The highlight of this past week was our District Prayer Gathering “Barriers and Breakthroughs” led by Dr. Jim Lo and his team at College Wesleyan Church on Friday afternoon. Hazardous driving conditions on the original date pushed us back one week but there was a wonderful sense of God’s presence as we gathered together for intercession.
Many of our pastors and churches had forwarded specific requests that received focused prayer. There was also a focused time of prayer around the altar as intercessors anointed pastors with oil. Several of our church planters were able to be with us and we gathered around them to pray for God’s blessing on these pioneering works.
Thank you to Dr. Lo, his prayer team, and to each one who took time to join us for this gathering. Let’s keep lifting one another up in prayer as we work together in the harvest field!
One of the things I’m enjoying about our newly-created district is the way that long-time leaders are reaching out to welcome and support our newest team members. One example of that was watching Pastor Chuck McCallum connect with Pastor Michael Hewitt. Pastor Chuck was excited to hear more about Rising Hope Church (our new church plant in Muncie) and Pastor Michael was excited to meet a new friend and add another prayer supporter!
Friday evening, Sherry and I welcomed the lead pastors and their spouses from the Fort Wayne Zone to Thornapple Lodge for a delightful time of fellowship, food, and prayer. Thank you to Rev. Rick Fletcher for his leadership to this zone. We’d also had a great time with this team a few weeks back for their Christmas fellowship. Even though we are all busy, it’s worth it to take time to encourage one another.
Last Monday evening, I met with Pastor Josh Keesling and the LBA at Greenfield Browns Chapel. We’re glad to have Pastor Josh and Alicia back serving in Indiana!
On Tuesday, I met with Pastor Zach Szmara (Logansport The Bridge), Pastor Marc Watkins (Kokomo Trinity Wesleyan), and Pastor Joe Park (Lafayette Evergreen) for our annual coaching conversations.
For Wednesday’s coaching conversations, I was in Hamilton to meet with Pastor Dave Leitzel, then on to South Bend to meet with Pastor Greg Holmes (Sonlight Fellowship), and finished up the day with Pastor Tom Beck (Larwill Wesleyan).
Thursday, I met with Pastor Tom Parson (Hartford City Wesleyan) and then Pastor Matthew Stewart (Sweetser Wesleyan) for our coaching conversations.
I value these conversations that provide greater insight into the opportunities and challenges of the unique contexts in which our pastors faithfully preach the Gospel and shepherd the flock. I am more convinced than ever that it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people and more grateful than ever for our pastors who lead diligently.
Last week also included a meeting on Thursday with our 2018 District Conference planning team. Ordination service, which is attended by all our ordained ministers, will be held again at College Wesleyan Church in Marion on Friday evening, June 22. Please note that our ordained ministers will gather on Friday evening at 6:30 for our group photo with the ordination candidates.
The 2018 District Conference will be held in the same location on Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. With the many conversations taking place across our denomination about regions and district mergers, you won’t want to miss this meeting.
One more reminder to plan on bringing your team to ReEquip 2018! Registration is coming soon. Here’s the link with the latest information: http://www.reequipconference.org/
I would welcome your prayers this week for two important meetings. Sherry and I have been invited by Dr. Joseph Jennings, DS, to speak to the pastors and spouses of the Western New York District. We flew out to Buffalo on Saturday evening and the event runs from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday noon. Then, we fly to Orlando on Tuesday evening for the DS Institute led by our General Superintendent (Wednesday-Friday).
I always need and value your prayers but I am sensing an extra burden for these two important meetings. I am counting on your prayers and I’m grateful for our partnership.
Your servant in Christ,