1. PAUSING TO PRAY FOR THE LATTER RAIN
Evangelism and Seeking to Save Hearts for Heaven is the most sacred calling in our service for Christ. Our 2020 Carolina Evangelism Newsletter was mailed out during the last week of August with a return envelope to every Carolina Conference member’s home. This mailing involves over 10,000 opportunities for God’s people to partner with us in the resources needed that can be multiplied by the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Lord’s work.
What specific things are we bringing before the Lord?
For a consecration of our own hearts to yield our lives completely to Christ
For an outpouring of the Holy Spirit with Latter Rain power on the Carolinas
For God’s special blessings on all the churches that will be engaged in a virtual evangelistic initiative this October
For resources that will help us reach and overflow our goal of $1,000,000 for the sole purpose of Evangelism and winning souls for Christ
For a special harvest of souls so that we in Carolina can experience the joy of a thousand and even more precious lives being added to the church every year till we see the face of Jesus and we hear His voice to each of us …”Well done good and faithful servant!”
Let’s pause to pray for the demonstration of God’s mighty power across the Carolinas!
2. PRAY FOR OUR NATION
We are certainly living in some turbulent times. As I write this, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Lake Charles, Louisiana, earlier this morning, where a 133 mph gust and an 85 mph sustained wind were measured. Wind damage and power outages appear to be catastrophic. In the days to come, the aftermath of this storm will result in billions of dollars in restoration and rebuilding both infrastructure but far more importantly the lives of thousands upon thousands affected by this storm.
This year's fire season in California has been one of the most active in the state’s history: As of this day (August 27) more than 7,000 blazes have torn through some 1.4 million acres, fueled in part by dry conditions. But because fire is only one part of the problem, health experts, firefighters, emergency responders and local leaders all report that they are grappling with a multilayered crisis of overwhelming scale, putting enormous burdens on people on the front lines. Sadly one of our own Adventist helicopter pilots lost his life last month trying to help extinguish the walls of fire.
The U.S. may have abolished slavery in 1865, but racial tensions still divide Americans more than 200 years later. From law enforcement's use of extreme force to segregation in society, Americans still hold prejudicial misconceptions and, sometimes even, hatred towards people of color. These issues affect all of us; when one group is being mistreated, we should all be concerned, because the freedom that only applies to some is not truly freedom. President Obama reminded American citizens that when it comes to problems like these, it isn’t just an issue for the races involved, it is, “an issue for America.”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been affecting and continues to impact daily life for the entire country. With some schools still being closed, travel being upended and sporting events being canceled or postponed, this global pandemic has affected various aspects of life in the United States and reveals the unique nature of this crisis. People are feeling more isolated; many small businesses have closed their doors; there seem to be as many don’ts as there are do’s; the nation is edging toward realizing and exceeding 200,000 deaths. Each of those represents a life that is close to the heart of a family and even more closely to the heart of our Savior.
With no end in sight for the Covid-19 pandemic, the November elections are shaping up to be an unprecedented test of the nation’s voting system. In this turbulent year of 2020 everything has changed–from how the campaign is conducted to how we vote to what we value. It has canceled conventions, relegated fundraising and campaigning to the digital realm, and forced many states to rapidly change how people get and submit their ballots, with unpredictable and potentially divisive and debatable results.
America is hurting. Pandemics, racial inequalities, job loss, and political division have caused great suffering. We are called to be salt and light on the earth. As Adventist Christians, we can begin healing our land through prayer and action. Let us come together not just by words but a faith that produces works. The love and grace of God can begin turning the tide of America. Will you join me in praying this prayer for our nation:
We look to You and to You, only, Lord. Help us make wise decisions that move our country in the right direction. Help us to do our part in praying and in staying with what we know is right according to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to make our actions count and our words matter, and line them both up to Your sense of rightness, not ours. Guide us with Your eye; grip us with Your strong arm; teach us what we need to know to make our lives - and our nation - count for you. For we ask this in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus AMEN
3. PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]
Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis. Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.
Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:
For Protection from Satan — "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
For Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts — "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)
For Deep Spiritual Encouragement — "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." (Romans 1:11-12)
For Wisdom — "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5)
For Doctrinal Faithfulness — "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)
For A Healthy Body — "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27)
For A Strong Marriage & Family — "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church." (1 Timothy 3:2-6)
PASTOR CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS
1. Art Randall .....................................................................................................................Pastor
Hickory SDA Church
Hickory Korean SDA Group
2. James Reynaert ............................................................................................Associate Pastor
Fletcher SDA Church
3. Dexter Richardson .........................................................................................................Pastor
Overseeing Pastor for a VLL or VLP*
Chapel Hill New Life SDA Church
Triad Adventist Fellowship SDA Church*
(in High Point, NC)
Haw River SDA Church*
Lighthouse Fellowship SDA Company*
(in Fuquay Varina, NC)
4. José (Freddy) Rivera ......................................................................................................Pastor
Rockingham Spanish SDA Church
Rockingham Cornerstone SDA Church
Monroe Spanish SDA Church
5. Eli Rojas, Jr. ...................................................................................................................Pastor
Elizabeth City Harbor of Hope SDA Church
Manteo Spanish SDA Group
Outer Banks Living Waters SDA Group
6. Christopher Rollins ...........................................................................Church Planting Pastor &
Overseeing Pastor for VLL or VLP*
Ft. Mill SDA Church*
York SDA Church*
Charlotte Myanmar International Company*
Mint Hill Community SDA Mission Group*
4. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Last year, starting with our April, 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full length report of all that they have been doing or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift in our prayers all our leaders and their faithful service. The ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational departmental functions. They include:
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
Over the past few months, we have focused the departmental functions of Administration and Outreach. We continue with this issue to focus on another vital outreach departmental ministry – that of our Adult Sabbath School Ministries.
So during this month of September, I invite you to prayerfully uplift our
Carolina Conference Adult Sabbath School Ministries Department
under the leadership of Elder David Wright and his secretary, Jayme Rouse
Four areas assigned to the Adult Sabbath School Ministries Department are—support of Global Missions, Evangelism, Fellowship, and Bible study.
The current emphasis of the Adult Sabbath School Department is “Growing the local church though Sabbath School ministries."
5. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief # 14 — Unity in the Body of Christ
As a President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. This is the second cycle in our emphasis on these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.
Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month. I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11. Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 14: Unity in the Body of Christ
The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children.
A. Psalm 133:1 (NKJV) — “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity.”
B. Malachi 2:10 (NKJV) — “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?”
C. Romans 12;4-5 (NKJV) — “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we believing many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
D. Ephesians 4: 4-6 (NKJV) — “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
6. REMEMBER AND KEEPING IN FOCUS OUR 2020 VISION
VISION VI: ENRICH ADULT SABBATH SCHOOL MINISTRY
PRAY AND COMMIT to enrich the Sabbath School Programs of our Conference to include an intentional and inclusive focus on all four dimensions of the Adult Sabbath School Ministry.
Mission (Through a regular focus on
mission stories and utilization of media
such as Mission Spotlight or Mission Sonlight
Fellowship (Through a time for testimonials prayer requests & praises)
Outreach (Through an emphasis on witnessing opportunities and stories)
Bible Study (Through the utilization of teacher resources and young adults in an in-depth study of the Sabbath School Lesson Study)
To accomplish this, my desire is that we follow the guidance of the world church and the North American Division to re-establish the term “Sabbath School” in place of “The Church at Study” in at least 50 Carolina churches that will serve as models for the four-fold function of Sabbath School Ministry.
It seems rather providential that this month, we are uplifting our Adult Sabbath School Ministries Department with Elder David Wright as our director and at the same time highlighting this special vision goal for our Carolina Adult Sabbath Schools that we have established for this quinquennial term (2016-2020). Interesting how those two came together in this month’s P5 prayer focus!
7. REMEMBERING AND UPLIFTING GOD’S ANOINTED LEADERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN CONTINUOUS PRAYER
Be part of God’s praying church across North America for these leaders also who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard: