Sherry and I had the privilege of joining Pastor Dan & Amy Fisher as Delphi Wesleyan Church celebrated 100 years of ministry. More than 100 people attended the morning worship service, the fellowship dinner, and the afternoon session of testimonies and memories. Pastor Dan and the team have been doing a complete update and remodeling of the building. They’ve moved the fellowship upstairs with handicap access. They’ve replaced the old pews with comfortable new chairs that allow them to use their auditorium for the new Awana program they're offering. Congratulations on a great celebration to the past 100 years and a great start to the next 100!
Sunday afternoon, Sherry and I hosted our district office staff for a Thanksgiving meal and celebration of our two November birthdays (Roxene and Chris). Following the meal, we were blessed by the musical ministry of the IWU Chorale in concert at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church under the direction of Dr. Todd Guy. If you ever want to take a master class in leadership, watch Dr. Guy inspire and motivate these students to excellence.
Last week began with our staff meeting on Monday and the Zoom meeting that Dr. Schmidt, our General Superintendent, hosts each month with the district superintendents. On Tuesday, I joined 44 of our Crossroads District leaders in Chicago for the Exponential Regional Conference featuring speakers like Ed Stetzer, Albert Tate, James McDonald, and Danielle Strickland.
The best part of these conference experiences is gathering with your team to process the fresh insights and faith-expanding challenges. We enjoyed time together as a district team on Tuesday evening and again over lunch after the closing session on Wednesday. Special thanks to Jon Wiest and Seth Bye for pulling this event together for our team. We will have a group going to the Exponential East conference in Orlando in February but this regional conference was well worth the time at half the cost. We hope you’ll make plans to join us here next fall.
Thursday, I was back on the road connecting with our pastors for coaching conversations. I met with Rev. Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview), Rev. Jeff Ludtke (Fairmount Wesleyan), and Rev. Neftali Lopez (Carmel Amistad Iglesia). It was good to see the new dynamic duo of Jeff Ludtke and Rob Tippey manning the espresso equipment at the Branch. It looks like they’re having fun!
Chris, Seth, and I met with Dr. Ed Hoover at our district office on Friday morning. Ed has done a terrific job of number-crunching to provide data for the regional restructuring conversations that are taking place across the denomination. Ed is also making encouraging progress after his recent surgery. Sherry and I were blessed to welcome six of our pastoral couples from the Warsaw Zone for an evening of fellowship at Thornapple Lodge. These zone fellowships are precious times of connection and encouragement. Thank you to each one who has been able to join us so far this year.
The highlight of Saturday was joining the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for Rev. Robert and Veralyn Van Cise that was hosted by their family and friends at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. While Pastor Bob has preached many inspiring sermons, the greatest message he and Veralyn have preached is the example of their faith and the legacy of their family. Please remember Pastor Bob in your prayers as his doctors are working on a diagnosis for some recent health concerns.
Please continue to remember Lloyd Moore, Brad LeRoy, and Joe Allen in your prayers for full recovery from recent surgeries. The best way to track their progress is by connecting on their personal FaceBook pages.
Your prayers are also welcomed this week as the General Board convenes at Wesleyan HQ in Fishers for the annual fall meeting. These are exciting days of ministry opportunity in a changing cultural landscape. Pray that God will grant His wisdom so that we will make the most of every opportunity!
Your servant in Christ,