March 22, 2020
FOUR WINDS FORECAST
Dearest Philadelphia District Family:
All is well. Go and tell. Immanuel.
This will be a different forecast than usual because of the unusual COVID-19 / Coronavirus Season we find ourselves in.
A few things most of you already are aware of:
1. District Assembly — there will not be a 2020 public district gathering. The NMI, SDMI, NYI Conventions along with District Assembly scheduled for April 30-May 2, 2020, have been cancelled.
Nevertheless, The General Board of Superintendents have given authority to District Advisory Councils across the USA and Canada to conduct and to complete the business of this year’s district assembly. The meeting be conducted virtually in a Zoom business meeting online probably on Friday, May 1. We are waiting now on the final approval of our General Superintendent in jurisdiction, Dr. Carla Sunberg. She has been very engaged with us as a district during this uncertain season we find ourselves in.
A. Ordinations will sadly not happen of course. If there happens to be a regional ordination service scheduled later in 2020 we will of course let you know, but it seems ordinations will probably be delayed until 2021. Any questions please contact Board of Ministry Chairman, Rev. BW Hambrick.
B. Pastors’ Reports are still to be completed. Contact District Secretary, Paul Thornhill if you have questions. We have to complete the yearly handbook and the journal. Please help Pastor Paul in this labor of love.
C. Pastors’ Elevator Vision Outreach Speeches still need to be sent to the district office. The 5 questions are in February’s Four Winds Forecast. Send these please to the district office email. We will share these in various ways in the months ahead.
D. Portions of the Virtual DAC “District Assembly” Meeting will be made available to the local churches on a platform like YouTube. To be decided. And we hope to plan another celebration gathering day for the district to worship, pray and be inspired by God’s Word and one another sometime later in the year after COVID-19. As God wills. Stay tuned.
2. While We Must Be Physically Distanced from One Another, We Must Not Be Socially Disengaged.
A. District Office — We as a district staff are doing all we can to stay connected and to communicate with each local church. Contact us anytime.
B. Various Communication Options — As a district are trying to model how to communicate and are praying that our local churches will do the same in order to stay in touch with our people, the Nazarenes. E.g. Emails, Facebook, Facebook Live, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Conference Calls, Zoom Online Meetings, Phone Calls, Mail, and especially, Calls To Fervent Prayer.
C. A Nazarene Pastor’s Story — One pastor told me that he contacted by phone this week every family in his church to access their needs, to encourage them and to pray with them. He was obviously moved very deeply in his own heart by the experience.
D. A Nazarene Layman’s Story — One layman, a young business man who owns a trailer home park told each of his troubled tenants “I don’t want to see any money from you until May. Your rent is forgiven at least until then.”
I could say many more things, but I am already communicating many things in real time, being as vigilant as possible.
So let me begin to close. “Let us not be alarmed or alarm others, but let us be awakened and awaken others!
And, let us pray all the time!”
Finally, Gethsemane Gatherings for prayer together are gaining steam online with some of our local churches. For such a time as this, let us work for the night is coming.
Nevertheless, we remember that The Light of the World, yes, King Jesus Himself, is with and within us, and we know He never forsakes His own!
Pastors, even though our local church meetings are now virtual, be sure to conclude your preaching and teaching messages, as often as possible, with invitations to pray. Why? People are tuning in looking for hope. So be sure to offer them a personal relationship with Jesus. After all, we know Hope has a name — it’s JESUS!
Let’s be the church and go all out for souls. You are beloved and believed in.
Deo Volente — Whatever God Wants!
Pastor Kerry Willis
District Servant (Superintendent)
Church of the Nazarene
P.S. Find me now on Facebook
Mobile 540-607-0077 (Text or Call)