NEDA Conference 2016 Highlights

Our annual conference was held October 25th and 26th at the beautiful Camp Spofford in western New Hampshire. Over 100 attendees included pastors and lay leaders from 48 New England district churches, as well as many guests and missionaries. 

The conference was kicked off on Tuesday morning as we worshipped together, led by Rob O'Blenis and his team from BEFree Alton (NH). Our first guest speaker was Jeff Sorvik, EFCA's director of church multiplication. He shared with us as to why we should pursue Togetherness in the church (see his notes). Later in the morning we were challenged by Dr. Alex Mandes as to the major hindrances of church multiplication - missional blindness - ignoring or not seeing the people who are already in our neighborhoods that need to hear and be engaged in the gospel (see his notes).

Jeff Sorvik -Pursuing Togetherness

Jeff Sorvik -Pursuing Togetherness

A new feature in this year's conference was a roundtable discussion during and after our lunch time. Three questions were posed for discussion: (1) "Who is the 'other' in your neighborhood (spring-boarding from Alex's teaching), (2) "If you were to go out into your community and ask, what would people say about your church?" and  (3) "What could you do to make the light of the Gospel more evident by the way your church lives together?" Individuals shared their insights and experiences as well as practical ways of reaching out to the people just outside the church doors in their own neighborhoods with the gospel of Christ.

Our afternoon session brought us to our annual business meeting and reports. Three new churches were welcomed and recognized: The Father's House, Stamford, CT - a church plant sent from Grace Evangelical Free church (Stamford) under pastor Kenny Sullivan; Talcottville Congregational Church, Vernon, CT, currently shepherded by interim pastor Wayne Hansen; Christ Community of Hampshire County, Easthampton, MA, led by pastor Chad Patterson. Also introduced were Lowrie and Deb Robertson who are currently and actively engaged in their community, with the hopes of planting a church in Acton, Maine. It was great to hear the encouraging reports about how God is at work in these communities and others within the New England district! 

Praying for the Talcottville church. Left to right: Sam Huggard, John Westerholm, Wayne and Malinda Hansen, Sharon and John Backer. 

Praying for the Talcottville church. Left to right: Sam Huggard, John Westerholm, Wayne and Malinda Hansen, Sharon and John Backer. 

Sam introduces Kenny Sullivan of The Father's House, Stamford, CT

Sam introduces Kenny Sullivan of The Father's House, Stamford, CT

Sam introduces pastor Chad Patterson of Christ Community of Hampshire County.

Sam introduces pastor Chad Patterson of Christ Community of Hampshire County.

Miles Ahrens, NEDA Board Chairman, led the brief business meeting, held with the express purpose of voting on the 2017 budget and the new officers who are coming onto the board. A favorable outcome for both was received. Sam Huggard, District Superintendent, concluded by thanking Miles for his many years on the board and presented him with some small gifts as tokens of appreciation for Miles' hard work and Godly leadership.

Our Tuesday evening time of worship was led by Seth Nuzum of Valley Bible EFC in Haddam, CT. Kevin Kompelien, EFCA President, reminded us of our shared values that have shaped us and how that affects our unity and mission (see his notes).

Kevin Kompelien, EFCA

Kevin Kompelien, EFCA

The conference's concluding time of worship was held on Wednesday morning, led by Maria Belyea of Mountainview EFC in Voorheesville, NY. Jeff Sorvik continued his teaching by discussing how we should be pursuing togetherness in the church. (see his notes).

Maria Belyea

Maria Belyea

Sam wrapped up the conference by discussing a vision for the New England District for the coming year and beyond. (see his powerpoint and notes here)

The conference provided a great time fellowship and networking amongst pastors and lay leaders from throughout the district. Prayers for one another, words of encouragement, sharing of resources and time to get caught up with one another were all  important parts of our brief but meaningful time together.

EFCA Theology Conference

Registration is open for the 2017 Theology Conference focused on
Reformation 500: Theology and Legacy – God’s Gospel and the EFCA.

February 1-3, 2017
Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois


Join fellow EFCA pastors and leaders as we focus on the Reformation, both its theology and legacy, and its ongoing influence in the EFCA. Attendees will learn from seven plenary messages with renowned speakers: D. A. Carson, David Luy, Scott Manetsch, Albert Mohler, Kevin Vanhoozer, Stephen Wellum and Kenneth Young.


To Learn more, go to:


Early Bird Pricing

After January 9, rates increase $25 each

  • Ministerial Association members - $140
  • Non-Ministerial Association members - $175
  • Two or more attending from the same church - $140 each
  • Pastors in their first five years of ministry in the EFCA - $140


The following hotel is providing a special rate for conference attendees at $89/night, including daily hot breakfast. Ask for the Theology Conference 2017 group. Rates expire January 9, 2017.
LaQuinta Inn & Suites Bannockburn
2000 South Lakeside Dr., Bannockburn, IL | (847) 317-7300



Gateway Training Opportunity


An EFCA GATEWAY Phase 1 Orientation will be held in our district on March 25, 2017. Pastor Chico Parker, Crossway Christian Church, Saco, ME,  will be the facilitator for the GATEWAY site.  Those interested in EFCA GATEWAY training should come to the Orientation to better understand what the training involves. EFCA GATEWAY Theological Institute exists to provide a “gateway” to credentialing and ministry within the larger EFCA movement.  EFCA GATEWAY offers language-specific, practical, and accessible theological training for pastors, church planters and leaders (men and women) equipping them for effective ministry in their current contexts. EFCA GATEWAY is designed for leaders who have a need for theological and pastoral training but lack the time and resources to access traditional seminary education.

Information that will be covered during the Orientation is: explanation of how the class operates—lectures, assignments and grading, the kind of discipline and commitment needed for this course, a review of the EFCA GATEWAY syllabus, a review of class dates, assignment for the first class as well as how this training prepares those students interested for the EFCA credentialing process.  The online registration and optional manual registration will also be explained. 

Prospective students should come to the Orientation prepared to register and pay the tuition if they decide to take the class.  Registration is done online—the online registration information will be distributed by the facilitator at the Orientation or before. EFCA GATEWAY Phase 1 tuition is $300 and includes the GATEWAY manual.  A special price for the spouse of a student in the same class is $150 (couple shares 1 GATEWAY manual).  After a student registers and pays the tuition online the GATEWAY manual will be sent to his or her home.  Non-electronic registration is available for those that can’t complete the online registration.  Types of payment accepted are credit cards and checks (made out to EFCA).  The student is considered registered for class when tuition is paid in full.  Manual registration and payments that are not done online are to be sent to: EFCA GATEWAY, P.O. Box 1223, Helotes, TX 78023.  Please include student’s name on the check or payment information.

In order to prepare for the first class, the student will receive a “Mini Manual for 1st Class” at the Orientation or have access to the PDF version after they register online.  Students will receive their GATEWAY manual by mail or UPS within a week to 10 days after registering online or after manual registration and payment is received by the GATEWAY office.  Students also need to purchase the required texts: Evangelical Convictions (Next Step Resources 800-444-2665) and Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem or or another source before the first class.

In EFCA GATEWAY Phase 1, the first ten classes are dedicated to the 10 points of the 2008 EFCA Statement of Faith and the following two classes deal with Ethical/Ministerial and Lifestyle issues.  Some sites add 2 additional meeting dates to hold “mock licensing councils.”  Phase 1 GATEWAY typically lasts 12-14 months.

We look forward to meeting you and are excited that you are interested in being equipped for ministry. 

Faith and Work Dialogue

This past week, twenty leaders gathered at Camp Spofford for the Faith and Work Dialogue. Dr. Gary Hoag (EFCA, TEDS), facilitated the sessions which were focused on integrating faith and work. Paul Voltmer, Pastor of Trinity EFC in Windsor, VT, has already begun work to more effectively integrate faith and work in his church setting. In the attached article, Paul describes the focus of the FWE and the impact that it is making in his church. 

NEDA Conference October 25-26, 2016

The 2016 Annual Conference of the New England District Association will be held on October 25-26, 2016, at Camp Spofford, in Spofford, NH.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Together.” Ephesians 2:22 describes this togetherness, “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

Jeff Sorvik (EFCA Church Multiplication) and Alex Mandes (EFCA Immigrant Hope & Gateway) will be speaking about the power of togetherness in Christ’s mission. EFCA President, Kevin Kompelien, will also be present as a special guest and will speak Tuesday evening.

There will be a different element to the conference this year – a round table discussion session Tuesday afternoon. This will be a “working session” during which we will have opportunity to have discussion based on the morning sessions and learn from one another based on our ministry experiences. We need your voice in the dialogue!

Visit the conference page to sign up, and for info on housing options


Pastor Sam Huggard of BeFree Community Church, Alton NH, our newly elected District Superintendent, will begin his tenure with NEDA on August 1, 2016.

Ves Sheely will conclude his time with NEDA on August 31, 2016.  

Please make note of updated contact information :

Sam Huggard
Office phone: (603) 842-4482
Cell phone:  603-724-5909

Administrative assistant:
Cyndi Buck
Phone: (603) 842-4482

Mailing address:
New England District Association
PO Box 867
Dover, NH 03821


Final Ves' Friday Facts

This Friday Facts #695 will be the final edition of this particular type of communication from NEDA.  The NEDA Office has now moved to Dover, NH.    

Jill and Nicole have completed their work with NEDA. I will continue my ministry from my office until August 31.  It is the end of an era. Sam and his office will be communicating to you through a new format which will begin in the fall.

I want to thank my staff and all of you for all the joy we have shared together over these years. I delight in all of you and your faithful and sacrificial ministry for our Master, King Jesus, and for the advancement of His Kingdom. We await together His glorious return.

Ves Sheely