Editorials

Read More Don’t Build That Wall From the Editor Steve Kennedy, Editor Don’t Build That Wall
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants it down.” — from “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost[1]   Each year, over 10 million people visit the Great Wall of China. The most recent studies have calculated its total combined length at 21,196 km, making it the longest man-made structure in the world. It has also been called the...
Read More FROM OUR GENERAL SECRETARY TREASURER—Easter: Alive With Christ From Our General Secretary Treasurer by David Hazzard FROM OUR GENERAL SECRETARY TREASURER—Easter: Alive With Christ
I am grateful to be alive!  To wake up each morning to the possibility of a new day and to engage it with a sense of hopefulness is one of life’s simple delights—along with Toblerone chocolate. However, I am infinitely more grateful to wake up each morning and experience this truth: that “… God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ...” (Ephesians 2:4b-5a). I am grateful to be alive with Christ! This is the ...
Read More Slim Pickings IX From the Editor Stephen Kennedy Slim Pickings IX
Here it is, my annual gallimaufry of musings that I’ve christened “Slim Pickings”—one of my dad’s oft-used terms. I think the thing I enjoy most about writing this yearly instalment is finding a new word each time to describe it: gal·li·mau·fry, noun: 1. a confused jumble or medley of things 2. a dish made from diced or minced meat, especially a hash or ragout. On Sunday night, December 20, 2015, partway through our staff Christmas party, Colle...
Read More Where Mystery and Certainty Meet From our General Superintendent David Wells Where Mystery and Certainty Meet
There is something very appealing about certainty. It evokes thoughts and feelings of comfort and peace. To be sure of one’s income, physical security or of the love of another person are things that most of us value. Of course, there is not a lot we can truly be certain of. Economies and jobs fluctuate, our own health or the health of someone we love can change quickly, relationships transition, and societal shifts occur. That’s why we’re told that the only things we can be c...
Read More A Pilgrim’s Perspective From the Editor Ron Powell A Pilgrim’s Perspective
“O little town of Bethlehem, / How still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep / The silent stars go by.”[1] Our tour bus lumbered up to the first Bethlehem checkpoint on Epiphany, January 6. A group of heavily armed soldiers dragged on their cigarettes and joked with one another as we sat anxiously looking out our tinted windows. It seemed like an unreasonably long wait until an Israeli soldier entered the bus and asked the driver some questions. He examined official-l...
Read More Vital Lessons From My Travels From our General Superintendent David Wells Vital Lessons From My Travels
One of the privileges of my current calling is to be in a variety of international settings with our partners in global mission. Recently, within a matter of a few weeks, I spoke to the leadership of the thriving Assemblies of God fellowship in Ghana, partnered with leading sports ministry personnel at the Rio Olympics, ministered with Susan in churches and a Bible college in Argentina, and participated in leadership at the 24th Pentecostal World Conference in São Paulo, Brazil. In addit...
Read More The Question of Who Matters From our General Superintendent David Wells The Question of Who Matters
I was raised well. My parents taught me by example to treat every person with the God-given respect and dignity they deserve. This was to be shown regardless of the person’s age, gender, race or religious background. I did not always successfully follow my parents’ wise counsel and example. When my next-door friend’s mother used to point out that my behaviour was not appropriate, I’m told that I could get quite lippy with her. I remember being disciplined regularly for t...
Read More The Gift of a Friend From the Editor Stephen Kennedy The Gift of a Friend
We’re sitting in a coffee shop catching up on life. It’s been a year since we sat here in this same coffee shop nursing our hot drinks and covering the gambit of predictable topics. “How’ve you been doing?” We are both in our sixties now. News from the department of “internal affairs” tends to occupy the lead-off position in most conversations. “How’s the family?” Our kids are all grown up now. We discuss the challenges of parenting a...
Read More The Power of a Sentence From the Editor Stephen Kennedy The Power of a Sentence
I was chatting with my daughter on the phone recently. For the past three or four years now, she has spent half of her year in Australia. I’ll leave it to you to guess which half. In the course of our conversation, we learned that we had both just finished reading books that disappointed us. When she asked me why mine had left me underwhelmed, I paused for a second to think and then answered, “There was not one memorable sentence in the entire book.” That got me thinking about ...
Read More A New Generation of Ruths From our General Superintendent David Wells A New Generation of Ruths
I am convinced that women have a shared calling to ministry in the body of Christ. Over the years, I’ve worked through all the scriptural, theological, philosophical and cultural considerations in order to come to this conviction. On a good day, I could recite most of them. But something happened recently that further deepened my conviction. My mom passed away. We need clear theological and philosophical bases for our convictions. With that understood, I’ve learned that those convi...
Read More A Sobering Conclusion From the Editor Stephen Kennedy A Sobering Conclusion
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a). I think, if you’d asked them, they would have said they knew what they were doing. The Roman soldier who took up the mallet and nails knew what he was doing. Undoubtedly, he’d done it many times before. He’d honed the skill of kneeling on the outstretched arm to pin it still, of placing the tip of the spike in the sweet spot so that the crucial first blow drove the nail through skin and...
Read More A Vital Convergence From our General Superintendent David Wells A Vital Convergence
During the first week of May, delegates from across Canada and around the world will gather in Montreal, Que., for our biennial PAOC General Conference. The theme of the conference is “Vitality,” and our conversations will consider our spiritual, theological and missional vitality. Ten days later, on May 15, 2016, our churches will be celebrating Pentecost Sunday. The convergence of these two events provides an opportunity for us to examine who we are as a Spirit-empowered movement, ...
Read More The PAOC’s 2020 Initiative – An update from the general superintendent From our General Superintendent David Wells The PAOC’s 2020 Initiative – An update from the general superintendent
Our national and district leadership, along with congregational and ministry leaders across the country, are actively committed to the goals of our 2020 Initiative and are trusting in God to see them fulfilled. We are exercising that trust in God with faith, prayer and obedient action. Our desire is to be a Fellowship of churches, ministries and leaders who experience spiritual vitality, theological vitality, and missional vitality. We believe for the following to be true of the PAOC by Decembe...
Read More At the Last Stop From the Editor Stephen Kennedy At the Last Stop
It had been a long day in Jerusalem, as had every other day since our arrival. We were four days into a six-day whirlwind press tour of Israel. My body was tired, my brain was overloaded, and I’d had enough. Then the bus stopped again. Our day had begun with a stroll down the Hosanna Road that descends from the Mount of Olives to the boundaries of Jerusalem. Gaining momentum from our downhill journey, we attacked the city, stopping at every possible attraction along the way.  Dutifull...
Read More Slim Pickings VIII From the Editor Steven Kennedy Slim Pickings VIII
Normally, this hodgepodge of editorial musings wouldn’t surface until the spring. Maybe it’s the confusion of weather patterns that has birthed it sooner. Or maybe it’s the absence of any coherent train of thought. Whatever the reason, here it is. It’s not how you want your hometown to make headlines.  For all but six of my 60 plus years, I’ve lived in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. We have raised our children here and are watching them raise their children he...
Read More A Painful, Marvellous Gathering From our General Superintendent What an amazing opportunity! A Painful, Marvellous Gathering
The Pentecostal World Fellowship and our chair, Dr. Prince Guneratnam, had asked me to be their spokesperson at a historic consultation of church leaders from 56 different nations. For three humbling, soul-searching, and at times heartbreaking days, we focused on the intensifying discrimination, persecution and violence against Christian communities around the world.  For the first time in modern history, every stream of global Christianity came together to listen to and learn from Christi...
Read More I Believe in Dinosaurs From our General Superintendent David Wells I Believe in Dinosaurs
My Friday began, like most days, with my routine of listening to the Scriptures, a breakfast of yogurt and coffee, and a quick check of the overnight emails. That’s when the morning took a turn—in a good way. In my inbox was an email with the subject line “Hello from a pastor’s kid.” It began with a bright, cheerful greeting: “Hello, Mr. Wells!” The sender mentioned her name and family and then stated, “You might remember me. I gave you a little di...
Read More One Day From the Editor Steve Kennedy One Day
I read a story recently, one I’ve read many times before. This time I was caught by the opening two words. The first line of the story reads: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer—at three in the afternoon” (Acts 3:1). I’ve preached this story more times than I can remember, but I can’t ever recall those first two words jumping out at me like they did this time. “One day ...” If you’ve read the story, you k...
Read More A New Old Friend From the Editor Steve Kennedy A New Old Friend
It’s a five-foot baby grand piano built by the Mason & Risch Piano Company of Toronto. For 50 years or more it offered up its soul in service to the church—and bears the marks to prove it. The gleam is gone from its finish. Scratches and chips mar its complexion. Scars mark the places where amateur repairs have been made, one or two of the keys are sticky, and the bench is a little wobbly. But the ivory keys are flawless—except for one hairline crack on G5. And despite bein...
Read More In Such a Time as This From our General Superintendent David Wells In Such a Time as This
I remember them being assigned as homework in quick succession during my high school years. George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. All three writers offered their interpretation of what society might look like if powerful people with a single way of thinking controlled it. And then there was William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, perhaps the ultimate illustration of groupthink evolving into chaos. Each book carried a sense ...