Welcome to New Vice-Chairman Rev. Tim Smitley

Rev. Tim Smitley, pastor of the Spring Creek Community Church near Corry, PA is the Association\’s new Vice-Chairman. We are thankful to the Lord for having Tim on the Executive Board, where at a recent meeting we very much appreciated his input. We are happy to be working together with him for the Lord.

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Men’s Retreat Project

Many thanks to Tim Bell and the Men’s Retreat committee for the wonderful retreat they put together. It was a fulfilling blessing from start to finish. Congratulations to Tim “Robin Hood” Smitley for a dead on shot with his bow on a two inch iron disc at forty yards; a shot that was challenging, even for the fellas shooting 22′s. His carbon arrow didn’t survive the impact, but the impact of his shot will survive in our minds for a long, long, time.

We want to thank the churches and donors toward the new addition of the Men’s Retreat work project. We received $640 toward the $800 Nelson cabin roof project and so were unable to do the project at Men’s Retreat. But as the remainder funds come in we are planning to complete the project before snow flys. But the men still had a mind to work anyway, and so they went to plan B and cut and delivered about 6 face cords of firewood to a family that was very grateful.

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Wonderful Annual Conference!

We want to offer our heartfelt thanks again to the congregation of Hallsport Christian Church for hosting the 31st Association Annual Conference. We were fed and accommodated like kings and queens. Pastor Rich Bendelewski and his wife Vanessa welcomed all with an uplifting time of worship in the Word and song. A tender time of observing communion together followed.

Business and Board meetings proceeded smoothly throughout the first day, which culminated with another wonderful worship service that included a time of group reflection on how much Audre’ Nelson meant to us all. Rev. Jim Nelson was touch to tears, and expressed thanks for all the kind remarks.

Ministry candidate Les Leet began the final day of conference with a challenging message to us all to “preach the word!”. While Association business was dispatched on a timely schedule, it was the times of food, fun, and fellowship that really made it a wonderful annual conference.

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Association Financial Rebound

Over a year ago we experienced a multi-sided hit to Association finances. In a three-month period finances went from healthy to depleted. When I met with the Executive Board next I told them we had been hit by a financial perfect storm.

The Association isn’t a money-making business and has always reinvested all of its funds back into ministries. All of the officers and event directors serve on a volunteer basis. I have been in the Association since its founding in 1981 and can attest that God has always provided. However, it was usually just enough and just in time.

There were many times when God’s timing tested our faith and had the Board sweating. As our annual ministry events approached funds would be shifted between event accounts to cover early costs, and shifted back as new funds came in. To give a little cushion of relief I introduced the Share Card Program to the Executive Board many years ago. That extra income from individual donors has been a fresh blessing on many occasions since.

About 15 months ago in a quarterly Executive Board Meeting, our Treasurer presented a typically tight but sufficient report on Association finances. Three months later we had run into a significant deficit. In began when two of our largest ministry events had significant deficits in their balance sheet. It doesn’t take much to produce this; a drop in attendance numbers with little change in expenses. Many times the Board counted on a ministry event’s overage of event income to help level out financial lows until church and individual donations came in.

In the same quarter there was a significant, unexplained lapse in regular church donations. A few of the churches were going through leadership transitions. These factors all occurred while still trying to keep the same level of financial commitment to missions, and so the perfect storm.

To restore fund balances to each of the Event accounts and replenish the General fund for expenses, the Board made the difficult decision to direct all income to these priorities. In the ensuing months churches in transition caught up on giving and individuals made special donations. Event directors strove to balance income and expenses as well, and as a result the Treasurer’s report in the June 23, 2012 Executive Board Meeting showed we had reached our goals. Praise the Lord.

With all this the Board has decided to prioritize funding our annual ministry events and regular expenses. In the future, giving beyond these will be evaluated as funds become available.

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Website Updated

Information on upcoming events has been added as of June 2012. I have also rewritten the Home page left info box that introduces and explains a little of the Association to visitors. Remember that, in addition to the Home page link to Upcoming Events, you can get more details on the Community menu.

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Family Camp 2011 Info

December 14, 2010 by revayoung

As you may have heard Camp 2011 is moving in a new direction. It is expanding from a Youth Camp to a Family Camp, as it was for many years. To accommodate families it was necessary to change the location of Camp to the Highlander Free Methodist Campground in Kane. The campground is centrally located to the Association churches and is easy to get to from Route 6. On Rt 6 east of Kane you turn at the UPS Distribution Center, go one mile and turn left at the Camp sign. The Camp is ahead on the right. Our speaker will be Aaron Duvall, pastor of the University Church on the campus of Ohio Christian University. Aaron was the Youth Retreat speaker a few years ago so we are familiar with his ability to speak to Youth. But his General Superintendent Tom Hermiz assures he is also very capable at bringing God’s Word to adults. Camp will also include group or band music throughout the week as well as a ministry to children.  I will be teaching a Bible Study each day for the adults at Camp.

Annual Conference 2010

September 19, 2010 by revayoung

Conference this year was a great time of fellowship, worship, and even business. It was good to see the large turnout in the morning and evening services. The times of worship, praise, and prayer were precious, especially the anointing of Pastor Jim Nelson, prayer for Les Leet and the Young Adult ministry in the Association, and the burden Tim Smitley has for revival in the Association churches. The times of fellowship and conversation renewed friendships, and the business meetings and board meetings moved right along on schedule.

Some of the highlights were the discussions during the Open Forum time during the business meetings on Friday and Saturday, and the memorial service for Rev. Leland Boring on Friday night, and the presentation of the Association’s new newsletter, The Messenger. On the Executive Board Rev. Young was re-elected as Chairman, and Darlene Stevens as Treasurer.

Many thanks to the Rixford Evangelical Church for hosting the Conference this year. Their beautiful church was a great setting for the meetings and the hospitality was great.

September & October Activities

August 26, 2010 by revayoung

Beginning with the Association Annual Meeting, the six weeks following are going to be very busy. The Annual Meeting is September 17-18, Men’s Retreat is September 24-25, and Ministry Retreat is October 25-27.

Annual Meeting is at the Rixford, PA church this year. Our thanks to the congregation and Pastor Norm Cox for hosting it.

Men’s Retreat is at Doorkeepers in Springcreek, PA, but the men will spend most of Saturday in Erie at the Family First Sportspark.

Ministry Retreat will be in Strasburg, PA where the Association ministers and spouses will enjoy the Broadway-like production of Joseph. They will also be visiting the Hanover Church and touring Gettysburg.

New Photo & Video Galleries of AEC Events & New Church Dedication

June 10, 2010 by revayoung

Our webmaster Bill Tipton has added photo and video galleries to the website.

You can now access photo albums from recent AEC events and a video of Pastor Young and Rev. Weagraff dedicating the new Association church United in Christ Community Church. The congregation and Pastor Charlie Little did a wonderful job of making their church beautiful for the occasion. It was obvious much work went into painting, cleaning, and decorating, both inside and out.

Also in the service were Executive Board Secretary Rev. Joan Young and Board of Ministry representative and Associate Pastor at East Smethport, Les Leet. The service also included special music by Kathy Henry of the East Smethport church. Pastor Young led the ceremony which included presenting the church key from the Trustees to Pastor Charlie. The event ended with a wonderful Tureen dinner where food was in great abundance. After viewing and partaking of the feast one wondered how Pastor Charlie managed to collect in one church all the best cooks and bakers in the area. Their hospitality is a reflection of how great the United in Christ Community Church loves the Lord and how happy they are to have their church building back. We are so glad to have them in the Association family of churches.


Changes With Website

May 2, 2010 by revayoung

You may have noticed a different appearance to the website. This is due to a change in webmasters.

Our former webmaster Charles Wells has been overwhelmed with a number of major events, his back surgery and recovery, his mother’s passing, two residential moves, and most recently their home being burglarized. In lieu of this I felt Charles needed relief from the daily maintenance of the website.

Bill Tipton, Columbus OH, has agreed to take over as primary webmaster. He and Charles have worked together on the technical development of our website from the beginning. Bill currently has about a dozen websites on the internet he has developed and maintains daily, including the East Smethport church’s site. I’ve asked Charles if he could continue in a secondary role of maintaining the Association’s Facebook account, to which he readily agreed. The AEC Facebook account is basically a copy of the forefront activity of the website distributed over a large social network. The exposure of our Association and what we offer churches is vast on this site.

Many thanks to Charles for all the hard work and time he has put into the development of the website. The Lord bless him for it.

Youth Retreat Photos With New Camera

March 10, 2010 by revayoung

Just a note to say much thanks to Pal & Darlene Stevens for donating a digital camera to the Association. It was broken in at Youth Retreat and the photos have stunning clarity. You can see them on the AEC site in the photo gallery. It will be very useful for photos for both the website and newsletter.

Two Saints in Heaven

January 22, 2010 by revayoung

We were saddened to hear recently from Pastor Jim Nelson of Margaret Johnson’s passing. She and her husband Carl were both pillars and supporters of the Association and the Pleasantville Community Church.

Not long before Carl’s recent passing my wife Joan and I heard Carl was in the hospital. It was our day off and we’ve learned that for us to truly take a day off we have to get out of “Dodge”. So we decided to head down to the hospital in Titusville and visit Carl and Margaret. It was a precious time for us.

Joan and I were just finishing High School when the Lord led us to our denomination’s college, Circleville Bible College. Joan enrolled in 1975 and I one year later. She was 18 and came from Vestal New York, a long way from family and home. I was 17 and from Columbus Ohio, thirty minutes north of Circleville. We were on our own and so young. When God led us to Pennsylvania after college we were 4 hours from Joan’s family and 7 from mine. So we became very attached to our friends, like Carl and Margaret Johnson.

Now Margaret is with Carl and both with their Lord whom they loved and served; Two more saints in heaven. They’ve joined that great, increasing cloud of witnesses whose faith has turned into sight, and who now cheer on we who are still here below, perhaps shouting the words of that old hymn of faith, “It’s real, it’s real, oh (now) I know it’s real. Praise God, the doubts are settled, and I know, I know, it’s real.” Would they not challenge us to persevere and press on with those words of another old hymn,”It will be worth it all”.

The Ache of Love

  • The glow of heaven gets brighter with the light of ones I’ve loved.
  • The number there is near the number here.
  • My longing ache to be with them in heaven up above,
  • Is turned by them to see my friends still near.
  • “These look to you and love the times of closeness that you spend,
  • Your love they always find and feel so true.
  • Be there for them as we for you were ever faithful friend,
  • And bid them love the way you love them too.”
  • By Allen Young

New in 2010

December 28, 2009 by revayoung

The year 2009 is just about history and it couldn’t have ended on a nicer note for Joan and me. We received a call from our daughter informing us they would like to bring us to Colorado for Christmas and to be there for Isaiah’s first preschool Christmas program. Words cannot describe the simple yet profound joy of such things. Our 17 month old Brandon just came over and climbed onto Papa’s lap to see if he could play on the computer. Soon he left and our 3 year old grandson Isaiah coincidentally showed up. I asked him if he had a hug for Papa and he promptly threw his arms around my midsection. To get a really big hug I asked him if he could touch his fingers around behind me. He looked up at me and said, “They won’t reach Papa”, to which I replied, “Well, we’ll just call that a half hug.” I’m going to have to do a little work to get a whole hug.

The year 2010 is a few days away and I’m thankful for the opportunity to let Christ make all things new…again. I’m excited on a personal level, a church level, and an Association level. For the Association I’m looking forward to the new newsletter helping our churches feel more familiar with each other. I’m looking forward to a continuation of a new initiative to help Association ministers become more familiar with each other. Les Leet, Associate Pastor of the East Smethport church, and Rev. Rich Bendelewski, pastor of the Hallsport Christian Church near Wellsville, NY have coordinated one such fellowship thus far in the Smethport Area. Five Association ministers enjoyed a good breakfast and fellowship at the popular Sprague’s restaurant in Portville, NY. Four others were unable to attend this event but hope to make the next. Les and Rich are also planning an event for both ministers and their wives. It is my hope that similar events can be organized for our ministers in the Pleasantville, Chapmanville, Springcreek, Wrightsville, and Warren areas. I am hoping too that out of these fellowship meetings ministers will begin to plan how our churches can fellowship together.

In 2010 we will also continue to develop the Association’s new financial procedures. In 2009 the Executive Board appointed two assistants to Treasurer Darlene Stevens so she could transition Association finances to computerized bookkeeping and have a backup checkwriter. In 2010 we will continue to standardize our Association finances to obtain validation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). This organization has created an ethical set of strict accountability standards that exceed Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures. We feel obtaining the ECFA seal is an important part of the new Charitable Giving Program we will be initiating in 2010.

Also in 2010 we are looking forward to the new changes in our website, which our webmaster Charles Wells is pursuing with the new web design software we recently purchased. He reports that the new design will be much more convenient and simpler to navigate.

These are just some of the plans for the new year, if the Lord tarries, and we thank the Lord for any new developments He may add.

Please remember the Association in your prayers as we begin to project ourselves to new ministers and churches and offer the blessings we have come to enjoy ourselves.

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