CLEARFIELD – For a number of years, one of the highlights of the church year has been its annual missionary convention. The convention kicks off with the colorful Parade of Nations, when church members carry flags of countries with a Wesleyan Church presence in a stirring procession, followed by presentations by foreign missionaries. Speakers from past years have come from Liberia, Thailand, Swaziland, Nepal, Guyana, the Czech Republic, Haiti, Zambia and a host of other nations, introducing church members to the culture of those countries and to the unique needs of their people.
As a result, we have come to think of missionaries as located in countries outside the United States. However, by definition, a missionary is simply a person who undertakes the work of a religious mission, particularly to introduce another group of people to salvation in Christ and there are no geographic limitations.
This year, the Hyde Wesleyan Church has been asked to “Think Glocal,” thinking globally and acting locally in the spirit of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 a: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” The focus of the convention will be on church planting, part of a missional multiplication movement where local churches provide support to build believers, leaders and churches. While we think of the United States and Canada as Christian nations, shockingly there are 115 million unchurched in North America and over 33,000 unchurched in Clearfield County alone. Hyde Wesleyan is presently partnering with two church plants, one in Pittsburgh and one in Philipsburg.
The first session of the missionary convention will be held March 7 at 10:30 AM. Speakers will be Rick and Eunice Cox, who recently moved to the Penn Hills area of Pittsburgh to direct the development of “The Bridge,” a new church plant.
Pittsburgh is the city of bridges. There are a total of 446 bridges in the city, and it holds the world record for the most bridges in one city. According to Rick, “There is one bridge that is most important and that’s the bridge from God to man through His Son Jesus. We want to point the people of Pittsburgh to the most important bridge they will ever cross.”
The Cox’s bring a wealth of experience to their new mission in Pittsburgh. While headquartered in Swaziland, Rick was the Director of All Africa for the Wesleyan Church. He had previously served as Director for the Jesus Film Ministry in southern Africa and traveled to the African nations of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rick and Eunice pastored the Dixonville, PA, Wesleyan Church from 1994-2000 before being called to foreign service.
For more information on The Bridge and upcoming activities there, please log on to: http://theydidwewill.blogspot.com/ or mail the Cox residence, 6842 Alcoma Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15235. For more information about the missionary convention or for directions to the church, please call the Hyde Wesleyan Church, 765-5958, or go online at www.hydewesleyan.org.