The midweek update from the Pioneer Memorial Church
No Images? Click here

Giving Thanks for PMC GROW Group Leaders

November 15 marked the first Year-end GROW Group Leadership Celebration. Lead Pastor, Dwight Nelson affirmed GROW Groups as “our primary delivery system of nurture to our members.” At each table was seated one or two leaders sharing the impact of leading a GROW Group on their social and spiritual lives.

Why a GROW Group Celebration?

We decided to minimize leader meetings every semester. However, as pastoral staff, we wanted to show our deep appreciation for their ministry, hence the experiment with a Year-end Celebration. All of the people who led a GROW Group in 2015 were invited and over 70 people showed up for the Sunday morning Brunch.

We particularly honored our oldest members as well as our youngest, newest, college student leader.  Despite leading GROW GRoups on vastly different topics, what Roger and Peggy Dudley and Andrew Burrill have in common is this: A passion for their group’s topic and living the Pioneer DNA (values).

The Dudleys have led every year and consistently included a social and community outreach as part of their Maximum Marriage GROW Group. The couples in it have voiced the life changing effect of the Maximum Marriage through its curriculum, prayers, and openness of people who aren’t church members.  Additionally, the Dudleys have consistently utilized the report system to briefly but meaningfully keep in contact with their members during the GROW Group semester thereby building a real sense of community among the intergenerational participants they shepherded.  

Andrew, who is a freshman at Andrews University, took the initiative to sign up as a GROW Group Leader during Andrews’ Orientation. The group he led was multi generational and ranged between 17 to 20 participants. Its focus was enjoying the outdoors while incorporating elements of worship.  He poured his heart in planning weekly events and as the Dudleys did, modeled the Pioneer values. In the next semester-Andrew will be coaching another young leader to take over the group.  

Who are the GROW Group Leaders?

Leaders range from all ages; from 10 to 90 years old.  They come from all walks of life. That is the richness of GROW Groups and this variety of interests is at the center of why it matters. The diversity of our members reflects the many ways we can reach people for Jesus but what we share in common are our Pioneer values.

What’s the impact of GROW Groups

The pastoral staff has prayerfully determined that GROW Groups would be the main vehicle for discipleship at Pioneer. Over 550 people participated in GROW Groups weekly.  My work is to manage what God is doing through these GROW Groups and help equip leaders.  It’s not a branch of ministry of PMC but a way of life for all ministries because the Christian journey is not meant to be done in isolation. Grow Groups helps set the stage for discipleship and are meant to be accessible for all levels of Christian maturity.  We GROW in Christ better together, and grouping helps us get in the habit of sharing Christ-centered life with others.

What’s the hope for GROW Group at PMC Next Year?

My prayer is that someone reading this will jump in with a prayer and lead a GROW Group next year! I hope that 2 Peter 3:18 will be fulfilled in us. 

Sign up to be a GROW Leader!

by Sabine Vatel, Discipleship, GROW Group Pastor


Children's Christmas Celebration

On Sabbath December 12, during both services, PMC families will have the opportunity to join together in the spirit of giving. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for anyone between the age of zero and sixteen and it will be shared with the kids in our community. 


Pilgrims All Are We

Nathaniel Philbrick, in Mayflower, his acclaimed history of the Pilgrims, recounts how William Bradford, the intrepid leader of that courageous band of Puritans, years later described “that first morning in America.” Recalling with wonder their landing on the salty, windswept shores of Cape Cod Bay on November 15, 1620, Bradford wrote: “But here I cannot stay and make a pause and stand half amazed at this poor people’s present condition. . . . They had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies; no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor. What could sustain them but the spirit of God and His Grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: ‘Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice and looked on their adversity’” (46). . . read more

by Dwight Nelson, Lead Pastor

Downlaod Bulletin
Visit Our Website