Easter is always a wonderful time of celebration and outreach for our Crossroads District churches. Thank you for the pastors who’ve already texted or emailed with praise reports from their weekend of ministry.
Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Jordan and Karen Gardner for the first ever Easter Sunday service at Paradox Church in Westfield. It was encouraging to see how this new team is coming together to reach their community for Christ!
We also slipped into the second service at Waterline Church as Pastor John Freed was preaching. Waterline had a great Sunday morning with 423 present and 40+ professions of faith. It’s always exciting to see our Headquarters building being used for transformational ministry, even on Sundays.
Monday began with our district office staff meeting before heading over to Frankfort for a meeting with Pastor Alan Downing and the LBA at Frankfort First Wesleyan. Tuesday included meetings with Dr. David Wright, Dr. Ed Hoover, and Pastor Rob Tippey. I was in Fishers for a “birthday lunch” with Pastor John Freed and the Waterline staff. I believe there may be video of Assistant Pastor Seth Bye being honored with a song and sombrero. Happy Birthday, Seth! Tuesday afternoon was a District Conference (June 23-24) planning session led by Pastor Amanda Blair.
Wednesday morning, I met with Pastor Brian Scramlin (Wabash New Journey) for our coaching conversation, then met with Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck for lunch in Noblesville as they consider open doors for expanding the ministry of Noblesville Lakeview Wesleyan. I was back in Marion that afternoon to meet with Drake Budde, a graduating senior ministerial student at IWU.
Thursday morning was a budget planning meeting with Nancy Schoonmaker, our District Treasurer, and Roxene Lo as we look to the new conference year. I enjoyed connecting with Rev. Dan Walker for lunch and exploring ministry possibilities as he relocates to Marion this summer with Dr. Joanne Solis-Walker, his wife and ministry partner, who has accepted a senior leadership role at Wesley Seminary. Thursday afternoon, I traveled with Rev. Duane Seitz to Silver Lake Wesleyan Church where Duane has been doing a great job serving as supply pastor. We had a good meeting with Mr. Ron Miller, vice-chair/treasurer, to plan for the coming year.
Friday included a meeting with Pastor Tony Bye (Marion Brookhaven) before attending the noon Good Friday service at Marion College Wesleyan Church. Dr. Steve DeNeff and the staff presented a moving Tenebrae Service that helped to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Easter. Friday afternoon, I connected with Rev. Kaleb Wakeman who will be returning to Marion this summer after several years serving as worship leader at Ohio Christian University’s campus church. Some of you may remember Kaleb as part of the River Church launch team with Pastor Matthew Trexler.
Saturday morning, I was in Fishers for the Waterline Church Easter Egg Hunt. They rented the activity field in Saxony and welcomed nearly 2000 people hosted by 70+ volunteers. Raleigh and Luis Pedro met me in Frankfort to interview two prospective church planters from the Dominican Republic.
From Frankfort, I drove on to Merrillville to join Pastor Marc & Heather Ulrich for the first Easter weekend at ReThink Church. Church planters like Marc and Heather are heroes for stepping out in faith to create new Kingdom communities. Please keep them and their team in your prayers as they break new ground in northwest Indiana.
There are so many exciting stories coming in from across the district. For example, Pastor Brad LeRoy reported 523 in worship with 16 baptisms at McCordsville Harvest Church. Pastor Lloyd Moore reported 131 in attendance with 4 baptisms and 2 baby dedications. Pastor Tom Cochran reported 167 in attendance at Chesterton Expansion Church with 3 decisions and seven baptisms. Tom shared that one lady came to church that day to see her adult daughter baptized. Hearing the Gospel, she gave her life to Christ and was baptized with her daughter. Praise the Lord!
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to Pastor Matthew Trexler and his family. Larry, his older brother, died on Saturday evening after a long battle with cancer. Pastor Matthew had the privilege of playing a key role in Larry’s faith journey including baptizing him last year at River Church.
Monday through Wednesday, I’ll be in NYC for the District Superintendents’ Roundtable then returning home on Thursday. Friday and Saturday, Chris Williams and I will be hosting a small group of lay leaders and pastors for a StratOp session. Then, on Sunday, I’m looking forward to serving with Pastor Mike Cloud and The Cross in Rochester.
There’s still time to sign up your staff and volunteers for our Crossroads District Kids Ministry Huddle 2017 in Marion this Saturday with Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales. Thank you to Michelle Henry for her leadership on this event!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,