For your safety, Pioneer Memorial Church offices are now closed until further notice. Pastors and staff continue to work remotely to serve your needs. Read more regarding the COVID-19 Pioneer response here.
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.
• Practice #1—Parents must worship the of the child. (Luke 1:67-68)
—It’s one of the great laws of parenting: You can’t pass on what you don’t .
• Practice #2—Parents must declare the of the child. (Luke 1:60-63)
• Practice #3—Parents must pronounce the of the child. (Luke 1:76)
—Gary Smalley and John Trent: “Before the children can walk, they should be carried on the Sabbath and on the Holy Days to their father and mother to receive their blessing. After they are able to walk, they should go to them of their own accord, with body bent and with head bowed, to receive the Blessing.” (The Blessing 33)
• #4—Parents must focus on the of the child. (Luke 1:68-79)
—Donna Habenicht (How to Help Your Child Really Love Jesus):
• Show your children Jesus’ love through love: Hug your baby while you say, “Mommy loves you and Jesus loves you.”
• Paint a picture of Jesus: Instead of “Oh my, how sad you have made Jesus,” emphasize a smiling Jesus, “How happy Jesus is with what you have just done.”
• Encourage spontaneous with Jesus: “Jesus Christie feels so sad . . . please help her to feel happy soon.”
• Joyfully introduce Jesus through and pictures about His life: My Bible Friends is a beautiful way for youngsters to meet Jesus, and so is a picture of Jesus surrounded by children hanging in your child’s bedroom.
• “Remind them that Jesus hurts when they hurt. That He would love to take them in His arms and comfort them. Tell them Jesus can be their best friend, their forever friend . . . who never abandons them.” (130)
• “The most important and impressive thing you can do is to show your children openly how much love Jesus, and they will learn to love Him, too.” (130)
• Practice #5—Parents must confirm the of the child. (Luke 1:76-79)
—Re John the Baptist: “From childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he had accepted the holy trust.” (Desire of Ages 101)
• Practice #6—Parents must seek the Spirit’s of the child. (Luke 1:67, 80)
—Desire of Ages: “Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.” (512)
• Practice #7—Parents must control the of the child. (Luke 1:15, 80)
—Q: How can parents today create a “wilderness environment” for their children? A: You control what comes into your .
—The very word “wilderness” suggests “less” is better.
• Less .
• Less .
• Less .
“Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”
Grow Group Opportunities
We're heading into summer, and with that comes new opportunities for Grow Groups!
Grow Groups will meet from June 22–August 3 (just 6 weeks) and will be held online only again this session. Meeting online allows us to seek friendship as well as social, mental, and spiritual engagement together in community, while prioritizing health and safety. Going digital also allows participants who live outside of our local area to join our groups!
If you're interested in leading, please register your group today!
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.
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
Love on the Move
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."