Yesterday morning, I worshiped with Rev. Timothy Witte and the folks at Countryside Chapel near Van Buren. Pastor Tim has been working diligently with a team to revitalize this small congregation. He brought a helpful message from Matthew 5:40-42 on “Givers, Matchers and Takers.” Please pray as the church wrestles with important decisions.
Sunday evening, Sherry and I joined more than 700 people gathered for the opening evening service at the historic Fairmount Family Camp. Rev. Patty Bray and Dr. David Drury are the camp evangelists this week. Rev. Bray spoke last evening challenging us to be faith-filled like Caleb, whether we’re young or old. Rev. Chris Williams, our Assistant DS, led in a meaningful celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Special thanks to Mr. David Tippey (Camp Board Chair) and Dr. Richard Schenck (chair of the Family Camp Committee) for the excellent work they and their teams have done preparing for this event. Services continue through next Sunday, July 30, so make plans to enjoy the warm fellowship, inspiring worship and anointed messages.
Last Monday I was in Anderson for a lunch meeting with Rev. Clifton and Arletta Ashlock as we interviewed a couple from Brazil about the possibility of joining the staff at Anderson United Wesleyan. Then I was on to Indianapolis Trinity Wesleyan to meet with Pastor Jorge Escalante to interview another couple from Costa Rica who are prayerfully considering coming to the mission field in North America.
Tuesday included some time for reading (I finished A.W. Tozer’s classic “The Attributes of God” Volume 1), catching up on e-mail, meeting Dr. David Smith, chair of our District Board of Ministerial Development, and then hosting Pastor Dave Bever and two of his interns for supper with Rev. Matthew Trexler, our Region 1 Assistant DS. Later that evening, Dave and his interns joined me to interview a possible church planting candidate and then they were our overnight guests at Thornapple Lodge.
Wednesday morning, I accompanied Dave Bever and his team to participate in the Circle City Network, a partnership of pastors committed to church multiplication in Indianapolis. We heard from Craig Thurmond about the vision that he has for planting on the near east side of Indy and Pastor Bever shared how God had been placing Speedway on his heart as a possible campus location for CrossLink.
After lunch, Pastor Ben Thomas took the team on a tour of Speedway since he pastors the closest congregation (Nehemiah Church in Avon) and has roots from living in the Speedway community. We finished up with a time of prayer in the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway asking for God to guide us and grant us His favor on this potential church planting project.
Wednesday evening, I met with the pastoral search team at Level 13 in Fort Wayne. They’re making good progress working through the growing list of applicants. Continue to join them in praying for God’s direction in this most important decision.
Thursday morning, I attended the funeral of Rev. Carl Smith, one of our retired pastors, at Anderson Central Wesleyan Church. Carl was a real encourager and a passionate personal soul-winner. One of the highlights of the service was hearing a recent testimony of how he’d led a 92-year-old lady to Christ in their retirement home. Please remember Becky, his wife, in your prayers.
Thursday afternoon, we began the official move of Roxene Lo’s office from 401 39th Street to 1500 S Western Avenue. We are grateful for Darren and Nancy Campbell for their generosity in providing this space for our district team and look forward to welcoming you when you can stop by.
Thursday evening, I spoke with Mr. Ken Whitehurst (LBA vice-chair) and received an encouraging update on the pastoral search process at Columbia City New Hope.
Friday morning, we continued the office move in the morning and then I headed back to Upland to prepare for our evening guests. Sherry and I were delighted to welcome 7 guests for our first Urban Pastors Fellowship. We are blessed with key leaders serving in the challenging context of urban ministry. It was refreshing to worship, dialogue and pray together. Plans are for this group to expand and meet again in three months.
It’s not too late to register for this year’s Global Leadership Summit, August 10 and 11. College Wesleyan is one of several host sites across our district and they still have space available. Where else can you hear Marcus Lemonis (star of “The Profit” on CNBC) and Andy Stanley (pastor of North Point Church) in the same conference? Here’s the link to register: https://www.willowcreek.com/rega/#/reg/select
Keep on making a difference in the cause the counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Thought from Tozer: “If I haven’t felt the sense of vileness by contrast with that sense of unapproachable and indescribable holiness, I wonder if I have ever been hit hard enough to really repent. And if I don’t repent, I wonder if I can believe.” A.W. Tozer (The Attributes of God, Volume 1, p. 165)