June 10, 2016 – District Assembly this week!

Greetings, once again, on a wonderful June day in SoCal! Life is busy for many of us this time of he year:  The end of the school year, graduation ceremonies, weddings to attend, planning for vacations, AND the preparations for District Assembly.  That’s right, in less than one week the district family will be together right here in Pasadena for our annual convention and assembly.  I look forward to our time together and having our Jurisdictional General Superintendent (JGS) Dr. Eugénio Duarte with us.  This will be his first time on the LA District, and you are going to enjoy his ministry and leadership among us.  All of our churches have made plans to send their delegates and attend the three day event which begins on Wednesday, June 15 and ends on Friday afternoon at around 4:30.  Please remember that our Ordination Service is Thursday night at 7:00.  Again, everyone, whether a delegate or not, is invited to attend the services and the business sessions.

ENCOURAGEMENTDavid assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it… They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God.  (I Chronicles 15:3 & 16:1)  This was certainly a glorious moment for King David and all Israel.  An earlier attempt to bring back the ark ended with great difficulty and death.  But now, after learning God’s methods, David was ready… prepared… and excited, as he made plans for this great celebration.  The Worship Teams and bands had prepared all of the music for this unforgettable event.  The special speakers were all lined up.  Every report had been handed in.  The reading scripts were printed.  And God’s people were gathering for worship and celebration.  The Lord God had been faithful to His Word and the people were unified and eager to rejoice.   

As I reflect on my days and years on the Los Angeles District, I’m focusing on the fact that this will be my 31st journey to Pasadena for District Assembly.  I first came to assembly back in 1986.  I remember making that drive down the beautiful coastline with the crystal clear blue waters on our right.  Journeying to assembly was always a highlight… for one, I was leaving the fog along the coast to enter the land of warmth and heat with the coming of summer.  I won’t say anything about the smog though… that was never fun.  But what I remember in those early days of ministry for me was the fellowship we gained together.  There was just something special about re-connecting with others.  Some… we had gone to school with.  Others… we had already begun establishing relationships with… and then to simply come together, in the same auditorium for worship, reporting and challenge.  I loved those days. 

And I still love these days.  You know that many people have already been in prayer for next week.  Lots of people have been working endlessly around the clock, writing up reports, evaluating forms, checking on the status of our progress, gathering musicians and leaders, and getting things ready for print.  Just like in the case of David, we want to bring our very best before the Lord.  He deserves our best.  And He will be among us… He will be with us.  Please join me in praying for a special outpouring of God’s Spirit upon us next week.  From the opening song to the closing prayer may Jesus be glorified in all of the bridges we build together so that the world will know Him!

Are you coming? 

DISTRICT MATTERS Thank you pastors and churches for your faithfulness in contributing to the Unified Funds.  I know that finances can be tough, not just at times… but nearly all of the time.  Yet, so many of you have been faithful to send in your WEF and Pensions Funds to the General Treasurer, while sending us your Unified and Educational Funds to us here at the District Resource Center.  Your giving enables the district to carry-on in many areas of need across Los Angeles District.

·         L.A. First Praise Korean:  Thirty years ago the Lord planted a seed in the leadership of our district and L.A. First Church to begin a Korean Church among us.  The seed was planted and Pastor and Mrs. Sung Dae Kim began ministry on the LA First campus.  This past Sunday afternoon Leslie and I had the privilege of joining this wonderful congregation as they CELEBRATED their 30th anniversary of ministry.  WOW!  We congratulate this awesome church for what the Lord has done through them.  You may already know… many of our Korean churches and ministries have come out of LA First.  Thank you Pastor Kim and your ministry.

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  ·         Arise Mission Korean:  On Sunday morning eslie and I joined in worship where I had the privilege of preaching at Arise Mission orean.  I will be sharing a bit more about this incredible church in my D.S. Report next riday.  But allow me a moment to share with you my gratitude to Pastor and Mrs. Jong Whan Lee for their faithfulness and gifted leadership to our people here.  We were so blessed to worship and fellowship along with you.  You are loved!

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DISTRICT ASSEMBLY MATTERS: Just a few reminders as we get ready for assembly:

1.       Here is a copy of the NMI District Project for missions.  You can be prepared to make a pledge or even bring your check along with you to the Thursday Convention.

NMI 

2.       Ministers’ Choir for Ordination Service:  Pastors… PLEASE notice a huge change this year:  The rehearsal time for the Ministers’ Choir will be at the close of the business session on Thursday.  Please stay around for 15 minutes following the convention and opening of assembly.  Pastors Scott Anderson and Alan De Vries will be leading the rehearsal.   

3.       District License Ministers:  On Thursday night I would like for you to sit together on the center-left side of the sanctuary facing the platform for the Ordination Service on Thursday night.  You may have your spouse and family join you in that section.   

4.      Child Care at District Assembly:  If you are planning on needing child care at district assembly, you will need to go on PazNaz’s website to register.  Here is the link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qS6OIhCDtIi60_3XXT1o9tBMPHpwlCkEhWR5R4oAAXo/viewform.

Well… I look forward to the events up the road for us.  You are loved… and I am blessed to be working among you.  These are great and fantastic days to be actively involved in ministry.  I love you… and I will see you next week!

Greg Garman 

PLNU Night with the Sacramento River Cats!

PLNU is Coming to Santa Barbara! 

Join Us For:

  • BBQ at Shoreline Park – Tri tip & Chicken from Woody’s BBQ
  • University updates, door prizes, & a casual time connecting with other PLNU alums and friends
  • A trip to the Santa Barbara Sea Center – interactive sea life exhibits including a live shark touch pool!

11:30 AM | BBQ Catered Picnic at Shoreline Park | Shorline Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

1:00 PM | Head to Santa Barbara Sea Center | 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Adult Ticket: $16
Children (12 & under): $12
*Tickets Subsidized by the PLNU Alumni Association
 

Limited tickets available!

Purchase Tickets by July 1st!

Visit www.pointloma.edu/AreaEvents

or call 800-478-5662 

https://connections.pointloma.edu/Sacramento2015

 

June 2, 2016

Summer Greetings!

Can you believe it?  We are already into the month of June.  I’m not sure just when summer actually begins… but I am so glad that the days are growing longer and the air is getting warmer.  I just love the heat that summer brings.  So… bring it on!  I don’t think I’d survive very well in Alaska or Minnesota.  Iceland?  My word!  Sounds freezing.

I trust you enjoyed a relaxing Monday Memorial Day… especially if you had some time off from work.  Again, I am so grateful to those of you who have served our country.  And of course, mindful of those who have sacrificed much for our freedom.  I hope you took time to remember.  And… BTW… don’t forget to participate in the elections this coming week…

ENCOURAGEMENTNow a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son.  When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.  But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.  Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.  His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.  (Exodus 2:1-4) This is one of the great Old Testament stories many of us have heard from our childhood days.  The birth of Moses when Israel was enslaved to the Egyptians.  A new pharaoh had risen to power and the story of Joseph and his saving work was long past history.  Few people in Egypt could tell the story of how Joseph was brought into power and saved, not just Egypt, but the entire world.  Years pass… and the Israelites continue to grow… becoming powerful in numbers, until fear grips the new pharaoh causing him to decide that murdering baby boys was his only solution.  Thus… the story above.  

It’s interesting that this story comes to mind… immediately following the zoo incident that happened last weekend.  On the news we’ve heard every possible scenario of “what should” have happened… How “they should” have handled the gorilla…  And “why weren’t the parents parenting better?”  Remember, Jesus was left behind in a large city with tens of thousands of people by his mom and dad who were entrusted by God to watch over the Messiah.  And here in this story of Moses, we find a desperate mom doing what she can to save her small baby boy.  The kid can’t swim, but she makes a basket, covers it with a water resistant substance, places her baby boy in it, and sends him into the Nile, to have his sister watch out for him.  I love this story.  Had something gone wrong… can you just hear the media getting hold of this story?   

But, I think my favorite part of the story is found in the first phrase of the second sentence… “When she saw that he was a fine child…”  Do you remember when your child was born?  Can you recall when you first cradled your children in your arms?  Do you remember looking into their eyes and thinking to yourself… “WOW, A PERFECT MIRACLE!”  Man, I’m telling you that when our two daughters were born, I looked down at them (two years separated them) and saw that they were FINE girls.  As these girls were given to us by the Lord, we wanted to do everything possible to protect them… raise them up under the instruction of the Lord and His church, and guide them as best we could.  I know we made mistakes.  I’m sure we all have!  And the years have gone by way too quickly.  In so many ways, it seems that only yesterday Aubree was born.  The same for Spencer… yet they are now 27 and 25 years…   

Well… the time has come, and Spencer is getting ready for her marriage to a fine young man, Logan.  This past Saturday, the NewNaz Church gave Spencer a shower and I was invited to tag along.  Of course, a few other men came as well.  You know… you don’t want to be the only guy there.  And what a joy it was to celebrate this new beginning in our daughter’s life.  Even more a joy to share it with the three ladies who mean the world to me.  So… I sat back and did as Jochebed (Moses’ mom) did.  I had to shove my baby girl out into the river.  I watched from a distance.  I watched as her big sister cared for her… helped her… and blessed her.  This is family at its best.  Well… sorry to ramble on about family matters… but, this is where I am today.  Blessed and overjoyed… God is good! 

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DISTRICT MATTERSHave I mentioned to you how grateful I am for the Los Angeles District… and her people?  What an encouragement I receive each time I’m out and about.  I love the church! 

·         Casa Robles:  Most of us have heard by now, last Friday Missionary Gordon Johnston went home to be with His Lord… reunited with his beloved wife, Pat.  You may recall that we said our “good-byes” to Pat last fall.  I know that you will remember the Johnston family in your prayers.  We will do our best to inform you when the Memorial Service will be held.  At the time of this writing we do not know.  However, our faithful few missionaries that reside at Casa Robles continue to meet on Thursdays for Prayer Meeting.  I’m privileged to join them as often as my calendar allows… and I had the opportunity to take part in their prayer gathering this morning.  Let me assure you that when a need pops up on the LA District… they are in prayer for us! 

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·         Ridgecrest:  Last Sunday I drove up and through the desert to the wonderful community of Ridgecrest where I had the opportunity to install Rev. Timothy and Bree Smith as Lead Pastor of this church.  I believe that God will use them for His purpose in the days to come.  Will you pray, along with me, for the Smith family as they make their adjustments from the beach to the desert?  We welcome you Pastor Tim, Bree, Phineas and Sukey!

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·         District Assembly is coming… in less than two weeks we’ll be together as we continue BUILDING BRIDGES on the Los Angeles District.  I hope you are coming.  Bring as many people as you can to join in on the celebrations and the happenings on the LA District.  Dr. Eugenio Duarte, our presiding General Superintendent will be with us to deliver a challenge and encouragement.  I, too, will be sharing my report to you on Friday morning… this will be a fantastic time together.   

DISTRICT NMI PROJECTEvery year the District NMI presents a special mission’s project.  This year the project is for the Amazon Jungle in Peru.  We were unable to get the envelopes out to you in advance this year… but here is a scan of the envelope.  If you so choose, as many of you do, you may be prepared to present your pledge and/or your check at convention time.  Take a look at the project envelope this year.  And if you would like to be part of the Work & Witness Team in October… dates are set.  October 3-19. 

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CONGRATULATIONSThis is the season of graduations… and two of our pastors have recently graduated from NBC.  We congratulate Pastor Tere Martinez of Rosemead and Pastor Samuel Martinez of Trinity at Rowland Heights.  No relationship, by the way, they just happen to have the same last name.  You two are awesome… and we love you! 

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SAVE THE DATE:  The SDMI Committee has decided to expand our successful Youth Workers Conference of last year to include Children’s Ministry Workers also.  The date of the conference is September 23/24 and we are returning to the Double Tree in Monrovia.  We will begin with dinner and entertainment and then on Saturday have a keynote speaker and two breakout sessions.  Each church will be able to have 2 hotel rooms and they can, of course, pay for additional rooms as needed.  The SDMI Committee will pay for all meals for all attendees.  Spouses are included.   

Would you continue to pray for Pastor Ron Salsbury who is still in the hospital but doing better.  I know that many of you are praying for one another… keep it up.  I love you all and look forward to seeing you soon.   

Greg Garman 

REGIONAL NEWS:

PASTORS KIDS’ RETREAT

Greetings!  

 

The PLNU Center for Pastoral Leadership is wanting to get the word out about the upcoming Pastor’s Kid Retreat. This 4-day adventure includes snorkeling, bonfires, kayaking, and nights at San Diego’s National Comedy Theater.

 

Below is the registration link and information for the retreat.

http://www.123contactform.com/form-895644/

Please get the word out to pastors across your district!  

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the number below. 

Derek Taylor
(619)368-9671
derektaylor@pointloma.edu  

Blessings!