Kansas District of The Wesleyan Church Newsletter
FROM DEITY TO DUST
Most of us have never really stopped to think about nothing.
What’s nothing? Well, nothing is…nothing; it is no thing. Nothing is not anything; it is zero, zilch, nada, nil. Nothing is emptiness, that which is a nonentity, an unknowing; that which is of no account.
Before it went off the air, Seinfeld was essentially a sit-com about nothing. Jerry and his foils, George, Elaine, and Kramer, entertained millions of people over plots that involved basically nothing.
How many times do we talk about things as though they were nothing?
Q: “Hey, what’s going on?”
Q: “Whatya gonna wear to the Christmas party this year?”
A: “You’re guess is as good as mine. I’ve got nothing.”
Q: “What do you want for dinner?”
A: “Oh, I dunno. Nothing, I guess.”
Q: “What did you do all day? What did you get done?”
A: “Nothing really.”
It’s also not unusual to hear those around us comment, “That means nothing to me” or “Nothing doing.”
On the other hand, people often go to extremes to avoid being nothing. No one ever grows up wanting to be nothing or a nobody. Significance is important to us; we become obsessed with it. The current environment on social media accelerates this obsession not only be to somebody, but somebody significant measured by the number of likes, emoji’s, comments, shares, tweets and retweets our post gets.
As God, Jesus was SOMEBODY. He was supremely powerful, all-glorious, worthy of the highest accolades, the one adored by angels, feared by demons, possessor of all authority and strength, the eternal and all-wise God, full of goodness, grace, truth, justice and mercy.
But then Jesus did the unthinkable. The sane person would say that the cheese slid off Jesus’ cracker. Paul, the missionary / theologian / church planter framed it this way in a stunning phrase to the Philippian church: “(Jesus) who, being in very nature God…made himself nothing.”
Did you catch that? Voluntarily, he made himself nothing.
Jesus descended. He came down. He made himself nothing and perhaps dust is about as close to nothing as you can get. Advent is an acknowledgement that Jesus descended from deity to dust. Nothing less than His matchless love required it.
While not your typical Christmas song, a stanza from Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can it Be?” captures the willingness of Jesus to become nothing, to plummet from deity to dust:
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.
’Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.
Oh come, let us adore Him!
WELCOME TO WICHITA, SMIDTS!
Pastor Andrew Smidt has accepted a call to serve as the pastor of First Wesleyan Church in Wichita, KS. He and Chelsea’s first Sunday was November 11th. Andrew is on a trajectory to become an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church this summer. Chelsea’s mom and dad are Nate and Janet Rovenstine who serve at Connect Church in Lawrence.
Andrew did not always know he was going to be a pastor. Before answering a call to ministry, Andrew spent 10 years as a custom car builder. From building and restoring hot rods to designing and building prototype Shelby Mustangs in Las Vegas, Andrew has had an exciting career. But in 2012, Andrew felt God calling him to something different. So, Andrew taught himself how to play guitar, pushed through his fear of public speaking/singing, and went back to school to get his degree in Biblical Studies.
While in Las Vegas, Andrew got connected with a new church plant where he began developing an ever-deepening relationship with God, something he had not experienced from his childhood in church. Eventually, Andrew moved back to his hometown, Sioux Falls, where he got connected with The Ransom Church. Here he met some great people and mentors. This is also where Andrew met Chelsea, who he married about a year later. In 2015, they welcomed their son Westin to their family, and in 2018, they welcomed their daughter Nora!
God has given Andrew a heart and a passion for helping those who do not know God to give their hearts and their lives over to Him. Prior to accepting the call to pastor First Wesleyan Church, Andrew was the Creative Arts and Adult Discipleship Pastor at Living Hope in Madison, S.D.
Two churches in the Kansas District will be relocating on Sunday, December 16.
Connect Church (Lawrence) will be celebrating the Grand Opening of their new building and campus at 3351 W. 31st Street in Lawrence. The morning will feature two identical services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. with Dr. JoAnne Lyon (General Superintendent Emeritus) speaking and District Superintendent Ed Rotz leading a litany of dedication. Connect Church will host an open house from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. with tours of the new facility along with light refreshments and kid-friendly activities.
CrossRoads Church (Topeka) will begin holding services at Shawnee Heights Elementary School located at 2410 S.E. Burton St. in Topeka. The church will meet at the school temporarily while building plans are solidified.
MANAGING GOD-GIVEN ASSETS
It’s not unusual for Kingdom-minded men and women to be aware that the end of a calendar year is an opportunity to take advantage of year-end giving to local churches and ministries and thus take advantage of tax deductions that comes with a charitable gift. Of course, generous financial gifts help not only the donor but enrich and expand the ministry of a local church.
At the same time, gifts of stock or grain can be a useful tool to manage God-given assets. For those who would like to know more about the gift of grain or shares of stock, Mr. Dean Callison, a friend of the Kansas District, is ready to serve you. Not only can he assist in maximizing the value of those kinds of gifts, but he can provide expertise in charitable trusts, estate planning, and other financial planning vehicles. If you are interested in knowing more, click here.
January 9-12, 2019
Orlando, Florida at The Caribe Royale
More than a minister’s conference. The Gathering is a reunion of ministry family and friends. A sabbath for our souls. Coming together to stop, rest, pray, play and thrive. A chance to celebrate what God is doing in our lives and ministry through meals, stories, inspiration and worship. This will be a gathering that Wesleyan pastors and spouses won’t want to miss!
SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 27, 2019
Jon Wiest, a Wesleyan pastor in Indianapolis, is coming to KDWC on Saturday, April 27, 2019 to help mobilize disciple-makers, leaders, and churches toward greater intentionality about engaging in Jesus' charge to the Church: make disciples. SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 27, 2019
A link to register for the Banding Together event will be available after the first of the year.
Happy Birthday Jesus
New Year's Day
Pray for the upcoming year
Wesleyan Youth Pastors
3/4/19 - 3/7/19
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