Church of Acts welcomes new workers for harvest
New La Grande pastor and his wife, Rev. Zan and Dawn Coen, think the Grande Ronde Valley is like a little slice of heaven.
The Coens moved from Prineville and assumed pastoral leadership of the Church of Acts in January 2007.
"I thought Prineville was pretty, but we don't miss it now," says Rev. Zan Coen.
That statement says a lot, considering the couple had lived in Prineville all their married life. In fact, Dawn Coen had always lived there, and the
couple raised their children Â— Tony, 18, Desirae, 15, and Sam, 12 Â— there.
Moving in the middle of the school year was tough for highschoolers Tony and Desirae, says Dawn. Especially Tony, who moved in the middle of his senior year.
"But Sam was excited," adds Zan, whose name, by the way, is not short for anything.
"And I'm not sure what my parents were thinking either," he jokes.
The family has settled in and the couple say their children have adjusted well to the all the changes.
"We think the people of La Grande are great. We're here to stay," says an enthusiastic Dawn, who adds, "unless of course God moves us."
"God was certainly in the works on this move. There was confirmation of this in so many ways," Zan says. "We're very excited about being here and about having our first church."
He has spent nearly 17 years in ministry, serving in every conceivable way including board member, associate pastor, Sunday school teacher and even "trash taker-outer, if needed," he adds. But Zan had never led his own church, although he had begun to really desire that God gave him the chance.
Then the opportunity to take on the Church of Acts, a Pentecostal Church of God congregation, here in La Grande came at just the right time Â— Zan was laid off from his job at Les Schwab.
"I'm a tire man," he says, hoping to find another job here in La Grande soon.
For the last few months, the couple have focused in settling their family into the new community and connecting with the small group who fellowships at the Church of Acts. Zan says he is not focused on numbers of bodies in the pews Â— it is the individual growth of the spiritual man or woman that concerns him most.
"This building is God's church. It's a sanctuary for people to come and find refuge Â— especially those who've been hurt by the world or the church. I'd like to see people who've left the church come back," he says. "I want to see the Kingdom of God built here on earth. There are dark places everywhere Â— even in as nice a place as La Grande."
The Coens believe, as many Christians do, that much of the prophecy in the Bible confirming the end of this age has already taken place, and there is little left to be fulfilled.
So, it is with a sense of urgency they hope to reach as many souls as possible with a message of God's grace and Jesus's sacrificial atonement on the cross.
"I do believe we are in the last days. Â‘As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man,'" Zan says, quoting from the Gospel of Matthew 24:37.
The workers for the plentiful harvest may be few, but two more willing servants have stepped up to the plate and answered the call.
Rev. Zan and Dawn Coen invite the community to come and meet them at the church, or they may be reached by phone at 963-6781.
The Church of Acts worships at 1520 X Ave., on Sunday at 10:45 a.m., which includes a children's church.
On Wednesdays, they offer both youth and adult Bible studies beginning at 7 p.m.
Everyone is welcome.
Â— Mardi Ford