Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
Think Local, Act Global:
Reversing the Polarities of the Third Millennial Church
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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
“Think Local, Act Global: Reversing the Polarities of the 3rd Millennial Church”
- 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9-11
- Lee Beach, The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom: “. . . there was a time in the history of most Western nations when Christianity held court as the de facto religion of the empire, and the church stood at or near the center of political power. In this cultural setting the church had a significant role to play in the shaping of culture and the determining of the overarching moral structures of society.” (33)
- Beach: “If these trends continue at their current pace, religious ‘nones,’ as they are often called, will outnumber Christians by 2042.” (35)
- Beach: “Christianity has been gradually losing its status as the lingua franca in Western culture for some time and has increasingly tended to become a local language used only by those who are professing Christians, not understood by others. . . . As we enter into the twenty-first century and the dust from the cultural upheaval of the previous century begins to clear, it is apparent that the church no longer functions at or near the center of things any more. . . The church must now function within a framework that precludes any kind of cultural authority.” (34-36)
- Implication #1—we must find new ways to engage and penetrate the culture and world in which we are exiled.
- Daniel vs. Esther
- Implication #2—our modus operandi for doing so must be “engaged nonconformity.
- Beach: “Exilic holiness is fully engaged with culture while not fully conforming to it. Living as a Christian exile in Western culture calls the church to live its life constructively embedded within society while not being enslaved to all of its norms and ideals. Sometimes holiness has a personal cost and demands taking a stand that draws attention to oneself. At other times holiness is not defined by dramatic action but by the day-to-day choices we make.” (183)
- Walter Brueggemann, Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles: “The metaphor of Babylonian exile will serve well for my urging. . . . The great problem for exiles is cultural assimilation. The primary threat to those ancient Jews was that members of the community would decide that Jewishness is too demanding, or too dangerous, or too costly, and simply accept Babylonian definitions and modes of reality. And surely Jews in exile worried that their young would see no point in the hassle of being Jewish. . . . We ourselves [as Christians] surely know, moreover, about the next generation that too readily decides that discipleship is not worth it. As Jews disappeared into the woodwork of Babylon, so Christians now, as never before in the West, disappear into the hegemony of secularism.” (41)
- Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News: “These three statements provide a neat summary of the gospel story. We are loved by God, forgiven by God, and invited to the banquet table. In the midst of a planet marked by brokenness—violence, natural disasters, ruptured relationships—the gospel is truly good news. Like an iPod listener dancing in a subway station full of glum commuters, a Christian hears a different sound, of joy and laughter on the other side of pain and death.” (71)
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee