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.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity has adopted a broad definition of
“martyr”: “Believers in Christ who have lost their lives prematurely, in situations of witness, as a result of human hostility.” (www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2013/10/2815601/)
- Frans Veerman, director of Open Doors’ World Watch List: “There is a huge gray area around the question of ‘martyrs.’ When Christians are isolated and denied clean drinking water and medical care because they are Christians and refuse to become Muslims—[and thus] they perish quicker than others—are they martyrs? In a strict sense, they aren’t. But when the whole mechanism behind [their deaths] is studied, we can say they are.” (www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/september/counting-cost-accurately.html)
- John Allen, The Global War on Christians: “The truth is two thirds of the 2.3 billion Christians in the world today live . . . in dangerous neighbourhoods. They are often poor. They often belong to ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities. And they are often at risk. And ultimately I think making that point is more important than being precise about the death toll.” (www.worldwatchmonitor.org)
□ The Lord of Martyrs
- • John 16:1-3
- • Matthew 24:9
- John the Baptist
- Desire of Ages: “[Satan] had been unwearied in his efforts to draw away the
- Baptist from a life of unreserved surrender to God; but he had failed. And he had failed to overcome Jesus. In the temptation in the wilderness, Satan had been defeated, and his rage was great. Now he determined to bring sorrow upon Christ by striking John. The One whom he could not entice to sin he would cause to suffer. Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. . . . But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom. As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack, or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, had passed through a similar experience!” (224)
- • Revelation 2:10
□ How then shall we live?
- Lord Jonathan Sacks in an address to Parliament, December 2011: “‘I have
- followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed . . . that it is not more widely known. It was Martin Luther King who said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our
- enemies, but the silence of our friends.” That is why I felt I could not be silent
- today.’” (Liberty January/February 2014)
If you want to be involved politically:
S. 653: Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act
Write your senators and petition the bill to be brought to the floor for a vote.
If you want to be involved spiritually:
Pray for Seventh-day Adventist prisoner Bruno Amah in Togo Pray for those incarcerated or suffering for their faith
If you want to be involved personally:
Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he
Desire of Ages: “Of all the gifts that heaven can bestow upon men [and
women], fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and
the highest honor.” (225)
Will you follow the Lord of martyrs to where you will find both them and Him
- Desire of Ages: “Of all the gifts that heaven can bestow upon men [and
“R U willing 2 B SOLD OUT 4 Jesus?”
Please mark Sabbath, October 3 (9:00/11:45 AM), for a joyful celebration of the Lord's Supper as a worshiping community. While we will participate with actual emblems of bread and wine, because of the pandemic the elements will be prepackaged for your safety. These packaged elements will be available for your pickup at the church office the week before (Monday, September 28 through Sabbath, October 3). On-site worshipers will receive the packaged communion elements upon arriving for worship Sabbath morning.
But how will we celebrate foot washing? We're inviting every worshiper and family to experience Jesus' example in John 13 by washing each other's feet that Friday evening where you live. If you would like someone with whom to share this foot washing, you may either invite a friend to join you or please call Claudia Sowler (269-471-3134) for arrangements. Why not make this foot washing a part of your Friday evening worship as we gather across this community to welcome the Lord of the Sabbath into our homes at sundown?
Then Sabbath morning through music, prayer, the reading, and preaching of the Word ("American Apocalypse: How to Train Your Dragon—By the Blood of the Lamb") let's throw wide our hearts to the Christ we love to worship. "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
The 4th Quarter Lesson Study Guides are ready for you to pick up at the church office during regular business hours.
Pioneer's Bible Journey Sabbath School class will be using the Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (Study Guide) next quarter, beginning October 3. If you have always wanted to read this book, which has changed so many lives, you are welcome to
join us by Zoom. The class meets each Sabbath from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The 270-page study guide, which is conveniently divided into 12 weekly lessons, can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.99. For more information and to receive the Zoom link each week, please contact Jane Thayer at email@example.com.
Are you friendly and do you enjoy social media? Then, we have a great opportunity for you to be involved in ministry. Through streaming its services on Facebook Live and our website, Pioneer Memorial Church reaches thousands of people every single week. We’re looking to build a new team of local moderators/hosts for our online chat experiences. You could do this from your home. For more information contact Rodlie Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all those who helped in any way to promote and support our July 23 Red Cross Blood Drive. That includes the Pioneer pastors and staff and especially the Pioneer Safety Committee who helped us establish COVID-related safety protocols and procedures with the Red Cross for the drive. Thank you to those who recruited someone to give, promoted the drive, helped set up, take down, register participants and
provide refreshments after donations. And, a SUPER SPECIAL THANK YOU to those that Gave The Gift Of Life by donating precious blood. We had one of our most successful summer blood drives ever despite the COVID virus (or, maybe because of the COVID virus). Less people away at camp meetings and traveling and vacationing? Just a hunch. Our next blood drive is scheduled for October 20, 2020 and again on February 24, 2021. Be well and God Bless! -Larry Ulery
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."