April 10, 2015 - Church of the Nazarene

 NCN News
Top Stories for the week of April 10, 2015
MNU awards lifetime achievement to Paul & Connie Cunningham
MidAmerica Nazarene University will honor Paul G. and Connie R. Cunningham with the Lifetime
Achievement Award at the 2015 President’s Honors April 10 in Cook Center.
“The Cunninghams have long been friends, supporters of, and visionaries for the university,” said MNU
President David Spittal. “It is not only fitting, but it is with deep gratitude that we present them with this
Vision and commitment honored
There’s no doubt that without Paul's vision, MNU might not be in Olathe. Paul was a young pastor just
out of seminary when he cast a vision to Olathe businessman and philanthropist Robert R. Osborne.
Then president of a local bank, Osborne had come to know the young clergyman when Cunningham
sought a personal loan to give an offering to the Olathe Nazarene church of 46 he pastored. Leading
his small congregation to give more than they imagined to the 1965 Easter Offering for world missions,
Cunningham believed he too must make a sacrifice. Two hundred dollars was much more than he and
his wife, Connie, had saved at the time, so he asked the bank president for a loan. Having never been
approached for a loan to pay an offering, Osborne was surprised and impressed. He approved the loan
and gave money to the offering himself.
Months later when Cunningham sought Osborne’s influence again, Osborne listened. Cunningham’s
idea was to locate a private liberal arts college in Olathe. The Church of the Nazarene had just voted in
its General Assembly to start two new colleges. Locations were being considered. For the North Central
region of the U.S., Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Topeka, Kansas, were considerations, but Paul
Cunningham had an idea. Right in the heart of the U.S., just minutes from the bustle and economic
opportunity of Kansas City, sat Olathe, Kansas — then just a town of 20,000. In those days Kansas City
was projected to grow, but the experts expected the growth to be north of the city in Missouri. No one
knew Johnson County, Kansas, would become one of the richest counties in the U.S. No one knew
Olathe had the potential to become one of the most livable cities. Well, someone knew. Because above
all else, Paul Cunningham was seeking God’s direction in this pastorate in this little Kansas town on the
Cunningham began to cast this vision — what he believed was God’s purpose — to Osborne. What
benefits would come to Olathe if it had a college? And not just any college, but a Christian college built
on God’s Word and a desire to educate students who would serve God and their fellow man. Osborne
caught the excitement and put together a group of business people who together purchased the land to
give to MidAmerica Nazarene College (now University).
So began the journey that intertwined the lives of MNU and College Church of the Nazarene.
Cunningham would pastor there for 29 years, growing the church to an attendance of 3,000 in 1993
when he was elected a general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene. Having led the
congregation through three building campaigns and 29 years of financial support for missions both in
the U.S. and abroad, the Cunninghams became international leaders for the church.
The list of contributions and accomplishments by both Cunninghams is long. Involved not only in the
church and the university but also in the community, he served as a chaplain for the Olathe Police
Department, achieving the rank of lieutenant. Often he was in attendance when families were given
difficult news on the fate of their loved ones. In 1981 when Kansas City experienced the Hyatt Skywalk
collapse, Cunningham spent hours comforting and supporting the victims and first responders at the
The daughter of medical missionaries in South Africa, Connie (Seaman) Cunningham met Paul in high
school in Chicago. Childhood experiences gave her a great love for people and serving their needs, so
she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Chicago School of Nursing in 1961.
The two married and while her husband was in seminary, Connie worked as a nurse and nursing
As the church grew, Connie found her calling in support of College Church ministries and of her
husband and children. She taught the Young Adult Sunday School classes at College Church for nearly
27 years and started the church’s Women’s Ministry, becoming a sought-after retreat and conference
speaker. With experience in nursing and teaching, Connie was a natural to serve on the 1976 Nursing
Degree Feasibility Study Committee which was instrumental in bringing the BSN to the university. In
2004, the university conferred upon her the Doctor of Humane Letters for her support and service.
Paul went on to serve his church and community in numerous capacities. He was chairman of the
Board of Trustees of Nazarene Theological Seminary and was a member of the general church Book
Committee for 16 years. He served as secretary of the Board of Trustees at MidAmerica Nazarene
University and was a member of the Kansas City District Advisory Board. At the 1985 General
Assembly, he was elected president of the denomination's General Board and was re-elected to that
post in 1989.
In 1991 he was selected Citizen of the Year by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and in 1993 was
presented with the quadrennial award for contributions to education by MidAmerica Nazarene
Also in 1993, Paul was presented with the J. T. Barton Award from the city of Olathe for distinguished
service to the city. This recognition represented the city’s highest award. In 2014 the Cunninghams
were recognized with the city’s Cathedral Builder Award for their contribution to Olathe’s quality of life.
In addition to his work as College Church pastor, he served as special speaker in revivals, district
conventions, camp meetings, rallies, and retreats throughout the country and various world areas.
Paul is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and Nazarene Theological Seminary. In 1975
MidAmerica Nazarene University conferred upon him the Doctor of Divinity.
The Cunninghams have three married children, Paul Mark, Lori, and Connie Jo, and seven
grandchildren, all living in the Olathe area. All three children are university alumni.
--MidAmerica Nazarene University
Brazil NYI leader passes away
Mariana Pereira, a Nazarene Youth International leader in Brazil, passed away March 26 after
struggling with her failing health. She was 34.
”A godly woman was among us; her testimony and legacy will live on in our hearts and minds.” This
was said of Mariana’s life at her burial.
Pereira was born in Campinas, Brazil, and came to know of the gospel at 19. Immediately after hearing
of and accepting the love of God, she put herself at His service and was involved at the local, district,
and national level in the Church of the Nazarene. Pereira was the district NYI president, national
secretary for NYI, local minister in the Sousa Church of the Nazarene, and a volunteer at the Global
NYI office.
She was a theology graduate from the Methodist university in São Paolo and Nazarene Theological
Seminary of Campinas and graduated in foreign marketing administration.
Two years ago Pereira received the Timothy Award in recognition of her ministry with NYI in Brazil.
Her favorite Bible verse was Psalm 136:1: “Let us give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His love
endures forever.”
"Mariana lived with this security and that is why at her burial there were only words of thankfulness and
recognition of a life used for God to bless every person she knew," said Edson Moura, South America
Region Bible Quizzing coordinator.
--Church of the Nazarene South America Region
Torrential rains cause deadly landslides in Chile
Heavy rain in northern Chile killed seven people, caused the disappearance of at least 22, damaged
highways, and cut off cities in Antofagasta (Region II) and Coquimbo (Region IV).
The incessant rains caused landslides and flooded rivers that swept away houses and bridges and
caused both communications and basic services to be interrupted. As of April 8, many people were
isolated while waiting to be rescued by Armed Forces helicopters. Access by land was nearly
Rain is rare in this desert area, and the cities are not fully prepared to deal with torrential rains. One of
the cities that received the most damage is Copiapó, where two Nazarene congregations are located.
One is the recently organized New Beginnings Church of the Nazarene pastored by José Piñones; the
other is a mission directed by Pastor Aldo Corvacho.
"We thank God that according to the information we have, both congregations are all right, and they are
trying to help those who have suffered losses," said Pastor Patricio Huanca. "We ask for prayer for the
people in these cities who are suffering because of the loss and disappearance of their loved ones and
because of the destruction of their homes, which has left them with nothing."
The Church of the Nazarene is organized to help those who are affected. To join with them, contact
Alessandro Polonio at [email protected]
--Church of the Nazarene South America Region
Good Samaritan Inn: A safe haven of love, outreach in Fiji
Fiji District team leaders were praying and searching for a compassionate ministry project to reach local
residents when an idea dawned on them in the beginning of 2014.
At the time, the Fiji government was exploring ways to manage poverty, particularly with regard to
assisting those who were homeless and living on the streets. The district team was inspired by Matthew
25:35 ("For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something
to drink, I was a stranger when you invited me in.") and proposed a partnership through which a safe
home would be provided for the less fortunate. The facility would also help residents restore and
rehabilitate their lives so they can return to the community.
The government immediately embraced the idea and agreed to work hand-in-hand with the
church. After months of dialogue and preparation, the Good Samaritan Inn officially opened February 6.
GSI is located on three acres in Coloisuva, Fiji, where there is a newly renovated Nazarene church. Fiji
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries manages and operates the facility while the government, through
the Ministry of Women and Children and Poverty Alleviation, provides assistance with the aid of various
ministries such as health, social welfare, and workshops on business and livelihood training.
The temporary home has 24 beds and provides shelter where homeless locals can stay until they are
able to get back on their feet. Many of these people have been rejected or abused, so the inn will also
be a source of love, patience, forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance. The inn will teach people to
pray and to see God as the provider and source of healing, restoration, and empowerment in their lives.
Apart from providing the land and managing the home, the church donates equipment, clothes, and
volunteer labor for different work activities.
“This centre, The Good Samaritan Inn, is the first of its kind in Fiji,” said Rosie Akbar of the Ministry of
Women and Children and Poverty Alleviation during the inn's official opening.
Fiji District leaders are grateful for the commitment and trust of the government in this endeavor.
--Church of the Nazarene Asia-Pacific Region
USA/Canada SDMI develops free VBS resource
Beginning early last month, kits containing a newly created Vacation Bible School curriculum started to
reach thousands of local Nazarene churches across the U.S. and Canada. All churches on the
USA/Canada Region should receive their kit at no charge by the end of April. A Spanish version will be
sent to each Spanish-speaking congregation by mid-May.
The God of the Underdogs VBS was developed in response to a growing need within many local
Nazarene churches for a Vacation Bible School that could be effective and lead children to a saving
faith in Christ, be carried out without creating a financial burden on the church, and retained a
Wesleyan-Holiness emphasis.
The VBS features five underdogs from the Old Testament (Joseph, Esther, David, Hannah, and Daniel)
who discover that despite the challenges they face, God has not abandoned them. In addition, five
other special guests (Gally Gator, Pennie Penguin, Doc Duck, Callie Cat, and Lennie Lion) will show
children that anyone who trusts in God can rise above any challenge.
How did The God of the Underdogs VBS come to be?
Each year, hundreds of local churches and thousands of children participate in the Kids Reaching Kids
Mission Offering Project. A portion of each offering is placed in a Special Projects Fund. This fund is
used to support missional efforts toward children that may not fall in the same category as the annual
offering. This has allowed Kids Reaching Kids to meet immediate needs, like the efforts in Haiti
following the devastating earthquake in 2010. This Special Projects Fund is also what has made The
God of the Underdogs a reality. Money raised by children being used to bring other children the Good
News of Jesus Christ is truly what Kids Reaching Kids is all about.
The curriculum, which is available in English and Spanish, can be found online at gotuvbs.com.
VBS curriculum in black and white and full color, along with a number of additional resources, is
included on the website. Everything on the website is downloadable and reproducible. If your church
would like to support The God of the Underdogs or possible future missional efforts toward children,
you can do so by supporting the Kids Reaching Kids annual Mission Offering Project. For more
information about the current offering project, visit krknaz.com.
--Kids Reaching Kids Mission Offering Project
Eurasia Region holds Manual translation summit
The Eurasia Region held its first Manual Translation Summit in early February in Budapest, Hungary, a
regional effort to train teams involved with translating the Church of the Nazarene Manual.
There were 10 language groups represented. Some of these groups have already begun updating their
translations of the Manual to the current version (2013-2017). Others have an older version – 20052009 or even 1997- 2001. Other language groups don’t yet have a Manual, so their first priority is
translating the Articles of Faith section.
Before any section of the Manual is translated, each language’s translation team needs to establish an
agreed-upon lexicon of how terms will be consistently translated — not only throughout the Manual, but
also in other Nazarene publications. These include both theological terms like “entire sanctification” and
organizational terms like “District Advisory Board.”
Creating a “Nazarene lexicon” proves to be a complex task, as there are numerous technical and
theological terms in the original English version that have no exact counterpart in some other
languages. This means that translators need to find creative ways to retain the meaning of these
English words when explaining them or replacing them with similar words in their own languages.
“’Superintendent’ is a strange word,” said Jonathan Phillips, the literature coordinator for Romania, who
organized the summit, modeled after a similar summit held in South Carolina, USA, in early 2014. “How
do you translate ‘superintendent’ into Bulgarian or Croatian when they don’t have a word that quite says
that with the same connotations that the English word has?”
Finding an accurate translation of the Manual is critical to the unity and development of the church in
every language group where the church has a presence.
“It’s important that the essentials of the Church of the Nazarene remain the same throughout the
denomination,” Phillips said. The translation of the Manual makes it possible for “a single
denominational identity — who we are, what we believe, and how we function — to be accessible to
church leaders in their native languages.”
Translators also need to be careful to use theological terminology in their own language that shares the
meanings of the Wesleyan-Arminian-rooted theological terms used in English in the Church of the
Nazarene, which was founded in the U.S. before expanding to 159 world areas.
“There are other theological traditions in the country (of Hungary), and it’s so easy to automatically use
terminology that the Calvinists or Catholics might use, because it’s in the culture, but then it has a
different connotation,” said Imre Gusztin, the literature coordinator for Hungary.
Getting together and discussing different obstacles and challenges was helpful to the different language
group representatives.
“We shared examples from the Hungarian translation process that we thought were unique problems
and others said, ‘Oh, we are struggling with the same thing. How did you solve it?’ It gives you ideas
and opens up a new way of thinking about how to respond to it,” Imre said.
Scott Stargel, head of Global Nazarene Publications, led the summit. Since many of the participants are
also involved with literature translation projects beyond the Manual, he provided training on the
Nazarene literature translation process. He also introduced the group to the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital
Library, a free, multilingual website that shares works related to Wesleyan-Holiness literature and
scholarly research.
Finally, Stargel provided training for an open source software program used by professional translators
called OmegaT. It learns terms and expressions from the translator, and remembers them when the
translator encounters them again later in the translation process. It also has a spellchecker for most
“We wish we had this years ago," Maria Gusztin said. "I think this new software will ease the work.”
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region
Florida church helps repurpose space for new Panama child development center
What difference could eight teenagers, a senior pastor, a youth pastor, and Nazarene Missions
International president make in just seven days?
That is exactly what the group that traveled from Redland Church of the Nazarene in Miami, Florida, to
Panama City, Panama, asked themselves. The Redland group embarked on a journey to partner with
the Samaria Church of the Nazarene to help fix the one and only Sunday school room in the church.
The 15 by 15 foot room needed to be repurposed to better serve the church and the community through
a soon-to-open child development center. The Redland group needed to help plaster walls, re-layer and
tile the floor, replace windows and doors, and add a small kitchen and bathroom to the back of the
When they arrived at the Samaria church March 22, the task seemed daunting. Through enthusiasm
and hard work, not only was the team able to help with the refurbishing of the Sunday school room,
they also helped remodel the sanctuary, visited an orphanage, participated in a kids evangelistic event,
and took much-needed supplies to a nearby orphanage.
At the conclusion of the trip, participants were satisfied with the work that was completed and with the
new friendships forged.
“We are very grateful to the Redland church (Pastor Treavor Pound, Pastor Ricardo Barrera, and Maria
Kircshner) for all their efforts in bringing such a formidable group to help us complete this much needed
project," said Amable Polanco, senior pastor of the Samaria church. "We will forever be grateful that
you came, helped us, and showed us your love and support.”
--Church of the Nazarene Mesoamerica Region
New project launched in Ecuador
Extreme Nazarene Missions began its latest church planting project in Ecuador to establish a church
in Cuenca.
Leaders from the Church of the Nazarene's North Andean Field and Extreme Nazarene Missions
decided to launch a church planting project Cuenca, a city with a population of more than 400,000
located 260 miles south of Quito on the Sierra South District. Cuenca is known for tourism and has no
sizable Church of the Nazarene.
Extreme Nazarene Missions has planted more than 80 churches in Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile,
and Ecuador. The church planting project is Extreme’s 85th overall and third in Ecuador after Ambato
and Ibarra.
The church will be planted using the 40/40 model. A 40/40 church planter is a single young person with
a call to missions or to serve God as a church planter. He or she is between 18 and 30 years of age,
single, and is mature in Christian character. Extreme Nazarene will pair five Ecuadorian 40/40s with five
North American 40/40s of the same gender.Together they will work with a South American pastoral
couple and North American married couple.
Applications are currently being accepted for the 40/40 and pastoral positions. Applicants will undergo
an interview process and the team will be selected. The Ecuadorians selected to be 40/40s will need to
raise $250 per month along with travel expenses. The team will begin in January 2016. Team members
will commit to 28 months, including four months of seminary classes and missionary training in Quito,
Ecuador, one month of Master’s Plan training in Cali, Colombia, and 23 months planting the church in
Cuenca. During their time in the field, the missionaries will continue to take online seminary classes and
will finish having completed half of the courses for a bachelor’s degree in intercultural studies. The
pastoral couple will be salaried and will commit to four years at the church plant.
--Church of the Nazarene South America Region
In Memoriam
The following is a weekly listing of Nazarene ministers and leaders who recently went home to be with
the Lord. Notices were received April 6-10, 2015.
Lois (Millard) Chapman, 96, of Miltonvale, Kansas, passed away April 4. She was the widow of retired
minister and evangelist W. Emerson Chapman, who served in Massachusetts, Indiana, and Kansas. W.
Emerson Chapman passed away in 1999.
John Frye, 89, of Garrett, Indiana, passed away April 7. He was a retired minister and evangelist,
serving in Michigan and Indiana. He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne (Clark) Frye, in 2007.
Mozelle Hendley, 87, of Trenton, Georiga, passed away March 18. She was the widow of retired
minister and evangelist William Hendley, who served in Alabama and Mississippi. William Hendley
passed away in 2013.
Rena Huff, 93, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, passed away April 8. She was the widow of retired
minister Cecil Huff, who served in Alabama. Cecil Huff passed away in 2001.
Gary Jones, 82, of Hamilton, Ohio, passed away April 4. He was a retired minister and assistant
district superintendent, serving in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio and leading the Southwestern Ohio District.
He is survived by his wife, Doloris (Owens) Jones.
Mariana Pereira, 34, of Brazil passed away March 26. She served as district Nazarene Youth
International president, national NYI secretary, minister at Sousa Church of the Nazarene, and as a
volunteer at the Global NYI Office.
Mary (Smith) Phelps, 89, of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, passed away April 8. She was the widow of
retired minister Stannard Phelps, who served in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. Stannard
Phelps passed away in 1988.
Glendle Rains, 85, of Norman, Oklahoma, passed away April 5. He was a retired minister, serving in
Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. He is survived by his wife, Beverly Rains.
Margaret "Peg" (McLaughlin) Randolph, 82, of Bethany, Oklahoma, passed away April 6. She was a
lifelong Church of the Nazarene member, volunteering in Vacation Bible School, Children's Bible
Quizzing, church choir, church orchestra, and at the church campground. She was also a Sodexo Food
Service employee at Southern Nazarene University.
Esther True, 95, of Ventura, California, passed away March 27. She was the widow of retired minister
and evangelist Ira True Jr., who served in Oregon, Washington, and California. Ira True Jr. passed
away in 2009.
Dorothy (Green) VanArsdel, 97, of McMinnville, Oregon, passed away April 4. She was the widow of
retired minister J. L. VanArsdel, who served in California and Oregon. J. L. VanArsdel passed away in
Mildred Vanderpool, 94, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed away April 2. She was the widow of retired
minister and district superintendent Crawford Vanderpool, who served in Oregon, Washington, and
Arizona and led the South Dakota and Arizona districts. Crawford Vanderpool passed away in 2007.
For previous editions of In Memoriam, see the "Passings" section by clicking here.
Note: Please join with us in prayer for the families who have lost loved ones. Click on names for full
stories, funeral information, local online obituaries, and/or guest books (if available). To submit an entry
of a minister or church leader, send to [email protected]
--Compiled by NCN News