Terrific Greetings to You!
As I was driving to the District Resource Center this morning I heard on the radio that today, the THURSDAY before Memorial Day is the most traveled day in the calendar year. More than Christmas Eve. More than the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. More than any other day… today is the busiest day for airports and freeways. WOW! I didn’t know.
With Memorial Day coming up this Monday, I would like to show my appreciation to all of you veterans who have served our country. THANK YOU! And to all of you who have lost loved ones and friends serving in the armed forces… we all show our appreciation for the sacrifices made for our freedom. We have been blessed in so many ways. And many, MANY people have paid a great price for the privileges we enjoy. I hope that you will take a moment or two to remember those who have served you and me as we come to worship together this weekend.
And as you pray, would you remember three special prayer needs for pastors and a retired missionary on our district? We have all been praying for Pastor Ron Salsbury over the years. His calcium levels climbed high this week and he was taken to the CCU. Pastor Eleazar Torres will have laser surgery on his eye after damaging it this past week. Missionary Gordon Johnston is hospitalized and not doing well. There are many other needs… but we do serve a great God who is still Jehovah Rapha!
ENCOURAGEMENT: My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight. (Proverbs 5:1) One of the writer’s favorite terms were, “Pay attention”. Isn’t that interesting… if you glance through the Book of Proverbs you’ll find that phrase throughout. He uses it over and over and over again. And those words were spoken… written 3000 years ago. We’re STILL saying… hearing those words. Those of us who are parents, we’re always reminding our children to “Pay attention”. “Pay attention in school. Pay attention when I’m speaking with you. Pay attention when you’re driving.” Here’s a good one… do you remember this, “Pay attention in church!” Oh yeah, I heard that one more than once.
We get distracted so easily, don’t we. At least I do. I’m a day-dreamer. It’s not too hard for me to drift off into another world. Sometimes I really have to STOP what I’m doing, just to be able to pay attention. Some people have the problem of speeding along the freeway when they aren’t paying attention. I’m the opposite. I literally, let up on the accelerator and I end up driving below the speed limit when I’m not paying attention. Thank goodness for “cruise control.” This will drive Leslie and my girls nuts. Even, Shay got on me one time when we were coming back from an event in the car that I was driving.
There’s not one of us who does not struggle in some area where we have difficulties paying attention. The Apostle Paul used words like “Wake up, sleeper.” Aren’t you grateful for the wisdom of God? The Bible is flooded with godly wisdom. I will often listen to sermons while driving from place to place. I love the worship services I get to take part in each Sunday. Godly wisdom imparted everywhere I go. Sometimes in the form of a 30 minute sermon… other times in the comment from a prayer I hear.
As I journey through life I’m trying to pay more attention to the wisdom that comes to me from God through His Word… through His servants… through His church… through other pastors… through spirit-led laymen… through inspiring music… Aren’t you thankful for all the ways God imparts His wisdom?
DISTRICT MATTERS: We are already into the new church year by nearly two months, and with District Assembly quickly coming up… there’s still much to be done. So speaking of DISTRICT ASSEMBLY… I HOPE TO SEE YOU IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS. Please remember, anyone is welcome to come… you can come for it all. Assembly is not only for the delegates. It’s for everyone. And when you come, you will be glad you are here. We have only two evening gatherings this year: Wednesday and Thursday, June 15-16 and both begin at 7:00. I hope to see you here.
· LA NYI: The Southwest Field NYI hosts an annual event at PLNU every year called ELEVATE. And we have many of our churches, all across the district participating this year. The highlight at ELEVATE is the worship services where PLNU provides worship leaders and special speakers who connect with the teens. Please join me in prayer for all of our youth pastors, directors, pastors, and youth for God’s anointing on this special event. We have a lot of people traveling to and from PLNU this weekend!
· Pasadena First Church: This last Sunday PazNaz was blessed to have their new Lead Pastor installed. Rev. Tara Beth Leach and her husband Jeff, along with their two sons: Caleb and Noah, were here for their first Sunday. What a special morning we enjoyed together in worship with the multi-language groups, children’s choir, teen group, and more! Pastor Tara Beth preached a wonderful sermon from Esther and the church is now ready to roll on! Please pray for PazNaz as they reach their community for Jesus.
- Ridgecrest: This coming Sunday, May 29, I will have the opportunity to install Rev. Timothy Smith as the Lead Pastor of Ridgecrest. He and Bree, along with Phineas and Sukey began their ministry last week, but I am looking forward to my time with them this coming weekend.
- Retiro de Damas: The ladies from our Spanish speaking churches enjoyed a wonderful weekend up at their Ladies’ Retreat this past weekend. I was not there, but I understand that they all had a great time together.
· LA NYI Summer Camp: June 27-July 1, Quaker Meadow, $250. We are rapidly approaching our June 2nd deadline for youth camp registration. Remember, our camp is open to all current 6th graders who will be our incoming 7th graders next year, through our current seniors who will be graduating soon. You can get registration forms and further details on our website.
You can see a highlight video of last year’s camp here. You can use this to promote camp at your church. It will give those who have never been a quick glimpse at the camp, as well as give a good reminder to those who have been before of the great time we’ve had on the mountain. If MacKenzie dancing can’t motivate our teens to go, nothing can. Nothing can.
We are also in need of seminar speakers and a camp nurse. Please see the attached form from our camp director for details about how you can serve in those areas.
· Children’s Summer Camp 2016: This year we have two opportunities for summer camp! The first is Forest Home in the San Bernaradino Mountains. The theme is HIVE: the place to BEE! The cost of Forest Home is $385 per week. Many of our churches attend this week long champ each year! The second opportunity is Granite Ridge. This year SURVIVOR is the theme! The speaker, Cory Nelson, has prepared a series that will take the children through what it means to: pray, worship, read and study the Bible. The cost of Granite Ridge is $250 per week. If your church is interested in either one of these opportunities – please contact Pastor Kathy Cannon at 818 807 2928 or email@example.com as soon as possible!
· Nazarene Dodge Night: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs! Saturday, August 27, 1:00 p.m. Plus Hollywood Stars Game!!!
Once again this year I have to do things differently when it comes to ticket sales. The Dodger’s policy is that I have to put a deposit of 50% to reserve our tickets. Since I nor the district have around $20,000.00, we’re unable to do this. I will get a block of tickets at a time. I will keep placing orders as long as they have tickets. Therefore, I need to have orders POSTMARKED BY JUNE 7. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you!
So, where are the seats? We are sitting in what is referred to as “Reserve MVP.” Regular price is $42.00 Tickets are $38.00. We are sitting in the lower reserved section, Section 4, behind home plate!
In the event we sell 500 plus tickets, we get to be involved in the pre-game activities in this way: the church that sells the most tickets get to either have an adult go onto the field and have their picture on Dodger Vision OR choose a child to go onto the field and meet a Dodger player! The other 2 churches that sell the most tickets get to have an adult go onto the field and have their picture on Dodger Vision!
The cost of the tickets are $38.00 for Reserve MVP.
Ticket orders must be postmarked by June 7 (hopefully they’ll still have tickets). If you have any questions, call me at (805) 710-5030 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at Nazarene Day at Dodger Stadium! Mail ONE CHURCH CHECK, made payable to Mark Valadez, to: Mark Valadez, 630 Juno Ct., Nipomo, CA 93444
THANK YOU: Back when we first sent out the information for the annual reports and accompanying paperwork for district assembly we had mentioned that some would receive a small incentive for being the first few. Well we wanted to thank those that did that.
The first 10 annual reports that were submitted online were from Pasadena Armenian, Rosemead, Dios Es Fiel, LA North Spanish, Santa Monica, Fillmore, Atascadero, North Hollywood Armenian, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Oxnard (the last two came in at the same time) The 5 who got all their paperwork, including submitting the photo and pastor’s report online were, Pasadena Armenian, Rosemead, Duarte, LA First English, Dios Es Fiel. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Your incentive will be in the mail shortly.
We are still waiting on few for paperwork and reports, please continue to work on these as we don’t want anyone left out of the handbook.
BACK-PACKING TRIP: Pastors and leaders of the LA District, if you are interested in joining us on a 3-day backpacking trip where we will hike in the back country and campout in the wild… let me know. The dates are July 17-20. We will meet Sunday night and be back by Wednesday night.
I trust that you will have a great weekend. May the Lord bless you and your family as you spend some time together on Monday for Memorial Day. If you are traveling… be safe. I love you and I hope to see you soon!