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November 2022 Carolina's 10,000 P5

1. TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION WITH A GRATEFUL HEART


No matter how the political landscape of our nation may appear so dysfunctional and divided; no matter how bad our circumstances may be with inflation and the concerns of prices at the pump and the grocery store; no matter what floods or fires, hurricanes or tornadoes do to wreak havoc in our homes, communities, and lives, autumn draws us into a season of quiet reflection as we approach this month of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. This is a time for us to stop, put aside all the drama and discord, and remember God’s goodness in this beautiful homeland we call America. Hum along or sing along with heartfelt meaning the words of Katherine Lee Bates in that nineteenth-century classic:

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!


O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!






Thanksgiving puts steel into our patriotic veins. It reminds us of our heritage. It carries us back to the stories we grew up with a sense of nostalgia to that first dreadful winter at Plymouth where less than half of the handful of Pilgrims survived and chose to stay and make America their homeland. Nostalgia washes over me and wets my eyes as they brim with tears when I reflect on the bravery of men and women whose bodies lie beneath white crosses – veterans who fought and died so that you and I could live and be free in this homeland of our pilgrimage toward our Heavenly home.


May this Thanksgiving be a fresh and prayerful reminder as we purposefully spend time in quiet reflection upon the past year that God has, again, been ever so faithful. The solid and simple things of life are brought into clear focus, so much so that everything else fades into insignificance.


Can you tell that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all holidays? I like to think in sevens – so here’s a perfect way to start your list of thanksgiving praises. I’m sure your list will extend far beyond this as you personalize your heartfelt expressions of gratitude to the gracious God from whom all our blessings flow.

  1. Thank God for the amazing gift of salvation our loving and gracious God provided for us through Jesus.

  2. Thank God for the gift of those who love you and care for you.

  3. Thank God for the gift of life, health, along with every breath and step you take today.

  4. Thank God for the gift of freedom and the privilege that is ours to live in a country like America, our home, sweet home as we await that “mansion over the hilltop.”

  5. Thank God for the educational opportunities He’s provided for you through your parents, teachers, and schools to be able to read, write, and function in life with His gifts of intelligence and practical skills.

  6. Thank God for the beauty and wonder of nature – from the resplendent colors of autumn leaves, to fresh white blankets of winter snow, to the colorful blossoms that captivate our hearts each spring and the warmth of summer sunsets and the white foams of sea waves as they wash up to our shores. Let all Heaven and nature sing; indeed, of the goodness of God!

  7. Thank God for the fellowship of our churches, for friends who care and go the extra mile to encourage and uplift us in our moments of despair and celebrate with us in our times of triumph and celebration.


2. REMEMBERING AND PRAYING FOR OUR THREE QUINQUENNIAL GOALS [2022 – 2026]

  1. Our First Goal is to develop measurable goals for discipleship. Discipleship is the process of becoming like Jesus by spending time with Him. This ongoing and sustained personal relationship between a follower of Christ and Jesus as our master Teacher is the heart of discipleship.

  2. II. Our second quinquennial goal is that of intentionally engaging, empowering, and enabling our young adults in the mission of the church. The administration of the Carolina Conference in partnership with the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Department is making a determined effort to establish a better connection with and ensure the retention and engaged involvement of our young adults in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

  3. Our third and final Quinquennial Goal for this next five-year term for 2022 – 2026 will be a consecrated effort to focus on measurable initiatives to enhance the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy to enable our campus to reach and maintain a consistent, sustainable enrollment of 125-150 students.

With each issue of our President’s Prayer Partners, I would like to focus on one of our goals and share some of the developments that are helping us focus our attention on accomplishing that goal. This issue will focus on our first goal – Of developing measurable goals for discipleship. True discipleship requires more than just removing that which is sinful from our lives. It must also include adding to our lives that which is spiritual in harmony with the counsel of Colossians 3:2 NKJV – “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”


The Discipleship Handbook published by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2018 outlines eight spiritual habits that are essential for the disciple of Christ. It is currently published in both English and Spanish. So, what goals do we have in place to accomplish the emphasis on these essentials?

First, it is to encourage and support every Carolina Conference church, company, and group in procuring

and engaging in the reading and small group study of the Discipleship Handbook. [2022-2023].


Secondly, we will intentionally and diligently encourage every pastor to work with the leadership team of each church entity to identify seasoned members of the church who are willing to serve as Nurturing Companions (NC’s) for every new believer who is baptized or enters the church by profession of faith for a period of at least one year.


On the weekend of January 27-29, 2023, the eight members of the Joint Council (The four Carolina Conference Officers and the four members of the Ministerial Council) will be meeting at Nosoca Pines Ranch to pray for God’s direction and plan strategic measures to accomplish the intent of this initiative with the utilization of the Discipleship Handbook. Let’s pray that God will give us divine insights in seeking not just more numbers in baptisms and professions of faith, but in rejoicing in thousands becoming faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus across the Carolinas.


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:

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. For Doctrinal Faithfulness — "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)

  6. 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)

  7. 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

Pastor

Henderson SDA Church

Wake Forest SDA Church

Pastor

Hickory SDA Church

Hickory Korean SDA Group

Pastor

Mills River SDA Church

Brevard SDA Church

Associate Pastor

Fletcher SDA Church

Pastor

Triad Adventist Fellowship SDA Church*

Haw River SDA Church*

Chapel Hill New Life SDA Church

Light House Fellowship SDA Church*

(Fuquay Varina)

*Supported by VLP/VLL

(Volunteer Lay Pastor/Volunteer Lay Leader)


Pastor

Statesville SDA Church

Mocksville SDA Church

Pastor

Lexington Spanish SDA Church

Columbia Spanish SDA Company

4. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES

Beginning 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 or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in our prayers.


During the month of September. 2021, we began the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference.


The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational branch functions. Each branch is then subdivided into various ministry departments. They include:

1. The Adventist Christian Book Center

2. Camp Meeting

3. Administration

4. Outreach

5. Church Ministries

6. Children & Young Adults


Over the past several months we have been focusing our prayers for various departments under the Administrative Branch of our conference.


In our last month’s Issue of October, we focused on praying specifically for our Ministerial Spouses Association, the last of the departments under the Administrative branch.


Beginning with this November issue, we will transition to the Outreach Branch of our ministries.


The Outreach Branch of the Carolina Conference is divided into the following departmental subdivisions of service:


This month we ask you to lift up our ASI International and ASI Southern Union Chapter in your prayers. This organization has coordinated the ministry initiatives of lay members both at home here in the U.S. and around the world who are doing amazing work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Members of ASI must be lay members and therefore cannot be employed by the church. However, the leadership of our church has a close affiliation of support with the various entities and ministries of ASI.


As your servant leader, I serve only as a liaison or representative to ASI functions or meetings, and also serve as a member of the board of the Southern Union Chapter of ASI.


ASI is a membership-based organization of Seventh-day Adventist laypeople who are enthusiastic about actively participating in the church’s worldwide mission: to spread the gospel of Christ to the world. This unique and diverse group of members ranges from business owners to individual professionals to supporting ministries. In short, ASI members are Adventists from every walk of life.



6. SATURATED WITH THE WORDFundamental Belief #11 — Growing in 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 # 11: Growing in Christ By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus’ victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. We are also called to follow Christ’s example by compassionately ministering to the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of humanity. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience.

A. Psalms 1:1-2 (NKJV) — “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”


B. Psalms 119:10-11 (NKJV) — “With my whole heart I have sought you; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.”


C. Colossians 1:10-11 (NKJV) — “Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”


D. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) “But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”


6. PRAY FOR THE MINISTRY OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST EDUCATION


In our last issue of the President’s Prayer Partners’ Praises and Petitions (or as we have come to abbreviate it as P5) we began uplifting our church schools and the principals/head teachers, teachers, and staff who are making a profound impact on the hearts and minds of our children and youth across the Carolinas. This month we will be uplifting one of our largest schools in our prayers – Asheville-Pisgah Christian School.


Let’s pray specifically for:


1. Our new Superintendent of Education-elect, Rick Anderson as Gary Rouse closes his years of service and enters his retirement at the end of this year. Rick Anderson has also been a phenomenal leader in the educational ministry of the Carolina Conference. He first served as the former principal of Mount Pisgah Academy and more recently as our Associate Director of Education. We congratulate him on the confirmation of the Executive Committee in his new role and pray for God’s blessings on his leadership of our education program.

2. Let’s continue to pray for God’s protective care over our teachers, parents, and students during this school year. We live in a world saturated with the sadness of sin and all the dangers of a devil who seeks harm to God’s children. Pray for the powerful presence of Heavenly angels to surround our schools from the horrors of what we have witnessed in the news such as the tragedy of the school in Uvalde, Texas just a few months ago this year.

3. Let’s pray for wisdom and happiness in the lives of each of our principals, head teachers and teachers as they mentor and prepare our students for a life of service on this earth, but most importantly for their citizenship in Heaven.

4. Let’s pray for our school boards and church boards as they manage the operation of each of our church schools as centers consecrated for the salvation and education of our children and youth.





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 by uplifting these leaders of our church who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard:







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Louis, Leslie 2022.jpg
Elder Leslie Louis
President