Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Jeff Luedtke and the team at Fairmount Wesleyan Church. These are good days at FWC as they reach out in new ways. In fact, one lady who has attended for at least 40 years said she’s never been more excited. The church is multi-generational with blended worship. Pastor Jeff and Dr. Amy are blessed with two wonderful children, Bryce (10th grade) and Jordan (8th grade). The church is taking a big step of faith in launching “The Branch,” a downtown coffee shop and community gathering place. It was good to be there as part of their Missions Month and to hear the stories of life transformation as God continues to bless this 150+ year-old-church. New attenders and new believers are the best evidence of what God is doing at Fairmount Wesleyan Church.
Sunday evening, I facilitated a town hall meeting with Pastor Clifton Ashlock at Memorial Circle Wesleyan Church. MCWC hosted a Maximizing Impact consultation team last month and this was the follow-up opportunity for the congregation to dialogue about the team’s recommendations. This church is a wonderful community of faith with a positive blending of Hispanic and Anglo families. In the next two weeks, they’ll vote on whether or not to move forward on the consulting team’s prescription. It was encouraging to hear of new guests and decisions for Christ in the past 2 weeks.
I was on the IWU campus on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week for the Board of Trustees meeting. God is on the move in exciting ways. One evidence of that is the more than 200,000 hours of volunteer service that students and staff invest in the community each year. Enrollment is just about level with last year but things are solid financially. New programs, including a songwriting major, are rolling out and creating positive buzz along with the football program. Dr. David Wright is doing an incredible job leading Indiana Wesleyan University into a bright future! Homecoming at IWU concluded with a concert by the Gaither Vocal Band and friends. Bill and Gloria Gaither are generously funding the new song-writing major at IWU.
Last week began with staff meetings in Marion on Monday and lunch with a church-planting prospect. Tuesday, I was back in Fishers for a meeting before heading to Lebanon to sign closing docs on a property sale. I joined Pastor Ben Capshaw and Rev. Carol Schenck in Elwood to sign loans docs for the sanctuary roof repairs. Tuesday’s last meeting was with Pastors Victor and Claudia Silva and their LBA in Richmond. It’s encouraging to see the many ways that God is blessing and extending His Kingdom through our local churches.
Wednesday began in Fishers where I had the privilege of worshiping with the HQ staff. Rev. Scott and Elizabeth Rhyno led worship with their children. While Scott’s new position at HQ is Chief Development, the Rhyno family are among the most gifted worship leaders in The Wesleyan Church. We’re blessed to have them living in Indiana and I encourage you to invite them to lead worship in your church or ministry event before their schedule fills.
Wednesday lunch I dropped in on one of the Crossroads District youth pastor roundtables. Joe Deckard was leading the roundtable in Indy and Lane Sanders led the roundtable in Marion. One way you know it’s a youth pastor meeting is that you can find them at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’m grateful for the leadership that Lane and Joe are giving to encourage and resource our youth pastors across the district.
After lunch, I met with Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, and district superintendents from our region for a great time of dialogue. It was so encouraging to hear positive reports from across this area. Dr. Schmidt shared updates from his first few months in office and the results of the focused prayer initiative. Discipleship and church multiplication are being prioritized in a new way as we partner together to fulfill the Great Commission.
This week, I will be with our Crossroads District team at the ReEquip Conference in Fort Wayne. Next week’s update will include insights from these session. Also coming up this week is the Crossroads District Men’s Banquet in Cicero. Next Sunday, I’ll be at Marion Chapel Pike for their 100th Anniversary.
Please do continue to pray for Pastor Paul Trent as he undergoes treatment for brain cancer. His is fatigued but pressing forward in faith.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,