing to another because...there is no confidence in the primacy of grace."[ii]


I grew up on a farm mentored by a dad who believed that if he could keep his five sons busy enough, he would hold trouble at bay. And his sons thought that if we could hurry and complete the jobs he laid out for us, we would have time to play. Years later, I continue to hear those whispers still in my ear.


 "Much harm comes of the impatience that outstrips guidance," George MacDonald wrote. "People are too ready to think something must be done and forget the time for action may not have arrived."


Unlike me, God never hurries. He works always, or at least most often, in quiet and stillness.


While pondering this collusion of memories, I remembered a field mouse moment in the life of the people of Israel. They had been singing, "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty (we're) free at last" for a few days when they found themselves staring at the Red Sea through their windshield and the Egyptian army through their rear view mirror.

Moses answered the people's cry with, "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."[iii]


Be still. Don't move or make a sound. Enter into deep silence and calm.

Easier said than done.


"Don't fret," David begins one of his psalms. "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; don't fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes."[iv]


Don't move or make a sound. Enter into deep silence and calm even then.


"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."[v]


Don't move or make a sound. Enter into deep silence and calm.

"If you want to live life free;

"Take your time, go slowly,

"Do few things, but do them well,

"Heart felt joys are Holy."[vi]


I wish I could have whispered those words to the field mouse that cold winter day in the same way God whispers them to me. Then again, I'm not certain it would have understood any better than I do. But I can hope - for both of us.


[i] David Roper. Seeing Through. (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1995), 162.

[ii] Eugene Peterson. Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Ministry. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), 61.

[iii] Exodus 14.14 NIV

[iv] Psalm 37.1,7 NIV

[v] Psalm 46.10 NIV

[vi] Francis of Assisi, from the soundtrack from Brother Sun and Sister Moon © 1972 Euro International Films, S.P.A. Original screen play by Suo Cecchi D'Amico, Kenneth Ross, Lina Wertmuller, Franco Zeffirelli, music by Donovan.


© 2013 Clayton Blackstone

Book Review by Dr. Sam Warren


I recently read J.D. Greear's book concerning the Holy Spirit and it made a significant impact on my life.  In this month's newsletter, I am happy to recommend it as your next book! 


Here's what others say...

Why does God often feel more like a doctrine we know about than a Person we know? Why do so many of us think of Christianity as a lifestyle to which we conform, rather than a God with whom we commune?

Jesus gave his disciples the audacious promise that it was to their advantage he go back to heaven because the Holy Spirit could then come to live inside of them. How many of us consider our connection to the Holy Spirit so strong and so real that we would call his presence in us better than Jesus beside us?


Author J.D. Greear asks those questions because throughout his Christian life he felt disconnected to God and unsure about how to interact with him. Although he had learned a lot of truths about God, he sensed very little relationship with him-at least, not the dynamic, two-way relationship he really wanted. He tried to have such a relationship, but all of God's work seemed stockpiled in the past: he created the world, died on a cross, and left a Bible. God seemed like a busy teacher who had given an assignment and then stepped out of the room, leaving students to get the work done on their own.


But Greear discovered it doesn't have to be like that. Not at all. In clear and practical language, he explains how any follower of Jesus can have a satisfying, powerful relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.

While many books about the Holy Spirit get stuck in secondary questions that divide believers, The God Factor focuses on a central, truth that unites us: God wants to be vitally present in and through his people. This truth, though central, is sadly neglected. This generation of Christians-mission-driven but burned out, weary, and longing for joy-desperately needs to recover the dynamic presence of God. And the good news is that God wants us to have exactly that.


Dr. Sam Warren | Director of Nurture

Advent Christian General Conference |


Winter 2015 Antioch Course Offerings

Antioch Banner


Leadership Development 

For Everyone In Your Church


I am pleased to report that we have the following number of people taking Antioch Courses this Winter:

Acts 7 participants
Pauline (afternoon) 4 participants
Pauline (evening) 6 participants
Leaders  5 participants
Preaching 7 participants
Interpreting 2   3 participants

Besides these folks, we also have groups in other Regions and many local churches offering live classes as well, including: Windham, State Road, Meredith, Haverhill, Lennox, and Charlton.  Praise God for this expanding ministry of equipping leaders for ministry!


2015 Summer Camp Schedule

goggles-pool-girls.jpgOnce again, we are gearing up for an very busy summer with our Camps and Conferences in the Eastern Region.


We have compliled our camp schedules with contact person information.  If you are in leadership and there needs to be corrections for the your schedule or contact information, please contact the Eastern Regional Office and we will make sure your information is corrected.

ERA Board of Directors
Rev. Dr. Glenn Rice, President
Rev. Paul Carter, Vice  President
Rev. Allen Latimore, Clerk
Mrs. Karen Emerson,   Treasurer
Rev. Doug Tourgee, Heritage Conference Representative
Rev. Nick Foss, President, Maine State Conference
Rev. Dr. David Alves, President, Maranatha Conference
Rev. George Karl, President, New Life Conference
Rev. George Middleton, President, New York Conference
Rev. Ken Perkins, President, Nova Scotia Conference
Mr. Charlie Merrill, ERA Representative to ACGC

The Eastern Regional Association Newsletter is published as a ministry of the Eastern Regional Association of the Advent Christian General Conference.


Rev. Gregory Twitchell, Superintendent


Miss Carolyn Schaeffner, Administrative Secretary



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