There’s something invigorating about beginning a new year. The books are closed on last year with both victories and regrets behind us. The new year opens pregnant with possibilities. Like many of you, I begin a new daily Bible reading plan, open a new journal, and set new goals. On Sunday morning, January 2, I joined Pastor Jeff and Amy Luedtke at Fairmount Wesleyan Church in their 9:30 worship experience as they led their congregation through the Covenant Renewal Service, adapted from that which John Wesley introduced to the Methodist societies as early as 1755.
Here is the concluding prayer for the covenant service as written by Wesley:
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
From Fairmount, I was able to join Dr. Chris Williams and the team at Lakeview Wesleyan Church for their first service of the new year. Pastor Chris brought a challenging message on renewing our passion for God. He closed the service with a challenge for the Lakeview congregation to go deeper in prayer and the Word. I’m grateful that Dr. Williams and his team are helping lead the 21 Days of Prayer initiative here in the Crossroads District.
This coming Sunday, January 9, we are encouraging churches in our district to join us in setting aside a special time of prayer each day for the next 21 days. Some churches, like Lakeview, will be gathering in their sanctuary each morning, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 to 7:30. Prayer prompting videos have been recorded for each of those weekdays and the links will be sent out to each district pastor. Saturday mornings, churches will also gather, some at a later time and some will share breakfast after their hour of prayer together. Each Sunday of the 21 days will also feature focused prayer time in the worship service.
To help launch and continue this prayer focus in our district, we will be convening prayer gatherings on the second Sunday at 6 pm in one of our district churches. This month, we are being hosted by Rev. Zach and Rev. Carla Working at Huntington Hope Rising Church. We will hold the prayer gathering in a different church in a different region each month. We would love to have you join us as we pray for revival and for God to send laborers into His harvest!
Sunday afternoon, Sherry and I had the privilege of connecting with Global Partners missionary Amanda Banter who will be leaving on Wednesday to join the GP team serving in the Czech Republic. Thank you to each Crossroads District church that has joined Amanda’s prayer and financial support team. Amanda came to Christ through the ministry of The River Church in Marion where she was baptized and discipled by Pastor Amy Biegel. Amanda is the first GP missionary sent out since the Crossroads District was created in 2016. There is still time to join Amanda’s team by contacting Global Partners. May God help us to raise up and send out many more missionaries in the years ahead.
There’s no better way for a church to launch into the new year than in celebrating baptisms. Pastor Shane Wilson passed along the good news that Columbia City New Hope Church baptized two new believers in the first Sunday of the new year. Praise God for these lives #MadeNew by the Gospel!
The FUEL Conference is coming to Muncie on February 3-4! FUEL is a wonderful event to encourage our Next-Gen leaders. Please encourage your leaders to invest in their personal & ministry development by attending. For questions, email District Youth President Jessica Folz at email@example.com. For more info on FUEL, visit: www.wesleyan.org/fuel
There is still time to register for the Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Every local church received a scholarship for one pastoral couple to register and that amount can also be applied toward the THRIVE initiative. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
May God richly bless you and your church team as you reach out to your community in this new year!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent