Sunday, June 10, I had the joy of worshiping at Kirklin Wesleyan Church. This is a small town church with a big heart. In addition to a vital ministry in their own community, they also serve with the compassion center in Garfield Park. The congregation is led by Lay Supply Pastor Kay Dickerson and her husband Bill. She shares the teaching load on Sundays with another lay pastor.
This year, Kirklin averaged 46 in worship and baptized 17 new believers. There was a beautiful spirit in the service and altar prayer time. After the service, I met with the leadership team and heard updates on the progress they’re making with paving their parking lot and refurbishing their parsonage.
Sunday afternoon, I dropped in for worship with Pastor Nicholas and Adrianna Zarate at Noblesville Lakeview’s Rey de Gloria service. In addition to their faithful ministry in Noblesville, the Zarates have also been assisting Pastor Clifton Ashlock with the Saturday evening Spanish-language service at United Wesleyan in Anderson.
Sunday evening was a new experience for me as I worshiped with Pastor Getachew Tegegne and the Ethiopian congregation of Christ International Church on the westside of Indianapolis. Pastor Tegegne is finishing his M.Div at Wesley Seminary and so enjoyed his class with Dr. Bud Bence on Theology of Holiness that he is considering transferring into The Wesleyan Church and applying for CIC to become an affiliated congregation. This was my first opportunity to worship with them and to worship in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. Pastor Tegegne is planning to visit with us at district conference and I know you’ll make him feel welcome.
The congregation of Albion Wesleyan Church voted unanimously on Sunday to ask the DBA to appoint Rev. Mark Schnell as their next lead pastor. Mark will continue to complete his doctoral degree program and will initially commute to Albion from Marion. Pray for the transition to go smoothly and for God to bless him in this new assignment!
Last week included a regularly monthly Zoom meeting with GS Dr. Wayne Schmidt and superintendents of several districts, interviewing prospective pastoral candidates, connecting with the search committees at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan and Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan, district conference team meeting, DBMD meeting, and my first coaching conversation of this conference year with Rev. Steve Bray as the new senior pastor at Fountain City Wesleyan Church.
Another highlight of the week was joining the other three superintendents of the Heartland Collective to bring greetings to the Indiana South District Conference in Paoli on Tuesday morning. We were warmly welcomed by the delegates and graciously hosted by Dr. Mark Eckart’s team. Mr. Kevin Batman, General Treasurer did a fine job representing the General Superintendent and chairing portions of the meeting.
It’s always good to connect with Rev. Les Crossfield (Greater Ohio), Rev. Aaron Shermon (KY-TN) and Dr. Eckart as we strategize new ways for greater collaboration here in the heartland of America. Dr. Eckart and Rev. Crossfield will be able to join us at our Crossroads District Conference on June 23 in Marion. One of the highlights of their conference was the report from Rev. Phil Bogear who is leading the launch team in planting the Bridge Church in Bloomington. This is the first district church planting project in several years and they’re excited to launch this fall.
We really need your prayer support over these next two weeks as our district teens participate in four unique camping experiences. I’ll be over in West Lebanon on Monday to connect with Rev. Seth Merrill and the team leading the adventure camp at Hanging Rock. Never The Same (NTS) camps are coming back to Indiana Wesleyan University this month and several of our churches participate in this program. And Fairmount Camp will see the largest number of our teens participating in Junior High Camp this week, and Senior High Camp next week.
So many of us look back at events like area rallies and youth camps as significant experiences in our spiritual journey. Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower these workers and encounter these campers in fresh and powerful ways. May God light His fire in their hearts!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,