Nazarene News

A Message From The Board of General Superintendents

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Gary Hartke was elected by the General Board 29 May 2018 to serve as the Church of the Nazarene’s next general secretary.

Dr. Hartke will follow Dr. David Wilson, who has served as general secretary since 2007. Dr. Wilson previously announced his intentions to retire at the conclusion of the 96th Session of the General Board in February 2019.

The director of Nazarene Youth International since 2000, Dr. Hartke has been responsible for coordinating and supervising youth ministry worldwide for the Church of the Nazarene. As of 2017, NYI reported a membership of 425,508.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Hartke was ordained in 1993. He served as an associate pastor in three Churches of the Nazarene: Dayton-Beavercreek Church (Beavercreek, Ohio), South Portland First Church (South Portland, Maine), and Chicago First Church (Lemont, Illinois). Throughout those years, he also served as youth camp director, district NYI president, Team NYI trainer, and district NYC coordinator. Additionally, Dr. Hartke served as the candidate coordinator in World Mission with the responsibility to discover, develop, and deploy missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene.

He has significant experience leading denominational events such as Third Wave, the General NYI Convention, and Nazarene Youth Conference (USA/Canada). Dr. Hartke has also served on the General Assembly Program Committee since 2001 and chaired the General Assembly Exhibit Committee in 2013 and 2017.

Dr. Hartke earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, a Masters in Church Management from Olivet Nazarene University, and a Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet.

Gary and his wife, Joy, reside in the Kansas City area.

Please join me in prayer for Dr. Hartke and the church as together we move forward in our mission to make Christlike disciples in the nations.

Dear Metro NY District Family,

General Superintendent David A. Busic announced the election of Samuel C. Vassel as superintendent of the Metro New York District.

Elected 11 May on the first ballot, Vassel replaces Art Alexander, who is retiring after serving in the position since 2004. Vassel will begin his new assignment 11 June.

Vassel is currently the lead pastor at Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene in Bronx, New York, a position he has had since 2000. He became a member of the General Board in 2017. 

He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary, a Masters of Arts from Wheaton Graduate School, and a Bachelor of Science from West Indies University.

Vassel and his wife, Angela, currently reside in Mount Vernon, New York

A note from our District Director of Nazarene Disaster Response; Rev Errol Vieira

Dear fellow servants of God,

Every day in our community, city and country we are experiencing various tragedy and disaster and many times we and our congregation feel bad because we are not able to respond with help

Nazarene Disaster Response (NDR) wants to create that avenue for you and your people to help our Nazarene people and others in times of disaster.

I am counting on you to help me organize a powerful effective disaster respond team.

  • Please announce to your congregation that we need their availability and whatever skill the may have as we respond together in a disaster.
  • I need whomever is interested to contact me by email or call (347)680-1400.
  • When I am contacted I will call a strategy meeting with all who are interested.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation,

Rev Errol Vieira 

District Director of Nazarene Disaster Response 

How Lament Quells the Terrorist in Each of Us 

"No, no, no. Praying . . . "

This simple, human post by a friend on Facebook was how I first learned about the Orlando shooting. As I scrolled to see the reactions of other friends, I was strangely encouraged.

"My heart is breaking."

"Lord, heal our brokenness."

"Grieving . . ."

"Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy."

I was surprised, in a forum like Facebook, to find a place to mourn among friends. (Usually on days like this I avoid the finger pointing and political tirades of social media.)Here's why I found this outpouring of emotion especially meaningful:

Yes, there are things to talk about-gun policy, the LGBTQ community, terrorism, religious hate-and there is work to be done.

But first: lament. Before this is about Muslims or gay people or gun rights, this is about human beings-the shooter and the victims.Here's why lament is vitally important: lament strips us back to our human selves. Underneath all our vitriol and desperate efforts to explain and fix the crisis, there are human hearts that are saying "I'm sad" or "I'm scared" or "I'm confused." When we jump straight to fixing and explaining, we miss the opportunity to be human. We continue the violence.

Lament feels like a waste of time but it's directly connected to the problem we're lamenting. Because underneath all the violence and anger that drives people to commit such atrocities there are human hearts that are saying "I'm sad" or "I'm scared" or "I'm confused." When they jump straight to fixing, they also miss the opportunity to be human.

Although it's odd, I'm rejoicing to hear lament. Because it's a common thing for privileged westerners to jump to explaining and fixing. But when we, in the most powerful nation in the world, can lament, then at last we begin to remember what it is to be human.

We remember our need for a power beyond our own. So that when we do turn to our own intellect and action to respond to a crisis-and there is certainly a time for action-we will do so without that quick-fix mentality, that desperate effort to take matters into our own hands. And as we do, we'll learn how lament overcomes our own terrorism.

Written by Mandy Smith from Missio Alliance