Friday, October 12, 2012

Banquet 2012.

Bigger Than Life
Gateway Pregnancy Centers 
27th. Annual Stewardship Banquet

Thursday, October 25, 2012   7:00-9:00 pm at The Gran Centurion, Clark, NJ

Good evening, I’m Dean Gavaris and I approve this message; my prayer is that God does as well. This is the first and the last time that I will allude to the political arena because Gateway is NOT a political or social outreach, but a biblical mandate to choose life.

Our focus, our ministry is ‘bigger than life’ and therefore our message needs to be ‘bigger than life’ – and it is.

Gateway Pregnancy Center is ‘Bigger than Life’ because ALL that a man or woman really needs is found in Jesus Christ.

Often the prolife message is delivered with persuasion, yet our message is delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our message is delivered in weakness, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Yet our message is delivered without apology.

Our message is found in the gospel: I Corinthians 15:1-6: “ Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

Yes, social services can help (and we help in all these areas, either providing or referring to others) a free pregnancy test, free sonograms, free baby items, referrals for housing, drug rehabilitation, STD testing, battered women shelters, high risk pregnancy care, boyfriend counseling, adoption – we could go on and on.. but none of these earthly helps can save a soul or direct a person in the path God has already prepared for them.

We strongly believe in ethnic diversity @ Gateway but we do not rely upon spiritual diversity for our marching orders.

We get our focus from the Bible, which tells us to make no idols before God, even the idol of the preborn baby, who I, with all my heart believe is made in His image, is alive at the moment of conception and is worth fighting for, living for and dying for.

But our focus must be on the glory of God, the honor of His Son, and the last command of Jesus on this earth – “Go, therefore and make disciples of all men.”

You may be prolife, but do you have eternal life?

The true prolife person knows that life eternal is far more important than simply fighting for, standing up for, rescuing or living for the preborn.

People need transformation, not reformation.

They desperately need what you and I cannot supply – they need a change of heart and not just a change of behavior.

Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, our efforts are mere service, no matter how loving our intentions:

1.      Service is not salvation
2.      Encouraging people to ‘turn over a new leaf’ is not salvation
3.      Asserting one’s manhood or womanhood, honoring biblical chastity or biblical marriage is not salvation because these things, although very important, are not a substitute for the finished work of Christ on the Cross.
4.      Right thinking on the issues we deal with is not salvation – no matter how many sonograms we do, videos we show or biblical truthsa on chastity we share – these cannot by themselves convert the sinful human heart; only God’s Grace revealed in the gospel can do this.
5.      Denying ourselves for others is not salvation – I Corinthians 13:3 – giving our possessions, our money or ourselves to a cause cannot earn us salvation, BUT, they can lead us from salvation  if we don’t recognize that it’s Christ alone, not our works, that removes the penalty of sin.
6.      Sacrifice is not salvation- The prolife movement is a great cause- probably the single most important issue facing the modern church, yet, living for or even dying for the prolife movement – yes, the babies is not salvation -because discipline and sacrifice and suffering don’t cleanse- from sin.

‘You may be prolife, but are you sure that you have eternal life? You can be sure..
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.’ ESV

7.      Repaying God for taking a human life through abortion doesn’t free a woman from guilt, but the Blood of Jesus Christ does!

Behavior is a product of belief, not the other way around. Reformation cannot be substituted for transformation.

As easy as it is to be reactionary to all the evil around us, we need to be revolutionary in our response.

Jesus didn’t react to the evil around him; otherwise Satan would’ve tricked Him when he tempted Him in the desert (Luke 4), Jesus spoke truth, which cannot change, and our responses to the evil of abortion must be biblical, not social, not political and certainly not ‘religious’. Following a religion is the opposite of living in a relationship with the God who made us.

Philippians 2:14-16-  tells the believer to 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
The Word of life, (the gospel) is bigger than life (the prolife movement)

Are we holding forth the Word of life or holding fast to a movement – both are important, but what’s more important in the long run?

When we gloat at failure, we are no Jeremiah’s. When we fail to forgive, we are not acting like followers of Christ.

Gateway is Bigger than Life because we believe the truth of John 10:9 pictured on our Journal cover: “I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved” Jesus is the only way to salvation and this must be our central message.

The gateway to life is the door mentioned in John 10. Jesus is the doorkeeper and the good shepherd who laid down his life. Verse 3  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Verse 11:  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’

Jesus is the gateway to heaven – the way in to the Kingdom of God. The Blood of Christ is the way out of sin. At Gateway, we preach the blood while directing people to the ‘gate’, that’s why we are called Gateway.

The Gateway to eternal life is trust in the finished work of Christ. God is looking to forgive sinful people, not to punish them.

We see this in the two verses that follow John 3:16, the most well known verse in the Bible: John 3:17-18: ‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of Go’

We read in the Book of Matthew that ‘the gate is narrow’. Only those who’ve personally trusted Christ can enter. Jesus himself said in John 14:16, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.’

We are not perfect at Gateway, but we do have a Savior who can perfect us, not our works, but our soul, which is then led to do the works already prepared for us.

Jesus is willing to forgive ALL sin but we need to allow Him to have our hearts and not just our outward religious expression.

The rich young ruler in the book of Mark ran up to Jesus, he knelt before Him, he addressed Him properly, yet he was unwilling to give Him his heart – he held something back.

Many people today are cold towards ‘church and religion’ but they’re open to hearing about Christ. Many of those we see at Gateway are in this category. If all we had was an offer to return to church, we wouldn’t be seeing the great number of people trusting Christ.

Others we come in contact with at Gateway, perhaps even those who call themselves “prolife”, moral, religious people - (perhaps even you) are unsure if they died today why God should let them into heaven. But they/you  can be sure because of the finished work of Christ.

I John 3:16 – ‘“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ ESV

I John 5:13 – ‘These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.’ NASV

Finally, others we see at Gateway, some 17%, are born again believers, yet like the woman caught in the very act of adultery, they have been marginalized by others (even by some in the church) – “Oh, I’m not like those people!”

I’m struck with the fact that our Lord Jesus had deep compassion for the lost, the confused, the lonely, those who felt the burden of their sin, the lonely, the poor, the homeless, the weary, the tempted, the helpless, the ignorant, the ones who often admitted their own need v—but only one category drew His anger -  the self-righteous, as seen throughout the gospels: Luke 15:15 – ‘He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.’

So what should be our heart attitude towards the lost, the confused, the spiritually ignorant, the sinning?

Luke 18:9-14: 9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayeda thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Gateway is ‘Bigger than Life’ because we’ve been made aware by a loving and compassionate God that His grace and mercy extend to all – first to us  and also to those we serve (the men and women) as well as those who oppose the truth of the Bible, the mockers, the racist, the abortion provides.
When we gloat at the failure of others, we are no Jeremiahs who warned of coming judgment. When we fail to forgive, we are not acting like followers of Jesus, who used one of his last sentences on earth to say these words, ‘"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Someone just posted this on Facebook: “The greatest failure of the Church isn’t the failure to teach about the love of Christ, but the failure to really live it.”
Let God judge the sinner, but reach out to the sinner with the offer of forgiveness through Christ’s finished work.
What the world needs today is not economic stability, or ease of heart or even ‘love sweet love’, but cleansing from sinful hearts, but for the world to see their need, we do need the sweet love that can only come from our growing and personal relationship with the One we point the world to.
People need transformation, not reformation. While we work in areas that involve sinful behavior we’re well aware that the “real problem is a heart problem”.
Unless our passion is to share His simple gospel of grace, focusing not on behavior but on the real need of the heart, relying on the Holy Spirit for our strength and guidance, we’ll tire and even grow discouraged or worse yet, cynical and judgmental, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
So you see, our work as well as our mission and purpose is ‘Bigger than Life’.
For the Columbian teenager in Elizabeth, the African America young man from Newark, the young mother from India, the West Indian woman in Plainfield, the women from Barbados, Haiti, Nigeria, the Dominican republic and Ghana – all these have visited Gateway in the past year – the number one priority for us, and the number one need for them – is to know personally the God who made them, and loves them, and died on the cross for them and arose for them 3 days later, and lives to allow them to really live and is returning to take them to their real home.
We can settle for nothing less because our ministry, our goal, our focus, our passion is “Bigger than Life”.
Yes, life is natural, but most importantly, life is spiritual and with His empowerment, can be, in this sinful world, triumphant.
At Gateway we realize and proclaim that life is natural – we’re all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27 tells us that), and we belong to Him, so no man has a right to end that life. Our life is also spiritual, born in sin and desperately needing a Savior.
No man should and no Christian ministry can have a right to only focus on the natural right to life without declaring the mandate of Jesus, “You must be born again” (John 3:3)
And that again is the question of the evening, “You may be prolife, but do you have eternal life?”
Acts 4:12 states this: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”” ESV
Spiritual life can be secured only by trusting in the finished work of Christ. No amount of good works (even works in the prolife arena) can save us from the penalty of our sin. Once secured, though, eternal life allows us and those we serve to live the life intended before sin entered the world.
John 10:10:  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
So many of the women we see endure their life and it’s often a hard life as a result of the consequences of their own sin, yet God doesn’t want us to endure but to triumph over sorrow, the sin of the world, our own failings and temptations, our circumstances and yes, the evil of this world, knowing deep in our heart the truth of  I John 4:4 ‘ Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’
This is the message and uniqueness of Gateway, and that message is bigger than life.
We help the women and men who come to Gateway to rely on Jesus Christ for their needs rather than on their boyfriend, girlfriend, parents or the government.
The programs and plans of well-meaning men and women often cripple the God given desires to live this life as God intended.
The women we serve need empowerment, not paternalism.
They need love not tolerance.
They need and deserve to know the truth about God, who in His Grace and Mercy desires all men everywhere to personally know Him through trust in His Son Jesus.
They deserve to know that it’s by Grace that they can be saved, not of their own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:8-9. They need  and deserve to begin triumphing in, rather than trying to simply endure, this earthly life being labeled victims of racism, paternalism and poverty.
Christian Life Purpose Coach Yvonne Carson has said this: There are many reasons for poverty in someone's life. Some reasons are out of the person's control (i.e., born in a third world country or the inability to find adequate paying jobs) but there is such a thing as self-imposed poverty:
Laziness versus hard work, foolishness, drunkenness, wastefulness, pride, hiding sin or the love of money.
Our focus should not be these failings and how we can rehabilitate people, but a focus on encouraging men and women to allow God to enrich their soul, which transforms their life and leads to a stability and purpose seen over many years.
Our focus should not be on opposing something (abortion) but on lifting up Someone needed by all (Jesus Christ)
Our focus needs to be Jesus, NOT:
a.       Being prolife
b.      Practicing chastity
c.       Honoring message
d.      Avoiding outward sins
e.       Working to gain favor with God
f.       Not even knowing that God loves us (John 3:16)
Our focus needs to be that without Jesus, all men are condemned already (John 3:17-18) “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only So”
This restaurant, as you know, is the Gran Centurion. I’m reminded of a reference in Matthew 28 to another centurion, who said these words, along with his friends, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
That’s our desire; to see men and women realize that Jesus is the Son od God, and that through Him they may have real life.

Give an invitation. Speak to me or one of our staff.
Remember I John 5:12-13: Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Do you know? Are you prolife? Great, but are you sure you have eternal life? You can be!
Contact us at or call us at 973-399-8378

Bigger Than Life
Gateway Pregnancy Centers 
27th. Annual Stewardship Banquet

Thursday, October 25, 2012   7:00-9:00 pm at The Gran Centurion, Clark, NJ

Hi folks,

hours to go before Gateways Annual Stewardship Banquet!! Will YOU be there??

If you haven't yet made a reservation, please note that this may be your
'last opportunity to make a reservation'. Email us at or  call in your reservation(s) to 973-399-8378 -  immediately.

Please pray as to how the Lord will lead you as we present the ministry and seek your prayer and financial support.

'We believe that all we have comes from God and we give it out of His hand'
(1 Chronicles 29:14b Dutch paraphrase)

Celebrating 27 years in crisis pregnancy ministry

You will hear testimonies by men and women impacted by the ministry. You will be blessed with music to stir your soul and challenge your spirit

Our special guest speaker
Mr. Thomas Weinert
(pictured below left with his daughter, Maci and below right with the rest of his immediate family) will share his testimony as a result of his visit to us in 1989. (You may remember, Tom shared with us at our 2000 Stewardship Banquet with Elisabeth Elliot)

Check out Tom Weinert’s testimony:  
Rev. Dean Gavaris, Gateway’s Executive Director (below)
  will share on the theme of the evening,
Bigger  than  Life!

Our special music will be provided by the band

Genesis is a band that has created a new style of praise and worship music. We have a music style that crosses many mainstream musical genres, from rock to blues, to light jazz and even doo-wop. Highly accented in our music presentation, is the variety of different sounds of our percussion ensemble. Djembe, congas, bongo's, doumbec, and timbales unite to form a rich and dynamic musical explosion! Our songs were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The words and music give a message of hope, comfort, and promise from the words of Jesus himself. Some of our songs are composed of Bible passages and scriptures.

Presently, we have four members in the band. Genesis has performed at coffee houses, Gospel festivals, fund raisers, and church concerts. Genesis has played at the following locations: Body & Soul coffee house, Jamesburg N.J Belmar Trinity Cafe, Belmar N.J. Hamilton Square Baptist Church ,Trenton N.J. St. Lutheran church[ open door cafe] Monroe, N.Y. Gospel Fest, First Presbyterian church of Iselin. Townley Presbyterian Church buffet/ benefit concert for the children of Haiti. Gospel Fest, Faith United church of Christ, Union N.J. New Hope cafe. Staten Island N.Y. Evangel Baptist church. Scotch Plains N.J. Lamb of God Church. Bethlehem, P.A. Street Light Church, Elizabeth N.J. Higher Ground Coffee House, Helmetta, N.J. Band of Festivals, Alder Gate United Methodist Church. East Brunswick
The banquet is FREE. There will be an opportunity given for a freewill offering and monthly giving.

To make reservations, please call us immediately at 908-686-8180 or email

Banquet Location:

Grand Centurions  
440 Madison Hill Road  
Clark NJ 07066

The Gran Centurions can seat up to 450 
in their beautiful Garden Room
    Open Seating

Directions to the Gran Centurions
440 Madison Hill Road,
Clark, NJ  07066,+NJ+07066&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=440+Madison+Hill+Rd,+Clark,+New+Jersey+07066&gl=us&t=m&z=14&vpsrc=0&iwloc=A&f=d&daddr=440+Madison+Hill+Rd,+Clark,+NJ+07066&geocode=%3BCZulIAvVSnoPFbjGawIdPxGS-yn9PrvHWLHDiTF0YHW5Y00O9g

From the North:
Garden State Parkway (head south). Go around traffic circle to Central Avenue to the light at Raritan Road. L. on Raritan Road to light at Madison Hill Road. Left turn to 440 Madison Hill Road

From the South
Garden State Parkway (head north). toward Clark/Westfield. Turn right on Central Avenue. Go.3 mile. Turn left on Raritan Road, go 1.1 miles. Turn left on Madison Hill Road. Go 1/2 mile. Destination will be on your left.

Reservations are available by advance notice only !!!

          How To Make Reservations    

(Please have all reservations to us by Monday, October 22nd)

(1)   Call us at 908-686-8180  

(2)   email us at / 

(3)  Reserve your seats on Facebook:

Prayerfully consider giving at the banquet. 

You will be challenged to help Gateway meet 
our $50,000 challenge!

Yes, I wish to make a significant difference at Banquet 2012!
_____   I plan to attend and will bring ______others with me. Please list your guests
             names and addresses on the reverse side of this form.
______ I cannot attend, but wish to give  a special stewardship gift of:
______$5,000  _____$2,000   ______$1,000  ____$500        ___ $250    ______  other
______$20 per month pledge     ______     $50 per month pledge
Name: _____________________________________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________________________
City ________________________________State_____________Zip___________________
Telephone: (             )  ____________________email:_______________________________
                            Gateway Pregnancy Centers, Inc.               (973) 399-8378
960 Springfield Ave, Irvington, NJ  07111   Website:      

Please pray as to how you will participate in the freewill offering to be taken that evening. An opportunity will be available for monthly pledge giving.

Gateway Pregnancy Center have been helping some 25,000 women in Elizabeth, Irvington, Plainfield and the surrounding communities. The gospel ministry of Gateway has had the opportunity to share Christ with women who otherwise may never enter a church building.
Services offered by the Gateway ministry include pregnancy testing, boyfriend and husband counseling on responsibility, limited ultrasounds for pregnancy verification, infant clothes and supplies, baby furniture, post abortion counseling, church, high school, college, radio and television speaking opportunities, Internet counseling, and various contacts with the judicial system.
All services are free of charge and strictly confidential. Gateway's services are made possible only through church missions giving and individual gifts and pledges.

Check out these messages..

You Tube: Banquet 2011

Animoto 30 second promo for Banquet 2010

You Tube: Compassion in ministry Do You Feel The Need?

Consider giving to Gateway online:

Network for Good

We hope to see you on October 25th!

Check out the Gateway website

Directions to the Gran Centurions

440 Madison Hill Road, Clark, NJ  07066   Telephone: 732-382-1664

From the south: Garden St Pkwy to exit 135, stay straight to the traffic light and make a right. At your second exit make a right.   The hotel is on the left.
From the north: Garden St Pkwy to exit 135, go straight to the second traffic light and make a left. Go through the next light and take the second exit to the right. The hotel will be on the left  (Valley Road).

Consider placing an ad in our 2012 Banquet Journal
for your church, your business, your prayer group, yourself or in honor or memory of a loved one..(see below)

Downloadable materials

Banquet Tri-Fold Brochure

Banquet Flyer ‘Bigger than Life!”

Banquet Response Form

Banquet Prayer Breakfast October 13, 2012

Banquet Journal Response Form

Banquet Journal 2012 Price List 


Banquet 2023 ALL DETAILS

  On the night of the banquet, we will be updating our supporters about Mission England 2024 view here the promo video directly from the UK ...