Yesterday morning, I was with Pastor Randy and Carol Yaryan for the 75th Anniversary at Union Street Wesleyan Church in Winchester. They and their team did a great job of hosting this event. The mayor brought greetings from the town. The children’s choir and the high school chorale provided special music. Mrs. Barbara Crist was honored for her 75 years attending the church. It was great to see the church packed with 121 present. Many stayed for the fellowship luncheon. It was encouraging to see the impact of this congregation over the past 75 years and to dream with them about their potential to make a difference in the years to come.
Sunday afternoon, I met with 5 people at Knightstown Wesleyan Church. Pastor Gayle and David Whitmire completed their service to the church at the end of September. The folks remaining have been meeting and praying about next steps. They have decided to press on through this year as a developing church. Mr. Harold Rodgers has agreed to serve as a lay supply pastor. Mr. Rodgers is an IWU grad (studied theology under Dr. Jim Dunn) who is the chief of police in McCordsville. Knightstown is the home church for Jennifer Rodgers, his wife. They both sensed a calling to step in and help this year.
Our district staff met in Marion on Monday morning before I had lunch with Rev. Stephen Nelson at IWU. He shared an exciting new scholarship opportunity for first generation Americans. After lunch, Chris Williams and I met with Rev. David Dignal to debrief the ReEquip conference. This has been an effective training seminar with some top notch speakers. Looking ahead to next fall, the focus will be on equipping leaders in smaller churches and the event will be relocated to Marion.
Monday evening, I sat in on the Fairmount Family Camp team meeting. Dr. Robert Vardaman does a great job coordinating this team of leaders. I excused myself part way through the meeting to join our Hispanic pastors zone meeting in Anderson. Special thanks for Dr. Norman Wilson for his investment in these leaders and to Pastor Julio Rodriguez who chairs this zone. We shared a meal and an encouraging time of fellowship.
I worked out of our Fishers office on Tuesday. Chris Williams and I met in the morning on DBA agenda items for next month’s meeting. Then I met with Rev. Wayne Richards for lunch. Wayne is in job search mode after the downsizing at Wesleyan Publishing House. He is beloved across our district and the broader church for his investment in ministerial students through FLAME. In the afternoon, I stopped by Noblesville Riverview Hospital to check in on Rev. William Breidenbaugh. He is recovering from hip surgery and was grateful for the prayers of our district team. The plan is for him to be released by October 26. Your continued prayers for healing are appreciated for Rev. Breidenbaugh, Rev. George Martin and Rev. Paul Trent.
Wednesday, I was on the road for coaching conversations. I first met with Rev. Dan Fisher at our Wesleyan Church in Dephi. Dan chairs our Lafayette Zone and has a deepening passion for prayer that is contagious. From Delphi, I drove on to Plymouth for lunch with Rev. Rich Van Vuren and then toured Shiloh Wesleyan Church. It was encouraging to hear how God is moving in both of these congregations. I finished the day meeting with Chris Williams in Fort Wayne to sign closing documents as Pastor Kyle Horton and the team at Three Rivers Wesleyan Church completed the purchase of adjoining property to provide additional access and room for expansion.
Thursday was a travel day as I drove to Southern Wesleyan University. On Friday, I was able to connect with ministerial students in two different classes and over lunch. Thanks to Professor Brad Phipps and Professor Dave Tolan for allowing me to sit in on their lectures. Some of the students I spoke with are considering graduate studies at Wesley Seminary and would be prospects for our residency programs. Friday evening, Sherry and I attended the alumni banquet and the homecoming concert featuring “Committed.” It was good to connect with Dr. Todd Voss and to see the progress on the campus under his effective leadership. Pictured here is the newly remodeled Nicholson-Mitchell Christian Ministries building, named in honor of beloved General Superintendents Dr. Roy S. Nicholson and Dr. Virgil Mitchell.
Looking at the week ahead, I’ll be in coaching conversations today and tomorrow before heading east to speak at the Greater Ohio District Ministerial on Wednesday through Friday. I will be checking email and voicemail if you need me. Rev. Chris Williams and Rev. Jason Tash are together in Atlanta for StratOps training with Mark Meyer and the Unstuck Group. Mrs. Roxene Lo will be in the Marion office and Raleigh Pedro will be working in our Fishers office if they can be of assistance to you. This coming Sunday, I’ll be preaching at Warren Park Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis.
Just a reminder to mark your calendars for January 13 and 14 when we’ll join Wesley Seminary in co-hosting a leaders seminar on church multiplication featuring Rev. Mike Hilson of the New Life Network in La Plata, Maryland. It’s an amazing story of what can happen when a church commits itself to exponential ministry. We dream of a day in the Crossroads District when every church is healthy enough to plant at least one daughter church. This conference will help us as we work toward that vision.
Don’t forget that Dr. Jim Lo is heading up our district prayer initiative. You may forward your prayer concerns directly to him at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all you are doing in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,