The month of February began with Adult Retreat. My, how the Lord did bless at Retreat! We were privileged to have as our special speakers, Cathy and John Payne from the International Offices. Our Retreat Theme was: “Driven By The Spirit.” Truly, that is what we all endeavor to do, i.e., to be completely led by the Spirit of the Lord. And without doubt, Sister Payne was directed by the Spirit to minister to us. Our worship at Adult Retreat was heavenly, thanks to Sister Shirley Smith and the Horizon Church musicians. We are indeed thankful for our many dedicated workers that helped out at Retreat. Each and every one are a blessing.
On Sunday, the last day of Retreat, Sister Knoblich and myself received news that my mom, Ernestine Knoblich, was not doing well in the hospital. We left Retreat early to be with her. The family was called in since we knew the time was short. She passed away on Tuesday morning. We had the funeral/Celebration service for her on that coming Saturday. Though we miss Mom, we know she is rejoicing in heaven. Sister Knoblich and myself want to say thank you to all of our church family for your many expressions of love and support. It is so heart-warming to see our whole kitchen table covered with cards, cards that share your sympathy and condolences. Again, thank you Church family for your prayerful support.
As of the writing of this newsletter, ‘Youth Harvest Training’ will be in full swing in Washougal at the New Horizons Church. We are expecting an anointed time of teaching and preaching. Our pastors and youth leaders will benefit greatly from this training session.
During February, we had District Conventions, in Tacoma and Washougal. The Lord anointed and used our District Overseers, Bishop Rick Bear and Bishop Frank Smith to minister the Word. Brother Bear’s message compared Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ. We learned that there really is no comparison at all. It caused one to think of just how great and awesome is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Pastor Smith preached on the importance of reaching into the Harvest, the importance of being directed by the Spirit, and the importance of Biblical stewardship. The Lord moved in a special way in both Conventions.
The month of March will usher in two more District Conventions, in Kirkland and in Kennewick. The dates are March 12 and March 19 respectively. Please come and support your local District Convention. District Convention is a great place for worship, instruction, and fellowship. We look forward to seeing you there.
SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL AND ADVANCED STUDIES (SOPAS)
The School of Practical and Advanced Studies is scheduled for three days, March 24-26, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. As you recall, in November of 2009 we had SOPAS I in our Region. SOPAS II will be offered this time, again with an emphasis on Leadership Development, Ecclesial Identity, and an Introduction to Hermeneutics and Homiletics. It will not be necessary to have taken SOPAS I to take SOPAS II. Dr. Wallace Pratt and myself are excited to announce that, SOPAS II will be offered in both English and Spanish. So, spread the word!
(Note: There are No Tests, for those who may be apprehensive about attending.)
(For students completing the reading assignments, a Certificate of Completion will be awarded. The reading assignment is “Foundations For Facing Forward: Holiness” by General Overseer, Bishop Randall Howard)
This is a Must School for Pastors, Ministers, and Aspiring Church Leadership.
I strongly encourage all to attend. It will be worth it!
Information regarding the tuition and lodging has been sent out to the pastors, so be sure to mark this time on your calendars.
Excerpts From State Overseer’s Annual Address
During the month of January we looked at our “Mission” or “Ministry” in reaching the people. This month we will expand upon our mandate of reaching people through having a clearer understanding of the theology behind “Shalom.” Please read:
***Your Gospel (The Great Commission) gets larger when you understand “Shalom” in all its ramifications. Jesus was an agent of Shalom, and He is sending us to be His Agents of Peace.
How you go about to seek the Shalom for the city has much wider implications than just praying for “Peace.”
It means getting out and ministering to the poor, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, in our communities. It means bringing them groceries, helping them find adequate housing, making sure they have access to adequate health facilities. It means providing them transportation when necessary. It means fighting against crime and darkness in the City.
***You see Church, when you have a “Presence” in your Communities, when you become the Shining Light that is set on a Hill, that is how you push out darkness!
***You, Church, are the Light to show them THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!!!
If we don’t push out darkness and take our Nation and Cities back, no one else will!
I am not saying that your Church is to be a Welfare State to the poor, but we are to seek justice for them. Charity creates dependence on others, a type of “welfare dance.” That’s not what we are looking to do.
2. The Ambulance Analogy.
Often, we as churches get stuck in “Ambulance Mode” when people drive off the cliff. Being in Ambulance Mode is fine and good, but we would accomplish a whole lot more by getting a protective barrier built in preventing people from going over the cliff! This means we may need to confront the mayor and the city council to get this barrier put up. That is what it means to Seek for the Shalom of the City.
***What can you do in your communities and cities, besides offering groceries?
You can influence legislation that will change health standards in the poor areas or that will target areas of crime or help to provide more educational assistance.
You can influence legislation that will help to influence better living conditions in the poor sides of town.
***Remember, if you allow Oppression, one day it will come back on you! Don’t put your head in the sand and pretend these conditions don’t exist. If you allow Hitler (Anti-Christ) to move in, it will bite you soon.
We as the Church must be CONSCIENTIOUS of our Responsibility to Society!!! Otherwise who will?!
SO, LET’S UNPACK THE “SHALOM!”
Where Sin has overtaken our communities and cities, that’s where we should be. Our job is to go to a broken people.
*The Geography of the Gospel should coincide with the Geography of Evil.
Jesus reached the Poor, had compassion on the poor, and so should we! The Poor are the Salvation of the Church. Why? Because God blesses you by your service to the Poor!
3. ***And the amazing thing about it, when you go after this Peace in the City, when you pursue it, you will discover peace for yourself!
As you give Peace out, you will find it. It’s kind of one of those things, when you sow it, you will reap it.
Amazingly, when Babylon finds her Peace, then the People of God will have Peace. (See Jer. 29:7) When Babylon is Healthy, then the Church truly finds her Best Health.
***Some people cannot find the totality of peace that God wants for their lives, because they have not followed through on what God has called them to do in the city, in their communities. God has called them to go into the city to seek the peace of the city.
(Next month we will look at the Importance of Prayer in Reaching our Cities.)
Events Calendar for 2011
March 12 District Convention - Kirkland (Roger Jones, District Overseer)
March 19 District Convention - Tri-Cities (Franklin Smith, District Overseer)
March 24-26 School of Practical and Advanced Studies (SOPAS II) - Portland, OR
April 8-10 State Ladies Retreat - (Vancouver Red Lion) (Sherry Johnson, Director)
April 15-16 Youth Convention - Kirkland (Shelly Symonds, Director)
April 29-May 1 State Men’s Retreat - White Pass (Franklin Smith, Director)
May 6-7 Camp Focus/Workday - (Millersylvania) (Bob & Donella Gaines, Coordinators)
May 13-15 Senior Retreat - Washougal (James Cabales, Director)
June 2-5 Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary - Kirkland Family Church
(Theology I- Dr. Hector Ortiz)