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.
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Dwight 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.
• American Psychological Association: “This generation is significantly more likely (27 percent) than other generations, including millennials (15 percent) and Gen Xers (13 percent), to report their mental health as fair or poor, the survey found. They are also more likely (37 percent), along with millennials (35 percent), to report they have received treatment or therapy from a mental health professional, compared with 26 percent of Gen Xers, 22 percent of baby boomers and 15 percent of older adults.” (www.apa.org/monitor/2019/01/gen-z)
• APA: “More than nine in 10 Gen Z adults (91 percent) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress.” (Ibid)
• Dean and Ayesha Surzai: “While every chronic disease you can think of . . . is in decline, deaths due to Alzheimer’s have increased nearly 87% in the last decade. The next decade could be even worse: 10 percent of people over the age of sixty-five will develop some form of dementia, and people over the age of eighty-five have a 50 percent chance of developing the disease. . . . Alzheimer’s may in fact be America’s third-most deadly disease, behind only heart disease and cancer. The question is no longer if we will develop the disease, but when.” (The Alzheimer’s Solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age 2)
» GOOD NEWS
• Our Depression—Jesus
• Isaiah 53:4
• Psalm 88:1, 14, 18
• Derek Kidner: “There is no sadder prayer in the Psalter. . . . [with] its witness to the possibility of unrelieved suffering as a believer’s earthly lot.” (Psalms 2:316, 319)
• Business Insider: “According to a report analyzing data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, major depression diagnoses are rising at a faster rate for millennials and teens compared with any other age group. Since 2013, millennials have seen a 47% increase in major-depression diagnoses. . . . The most prominent symptom of major depression is ‘a severe and persistent low mood, profound sadness, or a sense of despair,’ according to Harvard Medical School.” (www.businessinsider.com/millennials-mental-health-burnout-lonely-depress...)
• Psalm 22:1-2, 6
• Desire of Ages: “Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man.” (694)
• Our Dementia—Jesus
• John 21:18
• Wes Youngberg: “I tend to think of dementia as a temporary cognitive impairment associated with recent exposures to one or more dementogens that collectively cross a threshold level, leading to decreased functionality in judgment, communication, organization, and the normal functions of daily living.” (Memory Makeover: How to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Reverse Cognitive Decline the Natural Way 33)
• Dean and Ayesha Sherzai: “If we had to name a single food that plays the biggest role in the development and progression of Alhzeimer’s, it would be . . . . is one of the most destructive compounds we can ingest, and we’re consuming more of it now than at any other point in human history.” (100)
• Dale Bredesen: “Chronic inflammation [the body’s response to what it perceives is an “attack”] can arise . . . when we regularly ingest inflammation-triggering foods such as sugar. . . . Sugar is like fire, a source of energy but very dangerous. . . . Our bodies recognize sugar as poisonous, and therefore rapidly activate multiple mechanisms to reduce its concentration in our blood and tissues.” (The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline 48-49)
• Our Dependence—Jesus .
• Hebrews 2:13
• Ministry of Healing 249: “If in our ignorance we make missteps, the Saviour does not forsake us. We need never feel that we are alone. Angels are our companions. The Comforter that Christ promised to send in His name abides with us. . . . Those who suffer most have most of His sympathy and pity. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there.”
"I will put my trust in Him"
Neighbor to Neighbor
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
20 volunteers are needed to facilitate an efficient distribution process. Out of an abundance of caution we will be explaining new protocols which will be put in place. Masks and gloves will be provided. For volunteers interested in assisting with this event, join us on Zoom on Monday, March 30, 2020 at 6:00 PM for a briefing.
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.
Family, Faith, and Fun!
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
Volunteer for the Most Vulnerable
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.
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."