December 2018
"Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Isaiah 56:7

Let us bring before the Lord our prayers of thanksgiving, petitions, and intercession. God is faithful in hearing the prayers of an obedient people. We gather together in unity and love, raising our voices before the throne of grace.
The Ordination Service of Elder Greg Carlson
November 17, 2018

David Carroll, Elder of the Park SDA Church, led the Welcome and Invocation with the prayer, “Who shall I send?” The response was answered by Pastor Greg’s passion for Christ and the ministry, “Here I am, send me.” This theme was later repeated in the opening hymn.  Pastor Carlson was afterward presented as the Candidate by his brother, Gary Carlson. 

Ashley Fowler gave a testimonial of her relationship with the Carlsons. She was a student at the University of Vermont, while Greg was the pastor of the Williston SDA Church in Vermont. Ashley related how Greg and Michelle welcomed her into their home and lives. The three met periodically for Bible Studies and to pray. Using the example of Paul, Greg first formed a friendship, then let his ministry unfold organically. He and Michelle served as spiritual mentors to Ashley. Both were greatly missed after Greg accepted the call to pastor in Maine. As Ashley stated in her closing remarks, it takes a strong and prayerful community to support the ministries of our pastors.

Eric Carlson, son of Greg and Michelle, gave the Scripture Reading: Psalms 138: 1-3,8.
The journey of Greg’s ordination unfolded throughout the service. It began 135 years ago, when his grandparents, both Swedish immigrants, traveled to American to take advantage of free land in the Dakota Territory in the 1880’s. Carl August Carlson was born in Sweden in 1857. He and his wife were devout Lutherans who loved freedom, family, farming, and their Lord. Love was spoken in this household, and they passed down that legacy to their son, Nobel. Grandfather and Grandmother Carlson joined the Advent movement and were among the founding members of the Bismarck, North Dakota SDA Church. Grandfather Carlson would spend his spare hours after farm work passing out Bible literature on the streets of Bismarck.

Nobel married Hildur, a woman who was also of Swedish descent. Her family had been devout Lutherans since the 1500’s. They became Adventists in the 1930’s after attending public evangelism meetings and visits by colporteur workers.

Together Nobel and Hildur raised four sons: Dennis, Kevin, Gary, and Greg, and buried one daughter, Susan. Both parents were dedicated, life-long teachers in the Adventist school system, and all four boys sat in each parent’s class at some point during their school years. Hildur had begun her teaching career in 1944 in a one-room schoolhouse in Custer, South Dakota. 

The household of Nobel and Hildur was just as loving and happy as that of Grandfather and Grandmother Carlson. Here the four brothers learned firsthand about grace, mercy, and justice. Hildur prayed for her sons without ceasing. Even when Greg lost his connection with his Savior, Hildur continued her prayers and supplication on her son’s behalf. On November 21, 1999, while attending Amway meetings in Knoxville, Tennessee, Greg and his wife, Michelle, accepted Christ. God had answered Hildur’s prayers, and with the leading of the Holy Spirit, Greg was rebaptized while Michelle, and their son, Eric, were baptized by Greg’s brother Dennis on November 25, 2000. This was a wonderful testimony to the Carlson family heritage.

During the Ordination Homily, Elder Dennis Carlson shared the story of Grandfather Carlson taking time after evening meals to read his Swedish and English Bibles, as well as the Sabbath School lesson. At the closing remarks of the Homily, Dennis presented Greg with Grandfather Carlson’s English Bible. A New Testament passage was marked by Grandfather Carlson. Ephesians 1:7, 8; “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” Another translation for “abounded” being “lavished.” 

Forward to the years that Greg owned and operated a business in the Charleston, South Carolina area. It was in Charleston that Greg met Elder Eli Rojas. They became instant friends and later colleagues, serving together in the ministry. Elder Rojas taught Greg how to witness for Jesus. Greg attended lay training with the Carolina Conference, as well as lay pastor training at Southern Union with Ron Halvorsen and Ralph Ringer. He became a part-time literature evangelist, but it was during this time that he felt a desire to go into pastoral ministry.

The steps that led up to Greg’s ordination:
March 2005 Greg attended New Workers meetings in Atlanta, when he received the call to become a pastor in Northern New England Conference.
2006 – 2011 Greg was the pastor of the Williston, Bristol, St. Albans, and Rutland churches in Vermont.
2011 – 2016 Greg became the pastor of the Woodstock Church in Maine, and the Mt. Forist Church in New Hampshire.
2016 Greg became pastor of the Park (Salisbury) and Seaford SDA Churches, then ultimately Park alone.
Greg is currently participating in the Master of Pastoral Ministry Program through Andrews University.

During the Ordination Prayer, ordained pastors placed hands on Greg and prayed for the continuing outpouring of the Holy Spirit, guidance, wisdom, a hedge of protection around him, preparation of the church for Christ’s Second Coming, and that everything Greg accomplishes while in the ministry will bring honor and glory to Christ.

Elder Rojas, Conference Ministerial Director, presented the Charge with the counsel to “Imitate Jesus.” Serve, lead, shepherd the flock of family and church. Teach from God’s Word, train members to be leaders, and how to live like Jesus.

Elder Rick Remmers, Conference President, welcomed Elder Greg Carlson to the ministry on behalf of colleagues in the ministry, Park SDA Church, and other churches where he served as pastor. Shayne Remmers welcomed Michelle with a timeless reminder for us all to continue to find quality time with God.

Elder Jerry Lutz, Conference Secretary, presented Greg with the Certificate of Ordination.

Greg stated in his Personal Response, “I stand before you as an example that God always has a Plan B. God allows U-turns. It is a humbling experience and a privilege to accept the Charge of Ordination.” He thanked his colleagues and the Chesapeake Conference for giving him the opportunity. “By God’s grace, your prayers and my mother’s, we will carry on.”

Hildur Carlson turned 92 two days before the ordination. She continues to pray for her sons daily.
Baptism of Miriam Palacios
We are immensely blessed to welcome sister Miriam Palacios to our church family! She is the mother of Pao Machuca Palacios. God bless her as she continues to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:2 "... Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Elder Carlson gave sermon immediately following the baptism, "For Whom was Christ Born?" Elder Carlson challenged each member during the remaining days before Christmas to read the chapter "God With Us", from the Desire of Ages.

Hannah's Journal
News from Hannah Wilson

The kids, their smiles, their teases, their thick accents, the joy in their eyes, ALL that much closer. My God, my God you spoil me. Everything will always work out is an understatement, when You are involved! Everything will always work out to glorify You! My God!
The car ride from the airport, dodging cows, bikers, and walkers felt like home. It all felt so normal because for an hours drive the road is all mud, pot holes, and crazy inclines and declines (it reminds me of all those weekends off-roading where we did that kinda stuff for fun instead of out of necessity). The food is amazing. I truly enjoy the daily rice and curry-styled beans they serve (especially the popcorn they serve for dinner some days). The night sky lights up with all of these stars! And the Milky Way can be clearly outlined. God’s glory is on tour in the skies here, and I love the reminder. The second I got to my room, I was met with so much love and support from my housemates. They had stayed up waiting for me and enchanted me with stories of the kids. And then I found out I would for sure be teaching math, my favorite subject and long-loved patterns and constance. It was blessing after blessing.
But two experiences stick out the most that first day:
At lunch I had to choose where to sit and guessed at a friendly enough looking table of boys to sit at. At first we were all kind of quiet, focusing on the food and using our fingers to shovel in curry and rice. And then, all of a sudden the boys start taking turns telling riddles and jokes. At first it was hard to understand that “small times” meant young and “three” was actually “thief”. But honestly it was just a pleasure to have so much attention and have the opportunity to listen to the way they told each story, even if it was hard to understand. They were very funny! I sat with the girls too, and they also asked me to figure out the answers to their riddles. It was very fun to try and joke about what the correct answers would be.
I was introduced to many, many faces and most kids shook my hand politely, but shied away quickly. One girl, however jumped in my arms right off the bat. When I saw her next, she demanded to be carried and played with. Who was I to disagree? Later that night, at the first worship I attended, she turned around from her seat in the front row to see me walking in. When she saw me, she patted the seat next to her and motioned for me to come. She moved over, and the two little girls beside her also squished together to make room for me. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was my first day and I was so new and unsure of everything. I was saved from the classically scary feeling of walking into a crowded place of strangers and having to find a seat. Her adoption of me has continued as she insists I stand in line with her and sit with her during meals. Her adoption of me is especially present when she puts more food on my plate, telling me I should eat more. It’s funny, because when Jesus sends out the twelve, He to them, “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.” Matthew 10:9-10 NIV.
God calls us to humility first, service out that humility. The only things we have of worth to give is what God gave first: His true peace and real love. God said go, and he didn’t specify to be well prepared but to be the opposite: already in need. My cluelessness at putting up mosquito net or how to speak the local tongue, all of it keeps me humble. I am always asking, always on my toes, always just a little bit out of my depth. But that’s just the way I like it. Not only is it almost uncomfortable, but it is a reminder I was to come in need and God was to do the rest. Know our God is at work. This is my proof that if God has taken care of me thus far, He will only continue to do so.
In Him we are chosen*
Hannah Wilson
Hannah baked pumpkin pie (on an open fire) in celebration of Thanksgiving for over 150 people!
Steve Stender passed away on November 26
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of faithful Park member, Steve Stender on Monday November 26, 2018 at Manokin Manor in Princess Anne. He is pictured here with his wife, Betty. Steve rests from his labors, awaiting the return of Jesus.
Something to Think About
In the winter of 1847, an English woman penned a letter to her two sons, John and Thomas Hartnell.

"My Dear Children,
I have great pleasure to have a chance to write to you. I hope you are both well. I assure you I have many anxious hours about you, but endeavor to cast my cares on Him who is too wise to err, and too good to be unkind.
If it is the Lord’s will, may we be spared to meet on earth. If not, God grant that we may all meet around His throne to praise Him through all eternity are the prayers of your affectionate mother,      
—Sarah Hartnell"
Sarah suffered a heart condition and believed she would not live long enough to see the return of her sons, John and Thomas Hartnell, who were crewmen aboard the ship, the HMS Erebus. The Erebus and her sister ship, the HMS Terror—both under the command of Sir John Franklin—led an artic expedition in May of 1845, to find and chart the Northwest Passage, a proposed sea route to Asia, by traveling around the northern edge of North America. The ships were specially outfitted for artic waters and were stocked with enough provisions to last an estimated five to seven years.
Unknown to Sarah Hartnell and the rest of the world, sometime in the fall of 1846, after reaching Baffin Bay (in the Artic circle), the ships were trapped in an pack ice and eventually sank, stranding the desperate crew. Crewmen survived by consuming tins of meat and provisions, but the cans were sealed with large strips of lead. Exposure to high concentrations of lead weakened the men’s immune systems so that other diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, ravaged their bodies. Franklin was one of the first to die. John Hartnell succumbed on January 4, 1846, nearly a year before his mother wrote her letter. His brother Thomas followed in death less than three years later. John Hartnell lies in a permafrost grave with two other crewmen on the formidable Beechy Island, their bodies nearly perfectly preserved. Hartnell’s coffin headboard bears the following stern inscription: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider your ways.” Those who were last to die suffered confusion and delirium, brought on by the high intake of lead, wandering aimlessly into the frozen abyss, searching for civilization and safety. Before rescue ships could reach them, all 129 men perished in the artic.
Instead of sailing ships, jet planes now fill the skies, space shuttles and satellites whirl in outer space. Anyone with a half-way decent computer and the internet can Google Earth the place where Franklin’s men endured an agonizing wait for a rescue party that tragically came too late. Man’s technology has increased to the point that we are scientifically “enlightened” and supremely self-assured—but so was Sir John Franklin and his counterparts. It is all relative, you see. God’s “technology” dwarfs anything man could ever conceive. One day, when our limited and veiled understanding is lifted, we will explore the infinite space beyond our universe. It will not be accomplished with NASA telescopes or unmanned crafts. We will “cruise” the heavens with new bodies and unimagined speed.
Sarah Hartnell accepted that she may never see her sons again on this earth. Being a wise and righteous woman, she understood that there was Someone and something far greater than this temporary world. Perhaps it was well that she was not enlightened.
Upcoming Events:

  • Board meeting on December 9 at 10:00 AM.
  • Christmas Music Program on Sabbath, December 15.
  • Next Pathfinder and Adventurers Clubs Meeting is January 5, 2019 at 10:00 AM.
  • Keila asks that all children to be dressed in black and white every 4th Sabbath. Piano and voice lesson will be offered as well. Please see Keila and Buddy for additional information.
  • Pathfinders are selling calendars with nature scenes and Bible verses. $10 each, please see Sean Jackson.
  • Prayer Meeting - each Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
  • Nursing Home visit - 3rd Sabbath of each month, 2:00 PM (after fellowship luncheon).
  • Talents for the Lord - 4th Sabbath of each month, 2:00 PM.
  • Prison Ministry - every first and fifth Sabbath from 7:45 to 9:45 AM in ECI each Sabbath afternoon.
  • Bible study at the Annex every Sabbath from 6:15 PM to 8:15 PM (please see Jerry Wilson for details).
  • Anyone who wants to donate money for prison inmates children's gifts, please label your envelope, "Prison Ministry" by December 15. Thank you. God is able!